First Day of Kindergarten

First Day of Kindergarten

Hello and happy Monday. I know I haven’t done a “day in the classroom” kind of post in a long time, and that’s due to the fact that I pretty much stopped taking pictures of my lessons altogether. I think I’ve told you that I’ve avoided taking my phone into the classroom, and obviously that means I can’t take any pictures. I will be super honest with you and tell you that, unlike when I used to blog about my lessons, I am not planning the classes, and I think it would not be appropriate for me to share stuff about a class I’m executing but that I didn’t think of myself, if that makes any sense.

That being said, I want to tell you about an idea that was all mine, and it’s the activity I did for the first day of kindergarten. If you want to recreate it, all you’re going to need is stickers. Let’s get started, shall we?

I think that first approach you have with students has to be about getting to know each other. You need to learn your students’ names, and they need to learn yours and feel comfortable with you. They also need to get to know their classmates because there might be some new kids (or, in some cases, all of them are new). This is why, for the first activity of the first day of class, I like to sit on the floor, and if you have a carpet, even better.

Okay, that’s cute and all, but what about the actual activity? I sat my students on the floor in a circle, and I had my bag full of stickers. Look at the thumbnail and think like a kindergartner. What do you see? I’ll tell you what I wanted my students to see: colors and animals. I already had these stickers at home, but you can use any sort of sticker as long as it has a differentiating attribute that students can easily notice and point out.

On each sticker, I wrote the name of each of my students, so what I did was draw a sticker from the bag, ask the whole class what color and animal it was, and then call the student whose name was written on the sticker. Now, this activity will take time because you’re calling each student one by one, but in my opinion, that’s how the first lesson should go.

The year prior to that, I sat my pre-kinder boys in a circle and I had a foam ball, which I throw at them and sing this song that went “Good morning,  _____, good morning, how are you? ______, how are you?”  And they had to say good morning and tell me if they were good (thumbs up), so-so (thumb in the middle), or bad (thumbs down). I already knew most of my kindergartners that year, so we sang the animals song, that goes “hello _____, how are you? With a (they say an animal) we’re going to say hello. And what does the (animal) say?” And then we’d act like the animal.

Am I working on “academic” content in those first lessons? Yes because we’re reviewing vocabulary, but more than that, I’m focusing on introducing myself and my class to the students, and even if I already knew them, I am introducing them to the new school year. Now, in the comments,  I’d like you to share with me some ideas that can be implemented on the first day.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Working on the Three Little Pigs

Working on the Three Little Pigs

Hello and happy Saturday. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already planning your lessons for after the break, and looking for cool ideas of things you can do in your classroom. Personally, I’m a sucker for themes, so I like to pick one and work around it for some time, whether it’s a week or a month or something in between. Recently with my Kinder babes we worked on The Three Little Pigs, and I want to share what we did with you. Let’s get started, shall we?

We started out with a math activity, so I played the song Ten Little Piggies and we practiced counting from one to ten and then backwards. I then told my boys to draw ten pigs (I gave them each a sheet of pink paper), and they glued them to a large piece of paper, so we had all of our piggies in the same poster.

I told my students the story of the Three Little Pigs, and using the pictures, we arranged

 

the events of the story in chronological order. I took the images from this blog. I did it as a retelling activity, so I showed my boys each picture, asked them what was going on and then had them tell me where they’d locate it. We came up with this poster.

I placed both posters on our English board, as well as these images of the pigs, and the material each used to build their house. That way we practiced vocabulary. I don’t know where I got the images from, but you can get a finger puppet worksheet at Education.com.

 

 

 

 

 

I also added a section with the three pigs and the wolf, and this would come in handy later on, you’ll see why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On another class, we worked on characters, so I made teams of four, and each student had to decorate either a pig or the wolf. Then, each group made a mini poster with their characters. You can get those finger puppets here.

 

 

 

The class when we did the Hidden Object activity was probably my boys’ favorite. I gave each this worksheet by Tim van de Vall, and I also displayed it on the smart TV. I had one of those hand pointers, so I encouraged the boys to use it to indicate where each object was. They then looked in their own page and circled each object.

