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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Fun Ways to Celebrate Groundhog's Day

Groundhog's Day and kindergarten go together like peanut butter and jelly. Ever think that the kindergarten year moves from one special day to the next? Yeah, maybe!  But, they give us a great opportunity to have engaging, rich activities in both literacy and math. They are a novelty! Kids remember them! Here are some of the fun activities we have done in the past to celebrate our friend, the groundhog!
Groundhog Paper Bag Craftivity 
& Non-fiction Writing
To make this fun groundhog, we cut the bottom off of a lunch sized paper bag. Then, we cut a slit up the front of the bag. Added paper arms, legs, and head.
 Next, we used a tree map to collect information about groundhog's. We read lots of informational text for our new learning! Tree Maps are a PERFECT beginning for non-fiction writing. 
Once the tree map is complete, the children can simply write "Groundhogs can____" and then pick something from the list.  Repeat for each of the columns on the tree map. Some children will add more text, but this provides great support for those that need it.
We also added a page for the kids to draw and label a diagram of a groundhog.
Once the book and the craftivity are complete, simply glue the booklet inside of the paper bag to publish your book! What a fun display for the hallway!
Animal Covering Sorting
 Another fun activity was to collect fun animal clip art to make a set of cards. Make a game board with fur/hair, scales, and feathers sections. Invite the children to sort the pictures according to the categories into the different sections. Once the kids are finished sorting, give each child an Animal Coverings Tree Map. Invite them to stretch out the names of the animals as they write them into the correct columns.
Groundhog is a Compound Word
 Look through your clip art and find pictures that can make a new compound word! For example, we found a cow and a boy---then we found a cowboy! Kids find the matches to make the new words.
 If you are adding this as a center, you might want to consider adding this recording opportunity. The kids glue the pictures into the booklet. Then, they stretch out each of the words.
Groundhog Cupcakes
Cooking is so much fun! We cook every Friday! The kids are always so excited, and isn't that what we want? Cooking lends itself to soooooo many skills. Here are a few that we did with this fun groundhog cupcake.
We always start with a cookbook. The kids have to read the text to see how to make the cupcakes. What a great way to show children the REASON behind procedural writing. 
Once they are finished making the cupcakes, we gave our kids a set of picture cards. They sequenced the cards to tell how to make the cupcakes. Instead of attaching the pictures to a long strip of paper, you might want to try this. We invited our kids to glue one picture on each page of this "How to Make Groundhog Cupcakes" booklet.  Then, they cut off one sentence at a time. They cut between the words. Now, they need to manipulate the words to make the sentence. What a great way to teach sentences begin with a capital letter and end with a period. AND....how to manipulate the words until the sentence makes sense!
Do You Like Warm or Cold Weather Best?
We invited our kids to make these fun faces---either dressed for summer or dressed for winter. We had this out for them to do in the morning as they came in. During our math block, we gave each child their face craft. Then, we made our graph to answer the question. We talked about whether we wanted the groundhog to see his shadow OR not!
Groundhog Measurement
We learned that a groundhog's tail was 6 inches in length. I made these rulers and invited the kids to go around the room to see if they could find other things that were 6 inches long!
All of these activities are from our Hooray for Groundhog's Day for only $5! 
We also used our Groundhogs Non-fiction book from our February Guided Reading Unit. To say the kids love these books doesn't even begin to explain their excitement. I wrote the book at three different levels of text, but all three levels have the same pictures and same non-fiction feature. 
You can find this book, along with 4 other February titles, in our February Guided Reading Unit.
Want to know more about how we use non-fiction text during guided reading? You can read all about it in this blog post.
Want to Celebrate Groundhog's just for one day? Then, this is the plan for you. You can grab it for FREE below!
Or...if you want to do just a little bit each day over the week, then this plan is for you. Scroll to the bottom to find both!


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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Celebrating Day 100 FREE Lesson Plans

