Community Activities in Kindergarten

COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

This past week we have been discussing what belonging to a community means, what communities we belong to (families, class/school, neighbourhoods, sports teams), and the people and places within these communities.

20170519_152729_HDR We began by discussing the different places we would find in our community and why they are important. Then students had a chance to create their own paper bag buildings to add to our classroom community. They also had fun creating a background on a large piece of paper. We recorded what they said about each of their buildings and added quotes to them.

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Students were also very interested in creating maps. We tied that into our learning about communities by having maps of different places in their community (we had the school, hospital, movie theater, park, fire house and sports complex). I simply typed each location into Google Maps and printed out the satellite picture (I also had the map view, which is not pictured). Students were free to create their own maps and communities.

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They were still very interested in creating their own maps, so we made an invitation to create maps and communities. I got the idea for this activity from Kindergarten Corps and students loved making these!

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I even recorded them describing the communities they created and made QR codes that parents will be able to scan to listen to their little voices. I will have more on this in a later post!

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Our small world play was made with felt pieces and this awesome activity pack from The Primary Pack. Another great way to talk about places in our community and the people who work and live there.

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I had a lot of fun talking to students while they created to know about their process and why they were placing things in certain places. So fun!

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We then used my Letter Writing Pack to write letters to different community helpers. Students were able to pick any community helper and write a letter to them. I can’t remember where we got the awesome community helper posters, so if you know where I can link to for those, please let me know!

That’s a recap of our week learning about our community! I don’t know if they are still interested in discussing communities, so we might be doing more activities next week! Do you have any favourite activities that you do for community helpers?

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Instagram Posts of the Week #6

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Another week has flown by and I got to do some pretty awesome stuff while visiting my family in Montreal. If you would like to see more pictures and to follow along with our classroom shenanigans, make sure you follow me!

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We had our Welcome to Kindergarten night and our students wrote out their advice to the future kindergarten students using my Freebie!

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I got a chance to play tourist in Montreal with my family. I had fun playing on the musical swings!

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The end of the year is coming! That means that we are reviewing number sense concepts and this Kindergarten Spinner Games pack is perfect for fun math centers.

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A look at our loose parts center from this week. We have been discussing money so we added some coins to our collection so students can explore their value.

I have some more ideas for some great centers coming up and our duck eggs have undergone some pretty cool changes so make sure you follow me on Instagram to see the goings-on in our classroom!

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The Duck Life Cycle Part 1

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Our school was awesome enough to buy an egg incubator. I am so excited to be able to share the life cycle of eggs with our students and it is such a great, hands-on learning activity.

1. The Incubator

I did some research on the best incubator to get for our classroom. I wanted one that would hold enough eggs, would be durable so that we can use it year after year, and one that would allow us to best observe the eggs so that students can get a good view of what’s happening. I ultimately chose the Hovabator, and I was lucky enough to get all the accessories to go with it. The egg turner is a must if you don’t want to take the eggs back and forth to your house over the weekend. I installed it and now I don’t have to think of it. The thermometer/hygrometer is also really useful to have, I don’t have to hope the humidity level is okay, and I can keep the temperature stable easily.  The egg candler is awesome to have, but I heard that using a cellphone flashlight is just as good (just something I have read, I haven’t tried).

2. Introducing it to Students

The introduction to the incubator was pretty easy- the box arrived and the students were so excited about the box and what was in it, I didn’t have to do anything but tell them what it was. They loved watching me set it up- which was more involved than I thought it would be. I had to ask the custodian to do a little work with the wires to get the fan kit installed. But once it is up and running, it just runs on its own. We spoke with students about not touching it unless a teacher is there, I don’t want them changing the temperature by accident. They can look through the windows whenever they want.

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I contacted a local farm about getting duck eggs and students guessed how many eggs that we would get. I told them that the incubator could only hold 24 eggs, so it had to be a number that was less than 24.

