Kindergarten Teacher

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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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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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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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Perler Beads Art with Template

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I try to find ways to use Perler beads as often as I can. They are colorful, fun and really great for fine motor practice. This week I decided to pair them with some q-tip art sheets I had seen before (download them here) This activity is not as creative as I prefer their art jobs to be but overall I think it worked really well. The kids work on fine motor by practicing to put a perfect sized dot of glue in each circle, when they pick up and place the bead and of course cleaning up all the beads after the center is over.

Here are three other posts I have about Perler beads…

Patterns with Perler beads

More fun with Perler beads

Fine motor with Perler beads

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Math in the Interactive Notebook

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“Me and my swimming pool”

Last week I shared about starting to use the interactive notebook in my class (see here) As I mentioned, one of the important concepts about the notebook is that it should be used for all subject areas. Now that we are in our second week I have a couple of math entires to show. I will be sharing some language arts examples in the next week or so also. Science is the easiest to incorporate but the other subjects are working nicely as well.

Today we discussed using and reading thermometers. I showed them a thermometer I had in the room and then we compared it to a one I had sitting in the sun and one I had in the freezer (image below.) From those examples we discussed how the mercury rises when it is warmer and falls when it gets colder. Their job in the interactive journal was color in the thermometer to a temperature they wanted (hot, cold, or in-between) and then draw a picture to show what would be happening outside for that temperature. (image above and below)

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Picture of his family swimming

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ice cubes

Another math activity we did last week focused on making word problems. I gave the class a number (see below) and their job was to come up with a story that would have that number as an answer.

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“There were 16 horses then 4 of them got sick. That made 12.”

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“There were 20 soccer balls were at the soccer game and then 8 of the soccer balls rolled away and there were 12 left.”
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“One million baseballs are there and then one million go away and then 12 come back that = 12”

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The Next Frank Lloyd Wright?

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I gave my class a fairly simple project this week. The job was to try to build the tallest structure they could using popsicle sticks and hot glue. Yes, we use hot glue a lot (see here.) Each group (2-3 kids) could only make one structure so they had to work together.

I know these types of activities foster creativity and I know they enhance learning but I don’t often get clear proof of these facts. If you look at the picture above the structures are in placed in the order they were built, meaning the structure on the left was the first group and the one on the right was the last group. It is not a coincidence that each group (spread over 3 days) was able to build their structure larger than the group before.  As with any fun activity in the room all the kids were paying attention to this center as they worked in other centers. The heard the excitement when the second group figured out how to get a stick to stand vertical. They walked by and talked about how the structure need support sticks (in kindergarten language) to keep it from falling over. They were thinking of their own ideas as they waited for their turn. Beyond that they had a challenge to try to do more than the group before them. Am I training the next Frank Lloyd Wright? Probably not, but we won’t know unless we give them opportunities to find their passions.

Do you have similar activities for your room? I would appreciate you sharing if so, I know I want to include more of these type of activities in my class!

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