Sunday, September 22, 2013

Kindergarten Apple Mania Part 1

It's that time of year!  We love apple season.  Here are a few of the ways we've brought apples into our classroom:

These super-cute ten frame clip cards are one of the activities from Applelicious Ten Frame Activities.  I love this packet! It's exactly what I was looking for, and so inexpensive.  We'll be doing a lot more with it next week.

This apple patterning activity is a freebie from Made in 1st Grade.  Click the link to check out their blog and grab a copy, along with some other great apple freebies!  The free download includes another sheet with the apples already drawn for the student to color, or you could have your child draw their own apples.  I used an apple-shaped punch to make red, yellow, and green apples for Colby to pattern with.

These FREE apple counting mats are from Kindergarten Lifestyle.  What a fun activity!  Apple counters in three colors are included; the counting mats are for numbers 1-10.

This cut-n-paste apple order activity is a two-page freebie from Nicole at Rowdy in Room 300.  The first page covers numbers 1-5, and the second page is 6-10.  Colban was really proud of himself for completing both pages correctly without any help!

And of course my little nugget is on board for anything involving bingo markers!  This "A is for Apple" Do-A-Dot/Tracing page is from the FREE A is for Apple Tot & Preschool Pack by All Our Days.  

Another great freebie from Kindergarten Lifestyle!  This Apple Five Senses activity was lots of fun!  Colby examined an apple using his five senses, and recorded his observations (with a little help) on the corresponding worksheets.  As you can see, the "Taste" worksheet was his favorite!

Okay, this one has nothing to do with apples!  Colby also completed his project for the Letter M last week.  Isn't it cute?  He wanted a "big, fat mouse!", so I made the fattest "M" that I could!  

And of course, we read some apple books!  

Ten Red Apples, by Pat Hutchins.
This one is great for kiddos that are learning to count, add, or subtract numbers 1-10!

Apples, Apples Everywhere!: Learning About Apple Harvests, by Robin Koontz.
 I love the illustrations in this book!  It's a great introduction to apple harvesting, and how apples are used.

The Apple Pie Tree, by Zoe Hall.
A cute story with fun illustrations, and a great way to learn about the seasonal cycle of an apple tree!

More apple links and activities on the way!
(Kindergarten Apple Mania Part 2 is now up - check out our 2nd week of apple fun!)

Blogs and TpT stores included in this post:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Rotation vs. Revolution

The next topic in Hunter's interactive geography notebook is the Earth's rotation on its axis and revolution around the Sun.  We touched on this in second grade, and will visit it again in much more depth in future earth science classes, but I felt it was an important concept to review in geography this year as it is crucial to understanding concepts like climate and biomes.  

Here's the 2-page spread we created to help solidify Hunter's understanding of rotation vs. revolution:

It's a mishmash of ideas from Pinterest, including this anchor chart.  

Here's a better look at the Rotation page:

After adding the title, Hunter glued on the picture of the Earth tilted on its axis.  When the glue was dry, he used a fine point marker to add lines indicating rotation.  (We sketched these lines with a pencil first, to avoid making mistakes in ink!)  Finally, he added his notes.

The Revolution page was a little more complicated:

First, he cut out the Sun and the Earth.  Next, we measured out a rectangle of cardstock in a length that suited our page.  He glued the Earth to one end of the piece of cardstock, then punched a hole in the other end and added a reinforcement sticker.  Using a brad, we poked a hole through the center of the Sun, passed it through the hole in our cardstock strip, then used the brad to secure them both to the notebook page.  Careful not to fasten it too tightly, or you won't be able to move the Earth.

When this was finished, Hunter added his notes to the page.

For a free download of the graphics we used to create these pages, click here.  Three different sizes are included to accommodate different notebook sizes, or if you'd like room for more content on the page. 

Happy Homeschooling! 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Interactive Geography Notebook

In addition to many, many, many other things, Hunter worked on his interactive geography notebook this week.  The results were pretty cool!

This activity was inspired by this post at  I adapted the idea to meet our needs and the topics we were covering.  We learned about latitude, longitude, the Equator, and the Prime Meridian. 
  •  First, I had Hunter draw a star on the map to mark where we live.  
  • Then he traced the lines of latitude with a fine-point marker (only every other line so the map wouldn't look too cluttered).  
  • Next, he traced the lines of longitude in another color (again, only every other line).  
  • Finally, we cut two lengths of sparkly leftover Christmas ribbon, in gold and silver, to glue over the Equator and Prime Meridian.
Here's a closer look:

To download the free world map from Layers of Learning, click here.

