Monday, January 22, 2018

Winter Center Activities

Word Work is the easiest center for me to set up.  I prepped these centers 5 years ago and I store them by month in a 2 gallon zip-lock bag.  My monthly word work centers build upon each other so when I pull out the new centers for the month, they require very little to no explanation. Students already know exactly what to do and what my expectations are!
Now, just because these centers are titled 'Word Work Centers' does not mean they can only be used at that center! Some of these activities are great in guided reading groups, as early finishers, or even in morning tubs! 
Syllables are a skill that I am still working on with my kids. They tend to stretch the word out too much and try to create extra syllables.  We actually did this activity together in reading group before I left it out for independent center work.
As most of you know, magnetic letters are always a hit in my room and this word family center was no different. I looked up to check on my kiddos and loved how they used dry erase markers for all of the letter a's without me giving them that idea. Made me smile :)
We are definitely doing a lot of CVC work lately and sorted our word family CVC words in our pocket chart as well.
 Then kids had to cut and paste their words onto their activity sheet.  I have an activity sheet option for every center in my word work pack; however, they are totally optional. Sometimes I use them and sometimes I don't!
We worked on really stretching the CVC word in order to hear that middle sound. My kids are doing fantastic with this!
 In 'Penguin Pairs' students had to match the rhyming penguins together and then choose four to record on their activity sheet. 
 I also used these same penguin rhyming cards to play a couple of rhyming games during my guided reading groups.  My students love playing games with me and totally forget that they are learning! We played 'slap the rhyme' together--I put half of the cards all of the reading group table and the other half I kept in my hands.  I would turn one card over for the group to see and they had to 'slap' the rhyming match when they found it on the table.  We had lots of laughs with that one!
I left this center out at the magnetic letter center just to kind of see how my students would do. Let me tell you...they are just amazing! My kids did so great listening to the beginning blends! There was also a 'helper' card left at the center in case they got stuck on any.
 We are always working on sight words in our room and my kids had a blast with this 'Sight Word Party' dice game.  They like predicting the sight word winner too (at the top of their page). I can hear them cheering on their sight word that they predicted throughout the entire center time, haha.
Again, we are reallllly working on those CVC words.  In this center students sorted their words by real/nonsense words.
Then they recorded some of their words on their activity sheet and used one of their real words in a sentence.
The last two centers I am going to share are both building sentences centers. In the first one students sort their cards based on the picture at the top. Then, with those cards, they have to unscramble the sentence.  I always reinforce that the capital letter goes first and the punctuation goes last.  This really helps those kids that may struggle with this center.
The second center that focuses on building sentences is a little different.  I didn't chop my words apart too much, so you can cut yours up and make this more difficult if you wanted.  There are two sentences starters, 'Here is my...' and 'Will you...with me?' Then, students use their picture cards to complete the sentences.
 When they are done they grab a pointer and read their sentences, checking to make sure that they all make sense. If they do, they pick four sentences to record.
Whew! Lots of activities going on in our classroom this week! All of the centers in this post can be found in my January Word Work pack
If you need more centers for winter you can check out my Winter Literacy Centers pack for similar activities!
Now, if you got this far...for today/tonight only--if you purchase my January Word Work pack, I will send you the February Word Work pack for FREE!! Just email me your Teachers Pay Teachers receipt and let me know which pack you choose!! I am confident that you will LOVE them!! 
Already own my word work centers? I will give you the same deal for my January and February Math Centers! :)
Happy Monday!!
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Penguin Craft (Informational)

We LOVE learning about Penguins!! It may be one of my favorite units to teach too.  As we read our informational penguin books, we add all of our learned info onto a KWL.
I ask my kids questions from the KWL every morning before we read another book to make sure that they are remembering all of the info that they have learned. For instance, 'raise your hand if you can tell me three different things that penguins eat.' My kids LOVE showing what they know!!
So we decided to make this cute informational penguin so students can really show off everything that they have learned!
We make one page a day so students don't rush through their work. 
Then when we are done, we staple our books onto the belly of our penguin craft.
These cute penguins make an amazing bulletin board display. We have gotten so many compliments from not only fellow teachers (who are very impressed with our work) but our principal too!
You can grab this informational penguin craft by clicking on the image below.
You can also grab this similar informational bear craft.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Kindergarten Holiday Party

We had our holiday party on Monday and had so much fun!! It was the same day as our field day...talk about tiring! But, somehow we survived it.

I know I've said this before, but things change when you have kids of your own. One thing that has changed for me is that now I am all about keepsakes!! 

For our first center we made these cute snowmen out of socks.  We cut the top of the sock down a little then filled the bottom of the sock with rice (this weighs the snowman down).  We filled the rest of the snowman up with filler then tied it on with a rubber band.  The second sock then became the snowman's hat.
We decorated the snowman with accessories from Oriental Trading.  I left pom-poms, buttons, and fun googly eyes at the center. The kids used fabric glue to adhere everything; however, I ended up reinforcing it all with the hot glue gun later that day.
Then we made these cute and simple decorations (you can turn them into ornaments by adding a ribbon when they are dry). We used tongue depressors, stickers, and sequence from Oriental Trading to decorate. The kids loved this one!! I think next year I will have to take pictures using a fun SnapChat filter or cute props!!
I left out a couple of 'easy' centers for the students to do while we were busy with some of the more hands on centers.  This activity my kids have done before so they were able to play independently.  This center is from Oriental Trading as well and is all set and ready to go!
I do this center every year, reindeer food.  It is a must for the little ones!
I didn't take many pictures in class because I was busy making the salt dough ornaments with the kids.  At this center the kids can't do much, so I called them back one at a time here when I was ready.
They pressed their hands into the dough then I pressed a hole in the dough for a future ribbon.  
I took all of the prints home to bake. The recipe can be found here.
After they were done baking I ended up painting them at home instead of letting the kids paint them (just no time!). In the future I would let them paint their own.
I sprinkled them with glitter and painting a layer of mod podge on top.  When they were dry, I hot glued some cotton balls to the bottom to make them look like mittens and tied a string on to turn them into ornaments.
Then, I wrapped them up and they are ready to give out as parent gifts!

You can see last years holiday party HERE.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

DIY Ornaments

I wanted to host a little DIY ornament night at the house and needed an easy ornament for the kiddos and one ornament for us moms to make!! We picked up these ceramic ornaments in the Target Dollar spot for the kids to paint.
 We told the kids they were like little elves in their ornament workshop. They loved it!! We gave each one of them a cute elf hat they I picked up on Oriental Trading. The table decor and the hassle banner I also found on Oriental Trading.
I still need to get the kids to go back and decorate their ornaments. I was thinking of having them add more color when this layer dries.  Maybe using paint and a q-tip.
 Then the kids sat down for some ice cream while the moms got to work on their ornaments!
 I am SO glad I tested these ornaments out at home before trying them in the classroom.  First of all, I thought I had the clear ornaments that came apart into two pieces, but I didn't. So it was very tricky getting the kids pictures inside of the ornament and into the place where we wanted them.
 It was basically impossible to get the tree where we wanted it because even tweezers were hard to maneuver in the top of the ornament. 
 But, we finished and I love them! I think they will look cute with a big bow on the top to add some more color! 
Next time I make these I will have to use the clear ornaments from Oriental Trading that you can find HERE. Those come apart and would be way easier! You can also find the fake snow HERE