Educator

Building Children’s Vocabulary

Taking time to talk and read with children is a great way to help them hear and read new words.  Adults who have conversations regularly with children allowing them to ask questions about things that are interesting  in a non-threatening way, help build children’s vocabulary.  Children enjoy learning new big words.

Everyone wants children to do well in school.  Building their vocabulary is one way to help them become better readers.  The more background knowledge a reader knows, the better they become at comprehending what they read.  Talking to and reading with children are two great ways to help children hear and read new words.

Sharing a new word with children is quick.  Choose words that are of interest to children.  Usually words that are common with adult speakers, but less common in children’s books are popular.

Provide an example of a new word: Gigantic means something really big.

Then use it in a sentence that relates to daily life:  That monster truck is gigantic.

Next, have the child come up with an example:  The elephant was gigantic.

Last, use the word frequently during the week: Look at this gigantic ball!

Take time to share new words with children every day.  The payoff is GIGANTIC.  You can find some activities in this Yearlong Vocabulary Reading Blocks Program.

Vocabulary Kindergarten - 3rd YEARLONG Reading Blocks Program

 

Keeping Kids Learning All Summer

It is always a challenge to keep children learning when it’s summer time.  My own children are glued to their computer games.  When they are not on the computer, they are swimming in the pool.  Traditional learning is hard to compete with summer activities, but it’s important to keep up with today’s rigor.  Here is a list of great oral and physical activities to keep your children engaged in learning:

1.Pudding Painting is one of my favorites for children to use to learn sight words.  Spread pudding on the bottom of a cooking sheet pan.  Call out a sight word and have them write it in the pudding.  If they get it right, they get to lick their finger.

2.Have your child sort laundry by color or size before you wash them. Let them pour in the soap with your supervision as a reward.

3.Ask your child to skip count to 100. Then count by 5’s to 100.  Tell them this joke they can use with friends. “I bet you I can count to 100 in 10 seconds or less.” When someone excepts the challenge, they can count by 10s to 100.

4.Teach your child to set the table.  Have them count all the silverware.  Reinforce the “game” by offering desert for the right answer.  Continue with counting other objects, like plates, cups or placemats.

5.Children love to paint! Give them water colors and paper outside. Let them go crazy with splattering/flicking paint on the paper.  This gets their creative juices flowing!  I use to let my kids pain their play house with water colors.  When it rains, it come right off.

6.Encourage your child to tell you the months of the year, and the days of the week in order.  High five them for reinforcement.

7.Tell your child they can only watch TV or play a video game if they can tell you the time on the clock. (not digital…)  😉

8.What kid doesn’t like to make things with dried pasta.  Take a cup full of various pasta and first have them sort them into piles by shape. (You can use food coloring to make them different colors, if you are that kind of special parent.)  Then have them glue the pasta on construction paper to make a picture.

9.Father’s Day is often overlooked during the school year, so let your child use your ipad or phone to record their voice and send a special message to dad.

10.Encourage your child to come up with words that rhyme with ones you say (e.g. cake, make, rake), then have them use the words to make a funny poem or song.

11.At bed time, ask your child to sequence the events of their day.

12.Create a new dance move or hand shake with your child.

13.Play a board game like Candy Land with your child.

14.Ask your child to show you a Jumping Jack, Push Up or Skipping.

*** You would be surprised how many kids can’t do these tasks.

  1. Use chalk outside to make Hopscotch. Teach them how to play.

You can also find some Summer Packets to have children sit down for 20 minutes a day and focus on skills to prepare them for the next grade.

End of the Year Summer Packet For KINDERGARTEN to 1st Grade ReviewEnd of the YEAR Summer Packet From 1st grade to 2nd

 

Year Long Morning Work **FLASH SALE**

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****Flash Sale***** READ CAREFULLY*****
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Get 10 Months, 5 Sets that will keep your students engaged in their learning every morning. It is set up to review literacy, math and writing skills. It is INDEPENDENT and READY TO PRINT AND GO! There is one free sample for the supporting document with this free video to explain the FLASH SALE. Thanks for watching.

