Kindergarten Listening Centers

Hello friends! It's Erin, making a rare appearance on the blog today! Since changing schools, and moving to kindergarten, along with raising my 4 crazy kiddos, I don't have time to blog as often as I'd like. The pile of posts and freebies, products to upload, and things to create grows rather quickly in my little world. Luckily I had a few minutes to share with you have I changed my listening center since moving to Kindergarten.

My new school is lucky enough to have all the technology that we can ask for. I was offered to go 1:1 iPads this year, but after some thought I decided to just go 1:2, and see how that goes first. It definitely changed how I run my listening center, since my kids don't have to use my iPod Shuffles as much. I didn't abandon them completely, but i have definitely organized them a bit differently that I did in first grade. Last year I used 5 iPod shuffles (which I still LOVE), and had them organized into colored bins, which included the books that were on those iPods. I only put about 15-20 minutes worth of stories, and they usually went with the theme of what we were learning.

To make this a little bit easier for my kinders to keep organized, I added this poster at my listening station. This really helped keep the kinders more independent when cleaning up the station. Books always seem to get stuck into the wrong box, which can create a mess. Now they know exactly where the books belong. This only takes a few minutes to create, and is super helpful for my kids.

While this is a fabulous way to run my listening, I am having to change the books weekly now. I was afraid that I wouldn't have enough books on cd to last the whole year. Plus I have many stories I want my kinders to listen to, that I don't have on cd. That's when I found QR codes. BEST. THING. EVER. My school really tries to save paper, so we used QR codes for a TON of stuff at the beginning of the year. So easy to make! So now, I rotate my listening center between my shuffles, and their iPads. At the listening center, I include a sheet like this.

It took me introducing the procedure to run this once, and they've got it. Our story this week is Snowmen at Night, so we are listening to snowmen books. This was the first Listening center that I created, and my goal is to create at least 1 a month. I will share them you as I create them!

To use these with your iPads, all you need is a QR reader app. I use this one, just because that's what our tech guy put on our iPads. It works great for the littles.

They just scan the qr code, and it takes them strait to the SafeSearch version of whatever youtube video I've found for the story.  For instance, if you scan the QR code for There Was A Cold Lady... it will send you {HERE}.

Would you like to make these yourself? Follow these 3 steps!
1. Find the link for the story you want them to listen to on youtube.
2. Go to the SAFESHARE website ({HERE} and make the link safe for kids, with no adds. 
3. Copy that link into the QR Code Generator {HERE}
Then just take a screenshot of the code and you are good to go!

And if you've made it to the end of this post, you can get a copy of Our Snowman Stories QR Code Freebie. Enjoy!

And on a sidenote, how stinking cute are these ABC bean bags one of my student's grandma made me over Christmas Break?!?! LOVE!

Long and Short Vowel Review

Happy New Year!  Hope you all had a wonderful holiday.  We sure did!  
We enjoyed spending lots of time with family and friends and not having to set our alarms at night!
I go back next week and our sound focus for the week in our first grade Treasures reading program is long i.  We will be focusing on long i words with a silent e.  A few weeks before our winter break our focus was long a words with a silent e.  So this week I plan on doing A LOT of review with silent e!  I also plan on reviewing short vowel sounds as well,  mostly focusing on a & i.  
We are currently working on a few new silent e products for our store and they should be up by next weekend!  
Below we've got a few bingo freebies, as well as some great links to other sites for vowel practice ideas/activities.

I plan on using these bingo freebies below during my reading stations next week and the following week.  
My first graders just love bingo!  

Here's how we play this partner game!

1.  Each pair of kids needs one spinner (place a clear spinner over the top, or use a pencil and a paperclip). 
2.  Each pair will need one or two worksheets (your pair could could share a worksheet each using a different color, or have their own).  
3.  Player one spins first.  If the spinner lands on a long or short section, player one finds, reads, and colors in a long or short vowel word word on the bingo worksheet. 
4.  If the spinner lands on the "free choice" section, the player gets to choose a word of his/her choice to read and color.  
5.  This continues until one of the players gets five in a row!

If you'd like a copy of these bingo games, just click the picture below, or {HERE}!

If you have a SMART Board, this is a fun activity that I have used. 
 It includes both long and short vowel practice. 

We found this AWESOME anchor chart on Pinterest! I'll definitely be creating this with my first graders next week!  It's from Teaching With Style  and you can find this anchor chart and several others {HERE} on her site! 