 

 

 

If you know me, you know I’m a lover of centers, so of course they were part of our unit.

I teamed up my boys, and gave each team one type of material for them to “build” a house. Team one had cards.

 

 

 

 

Team two had sticks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And team 3 had building blocks.

Each team had ten minutes to try and build their house before they had to switch.

That was it for the Three Little Pigs, at least for now. What are other activities on this topic that could work with K? Let me know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transportation Means for Kindergarten

Transportation Means for Kindergarten

Hello and happy Saturday. Here’s another week-in-review kinda post. Today, I’m going to share with you how we worked with transportation in Kindergarten.

Now, Pinterest is my happy place, so the ideas you’re going to see today were all inspired by pins I found while planning.

Monday started with me teaching my students The Transportation Song, from Mrs. Kelly’s Klass. I used a karaoke version of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star as background music.

This song gave me a lot to work with because obviously it includes many vocabulary words related to transportation. It also has the concepts near and far, which we explored with the help of some flash cards from Flash Card Fox I’d brought. Basically, I explained my boys that near means within city limits, while far means out of the city, the country, or even the planet in the case of a rocket.

I showed the boys each of the cards and they had to tell me whether each vehicle traveled near or far.

These cards also worked for the exercise I did next, which I did based on the Transportation Song as well.

You see, it is quite repetitive in the take a… part, so I tool the take a rocket to the moon bit and worked around it.

I wrote the formula I take a _________ to go to __________ and gave each boy a flash card. They have to complete the sentence using the means of transportation they got and a place. This also helped as a review exercise of the different city and neighborhood buildings.

At the end of the class we did a following instructions activity to review colors and basic vocabulary related to transportation.

I was inspired by this picture  to decorate the English whiteboard. Each boy colored a flash card from The Measured Mom, and then I cut them and made them look nice and pretty. The reason why I included “railway” as a subdivision of the land section is that, after the whole-class explanation, each boy individually developed a sorting worksheet by Preschool Activities

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we worked on Math centers using the transportation pattern block mats by Prekinders.com you can get the plastic shapes by clicking here.

What are some other cool things you do when teaching this topic? Let me know!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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How I Teach Body Parts & Grammar

How I Teach Body Parts & Grammar

Hello and happy Saturday. Today I’ll be telling you all about how I taught body parts to my Kinder boys. Now, they know the basics (everything included in the head, shoulders, knees, and toes song), so my challenge was to introduce them to vocabulary related to other body parts, and try to combine that with simple, everyday grammar structures.

On Monday I have two classes with Kindergarten, so I wrote the agenda on the board. The activities I’m going to show and describe were intended for those two hours of class. Instead, we spent the whole week working on them (which meant less planning for me).

We started with hokey pokey, and through that song we were also able to review position words such as in and out. We sang and danced to it once, and then I made a contest in which every time a new body part was introduced, the boys had to point to it. Those who were right got a happy point. This activity took me the whole first class, but it was a great way to get them started on the vocabulary and also to introduce left and right.

During the next class we also played a game using a practice video. I played it once, and again I stopped every time a body part was named and had children point at their own bodies. Then I wrote on the board IS THIS YOUR…? Yes, it is. and No, it’s not. 

The idea of the game was to have students call one of their classmates, ask them a question, following the video’s pattern, throw them a foam ball and then have the recipient of the ball answer using the formula I wrote on the board.

On Tuesday, we worked on yet another grammar structure, using the song Body Parts by Brendan Parker. We obviously sang and danced to the song repeatedly, and the boys loved it and learned it by heart. Then I wrote on the board: I have; I have one; I have two; and I have ten. The boys named body parts according to each variation. I’m not sure if you can see clearly but by this point they were able to name more specific body parts like eyelashes or eyebrows.

On our following class we worked on drawing the parts of the body. I first explained to them the terms front and back. We used this Body Parts Song ; so I basically paused when a new part was named and added it to the drawing I was making on the board. We were each drawing ourselves, so first we drew the front and then the back, labeling each part.

As you can see, I use a lot of videos and model everything on the board because my boys are beginning to read and write in English. Is there anything you do in your classroom when teaching this topic? Let me know!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

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