2 Scoops of Kindergarten

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Snowman Ornaments & Gingerbread Fun with Oriental Trading ~ & a freebie!

Hello Friends! Are you a little stressed out this time of year getting everything ready for the holiday? Well, that is how I normally feel ~ the holiday comes so FAST and I am scrambling! This year I was a little more prepared with the help of Oriental Trading

Every year I have done this handprint craft for my parent present. With such a diverse classroom, I need to think of everyone, so snowmen work perfect!  I just can't think of what is more precious than their child's little hand keepsake. Each year I try and improve....this year I am so happy to have found Oriental Trading and their silver and gold plastic ornaments.... boy did they come out cute!
I have learned a few things over the years which I would like to share:

1. Make sure your ornament is not glass but plastic ~ glass -they will not make it home in one piece. (My first year I used glass ornaments - :(  )
2. Get some help with painting the details (very lucky my Aunt does this for me) This part of the process takes a lot longer than you think. (we have a class of 45 though)
3. Make sure you write names of the child next to the ornaments because the handprints all start looking alike. (We wrote them right under the ornament in the box  ~ worked perfect to use for drying too) I put stickers on them one year and they started falling off. 

Here is the poem I attach to the ornament (2 versions)

With that out of the way (whew!) we need to have some FUN learning! Well, our classroom turned into a gingerbread land! Guess who came to visit?! We had so much fun!! Our librarian dressed up in a gingerbread costume . We spent the morning reading all the different gingerbread books. Then wrote about our favorite one! We took a picture of each child in front of the gingerbread house to add to their parent's gift. Check out Oriental Trading for more decorations and crafts!

Here is our gingerbread house the kinders just LOVE it!

(Here is the structure before we put the paper around it. Our gingerbread house is made from pvc pipes. We did add some windows too...So I could see from my guided reading table. (I do see this structure turning into a barn for the spring.) I can't take credit for putting this together - my fabulous husband did this.

Looking for a deal at Oriental Trading? Visit their coupon page for the latest in sales.

Disclaimer: I will be compensated for this post but all of my remarks are my opinion.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Top Wishlisted Items Linky!

Hi Everyone, I am excited to join this wishlist linky to let you know of our top wishlisted items!

 Class Rules & Procedures is our best seller! I can not tell you enough how this has helped my kindergarten classroom! When expectations are clear, there is no question on what should happen. This is a perfect product to introduce at any time of the year when you feel your class needs some extra help with behavior. Your principal will also love to see these out on your walls too! :) I have a lot of these rules right on my SMARTboard., so I know they will see them every day.

 Kindergarten Narrative writing is something kinders love to do! This year I presented their narrative writing to their parents at conferences and added a QR code so they could have a keepsake of their child's writing forever. They are always so proud of their writing!

Composing & Decomposing was so helpful for my class. They were so successful after using this fun product! I hope your students enjoy these too! 

Check to see all of these other fabulous  bloggers top wishlisted products too. Click on the picture below or click here.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Team Teaching in Kindergarten - How it has worked for us!

Hi! I want to let you know about a new adventure I embarked on this year or should I say "we". My teaching partner, Eryn and I decided to take the wall down in-between our two rooms and "team teach". Well, most people thought "Are you crazy?" or "Why would you do that?" ... so yes, we had to really think about this before jumping in.  We spent A LOT of time this summer rearranging our classroom with our students in mind. We had two small rooms which we did not fit so nicely into. We managed but really were cramped for space. So the first thing we did was decide what we were going to keep and what were we able to get rid of to make this work out.  We got rid of a lot!! We did get rid of big pieces of furniture, we combined a lot of curriculum because we only needed 1 of some items. Our library was consolidated into one big area for all of our students which can easily be accessed.  Students are able to spread out now amongst two classrooms. 

A big part of what our goal this year was to create a "calm" classroom. Our colors are mostly shades of blue, green, black, white and grey. We built fish containers with our students and put them at each table. The tables that were purchased for us have played an important part of increasing student collaboration. They are  2 trapazoids put together and can fit 6 around. We had long tables prior to this which were hard for our students to all see each other and communicate. A lot of flexible seating was added so spreading out and going to a place where you feel comfortable to work was now much easier. Organization is what is helping us find everything we need! We labeled all of our containers, books, supplies, centers etc...

A wall was kept up by our rugs in the front of the room so we can still have two different lessons up and running at the same time. The students are all engaged in what the activity is and the two lessons do not interfere with each other. This allows us to differentiate the lessons according to student ability.

Well, we thought we were going to have a combined class of 40 ~ it did go up to 46 students. (which we have found still very doable) Here are some pictures of what our room looks like. 
We are thrilled so far at how this has worked out and will continue to update all of you ~ 
Yes! I would definitely suggest trying this approach to teaching....  though I am not sure if it would work with everyone ~ it takes a lot of collaboration, consideration to make it work! But when it does, it is a magical place for your students! :)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Thanksgiving Linky & Freebie!

Hi Everyone! November is here ! We love this month in kindergarten because of all the fun centers, activities, our Thanksgiving play and of course our holiday at home with our families!

We are very busy this month  talking about how many ways can you make 5? 
This free Thanksgiving math resource is perfect for your math center this month. Put these turkey sheets in sleeves, add some feathers and you and your students will have a fun, easy resource. 

This free Thanksgiving math resource also comes with an I can statement. The I can statement helps students know exactly what the expectations are for the center.

How many ways can you make 5?

Students can then show their learning on this turkey worksheet. Click here for this free resource.
The full product can be viewed here.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

Painting the easy way with Kwik Stix!

If your students are like mine ...they love to paint. With everything we have to do to set up paints that does not happen...so often...until now!! 
We have found the answer to quick easy painting and no mess! 

We love to go out in our sensory garden and paint. We grab some Kwik Stix and we are all set. Before we would have to pour paint, bring paint brushes and worry about the clean up. 
I can't tell you how much time Kwik Stix  has saved us!

Our latest project with our Kwik Stix was decorating our pumpkins. We were learning about  different shapes, counting and having fun learning.

 Using Kwik Stix makes it even more fun ~ by adding all the beautiful colors to our pumpkins too!

 The best news is that Kwik Stix are at Target now! One of the best products I have in my classroom. Student and Teacher approved!!!

Disclaimer: I received these products in exchange for a review on my blog. The opinions expressed on my site are my own, and were not influenced by the company or free product provided.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

KEVA Brain Builders in Kindergarten!

Hi Friends! I am always looking for products that have my kinders thinking and constructing! 
Well we had the opportunity to try KEVA Brain Builders and KEVA Brain Builders Jr!

KEVA building sets inspire the creativity in kids of all ages and skill levels. KEVA building sets capture the imagination lengthening attention spans, deepening concentration and building excitement. It’s no wonder that KEVA planks have caught the attention of Mensa, DreamWorks and Destination Imagination! It’s easy to bring this magic into your home or classroom and watch young minds stretch and grow. Lesson plan focus includes letter building, counting and number recognition.

The brain builders sets come in this nice and easy pouch. Very easy to put away and have ready for next time.  There are pictures that the students can use to create their own  3D models. This was a great center and my kinder kiddos could do both the KEVA Brain Builders and also the Junior Brain Builders!
Here is what the products provide for students:

• Strengthens STEM, fine-motor, strategy, physics and basic engineering skills 
• A new and exciting way to experience KEVA planks—perfect for on-the-go learning
• Includes 20 durable planks, 20 double-sided cards in a zippered carrying case
• Junior addition to our original Brain Builders set


Here are some pictures of my kiddos building at center time. They loved it!

Disclaimer: I will be compensated for this post but all of my remarks are my opinion.