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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Hooray for Earth Day! FREE Earth Day Games!


Are you ready to celebrate Earth Day on April 22? It is a great day to do something different. Here are a few things that we have done in the past. At the bottom of this post there are some FREE Earth Day Games you can download and use to create fun for your celebration!

Planting Flowers

I selected two different "easy to grow" flower seeds.  Each child was able to select which flower they would like to plant. After planting the seeds, I created a fun math center. I printed a graph for each of the children. They were able to ask the kids in their group which flower they planted. They marked the correct flower on their own survey. Using the collected data, they each created a graph. Then, they analyzed the data and recorded the results of their surveys.

Making Bird Feeders

Another fun activity is to create bird feeders. An easy option is a pinecone feeder. To begin, tie a string to the end of the pinecone. Next, spread peanut butter, or crisco if you have nut allergies, onto the pinecone.  Pour bird seed into a shallow box. Invite the children to roll the pinecone in the bird seed. The seed will stick to the peanut butter.  Once the children completed the birdfeeder, we reproduced the bird feeder sequencing page. The children cut out the pictures to show the directions of how to make the feeder.  Then, they arranged the pictures onto the flow map to represent each of the steps. Glue.  Now, using the How To Writing Paper, they wrote the steps for making their bird feeder as shown on the flow map.

Energy Spin Graph

I love to use "spin graphs". They are super simple and make an easy independent activity. For our earth day spin graph, we selected pictures to represent 3 different kinds of energy and placed them on the spin graph (see photo). We added a spinner using a brad and a paper clip.  

To play the game, the children spin the spinner. Then, on the recording page, they indicate the type of energy on which the spinner landed. After spinning a given number of times, they used the data to create a graph. Analyze and record the results. 

Planting Flowers Flap Book

The fun cut a sentence book is a great way to teach the steps for how to plant seeds. We created a step book using yellow construction paper. 

We supplied each child with a strip of pictures to sequence for planting a seed.  They cut apart the pictures and glued one onto each flap. 

Then, they cut apart the matching sentence and attached it to the edge of the flap.
It's fun to sing to the tune of "Here we go round the Mulberry Bush".

These activities, and others, are from the Hooray for Earth Day Unit.

Earth Day Guided Reading

We used this Earth Day Guided Reading Unit to develop the content for Earth Day. I love that we created the text at three different levels to meet the needs of all of our learners.  We also created phonics and writing practice. Children also used nonfiction features to help make meaning of the text. You can grab this unit by clicking here!

Earth Day Magnify It Games

Our kids love Magnify It Games. We use them ALL year during math and literacy centers. Here are 4 different ones Earth Day themed games you can download for free.

The games included:

  • Counting to 10
  • Counting to 20
  • Beginning Sounds
  • Ending Sounds

The games are REALLY easy to play. Here's how:
  • Reproduce the colored pages on cardstock and laminate. 
  • Using the table grid, cut apart the cards.
  • Reproduce a recording page for each child.
  • Invite the children to use a magnify glass to look at the tiny pictures. 
  • If it is a math game, the children count the items.
  • Now, find the card with the correct numeral.
  • On the recording page, locate the letter which matches the letter on the card with the tiny pictures.
  • Write the answer in the empty box.
  • If it is a literacy game, the children name the pictures.
  • Now find the card with the correct beginning or ending sound depending on which game they are playing.
  • Now, find the card with the correct letter.
  • On the recording page, locate the numeral which matches the tiny numeral on the card with the tiny picture.
  • Write the letter in the empty box on the recording page to represent the beginning or ending sound.
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Earth Day Magnify It Games

4 FREE Earth Day Magnify It Games

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    Saturday, January 4, 2020

    Zero the Hero...Beyond Day 100

    Who says Zero the Hero can only come the first 100 days of school? Our kids loved the math games that he was bringing them, so....if you can't beat them, join them. We found this a perfect way to introduce new games and review previously taught standards.  This blog post shares how to organize and set it up as well as some of the activities from post day 100!
    We kept the same bag that we had used for the first 10 visits, so no need to make a new one.  Each 10th day, Zero packs the bag with a special surprise. It contains a letter from Zero the Hero as well as a new game.
    The letter introduces the math concept for the new game. Here are a few of the games:

    Spin and Add

    To play this game, invite the kids to spin the spinner and subitize the number of fingers where the spinner lands.
    To make the spinner really spin, consider adding a pony bead to the brad. This acts as a washer and gives the paper clip the room it needs to spin.
    After spinning, invite the kids to color the fingers on the hands (they will spin twice).  Now, write the equation and the sum!

    Roll and Add

    This is a super easy game.  Invite the kids to roll two dice. Add the dots together, and trace the sum! Which numeral gets to the top first?
    Here's another teacher hack! To keep from having sums over 10, simply cover the 6 dots to show "zero" dots!

