Fun Ways To Practice Sight Words In Kindergarten

Students learn so many valuable things in elementary school. We set the foundation for their education for the rest of their lives. Among all of the important things they learn in school, it all starts in their kindergarten classroom when we teach them the building blocks of reading, writing, and math. 

Aside from letters, and numbers, a huge focus is on learning sight words. Sight words are generally words that students will see the most often while reading. Little learners should have them memorized to help them continue to learn to read and write. They help them produce meaning and skip difficult decoding skills as beginning readers. 

When deciding on what activities to do to practice sight words in kindergarten, the sky’s the limit! They are young and excited to learn new things. There are a number of fun and engaging activities you can do to practice sight words with them. 

Here are some of my favorite sight words activities for my students

  • Have a sight word hunt while reading. Choose your sight word for the day and have your students hunt for the word in their book. 
  • Get some yummy treats involved. Make a big bowl of pudding. Students can dip their fingers in the pudding and write their sight word on a pan with the pudding. If they get the word right, they get to lick their fingers! This one is guaranteed to be a hit. 
  • Do some task cards. Task cards are a fun alternative to worksheets. Task cards feel more like a game than work! 
  • Use magnetic letters. Get some cheap cookie sheets and some magnetic letters and have your students spell out the words. 
  • Make sight word necklaces. This resource includes 88 sight words that your students can use to make fun sight word necklaces. Everytime your student looks at their necklace, they will be reminded of their sight word. It is also great for getting parents involved in your students learning! 

sight words

  •  Use shaving cream. Spray shaving cream on the students desks and let them use their fingers to write out their sight words in the shaving cream. Fun and messy! 
  • If you are distance learning, try out these Sight Words Google Slides activities. These reading comprehension passages and questions are a fun and engaging way to improve comprehension and fluency while practicing sight words. 

sight words

sight words

 

Learning can be so fun when you are working with kindergarten aged students. Everything is new and exciting so just have fun with it! 

What are your favorite ways to work on reading with your students? Let me know in the comments!

For more kindergarten ideas, check out these free winter activity ideas!

sight words


 

 

4 Digital Holiday Centers For Kindergarten And First Grade

The winter holidays are such an exciting time for children, and bringing fun activities into the classroom creates happy students! Center activities are a favorite for teachers throughout the year as they can be completed by small groups of kids independently. Once activities are introduced and demonstrated, teachers can work with a group of students or rotate around the room as groups work.

 They are also exciting for students as they get to interact with peers and move around the room from activity to activity. Winter holidays provide great subject matter for centers and are the perfect addition to your lesson plans!

Read on to learn about four of my favorite holiday centers for the most wonderful time of the year. 

1.The Virtual Art Calendar is a great gift for parents, and is lots of fun for students as well.

holiday centers

This activity allows students to use Google Slides to create a unique 12-month calendar. The editable designs let kids get creative while they learn important calendar skills. Add artwork for each month, staple or bind with a ribbon.

 Since it can be completed digitally or printed out, it is a perfect option for digital learning. When students complete the calendar, they can print it out or even email it to their parents. A learning activity, virtual lesson, and parent gift combination is an awesome fit for 2020- and calendars are updated yearly so you will be able to use this resource every year! 

For more parent gift ideas, check out my post here. 

2. One of the most unique holiday centers idea for the holidays is the Ugly Sweater Writing Activity.

Students will use Google Slides to design their own ugly sweater, then write about it. Once students have completed their designs the slides can be compiled into a presentation for an Ugly Sweater Contest. 

You can add music and let students vote on their favorite designs. Graphic organizers and prompts are also included so students can write about their sweater. This will definitely be the most fun writing activity of the year! All materials are digital or printable, so this activity is great for digital learning.

3.Next up is the Holidays Around the World Escape Room.

holiday centers

Don’t worry- your students will stay safely in your classroom as they solve clues. This activity is great for reading comprehension and problem solving skills.

 Students will learn about winter holidays around the world and practice using the main idea as they attempt to break the spell of a bad elf. This activity could be completed during distance learning as well as it is 100% digital. You can increase the excitement by offering something special if they escape! 

