Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sharing Cookies Freebie!

Hey Kinder Friends,
Christmas cookies are my all time favorite. There is no other cookie in the world that could evoke the feelings of childhood holidays like a frosted and decorated Christmas cookie. My favorites have always been the ones with plenty of frosting and decorations especially if they have been sitting around a while and become sweet and soft.
It is always fun to have discussions and learn about how each of us celebrates this wonderful time of year. We learn about the similarities and the differences and about traditions and celebrations. And I always share how my great grandmother made the best cookies and how my mother always tells me she lived in a red sided, white gingerbread trimmed little house where she baked cookies for family and friends. And during times of celebration, the dining room table would be lined with Christmas cookies for family and friends. Sharing cookies and baked goods was her way of giving to family and friends.
When I discovered the book, Sharing Cookies, I had to get a copy because I knew a lot of discussion would be centered around this book. I also use this book during writer's workshop during a writing demonstration because it goes well with capturing those moments and capturing some of the vocabulary of the season of celebration. I made a simple reader for my class and now I would like to share it with you. In the spirit of the holiday season just click on the picture above to take you to the freebie!
Happy Holidays In Kindergarten!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Counting Down!

Hey Kinder Friends,
Well. it is that time of year again and the great countdown begins. No matter if you are counting down to winter break or Christmas, we are all counting the days. Now is the perfect time to practice a little counting and make some chains and work on counting down each day. What I love about these chains is that they are simple to prepare, fun for kids to make and provide lots of counting practice along the way to the big day. If you haven't started one already yo0u can just adjust the chain links according to how many days you are counting down to. Depending on your paper, you can provide a little pattern practice too!
When we make countdown paper chains we always have a book to go with it. This time of year it goes well with on of my favorite books, Snowbear's Christmas countdown. I like this book because it not only counts down but it references a calendar throughout the book.
Don't worry you still have time to pull this off and send home that sticky bag of glued together paper chains! Let them count their way to sweet dreams each night as they countdown the days. What five year old wouldn't love that homework?
Happy holidays friends!

A Tree Of 24!

Hey Kinder Friends,
I think we all hit the ground running since we got back from our fall break. We have had a lot to accomplish and squeeze into a week full of learning and maybe a little fun. This week as we have been talking about counting and comparing greater numbers I remembered this simple Christmas tree project from the past. With just a few snips of some scissors, these trees were ready to go. All I needed were some stickers and we were all set. What is great about this little project is that anyone can be successful and it gave me a chance to talk to the children about what strategy they would use to complete their decorated tree to twenty. I was able to listen and ask some clarifying questions as the children worked to complete the project independently.

It was interesting to notice the different approaches the children took to completing the project. Some children counted the stickers out before they even put them on the tree. Some children placed them on the tree in an organized arrangement and some children counted, recounted and even counted on. It was interesting to hear the different methods not only being discussed between the children but I gained a lot of information from their justifications of their strategy choice. Because this activity was worked on as the children had finished up some other work, I was able to observe and listen to the children as they came to the table a few at a time. We were able to listen to a child work through his discovery of having too many decorations on the tree, how he figured that out and what his solution to the problem was.
After all, what is really wrong with a tree of 24? 

Nothing really... It is the fact that he figured out it was 24 because he applied a strategy to double-check his count to figure that he had more than twenty. And he must have proposed about four different solutions before asking...
"What is really wrong with a tree of 24?"
Nothing...just nothing!
And who can argue with that?


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