Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Numbers to 100!

We are currently working on identifying numbers and counting to 100!
We don't celebrate the 100th Day of School until February 23rd this year, but I know many schools are already in full swing!

Whether you are planning a day of '100 Fun' or simply looking for an activity to practice identifying numbers to 100, this SIMPLE & NO-PREP activity had my kids engaged the entire time:

The materials for this activity are super simple to gather:
*Markers (you can use pencil but my kids thought they were the cat's meow because I let them use markers!)
*Counter (pennies would work great too!)

Before we 'played' we talked about a 100 chart and how the numbers follow patterns.
They are familiar with it because we count and add to our 100 chart each day!

I showed them whole group how to shake and drop the counter onto the 100 chart.
I reinforced how the counters have a SMALL drop to the chart and none should be flying upward!
We also talked about what to do if a counter lands on a line...they had the choice of either sliding it to one of the boxes it was near or to pick it up and try again.

I told them this was something we were not going to finish the first day and I wanted them to really practice naming the numbers their counters landed on OR counting to find where their number landed on if they did not know the number.

After materials were distributed, it was time to play learn!

Here are some 'in action' shots to show the process...

They had a choice at this point.
If they knew the number it landed on and could say what it was they went right to tracing, but if they weren't sure they counted until they reached the counter and then said what it was:

They continued to shake, drop, count/ID and trace for the remainder or our math block.
Many of them had about 20-30 numbers traced.

Tomorrow we will do this again and I will have them use a different color marker.
If they happen to land on a number they already traced they can say it again & traced over it again or they can try again.

It will get tougher as the board gets filled to land EXACTLY on the numbers needed, but it just offers more practice with number ID and counting along the way!

If you think this is something you would like to try in your classroom, I have put the tracing chart up for free HERE!

Until next post,

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Valentine Gift Tag

I know February isn't even here yet, but I found these fun eye pointers (rings) in Michael's right after Christmas (as in RIGHT next to the 70% off Christmas goodies!) and decided they would make the perfect non-candy Valentine treat for my kindergarteners:

Seeing that I am STUCK inside today due to the blizzard we are being hit with, it was a perfect time to get them all prepped and ready so that I can cross one thing off my never-ending 'to-do' list!

I love to play on words, so I made up some cute tags.  I wasn't sure which size would work best for the plastic eyes, so I tried out 2 and guess what...they BOTH work!
I did a set with a pink border and one with a blue border because I wasn't so sure the boys would be keen on receiving a pink paper!

I wrote my name on the tags... 

and then attached the pointers/rings! 
I tried both taping them and putting dots of glue.  Both work great but the glue took some time to dry, so if you are in a rush, go with tape!

Here they are! 

We have been using these Scholastic Science Readers in class and they are perfect at each level and for a class of differentiated learners!
So I ordered a set (20 books is $20- you get 5 of each level) and will tape the card with pointer/ring to each book and put it into their Valentine bags

I actually bought enough of these pointers so that I can send one home and they can use them in class during Valentine's week!
I will let them choose a pointer... 

and then use it for guided reading, independent reading and Readers Workshop that week! 

If you can't find these 'Valentine-colored' eyes, Michaels also has a generic set you can use!

Last year I made scratch-offs for my kids for Valentine's Day to use for a center in class and for part of their gifts:

You can read all about it HERE and grab the cards for FREE too!

Wishing you a 'love'-ly Valentine's Day...and for those stuck inside battling the blizzard...stay warm!
Until next post,

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

100th Day Take-Home Project

Last year I had my students complete a 100 Days Take-Home Project:

I was scheduled for parent/teacher conferences on our 100th Day so I was BUMMED I could not do my traditional 'make and wear something with '100 things' on it.

You can read all about my usual '100 Day Fun' HERE!

I had done '100 collections' before but they always seem to cause drama or heartache is a favorite toy, sticker, etc goes missing!

SO, I decided to make their 100 Day project somewhat similar YET still allowed for creativity!

As you can see I got many different interpretations!

About 2 weeks prior to our 100th Day I sent home a note explaining the project, a copy of the gumball machine base and a 12x18 piece of white construction paper:

Many chose not to use the construction paper, but I wanted to provide it in case a family didn't have the means to get a piece large enough!

As the projects came in the students explained what they used and how they made it and then it got displayed outside.

I did have a handful of children not return the project and I gave them the option of making one at my back table during indoor recess so that they didn't feel left out!

If you would like to do this project, I have included the letter and gumball machine base in this FREE DOWNLOAD!

Want to make the 100th Day even sweeter?
Here is a fun treat to send them home with:
It is FREE in my TpT Store!

And speaking of Teachers Pay Teachers...
is going on NOW!

PLUS I have extended the 20% off EVERYTHING sale in my store through Friday January 22nd!

You can find all of my 100 Day Resources, Winter, Black History and more by visiting the Custom Categories that are outlined on the left-hand side of my store:

Hope your 100th Day is BUBBLING with FUN!
Until next post,

Thursday, January 14, 2016

'Sneezy the Snowman' Visits Our Class!

