Children love to visualize themselves as readers and making books is so fun because kids take ownership and pride in their own creations. I have a magazine tub where I save my grocery store newspaper clips, toy store magazines, Scholastic book fair newspaper clips, and other great visual collections.
My friend Joy shared this EASY template for a book, and my kindergarteners had a blast cutting out and glueing their favorite things into a book (that is meaningful AND that they can read).
We also made a classbook called “Save a Turkey” where each child drew a picture to brainstorm things that a turkey might say to get others to stay away: Eat more chicken, eat more beef, eat more fish, etc.
We did a lot of different activities about what we were thankful for.
We did math stories on a barn template to find out how many turkeys there were all together “4 on the barn, 1 on the ground….5 all together” re-stated “4 AND 1 IS 5.”
We played Gobble! Where we had words we know by site on turkeys that we flipped over to read and keep if we knew them, but if someone drew the word “Gobble” they had to put all their cards back.
We made Fall trees by painting with q-tips and fall colors.
And a lot of other little things here and there that I may add to this post (with pictures) soon….if I can gear up for it.
Hi, Mommy Teachers! It’s Casey, stopping by from Kidspired Creations! I am Mommy to James (5) who just started Kindergarten, Leyson (3) and Lena (6 months). I currently stay at home with the younger two but I taught Pre-K and Kindergarten before my Mommy days.
Leyson and I were playing (learning) today and were toying around with different Busy Bag Exchange ideas. We will be participating in a Busy Bag Exchange soon where all the moms participating bring gallon baggies filled with simple, hand-made activities for each of the kids who will be there. If 15 moms participate, your child has 15 new Busy Bags full of super fun (and educational) activities!
Leyson and I came up with 3 different ideas today and I thought they would all be fun to share with you Mommy Teachers!
We used word strips (found at the Dollar Tree for, you guessed it, $1 per package) to glue colored squares in AB, ABB and ABC patterns. I cut additional colored squares for Leyson to COPY the patterns on the strips by placing each of the colored squares below the square on the strip. This will get him used to making patterns. Saying the color out loud reinforces the pattern so he can also HEAR the pattern (helpful for an auditory learner – someone who learns better when hearing information).
After he was able to copy the pattern, I then taught him how to EXTEND the pattern. At the end of the strip, he must finish the pattern by placing the appropriate colored squares that would come NEXT in the pattern.
The next step is to create his own patterns without looking at the strip. From there you can create more complex patterns! The options are endless! Patterns are difficult to understand, so it might take a little time for your little one to be able to catch on.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?:
Kids are so funny when it comes to learning how to spell their own names. Most often kids learn how to spell their names before they completely understand the concept that letters make words when put together. Take my son Leyson, for example; anytime he sees a word that starts with an L, he says it spells Leyson. He thinks he owns the letter L. The same goes for the letters E, Y, S, O and N… he owns them all. You see, for young toddlers, they will not understand that the ORDER of letters actually makes a difference when spelling words.
Even in my kindergarten classroom, students who knew how to spell their names would sometimes slip into the idea of “owning” all the letters in their name and would write their names out of order. LUIS would spell his name UILS… still thinking that it spelled the same thing. Even more common would be for kids to write their names backwards (SIUL)… and several, get this, would write their names in mirror image! I can’t even do that! All of these are totally normal progressions when your child is learning how to spell his/her name, so here is an easy activity to help:
You need two word cards (or index cards). Write your child’s name evenly and legibly on each card. Leave the first card whole, and cut out each individual letter on the second card. First, have your child put each cut out letter on top of the letters on his/her name card, matching letter for letter. Then, have your child put his/her name together underneath the name card. Last, take away the name card and have your child put together the letters to spell his/her name from memory. Be sure to say the letters out loud in order so your child can hear how to spell his/her name in addition to seeing it. Jessica had a great post on singing a catchy song to learn how to spell a name.
This game was Leyson’s idea. He picked up a circle I cut out and pretended to eat it, saying it was a hamburger bun. Bam! Instant Busy Bag idea!
I used construction paper to cut out a top and bottom bun, hamburger, tomato, cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, lettuce, and bacon and we made a hamburger! Not only is this a great pretend-play activity, but it was a great way to encourage language development and sequencing. I had Leyson explain to me exactly how we should make a hamburger. I encouraged him to use words such as “first,” “next,” “then,” and “last” in his explanation. You can also add an extra element by writing numbers on each of the pieces to teach your child number order (1: the bottom bun, 2: the hamburger, 3: cheese, etc.). For the beginning reader? Write the words “bun,” “pickle,” etc. on each of the pieces and then enjoy your nice, tasty treat!
I am still brainstorming different Busy Bag ideas! If you have a good one, please comment below and share! Hopefully after the Busy Bag Exchange I will have another post for you, so stay tuned!!!
Casey Dellinger Hilty
“One day, all children in this nation will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.”
Teach For America
LA Corps 2005
So, as you might know, I am a Kindergarten Teacher AND a Mommy Teacher. I like to share classroom ideas that are practical for Mommy (and Daddy) Teachers that WANT to have some supplemental learning fun with their kids at home…..
Or, maybe you are a homeschooler and you tie these fun activities into what you are already doing…..either way, don’t stop! You are making such a difference!
So, you might find this interesting…
We have a pumpkin in our class that a Reading Friend gave us. We call him Frank (short for Frankenstein) and we read to him, write to him, and teach him his ABC’s and numbers.
He has kind of become a member of our class…the kids tell him “goodbye” when they walk out the door at the end of the day. He has also given our class a sense of responsibility because he takes the role of class keeper who keeps an eye out for hard-workers and good friends.
I recommend painting a face on your family pumpkin and give him a role or two that might encourage your little ones to take ownership of their chores or homework. 🙂 Enjoy!
A friend of mine and retired Kindergarten teacher named Joy helps me in my classroom and has introduced me to one of many of my new favorite things!
A NAPKIN BOOK…. I mean, how many fun seasonal and themed napkins can you find at dollar tree or even leftover from birthday parties of ages past?!?
All you need to do is make labels with a chosen title and a space for your little “author” like “By ___________” and stick it on the front….. Unless you find an awesome napkin like Joy found that says “Boo!” which is the title of our frist napkin book.
Then print a fun sentence that coordinates with the book like “Boo said the __________.” multiple times on a single page, Cut it out, and staple it inside the napkin.
To make it that much more fun, Joy found Halloween themed stickers and that is going to be the illustration of each page of the book.
She even made a legend so the kids will know how to write the words in the free space of their sentence.
I love love this activity and will be making lots of books like it 🙂