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… and we got 12! We have already prepared our students for the (very real) possibility that not all the eggs will hatch.

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3. The First Week

We used the egg candler to look at the inside of the egg- and we didn’t see much. We made sure to keep the temperature stable and we labeled each of the eggs with a number so we could keep track of the changes within each egg. I also put an X on one side and an O on the other so that I could make sure they were rotating properly.  We also have a blank calendar that we are using to keep track of any changes that are happening. Students also have a notebook to keep track of what they are seeing.

It is all very exciting and I will be giving updates on my Instagram, so if you are not already following, do it now!

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Translating Patterns in Kindergarten

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This week we introduced our students to translating patterns. We had previously worked on making patterns, extending patterns, and identifying the core and rule. This week we expanded our thinking to looking at making patterns different ways.

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We used math manipulatives to work on our patterns, and we made sure to challenge them to identify the core and the rule of each pattern.

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They even did the patterns with different materials! I love the multiple tiers of thinking that had to go into this activity. It refreshed their memory on what patterns are, and made them think of patterns in a different way!

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If you would like to try this activity with your students, you can get it here:

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Welcome to Kindergarten

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This past week was our Welcome to Kindergarten night. We invite students that will be starting school in September to come into our kindergarten classrooms. We have centers set-up and they can explore the different classrooms. We were assigned loose parts this year and we incorporated a mix of math, literacy and art into our different centers.

Line Tracing with Loose Parts I drew lines with a golden sharpie on black construction paper. We added some fun loose parts for them to use to trace the lines.

Faces with Loose Parts We had some mirrors and loose parts set out for the children to make their own faces.

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Loose Parts Names We encouraged the future students to build their names with our different loose parts. Writing names is one of the first skills we work on in kindergarten so this center will be a big part of the beginning of their school year.

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Math Loose Parts This center was great for one-to-one correspondence.

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Patterning with Loose Parts A simple provocation to get students thinking about patterning.

Playdough with Loose Parts Three different playdough provocations for students to explore.

 

Our students also wrote Advice to New Kindergarten students using the freebie available in my store. They had some great pieces of words of wisdom (my favourite was “Do not pick your nose”).

At each table I wrote a blurb explaining what each center was, and some quotes from our curriculum that relate to the activity that was at that table.

Our night was a great success! All the children and parents seemed to be having a lot of fun and we were able to connect and answer questions that families had about the program.

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Instagram Posts of the Week #5

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I’m continuing to post some of our awesome kindergarten happenings to my Instagram. There has been some exciting things happening in our classroom lately, so if you want to keep up-to-date with what I’m doing, you should follow me!

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We challenged our students to unscramble sight words using my Rainy Day Sight Words! activity pack. We challenged them to try and keep the cloud sight words turned over unless they really couldn’t figure out what the sight words were. This was great for our more advanced students! We challenged some students to use the sight words in sentences and write them on the back of the sheet.

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Working with teen numbers provocation. We put out some loose parts, ten frames, base ten blocks, and teen number cards and let the students show us what they know. We got some amazing work from our students, and I even had to go get the base 100 blocks from our math room!

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We got duck eggs! Our incubator is full of eggs and we are so excited to watch them grow and (hopefully) hatch!

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We started talking about translating patterns and our students loved to use my new Translating Patterns activity. They used different math manipulatives to remake the patterns in different ways. It was a great opportunity to talk about the core and the rule of the pattern.

If you don’t want to miss any great activity ideas, or updates from my store, make sure you follow me on Instagram!

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Kindergarten Line of Symmetry Activities

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Over the past two weeks we have been investigating lines of symmetry in our classroom. We looked at where we saw them in nature (bugs, butterflies, leaves), where we saw lines of symmetry in our classroom (letters, numbers) and we made our own symmetrical images. Here are a few activities that you can try in your classroom!