Day 100 has become a much a part of kindergarten as crayons and pencils! I'm sure you celebrate this milestone, too! Do you do it all in one day, or spread it out over the week---kinda like celebrating your birthday for a whole week! At the bottom of this blog post you will be able to grab free lesson plans for celebrating it all in one day OR spreading it out over the week. 
First thing--find a Zero the Hero! This dad has twins so what better person! He dressed up like Zero the Hero and his kids were the zeros! He led our whole kindergarten team in exercises---100 of each!
Each of our children make a 100 collection in a water bottle. We bring those with us to "shake" during our exercises.
After that, we head to our special day 100 breakfast--a sausage "1" and "0" donuts!
Pictures of teachers dressing up like 100 year old people pepper social media. I dress up like a 100 year old man. I grabbed the wig at a party store, but the rest of the outfit came from the Goodwill.
Then, we get busy with our 100 Day activities.  For this activity, I used our letter stamps. The kids spin the spinner (0-10).  
Whatever numeral it lands on, the kids stamp that many of ONE letter into the tens frame. Then, they use a different letter to finish filling in the tens frame.  Below the tens frame, the kids write the combination for 10. Repeat 10 times. 
Circle cereal is perfect for making Zeros!  For this fun, tasty activity give each child 10 fruit loops of one color and 10 fruit loops of another color.  Have them select a numeral card (0-10). On the game board, they place that many fruit loops of one color. Fill in the game board with the other color of fruit loops.
Using the numeral cards, fill in the number bond.
Fill in the number bond book. Repeat 10 times.
This Zero the Hero glyph is a fun way to collect data.  The kids answer the questions as they build their own Zero the Hero. For example, if they like math that have a black mask, but if they like reading they have a blue mask.  Once the kids have built their Zero the Heros, gather on the rug to collect the data. You could ask, "How many people in our room like math best?  How can we figure that out?" (Count the black masks.)
Another fun way to use the fruit loop cereal is to make a 100 necklace. Invite the kids to put 10 fruit loops, all of one color, onto a piece of string.  Continue using different colors to make sets of 10 until you have 100 fruit loops on the string. Tie together to make a necklace.
Another fun activity is to make 100 Day Snack Mix.  Collect 10 different small food items.  Invite children to select the first food item and count 10 of them onto the given 10's frame.
After counting it onto the 10's frame, add it to your baggie. Move to the second food items. Continue counting onto the tens frame and adding to your baggie until you have been to all 10 food items. (100 snacks)
These Day 100 hats are the best! Invite each child to count out 10 strips that have been divided into 10 boxes. Using bingo dotters or sticky dots, put one in each of the divided squares.  This will give the kids 100. Staple the strips around a band to make a hat.
A must read for Day 100...The Wolf's Chicken Stew! In this book the wolf is coming to eat 100 chicks.  I used candy kisses (the chicks give the wolf 100 kisses) and added a yellow sticky dot on the bottom. 
 I numbered each of the chicks.  I made a 100's board using wolf clip art.
(Sorry about the blurry photo.) Then, I hid the chicks around the room.  The kids had to search around the room to find the chicks. Once they found one, they bring it back to the group area to find it's location on the 100's chart. Keep searching until they find all 100 chicks!
 The chicks love "uncle wolf" and give him 100 kisses. Then, he makes them 100 cookies. I wrote this fun poem about the event.
Then, we used cookie clip art to measure different items in the room.
As a culminating activity we have a school wide 100 Day Assembly.  Earlier in the month, we sent home a letter inviting families to donate requested items for a homeless shelter.  Each grade level collected one of the requested items. Kindergarten kids were to bring bandaides.  Over a few weeks we collected them.  Right before we went to the assembly, we count our bandaides. We want to have 100 boxes! If we are a few short, I make sure and pick up some extra boxes from the Dollar Tree. If your classes are small, put 2 classes together.  We also sorted, graphed and measured with the boxes throughout the week. 
You can grab this ideas in this Happy, Happy 100th Day Unit
 Want some easy to follow lesson plans? You can grab them for FREE.
Here is the plan for Celebrating Day 100 all in one day.
And here is the plan for spreading it out over the week.
You can grab them both below.
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Monday, January 14, 2019

FREE Lesson Plan for Learning About Dr. King

I love teaching kids about Dr. King. He had such a positive message of peace and acceptance...things that are important TODAY! Here are some of our favorite ways to celebrate:
One of our favorite activities to is to make Dr. King. The kids use simple patterns to cut, paste, and assemble.
Then, the kids write a nonfiction piece All About Dr. King. It always amazes me the things they learn!
Here is our hallway display!
Another fun activity is to make Dr. King a birthday cake. After making the cake, the kids do the simple "cut a sentence" activity for the Happy Birthday song.
Here's the finished product.
During math we did this fun story problem where the kids have to figure out how to share the balls when there aren't enough of them for each child to have their own. What a great life lesson!
Another fun fact about Dr. King---he had 4 children.  He had 2 girls and 2 boys.
Then, we explored other ways to make 4 children and made different combinations for 4.

We also learned about Rosa Parks and how Dr. King led a boycott following her bus experience.  For this activity, the kids roll the dice and count out that many kids. (Since there are 3 windows, the dice has all multiples of 3---3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18. After counting out that many children, the kids decide how many kids need to sit on each seat by sorting them into the windows.
During literacy we learned how to spell Dr. King's name. Then, we made a cheerleader book. Each flap lifts. Under the flap we sorted pictures by their beginning sounds.
Then, we used the onset and rime to make other ing words.
Here's what it looks like...
Then, the kids made their own "ing" book.
To finish up, we made this multi-flow map. First, we talked about what was wrong. Then, we talked about what Dr. King did. Last, we talked about what happened.
All of these ideas are included in this resource.

Do you celebrate Dr. King "all in one day" or "over a week"? It can be done either way--what works best for you! I have written a plan for each way!
Would you rather do it all in one day?
Or...maybe do just a little bit each day and spread it out over the week. You can grab both of these FREE below!
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