When I taught third grade, my students whined and complained when I asked them to write. They struggled to write when directed and when working independently. They lacked experience in sentence formation and frequently struggled with spelling. It pained me to watch them get frustrated, and it pained to me edit their work and ask them to write it over yet again. I was determined to make my students enjoy writing, and to produce quality writing in the process. We are daily writers in Kindergarten. I strongly believe that if you encourage writing from the get go, students will naturally write. No stress, no frustration, no tears. I intentionally integrate writing all day long. This has developed a love for writing in my kindergarteners. (DISCLAIMER – The first month or so of kindergarten is rough. I get that. Believe me, our first unprompted writing sample was no fun. I had criers and quitters. However, I teach writing in a teacher directed format during the first month or so, and then move toward independence. I differentiate in my classroom and within activities every day. The activities below are just samples. They are not necessarily completed by my entire class.) Each morning, we begin with our morning journal. The Continue Reading
Last year when I was working at a private school, I started The Goop Group! This group of 17 K-2 kiddos met once a week after school for an hour to do nothing more than make goo. I called it STEM “Junior” because we followed all of the scientific method steps on a primary level. We practiced measuring while having fun with many gooey ingredients. We made glitter goo, apple oobleck, sprinkle goo, and pumpkin play dough! It is loud. It is messy. It is full of fun-filled kid memories! This year, I will be making Pumpkin Playdough during our Pumpkin Day centers in October. Take a look below to see this fun activity in action! Head over to The Primary Pack to read more!
Fall is my favorite time of year! My students are working hard, we have established our rules and procedures for a month or so, and…we get to teach about pumpkins! Little Boo is a brilliant book that I just discovered last year. It is about a pumpkin seed named Boo who travels through many seasons of the year as he transforms into a pumpkin. Ladies and gentlemen, this book is amazing. Talk about content integration at your fingertips! This fiction story will allow your students to truly see the cycles that a pumpkin seed goes through to become a great big orange pumpkin. I plan to use this book as an introduction to our two-week pumpkin life cycle unit which begins in the middle of October. After reading the book, I will introduce each stage of the pumpkin and connect it to this text. During the last week of the unit, I always host “Pumpkin Day” for students and any parent volunteers. We transform the classroom into a pumpkin paradise complete with about 10 different pumpkin math, literacy, and science centers. On this day, the class plants individual seeds into a small clear cup at one of the center rotations. We water the seeds Continue Reading