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts and Ideas

I love celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in my classroom!  So this year, I’m a little bummed that we are on Spring Break, but who is going to complain about being on a break?

There are a lot of fun activities you can do with your students to really make the day memorable, special, and educational! I like to start my day with a leprechaun story from our class library.  I also love the video Leprechaun’s Gold found on YouTube.  You can explain the vocabulary words gold, greed, kindness and caring to the students after the video. I usually show it during Social Studies.  Share with the students that leprechauns are small, mischievous little men you find in Irish folklore. Then, locate Ireland on a globe.  I tell students how last year I almost caught one messing up my classroom, but he escaped.  I read the poem The Paper Leprechaun to the students.  I have them make their own paper leprechaun and pot of gold.  The pot of gold is separate from the leprechaun, so they can hide the gold from the paper leprechaun. They give their leprechaun a personality by writing it’s biography.   While students are at lunch, I mess up the room, sprinkle gold or green glitter around (even in the toilets), make little green footprints on the floor that lead to an open window and leave gold chocolate coins on their desks with a note from Lucky the Leprechaun. I have a pair of green felt little pants that I made myself, and hang from the open window. I pretend to try and grab him, but only have his pants.  The kids always giggle thinking there is a leprechaun running around in it’s underwear!  For math, I buy Lucky Charms cereal to pass out to the students.  They have to sort, graph and solve math problems using the lucky marshmallows found in the cereal.  After I check their work, they get to eat the cereal. (As always, check for food allergies prior to this lesson.) I send home a Family Project for student’s to create a trap for a leprechaun to build that home connection.  Finally, I let them make leprechaun headbands and Shamrock GLASSES to wear during story time.  If the kids are having fun learning, they will develop a lasting relationship with you and want to learn!

St Patricks Day Craft Leprechaun Craft Hat and Beard Headb St. Patrick's Day Writing and Crafts - Leprechaun Unit

Save $$$$$$ and get the UNIT

St Patrick's Day Craftivity - The Paper Leprechaun - Fun P   St Patrick's Day Craftivity Clover Glasses - by Teacher's Brain  Lucky Charms Graph - St. Patrick's Day Math Sort and Writing

Happy St. Patrick’s Day,

Cindy

Teachers Are Winners HUGE GIVEAWAY

Teachers and Homeschoolers,

I have partnered with a HUGE group of TpT authors to give two lucky winners twenty chances at winning an “AMAZIN” $300 gift card to Amazon or a $100 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card. All teachers are WINNERS, and I want you to really feel it with this Giveaway!

*****Directions for entering:*********
1. LIKE this post
2. SHARE this post
3. CLICK the link below and enter to win the raffle. (The more entries you complete, the greater your chances are of winning.)

http://gvwy.io/ycgbefy

Want to find the other TWO HUGE Giveaways? Search #TeachersAreWinners to find Giveaway #2 and Giveaway #3!  Good Luck!  I hope YOU win!
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Valentine’s Day in K

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LOVE is in the air this February! I’m so excited to let you know about the group of Teacher Authors who created a great Giveaway just for YOU!  Teachers love sharing, so let me share some of the ways we celebrate Valentine’s Day in Kindergarten.

My kids love candy (I know… not manyValentine's Day Candy Heart Estimation who don’t love it!) So I ask parents to donate conversational hearts to the class.  Students get to sort them by color, graph them, and estimate how many hearts will fill up the heart graphic. (This is a FREEBIE, you can find on TPT.) My students who are in high school now, tell me this was one of their favorite memories of my class on Valentine’s Day!

Students play I SPY Missing Letters games, solve valentine themed word problems, make mini books and crafts which can be found in my  Valentine’s Day CRAFTS and PRINTABLES.  We make hats and fun glasses to wear all day, so everyone know it’s Valentine’s Day in our classroom!  Valentine's Day cover

Of course, a Valentine’s Day celebration would not be complete without passing out Valentine cards!  I ask parents to send in a decorated Valentine’s Day shoe box with student’s names clearly on the box to help students pass out their valentine cards. This is a great writing activity for parents to to with their children too by sending home a list of first name, so students can address the envelopes.  This is the other favorite activities my older students talk about! Some still have their box! So, now I have students write positive words to each student, so they can keep that in their box too.  This will hopefully make them aware of how special they were to others in kindergarten.  Hope you build some great memories with your students this year!  Join the Rafflecopter Giveaway below and hop on over to the next great post at Teach Magically!

