KinderGals: Spring-Writing, Reading, and Math Activities

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Spring-Writing, Reading, and Math Activities

It's finally here! Flip flops, pollen, and day light savings time! That means it's time to start planning all those fun activities for spring--both in and out of the classroom! Here are some of the fun things we will be doing in the next few weeks.
 Parts of a Plant
This is a fun craftivity to teach labeling and the parts of a plant--at the same time.  The kids use scrapbooking paper to create a flower. We use the brown shredded crinkle paper, that is used in gift bags, to make the roots! I picked it up at the Dollar Tree.  Once the kids make the plant, I give them each several squares of paper to make their labels.
 Parts of a Plant Book
Once the kids finish their craftivity, they also make this "Parts of a Plant" book.  The children cut and paste the parts of the plant, one on each page. Using their labels, the kids write facts about each plant part.
 Adding Up Flowers
This is a fun spring activity to teach addition story problems. Each child needs two flower pots. Label one with their own name, and one with a friend's name.  Invite the children to roll 2 dice and record the addition sentence on the recording page. Draw flowers in each pot to match the addition sentence. Write a story problem to match the addition sentence.
 Labeling Seeds
To make this fun flower craftivity, start with a piece of paper folded in half. Cut the top fold of the paper to make 4 sections. This will make the stem.  Pick up some flower seeds at the Dollar Tree or use old seeds from last year! Invite the children to tape a seed under each of the 4 flaps.  Give each child 4 pieces of paper to label each of the seeds. Keep the seed packages on the table so the children can use the packets to find the labels. 
On another day, invite the kids to use the stem to create a flower. Provide a text box for the flower center. Encourage the kids to write factual information about seeds. We will want to read many books about seeds.  Make those books available for the children to use as reference during this writing. The kids don't need to be able to read the words...they will READ the pictures and recall the information you read to them.
 Spring Sort
Clip art makes a great sorting activity. I went through all of my clip art, and selected things that are associated with spring.  Children don't need TONS of pictures, really 10-15 are plenty! It is more important to think of MANY different ways to sort, than to sort MANY different pictures only a few ways. Encourage children to work together to create categories. Record the categories on the recording page after each sort. Invite the children to select one of the sorts to record using a nonlinguistic method (pictures.)
 How Tall Are You?
This is a fun way to teach children to compare height. Make a flower that is the height of your average child. Invite each child to go and stand by the flower. The other children determine if he is taller, shorter, or the same height as the flower. (He sure is getting big!!!!)
 Flower Story Problems
Make a set of flower headbands by using several different flower clip art images. (We made 5.) Invite the 5 children to stand in a line. Tell a subtraction story problem. As you tell the story problem, remove some of the "kid flowers." Provide each child with a dry erase board to record the subtraction equation.
 Describing Plants
This is a great graphic organizer to help children brainstorm words that describe plants.  Invite the children to record words in each of the circles that describe plants. Children can use this resource to write factual information about plants that will include these describing words.
 Plants Tree Map
Another great resource for writing is a tree map.  Encourage children to think of ways to finish each sentence, "Plants have..., Plants need..., and Plants are..." As I write them on each flower in the flower pots, the children record the information on their recording sheet.  Now, the children are ready to write a piece of non-fiction text. Staple a book with 3 pages and a title page.  On the first page, the children write "Plants have..." and finish the sentence using their tree maps. Encourage children to add more detailed information. Illustrate the text. Repeat this process with all 3 pages in the booklet. This is a great way to teach children to write over pages!
 Measuring Thumbprint Flowers
In an art center, kids create these cute thumbprint flowers.  Put some paint on a sponge. Invite children to press their thumb into the paint. Place their thumbprint around the circle to create 3 different color flowers.  Once the flowers are dry, use linking cubes to measure the flowers. Use the recording page to compare the length.
 Ordinal Number Flowers
To make these fun ordinal number flowers, reproduce flower clip art on 8 different colors of paper. Invite the children to glue their flowers in a line on a strip of paper.  Each child can put their flowers in any order they wish. Sequence the ordinal number flower cards. Use the recording page to indicate the ordinal position of each flower. Every child's answer page will be different since it matches his/her flowers!
 Spin a Graph
Spin graphs are a super easy, independent center.  Invite the children to spin the spinner. Record tally marks to indicate where the spinner lands. After spinning 10 times, use the tally marks to create a graph. Once the graph is made, the children analyze their data.
 Making Words with Beanstalk
We've all played the game where you take the big word and see how many little words you can make. This is a standard game at many baby and wedding showers. But, playing it with kids takes on a new meaning. I found that usually ONE kid in the group GOT IT.  The others....they simply copied that kid!  Here's a way we can play the game and scaffold our kids for success.  Give the children the letters in the big word, in this case "beanstalk."  Now, give the kids a list of words--some that can be made with the letters in beanstalk and some that can't.  Invite the children to use their letters to see if they can make the words in the list. Indicate on the recording page yes or no depending on whether they could make the word or not.
 Bingo Dotter Flower Addition
I love bingo dotters. I pick them up at the Dollar Tree all the time! To make this accordion folded book, invite the children to glue a circle in each section.  Roll two dice and record the number sentence on the circle.  Use bingo dotters to make dots to match the equation. Record the sum. Repeat with all three flowers. Once the paint is dry, fold the book together and staple along the edge to make a book.
 Roll a CVC Word
This is "go to" game for our centers. Here's how you play.  Give each child a game board, three cubes, and a dice.  The children roll the dice. Move one of the cubes up the first column that many spaces. Repeat with columns 2 and 3. Record the 3 letters on the recording page. Read the new word. Repeat until the recording page is full.

These ideas are from this unit.
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