Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard SmorgieVision: Number Recognition

Today I want to share a super easy, low prep, quick number recognition activity!

Who doesn't love easy, quick and low prep?!

And the best part?!  This has been one of the most effective strategies for number recognition I've used in my 7 years of kindergarten.   SO TRUE!   It really does work well and works quickly!

You need some construction paper, index cards, markers and a timer!

To make your number mats, all you do is divide 12x18 construction paper into 8 or 10 sections.  I start with 8 and then move to the 10 section later.  

On the index cards, write numbers to 10!  (You can differentiate this to 5 or even numbers from 10-20 )

If you're like me and like cute numbers, here's a freebie for ya!  3 sets of number cards!  

You can write the numbers in order and you can write the numbers in random order.

I start with the numbers in order at first just to practice and then we switch to random order.

I do this one on one and will practice with students who need it on a daily basis until they master their numbers!  

The activity is simple.  Students turn over a card, say the number and place the number on the right square.  BAM!   

To make it a race, I will time the student the first time.  Then we discuss their time and we talk about whether they can beat their time.  Then they do it again and try to beat their time!   This little competition with themselves is a great motivator for them!

It's a super simple and very effective strategy!

In the video, you see 3 of my 'staches working on their numbers.  This is their 2nd time doing the activity so they are familiar with the procedures!  (At the end of the video I pan around the room so you can see what the other 'staches are doing!)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard of Wednesday Centers

It's BAAAAACK!   My weekly Wednesday Centers/Hippopotamus post is back!  Each week I post some of our center/workstation/hippopotamus activities to show you what we're working on and hopefully inspire a new idea for your classroom!

We're still working on procedures and expectations for our hippo time so our hippo activities are very basic for now!   But we're having a blast and learning a ton!

So here ya go!  

ABC Bootcamp is a huge success so we're loving our ABC Bootcamp hippos!

I love the random shape cutouts from the Dollar Tree!  They make excellent centers!  Click the picture to see this center and snag a freebie!

This is another fun summer project that turned out to be a huge hippo success!   Letter Toss!   Click the picture to read how I made this fun, changeable and differentiated activity!

We're loving our Monster Truck ABCs!   My boys (and girls) are so engaged with these activities!  

My pocket chart concentration activities are excellent for our new 3 sided pocket chart!  Click the picture to see more about this amazing pocket chart stand!

Click the picture to get your free recording sheet for this fun popsicle stick number center!

I found these super cute princess/fairy toys at the Target dollar section this summer.  I knew I'd find a use for them.  They make perfect counters for my monster and princess ten frame cards!  

And of course, we've already busted out the QR codes!!!!!   

You can check out these creations below:

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

A Kindergarten Smorgasboard of 13 Sensory Bin Ideas!

Last year I started using a sensory bin in our classroom!   It was something I had seen and wanted (huge shoutout to A Differentiated Kindergarten for her awesome sensory bin inspirations!) so I finally jumped in last year!   This has been a great addition to our hippopotamus time!  The 'staches love it!  It's engaging and easily differentiated!   And it can get messy....and you know I love me a good mess!

Our sensory bin is nothing fancy!   A plastic tub.  And it sits in a stand made of PVC pipe!   (I'm clearly on a mission to make my classroom all PVC pipe!)

What makes the sensory bin so GREG-TASTIC is what goes inside!   With some fairly cheap and easy items and some differentiated academic components, you have a super fun center/workstation/hippopotamus for your class!

Here's how I differentiate my sensory bin:
I copy recording sheets on different color paper!  The color of the paper matches the color of the group for centers.  

When I create sensory bin resources, I create two different levels.   The recording sheets have the same images so the 'staches know what they're looking for in the sensory bin!

For example:  I made dinosaur bones and feet for CVC words and CVC-E words.  The pink and purple group had dino feet on their pink and purple recording sheet.  So they would grab a pink or purple recording sheet and because it has feet on it, they know to look for feet!   Same with the blue and green group and CVC words on the bones!  

Clear as mud?!

So here are 13 of our sensory bin ideas!

Halloween fun!   Oats and rubber critters from the Dollar Tree made a fun Halloween sensory bin!  (The oats are messy but easy to clean up!)

Outer space!   These are aquarium rocks!   $5 for a bag and you have a fun space themed sensory bin!

Click the picture to see my Space research creation!

Fairy Tales!   This is salt that I colored with food coloring!   Yep, salt!   I add in our letter gems and you have a magical fairy tale sensory bin!  Wanna see how we made letter gems?   Check out our post here!

Dinosaurs!   Floral moss from the Dollar Tree, some shells from Dollar Tree and plastic dinosaurs from Amazon!   ROAR!   (CLICK HERE to see the dinos on Amazon!)

Click the picture to see my Dinosaur research creation!

 Zoo!   This was perfect for the weeks leading up to the zoo trip!   Green Crayola sand!  And lion and tiger word cards!  

Halloween!   Shredded paper!  This was my least favorite sensory bin filler.   The paper sticks together and comes out in a giant clump!   Won't be using this again!

Click the picture to see my blackline Zombie and Witch centers!

 Valentine's Day!   This is a favorite!  CARAMEL scented rice!   I bought caramel extract and added a few drops to bags of rice and mixed!   The whole classroom smelled like caramel for weeks!   Add in some acrylic hearts from Dollar Tree and BAM!   

Christmas/Holiday!   I dyed pasta red and green for a festive feel!   Add in ornaments and trees to differentiate learning!  BAM!

Click the picture to see my blackline Christmas tree centers!

 Football!   Beans and rubber footballs from Party City!   I added word cards from my What Does The Fox Say CVC Word edition and BAM!   Great fall sensory bin!

Click the picture to see my What Does The Fox Say Word Work Bundle!

Winter!  Epsom salt and blue gems from Dollar Tree create a winter wonderland!

Click the picture to see my blackline blizzard center creation!

Another fall idea!  Oats and acrylic pumpkins, acorns and leaves from Dollar Tree!   

St. Patrick's Day!  Metallic beans!   I used liquid metallic watercolor paint to make gold and silver beans!   They were so shiny and sparkly!  You know how I love sparkly things!

Add in some shamrocks and you've got a sensory bin fit for your leprechauns!

Click to see my blackline St. Patrick's Day zombie creation!

Easter!  Easter basket grass.  Plastic eggs.  Each egg is labeled with sight words!  They match the sight words and write or color!  

Click the picture to see my post about my plastic egg math and literacy center ideas!

And that's how we use our sensory bin!

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