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!

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!


Morning Exploring

We enjoyed our FIRST rotation of Morning Exploring activities today! These activities are designed to strengthen fine motor skills while reinforcing math and literacy concepts. They also encourage teamwork! I am just thrilled with how successful our first rotation was!

Take a look:

Students use their thumb and pointer finger to grasp very slippery water beads and sort them by color.


Working together, students place numbers in order from least to greatest. They use clips to clip the number cards in order.


Students cut along the curvy lines.


Using pop beads, students measure the pictures of school supplies to see how long each is. They record their answer.


Students roll two dice. They add the dice together. Using tongs, students place that number of frogs on the lily pads.


VERY CAREFULLY, students use a pushpin to make holes that follow each letter in their name.


Students use a hole punch to punch a specific number of holes on each page.


Pop beads are used again…but this time students use them to extend a pattern.


After Morning Exploring was complete for today, I overheard a student say, “I can’t wait to do this tomorrow!” These are words every teacher loves to hear!


November Morning Exploring Tubs

Though the month of November is quickly coming to a close, I wanted to share with you the November Morning Exploring tubs and the concepts they cover. The students could not get enough of these tubs…all of the little manipulatives were very exciting to them! The explanations for each tub are above the images.

Tub 1: Students choose a number from 0-20. The then link together the three different ways to show the value of that number. These ways include a ten or double-ten frame, tally marks, and pictures.



Tub 2: Using playdough, students fill in a ten frame to make a number. Then students must figure out how to complete the equation…who says kindergarteners can’t do algebra?!


Tub 3: Students use tweezers to choose a pumpkin. On the bottom of the pumpkin is a two digit number greater than 20. One student then spins the spinner, deciding on “greater than” or “less than.” Students must compare their numbers, and the student whose number matches the spinner gets to keep the pumpkins.


Tub 4: Students choose a High-frequency word and spell it using letter cards. They link the letters together to spell the words.


Tub 5: Students chose a number card and build the number using sunflower seeds.


Tub 6: Students follow the outline of the acorn with small stickers and then count up the total number of stickers used. The children LOVE using stickers and peeling and sticking is great for fine motor development!


Tub 7: Students choose a turkey container and count the number of glass beads inside. They record the two-digit number.


Tub 8: Students dig through a small sensory bin to find leaves. On the leaves are high-frequency words. Students read the word and match the leaves to their play mat.

I can not believe that in three short days, December will be here! It’s time to switch out the Morning Exploring Tubs!

Morning Exploring

We are in our third day of kindergarten, our second day of Morning Exploring, and the students are LOVING it! Each month, there are nine different activities through which the students rotate in pairs. The Morning Exploring bins focus on math and literacy skills while strengthening and developing the students’ fine motor skills in unique and engaging ways.

Here’s how:

(Disclaimer: I speak much more slowly when teaching!)

As I mentioned in the video, there are new activities monthly that continue to build fine motor skills and reinforce math and language arts concepts. A huge thank you to Marsha McGuire for developing these great activities!

Morning Exploring, Spring Edition

We are enjoying the final few rotations of our spring themed Morning Exploring tubs. Besides strengthening fine motor skills, these tubs continue to build both math and language arts concepts.

Students use mini stickers to follow the outline of an umbrella. They then count how many stickers they used.

Students extend the cottontail’s pattern using tweezers.


Students use tweezers to locate raindrops in plastic grass. They then solve the word puzzles each raindrop makes.


Students use a bunny hole punch to illustrate addition equations.


Students dig in therapy putty to remove colored beads, which they sort and graph.


Students choose a number card and place that number of ducks in the pond. They then write the two numbers that come before their chosen number.

Students choose a container and sort the erasers by carrot and bunny. They count the number of each and record that number in the coordinating box, writing an addition equations. Students then solve the equation.


Students create raindrop number bonds.


Students play a game of greater than or less than when they choose a duck, read the two-digit number, spin the spinner, and compare their number to their partner’s number.

March Morning Exploring

The March Morning Exploring tubs are ready! Students had a great time practicing math and language arts skills while building their fine motor skills. Read on for a description of the skills and activities we are working on this month.

Students find the missing addend by using the number bond and moving the pieces of gold with tweezers to help solve the equation. Once finished, they remove the clothespin from the card to check their answer.



