What routines do you have to celebrate each new school day? In our kindergarten classroom, we incorporate a variety of ways to show numbers throughout out morning meeting so students get familiarized with number concepts.
I begin our morning meeting by giving clues about who our special helper is for the day. I keep the students names on a ring, and we flip the name tag each day for a rotation. The tags are shuffled once we make our way through the stack. Our school mascot is a Titan, so the special student is referred to as the Titan of the Day. I share what letter the child's name starts with, how many syllables it has, what it rhymes with, etc., based on what we are learning about in phonics. Once the Titan of the Day is revealed, s/he helps with our number of the day activities. The first job is to drop a cube into the pocket chart. Then the child writes how many tens sticks and ones cubes are in the pockets. The class looks on and counts along.
The Titan of the Day's next job is to place a dot on the ten frame. We show the number with our hands to make a connect to counting with our fingers by tens. For each math tool that we use, students chant to repeat after me. For example, I say, "Look at the ten frame! Let's count by tens!" This gets them used to the math terms and tools.
The next stop is the hundreds chart, where the child moves Mr. Count to his next number square. Side note: He has sticky tack on the back, the kids get a kick out of "tickling his belly" (pushing on his belly to make him stick) and placing him on his head or upright...it's the little things....
We have a number line above our board, and we slide the arrow over each day. The kids count along with me, one by one, as we hold up our fingers for each number.
Now, here's the most exciting part! Meet Uni-Zero! Get it? Uni, 1; zero, 0?! She's my spinoff of Zero the Hero. I just really like unicorns and rainbows, okay? Anyway, she gets a little stir crazy each time she hears us say "zero" in our number of the day activities. It's crazy! She starts to wiggle around and whispers things in my ear! She has a magical bag with her when she arrives! (Hello, Target and Bullseye's Playground.) Every time we have a zero in our number of the day, she brings us something that is shaped like a zero! Here's a list of some of things she has brought:
Smiley Face Stickers
Egg Mini Erasers
Mini Chocolate Chip Cookies
I peek inside of her bag to give clues about what is inside. Then I pass out the treat. The kids know to hold it in their hand and wait until everyone gets their surprise. Then we do a magic spell with Unizero! I chant, and they repeat, "Boppity Boo! Dipity Dount! Unizero is here! To help us count!" Then we eat the food, ring the bell, put the ring or sticker on...you get the picture...then BAM! We start counting alllllll of the way to our number of the day! The kids go crazy!
We just love our number of the day routine in our classroom. I hope your students enjoy the magic, too! Stay tuned for how we celebrate the 100th Day with Unizero! It's quite the party!
As a side note, to help with number concepts, we also create number crafts throughout the school year. When we get to the tenth day, making rocket ships to celebrate how we are SOARING with our counting skills seems appropriate. Students enjoy the challenge of counting to ten and then counting BACKWARDS from ten!
Here's a bundle of number order crafts, at a DEEPLY DISCOUNTED price, to engage your little learning with number concepts throughout your kindergarten math activities for the entire school year!
The first weeks of kindergarten means learning new routines and school rules. Building relationships and setting boundaries right away is key to a successful year of learning, so today I'm sharing some helpful hints and tricks for getting the year off to a great start! What students should know first and foremost is that when they enter their classroom, their teacher sees them as a friend, smart, amazing, special, adorable, sweet, and LOVABLE!
The idea that we are a class family is largely emphasized in our classroom. To start our year, students bring in family pictures to place on our cupboards for the school year. This allows for them to "meet" each other's families and share things about the members of their families with one another. The display is used frequently, as we oftentimes make connections to the people we love most throughout our learning!
At our school, we implement Ron Clark's house system. On the first day of school, students spin the wheel of Titan PRIDE to reveal their house! Students earn points for their house and are rewarded for having the most points. This system encourages making new friends, teamwork, and inclusion.
Before you speak, think and be smart. It's hard to fix a wrinkled heart. We often refer to having happy hearts in our classroom. For example I say, "Oh, that makes my heart so happy!" when I see students sharing or using great teamwork. I also let them know when things do not make my heart happy, such as when students aren't kind to each other. We use this simple activity to demonstrate yucky parts of our day that wrinkle our hearts. When people apologize, it's like putting a bandaid on an ouchy. It still hurts, but an apology makes it feel a little better.
I also use this sequin heart pillow to demonstrate how things can make my heart both sad and happy. I flip it to gray to demonstrate broken rules and how it makes my heart feel sad.
Our rules are simple. I tell the students that when they are at school, I am their mama bear, and I have two jobs. My jobs are to keep them safe and to help them learn. We relate breaking rules to the Grinch. The Grinch does things that make others' hearts sad. If we are not following the two classroom rules of learning or staying safe, names are written on the Grinch board, which means 5 minutes off of recess. The kids erase their names when their 5 minutes of recess are served. We use the Grinch board quite a bit at the beginning of the school year, but I find that we rarely need it beyond the first quarter. The kids typically understand the concept and the rules by October.
Using picture books and visual cues are my favorite ways to teach rules and character education overall. Raising hands and not interrupting is something that needs to be established within the first week of school. I LOVE to read Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra to get my message across to the kids. After the lesson, I keep the little chick near the front of the classroom. If students shout out answers, I just point to the chicken. They quickly remember to raise hands.
We use the correlating kindergarten arts and crafts Interrupting Chicken writing pack to demonstrate how we are respectful listeners in the classroom.
If students do not do their work, I remind them that one of my jobs is to help them learn. If they aren't doing work, the rule has been broken. I show them Daisy. Daisy is bright and sunshiny and loves to learn and play with friends. Sometimes, though, she gets wilted and lazy. She just needs a reminder that there are no lazy daisies in kindergarten, though, and she stands right back up to get to work.
We read the entire No, David! series at the beginning of the school year, too! David has some trouble with following rules, and the kids just LOVE him, especially when he escapes the bathtub and runs down the street!!
Since they love him so much, they love creating him, too! We use this craft and writing pack to draw one of the rules he breaks. NOTE: THIS IS A FREE DOWNLOAD (FOR A LIMITED OF TIME), SO BE SURE TO GRAB IT NOW!
We tie the series in with the five senses during a kindergarten science lesson, and we go over the pages of No, David! to share what parts of his body he is using when he is breaking rules.
We love, love, love Pete the Cat in our classroom! We begin our year with Pete the Cat: Rocking In My School Shoes by James Dean. The kids love the SONG that goes with it, too! Our takeaway from this book, is "It's allllllll good!" Pete doesn't worry, and we don't have to worry either. We just try our best, learn from our mistakes, and it's all good! Kids write and draw about their favorite place at school with our kindergarten craft and writing activity!
And that's a wrap! Come to school to learn and be safe, and it's alllllll good in kindergarten! Of course, going over rules doesn't stop all year! There are soooo many great picture books to teach character education, and we've created a craft and writing bundle that includes our favorites! Enjoy!!
Hi, and welcome to Krazy for Kindyland, Kindergarten Arts and Crafts! I'm a mom of three and a primary teacher since 2006. We are on a mission to reach all little learners, providing them with engaging, hands-on learning opportunities to practice spatial awareness skills while learning across the curriculum. Here on the blog, we share differentiated lesson ideas that allow for teacher choice while incorporating crafting and writing into math activities, letter learning, science lessons, social studies topics, character education, and reading comprehension. Our crafts include consistent layouts and are easy for students to understand and follow directions. They are low prep, saving the precious time you need with your students! Fun fact: our customers often note that our products are GREAT for subs! They focus directly on learning content and are easy arts and crafts for kindergarten!
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