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February + Teachers = Love

Teachers, you have so much on your plate during the school year, I just don’t know how we all do it!  I know we do it for the love of learning and seeing kids grow, but sometimes it is hard to do everything that we are required to do during the school day.  This is why I have teamed up with some fantastic teacher authors to give one of you lucky teachers a $100.00 Amazon Gift Card! The giveaway will run February 1-5. You can enter below:

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Thank you for all you do for students!

Lots of Love,

Cindy

Groundhog Day in K!

Groundhog Day is celebrated in America on February 2 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The legend is that the groundhog comes out of his burrow and if it sees it’s shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter weather.  If it is cloudy and there is no shadow, it is an indication of an early spring.  Each year we create crafts and make predictions about groundhogs in my kindergarten class.  Here are some ideas:Slide22

  1. Pass out sticky notes and have a chart to make predictions on if the groundhog will see it’s shadow or not on February 2.
  2. Go to the Groundhog Web site to share the history of Punxsutawney Phil and watch the video LIVE STREAM of Punxsutawney.   http://www.groundhog.org/ (You can see the replay here also.)
  3. Use this FREE coloring printable for students to engage in for fine motor skills.
  4. Sing Groundhog Day Poem (Tune: Frere Jacques)Groundhog Day

    Groundhog Day

    Is near

    Is near

    Will he see his shadow

    Will he see his shadow

    And disappear

    Disappear

  5. You can make the whole day relate to groundhogs by using activities in all subject areas in this GROUNDHOG DAY UNIT.

Make it a fun day! Students remember connections, not lessons.

Mastering Sight Words

Previously, when I taught kindergarten, 34 sight words were standard for students to master before they went into first grade.  So when the standard went from 34 to 86, I was stressed about how to teach these words to kids who continue to struggle with retention and application.  Sight words are important to being successful at reading.  The goal put a lot of pressure of me to find new ways to help my students learn these words.   Here are some strategies I tried successfully.  I put 5 to 10 sight words on the class Word Wall each week.  Students learned how to use them in sentences, practiced writing with them and are encouraged to use the Word Wall Words during all writing activities.  The most effective way I found to get them to remember sight words is to make the activities fun.  During centers, students use paint dabbers to create sight words, play sight word games and sing sight word songs found on You Tube.  The Sight Word Necklace has been a huge hit with motivating students to learn the words in class and at home.  Start the students sight-word-necklace-coverout with a few words on their necklace.  By the next week see what they know.  If they know it, they keep it.  If not, the word goes off the necklace and home for practice with the parents.  For every 20 they master, they get a special card that rewards them with a treasure box treat in our room (you can use anything… a certificate, a hug).  When they reach all the words they get to eat lunch with the teacher and a friend.  Another game they like is the Fly Swatter Game.  Two groups of students a picked, the teacher calls out a word and whoever swats the word on the word wall first get a point for the team.

You can get the Sight Word Necklace printable for ONLY $1.00 for 24 hours.  A group of teacher authors are also having a hashtag sale #2017DollarDeals .  Just type it into the Teachers Pay Teachers search box to find the deals.  Happy New YEAR!

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TPT GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY AND 2-DAY SALE!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you!  You all deserve this winter break to relax and spend time with your family.  To make your holiday sparkle a little more, we are offering a couple $25.00 TpT Gift Cards to some lucky winners.  In addition to the gift cards, we are having sales in some TpT stores taking place on December 25-26. Follow this link to see the store link ups – APPLETASTIC LEARNING

Click the image to visit my store!

Christmas Sale

Click here to find the raffle to WIN the gift cards.