Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Teaching Foundational Skills with Play-Doh Mats!

Play-doh mats are great for tactile learning!  I use them often in my kindergarten classroom and my students love them!  They are great to use for centers or when you want to keep your kiddos busy while you are doing beginning of the year assessments.  They are also great for RTI!

In the beginning of the year I use these letter/sound play-doh mats for my students to practice letter identification.  

I also use these number identification play-doh mats.  I like how they include writing the number and number word.  Kids also practice counting by using the ten frame.

As my students learn their sight words, I have them use these sight word play-doh mats (Fry Lists 1-100 and 101 -200 are available!)

As the kids learn addition and subtraction I use the below play-doh mats to practice these skills.  You can also place the mat in a dry erase pocket.  

If you would like to take a look at all the play-doh mats in my store check out my "Play-Doh Mats: The Bundle."  There are 8 play-doh mat products that you can use throughout the year to practice skills that include:

Here is a FREEBIE for your students to enjoy: Shape Play-Doh Mats.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

End of July GIVEAWAY!!

I hope all of you are enjoying your summer!  Back to school season is coming very quickly!  To help kick off your school year I am having an "End of July Giveaway!"  Buy my "Launching the Kindergarten Reading Workshop" and receive 2 of my products for FREE!  You will get my best seller "Kindergarten Sight Word Play-Doh Mats" and my newest product "Back to School Print and Go!"  Buy NOW until July 31st to get the free products: GIVEAWAY

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Sight Word Centers!

I am always trying to think of fun ways my students can learn their sight words.  My district requires kindergartners to learn 75 sight words by the end of the year.  This is a large amount of words that requires LOTS of practice!  To help them learn these words, I incorporate many sight word activities throughout my centers each week to prevent sight word instruction from getting boring.  I have found that my students love the following activities that you can find in my TPT store.

Sight Word Hop: Students work with a partner by hopping on sight words that their partner reads.

Pancake Flipping for Sight Words: Students use a spatula or tongs to flip over pancakes that contain sight words.  They place their read pancakes on the cookie sheet.

Magnetic Sight Words: Place each mat on a cookie sheet.  Students read each sight word and build the word using magnets.  

Fishing for Sight Words:  Students will use a toy magnetic fishing rod or you can make your own like the one I made below.  Children will use their fishing pole to "fish" for sight words.  They will read the sight word on each fish they catch and place it on the jar.

100 sight words from Fry's Frequently Used Word List are included for each activity.  If you are interested in getting all four of these centers, check out the bundle here: Sight Word Centers BUNDLE!

I hope these activities add some fun to your sight word instruction!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Kindergarten Addition!

We have been working on our addition skills!  There are many fun partner activities that I have had my students do to help strengthen their addition skills and increase their fluency.  Here are some of the activities we have done:

Addition Plates: I got these from the dollar store.  They are a great way to help students visualize addition and to have them use manipulatives to solve.  Children take turns rolling a die. They place a set of cubes for each number in the two smaller portions on the plate.  Their partner writes the number sentence.  The children solve the problem by placing both sets of cubes in the large part of the plate.

Addition Play-Doh Mats: This is great for a center or RTI!  Have children use play-doh to complete each addition mat.  You can also place each mat in a dry erase sleeve.  In the picture above, I was working with a student for RTI.  These mats help children visualize addition and solve problems on their own.  You can find these in my store: Addition and Subtraction Play-Doh Mats

Making 10: Children work with a partner and use ten frames to find out how many more they need to make 10.  They use a dry erase board to write number sentences.

Other addition activities I used came from Miss Ricca's blog.  She has many great and FREE activities that you can find here: Miss Ricca's Addition Activities .

I hope these activities help add to your addition learning in your classroom!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Those Mischievous Leprechauns...

Celebrating St. Patrick's Day in kindergarten is always an adventure!  Those mischievous and sneaky leprechauns are always up to something!  When my kindergartners came to school they found little green feet all over their desks and there were even some on the walls and cabinets!  

