Classroom Solutions > 67 posts categorized "Prek-K"

Connecting Children With Nature: Learning About Trees

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Our playground is surrounded by an abundance of beautiful trees, which always seem to captivate my very curious kindergartners. Who would have guessed that a group of five- and six-year-olds would find trees more intriguing than slides and swings? Read on as I share the lessons I created to capitalize on my students' natural enthusiasm for trees.

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October Read-Alouds: Literacy Fun With Pumpkins, Leaves, and Bats

Pumpkin patch Depending on where you live, you may have recently noticed a chill in the air, and the leaves may be turning from green to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, and red. While many of your students may be focusing on how much candy they will receive trick-or-treating at the end of month, here are three of my favorite read-aloud books with accompanying activities that won’t require a trip to the dentist.

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Helping Students Develop a Lifelong Love of Reading

 

Love 2 read We all know that reading is one of the most important skills you can teach a child. It lays the foundation for a child’s success in school and in everyday life. For this reason, one of the most precious gifts we can give our students is a book. Books stir the senses, inspire imagination, and spark a love of reading that will last a lifetime. But how can a book compete in this new age of instant entertainment — with such things as television and video games? Read on as I share ideas to help your students develop a lifelong love of reading despite these distractions.

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Art and Poetry Through the Year: Notebooks and Keepsakes for Your Students

How Do You Do

Students in 1st grade need to have many experiences in language arts to become independent readers and writers. Shared reading is a great way for students to “play” with language to become fluent readers. Fluency is further developed when children have ample opportunities to read text that is familiar and easy for them. In my class, we love to use poetry to build our fluency. Read on to find out more about our poetry notebooks and our yearlong poetry keepsake project.

 

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Comments: 1

How to Serve a Nutritious Morning Meeting

DSC_0364Starting the school day off with Morning Meeting will get your students ready to learn from the moment they walk into your classroom. It is a great way to build classroom community and teach a variety of academic and social skills. Read on as I share a recipe to help you serve a nutritious Morning Meeting of your own!

 

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Take-Home Reading

Child readingTake-Home Reading is a special program for 1st grade that helps each and every child become a better reader. Learning to read takes a lot of practice, and I expect my students to read at home. In just twenty minutes per day, parents and family members help their 1st graders by listening to them read.

Read on to learn more about Take-Home Reading programs and to find out how to set one up in your classroom. 

 

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Comments: 2

Tips on Creating a Kindergarten Classroom Blog

Blogaholic Designs”=This year I'm creating a classroom blog for the first time. Needless to say, I simply love it! I have truly become a blogaholic. Creating a blog for your classroom will unlock the doors to a new world of communication. Read on as I introduce you to this virtual learning community and guide you through the steps for creating your own classroom blog.

 

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Comments: 4

Developing Hopes and Dreams

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The goal of every teacher is to help students reach their fullest potential. Teaching students to develop their hopes and dreams for the new school year is a key skill for achievement. It helps them make the connection between their personal choices and the end results. Read on for ideas on how to encourage this important skill.

 

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Comments: 4

Avoiding Teacher Burnout: Celebrate You This Labor Day!

HelpTeachers, do you ever wish you could give yourself a time-out? Dealing with the different personalities and demands of our students, parents, administration, and that never-ending trail of paperwork can cause a teacher to feel overwhelmed and in need of a break. Although the school year has just started, it is always a great idea to learn different ways to prevent teacher burnout before it happens.

  

  

 

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Comments: 6

Tips for Creating Strong Teacher-Parent Relationships

 

 FcEffective communication is essential to create strong teacher-parent relationships and parental involvement. Students need the support of both teachers and parents in order to succeed academically, physically, and emotionally. Read on as I provide you with a few tips to help establish a strong relationship with your most powerful ally: parents.

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Comments: 6

Planning for the First Day of Kindergarten

Welcome to school
 
The first day of kindergarten can be both exciting and frightening for students, parents, and the teacher too. There are mixed emotions everywhere as this day marks a huge milestone in the child's life. As teachers, we need to incorporate ideas to help ease first day jitters and start the school year off on the right track. Here are a few tips to help you plan for the first day of kindergarten.

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Comments: 4

Back-to-School Read Alouds: Favorite Books and First Week Activities

DSC00282Reading aloud to children is one of my favorite activities of the day and it is a critical part of literacy instruction. In my classroom, I integrate children’s literature across the curriculum and read to the children throughout the day. The read-aloud books I choose for the first week of school help set the tone for the year and help begin to build our classroom community. These books feature characters about the same age as my students and allow us to discuss prior knowledge, build thinking skills, and make connections. Here are some of my favorite books and activities that engage my enthusiastic young readers.

