Happy Valentine's Day!

We had a sweet and simple Valentine's Day celebration in the classroom this year.  Lots of love going around!  We delivered valentines, played a fun bingo game, and made our love lists.  Then we got to open cards and enjoy a few treats.  The kiddos had music and art today before going home.  It was a great day!

This year I gave my sweeties a bubble wand with a little heart card attached.  I LOVE glitter.  So, I had to share the glitter love on Valentine's day.

This is a 100 activity that we did last week.  It is perfect for this time of year.  The teacher calls out the numbers needed in a random order.  The students discover the surprise design as they get closer and closer to the end.  You can differentiate this activity by how you introduce the number.  For many students, just finding the number on a hundreds chart is challenge enough.  For kids that are ready, you can ask them to find the number that is one less than, one more than, etc.  If you have worked on place value enough at this point in the year, you can tell them to find the number with 9 tens and 5 ones.  There are lots of ways to make the number prompt more challenging.  This activity can be done with many designs and is a good one to re-visit through out the year.

This is another Valentine's themed art we did for the February calendar that went home earlier this month.  The hand and wrist was traced and cut out and glued onto the paper.  The heart stamps were done with toilet paper tubes folded and taped to make a heart shape!  I got this idea from a pin by teach preschool.org.  You can check out her blog by clicking on this link: www.teachpreschool.org
Thanks Deborah!

Here is that love list we did:

It is a great writing prompt.  For kindergarten kids, a list is often easier to tackle than a narrative, especially on Valentine's day.  I feel lucky that I got them doing academics at all.  If you would like to use this love list activity in your classroom, you can get it in my TPT store.  It's FREE!!!  Just spreading the love for Valentine's day!  You can click on the link or image below to go get it:

Last but not least, we did this heart graph activity the day before.  We have a policy at our school to only have sweets once per month, so I don't do many lessons that use candy.  Besides, I think conversation hearts taste awful!  If you are going to eat sugar, make it the good stuff!  This is a great alternative to the conversation heart graphs that you see everywhere....

This is also a FREEBIE in my TpT store!  It comes with two sets of colored hearts and both a colored and black & white graph.  Click on the image above or the link above to get it.  Enjoy!

Hope you all had a great Valentine's day!

Happy Teaching!

100 Days of School!

We have been getting ready for the 100th day of school in our classroom.  We have been counting by 10s, by 5s, and by 1s to 100.  We have been learning what 100 looks like.  We have been exploring 100 in many ways...

A yummy activity to practice counting to 100 by tens.  If you would like to do this activity with your class, you can find it at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Just click on the link or image below:



A class quilt to practice counting to 100 by fives.  The kids were so excited about this when they came to school and it was all put together and up in the room.  They spontaneously broke out into a chant counting.  It was wonderful!

This activity really helped solidify the concept that ten groups of ten make 100 for my little students.  I got this idea from a pin that originally came from For the Love of Kindergarten http://kindergartenfreckleteacher.blogspot.com/2012/02/this-week-in-pictures-and-links-2-62-10.html
She has some other fun ideas for 100 and lots of other cool stuff going on in her class last February.  This was my take on the paint dots idea.  Thanks Cindy!  If you would like to get the printable shown in the photo above along with all sorts of other goodies for your class, you can get it here: Print and Go! 100 Days Math and Literacy (NO PREP).

You can also do the dot painting this way too.  It's fun to make 100 gumballs.  This sheet is also in my Print and Go! 100 Days Math and Literacy (NO PREP) .  All you have to do is make copies, put out the paint, and you're done!  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!

We did the 100s chart puzzles a few days before the actual 100th day.  I made them in several colors so that the kids could keep track of their pieces easier.  And so that our bulletin board will be more colorful.  Ha ha!

This is one of the activities the kids did independently on the 100th day.  Small groups worked together collaboratively to build a structure with 100 blocks.  Looks Great!

Another activity that kids had to do independently and collaboratively was to find the 100 hearts hidden around the classroom.  They found all but three and worked together to put them in order.  They needed 71, 84, and 86.  They were hidden in the felt board area in the bag with the felt shapes.  Tricky!  The hearts are tipped because they were too pointy to stand straight in the pocket chart.  Speaking of pocket charts, in this photo, mine sure looks old.  Maybe it is time for a new one...

We also had a center for the kids to make a bag with 100 snacks.  Some teachers call this activity a trail mix.  I call it snacks.  We do a very simple version of it.  I put each of the ten snacks out on a table.  Students each have a baggie with their name written on it.  They take turns going to each of the snacks and counting out 10 into the baggie.  The kiddos were so excited to eat it at recess.  Yippee!

Each child got to make a special 100s day hat with 100 stickers on it.  They look so cute wearing the hats in the classroom.  Fun!

The most challenging activity of our 100th day was writing about what you would do if you had $100.  Most of my students this year decided to spend it.  One or two decided to save it.  One little boy said he would give it to his family.  I thought that was sooooo sweet!

Here are a couple of interesting ones:

"I would buy a peecok."

"I would bi a hol oshin!"

I love the kids' drawing and writing!  So cute.  This prompt is so fun to see what their ideas are about.  I do this every year for the 100th day.

This year, I finally made the time to create all my favorite activities for the 100th day in  a time saving, black and white ink saving, Print and Go! pack.   If you are looking for some new things or some oldies but goodies that have cute graphics and simple layouts for young students, you should go check it out.  (Just click on the image below to go get it.)  I hope you have a wonderful 100th day celebration with your sweeties!

