Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Christmas Headband FREEBIE!

Danielle from Krazee4Kindergarten with a Christmas headband freebie. There are eight holiday headbands to choose from. Enjoy and Merry Christmas!  Click HERE

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Kahoot for the WIN!

Hi!  It's Page and Cristy from Kindergarten Squared!  We are so in love with KAHOOT! that it's just not even funny!  And here's why...Best...Lesson...Ever! 

I was practically giddy during the whole thing! I already loved Kahoot! before this, but had really only used it in adult professional learning. I may be just a teensy weensy bit competitive so this little doozie fits my personality like a glove! An "I'm gonna take you down smack talking" kinda glove mind you! If you want my undivided attention in a faculty meeting, just tell me we'll be playing Kahoot! at the end of it...and I'm yours for the next hour!!! Seriously it's just so engaging.
So what took me so long to finally use it with my kiddos???? Well there's the whole device issue! We only have 3 in our room and I just thought it'd be too hard to keep everyone engaged and could I really tell if kids were understanding the concepts we would cover. So I just tucked this little gem into my teacher pocket and waited for the perfect storm.
Enter stage left...the NEW and glorious Chromebook carts! I PUFFY HEART them in so many ways!!!!  Our class has already checked them out twice in the first week and a half since they arrived! We jumped right in with some non-fiction bat research and then kiddos worked with a partner to share bat facts on a Google doc. It was great! I loved it! And, well... They mostly loved it! It was seriously awesome, but I have to be honest and say there were a couple of kiddos that were a teeny bit stressed with all the things they needed to do. It was a little overwhelming for a few of the kiddos.
So I knew if I wanted to keep them on the "OMG...these Chromebooks ROCK" bandwagon, then I better pull out something they were gonna go CRAZY over! In comes KAHOOT!  If I love it, wouldn't they surely love it too? You're dang skippy they do!
I kid you not when I say they were COMPLETELY and TOTALLY 100% engaged for 40 minutes straight! My principal even walked in to ask something and her jaw dropped to the floor. She was so pumped with the whole thing!
So here's the 411! We had read Too Many Pumpkins earlier that morning for our CAFE lesson. We talked about story elements and the kids completed a story map puzzle in their Interactive Reading Notebooks. So later that afternoon we brought in the Chromebook cart. Each kiddo had their own device. Once they logged in, they just entered www.kahoot.it and they were ready to enter the "game pin".  Now for my part, I just searched the site and found a quiz that some other lovely person had already created. It had 15 comprehension questions for the story. There was a 6 digit game pin and once they entered the #, they were linked to this particular quiz. The kiddos had 20 seconds to enter their answer for each question. Their screen does not show them whether they got it right or wrong until time's up and everyone has entered their answer.  I read the questions and answer choices and we were good to go.  After each question it ranks the top 5 kids' scores. With each question and answer revealed, it again ranks the kids. They LOVED that part and were trying so hard! If they missed questions, we would discuss it or look back in the story and use text evidence to support the correct answer. We hit a TON of standards! The kids were crazy excited and they could absolutely NOT get enough of it! They begged me to play it again before we even closed the Chromebooks!
Do you see those fist pumps??? Ex--cit--ed!!!
I already have so many ideas swimming around in my head for different quizzes I can create! And I'm thinking I can quickly use the results as a formal assessment to help me build strategy groups. I will just need to do a quick hop around the room and make note of who misses what on a little checklist. So easy and they think they are just having FUN! That people...is a WIN-WIN situation!
So if you haven't given this a try...do it! I promise you will NOT regret it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thanksgiving Headband FREEBIE!

Danielle from Krazee4Kindergarten with a Thanksgiving headband freebie. If your kids love headbands as much as mine they will enjoy these headband freebies. There are four Thanksgiving headbands to choose from. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!  Click HERE


Monday, November 9, 2015

Thanksgiving: Free Song Poster

Thanksgiving  is around the corner and here are a couple of free items to help bring the festivities into your classroom. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Veterans Day FREEBIE

Hey there, it's Danielle from Krazee4Kindergarten. Enjoy this Veterans Day FREEBIE. It includes a headband and thank you cards. To download click here.




If you are looking for more Veterans Day activities click here:


Friday, November 6, 2015

Cooking in the Classroom

Hey guys! Julie here from Big Ideas For Little Hands! One of my favorite things to do in the classroom is cooking! My kids look forward to this every week and get so excited! I try to incorporate a cooking project or fun snack every Friday. Just a fun way to end the week and they love it! It's amazing what they will do to earn these fun little cooking projects. Here are a few ideas of things that we have done in our classroom for the month of November.

