Long Vowel Magic E

We have been learning about the long vowel magic e spelling these past several weeks. (Think about words like bake, file, note, date, etc.) Students have engaged in many, many different activities to help them solidify this phonics rule.

Each student was given a magical wand with a special e attached. They loved using this fun tool! We read each word with the short vowel sound and then added the magic e to make the long vowel sound.


We played a game on the Smart Board where students read the words and sorted them according to short a and long a sounds.


Students dug for bones in our sensory table. Long vowel words were typed onto these bones in such a small font size that students used magnifying glasses to help them read the words! They then recorded what they read.

Picture/word puzzles were another exciting activity.


I also pulled out our Pocket Chart and had students sort words by either long vowel sounds or short vowel sounds.


Students used the Seesaw app to read and sort long vowel words into word families.

Watch how this activity works!


Students played OSMO words using a special word list created to only have long vowel magic e words. Watch how fun this is!

With hands-on activities that are high interest, students can’t help but have fun while learning!

Missing the Cookie…

We returned from our Winter Break, and the students were disappointed that the Kindness Cookie was nowhere to be found. “Will she be back?” they asked. Sadly, the Kindness Cookie has left our campus until next December, as we are jumping right in to our unit on dinosaurs. A student wondered aloud if perhaps a dinosaur would visit our classroom daily and share an interesting fact about dinosaurs. (A GIANT lightbulb flashed in my head!! I just happened to have a stuffed dinosaur stashed away in my supply closet.) Brilliant idea!! I got to work creating fact cards and packaging up Stella the Stegosaurus.

Shortly after Tecolote Tuesday, Mrs. McDavid delivered a very special package.

The students’ expressions were priceless!

Here is what the note said:

If anyone asks, I had NOTHING to do with Stella the Stegosaurus. Sometimes magical things just happen to appear in (or be delivered to) the kindergarten classroom! Tomorrow will be the first official “Stella Says” fact. Stay tuned!

Santa’s Workshop

With Winter Break just one day away, the goal in kindergarten is to keep the students busy and engaged! The students were greeted by an elf this morning (me!) who had cooked up quite a surprise. The classroom was transformed into “Santa’s Workshop.” A little elf hat eagerly awaited each of the students. Throughout the morning, the elves completed five different learning activities.


Station 1: Deck the Halls

Students found a stocking and read the CVC word that was tucked inside. They then found a picture of the word and recorded it.



Station 2: The Bakery

Students used gingerbread scented play dough to make “cookies” while working on number sense.

Station 3: Santa’s Workshop

Students assembled word puzzles to see the toys the elves are busy building.


Station 4: Measure It

Students used unifix cubes to measure the length of sparkly presents.


Station 5: Gift Wrapping

This was a special station! Students wrapped adorable gifts for their parents and strengthened their fine motor skills!

Oh, what fun we had today! Next year, I will have to make sure those elf hats stay on a little better!

Gingerbread Field Trip

Not only have the students been listening to different versions of the Gingerbread Man, but they have been studying architecture in Art Class. Students created their very own gingerbread house with the help of Mrs. Guay, our art instructor.

Mrs. Guay and I thought it would be incredible for the students to see a large-scale gingerbread house in person.  A special thank you to the Four Seasons Biltmore for making this happen for us! We hopped on the bus and headed over to see the magic.

The theme for the Biltmore’s gingerbread house this year was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The children were amazed at the amount of detail!

We even had a chance to speak with the head baker who designed the gingerbread house!


This is what was needed to create the gingerbread masterpiece!

Then, we went on a tour of the kitchen where all the baked goods for the hotel are made. The highlight of the kitchen tour was of course…

getting to go inside the freezer AND

the refrigerator!

Next, students were taken to the dining room and given hot chocolate and a giant chocolate chip cookie! Who could ask for anything more?!

I was very proud to hear lots of “pleases” and “thank you’s.”

The trip ended with each student choosing a Beanie Boo keychain. This was definitely a trip to remember. Thank you Four Seasons Biltmore for giving such a special holiday experience.


The Kindness Cookie

We are off and running with our new monthly thematic unit…Gingerbread! When students arrived at school on Monday morning, I had a new center set up and ready for them to explore. This center utilized gingerbread scented playdough, differentiated skill mats, and letter stampers.

This mat has students identifying beginning sounds in words and stamping their playdough cookie to match.

Students spell CVC words on this mat.

Students match letters on this mat.


The children LOVED making these “cookies!” After recess, we came back into the classroom and discovered that our gingerbread scented playdough had been taken, and I had received a suspicious email with this video attached:

Wow. Were we surprised …..and disappointed that our new playdough was gone. Minutes later, one of the students saw another surprise:

The Kindness Cookie was sitting on our SMART Board with a special message. We decided that this Kindness Cookie must have come to our classroom because we needed some extra kindness after our playdough was taken. So far we have completed two kindness missions.

Students were confused with this first mission. Why would cleaning up after yourself be kind? A student explained that if you clean up after yourself, then someone else doesn’t have to do it for you…and THAT is kind!

Our second mission has been very successful so far. Is it happening at home too?

I have a feeling this Kindness Cookie will be showing up with a new mission daily. As for the playdough? We made a new batch!

Where Did November Go?!

It has been a quick three weeks of November in Kindergarten! So much has happened! First, we have new Morning Exploring bins that the students have been loving. Here are the skills we are working on:

High-frequency word search: students use tongs to pick leaves out of the sensory bin. They read the high-frequency word that is on the leaf and match it to their tree.

