Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apple Week (with freebies) Linky

It's that time of year again.  We have started our two week Apple Unit.  There are so many different activities that I use.  There are so many free activities that it is almost impossible to get them all into one week.  That is exactly why our kindergarten team studies apples for two weeks.
Be sure to read the entire post to see other apple resources and activities that have been added to the link up.
In this post, you will find lots of free and inexpensive finds for Apple Week!!  First, I always send a letter home to parents asking for each student to bring in an apple.  Here is the free parent letter I send home to parents.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzpXgmOIGg-saXRkckxyX3FHam8/edit?usp=sharing
Another great find is the Apple Investigation we completed below.  I used Julie Lee's Apple Investigation Freebie.  It is available on TpT and it is FREE!!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/An-Apple-Investigation-Activity-335108
I did purchase and use the following product by Kristen Smith.  It is such a great product with wonderful nonfiction pictures.  It is over 130 pages and full of so many ideas.  The illustrations and photos are perfect for teaching kindergarten students about apples.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/All-About-Apples-1374463
My favorite part of studying apples is the faces of the kiddos when we do the float and sink apple graphing experiment.  Here are the pieces I use for the activity.  It makes an excellent bulletin board display.  (It's free on TpT.)
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Float-or-Sink-Apple-Graphing-Freebie-1445012
Stephany has an incredible emergent reader packet that I use for my kindergarten students.  Included in this packet are two emergent reader texts with both black and white and colored readers.  You get all of these readers for only $2 (If purchased today, it's on sale for $1.)  I purchased them and my kids LOVE them!!  They are perfect for one-to-one matching and print concepts.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Apple-Themed-Readers-884188
Stephany also has Whole Class Writing Journal Covers (Apple Theme) for only $1.50.  Students choose what topic they want to write about from a variety of writing journal topics. These are great for use throughout September!  These covers can be printed and added to bound writing journals or glued to the front of composition or spiral bound notebooks. Super easy and quick prep! Keep the notebooks in your writing center for students to use throughout the season.
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Whole-Class-Writing-Journal-Covers-Apple-Edition--1422328
And if you are wanting a Johnny Appleseed Math Activity... here is one...  FREE!!
http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Johnny-Appleseed-Clear-the-Board-Math-Freebie-877107
I know that there are many great "apple finds".  If you know of any free or inexpensive apple activities or resources, please link them below.  Having all apple resources linked in one place will help out so many teachers as we are always looking for fun ideas and resources in a timely manner and at a reasonable cost.

Link up your apple resources or activities below.

Endless Possibilities,
Stephanie

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Whole Class Writing Journal Covers... SUPER SAVINGS!

I have used whole class writing journals in my classroom for several years now.  They are super easy to prep and can be used in a variety of ways!


I use mine in my writing center.  I place a handful of the writing books in the station.  Students can choose which one they want to write in that day.  I use it as an extra activity that students can complete after they have finished the writing task for that week.  Because I place several in the station, they don't have to be switched out very often!  I started off with this simple pack which soon became a best seller...

And then I created supplement packs with themes for throughout the school year.  The journals can also be used for a whole class activity.  Use one of the prompts on the front of the book and have the entire class write about it.  Edit them, rewrite a "pretty" copy and you have a complete class book with a cute cover for open houses, young author events, or even to sit out for parents to read during conferences while they wait!

Prepping them is super easy no matter how you decide to do it!  I print the covers on card stock, laminate them and then comb bind them with writing paper (that has a place for a picture).  You can print them on regular paper and glue them to the front of a spiral bond notebook or print them two to a page and slap them on the front of a composition notebook.

These are a big hit with my kids... they love the idea that they are making a book with their classmates and that they get to take one home at the end of the year.  You can grab up the original pack here...


The supplemental themed packets can be purchased individually or in a money saving bundle... the bundle is for sale for over 50% off this weekend!

Happy Writing!
Stephany

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Beginning of the Year Refreshers....

School has officially started for us!  We are several days into the school year and I am loving my new class!  It's a big group but they are a great group of kids!  We are *for-sure* crammed into the classroom this year... nice and cozy.

To build confidence and review, we have been working on letter identification, sounds and letter formation.  

Students have been sorting upper and lower case letters....
They have been working on each letter as they trace, write, identify the beginning sound and locate the letter...

They have been sorting beginning sound pictures...
They have been "spinning a letter" and then tracing the letter they spin.  (This also works on graphing skills, YEAH!)


Hands on students can stamp letters...

Students are matching upper case to lower case....
You can grab up this packet (which is 120 pages of goodness!!) in my TpT store by clicking below!  It's marked down so grab it up!

We have also been doing a student of the day writing paper.  Part of our writing assessment includes details in the picture so we are concentrating on hands and fingers, no "floating" people, facial features and backgrounds.  We start with the sentences "I can see ______."  I model my drawing of what a person should look like and then they draw their own version... each day they get better! Click below to get the super simple printable page that we use.  I have included a traceable version for kiddos that need a little help. 
I have also included an editable version of the cover page for the books.  I bind all of the pages together and then send it home so each kiddo has their own book with pictures of them drawn by the whole class.  Here is a sample of what I send home...

Stephanie has started off the year using Sherri's Alphabet Practice Chant with her kindergarten class.  Using it daily all year is a great way to learn letter sounds while having fun!  I plan on purchasing it to use with some kiddos that still need some letter/sound reinforcement in first!   I have a recorder so I plan on recording the chant as a group and then putting it with the slide show so that students can listen to it at the listening station.  I will have to update later to let you know how that worked out!

It is going to be an awesome year!  We have a lot of ground to cover but I think this group is up for a challenge!

Endless Possibilities, 
Stephany