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Comments: 10

Surviving the First Six Weeks of School, Part 2: Classroom Organization

Organization pics 001 I can't reach the puzzles! Where's the glue? That's my pencil! Does any of this sound familiar? Well, if you're a teacher you have probably heard these lines before. Because of the incredible amount of material that accumulates, our classrooms can quickly become unmanageable. Having an organized classroom helps students to meet many goals throughout the day independently. It will also help you as the teacher feel confident and in control from the moment the first child enters your door. Here are a few tips to help you with classroom organization.

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Comments: 12

Surviving the First Six Weeks of School, Part 1: Classroom Setup

Scholastic picThose restful days of summer have come and gone. It's almost time to enter a new school year. As you walk back inside your school, you can immediately feel your temperature rising. You are about to come face to face with the unknown. No, it is not some bloodcurdling creature out of a horror film. It's your classroom! Finding your once-organized classroom replaced by bare walls and empty shelves can be a bit frightening. Before you begin moving things from place to place, scratching up those freshly buffed floors, read on for strategies to help you with classroom setup.

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Comments: 15

Classroom Setup: Arranging the Physical Space

classroom setuupIt won’t be long until summer is behind us and we are back at school. I’ve spent hours imagining the perfect classroom setup, and in about three weeks, it will be time to transform my thoughts into reality. Experience has taught me that details matter. How quickly I am reminded of the sheer exhaustion of classroom setup when I see furniture piled high, boxes stacked one on top of another, and closets packed full of materials. The classroom space is clean, fresh, and anything but organized! I begin my classroom setup wisely by reflecting on student learning and my teaching practices.

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Comments: 12

Welcome to Sharon Taylor's Classroom

Greetings, everyone! My name is Sharon Taylor, and I am a kindergarten teacher at Riverwood Elementary in Memphis, TN.  I bring to my classroom fifteen years of joyous teaching experience. My husband Andrew and I have been married for nine years. We are the proud parents of four beautiful children, 8-year-old twins Allison and Madison, 5-year-old Hailey, and 3-year-old Jordan. Being a busy mother of four and a kindergarten teacher tends to leave very little time for leisure. When I do manage to capture a few moments, I enjoy amateur photography, arts and crafts, and watching some of my favorite movies. 

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Comments: 9

To Endings, Transitions, and New Beginnings

Kindergarten End of the Year Summer FunIt’s the end of the school year, and to kick off summer vacation, our classroom became the O.K. (Over Kindergarten) Ranch and Corral. To prepare my students for the long break, I created a calendar of summer bridge activities to give to parents. And to get ready for next year, I got some great advice from some surprise stars.

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Comments: 6

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 4

Kindergarten Weather Station CenterWhen we study weather in science, our dramatic play center becomes a weather station. With self-made instruments, hands-on experiments, and — as always — plenty of literacy, the weather station inspires the children with a sense of wonder and awe for the natural world.

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Comments: 10

Merry Math Ideas for May

Kindergarten Math Make math irresistible with three of my specialty themes popular with young children: a Counting Party, Frogs & Dogs, and The Price Is Right, Kindergarten Edition. Read on to find activity packages that make counting, number recognition, and money skills fun and exciting.

 

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Resources for the Differentiated Classroom

Mult-Sensory Teaching In a previous post, I wrote about how you can differentiate your kindergarten classroom. Here you can read up on some of my favorite resources for multisensory teaching.

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Comments: 2

Differentiate Your Kindergarten Classroom

Differentiating in KindergartenIt's a fact: every child is unique, and as teachers we know that more than anyone else. So why do we often find ourselves trying to teach every child the same way?

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Comments: 4

Stretch Your Dime and Save Your Time

Miss Bindergarten Saves Money and Time Teachers need all the help they can get, financially and otherwise. Use these tips, shortcuts, and dollar store ideas to save your budget and your sanity.

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Comments: 10

Character Education and the Green Classroom

Thinking It really is easy being green. In this post, you'll find some great ideas for teaching character education in the context of the green classroom — just in time to plan for Earth Day.

 

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Comments: 2

Adventures With Books: One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies

One Tiny Turtle by Nicola Davies
Join my class as we turn the book One Tiny Turtle into a unit of fun and exciting learning experiences. This lyrical and informative look at the elusive and endangered loggerhead turtle is sure to delight young nature lovers.