4. Another escape activity is the Balloons Over Broadway Digital Escape activity.

holiday centers

In this lesson, students will learn about the designer of Macy’s holiday windows, parade balloons- the great puppeteer Tony Sarg. Students will listen to a short story, then use their comprehension and problem solving skills to “break the locks”.

This activity is digital so students can work at home, in small groups, or independently in the classroom. The Puppet Parade activity is ideal for first, second, or third grade students but kindergarten students can still enjoy it by doing it as a group with the whole class. 

 I hope your students have a great time working on these holiday centers! 

holiday centers


 

Kindergarten Google Slides and Escape Room Freebies!

When working with kindergarten students, it’s important to use interactive activities that get students involved and excited. Young students need the chance to work with subject matter rather than just receiving direct instruction. On the other hand, it can be difficult to have the time and materials to make every lesson hands-on. 

Luckily, technology can help in this area.

With distance learning being practiced widely around the world now, there are many digital activity options available to use in your classroom. Google Slides are a perfect way to help students interact with material in the classroom or during distance learning. They can be used in all subject areas, and are easily added to Google Classroom so students can learn from any location.

Google Slides are very user friendly, and kindergarten students can quickly learn how to manipulate the materials on their screens. Just be sure to teach your students how to use the “Undo” button and how to hold the mouse button to drag items. 

I love digital resources because with just a little practice your kiddos will be able to complete tasks independently while having fun. Digital activities completed in Google Slides (or Docs and Sheets) are easy to add to Seesaw portfolios. You’ll be ready to show your students’ growth in no time! 

Ready to try out some Kindergarten Google Slides activities?

Check out my completely free Google Slides Name Activity resource here.

Using this Google Slides activity, students will practice their names, colors, and shapes. They will have a great time personalizing their names, and will get important practice manipulating images with their mouse. Using this activity will add even more Google Slides activities to your plans. 

kindergarten google slides

Digital Escape Rooms

Another one of my favorite activities for kindergarten students are digital escape rooms. These exciting tasks are guaranteed to get students 100% engaged in learning, and are easy for you to implement! The best escape rooms for kindergarten students are those that don’t have real locks- so these are a perfect fit. 

Escape rooms help students learn problem solving skills, cooperation, and perseverance. They can work as individuals or as teams to solve the rooms. Digital escape rooms can be used during distance learning, letting students participate in fun challenges even while at home. For more info on why escape rooms are so great for elementary, check out my post here. 

You can download and try out a mini escape room activity for FREE by clicking here!

kindergarten Google slides

kindergarten google slides

 

Are you using digital activities in your kindergarten classroom? Let me know in the comments!


 

Tony Sarg – America’s Puppet Master

You all, I was searching for some ideas to teach students about the famous Thanksgiving Day Parade when I found the book, Balloons Over Broadway.   This story is based on a true story about Tony Sarg who invented the “upside-down puppets.”  When I was young, our whole family would gather around the television to see the parade while my mom was in the kitchen cooking a Butterball turkey!

The Great Puppeteer

Tony Sarg was born in 1880.  He was a German American puppeteer and illustrator.  He was raised around puppets and inherited his grandmother’s collection.  Once he watched a marionette show and wanted to know how the puppets were moving.  They would not tell him, so he sat in the front row, attended many shows and drew pictures of the movement until he could figure it out on his own.  Tony moved to New York. Macy’s contacted him about his amazing animated puppets.  They wanted him to put his puppets in their store windows for Christmas.  The windows were a huge success.  Thousands of people would gather around the windows to watch the amazing puppets.

Then, Macy’s asked him if he would put his puppets in their first parade.  He quickly realized after the parade that the puppets were too small for everyone to see.  He worked with a couple others to design the large “upside-down puppets” that we all love to watch today in the parade!

Reading about Tony was fascinating. He had a great sense of humor.  One time he floated a monster puppet in the ocean at Nantucket. The joke made national news.  You can see a great video capturing the event here. He loved to make toys, illustrate books and made games.

An Idea Born

Learning about his life and reading the book Balloons Over Broadway, inspired me to design a digital escape room for kids  to accompany the book.  If you wanted to extend the activity you could have kids use permanent markers to color and create their own balloon for a “Hallway Parade” at school. If you wanted to do this lesson during Christmas, you could have students design a puppet window for a department store.

Also check out Teaching Winter Holidays Around the World