Teaching Colors

We begin the year with exploring and teaching colors.  Although, we wish all of our students knew this, many come in with limited knowledge, so we do our best to fill in those gaps quickly.

Their first homework assignment is to bring objects or pictures  that focus on the color.  We will use these items to help create our anchor charts.

Literature is embedded throughout the mini-unit.

I like to include books that they may be familiar with from preschool as well as some new or funny stories along the way.  I always include books that are easy enough for everyone to read and have these available during Book Buddy reading time.

Centers help students foster independence and working with others.

Even a game like CandyLand includes accountable talk.  Students must tell their partner what color they have.   I make sure to include variety and "fun" tools like these paint dots, foam dice and food.  Center time is short; 10 to 15 minutes depending on stamina.  In the beginning, we all may be working on these activities together.  Later,  I will transition them into Math Work Stations.

Would you like to use these in your classroom? Click on the links to get yours.  The pattern strips can be found here from Fran at Kindergarten Crayons.  I created the Brown Bear Roll A Color Sheet and the Gummy Bear Color Sort and Graph.

Need more ideas? Follow my Pinterest Color Board.

Happy Teaching and Learning!


Hip, Hip Hooray!

My blog got a new look today!

Kristen from
gave my blog a customized look.  Don't you love it? It includes a lot of personal touches; colors, polka dots, tagline and even a picture of me from my five year old.  There are also links to my Facebook page and Pinterest boards.  

Kristen was so patient with me throughout this process.  I feel  so lucky to have a design by her. I have admired her blog designs since the very beginning.  

Thank you, Kristen for making my blog unique! 


Planning for my Classroom

Summer is winding down. Usually, that means heading into the classroom getting my room ready. This year, it means waiting for my room to be repaired, painted, and cleaned. Right now, all of my teaching wordily possessions are in storage. I am trying not get stressed about it; but I am stressed about it all.

So, instead, I have been working on a few classroom projects at home.

I made a classroom wreath from these items. Most can be found at your local craft store. All, I did was wrap the burlap ribbon around and used florist greening pins to hold the flowers in place. I hope to change the flowers out seasonally.

Here is how it looks now.

I made these adorable postcards to send home to my students. I love the owl's expression.
Click on image for yours.
I've also been creating items to use in my classroom. I am trying to use less ink so I am getting creative with scrapbook paper to add a pop of color. You can find these at my Teacher's Notebook shop. Most items are on sale for around $1.

School doesn't officially start until the last week of August. Until then, I will be mentally planning my classroom's layout and preparing for the new year at home. I really can't wait until I can start unpacking and decorating. Then, it will really feel like Back To School; the most wonderful time of the year!

Writing Through My Son's Eyes

This summer I have spent a lot of time learning from my five year old who is about to begin kindergarten.  As a teacher, I have witnessed how children learn, but it is so different as a mother.  When I see him at work, I look at it through two lenses; the proud momma and the teacher who is thinking, "Oh. Interesting."

Nothing has amazed me more as to see him discover writing.  We spent a lot of time on the road this summer.  With nothing more than a notebook and a mechanical pencil, he would spend some of that time writing; actually drawing pictures but I never called it that.

I was the subject of many of his drawings.  

Then, he began adding "text" to his drawing.  
Here is a sample.  
He began by drawing the jellyfish and then, drew the eye.  I wondered, why an eye.  He asked me for help to draw the heart.  Then, he read his story.  My heart melted.  My baby had independently written his first story.

This led me to wonder.  Do I allow enough time for my students to draw into writing?   Probably, not.  My team and I are usually focused at getting words on the paper and sentences.  Then, at one point of the year, we complain about how our kids can't draw.  Duh!  We didn't really allow time for this.  So, this school year, I hope to step back a little.  I will spend more time teaching my students how to draw and how to use those drawings to tell a story.

In the meantime, I have my copy of In Pictures and In Words and the wonderful book study hosted by Mrs. Wills for more ideas and book recommendations.
How do you teach writing in kindergarten?

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