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Comments: 12

April Fools' Day: A Foolproof Primer on Classroom Laughter

April Fools Day - Laughter and Humor in the ClassroomHappy April Fools' Day, everyone! Since today celebrates the spirit of fun, I thought I'd talk about the importance of humor and laughter in the classroom, how to utilize it, and why you don't have any excuses not to. Also, take a look at my students, caught on candid camera.

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Comments: 2

Explore Childhood Themes With a Kevin Henkes Author Study

Kevin Henkes Author StudyTo strengthen my students as readers and writers, I had them take to the Reader's Chair and the Author's Chair to share their responses to a study on Kevin Henkes, who writes and illustrates books about lovable mouse characters who express common childhood feelings, fears, and fantasies. After evaluating his writing style and comparing the characters, settings, and themes of four of his books, my students showed off their own reading, writing, artistic, and critical-thinking skills.

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Comments: 12

St. Patrick's Day — Mischief o' the Leprechaun

St. Patrick's Day in  Kindergarten and PreK Yesterday, there was an incident in my classroom. My students and I walked in and found it torn apart. Furniture was tipped over; supplies were scattered everywhere; the whole place was a mess. And there were funny green footprints all over . . .

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Comments: 4

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 3

Kindergarten Literacy CentersCome visit our kindergarten post office center, Terrific Tiger Post Office. It is located in our classroom at 12 ABC Street in Terrific Tiger Town, SE (Squires Elementary).

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Comments: 6

Easy Writing Ideas for Early Writers

Writing in PreK and Kindergarten“Easy writing ideas?” you ask. “But my students don’t even know how to write!” You’re in luck. These ideas are suitable for children with limited word and print knowledge, in the beginning stages of reading and writing. Each can be adapted for any ability level, from prewriter to fluent writer. By providing options for students at different stages in their literacy journey, you help them build confidence and set every child up for success in writing.

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Celebrate Reading With Dr. Seuss

DSC00415Read Across America Day and Dr. Seuss's birthday are great reasons to celebrate reading. In the primary grades, we are all learning to read and love Dr. Seuss's colorful, wacky rhymes and imaginative illustrations. I have compiled tons of great articles, resources, and ideas to help you celebrate Dr. Seuss and reading. Go grab a book and join my class as we celebrate reading and Dr. Seuss all week long.

 

 

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Comments: 6

I Love to Read! Surefire Ways to Create Lifelong Book Lovers

I Love to Read Month February is “I Love to Read Month,” the perfect time to assess if your students do, in fact, love to read. Are they captivated by good stories? Does reading fill them with excitement and enthusiasm? Do they play with the sounds of language in a literature-rich environment that promotes active learning through highly engaging activities? If the answer to any of these questions is no (and even if it’s yes!), it may be time to arm yourself with a repertoire of techniques guaranteed to get every child in your class saying “I love to read!”

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Comments: 12

Character Education in PreK & Kindergarten

Character Education in PreK and KindergartenWhat children learn about character in the early childhood classroom can shape their character for the rest of their lives. So how do you teach it?

 

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Comments: 3

Printables Now Available!

Printer Hello, readers! Many of you have reported technical problems such as the inability to view the slide shows for the alphabet lists. I have also received requests for printable resources, which I have now been able to make available to you.

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Comments: 10

Valentine's Day Sweets & Heartbeats Across the Curriculum

The Heart on Valentine's DayValentine's Day is my favorite holiday at school. It's easy for kids to understand.  The decorations are pretty hearts and flowers, and the focus is on friendship, love, and kindness. I like to extend the easygoing and cheerful atmosphere all day and all across the curriculum. Read on to find activities in every subject area that center around my favorite thing: the heart.

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Comments: 10

100th Day Edition

Ring Around the RosyWell, it's been almost 100 crazy, brainy days of school already! In this special 100th Day edition of my blog, find out how we get excited about learning, enter a contest to win prizes, and find out what guest bloggers Emily Patterson and Kathleen Thomas have to say about teaching a second language in the classroom.

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Comments: 10

Celebrating the Hundredth Day of School

100th wormHAPPY HUNDREDTH DAY OF SCHOOL!

The hundredth day of school is a HUGE DEAL in the primary grades. But even though the celebrations may take place in primary grades, upper grades can join in the fun, too. Any holiday where you can have fun and encourage learning in creative ways is worth celebrating. So join my class and my school as I share 50 ways to celebrate 100 days of school!

