Calming Bottles

As a special education educator, I always have to find ways to calm our students. I , of course, do my research by looking up ideas on Pinterest. I found this wonderful idea for calming a child down by using calming bottles.  Sometimes our students will have random outbursts for no reason. It’s important to have tools that will allow to our students to calm down in there own way and independently.

It’s very easy to make and it’s quick.  I hope that it works with my students. I can’t wait to share it with them.

Materials:

– Elmers clear glue

– confetti (I used blue stars)

– glitter

– warm water

– small water bottle (empty)

– glue gun

steps to creating you’re own calming bottle

1. Empty out a small water bottle. I drank the water and saved the bottle. Make sure the bottle is dry.

2. Place glitter and/or confetti inside the bottle.

3. Pour clear glue into the bottle about half way.

4.  Add warm water into the bottle. And close the bottle.

5. Mix  the materials together.

6.  Close the bottle using a glue gun.

7. Place in calming tool box/kit.

Hope this was easy and quick for you as it was for me. Hope this calming bottle idea helps your students.  Happy crafting!!!

Heart Reading Pointers

How do you get kindergarteners to want to read? Make them heart pointers.  We have been using our fingers to help them point under the words as they read.  I modeled for them how to read by pointing under the word. As an early childhood educator, you have model everything because they learn this way.   Modeling is key.

My co-teacher thought about using sticks.  I thought maybe adding a star to the stick to excite the children. So, I looked  at the dollar store and couldn’t find any stars but I did find hearts.  I placed these hearts on the sticks. I, of course, had my own to once again model for the students.  It was easy to make and quick. I named these sticks “My Heart reading stick”. I explained to the children that we love to read and it’s important to not skip words when we read because we heart words.  It was a hit with children.

materials

– craft sticks

– heart stickers

 

Retelling in Kindergarten

Retelling is very hard for kindergarten. There are many different parts in retelling. You have the characters, setting, beginning, middle and end.  I try my best to break apart the different parts for my students.  I feel that it is important for children to enjoy reading. So I do a few parts of retelling.  I try to focus on what I feel that they haven’t mastered and then work on a new skill.

I thought about what motivates my kindergarteners.  In writing, many of my students write about taking the train places with their families.  So I thought about creating an anchor chart using trains  for retelling. I named it ” All Aboard the Retelling Train”. Each part of the train is a different part of retell.  Check out my photo of my anchor chart.

As I teach my lessons that focus of retelling a story, I refer to my chart. I like to work on one part first and do a think aloud. After, I have the students do their own where they think about a part of the train and then share with their partners. I feel it is important to have students share with their partners because this allows them to share their thoughts with someone other than the teacher.

I hope this inspires you. You may use this anchor chart to motivate your kindergarteners. Happy planning!!!!

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Retelling with important events

As a kindergarten teacher, you need to be very creative in all that you do. Children need to be motivated. Retelling is a hard concept for five year olds. I know that five year old children love ice cream. I created this scoops of important events chart. Each scoop is a different event that occurs first, next, then and last. The cone is the start of retelling important events.

While reading a book to the class, I stopped and did a think aloud for what happened first that was important.  The scoop that was next, I had the children share with their partners.  And we continued until we got to last.  Since my classroom is a co-teaching room, my partner used a dry erase board and marker and labeled each part: first, next, then and last. She then drew each part as we said it. This helped the children focus on the important events of the book.  We also referred to the chart as we were working on it as a class.

I also made scoops of important events for each group table. When we do independent work, each member of a group will get a scoop and they will state what important event occurred during which scoop they get. For example, if there are four members in a group, each member gets a scoop. If that person has first, they share with their group what important event occurred first in the story.

It’s important to engage your students because that’s how they learn. It’s important also to use things that will inspire children and help them remember what you teach them. Happy planning!

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Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year!!! 2016 has come and gone in a blink of an eye. Today marks the first day of 2017.

With a New Year comes new goals, dreams, hopes, wishes and adventures.  It’s important to set new adventures, goals, dreams, hopes and wishes for a new year. But to set realistic ones that are possible to achieve. Many people set goals for themselves that they are not able to meet because let’s be real they weren’t achievable.  Create goals for yourself that you are able to reach. Sometimes yes, set a goal that might be a challenge but one that you are able to try to meet.

I wish you all a wonderful 2017 with many goals that you will achieve. Remember the most important thing is spending time with family and making memories with all of those that are important to you.

Happy New Year!