    Spin and Decompose

    To play this game, invite the children to spin the 11-19 spinner.  Now, using a crayon, invite the children to color in the tens frames to show the number. Write the equation below.

    Make a 10

    Here is another game to use with a dice.  Invite the child to roll the dice. Color that many squares on the tens frame. Color the remaining squares a different color. Record your equation.

    Jump and Subtract

    For this game, give each child a dice and a number line  Invite the children to roll a dice. Using a plastic frog or a frog clip art pictures, jump the frog down the number line to match the number on the dice.  Record the equation on the recording page.

    Domino Sort

    To play the game, you can use real dominoes (if you have enough) or paper ones that you make. Invite the kids to cut and sort the dominoes by subitizing the sum. Glue them into the correct column on the recording page.

    All of these ideas and included in this Zero the Hero Unit.

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    Saturday, November 30, 2019

    Christmas Literacy Games

    December is a great time of year to introduce hands on activities that kids can play independently in literacy centers. Here are a few of our favorite games for kindergarten and first grade kids.
    Roll a Word
    To play this game:

    • Invite the kids to place a cube or other marker at the bottom of each row of pictures.
    • Roll a dice and move the first marker up the column that many spaces.
    • Repeat for columns two and three.
    • Give each child a worksheet, recording page, "Roll a Word".
    • Next, the kids write the three letters, where the markers landed, on the paper.
    • Lastly, write the three letters together and read the word!

    Roll, Say, Keep
    To play this game:

    • Invite the kids to place one of the cards in each of the 6 boxes on the game board.
    • Roll a dice.
    • Look on the game board and find the box with the dots that match the dice.
    • Invite the child to read the card.
    • If they can, keep the card.
    • Replace the card with a new card.
    • If they can't, leave the card on the game board.

    Spin a Word
    Here's how to play this game:
    • Invite the kids to spin the consonant spinner. 
    • Find the tree box with the letter on which the spinner landed.
    • Next, spin the vowel spinner.
    • Find the tree box with the letter on which the spinner landed.
    • Repeat on the consonant spinner.

    • As you spin and collect the letters, place them on the tree game board.

    • Record the words on the recording page.
    Syllable Sorting

    Here's how to play this game:

    • Invite the kids to select one of the presents.
    • Name the picture.
    • Count the syllables.
    • Place the pictures under the correct tree.

    • Record the words on the recording page.
    All of these games are from this literacy game pack: Christmas Literacy Game Pack

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    Monday, November 25, 2019

    December Pocket Chart Activities

    The Pocket Chart...we all have one,right? But do our kids really choose that center? IF they do choose it, do they know what to do? I developed 6 different types of activities for the pocket chart that kindergarten and first grade kids can use independently as part of your center rotation.  By keeping the same types of activities, and just changing the standard and themes, the kids quickly become independent! Here are the 6 activities for December:
    Pocket Chart Poem
    Each month, I write a poem that the children can sequence in the pocket chart. First, I invite the kids to sequence the pictures to tell the story.  Then, we match the sentences to the pictures. Next, the kids can build each sentence by matching the words.  Once they learn the poem, the kids can skip the sentence step, and just sequence the words to make the sentences.  I reproduce each sentence on a different color of paper. This helps kids know which words go together.
    Syllable Sorting
    I also include some type of sort. In December, the kids are sorting seasonal clip art by 1 or 2 syllables.
    I also included a cut and paste activity for each of the 6 activities. These make great follow up activities for morning work or another independent time.  It's a great way to spot check to see if they are successfully mastering the standard on the pocket chart.
    Word Family Sort
    For a different sorting idea, the kids sort the pictures on the present cards by the word families.  Place the 4 trees across the top of the pocket chart. Invite the kids to sort the pictures into the correct column. This would be a phonemic sort.  If you want the kids to practice phonics, have them sort the picture cards with the words. The kids then, complete the word by finding the beginning sounds.
    Making Words
    Making words is another activity included each month.  I just select some seasonal words and find the clip art. Then, the kids match the pictures with the word card and the pictures.  Lastly, they kids use letters to make each word.
    Find the Hidden Picture
    This is the class favorite of all the pocket chart activities.  For this game we are using sight words, but you can easily change this to letters, pictures, or any other standard.  To play the game, kids take turns reading one of the words on the chimney. As they read the word, they flip over the card.
    They keep taking turns reading the words and flipping over the cards until one of them finds the hidden picture.
    Beginning Sound Match Up
    The final activity is some kind of matching game.  Here the kids are matching the beginning sound (blends and digraphs) to the picture of the item in the sleigh.
    Since color clip art isn't available to everyone, I also made all of the activities in black and white. Simply choose your favorite color of paper, copy, and laminate!
    Here is another example of the cut and past activities!
    All of these activities are included in the December Pocket Chart Unit

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