 Love this cute video!  Great for long/short vowel practice!

Here's a little freebie from Mrs. Pollard!  My first graders used this last year at a literacy station and they LOVED it!  I plan on using it again after we learn all of the long vowel sounds.  You can find this freebie on our Pinterest board HERE or in her TPT store HERE 

Have other ideas/activities to help your kiddos with long vowel practice? 
 Comment below!  
We'd love to here your ideas!
We hope you all have a wonderful week!

Reindeer & Gingerbread

Happy Sunday!  We're officially on winter break, but I thought I'd share a few reindeer & gingerbread activities that my first graders did last week.  They had a BLAST!  If you still have a few days left with your students these activities might come in handy. 
 Already on winter break?  Tuck these away for next year :)   

This cute little freebie created by Kelly Witt can be found {HERE}.  We completed this book as a class and my first graders had so much fun reading it aloud!  They just loved how it rhymed.
Later that day, we completed a step by step reindeer drawing.  Here's the video:
I absolutely LOVE Doodle Academy.  Her videos are easy for my first graders to follow and her drawings are so simple and easy for young kids to recreate.

We also completed gingerbread activities last week!  Several of the activities that we completed can be found in our Gingerbread Galore pack.  

Here are some gingerbread stories we just LOVE!

We began the week by first reading The Gingerbread Boy and completing a retell activity.
On Tuesday we read The Gingerbread Girl and completed a Venn Diagram comparing the charters in The Gingerbread Boy and Girl.  On Wednesday we read The Gingerbread Baby and my students completed a writing activity to go along with the story.  Thursday we read Gingerbread Friends and completed a gingerbread cookie tasting activity.  Finally on Friday I read The Gingerbread Bear and my kiddos made paper gingerbread people and decorated them with sequins, pom poms, and all sorts of craft materials.    

If you'd like to check out our pack it can be found {HERE}!

We hope you have a WONDERFUL holiday season! 

Matter Mania

Hi friends!  Last Friday we had a "Home Room" day which meant no pull outs for reading or other groups.  Since I had my first graders for a solid two hours, this made it the perfect day to incorporate some matter activities!  I thought I'd share with you some ideas and activities I found and I am including links as well!

I started by talking about matter and then we did a matter sort using
matter cards and the chart below.
You can find the cards {HERE}.

Next I talked about how each of the balloons in the container below hold a form of matter.  One had a solid (ice), one a liquid (water), and one a gas (air).  I passed each balloon around separately in the container so each student could get a turn feeling and guessing what type of matter the balloon had.
This idea came from, but her website is down currently.
I will try and add the link later :)

Next my kiddos completed a matter sort on their own using a freebie found {HERE}!  They did so well and hardly needed my support at all!

At the end of the day as we gathered to go home, I showed this fun video by Harry Kindergarten.
I just LOVE his videos!

If you're looking for more matter activities/ideas, we've got some posts about matter 
{HERE} & {HERE}!  

And since it's almost winter, we added a new editable welcome sign to our store!
You can find this freebie {HERE}
Have a great week!

Happy December!

Hi It's Leslie here!  Hope your December is off to a great start!  I've been busy with my kiddos and trying to get all of our December projects complete in only 2 weeks!  YIKES!  The week after next is filled with gingerbread activities from our Gingerbread Galore pack!  My first graders just love when we have a week filled with gingerbread lessons tied into our math and reading.

I wanted to share some information about several new products we've added to or store!   
CVC short vowel cards
Each set contains:
*Lowercase letter cards a-z (use to build CVC words) 
*CVC picture cards 
Word cards that match the picture cards

I like to use these cards with my large hanging pocket chart.  My first graders can easily place them into the pockets and they enjoy matching the words to the correct picture or building the words using the letter cards.  These are put out at my pocket chart station during my Literacy station rotations.  
Erin likes to use these cards with her kindergartners using her Show and Tell Apron.  

If you'd like to check out these cards, plus more, you can find them {HERE} in the pocket chart category in our Teachers Pay Teachers store, or you can find them bundled {HERE}!  

Here's a sight word bingo set that I'll be using in my small reading groups this week and next!  It's a freebie so just click on the picture below or go {HERE}!

There are 10 individual cards so you can have up to 10 players, or have your kiddos share :) 

Have a great week friends!

Sight Word Assessing & Some Random Freebies!