 

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Comments: 20

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 2

Kindergarten Literacy CentersOne of my students' favorite dramatic play centers is a bakery. It's not only fun, it's also full of ways to practice literacy. And with a good name and logo, all it costs is a little effort.

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Comments: 8

Brrr! A Blizzard of Winter Ideas

Winter Theme Activities for Preschool and KindergartenWhatever climate you live in, you can celebrate the winter season with these fun winter activities, crafts, games, and snacks!

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Comments: 14

Teach ABCs With Ease: Lists for Teaching the Alphabet

ABCsWhen you're a preschool or kindergarten teacher, you spend all year thinking about letters, letter sounds, and anything with the beginning sound of the letter you're currently teaching. If you dream in letters and have nightmares trying to come up with words, objects, and activities for letters (especially Q, X, Y, and Z), you're in luck — here's a set of alphabetical lists for all things ABCs.

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Allie Magnuson's Classroom Solutions - 2011 Sneak Preview

Miss Bindergarten Gives a Sneak Preview Happy New Year's Eve, readers! I hope the holidays are treating you well. As we count down to 2011, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek at what I have in store for you in the new year.

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Ringing in the New Year With a Kid-Friendly Las Vegas Party

Las Vegas New Year's Party for Kids On the last day of school before Christmas break, our class had a party to celebrate the end of school in 2010. Since I teach in Las Vegas, it was only natural to have a kid-friendly version of the party that many parents and other grown-ups would experience on New Year's Eve. This New Year's party included Las Vegas-style New Year's fun and games, New Year's crafts, and New Year's resolutions for kids.

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Comments: 4

12 Unforgettable Days of Christmas

Christmas in Kindergarten and PreK
How can you celebrate Christmas for twelve days, and what makes it unforgettable? Open the link to find out. Just a peek . . . you know you want to!

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Comments: 2

Christmas Sensory Integration — Rudolph's Light, Frosty's Snow, Jingle Bells, & the Gingerbread Man

Christmas Sensory Integration - Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snoman, Jingle Bells, and the Gingerbread Man Next week I will share 12 incredibly fun Christmas activities (so don't forget to check back!), but first I wanted to share some super simple ways to celebrate Christmas using all five senses. You probably already do at least one of these things. Do them all to bring the full sensory experience of Christmas into your classroom!

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Comments: 6

10 Ways to Be Ready for Parent-Teacher Conferences All Year Long

Parent-Teacher Conferences An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you do the following things all along, you will not have to rush around at conference time.

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Comments: 5

A Feast of Sorrow, Thanks, and Celebration

Kindergarten Thanksgiving Feast - The First Thanksgiving A week or two before Thanksgiving break, my class holds a feast. We see our humble classroom feast as a way of expressing sorrow, giving thanks, and celebrating differences. 

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Thanksgiving Lessons: Plymouth, Pilgrims, and Native Peoples

 

Miss Bindergarten on Thanksgiving Many nations have their own day of Thanksgiving, but only in the United States is it so loved by some and so hated by others. Try these lessons to help your students understand the history and purpose of the holiday, and have fun at the same time!

 

 

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Thanksgiving Crafts: Food, Feathers, and Floats

Miss Bindergarten on ThanksgivingAt this time of year, I love to get crafty with my class. Read on to see some of the fun and creative crafts we made this month in celebration of Thanksgiving!

 

 

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Thanksgiving Books: Turkeys, Traditions, and Togetherness

Thanksgiving Books Here are some books I recommend for Thanksgiving read-alouds. Take note for next year!

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Comments: 4

Ten Easy Ways to Get Books for Your Classroom Library

LibrarianThe heart of my classroom is the classroom library. The students love spending their time browsing the shelves for new material or cuddling up in a chair or on a pillow to read. They look forward to sitting in the library during my Read Aloud time. They love to be read to and they listen raptly while I am reading. They clamor for my book after I read it, and some kids go to our school library to check the exact same book out so they can read ahead of me.

Fostering a love of books even in the most reluctant reader begins with having books in your classroom library that will engage them. But how do you get these books? Read on to learn ten ways you can build a great classroom library without breaking the bank.

 

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Comments: 2

Literacy in Kindergarten Dramatic Play Centers, Part 1

Kindergarten literacy centersEver get one of those catalogs in the mail from a company that sells really cool, but expensive, teaching materials? Me, too. Ever been able to afford much of it? Me, neither. Here are some ways to incorporate literacy into your housekeeping and grocery store dramatic play centers without breaking the bank.

 

 

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The opinions expressed in Classroom Solutions are strictly those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Scholastic Inc.