Valentine’s Day decor

Valentine’s Day is all about love and showing the people we love how much we love them.  As you all know, I love to decorate. I will decorate for every holiday possible.  My last blog was about a Valentine’s Day Mesh wreath.  I also decorated my buffet server. This is the center of my dining room.

On my buffet server I have a runner. I got a pink runner with hearts on it from the Christmas Tree store. Very cute and simple.  I also created a bowl with red glittery hearts to place at the center of my buffet server.  I also placed some Valentine’s Day sayings that I picked up from Target and TJMAXx.  In the back of my buffet server I placed two photos of my family.  My family means everything to me and I want everyone to see it.

My decoration is very simple and shows how much I love my family.  Hope this inspires you to create your own special place for decorating.

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Valentine’s Day Wreath

I love all kinds of holidays. My all time favorite is Christmas but I do love all the other holidays.  I feel that we work so much and the holidays allow us to take some time to just relax and enjoy our families.

I love making things so of course, I made a Valentine’s Day wreath. I made a mesh wreath this time.  I shopped for various things that can be used for the wreath before I started.  Below you will find the materials and the directions in making the wreath.  A lot of the materials I found at the dollar store. I find it silly to spend a lot of money on materials if I know that in a few years I will want to change my design.

Materials

• red mesh

• wire wreath ring

• hearts on sticks( I got red and pink as well as big and small)

•twist ties

directions

1. First bunch up the mesh on the wire ring.

2. Use twist ties to help keep the mesh in its place.

3. Once you went around twice ( I like to do that to make the color stand out more), place heart sticks all around.

4. Hang up.

I hope this helps to inspire you to make your own. Below is a photograph of my Valentine’s Day wreath. The photo is not great as it was taken using a flash.  Happy crafting!

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Kindergarten Subtraction

Yes, you read that right. In kindergarten we teach how to subtract. It’s a hard concept for five year olds to understand. Many students in kindergarten do not have number sense. It’s important that children have number sense before they learn subtraction.

It’s hard to teach the concept of subtraction but it’s possible. It also amazes me how many of my students were able to understand subtraction.  There are many different ways to teach subtraction and make it fun at the same time. One way is to act it out. In my classroom, we act out our word problems for subtraction so that children are able to understand it. We ask many questions like: how many students need to stand or be part of the problem? How many students have to (action)? Now, how many students are left?  These questions help break it down for the students. It helps them understand the subtraction sentence in acting out.

Another way is through anchor charts that are engaging. I found a lot of these ideas on Pinterest. One anchor chart was called Linus the Minus.  I don’t know where I saw it on Pinterest but it was there.  The students were able to understand the symbol Minus through this chart. It helped them a lot. We also had a lot of the different words that represent subtraction and we taught that every 2-3 days.  We wanted the students to hear and understand the different words that represent subtraction.

I also had a subtraction sentence anchor chart and I labeled each part of the subtraction sentence to help my students understand sibtraction. The last chart that I had was what subtraction looks like. There are different ways to show subtraction and it’s important that our students know the different ways because they are able to chose which way they want to represent a subtraction problem.  I also found this anchor chart on Pinterest. Many wonderful ideas are always found on Pinterest.

I hope this helps you with subtraction in kindergarten. Happy creating!!!

 

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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