Do you know this amazing winter story?

I was introduced to it last year when I read this blog post on The Primary Pack by Kristen from Loving Teaching Inspiring.
It is actually one of the top visited blog posts on The Primary Pack!

I had never heard of the story but the project looked super cute!

Unfortunately due to so many snow days last year I never got to do it- HOW IRONIC!!

So this year I was determined to include it in my plans!

So this past week we read the story and used it as a springboard for discussions about items that are hot and cold.
We talked about what melts snowmen (things that are hot) and what would be good for a snowman (things that are cold).

We spend 20 minutes at the beginning of our writing block each day engaging in interactive writing.  We are also working on making lists, so we made interactive writing lists this week that were inspired by this book!

Although I loved the idea of the puffy paint for the melted snowman, we simply did not have the time to fit it in, so I opted for construction paper projects.

I showed them how to make a 'melted snowman' and we talked about all the different things a snowman has and would be found in his/her 'melted puddle'

Then I let them get to work!

While they were constructing their snowmen, I walked around and assisted each child as they wrote what melted their snowman (I reminded them to use spacing, a period and helped them stretch out the words).
[I wrote their translations on the bottom after they left for the day]

Here are a few of our creations and ideas:

Some of the ideas were inspired by the story, others from our interactive writing lists and others were unique and new!

Look at how ADORABLE our display is:

You can find this printable from Loving, Teaching, Inspiring here:
and be sure to check out all her pictures and how-to on this blog post!

Don't forget to check out the Penguin Palooza that is going on Jan 14-19th!
Click for more info:

Until next post,

Penguin Palooza!

I am linking up with the The Primary Pack because... 

Slip, slide, waddle or swim along as each participating blogger serves you up a penguin freebie and ideas for penguin fun in your classroom!
Each participating 'Primary Pack' blogger has also donated a penguin product that will be part of a grand prize giveaway!

EVEN better....All penguin products mentioned in this post are ON SALE January 14th-19th:
Simply CLICK HERE or type penguinpalooza into the TpT Search Engine and you will find a list of all the bloggers' penguin goodies on sale!

I L-O-V-E teaching about penguins in my kindergarten classroom...and kids L-O-V-E learning about them!
We usually start our non-fiction unit of study mid-January so it is a PERFECT time to bring in some penguin fun!

I have so many penguin ideas to share that I thought it would be fun to share them/organize my thoughts using the letters in:

So here we go!
P is for Pinterest finds!
I have my 'tried and true' penguin activities but every now and again I love to throw in something new...insert Pinterest!
Here are a few things I found on a recent Pinterest indulgence!  Just click each image and it will bring you to the pin.  You can 'pin' it from there, or click to be brought directly to the sites!

Great videos about penguins...I love finding a link to ones that have already been watched and are recommended:

Here is a video about Emperor Penguins to check out too:

This is a a cute penguin song that would be perfect for a brain break:

Cute and free penguin poem: 

Fun math/counting idea...could even modify for addition and subtraction: 

My kids LOVE pattern block mats as an 'early finisher' activity so I had to pin this freebie: 

What a fun way to make a craft!  And if you don't want to do the 'roll and create' aspect, it's a cute idea for a craft: 

I LOVE and am totally using this one...I may skip the painting part and just grab black plates from the party store: 

My kids LOVE directed drawings...this is a great guide for showing how to draw a penguin: 

E is for Emergent Readers!

This set of readers is what I have donated toward the Penguin Palooza grand prize giveaway!

You can read all about these books on THIS BLOG POST
You'll see the different types of books included in the pack:
How to make a penguin book carrying case:

See the penguin fact cards that are included: 

And see a few pictures of my kindergarten son taking the books for a test run! 

You can even download the Emperor Penguin reader for FREE here:
Try it out and see if it is something that would work well in your classroom- and see how easy the books are to assemble!

It is a great book to use along with The Emperor's Egg by Martin Jenkins

Because after reading that book, they can then read their own book about Emperor penguins!
The book comes in both color and black and white- perfect for guided reading and/or adding to readers workshop baggies or to use during a non-fiction unit of study! 

These books have received EXCELLENT reviews and are favorites in my classroom, as well!

And if you are teaching a unit on all animals of Antarctica, be sure to check out this pack:

N is for Neat Way to Display Learning!

Last year my students tried out Ashley Sharp's Penguin Flap Book:

The kids had fun making these and they were such a unique way to display what we had learned during our penguin unit!

The dimensions and templates are included and it was pretty easy for the kids to put their penguins together: 

I chose to do this at the end of our penguin unit, but you could also use it as a 'kick-start' to your unit!
We made a chart of everything we had learned:

and then it was time to get to work!

There are differentiated pieces so you can pick what works best for your class and/or students, as well as what you have covered (or want to teach):
They took a few days to complete but were well worth it!

They really got a lot of  'ooohs' and 'ahhhs' once we hung them on display!
From the outside it just looks like a cute penguin craft, but once opened up it shows all they had learned and offers opportunities for independent writing!