Happy 100th day!
Happy teaching!

More Winter Fun!

Just a couple more things that we have done for our unit on winter and snow...

Have you ever made winter snowflakes using borax?  It is pretty easy and the kiddos always get a kick out of it.  It is a project that needs adult supervision, because you use very hot water with the borax.   I have been doing it for years with my kindergarten students and have never had any safety issues.  I have an adult mix up the borax and hot water in big buckets or tubs.  I have never used an exact recipe, but you want the solution to become totally saturated with borax.  We used about 1-2 cups of borax per gallon of water.   The children make the snowflakes using pipe cleaners and we help tie one end to a string.  Then we tie the other end of the string to rulers or anything else that you can set on top of the buckets.  Dunk the pipe cleaners into the borax solution and leave them overnight or longer. 
Here are mine sitting in the solution:

I got my whole class done in two tubs this size.   It is a quick and fairly easy small group or center activity.  Then you can have the kids write about how they did it, or how beautiful and sparkly the snowflake is.  Or, you can just put them up in your classroom and enjoy them!  
Have fun with this one!

This is another fun and engaging math lesson that can be incorporated into many different thematic units.  If your school has pattern block die cuts, you can use them for little art projects and then have students graph how many they used for their picture.  I have done this activity in brown for Gingerbread, and with lots of colors for spring/garden.  You could do an abstract geometric design for any math lesson.  This could be done with actual pattern blocks, or the stickers if you have them.  Some classrooms have puzzle frames, you could do a puzzle and then graph.  This is a great way to review shapes, counting, number, and of course, graphing concepts throughout the year.  This project makes a nice bulletin board as well.  If you would like to use these graph masters in your classroom you can find them at my Teachers Pay Teachers store, just click on the image or link below:


Happy Teaching everyone!

Winter Art, Books, and Writing

We have been enjoying our studies of winter and snow in the classroom.  Here in our part of California, we do not get much snow.  However, the children are fascinated by the idea of snow.  So we have lots of fun reading about snow and winter.  This bulletin board has a few of the projects we did during this unit.  Below are more details about each one.

This was a fun way to make our backgrounds for the snowmen art look like a winter night sky.  It is easy and can add lots of interest to a simple water color painting.  It is a good idea to use a water color  paper or thick card stock that will absorb the paint, and not wrinkle or warp when it dries.  Paint as you normally would, but you want to cover the paper quickly.  Make sure the paper is still WET when you apply the salt.  Just sprinkle a course salt around on the painting and let it dry.
And then...

Isn't it cool?????
My kiddos did this in class as a completely independent center.  Not all of them had the paper wet enough when the salt was applied, but they all made creative and interesting backgrounds for a cut paper snowman.  The one below was made by a student in class who did have her paper wet enough when the salt went on.

Don't you just love the art of young children?  This makes me smile.
Another project that will make you smile is the toilet paper roll snowman.  So cute!!!  I love art projects that can re-use TP rolls, because I sure accumulate lots of them.  I got this idea from a pin by JT Photography.  You can see her post with this and many other cute winter and snow ideas by clicking the link below.
Theme of the week: Snowmen

Here are some of my student's snow-people :

And of course, we did the obligatory cut paper snowflakes.  This was requested by my students because we read a book that showed this project.  Two tips for cut snowflakes - use coffee filters because they are much easier to cut, and have them pre-folded for your little ones.  My kids did this as an independent center, which did end up getting a little support from a parent helper.  But, for the most part these snowflakes were cut independently by little hands. 

So, with all this fun art work, we had to write about winter and snow!  Some of the writing projects we did were making a list of "good stuff" to use when making a real snowman.  We made a class book about all the signs of the season for Winter.  We wrote about what our snowmen would do at night after reading Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner.  Below are a couple of our writing samples and some book pages.

You can't see his writing in the photo, but his reply to the prompt was : He would jump off the page!
So cute and creative.

Another cute response:  My snowman drinks COLD cocoa.  This was an idea presented in the story we read before writing.  I love it!

Here are some of the book pages with our ideas about what happens in winter.  I support the students with thinking of ideas and we read books to help build their schema about winter.  Each child chose a different idea so that many were covered.  Otherwise all the pages would be about snow or snowmen.  In this book, the kids told me their sentence and I wrote it down on a strip of paper.  Then, I cut it up and mix up the words and they put it back in order and read it.  We do lots of class books this way in my room.  Here are a few sweet pages from our book on Winter:

We also like to make a list of what you need to make a snowman.  If you would like to use my list for writing about "good stuff" to use for making a snowman, you can find it at my Teachers Pay Teachers store.  It's FREE!  Just click on the image or link below:

FREEBIE! To Make a Snowman List

Here are some of my favorite books for our winter theme:

Happy Teaching!

Domino Math Games

We have been having fun in the classroom paying with this set of domino cards.  We play memory or concentration games.  We play matching games to numbers, tallys, and ten-frames.  We also play a fun whole group game I call "Meet your Match".  Each student gets a card.  When I say GO, they have to look for another child with the same total number on their domino.  Most find another student with the number decomposed in a different way.  When everyone has found a match, then we sit and share what total number we had and  what two smaller numbers it was made with.  FUN!

You can download this set of cards for use in your classroom or at home!  Just click on the link below or the image below:


Have fun and Happy Teaching!