Arrival Bins Winners and Back to School fun!

Thanks to all who entered the contest!!!  I meant to post this earlier today, but I’ve been sick with a horrible head cold!  Jennifer McAdoo and Amy Braswell are the winnners!!!  I’ve emailed your prize!!!

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I’ve been busy with all things school lately!  I’m so happy to say that I am teaching a straight TK this year!!!  I absolutely love my sweet students and we are off to a great start!!! Here are a few things we’ve been working on:

These shape busses are always a favorite activity!

I’ve also been busy updating my Back to School pack! Here are a few pictures of some of the included.

This is a close-up of the shapes on the bus activity that’s included in my Back to School pack.

Lunchbox syllable activity. Both color and black and white versions are available for all activities! Simply print what you need!

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Click any of the images above to be taken to my TpT store for more information in this packet. I hope that all of you have a great week!

Make Your Own Big Books for the Classroom

Well recently I’ve been working on making some big books to use in the classroom.  I use big books in a variety of ways, but I especially like to create books that are interactive for students.  Honestly, it can be a little difficult at times to find books that are age appropriate as well for my students.  So–making your own big books is a way to get your little guys more engaged in the reading activities that go on within your classroom.

Here are some ways that I like to use my big books:

Circle Time Songs

We sing a whole variety of songs in my preschool and kindergarten classes.  I love having big books to accompany the songs because it not only builds vocabulary for students, but it also helps students to learn that print carries meaning.   Below is a lit of a few song books that we use for Circle Time:

  • Color Song
  • Octopus
  • 10 Best Friends
  • 5 Little Ducks
  • Letter Sound Song (Apple Apple A a a song)

I also especially love to make Big Books to accompany some of my favorite cd’s.

Shari Sloane’s Website is a wonderful resource for making big books to accompany music cd’s.  Check out her page here for more resources and printables:  Shari Sloane’s Jack Hartmann Page

Here are some pictures of one of the Jack Hartmann big books that I made:

I also attached velcro to the pictures so students can match the picture with the words.

Books for Read Alouds

It can be difficult at times to find books that are not too ‘wordy’ for my students to read aloud during the story time portion of the day.  So I often use die-cuts or clip-art to create my own thematic books to corresponds with whatever themes are learning within the classroom.  Here is an example of a book that I made with die-cuts to go with our upcoming Insect theme.  The idea and text is from http://www.kinderfriends.com:

I added velcro to the laminated pieces in order to make the book interactive for students:

Resources for Making Your Own Big Books

Counting rhymes make excellent books for students.  You can often easily find die-cuts, clip art or notepads to match the objects that you are using for your books.  This is an excellent source for finding various poetry that would be appropriate for any early elementary classroom: Can Teach Songs and Poems.

Kinder Friends has a great page on their site for many ideas for making your own resources.  I use this page a lot for ideas and there are also free downloadable resources here as well:  Kinder Friends Big Book Idea Page

Here is one of the books that I own that has instructions for making your own books.  If you are interested, click on the picture for ordering information.

As always, feel free to add any comments or resources to this posting!  I’ll post some pictures and ideas for big book storage too in the next week,  so keep checking!

~Barb

K is for Kite!

As you can see from the post below, we have been learning about weather recently, and this week we our letter of the week is K.  A couple of weeks ago we made these beautiful tissue paper kites to hang in class for Open House:

I just love how colorful these kites are!  Like so many other things, there are great resources on the web if you will be completing a kite theme in your classrooms.  Here are some links to a few things:

And no kite mini-theme would be complete without a story!  I actually haven’t read this book, but have many of Stuart Murphy’s other math books and they are WONDERFUL!  So, I’m pretty sure that this one is good too 🙂

This is another great read-aloud for your kite mini-theme:

Feel free to share any other kite or letter K ideas that you may have!

Phonic Instruction…is there a certain way to teach letter sounds?

Someone recently posted a question on the KinderKorner email group regarding what order to systematically teach letters and letter sounds.  This is an interesting question, considering that many basal reading series do have a specific letter order in mind when teaching these concepts.  This really got me thinking and questioning the sequence of how I teach and introduce letters within the classroom.

Here is a great article on the sequence of teaching letters on Reading Rocket’s Blog:  Article, “What Sounds to Teach When?”

Here is some more information from the Standard’s Site:  Phonics and Early Reading

So what do you think?  I found this to be very interesting.  Also, I have been working lately on some new alphabet sound recognition worksheets.  I will also post these on the ABC page later.  I haven’t completed all of the letters yet, this is sort of a work in progress.

Update (9/4/2010): I have since removed the Letter Recognition practice pages.  They are now available for purchase from Teachers Pay Teacher

Happy New Year!

The New Year is quickly approaching and soon it will be 2009! Can you believe it! Here are some great activities that you can use with your students to ring in the New Year!

There are lots of great activities at http://www.theholidayzone.com:
Happy New Year Activities from the Holiday Zone

Here are some simple writing prompts that I created to use with my kindergarten students (note:  I will not use all of these worksheets, I just created three different variations of the writing prompt):

In 2009 Writing Prompt D’Nealian Trace

In 2009 Writing Prompt HWT Style

In 2009 Writing Prompt Lined

There are lots of printable activitities such as mazes, etc here from Activity Village:

New Year Printables

Apples4the teacher.com has this adorable New Year’s themed writing paper:

2009 New Year Stationary

Here are some great classroom websites that have wonderful ideas for your New Year mini-theme:

  1. Mrs. Packer’s New Year Mini-Unit
  2. Happy New Year from Kindergarten Treehouse
  3. The K Crew’s New Year Ideas

Great teacher resources…

I just finished taking a great technology class with my district.  I just found out about a great link that I would like to share with all of you.  It is called Free Technology for Teachers.

Click here to see this page:  Free Technology for Teachers Blogspot There really is a plethora of technology resources that can be used in the classroom on this site.

Through this website, I also found Teacher Tube, which is a teacher version of YouTube.  Here is the link:  Teacher Tube This site is fantastic!  It has lots of old School House Rock videos and pretty much anything that you can think of!  Also, if you click on the channels tab and then scroll down to the apple marked, “Teacher Tube Tutorials”, you will find tutorials on how to use various software and programs.  This is great, because sometimes I just need a visual example to figure something out.

I am going to add a technology link section for my link section and I will continue to add other links as I find them!  I really feel so excited about the possibility of exposing even our youngest little learners to technology!