Monday, 30 June 2014

Unit on Five Senses

Finally, school has reopened and i am back to the usual routine. I am quite glad to start school and am pretty proud of myself for completing all the tasks i had set aside during the summer break. One of them was to complete my five senses unit as this will be the unit of study once the kids come back next week.
I didn't plan to put so many activities in the pack but the inspiration kept coming and so it went up to about 35 pages of activities, flash cards, tracer cards and much more.

I am going to start centers in my class and i made many activities to put in the sensory center.

There is a  five senses poster which you can hang in the class.

Flashcards for sight reading.

Craft template 

Discussion Starter Posters

    A sheet for home practice

Tracer cards

If you liked the activities, you can download the unit by clicking on the link below:

The chevron background that i have used in my pictures can be downloaded from:

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Weekly Book Talk

OK , so its weekly book sharing time  and i am linking up with Deanna Jump.

This week i am sharing a really wonderful book for children by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.
Its called Yes Day !

This book will bring out sparks of imagination in children and will lead them into a journey of fantasies and dreams.

I can assure you that if you read this book to the kids they would jump up and down for the idea of being said yes for everything and would beg you to read the book again and again.

I picked up this book when i was introducing letter y to the kids and wanted to do something different from the usual letter craft .So i read the book and asked them to imagine what would they ask for if they ever had a yes day. I was completely fascinated by the cute and varied answers. One cutie pie said she would love to stay with me for the whole day and do fun stuff. Though i didn't really agree with her entire list of fun things ! :)

I gave them a sheet to draw and express themselves. 
You can download it for free from here:  Its Yes Day !

Yes Day !

It would be more fun if one could actually plan a 'Yes Day' for the kids. You could draw up a list with them and see what all could be done. Kids will sure have a blast !

The book is available at Amazon

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Book Talk Tuesday

I am linking up again with Deanna Jump for Book Talk Tuesday.

This week i would like to talk about the book "How Children Succeed" by Paul Tough.
Product Details

"How children succeed" is a book I am recommending to all for the sole reason that it reiterates my belief that as educators we are not only responsible for developing children's cognitive skills but also their non cognitive skills. Character development may not be a subject which we would teach as per the prescribed syllabus but it does form an integral part of a child's success. We all believe that IQ is crucial to success but Paul Tough, the author of the book explains that it is the non cognitive skills / personality traits/ executive functions that are critical for a child's success. I was amazed to find out that even a game like chess which is correlated with intelligence requires non cognitive skills to succeed at it. 

Executive functions ( the higher order mental abilities) is the new educational catch phrase and my curiosity of how it can be implemented in our classrooms was definitely piqued after reading the book.

 I wanted to find out practical ways of how to develop them in my students. I found some great ideas but i am leaving a link to Dr Jean's website where she shares handy tips to enhance the executive function in children.

Hope you find it useful. The book is available at AMAZON

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Sound Muncher

Sometimes an idea gets stuck in your mind and you are forced to leave everything and work solely on that idea till it takes shape. So the creative bug bit me last night while i was on pinterest and couldn't sleep because tons of ideas were playing in my head while i was going on pinning.
I've spent many nights up past my bed time pinning my life away! LOL

I had to force my self to shut pinterest down, but sleep was no where near. So I decided to get up and work on my sound muncher project which was completely not in my agenda of things. Even though i had got my fair share of inspiration from pinterest i really didn't know where to start.

That came from Pinterest too :)

So i got myself ready and voila in one hour flat i completed my Monster themed letter pack.
Monster themed letter pack
My previous sound muncher had to be revamped. He is sitting happily next to my brain break basket in this picture !

I didn't have any time in the beginning of school year to make him look fancy, but hey summer breaks for teachers are meant to complete all incomplete projects. :)

So I decided to turn the regular muncher into a monster muncher since my kiddos were super excited about the monster theme during the manners unit. And i think he turned out cute.

I also made a letter monster wand.

Children will use him to find and say the sounds of letters.

After they will feed the muncher with words beginning with a particular letter, i will let them draw all the objects they fed him. Feeding the muncher will be a large group activity and drawing on the paper will be an individual activity. Drawing will help to consolidate the whole group activity as children will learn to focus and observe the words being fed to the muncher.

I will also place my muncher in the center and let children feed him magnetic letters. After feeding him they will circle the letters which they fed the muncher in the sheet below.

In the pack, i have also included uppercase and lowercase monster letter cards which children can match and then feed the muncher.

There are some more cards which i will laminate and put in a binder ring so children can draw various objects beginning with each letter.