The kids followed the footprints and noticed this little gem on top of our art cabinet!  Did these naughty leprechauns visit your room?  Hopefully they didn't make too much of a mess!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Big sale going on at TeachersPayTeachers tomorrow!  The "Teachers are Heroes" sale is on Wednesday, February 25th!  All products in my store are on sale! You can check them out here: iHeart Teaching

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Exploring the Sun, Moon, and Stars

Last week we finished studying about the sun, moon, and stars.  My kids love this unit and are fascinated with space!  We read many nonfiction books including "What the Moon is Like" by Franklyn Branley. This book does a great job teaching facts about the moon.  It also nicely explains how the Earth and moon are alike and different.

After reading, we used a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the Earth and moon.  I had the children write the facts on sentence strips to create a class Venn Diagram that can be displayed and referred back to.

The children also used a T-Chart to independently compare the Earth and moon. 

We also made sun and moons with paint!  Each child chose one to make and wrote one fact they learned.   

For the sun I had the kids dab orange and red paint on white construction paper.  They cut the circle out after it dried.  Then, they glued it on black construction paper and added the rays.

For the moon I mixed white paint with flour.  This created a thick consistency and rough texture to create a "moon" look.  Then, the children used the cap of a glue stick bottle to form the craters.

These projects were a great way to end this fun unit and were very easy to make!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Fishing For Sight Words!

My students love "fishing" for sight words!  They have so much fun reading the sight words on the fish and catching them with their fishing rod.  This activity creates an interactive literacy center and can be used again and again with different words!  Here is how I use it in my classroom:

I tie a piece of yarn to a wooden block.  I attach a magnet to the yarn.

Attached to each fish is a paperclip.

The fish are placed in the fishing lake and the students place their caught fish in the fishing jar.

I place about 20 sight words that we have learned in the lake at a time.

My students have so much fun using the rod to pick up the fish.  I also have them count the fish/sight words they caught!

If you would like to use this center in your classroom, you can find it in my TPT store here: Fishing for Sight Words!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Winter Snowman Craft!

I want to share this cute and easy craft my class did before winter break.  They used white paint to make a handprint then used sharpies to make snowmen on each finger.  

I folded the construction paper into a trifold.  I placed their picture on the first flap and a poem on the third flap.  We wrapped these and the children gave them to their parents on Christmas!  The kids loved making these!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Irregular Ten Frames to Build Number Sense

Do you use ten frames in your classroom?  How about irregular ten frames?  I use both standard and irregular ten frames and have seen so much growth in my students' number sense.  Irregular ten frames require higher level thinking and promote children to develop their own strategies to count.  I want to share how I use irregular ten frames in my classroom.

I begin each math lesson with a number talk.  For each number talk I choose two irregular ten frames.  I draw the frames on chart paper and cover them up so the children cannot see the ten frames.  

I flash the first ten frame for about five seconds.  The children have to count the dots as quickly as they can.  If they know the amount of dots, they give me a thumbs up right below their chin.  I flash the ten frame once more to give the kids another chance at counting.  Then, I ask some of the children the number they counted. I choose two children who counted correctly to share their strategy for each ten frame.  I record their strategies on chart paper.  We compare and contrast the different strategies shared.

As I do more number talks in my classroom, I have seen my students' critical thinking expand and number sense strengthen.  They begin to group the dots in ways that make them easier to count (foundation for addition).  They no longer count the dots one by one.  Some children are even moving the dots in their head to make them easier and faster to count.

If you would like to use irregular ten frames in your classroom check out my FREEBIE below by clicking here: Irregular Ten Frames

Let me know how you use irregular ten frames in your classroom!  I would love to hear how you use them in your classroom!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Comparing Books with Gingerbread!

Happy 2015!  I hope you enjoyed your winter break and had a great holiday!  I wanted to share this anchor chart we made before break. The gingerbread unit I taught is my favorite to teach!  There are so many rich gingerbread literature that my students LOVE!  It is a great unit to identify story elements and compare and contrast stories.

We focused on three stories: "The Gingerbread Boy," "The Gingerbread Girl" (my favorite!), and "The Gingerbread Cowboy."  We analyzed the main character, setting, problem, solution, and how each story ended.  Above the anchor chart you can see the cute gingerbread boys/girls my students made!  They used shapes to make their gingerbread and recorded how many of each shape they used!  This was a fun unit that my students really enjoyed!  They were very engaged in each story and couldn't wait to find out how each story ended!

What are your favorite gingerbread books to read?