Teen numbers: Students choose a card and build the teen number using sunflower seeds.

High-frequency words: Using links, students spell high-frequency words.

Before and after: Students choose a number card. They build that number using a ten frame and then write the number that comes before and after.

Missing addend: Using algebraic thinking, students solve equations with a missing addend while building fine motor skills!

Adding and counting: Students roll two dice and place the pompoms equalling the number rolled into their turkey. Whoever has the most pompoms at the end is the winner.

Counting numbers greater than 40: Students use stickers to trace the outline of an acorn. They then count the total amount of stickers needed to go all the way around the acorn.

Counting and writing numbers: Students choose a turkey cup and count how many glass beads are in the cup. They then record their answers. Cups contained between 10 and 25 beads.

We also have a new filler in the sensory table…birdseed and giant acorns! We even attracted some wild birds one day!

In math, we have been exploring the concept of addition, focusing on the many strategies that can be used to solve addition equations. These strategies range from using tally marks, counting on, using a ten frame, drawing pictures, using objects to count, and using a number line.

This poster covers many of the strategies that we have been using.

The students have been really enjoying the number line. I find them solving equations during passing periods or free time!

We have been practicing reading. Students are encouraged to touch each word as they read, so I bought these funny little googly eyes that attach to their fingers to help students remember to touch each word. Aren’t these the cutest ever?!

It’s hard to believe that the classroom will change over to reflect my gingerbread theme in a few short days!

Yay for the 50th day!

We turned back time on our 50th day of school! The kindergarteners enjoyed spending their day in the Shake Shack!

I also drove to school in a 1955 Chevy.

There were five different activities set up around the classroom and outside for the students to explore. But first, they had to check-in for the day.

They loved seeing their characters!

Next, on to the activities! First up is the Bubble Blowing Station! Students had to graph whether or not they could blow a bubble.

It was such fun watching the children chomping on their gum, trying to learn how to blow a bubble!

Another station was “Read a Record.” I made a 1950’s style jukebox and cut a hole near the top. Then I created 50 records with CVC words written on them. Students read the words on the records and put them in the jukebox!


There was also a photo booth with 1950’s themed props.


Dice Race was next. Who would roll the dice and get to 50 the fastest?

How about the paddle ball station? Students decorated a paddle ball and then learned how to play! It took such concentration.


Finally, the 50 Second activity was a blast. Students had 50 seconds to do each activity, from hula hooping to bunny hopping. They recorded how many of each activity they could do in 50 seconds.

We ended this fabulous day with banana splits!

Friday Fun!

It has been a few weeks since we had Friday Fun, so I wanted to go BIG today! Students enjoyed three spider-themed activities! First, students did a spider weaving craft. This was a perfect activity to help build fine motor skills!

Next, students made a spider web pizza. Yummy!

Finally, students made a spider sensory jar. I have been saving this craft activity for a whole month! It came out just as neat as I hoped it would.

The Case of the Missing D!

We wrapped up reviewing the alphabet last week. When I arrived at school this morning, the letter D was missing from our alphabet. There was crime scene tape around the classroom and six mug shots on my white board! What better way to celebrate our learning than to solve the Case of the Missing D!

Scattered around the room were pieces of evidence linking specific teachers to the crime. Just who took that letter D?

Students received a detective badge, fedora, and briefcase.

Inside the briefcase was a magnifying glass, a mini pad of paper, and a mini pencil. They were ready to enter the crime scene and discover who the suspects were. Here is some of the evidence that was left behind:

From the evidence, we decided the suspects were:


Ohhhh, the EXCITEMENT!!

Next, students had five language arts activities they needed to complete in order to open the secret evidence cases. Each of the evidence cases had a puzzle to solve that gave them the name of a suspect who DID NOT take the letter D.

Activity 1: Students went on a letter hunt around the classroom in search of letter cards. They had to figure out which letter was missing and record their answer.

Next, students identified the beginning letter in a picture. They recorded the letter in white crayon and then made it magically appear by painting over it with water color.

Third, students had to color pictures according to the key provided.

Students used Bee Bots for the fourth activity. They chose a card with a picture on it and then coded the Bee Bot to go to the beginning letter sound.

The final activity involved the sensory table. Students worked to uncover magnifying glasses with pictures. They wrote down the beginning sound for each picture.

After each activity, students opened the TOP SECRET briefcase where they found a clue telling them who did not steal the D.

The students quickly discovered that the person who took the letter D was Mrs. Vanetti! We decided to take a walk to her classroom and figure out WHY she took our D!

Congratulations to the Kinder Detective Agency for solving the Case of the Missing D!


October Morning Exploring

With the new month comes new Morning Exploring tubs. The creepy crawlies are out and these students had no problem using the thematic manipulatives!

Students dig in sensory putty for googly eyes. They then sort them by color.


Students match numbers to coordinating tens frames and then clip them together.

Using stickers, students outline the shape of a pumpkin. They count to see how many stickers they used.


Students choose a number card and use pumpkin buttons and a ten frame to build the number.


Color patterns are extended. Students use tweezers to put the colored pom-poms in order.


Students roll one or two dice and move that many flies onto the spider web using tongs.

Using a push pin, students create a stained glass window effect.

Students use a hole punch to punch out teen numbers.

The last activity has students counting and recording the number of pumpkins in each container.

These activities keep the students busy practicing so many different skills! We love Morning Exploring!