Weekly Wrap Up ... May 21-25 -> Bugs galore, planting, build an ice cream (math game)

We Love Bugs!
The summer sure did feel like it was here this past week in our class!  We've been spending a lot of time outdoors, where, over the past few weeks, the students have taken such a keen interest in different bugs!  They especially loved the worms after the rainy few days we had.
To further explore their interest, we set up this provocation for the week to see where it would lead us!

The books you see in the pictures above are my absolute favourite for talking about insects!  They have so much information that's appropriate for kindergarten and I love how the students flip through the books themselves looking at all of the pictures!
We plan on continuing to explore bugs this week coming up - I'll post pictures of our new inquiry soon!  Be sure to follow me on Instagram for all the latest pics of what's happening in our classroom.

We had some different beans and seeds out for the past couple of weeks for students to explore.  This week we planted them and labelled our containers.
Let's see what starts to grow!

Build an Ice Cream
I created this game last year in order for students to practice subitizing.  They can play alone or with a friend(s).  Each student rolls the die and starts building an ice cream by matching the piece.  There's a catch - you can only have one #1 (cherry on top) and one #6 (cone).  The person who builds the tallest ice cream wins!
You can find this in my Fun With Dice pack on TpT.

Guess Who?
One student who celebrated his birthday recently in our classroom donated this fun game.
I love putting out simple games that the students can play with each other - they learn about turn taking, winning/losing and waiting patiently for their turn to play!

Map Provocation
We noticed that the students have taken a keen interest in using the Bee Bot (coding bumble bee) recently.  They have been designing pathways for the Bee Bot to travel before programming it.
This provocation invited the students to continue to explore maps and create their own treasure map.

Pocket Chart Centre

I use my pocket chart in so many ways.  This week we had students match the butterfly to the sentence strip.  Then students could complete the worksheet by filling in the missing sight word and colour the pictures to match.
You can find this in my bestselling All Year Long - Pocket Chart Fun pack on TpT.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week to come!  We have lots ready to go for the week...insects, sight word activities and learning about Canadian coins!  Stay tuned!

Weekly Wrap-Up ... May 18 -> The 3 Little Pigs, My Story app, Mother Mary

Teaching in a Catholic school, throughout the month of May, we discuss Mother Mary and learn to recite the prayer Hail Mary.  
I was inspired by Maria Locantore (@marialocantore) to set up this beautiful provocation inviting the students to draw and paint Mother Mary.
I found a step-by-step tutorial on how to draw Mother Mary that was simple enough to teach the Kindergarten students on https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/learn-to-draw-mary
Look at how beautiful these drawings came out!

Although there are not many stories in the Bible about Mother Mary, I did find this video that we watched on You Tube.

Over the past few weeks our students have enjoyed reading classic stories, including The 3 Little Pigs.  This provocation invited the students to use various materials to create their own house for the pigs and/or retell the story.

(I bought these foam bricks at Michaels)

My Story
Continuing along the lines of story telling, I wanted the students to create their own stories.  Many of them already do when they draw a picture, but I really wanted to dive deep into having a 3-part story with characters and a simple plot.
We used the Create-a-Story template from my new Get Your Students to Write pack on TpT.
I worked with a small group of students and had them think of a story idea.  We had everything from travelling to NYC to unicorns and rainbows.
After they designed their story (beginning, middle, end) I introduced them to the My Story app.
They start by adding themselves as an editor and thinking of a title for their book.
I have about 2-3 students work on this part with me at a time.  There are only 3 iPads for the students to use and at first they need some direction as to how to insert graphics or draw their own.  But they quickly caught on!  The only major part they needed me for was to help them record their voice over on each page.  We had to step out in the hallway as it was much quieter there.
 Then they design a cover page and add more pages to their book.  The app has amazing graphics or students can draw their own pictures.
I'm hoping to save these stories on each student's Google Drive folder and turn the link into a QR code.  Then I can print the page (with the QR code) and turn it into a class book.
Last year I printed them and displayed them in our hallway.
There are 2 versions online - the free one (top image in picture below) or the version that we used (bottom image in picture below).  The difference is that the paid version offers lots and lots of graphics for the students to choose from.  If you are unsure, try out the free version first!

We used it last year so many of them were already familiar with it.
You can read more about the My Story app here.

Students also had the opportunity to cut out groceries from the weekly flyer and create a list.
I love having students write on a daily basis and this is a simple way for students to add beginning sounds and labelling their picture if they are still working on writing.

I also sent these home so that parents had an idea of what they can continue to work on with their children over the summer.
You can also find these activities in my Get Your Students to Write pack on TpT.

I've had a lot of questions about how to set up a writing program in a kindergarten class to keep students motivated and interested in writing.  I'll schedule a blog post in the next few weeks and try to answer all of those questions!


Weekly Wrap-Up...May 11 ->. exploring math concepts and story retelling

This week we wanted to focus on math skills and what better way than playing games!

The students were encouraged to make a guess (estimating) as to how many objects are in the jar each day.  We switched not only the objects inside the jar, but also the size of the jar, so that this would become more challenging.

We found this online activity that we played with the whole class where we had to estimate how many marbles are in the jar.
You can find this on ABCya.com
Click the picture below to take you there.

Still sticking with the topic of volume, we wanted the students to explore capacity, learning which containers can hold more and using tools of various sizes (measuring cups, spoons, funnels, jars).
 I dyed the rice with food colouring and added a touch of rubbing alcohol (makes the colour stick better).  The beautiful 'rainbow' rice lasted for all of 10 seconds before becoming all mixed up.  But isn't it still beautiful!

It's interesting to see how some students noticed the different sizes of the measuring spoons.  We intentionally took a picture and placed it on the tray for students to organize these spoons during clean up time.  Many recognized these from their homes too!

A simple game we placed out to play is Roll-a-Number.
It's great for subitizing (recognizing numbers instantaneously without having to count) and graphing.
Students roll the dot die and add a counter on their graph.  First number to the top wins!
We asked questions such as:
"Which number did you roll?"
"How many of number _ do you have on your graph?"
"How many more do you need to win?"
"Which number is more? less?"

Download this game for FREE by clicking {here}.

Over the past few weeks, the students have been very interested in nursery rhymes and fables.  When I saw this activity on Heidi Songs blog I knew we had to try it!
Students were eager to see who could build the tallest wall for Humpty to sit on.
They had to measure it using the ruler.

I bought these foam bricks at Michaels.

Here's an easy provocation to set up which invites the students to create a symmetrical butterfly using loose parts (you can add anything at all for them to use!).

This online game is from Toy Theater.  It was a fun way to introduce the concept of symmetry to the students, as they had to match the two sides of the butterfly's wings together.
Click the picture below to take you there.

We read a story each day in class.  Years ago, I made a whole bunch of felt board pieces to go along with some of the more popular stories.  You can read all about how to make your own felt board pieces (they really are EASY!) here.

This is the story Mouse's First Spring.  It's a story that's easy for even your non-readers to follow along and retell.  Some students even made up their own story with the pieces!

And, of course, with Mother's Day tomorrow, we read many stories and learned this poem.

You can find this poem (with a fun activity!) here:

You can read all about what else we did for Mother's Day here.