During our next geography class, we discussed how the Equator divides the Earth into two hemispheres, the Northern and Southern.  Likewise, the Prime Meridian and its opposite, the 180th meridian, divide the Earth into Eastern and Western hemispheres.  After studying the hemispheres, we completed this notebook page:

Hunter wrote a simple definition underneath each flap.  For example, under "Northern Hemisphere" he wrote: 'The half of the Earth that lies north of the Equator'.

If you'd like a copy of the flaps, click HERE.
I hope you find them useful!

More resources and links:

Kindergarten Activities

Well, folks, I do believe I'm getting the hang of this!  We seem to be settling into our routine.  This week went very well, with a lot fewer bumps in the road.  The novelty of school seems to wearing off a bit for Colban, which is actually a relief.  He is now pretty content to complete the work I have planned for him, though I'm making sure I have plenty of extra activities prepped in case he requests some.  I didn't take many pictures this week, but here a couple of the highlights:

Colban loves bingo markers!  The activity pictured is a sheet from 
a great 54-page freebie from Babbling Abby.

That's a proud little nugget right there!
Colby is holding his Name in a Ten Frame project, a really fun freebie
from Sam Nowak.  Highly recommended!

Here's a closer look:

Here's Colby with his watermelon math sentence activity!
We kept it simple, but you can use more colors for the "seeds" to make it more challenging.
Get a copy of this Watermelon Math Freebie from First Grade Blue Skies.

As you can see, we had a blast this week!
For more kindergarten ideas, check out my Pinterest board, Homeschool: PreK & Kindergarten.

Monday, September 9, 2013

More of Colby's First Week

The key to doing pretty much anything with my younger son without sacrificing my sanity is to try to keep it interesting.  While Hunter is agreeable and mild, Colby has a naturally rebellious spirit.  He rarely sees the value in doing something just because an authority figure told him to, and will accept just about any punishment as the price of doing business.  Luckily, he enjoys school, so I just have to keep the engaging activities coming!  Here's a peek at some of what we did last week:

We read "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?" by Bill Martin Jr.

Then Colby practiced his counting and number recognition with this adorable matching game, featuring characters from the book:
(He is always missing a sock!)

Then he practiced letter recognition and color words with this activity:

There is a color word spelling card for each animal in the story, and corresponding letter tiles that make it easy for little guys to find the ones they need. 

After lunch, I pulled out the M&M activity for a little more counting and color sorting.  How cool is this?!

After the student sorts all the M&M's, there is a recording sheet to write down how many of each color they ended up with.  Sorry about the blurry pic:

The next day, we did some more color word practice with these great clip cards:

Then he practiced writing the words on the recording sheet:

You can see the helpful reference chart in the background :-)

All of these fantastic activities, plus six more not shown, are from the Brown Bear Math and Literacy Activities pack from KinderKids.  Here's the part that will really blow your mind: the whole 108-page pack is only $1.00!!  In fact, all of the great resource packs in the KinderKids shop are only $1.00.  There's just no beating that!  Check out the KinderKids TpT store!

Here's the cute and quirky alligator Colby made for Letter 'A':

I just love how he came out!  Colby was adamant that his alligator does NOT have matching eyeballs :-)
This project is based on an idea from  Check out their post here!

Other alphabet resources we used this week include:

K4 Letter Hunt Worksheets (free download!)

For over a hundred more ideas and free downloads, check out my Alphabet Activities and Printables pinterest board.

When we were done with our "Brown Bear" activities, we read "If You Give A Mouse A Cookie", by Laura Numeroff.

Colby practiced counting out cookies to hungry little mice with this super cute activity:

This activity is from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie Math and Literacy Centers.  We'll be doing more with this packet this coming week!

Colban also continued to work in his math book: 

Overall, it was an extremely productive first week!  

Printable activities in this blog post are from the following TpT stores:

and blogs:

Saturday, September 7, 2013

More of Hunter's First Week

Phew!  The first week is behind us!  I definitely have some adjustments to make, but when is homeschooling not a work in progress?

Here's a glimpse at what my older son has been up to this week:

Hunter is reading on an end-of-third-grade level, but he could use some extra work on sight words.  This is a page from Lori Rosenberg's Second and Third Grade Sight Word Packets.  Each 10-word list has six different activity pages.  