 And a fun poster which i will hang next to my monster muncher

Hope you liked all these fun activities. If you would like to download them click on the link below:

Monster themed letter pack

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I am linking up with Christina at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

I have ordered this book to read during the summers to help nurture writers in my class. I am quite keen to explore this area of development in children and want to learn new ideas.
Unfortunately in India, writing is looked upon in a completely different fashion than what it should be for little children. Parents, educators and schools are all obsessed about developing good handwriting and helping children write perfectly within lines. The skill of writing just stops there. Expression, creativity, imagination really doesn't figure anywhere.
I want to know how do you help children get excited about writing and what are the strategies you use to  develop this skill in little children ?

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Book of the week

I am linking up with Deanna Jump to share one of my favorite books.

Product Details

It is a book i fell instantly in love with and so did my kids. It had me in fits of laughter and my kids were completely enraptured by the book. It is a fun book with really no message in it. But the kids wanted to hear it over and over so i am assuming it was a hit with the little ones.

The book tells the story of a slug who is shunned by all the snails because he doesn't have a shell. He really wants to fit in, so he starts his search for a shell. And when he finds his perfect shell, his story takes a twist.

My kiddos were rolling on the floor laughing hysterically by the time we got to the end of the book.


If you want to brighten up your day or catch children's attention this is a perfect book to read. Of course you could use this book to talk about the difference between a snail and a slug.

I created this freebie to go with the book. You will witness some interesting sparks of creativity with this activity. :)

Norman the slug with the silly shell
Please click on the link Norman-the-slug-with-the-silly-shell to go to my TPT store and download this document for free.

The book is available on amazon
Norman the slug with the silly shell

A big Shout out for Deanna Jump to organize this linky. If you are interested to share your favorite book, hop on to her blog.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Number Sense

You can't escape mathematics even if you want to !

On a serious note i think math is an important part of our lives and we use it all the time. (If you found the poster interesting you can click on the link :MATH-FREE-POSTER to get a copy for yourself.) I recently read a paper on number sense, assessment tool for identifying children at risk for mathematical difficulties by Nancy. C. Jordan and found out that poor achievement in math can have serious educational and vocational consequences. If a student wants to pursue college level science courses, competence in math will be a key factor in determining that child's success. And the reason why many children do not have this competence is because their foundation in math skills were never set right in the Early Years. According to the paper,weak number sense can result in poorly developed counting procedures, slow fact retrieval and inaccurate computation. And i never thought that the simple skill of counting, actually is of paramount importance. When children count objects, they get an understanding of what numbers actually mean and then they start making a connection between quantity and the number. Engaging children in games related to counting and number correspondence helps to develop a good foundation and build number knowledge.

Setting up a math rich environment is very vital to math learning and gives children an opportunity to explore, question and solve problems.

In many classrooms, math begins during calendar time and my class is no different. Children gather to do the calendar and math is very evidently incorporated while singing songs for days of the week, months in a year, finding the date and counting how many days we have been in school.

I also let children take the attendance for the day and count how many children have come to school.
I have a number line with numbers from 1-25 written on it. Every day the calendar person does a head count, pointing at each child's head. Another child listens to the number and points at the number on the number line. In this simple activity, children learn how to count, do number correspondence and recognize numbers.

We also count the number of boys and girls separately and the calendar person for the day writes the number on the chart.

Math begins in a fun way and children engage in counting with gusto.

Another idea which i implement in my class is to put magnetic numbers on the white board along with a number line. The magnetic numbers are all jumbled up and children sort the numbers in order, taking help from the number line. I wish i had a photo to upload but school is closed and i don't have any pictures to share. 

I love taking out my cupcake tray for a fun center activity. I place some cupcake paper cups for children to count and place in the correct section of the tray. Children sometimes use a bakers hat and love pretending to bake cupcakes.They take the math activity to another dimension altogether.

Another fun idea is to make cupcakes with paper and write numbers and dots on them. Children need to see the number and match it to the correct number of dots.

I love food. Its evident from the activities that i am sharing. :)
In this one too, children count the fries and put them in the correct pack. You can make the fries with foam for durability.

Children love using manipulatives to count. You can write numbers for them on a paper or give them number cards. They can count objects according to the numbers.

A similar activity can be done using bird cutouts and some feathers. Write the number on the bird template and let children count and put the correct number of feathers on the bird.

I love Pete the cat and  found a great idea to go with this book. 

I use the ten frames only for counting. Children count the buttons according to the number on the sheet.

 You can download your free copy from Groovy-Pete-Cat-Freebies and see how this teacher uses it.

There are many number songs you can sing with little children . Our favorites are:
Ten little Indians
Five little Monsters
Five good friends
Five little Monkeys
Five little ducks went out one day

A fun counting song by Dr Jean

Ten Little Indians Song

I also created some number sheets from 1-10 for my kiddos. You could use these during centers, morning work or for assessment. 
Visit my TPT store to download the pack.

I started enjoying math when i started teaching it. Hope you get inspired with these activities and enjoy doing them as much as i do.