G is for Games!

Here is one of my penguin freebie!
It has a penguin theme and practices CVC words!
You can read all about how to play on THIS BLOG POST!

The recording sheet is optional, but adds CVC word writing practice!
In my post I use cotton balls squares to cover the pictures, but since posting I thought of a new idea...Goldfish crackers!  And that also gives a tasty treat reward for working hard during centers!

Click here to download: 

But there are more games!
This is a new game I just created called 'Find My Fish' (or 'Feed the Penguin!')
Students spin, ID the picture, find the fish that has that CVC word and 'feed' it to the penguin.
I give instructions on how to make the penguin, but if you are short on time, you can tape the penguin printable to a bag or basket (even a solo cup) and have just as much fun!

Find the full pack here: 

Incorporating Polar Bears and Penguins?
This is a fun game to review CVC words too!

You can find the Short A version for FREE here: 

Find the full set for all 5 Vowels plus a review game here: 

U is for (re)Use Water Bottles!

A few years ago my son came home from his 3 year old PreK with a cute penguin craft made from a mini-water bottle and I knew it was something I wanted to do with my class!

You'll want to put out a beg and plead to your colleagues to save their well as write a note home otherwise you'll be drinking two dozen mini bottles yourself!

This is what you'll need:
1 mini water bottle per student
Cotton Balls
 Black tissue paper (or construction paper)
Black construction paper
White paper
Orange construction paper
Knit Gloves (cut off the fingers)
*Make sure your bottle are completely dry and remove the labels.  SAVE THE CAPS!

*Have students put cotton balls in (I saw a cute idea for snowmen this way too- you can even turn it into a math lesson- roll the dice and add that many cotton balls!)

*Once filled, re-cap the bottle.

*Students cover the back and sides with black tissue paper (you can use black paper but it will be harder to manage)

*Have them cut 2 wings and glue to the sides (they will need to hold for about 30 seconds per wing)

*Have them make eyes, a beak, feet and add to the bottle.

*Place the finger of the glove over the cap.  You can add glue to the cap if you are afraid the glove will fall off.  I had no issues with them staying on or fraying! 

Here is our 'rookery' on display in the hall for all to see!

I is for Interesting Way to Display Our Learning!

We love our

After reading several books about penguins and watching some videos we use the picture and word cards to sequence a penguin's lifecycle: 

and then create a crown to display what we have learned! 
The best part is they go home wearing them so it is sure to spark conversations about our penguin learning!

N is for Need Snacks or Penguin Party Fun Ideas?

At the end of our penguin unit we always have a black and white party!
I am BUMMED that I don't have any pictures to share (yet)!

The kids dress in black and white and we have penguin fun:
*I strap a pillow to their legs with a bungee cord and they try to walk like a penguin.  For added fun, I put a plastic egg on top of their feet so they can pretend to be an Emperor Daddy Penguin!

*We practice sliding on our bellies- they LOVE this one!

*Throughout the day we waddle to different places- waddle to your center, waddle as we walk to lunch, etc!

*Feeding time....I bring in a cooler and act as if it is filled with slimey yummy penguin!
I ask who will be brave enough to eat a fish like a penguin!
I usually have at least one taker....
That brave soul comes up and I am very dramatic when I open the cooler, holding my nose from the stench of the fish, etc.
I have the 'penguin' close his/her eyes and open wide....
And then I drop it in...the fish....the red, delicious Swedish fish!
After that THEY all want a fish!

*We usually do math with Goldfish that day- depending on what skill we are working on!
and we use cotton balls in egg cartons!
You can read more about it HERE!

*We do some fun building and writing using this pack from Brenda Tejeda:

Black & White Day would not be complete without eating black and white treats that day:
~Oreo cookies
~Black and White cookies
~Milano cookies
~Junior Mints
I ask parents for donations- it's neat to see what comes in!

I have also made these penguin cake pops:
You can read HOW TO on THIS BLOG POST!

S is for Some Mentor Texts!

I am always on the hunt for new and fun books!
This year I found these in Scholastic that I am sure the kids are going to love as fun penguin themed read alouds:

Here are a few of my 'tried and true' books I use each year during a penguin unit (and I couldn't believe how many I actually HAD until I pulled them to take the pictures!):

Here are some that can be used as read alouds but also contain information:
I especially like 'If You Were A Penguin' to spur some creative writing!

These books from Melvin & Gilda Berger are PERFECT because they contain information in a simple way that kids can understand...and read!
They especially LOVE the 'fun facts!'

Incorporate math and penguins with this one:

And here are some fun read alouds with a penguin theme:

I hope you found some new and exciting penguin ideas and enjoy the freebies I posted today!
But the fun is not over!
Enter this giveaway for the grand prize of all of these AMAZING penguin products...
(Valued at over $60!)

Don't forget to stop by and browse the sale!

Now it's time to slip and slide on over to find more penguin fun from these amazing bloggers:

Until next post,
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