Student Reading Logs

From past posts, you realize that I am in favor of teaching student responsibility!  Here is another way I tried to teach this to my Kindergarten children.  I gave the students a reading log that was placed in their homework folder at the beginning of each month.  At the beginning of the year, stickers were placed on each day that the child was read to by a parent, sibling, babysitter or grandparent.  As the year progressed, the stickers stood for the books the child read themselves.  If stickers were not available, just a check mark or an X was okay.  The children loved to compare their logs with others in the class.  These logs were collected at the end of each month and then made into a booklet at the end of the year.  What a great reminder of their success through the year!

Each of our theme books have a reading log included.

Homework Folders

I took every opportunity I could to teach my little Kindergarten children responsibility.  Responsibility for their actions, for their belongings and for their classwork!  One thing I did was set each child up with a homework folder.  This was simply a theme folder with each child’s name, a pocket for things to go home, and a pocket for things to come back to school.  We put a reading log in each folder so the parent could add a sticker for any reading done at home.  Any notes going home for the parents, such as permission slips, were placed in this folder.  Any work they didn’t finish in school was placed in it as well.  Then, hopefully anything needing to come back to school was put in the folder also.  This system seemed to work very well for us, our students, and our parents!

 Our homework folder looked somewhat like this.  Each month, the child could add a new sticker to the cover.

The inside page of the folder with the work to go home.

 

 

 

 

The second part of the folder with the things to bring back to school.

Make and Take Apple Book

Our apple theme book has books about apples for the children to make and take home.  We have included books at three different levels of difficulty.  The children loved to make these and bring them to circle time where we read them all together.  The children were then allowed to take them home for more reading fun!  Sometimes I would require a parent signature on the book to let me know the book had been read at home.  The child would then bring the book back in his homework folder for me to check.  I liked the idea of teaching the child some responsibility, both to read the book and to bring it back to school the next day.  The children looked forward to making and taking books home!   This book is level 1.

Apple Graph

I loved circle time.  It was such a good time for me and the children to visit and get to know one another.  It’s a great teaching time as well.  With our apple unit, we talked about the different ways apples could be prepared and what was their favorite. I gave each child a sticker to place on the graph.

When finished, it gave us the opportunity to talk about most favorite, least favorite, count the apples in each column, discuss more than-less than, talk about  kinds of apples, colors of apples, where apples grow, do they like to climb trees and many more things.  What a great way to get to know each other and learn a little math as well!  You will find this apple graph in our theme book about apples.

Little Apple Book

I loved anything the children could create in school and take home for more fun.  With our apple unit, we made little apple books that could be colored in class, cut out in class, put together in class, read in class and then taken home to be read again and again!  Sometimes I had parents sign a sheet saying how many times the book was read by the student at home.  I liked helping the students feel responsible.  The pattern for this book can be found in our apple theme book or can be purchased separately in our store.

Applesauce, Kindergarten Style

Along with our apples unit in Kindergarten, we liked to make applesauce!  It’s easy to do, you just need apples, sugar, cinnamon and a crock pot.

So here is our simple recipe:

10 apples

1 cup water

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Peel, core and cut up the apples.  Put in the crock pot and add sugar and water.  Cook until apples are soft, them mash them with a potato masher.  Add cinnamon and stir and your applesauce is ready.  Try adding a dollop of whipped cream on top to make a delicious treat!

 

We sang this little song about making applesauce while we were working.

 

  Applesauce

by Brenda Wilson

(Sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

We love making applesauce, applesauce, applesauce.

We love making applesauce, it’s very good to eat!

 

We will peel the apples now, apples now, apples now.

We will peel the apples now and put them in the pot!

 

Add some spice and cinnamon, cinnamon, cinnamon.

Add some spice and cinnamon to make it taste so good!

 

A little sugar it will take, it will take, it will take.

A little sugar it will take to make it nice and sweet!

 

Then we’ll let it cook all day, cook all day, cook all day.

Then we’ll let it cook all day before we eat it up!

Apples, Apples Everywhere!

I loved doing special theme activities with my Kindergarten kids!  One theme we enjoyed a lot was apples!  We sang about apples, made apple puppets, did art projects about apples, did sizing activities with apples, colored apples, had fun with apple poems, and made applesauce in the classroom, just to name some of the fun we had.  We also carved apple faces to hang in the classroom to dry until October.  We used plastic knives to do the carving. (Make sure to have parent help for this!) We then stuck a craft stick in the bottom of the face for the neck. It was great to see the apples dry and shrivel a little more each day. Then we made apple face witches using a small bottle and fabric.

Here is a little apple counting poem we had some fun with.  We made stick puppets with craft sticks to count the apples along with the poem.

Five Little Apples

By Brenda Wilson

 

Five little apples fell on the kitchen floor…

Nancy picked one up and so there were four.

 

Four little apples hanging on the tree…

Johnny picked an apple and so there were three.

 

Three little apples looking good to Sue…

She ate the biggest one and so there were two

 

Two little apples sitting in the sun…

Nicky ate the reddest one and so there was one.

 

One little apple feeling all alone…

I put him in my pocket and then there were none!

 

I had the children color and cut out these apples and glue or tape them on craft sticks.  Each child did 5 puppets. Then as I read the poem, the children would subtract one apple with each verse.  They had so much fun and they learned a little about subtraction as well!

 

Check out our Apple theme book on our website!

 

Back to School-Pirate Style!

  One of my favorite things about teaching was sending out welcome letters to my new Kindergarten class!  I did many different themes, but the one I loved the most was the pirate theme.  About 2 weeks before school was to begin, I sent the following letter to the children:

 

        Ahoy There,

           Matey!

Come join me, Captain __________________________,

on an ocean adventure of learning.  We will set sail on

____________________________ at ________________O’clock!

 We will visit the exciting lands of Math, Reading,

Writing, and Language.  Along the way we will sing and play

games and have a whopping, great time!

 Be prepared to have fun, or get ready to………….

  Walk the Plank!!!

 I will see you on ___________________ at ________ for our back to school meeting.

Please bring all your gear to stow on the ship.

On the day we set sail, wear your name tag.   You will

get a bandana to wear at the entrance of the ship.  Then, be

prepared to have a year of…………

 Fun, fun, fun!

 

   Along with the letter, I sent a simple eye patch that I had cut out of black felt with yarn strings and a pirate bandanna made from a 24 “ square of fabric cut in half. 

I sent this name tag as well.  They were to wear it on the first day of school.

 

I greeted each child at the door to the classroom with a few gold coins.(chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil) and a bandanna.  I made a pirate ship out of a refrigerator box, and took the childrens’ pictures, several at a time, standing in ship. Throughout the day, we did many fun activities about pirates!  This is the paper bag puppet we made.  We made paper plate pirates as well.

     

                                                                            What a blast!  

I actually had several children wear their eye patch and bandanna the rest of the week.

All in all, this was one of the best first days of Kindergarten ever!

Check out our pirate theme book in out store!  It’s FREE!