We read  "The Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash", by Trinka Hakes Noble.  I still love this book just as much as I did when I was a kid!  To review story elements and summarizing, we did several of the activities from this unit by Hollis Hemmings.  The school bus activity in the picture was my favorite.

Underneath each animal flap, Hunter has written about that animal's problems in the story.  So cute!  He also completed this cause-and-effect foldable:

Here's the cut-and-paste activity on the inside:

In all, we did four activities from this unit, and it was a really fun way to review!  There are many, many more activities in the unit that we didn't use, but I plan to do the whole thing with my younger son when he's ready.  Check it out: Day Jimmy's Boa Ate the Wash Activities and Printables.

For math, we've been using this workbook and supplementing with other books and activities when necessary:

Right now we've taken a break from the workbook and are working our way through Multiplication Mastery: a Program for Basic Multiplication Facts.  Hunter has memorized his times tables, but I wanted to make sure that he really understands the math so that he can build on it. I've been really, really happy with Multiplication Mastery; I'd recommend it to anyone introducing or reviewing basic multiplication.  

To review the four types of sentences and the appropriate punctuation, we used A Perfect Fit: Sorting Sentences with Cinderella.  Activities that allow Hunter to physically sort, match, or sequence are usually much more effective than a worksheet, and this resource was perfect for him.  After sorting the sentences, he picked one from each category to write on the recording sheet with the proper punctuation, and then illustrated them.  Can you make out his fairy godmother in the picture?  So adorable!

We also did this punctuation activity from Cleaning Up Writing, an excellent resource for teaching editing skills:

This packet is a combination of cool worksheets and hands-on activities, divided up by month.  In only one week I've already used three pages, and I know it will be a staple in Hunter's curriculum all year long.

More of what Hunter is working on to be posted soon, plus a separate post for Colby's kindergarten work!  Stay tuned!

Printable activities featured in this blog post were purchased from the following TpT stores:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The First Day!

Well, the first day is officially behind us!  Overall it went very well, though some of the worries I've had all summer turned out to be legitimate.  Colban finished half the work I'd planned for the whole week before lunchtime, and spent the afternoon making messes, noise, and demanding to know when Hunter would be done so he'd have someone to play with.  Hunter's auditory processing problems make it next to impossible for him to filter out background noise, so he had a tough time focusing under these conditions.  I alternated between redirecting Colban to a quiet activity in another room and getting Hunter refocused on his work, only to turn around and find Colby had already gotten bored and returned to make mischief!  We got all of our scheduled work done, but it was still a lot more stressful than it should have been.  Mommy has a headache!

Here are a few of the pics I took of our first day's work:

This is the first page of Hunter's Interactive Geography Notebook.  This is just the example page I made in a spiral notebook; Hunter was self-conscious about his work and didn't want it photographed.  I thought he did a great job!  Hunter's interactive notebooks (for science and geography) are bigger and much nicer than my example books.  We used these, but a composition notebook or even a spiral will work. 

This is a really fun "silent e" sort that I chose for an easy review activity.  It's one of many AWESOME activities included in Puppy Love Common Core Literacy Centers and Printables.  This packet has been worth every dime I spent on it and then some!  (I do occasionally re-size pdf's before printing to save ink; some of these pieces may be smaller than originally intended!)

This is a page from our handwriting practice packet.  (Oh man, that handwriting.  It is an enormous frustration for both of us.)  Check out "Writing Through the Verses" here.  

Colby did several pages of kinder math in this workbook.  I've used the Math Made Easy series with Hunter for three years now, and we love it.  The progress charts (gold star stickers included!) are one of the best things; for each page completed, the child gets to add a star to the chart.  Colban added THREE today!  Whoop whoop!

This great little counting puzzle is from the very cool, very FREE Batman-themed preschool pack from 1+1+1=1.  Colby was thrilled with it.

This is just a small fraction of what we accomplished today.  I'll try to cover what we're doing in math, science, history, reading, and grammar later in the week!  I didn't get pics of any of Colban's alphabet activities, either, but the ones we used today and many more (all free downloads) can be found on my Alphabet Pinterest board.

Ready to do it all over again tomorrow!  Hopefully I can start working out some of the kinks!

TpT products featured in this blog post are from the following shops: