Sunday, March 9, 2014

Differentiate By Engaging!-Differentiated Kindergarten's Bright Idea

Today I'm teaming up with a slew of other great bloggers to bring you a bunch of fabulous Bright Ideas.

For me, I'm always thinking about differentiating.  It's always there in the front of my mind.  Somedays I think I do it better than other days, but everyday it's what I'm aiming for . . . it's my goal.  It's often easy to get caught up with only the tiering aspect of differentiating.  But we have to remember that when we differentiate, we can do it in response to a student’s level of readiness, their learning profile or their interests. 

Lucky for teachers, it's easy to engage students, to grab their interest and set the hook.  One of the ways I like to do this is by using engaging and interesting manipulatives to make otherwise mundane activities, fun!!!

With St. Patrick's Day right around the corner, anything that has to do with Leprechauns or their gold is enough to peak and keep my kinders interests for a good long time.  So a pot full of gold leprechaun nuggets can get even the most reluctant student geeked and ready to work.  

How do I use them?  I use them in my sensory table where I then hide real and nonsense words on gold coins (i.e. old PTO carnival chips)  to be sorted and recorded.  

I use them as counters in math stations.  They work great as game pieces, or for weighing objects (how many Leprechaun gold nuggets does a pencil or crayon weigh). 

And they are super easy to make, just grab some dried chick peas, and some gold metallic spray paint.  Spread the chickpeas out on some tin foil (you might want to do this outside), give them a spray, wait a bit to mix them up and give them another spray to catch all the sides.


For effect, place them in a nice black pot!  I promise you, your kiddos are going to LOVE it.

Now for other Bright Ideas, click on Maria's link below and follow this party to Kinder-Craze.  

Happy Hopping.


  1. Love this idea!! On my to do list: buy gold spray paint and chick peas!

    Terri Izatt

  2. I never would've guessed what those were if you hadn't told us! What a great, simple way to engage students. Thanks for sharing!

    Luckeyfrog's Lilypad

  3. Always, always love your ideas! Now I have a reason to buy chick peas! : )
    Peace, Love, and First Grade

  4. What a great idea!

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

  5. I love this!!! My husband thank you because I just bought two bags of dried chickpeas with the intent to cook them, but now I am headed to the store for spray paint instead! :)



    1. You're welcome Tiffany. And thanks for the laugh out loud. It sounds like something my husband would say.

  6. I love this!!! My 2nd graders love any type of manipulatives and I can't wait to do this at home with my own littles!!! We are working on letters right now and you have inspired me to let them dig for the letters we are working on in a pot of gold!!! They are going to be so excited!

  7. This is great!!! Can't wait to make them myself!! Thanks for sharing...
    Keep Calm and Love First Grade

  8. I love this. I agree that this keeps them engaged and interested. I would love to find out about the different manipulatives you use throughout the year such as above, especially when they don't break the bank:) . These ideas blow my mind and I love seeing a new blog post from you in my inbox. Thanks so much!



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