Sunday, April 11, 2021

Spring & Easter Ideas

It's spring!  We've had beautiful weather and a lot of rain here in Ohio so far this spring.  We usually end up skipping spring and going from snow & negative wind chills to 90 degrees.  This spring has been great!  Today I am sharing a few of my favorite activities for Easter & spring, in hopes that you can find a few things to implement in your classroom.  I realize that Easter is over, but I didn't have time to get my post up before our spring break trip to Florida.  If you see Easter ideas you like, pin them for the future!  

This Spring Duck craft & Writing project was so simple!  This project has been in my file box for 17 years (aka my entire career lol) and I have only done it a handful of times.  Due to our hybrid schedule this year, I have to be very selective on art projects, because time.  My kids completed this project in approximately 10 minutes.  Hahaha!  I love how each of their umbrellas were different colors.  I used some extra scrapbook paper I had laying around.  You could use any paper, or use white and have the kids decorate their umbrellas.  Grab this simple and adorable project by clicking the cover of the pack below!

This next photo is of my most recent Kindergarten Crate box.  I am posting it because it because I thought the April theme was so much fun!  KG is a monthly subscription box for teachers/homeschool teachers/parents.  It comes with a picture book, Literacy & Math activities, and a teacher gift.  I absolutely love getting this box each month!  KG is available for grades pre-k, k, and 1st.  You can click here to check out The Kindergaten Crate and use code "Wheeler" at checkout to save some money.  *I make a small profit of of anyone who decides to subscribe, however all thoughts about the KG are my own.

My kids are still participating in literacy centers this year.  They look a bit different, with the kids completing them independently, but centers are still happening!  Below is my Spring Parts of Speech Matching activity.  The pack includes matching cards for nouns, verbs, and adjectives, as well as recording sheets for each.  Click the cover of the pack below to check this out.  

On the first day of spring, I always have my kids color/cut/assemble this Spring Mini Book.  We search for sight words together and read the book together.  Grab the mini-book by clicking the cover of the pack below.  *Spring Mini Book available for individual purchase or part of my Mini Book Bundle.  

This spring bug directed drawing is adorable!  I love the layered paper for this project.  This is from a pack I purchased from "DoodleBugs Teaching."  It's full of directed drawing activities for spring.  Over the years, my kids have done the frog, caterpillar, and ladybug.  This year, I'll try something different from the pack!   

Next up are Easter ideas!  We played Spring Bunny Bump, which is a game from Sunny Days in Second Grade.

We made these fun What's Hatching craft by A Cupcake for the Teacher.  I had my kids add googly eyes, tissue paper, and feathers for some extra flair!

Easter Bunny Directed Drawings from "First Grade Blue Skies" are always fun.  I didn't have time for them this year, but they are definitely something I enjoy doing with my kids.

I Have, Who Has
 is a face-paced game that builds listening skills and vocabulary.  This is my Easter edition.  Grab it by clicking the cover of the pack below.  *This game is part of my I Have, Who Has bundle, but it is also available for individual purchase.

Here's a cute and simple bunny art project!  My student teacher did this with my kids last year.  She found a template of a bunny and taped them down to white paper.  Kids used paint and cotton balls to paint around the bunny.  Once the paint dried, they removed the template and a cute outline appeared!  We added cotton balls for tails and some polka dots for a background.

Break an Egg is a great vocabulary activity!  Place the words into eggs and hide them around the room.  Kids have to find the eggs and write the spring/Easter words on their recording sheets.  Click the cover of the pack below to snag this high-interest activity!

Sight Word Bingo is so much more fun when playing with festive erasers!  Click the cover of the pack below to grab this game.

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett is one of my favorite Easter books to read aloud.  After reading, my kids create and decorate their own eggs.  In years past, we have had a contest to vote on the best egg!  So fun!  Click HERE to grab a copy of the book.  *affiliate link*

Happy Spring!

Saturday, March 13, 2021

Place Value

We are knee-deep in learning place value.  It's been difficult this year due to our hybrid schedule.  I see each of my classes every other day, so solid retention of some of the more challenging skills takes longer.  Today's post is showing what we've been doing in class.  Hopefully you can snag a few new ideas to add to your instruction!  

To begin, we ensure that our kids can count aloud to 120, as well as count by 10's to 120, starting at any number.  We practice this with Jack Hartmann videos and activities that I have created, which are shown below.

This counting forward by 10's "Write the Room" activity is great for practice.  I've used it a few different ways.  One way is to sprinkle the cards on desks around the room.  Give kids a recording sheet and let them walk around at their own pace and stop at desks, solving the cards.  An additional idea is to print multiple sets of the cards and place students into groups.  Put a set of the cards in the middle of a group and have students grab a card, solve it, and return it to the pile.  *Giving kids a clipboard is always a fun addition!  

"Number Grid Puzzles" are SO MUCH FUN!  They can be challenging but they are so great!  To make these, simply copy 120 charts onto different colors of paper.  Cut the charts into "puzzles" and place each set into a baggie.  The kids can grab a bag to work on.  

Another fun activity is called "What's Missing?"  For this activity, print and laminate 120 charts.  Provide partners with a chart and a set of 10 or so mini-erasers.  One person looks away while the other person covers some of the numbers on the chart with mini-erasers.  Once finished, the person turns around and guesses the covered numbers.  So simple but so much fun!  Jennifer has a freebie of this activity, which you can grab by clicking HERE.

Once kids are pretty secure with the above mentioned skills, it's time to move into place value.  I love the video by Brain Pop Jr.  It's a good introductory video.  Blocks are a MUST to start with.  Kids need concrete experiences when it comes to Math!  I know a lot of you will ask about the containers I store my place value blocks in...these are from the Dollar Tree and I have had them for a LONG LONG time.  They were 2 for $1.00.  They have two sections, and hold 10's and 1's blocks perfectly.  I am shocked with how well these have held up.  I believe I have 25 containers and my second one cracked this year.  Unbelievable how long they last!  I found probably the same of similar containers online through Dollar Tree, but they are backordered.  However, you can click HERE to grab a close match of the containers from Amazon (affiliate link).  Anyway, back to the subject of place value!  I always begin with letting kids explore and play with their blocks.  Giving them time for this prior to starting a lesson allows them to get their curiosity out so they won't be tempted to play during instruction.     

We use my place value mats to practice showing numbers.  I love the simplicity of these and they help kids keep their desks organized while also having their Math workbooks or worksheets out.  I also have "Giant Magnetic Place Value Blocks" by Learning Resources (affiliate link).  Perfect for demonstrations on the board.

We practice place value with lots of games, including the "Base 10 Trading Game" and "Place Value Wander and Write."  Wander and Write is differentiated!  

As time goes on, we progress into a deeper understanding of place value, where we compare numbers and add and subtract two-digit numbers.  I use my stuffed alligator (affiliate link) as an introduction to comparing numbers, along with a Jack Hartmann video and a Brain Pop Jr. video.  A Cupcake for the Teacher has this cute alligator craft that my kids made this year.  So fun!

I hope you found a few new ideas to add to your current place value instruction!