Kindergarten Teacher

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Wonder Journal: First Activity of the Day

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I started using a Wonder Journal each morning this year. When the kids walk into the room I have an image and a word written on the board (see below). They unpack and then grab their journal and start wondering. They can use words, pictures or both to document their thinking. After the tardy bell rings the kids leave their journal on the table and sit on the carpet for the school announcements. Then I let the kids share with me what they have been wondering. The questions/wonders they have been sharing are amazing and they lead to some great discussions. After sharing for a few minutes we then watch a video about the wonder. Most days the image and video comes from Wonderopolis. Each morning I check the Wonderopolis sight and use the “wonder of the day” or pick from this list of 50 great wonders. Wonderopolis even includes a wonder gallery of images for each one so I have everything I need in one place. I decided not to display the actual Wonderopolis website on the board when they walk in because I don’t want the kids limited in their wondering by reading the “wonder of the day.” Having only the image about the topic has worked best so far for me. After our discussion and watching the video the kids go back to their journal to wonder some more or document their learning. This also allows time for kids that don’t arrive before the bell to get something in their journal. I am very happy with this process so far. The kids are excited to walk in and see the wonder, unpack quickly to get started and are engaged and thinking first thing every morning.

Example of what I have on the screen as they arrive each day. This is from the polar bear wonder.

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This is the journal. It has 20 blank pages (completely blank) and paper binding. Anything simple would work for this

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Sample page from the Where is the fastest roller coaster wonder. His wonder was how do they go so fast. 

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Sample pages from “What is the Hottest Planet wonder…

“I wonder why the sun is so bright.” 

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“I wonder why this one has a red spot”

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Red arrow shows the “Wonder Gallery” where I find the images most days. 

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Fall Tree Art Using Handprints and Fingerprints

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Reposting this from last year because we are doing it again in my classroom this week!

found this great idea on Pinterest (here)

The best part of this activity is letting the kids paint their own hand. I did something similar last year when making turkeys (here) and the kids were able to handle it very well without any major issues. So far they are doing great again this year.

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Fall Home Living Center

I wish I could take credit for at least part of this but I can’t. We have amazing volunteers at our school! They helped each kid trace their hand and cut out those handprints for the tree leaves. Looks amazing!

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Lego People Template- Draw Your Family (Printable)

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The last few years I have had my class draw and label their family as a center sometime during the first few weeks. I have used several different people cutouts for this activity but when I saw the Lego figure printable I knew that be perfect for the activity. Of course very family is different so the kids are just cutting out the number of adults and children they need.  The class was very excited when I introduced the center. I hope to find other ways to use this in the class this year.

You can find pdf file here- Lego Family Printable

I found the image HERE and used it to create the pdf

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“Brown Bear, Brown Bear” Sequencing Activity with Free Printable

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I got the idea for this lesson from the Math Pickle website. The video there talks about helping the kids recognize the patterns present in many stories and of course Brown Bear is an obvious one to start with. I took the original Powerpoint and changed it some so that it works exactly with the story (see below.)  In addition I created small images to represent each page of the book (also below). I had my students cut out those pictures and then glue them in the correct order on a sentence strip. After that they wrote the correct color word under each image and for a challenge my higher kids tried to write the animal names above each image. Please note that the PDF is designed to be cut into four different strips (4 kids can use one page.)

Another idea I had that I will be trying next year is using the iPad for the kids to practice sequencing and retelling the story. One idea is to use the educreations app  . I copied the images of the characters from the Powerpoint and added them to my iPad. Then I loaded them into educreations and had my son retell the story.

You can see the video example here.

Brown Bear Sequence PDF

Brown Bear Sequencing Powerpoint

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Creative Fun With Build Your Wild Self Website

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I really love the site Build Your Wild Self. The site allows you customize a person by using many different animal parts as you can see in the image above. It is simple to use and FREE.  Today we played around on the site during large group and had a great time creating “wild people.” After a while I asked the class to discuss with their neighbor “what animal parts do you wish you had?” Then I sent them to write a journal about what two animal parts they wished the had and why. I enjoyed listening to them discuss and think through what parts they would pick and why. Here are a few of the examples…

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