Students read and write the heart word (high-frequency word) in salt with their finger, creating a rainbow word.


Students remove rainbows from containers using tongs, count and record the amount.


Students select a pot of gold and read the high-frequency word on it. They then link letter coins together using plastic links to duplicate the words read.


Students use links to put together the numbers with their matching quantities. This activity helps students recognize tally marks, ten frames, and numbers greater than ten and less than 21.


Students build the number shown by moving shamrocks to the jar on the playing mat. They then write that number in the box and count back. Once finished, they remove the clothespin from the card to check their answer.


Students build the number shown by moving gold coins to the pot on the playing mat. They then complete the equation on the playing mat. Once finished, they remove the clothespin from the card to check their answer.



Students make CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words by stringing the letter beads in order and writing the word on the response sheet. Once finished, they remove the clothespin from the card to check their answer.



Students use tongs to grab a green crystal with a number from 40 to 100 written on it. They then spin the spinner and read the number. Students compare their number to their partner to see which is greater or less than.


As you can see, there is a lot of fine motor building through the use of tongs, tweezers, and clothespins, in addition to building math and reading skills.


Morning Exploring

The January Morning Exploring bins are ready for action! Nine fine motor activities that focus on high-frequency words, math skills, and reading skills…ready, set, go! I am loving the winter theme.

1. Snowball spelling: Students spell high-frequency words using snowballs. (ping pong balls and golf tees!)


2. Snowman sticker: Students use their thumb and index finger to peel and press stickers around the outline of a snowman. They then count up the number of stickers they used.


3. Melted snowman graph: Students dig snowman pieces (top hats, carrot noses, coal buttons, snowflakes) out of play dough. They sort the items into like piles and then count and graph their results.


4. Salt writing: Students use a silver icicle to write high-frequency words in salt.


5. Snowball counting: Students count the number of snowballs in each container and record the two digit number.



6.Ice dice roll: Students roll two dice and add them together. Using tongs, they place that number of ice cubes into their bucket. The student with the most ice cubes at the end of the game wins.


7. Catch a snowball: Students use tongs to choose a snowball. High-frequency words are written on some of the snowballs. They match those snowballs to the mitten.


8. CVC Spelling: Students look at the picture on the card. They hang the mittens with the letters to spell the CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) word. Students write the word below.


9. Build a high-frequency word: Students use icy blue gems to spell high-frequency words.

The students were very excited to explore the new activities. I love seeing their happy faces.


November Morning Exploring

The new Morning Exploring tubs are a hit, with nine fall themed fine motor, math and reading activities for the children to explore.

Using playdough and a ten frame, students complete equations.

Students extend complex patterns using acrylic leaves.

Students build high-frequency words using links and letter cards.

Students match numbers, items, and tally marks, and link them together.

Students count items and record the number. This activity works with the teen numbers.

Greater than or less than….students choose a pumpkin that has a two digit number on it. They spin the spinner to choose greater than or less than….and then they compare numbers. The winner gets both pumpkins.

Pom pom counting: Students roll a die and use chopsticks to move the number of pom poms to their turkey bucket. The winner is the person who has more in their bucket.

Students choose a card with a number on it and fill in a tens frame using acrylic leaves. Next, they write the number that comes before and after.

Using tongs, students pull out leaves and read the high-frequency words that are on each leaf. They then match the leaf to their game board.

October Morning Exploring Tubs

With a new month comes new Morning Exploring Tubs! You might remember that these are a new addition to the kindergarten classroom this year. Each tub has a fine motor focus as well as a math activity. The best part is many of the activities can be differentiated to meet students’ levels. Nine new activities were introduced today.

Dig through the spiders and match the number to the tens frame.

Link the candy corn numbers in order from least to greatest.

Roll the die (or dice for a challenge) and add that number of flies to the spider web using tweezers.

Trace the outline of the pumpkin using small stickers and count up how many it takes to go all the way around.

Dig the eyeballs out of the putty and sort them by color.

Choose a container of pumpkins and count how many there are inside. Record that number.

Choose a number card and build that number using a tens frame, pumpkin counters, and tweezers.

Use a push pin to poke holes along the black lined design. Create a design that lights up when placed in a window.

Teen number punch: Use a hole punch to punch the number of holes listed on each page.

The The students absolutely LOVED these new activities!