Happy Monday!  It’s Leslie here and I am so glad to be back online!  My internet has been intermittent for that last two weeks!!! L  
Turns out it was our router, and I'm FINALLY back on!  I’ve had this post in the works and am finally able to share with you all.

Here's how I assess my students on their sight word knowledge. 

Using our Read the Rainbow Sight Words pack I assess my kids weekly.  Our first graders are assessed in our small reading groups 
(I am currently assessing nine students). 
 Our pack has 11 lists with 20 words on each list (first 220 Dolch words).  You can find this pack {HERE}.  The white cards below are on my word wall.  Each card has a colored icon that corresponds to the colored list.  The cards on colored construction paper are what I use to assess my kiddos.  Each list is copied on a different color.  I have an extra set of these cards and my first graders often practice with these cards during their literacy station rotations.
After I asses my students, they are given a list to practice at home for the week.
I have a poster displayed near my small group reading table and each student has a numbered sticker.  I place their sticker on either side of the number that corresponds to the list that they are currently working on. 
They move along the rainbow as they pass their list.  
If you’d like this little freebie you can fid it {HERE} or click on the pic below! 
There are three different options!
And here are a few random freebies!  I used this missing addend worksheet with my first graders last week.  The answers are on the bottom and my students just crossed them off as they filled in the missing addends.  
Just click the pic below if you’d like your copy! 

Here are a few random non-school related freebies.  These two printables are both saved in a 5x7 format and are meant to be framed. Writing down a weekly dinner menu is a MUST for me and I typically plan my meals on Saturday for the following week.  This little menu printable can be placed in a 5x7 frame.  I display it in my kitchen.  I use a dry erase marker and write on the glass.  The other is a countdown to Christmas.  I have both in frames and LOVE that I can just write on the glass!  If you'd like a copy just click on the pictures below to grab your freebies!

Thanks for stopping by & have a WONDERFUL week!

Happy Wednesday!

Hope you’re week is off to a great start!  Classroom Friendly Supplies contacted us a few weeks ago and asked us if we’d give an honest review of their pencil sharpener.  Having a decent pencil sharpener is very IMPORTANT to us and we were more than happy to try them out.  
They sent us one in purple, their newest color.
How cute is this?
The pencil sharpener comes with a screw type clamp to secure it to a table. 
I just LOVE it!  This pencil sharpener sharpens pencils perfectly!  I am even able to sharpen my Handwriting Without Tears pencils and they’re pretty short. 

You simply squeeze the two black knobs and gently pull the pencil holding compartment out.

It will stay out until you squeeze the tabs again.  Next, you’ll want to squeeze the tabs again and insert your pencil.  Once the pencil is inserted you can release the tab and start sharpening
As you are sharpening, you’ll see the pencil slowly moving into the sharpener.  You’ll know it’s completely sharpened when you hear a quieter sound.  The handle will also turn faster when the pencil is fully sharpened. 

And what’s great is that my students can easily use this sharpener and they know when the pencil is sharpened rather than sharpening the pencil is down to nothing.  My classroom helper is the pencil sharpener for the day.  After checking in with me, he/she goes right to the dull can and sharpens five pencils.  My first graders LOVE it and can easily sharpen independently.

In Kinder, Erin also uses this fabulous pencil sharpener. Even her sweet kinders are able to independently sharpen their pencils, without breaking and wasting their precious lead. In kinder it's incredibly helpful being able to have the sharpener stable at one spot in the room, yet also easy to move to a different location. We move around our classroom a lot, and until we get another one in the room, it has to go back and forth between the front of the class and the back. Since Erin is new to kinder this year, she has quite the wish list, so she'll have to wait to purchase another. But we have to tell you, this company is the best to work with! Such great customer service and such a great product!

If you’d like to check these out, you can stop by here:
They also sell replacement blades and a permanent sharpener mount!

And here’s a little freebie I wanted to share!  A few weeks ago we were learning about frogs and their life cycle in my first grade classroom (I tie my weekly themes with my Treasures Reading themes) I created cards with pictures and text to retell the life cycle of a frog.  We recreated a life cycle circle on the floor in our large group area. 

These cards also work great in a pocket chart with or without the arrows.  I have these placed in our pocket chart station and these are one of the resources my first graders can use when they’re at the pocket station during literacy stations.    

If you’d like this little freebie, you can go {HERE} or click the picture below!

Have a great rest of your week!