Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Holidays

The holidays are a special time for many reasons.  I work in a school system where many holidays are celebrated this time of year which really leads to some interesting and precious discussion between five year olds :)  We have tried not to be too holiday specific in here and have had the opportunity to learn about and appreciate our differences.  Below, you will see some of the fun things we have been doing in preparation for the holidays.

Gingerbread Day
This is quite possibly may favorite day in Kindergarten!! We had a totally gingerbread themed day and we had a blast.  I cannot claim that all of these are my original creations thanks to my recent Pinterest addiction :)  They are all cute and purposeful regardless of which ones are my creations or adapted from the creative minds of others!
We started the day by reading two gingerbread books and listing similarities and differences.  My students did a really good job and were able to come up with way more than I expected.  They even called them text-to-text connections- so proud! 


We also made a gingerbread glyph (I think I have one of these for each theme in my classroom- I just LOVE them).  As usual, I found the idea on Shari Sloane's website.  There is not a glyph key linked to her page for this one, so you will have to create your own.

Next, we ate our delicious gingerbread snack to come up with adjectives to describe gingerbread.

We graphed our gingerbread glyphs to show how we ate our gingerbread men- arms first, legs first or heads first.  (Most people in our class ate the head first.)  We also made a book showing how to eat a gingerbread man showing him getting a little smaller on each page.

Last, we sang 5 Little Gingerbread (found here) and acted it out with our cute little gingerbread marshmallows.  They are really hard to find- but definitely worth the search :)

Reindeer Day
We discussed the differences between real reindeer and the special reindeer that are found only in the North Pole.  We made a venn diagram to compare and contrast the two.  We also made a really cute craft with our favorite fact that we learned about reindeer in their tummies.

We also enjoyed a special reindeer snack (thank you Pinterest) out of doughnuts, pretzels, icing and m&m's.

Last, we sang, danced (and mostly laughed) the Reindeer Pokey.

The Reindeer Pokey
(to the tune of The Hokey Pokey)
You put your antlers in.
You put your antlers out.
You put you antlers in,
And you shake them all about.
You do the Reindeer Pokey,
And you turn yourself around.
That's what it's all about!
You put your hooves in....
You put your red nose in....
You put your fluffy tail in...
You put your reindeer body in…

Hot Chocolate
We discussed how we like our hot chocolate and graped it on a mug of hot chocolate.  We also made our own hot chocolate mugs with pockets for  a package of hot chocolate to take home and enjoy :)

Snow Globes

We made these out of small paper plates- they are cute and easy.  Perfect for a rainy afternoon.


These are also made from small paper plates and fit right into our patterning unit with an AB pattern :)


These also fit into our patterning unit and were just cute.  Once again, thank you Pinterest- you have changed my Kindergarten life !

Snowman Ornament

I make these every year as a gift to the Kindergarten parents.  I buy plain blue ornaments and put the students' hand prints on them.  Then, they decorate their snowmen.  They are just cute- I am a sucker for hand print crafts.  I always attach this cute poem to the ornament.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year...Thanksgiving

My favorite time of the year is almost here.  I love Thanksgiving like most people love Christmas.  I love that it is unselfish time to spend with the ones that you love simply enjoying each other's company.  I also love all the the fun activities and meaningful conversations that happen around this time in Kindergarten.  We have been working on several different units.

Addition Turkeys

The students were asked to choose a number combination that equaled 5 and had to represent it with the turkey's feathers and write the number sentence.  They always turn out so cute.

Turkey Full of Thanks

We each made a feather detailing what we were thankful for this Thanksgiving.  We later added our addition turkeys (seen above) to the fence.

Native Americans and Pilgrims

We do a week and a half long study of Native Americans and Pilgrims right before Thanksgiving.  It is pretty basic stuff, but these two activitiesI really love.  First, is a fill in the blank saying about how the Native Americans and Pilgrims helped each other.  They make Native American for one corner and a Pilgrim to match themselves in the other corner (girls make a girl and boys make a boy).

Next, we talk about the difference between a Pilgrim boy or girl's life was different from their lives.  The students make a Pilgrim and fill out a little label for the bottom- I can______, but a Pilgrim cannot.  They turned out really cute.

Feather Turkey

These are just for fun, but I love them :)

Turkey Votive

Each year the students make a turkey votive out of baby food jars, tissue paper squares and a tea light candle.  They are easy and fun.  We just paint glue onto the jar, stick on the tissue paper, make the turkey body and hot glue the tea light in the jar. 

Fall Trees
We studied the parts of a tree and how the trees change with the seasons. 

With Veteran's Day coming up, we have been learning about our country.  We have created a book of national symbols, the American Flag and the Alabama Flag.  We have discussed the freedoms that we have in this country and we have had my husband, Sgt. Jonathan Cates USMC come to speak to us.

Pictures to come...

We have so many things to be thankful for and we have only hit the tip of the iceberg as we begin working our way towards Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 21, 2011


It is getting very close to Halloween and we are getting very excited thinking about all of the fun we will have.  We have been working very hard during our first 50 days of kindergarten and now it is time to have a little holiday fun!  We have made some really cute things this year to get ready for Halloween. We have tried to contain our excitement and take Halloween a piece at a time.  Here is a snapshot of what we have been doing...

Five Little Pumpkins
This is always one of my favorite Halloween stories- it is cute and predictable so the kids love it.  We worked together in committees to retell each page of the story.  I was very impressed with how well they were able to plan and work together.

Pumpkin Estimation
We estimated how tall we thought our pumpkin would be and how big around.  We had a few people who guessed correctly!
We read the book, I Want My Mummy and made text to self connections after we read the book.  We also made our own mummies and had a delicious mummy snack.

Boo Who Are You?
We made trick-or-treaters to get us in the Halloween spirit.  The kids had fun guessing who everyone was.

Shape Monsters
 We read the book I Need My Monster (so funny) by Amanda Noll and made our own monster glyphs.  They turned out even cuter than I imagined.

Go Away Big Green Monster!
We read Ed Emberly's book Go Away Big Green Monster! and made our own monsters to go along with it.  We also worked on our color words to fill out our monster key.

Jack-o-lantern Bar Graphs
We graphed the ways that we would carve our pumpkins and talked about the results.  It turns out that most of the students in my class would carve thier pumpkin with triangle eyes and a triangle nose with a regular smile (no teeth).

Candy Corn
Each child traced the pieces of the candy corn, cut them out  and glued it together.  They are so simple, but they look so cute hanging in our room.

We have learned all about bats.  We read Stellaluna and discussed what we knew about bats.  made a   They each wrote one fact that they learned about bats and soda can bat to hang in our "bat cave" in the hall. It think they turned out pretty cute :)

Pumpkin Sequencing
We read the book Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington which tells about the life cycle of a pumpkin.  Next, we made our own pumpkin life cycles.  We folded our paper to make our pumpkins into pockets for our sequencing cards.  Here is the link for the great little cards.