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I made this butterfly matching game a few years ago. I printed out pictures of butterflies, cut them in half and glued half of them to the bristle board. I laminated all the pieces to keep them nice, and added velcro to them. Students had a great time matching the two halves of the butterflies together.

We used our classroom tables to make symmetrical images. we used yarn and tape to make the slices, and put out loose parts. Students had a blast working together to make their creations symmetrical.

We had a small world play set up to create butterflies. I cut butterflies out of felt and added loose parts to the center. We had some very colourful creations in our room!

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We used these awesome symmetry circle templates from A Little Pinch of Perfect to explore symmetry with different loose parts.

 

And we used my Pattern Block Flowers and Butterflies! Line of Symmetry Bundle to work on completing the images.

I love this math unit because it allows students to be creative, while still learning about different math concepts!

End of the School Year Sight Word Review

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As the school year begins to wind down, we start to review all the things we have learned throughout the school year in the hopes that we can get the information lodged in our little students’ minds before the summer begins.

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In kindergarten, one of the main focuses of the year is learning sight words. They are so important for students to learn, they need these words so they can read and write. So at this time of the year, I like to take out literacy centers that focus on sight word recognition and writing so that we can really get those words to stick!

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With that in mind, I made my Kindergarten Review- Sight Word Bundle. It contains three of my sight word activities that need little to no prep and can be reused throughout the school year.

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Our students love these hands-on activities that challenge them to write, find and build different sight words. It exposes them to these words, and you pick to put out the ones that your students are having the most trouble with!

You can get this pack from my Teachers pay Teachers store and start reviewing those sight words!:

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Flower Shop Dramatic Play

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Our classroom was transformed into a flower shop a few weeks ago. Our students were having so much fun setting up their store, making signs, writing lists, making money to use in the store, so we extended our leaning outside of the dramatic play center and brought it into other areas of the classroom.

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This is what it looked like- simple! Some mason jars with fake flowers for them to arrange into bouquets, price lists and vocabulary cards. That’s it- they did the rest! They made the money that they used when buying and selling, they made signs for the store, they made books about the different flowers. It was amazing how much they added to the store once they got in there!

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We brought some real flowers into the classroom and set up an invitation to explore. Some students chose to draw pictures, others made books, others made diagrams of different parts of the flower. They did some awesome writing with so little influence on our part.

This is the simple painting inspiration art center that we set up. Students were encouraged to mix their own colours, and paint flowers any way they chose.

Our sensory bin was transformed into a rock garden; with little pots, gardening tools, rocks and fake flowers.

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We also had a mini sensory bin set up with my Match the Picture! pack for students to dig through.

I love this time of the year in our classroom, students are so independent and have really demonstrated what they have learned throughout the year. Through their play we see the learning that has taken place and I am so proud of what they can do!

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Instagram Posts of the Week #4

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I am continuing on my Instagram journey, and I have managed to keep uploading a picture a day. I try to keep it a mix of classroom pics, products from my Teachers pay Teachers store and some ‘real life’ pictures. Here are a few things that I was up to this week:

20170503_100804_HDRWe have a Flower Shop set up in our dramatic play center this week and students have loved buying and selling flowers. I brought in a tulip from my garden for some drawing inspiration and I was blown away with this little guy’s picture!

20170504_084907_HDRContinuing on the theme of flowers, I made a mini sensory bin with fake flowers and added my picture cards from my Match the Picture! pack. Students had fun digging through the flowers to find the picture cards and match them to their beginning sound.

20170503_090103_HDRI set up a provocation for students to make up their own stories using some of the materials we had in our class. I included: wood people, wood buildings, story stones, yarn, feathers, gems and grass mats to get their imagination flowing. I love the stories they were coming up with!

20170508_084621_HDR_20170508170520435These Springy Sight Words flowers were the cutest! Students loved making their own flowers and it helped them with sight word recognition and fine motor skills. Even better- It’s a freebie from Just Go Teach!

If you would like to see even more fun things happening in our classroom, make sure you follow me on Instagram!

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