Friday, March 30, 2012

It is good to BEE on Spring Break . . . so here's a Differentiated FreeBEE just BEEcause.

While everyone is probably gearing up for the week before Easter festivities and activities, I'm on Spring Break this week!! So, I've packed up a good deal of my Easter activities for school.  But if you ARE still looking for some Easter freebies for this week, make sure you check out my archives for freebies.  I had a ton.

And for those of you that have enjoyed my I-Spy pages, for you I have the latest addition..."BEE On The Look Out For Sight Words."  Of course you can grab it by clicking on the HERE or on the picture below.  BEE on the look out for other versions of this game coming out this week.

I also hope everyone was able to snatch up the three freebies I posted this week as well.  Don't miss out on my facebook fan freebie.  That's a GREAT one for all of you that are gearing up for assessments and need some nonsense word review.  It's still available, just click on the picture and like my facebook page and it's yours for free. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

TWO Differentiated Nonsense Word Games In One for FREE!!!!!!!!

Yep, that's right.  I have two . . . count them two differentiated nonsense word games for you FREE.  I feel truly blessed to be coming up on almost 250 followers.  So I wanted to do something for everyone. 

There are many strategies you can use to differentiate instruction.  With this particular activity, I have tiered the games so that there are 3 lettered real and nonsense words and 4 lettered real and nonsense words.  You can use the set that is appropriate for your different groups of students working on this skill. 

The first game has students identifying real vs. nonsense words and recording those words on a recording sheet in order to be the first to fill both sides.  The second game is a group game where students are reading both real and nonsense words and keeping those they read correctly.  Of course there are some fun 'extra' cards thrown in to keep play interesting and fun. 

What do you do to get this 16 page freebie?  Simple.  Click on the facebook icon at the top right hand side of this blog, 'LIKE' me and grab this freebie.  It's right there on my facebook page waiting for all my followers to grab. Not only will it get you THIS freebie. But other exclusive facebook freebies that will be coming up as well.

I hope you enjoy it.  Thanks again for everyone's kind words and for following me. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

What's in your sensory table . . . and a Easter freebie.

Here's that question again. . .what's in your sensory table?  I assume that many of you have eggs of some kind or other in you table in anticipation of Easter.  But I'm always curious what you're doing with those lovely pastel plastic play things.

Makes you want to jump right in and play doesn't it?

I have students putting the onset and rime together to make really and nonsense words.  Of course there's a cute little sheet that I offer them to record their findings.

They quickly discover that the two ends do not necessarily have to be the same color to make a real word.  In anycase, it's engaging and makes learning fun. 

Because I am off for Spring Vacation next week, our school misses that entire pre-Easter week of activities and hoopla.  So I'm cramming all those fun Easter centers and activities in this week.  Yikes!

My students are LOVING anything that has to do with writing the room.  That's the good news!  Bad news . . . I'm about 3 clipboards short of having enough and I know what I'll be making over spring break. 

It's worth it though.  They love moving around, they are engaged and I love how independent they have become.  If you want to try out some fun Easter write the room math and cvc/ccvc/cvcc activities, check out my TpT  or Teachers Notebook stores.  I have some freebies there too.

Including this new one . . .Please feel free to snatch it up by clicking on the picture below and if you decide to use it, please do me a favor and consider following my blog if you don't already or Like-ing my A Differentiated Kindergarten Facebook page.  It's the quickest way to find out when I list new freebies and activities.

Monday, March 26, 2012

How about a creepy crawly rhyming freebie . . .

If you have students who are struggling with rhyming, you might want to wait on pulling that Easter grass out of your sensory table next week.  I have a freebie just for you!

This year I am lucky enough to have been asked to mentor a new teacher in my building.  I know, I know you're thinking . . . why are YOU the lucky one?  Well, I'm lucky because my mentee, Nancy, is an AWESOME teacher.  Seriously, she's really organized, hard-working and because she did her student teaching with my kindergarten teaching neighbor, Kerri, she knows her differentiated instruction.  Mentoring her is a complete pleasure. 

Nancy currently teaches in our school's Junior Kindergarten classroom or some of you call it Young 5s.  Basically it is for those students who just aren't ready for the rigors of all day everyday kindergarten.  In fact, it's the class I opted for my own son and she is his teacher.  Her class has students who are still struggling to write their name and those who are already reading simple Dolch words, blending and segmenting.

Anyway, last week when we were meeting during our regular mentoring meeting we were trying to think of some new rhyming activities that also incorporated fine motor exercise for some of her struggling students.  I remembered I had some cute little foamy bugs that I had been saving for a rainy day and we decided to put them on a clothes pin and call them our 'bug catchers.'  
These are just some foamy bugs I had lying around but I know that you can find butterflies and other critters at the dollar store.

Use these fun little catchers with the rhyming cards I have here for you.  Laminate and cut out the bugs and put them in your sensory table with your Easter grass.  If you don't have a sensory table just use a short sided plastic tote of some kind. 

Students search for two bugs cards that rhyme.

Kind of like bee and tree.

Clip them together with the bug catcher.

Collect the pairs in a bucket or one of those cute bug boxes.

If you want to make it self-correcting, then add matching dots, stickers or shapes to the backs of matching bugs.

Make sure you grab up this freebie by clicking HERE or on the picture below.  Even if your students are beyond this skill now, you know you're gonna have those that arrive in your class next year that still haven't mastered it yet. 

Don't worry I'll be revamping it a bit over the next week to make it more differentiated and appropriate for Kinders and beyond.  But for now, here's a little something for my Pre-K and JK buddies (and for anyone else who can use it).

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Pinterest Inspired Art Project and . . . a differentiated place value freebie.

No I haven't been dying my sheets in our kindergarten class but we have been doing these beautiful Pinterest inspired tissue paper tie dye art that I just HAD to share with you. 

