Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

Ready, Set, Kindergarten! — Plants & Flowers

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To start, I went over our mobile classroom items of the week (Color: Purple [mostly because we haven’t done that color yet and it went well with a flower theme]; Shape: Oval [we just did circle so we went with oval since leaves are vaguely oval shaped]; Letter: K & L; Number: 4 [the number of steps in a plant life cycle]. Our concept of the week was scissor skills. 

Then we started circle time:

Song: Days of the Week (to the tune of The Addams Family)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday,
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday,
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday,
And then there’s Saturday.
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
Source: Ms. Brown’s Classroom

We looked at our calendar and discussed what day of the week it was, what month we were in, and what day of the month it was. Then we moved on to the weather:

Song: What’s the Weather? (to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine)
What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it sunny? Is it windy?
Is it rainy? Is it cold?

What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it snowy? Is it cloudy?
Is it stormy? Is it hot?
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460563499387764713/

Then it was time for our theme discussion. 

Non-Fiction Book: From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons

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Again, if there’s a non-fiction book by Gail Gibbons that matches our theme, I’m going to use it.

I wanted the kids to see the largest flower in the world so I inserted this slide into my PowerPoint presentation and kept it up on the screen while the kids walked around the centers. I found the images here and here.

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Fiction Book: Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming and G. Brian Karas

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Mr. McGreely dreams of the perfect garden. But so do three tenacious bunnies … who will win? I adore this book. Whenever spring comes around, it gets read a lot. The kids loved it and were giggling the whole time which I always take as a good sign. 

When we were done with our theme books we talked about the letters of the week. We talked about the letter K first. We talked about the sounds K makes and some words that start with K. Then we reviewed letter L.

I ended up not reading our letter L book this week. I had two little boys who needed to leave a little early to get to a baseball game and I wanted to give them time to make our craft and go around the centers. But it would have been The Very Lazy Ladybug by Isobel Finn. 

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The very lazy ladybug seeks out a variety of animals to carry her since she’s too lazy to fly but things don’t work out quite the way she plans.

Then we did our letter L craftThis is the same one I created for our Annual ABC project two years ago. 

Before our centers we did a group project. Mother’s Day is on Sunday so I wanted the kids to make something for mom and it was so easy to find a lovely craft related to flowers for the kids to do:

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First I kicked out all the mommies (luckily I had mostly dads and grandparents this particular day!). I was initially going to let the kids use acrylic paint to decorate small terracotta flower pots (purchased at Dollar Tree — three for $1!). Then I read on PreKinders that you could use oil pastels instead! I thought that would be both easier AND a lot less messy so that’s what we ended up using. That box on the floor under the table is kid smocks but we ended up not needing them.

In hindsight, I should have posted some ideas for the kids on the walls but I didn’t do this on purpose because I wanted them to be creative! Turns out kids this age need ideas even though I told them they could draw anything they wanted and suggested butterflies, flowers, hearts, or anything mom loves. I got a lot of blank looks and scribbles. *sigh* But I’m sure their mommies will still appreciate anything they get. I know I would. I provided the kids with small brown bags so they could take their pots home and surprise mom with them on Sunday.

After we were done with our pots, the kids were free to roam the centers. I made all of the signs in Canva.

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I filled the tray with salt and lined it with an image from Canva. The number formation rhyme is from Teaching Mama. The letter instructions came from Worksheets to Print.

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The koala and kangaroo came from a package of Australian animals I got from Amazon. I grabbed the king playing card from a pack I had at home. I tied a piece of yarn from our supply closet into a knot. I also found the key in our supply closet. Amazing what you can find in a children’s librarian supply closet! The kitten came from the library’s supply of Duplos.

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The ladder was from the library’s Lego collection. The ladybug, lamb, and lion came from my TOOB collection (insect, farm, and safari, respectively) The lemon and lettuce came from Dollar Tree food sets. 

The foam letters for both bins came from puzzles I found at Dollar Tree. I created the tub labels in Canva.

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I made the purple play-doh. I got the alphabet and counting mats from Oriental Trading. 

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This week’s sensory bin was filled with an assortment of brown and tan beans. I stocked it with a variety of items from my TOOB collection and alphabet bins and had the kids sort each object onto our alive/not alive mats that I created in Canva. 

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I got this idea from a photo I found on Pinterest. I have no idea where it originated unfortunately. The kids really loved this project and I hope they keep watering their plants and eventually plant them in their own garden! I provided brown bags for them to take their cones home. We got the planting soil from Dollar Tree and it was leftover from another program we did earlier this season.

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I got the idea for this craft from Lessons for Little Ones. I got the labels from Homeschool Creations Garden Preschool Pack. I set out scissors to encourage the kids to cut the labels for their project on their own. You can see my example on the wall. These came out really well and were a cheap and easy center.

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Our last center was inspired by many places. I found lots of great little ideas that weren’t enough for one center but when combined made a really great spot to learn and explore. I got set-up ideas from Pocket of Preschool and combined ideas from an assortment of other amazing teacher blogs. I printed out and laminated the Plant Life Cycle poster on the wall from Teaching Today on Teachers Pay Teachers. I also got the “What Do Plants Need?” lift-the-flap activity from here.

I got the idea for the parts of a plant that we eat activity from Kindergarten Rocks. I created my own cards in Word, printed them, and laminated them. I got the idea for the seed jars from PreK Partner at Teachers Pay Teachers. I created my labels in Publisher, printed them out, and laminated them. I taped them to the containers so they could be easily changed in the future.

I created a garden sensory bin using black beans leftover from our sensory bin last week. I included fake flowers from Dollar Tree, TOOB flowers, TOOB insects, some vegetables from my alphabet tubs, and little terracotta pots. The kids loved digging and raking through this bin.

I got the plant vocabulary cards at Preschool in Paradise at Teachers Pay Teachers. I laminated them, punched a hole in each card, and attached them to a metal snap ring. I also set out magnifying glasses, tweezers, and a variety of seeds so kids could sort through them. Their favorites were the maple copters. I was running an errand at lunchtime when I saw these spiral down from a tree so I quickly pulled over and grabbed a handful. Luckily no one was behind me!

Obviously I gathered books and included them on the table. A must!

Our session summary:

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I also handed out two letter/number of the week worksheets for them to color at home and practice their writing. I got the letter worksheets from Easy Peasy Learners and the number worksheets from Tot Schooling. And lastly as homework I sent home a color by number I got from Carson-Dellosa Publishing Group on Teachers Pay Teachers. 

Next session: Oceans & Fish!

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