I the got idea from HONEST TO NOD when I saw this picture

It looked easy enough and guess what?  It is!

You have to be really careful when your pulling it apart.

You don't want it to be completely wet but you don't want it to be completely dry either.

But once it's opened . . .

Is it ever gorgeous.

And yes . . . even a kindergartener can handle it.  I really loved making these and you should give it a try. I hung them up outside my class from a clothes line with clothes pins.  It kind of looks like I've put out my laundry to dry.  Unfortunately, this picture doesn't do the colors justice.  Trust me, they're so pretty.

Oh yeah . . . and I promised you a freebie too didn't I. 

Here's another write the room activity since I've had so many of you respond that your students have enjoyed them.  This is actually one I've revamped from a while ago. I'm not sure if I got the idea from someone else or if it was one of those brilliant ideas I came up with on my own (doubt it)  it's been so long ago so if you can remember seeing something like this let me know so I can credit them back. This time they'll be searching for place value cards and recording them.
Just click the picture to grab it and of course, drop me a line if you use it.  I love to get comments or find out I have a new friend following me.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Differentiated Pinwheels . . .and a freebie.

Ok, so I'm always on the look out for interesting materials to use in my class as I'm sure all of you are.  I know that one strategy I can always use to differentiate is to offer different kinds of materials for students in response to their interest and learning profiles.  I knew my kinsethetic learners were gonna flip over these.

So when I came across these too cute Easter pinwheels at BIG LOTS a couple of weeks ago, I just knew I had to have them.  They were $2.00 each and while I'm typically a $1.00 or less kind of girl, I splurged and picked up 3 because they were just too fun.

I couldn't decide what to do with them.  The possibilities are really endless.  I could have had three different level of sight words on them and had students spin for sight words and record them.  Or do onset rhyming on them with different letters on the carrots to make different words within the word family.  But in the end, because my kinders have been working on subtraction, I opted for a subtraction activity.

I placed a different number on each of the outside spinner carrots and then put the common number to be subtracted in the middle. 

Students spin the wheel. It lands on a number from which, in the above case, 5 will be subtracted.  Students write that number sentence on the recording sheet and then either use seasonal (I have some cute Easter erasers and foam Easter beads from Oriental Trading that I use) manipulatives or a number line to solve the problem.

Of course you're gonna want to run out and get yourself a couple of these or any other kind of pinwheels you can find before everyone else does.  And, of course, I have saved you the trouble of creating a recording sheet.  Click on the picture above  or HERE to take your pick of either one with or without a number line.

Drop me a line to let me know what you think. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What would you do with an egg plate?

So I found these cute little egg pans at Walmart a while back for only 97 cents a piece and I knew I had to do something with them, but what?

I think there are about a 1000 ideas that ran through my head, but in the end I decided to make a little differentiated math activity for my upcoming change in math stations.

I know that one of the strategies for differentiating is using different kinds of materials so I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to use items I find.  Probably just like everyone else out there. 

Since my kinders are working on subtraction, I wanted to make a BUMP-like subtraction game.  Some of my students are still working on basic subtraction with 0 through 5.  So for them there are some numbers that I wrote twice.

And for my more advanced students I used numbers 0 through 11 on the spaces.

I'm sure you could use any numbers you would like and make it a recognition or addition or use dice and use doubles, but since I wanted them to focus on subtraction as their essential skill for this activity, I made up two different sets of subtraction cards (24 cards for each set).

Cut and laminate the cards and put them in a pretty little basket. 

 Now give each player their own color of egg.  If a player gets a card and the answer is three, then they can put HALF there egg on that spot.  Of course, if another player gets three, they can always BUMP the second player off.  If, however, the first player gets another card for the answer of three again, then they can put the rest of their egg on the space and they are safe.  Cards always go back into the basket after they are played.  I always tell my kinders to bury them down deep.

Of course you can always use an egg carton if you don't have an egg plate.  Make sure you give your students options for solving the problems.  I offer number lines or students can use cute little seasonal counters like the ones shown above.  Even using these simple little, interesting counters can often mean the difference between having engaged and  . . .well, not so engaged students.   

What?  You say you don't have any subtraction egg cards and really wish you had a set because you have a couple of egg cartons/ or egg plates laying around?  Well, of course, I have the cards ready for you to download.  Just click HERE or on the egg cards picture above to be linked to my google docs for your copy.

So, just for fun, tell me . . . what would you have done with these egg plates?  Drop me a note on my facebook page . . . (check out my link in the top right corner  . . .hint, hint . . . you could 'like' me while you're there too and that would be better than ok) and give me a couple of your ideas.

Check out other great Easter ideas at Sharing Kindergarten's Easter Linky Party.

Just click below:

Monday, March 19, 2012

It's official . . . one more leprechaun foot and I'll turn green.

It's been a weekend of Irish shenanigans and leprechaun feet. 

Seamus left us a self-portrait.


Many of you remember my original post from about 2 weeks ago when I showed the havoc that those little green men raise in both my home and my classroom.  WOW! I have heard from so many great people who have embraced the fun of St. Patrick's Day and made it their own.  Thanks for sharing your stories with me. 

I have loved it and would love know of any great new ideas any of you have come up with for next year.  You know I have to up the anty every year. 

In the meantime, here's a few pictures of my own family and classroom fun! 

Seamus' annual pit stop.

Green Milk  . . . My boys say it tastes better than white.

Seamus left each student a hidden gift with a note.

Remember to leave me note about all your St. Patrick's Day traditions. 

In the meantime, here's something you don't want to miss.
Don't miss out on a great give away over at A Pocketful of Kinders!

Don't miss out.  Get over there quick before time runs out.  There are as many as three winners for this giveaway so your chances are REALLY good.


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