Here's one fun way to make a turkey our of an Oreo, wafer cookie, chocolate chips, and all of that candy corn that you still have left over from Halloween (after your daughter sneaks two handfuls and runs away)

 Another fun way to make this snack is to use sugar cookies and have the students ice their cookie then decorate it to look like a turkey. This is another great way to use up some left over Halloween candy :) All you need is a cookie, icing, M&Ms, candy corn, and a Reese's for each child. You can even have the students sort their candy and count their pieces too. Or they could even make a pattern with their M&Ms. Look we are eating and doing math at the same time!

 I found some other cute ideas on Pinterest that I may have to try out this year! Click the pictures below to go directly to the pin!

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/47639708529717726/          https://www.pinterest.com/pin/47639708532117697/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/47639708529390227/          https://www.pinterest.com/pin/47639708536207594/

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/47639708529510080/         https://www.pinterest.com/pin/47639708528155963/

Have fun cooking!



Thursday, October 29, 2015

Water Bead Fun

I'll never forget the first time I saw watebeads
One of my kindergarten students had brought them 
in a tin containerShe approached me as if 
hiding a secret and said in a hushed voice, 

"Look, Mrs. Castle, at what I have!"

She opened her tin and I took a look.

What the ARE these?! I was thinking to myself! 
She didn't know the name of them.
And she probably knew her parents didn't want her to have them at school...
hence all the secrecy. 

I remember seeing them wiggle and jiggle around 
in the tin and thinking 'Oh my word-I don't know what this is so she better just put it away real quick and take it back home!'

A few weeks later, I saw a picture on Pinterest of 
these same magical little beads,
 along with a home recipe for making them. 

To my disappointment,
 the recipe didn't work and that was the end of me thinking about them....

Every year, we take our family to participate in 
our church's family camp
My kids look forward to it every year! 
Here's three of them having some fun in the cabin:

This year, one of the activity centers for little kids 
was a sensory themed stations set up. The kids would spend
 about ten minutes or so at every station, exploring and feeling and playing with whatever gooey, slimy,  or messy materials were set out before them. 

That's when I saw the water beads
Lots of colorful, hard to hold, slippery water beads!

I couldn't get my hands out of them! They were so much fun to play with...
yes, even as an adult!

After a few questions, I discovered that they are actually 
hydrating beads used for plants. You bury some in the dirt around your 
plant and they will slowly release water for your plants. 

Hooray! Perhaps I CAN keep my plants alive! 

When they've released their water, they shrink back down. 
The next time you water your plants, they fill back up 
and so the hydrating continues. 

After a few more questions, I discovered that I don't have to "make" these as Pinterest was showing. I can actually buy them from 
Dollar Tree at only $1 per pack. 

As soon as we returned from family camp, off to Dollar Tree I went. 
I bought some right away. The thought of keeping my kids happy while keeping my plants alive was more than I could handle. 

Here's how you make them:

Buy your packages at a local dollar store. Floral stores and craft stores have them as well, but you are going to spend way more money than you need to. The packages we bought at Dollar Tree look like this:

We bought four packs in pink, green, blue, and clear. 

The clear pack actually came with three different sets of 
color beads...not sure why that one had so many more. But the 
other packs had about 50 beads in it.

They come with a plastic flower vase 
(perfect for flowers that students bring to me at school).

Each package also comes with a smaller package of water beads.

We filled up a bowl of water and dumped them in.

Now remember, I am just doing these with my kids for now. But in a classroom, it would be great to turn it into a science investigation. 

Here is a cool link for making it 
Science Project  for your classroom.

Or what about using clear beads and coloring the water 
to see what happens?

The directions tell you to wait 6-8 hours. So if you're doing it in the classroom, start at the very beginning of the day so that they have time to grow as big as they can while you're in session. Or do them at the end of the day so that they grow overnight.

After dumping them in the bowl of water, we set the timer and waited!

Here's what they looked like after 30 minutes. 
Not that we were watching the whole time... (Wink!)

Eight hours later, here's how they turned out:

The pink ones really aren't my favorite. But the others are really cool in color!
All of them feel  A-MAZING!

Now, of course just putting your hands in the bowl or tub and playing with them is a lot of fun. But I found many other activities you can do 
with them too, all in a variety of subjects.

Here are 32 Ways to Play with Water Beads from The Chocolate Muffin Tree.

This next picture from The Imagination Tree, is what I am so doing with my ocean unit this upcoming year!

I also found some water bead math games!

Parenting Chaos shows how they can be put into shaving cream!
I found this picture and LOVE it! Click here to see that site.
The picture alone makes me want to dip my hands in!

Or what about putting them in snow this winter, or shaved ice?
Look what this mom did...
water beads in snow

And, as one friend suggested, use them for a foot spa!
Isn't it the same concept as this toy from ToysRUs?

Speaking of foot spa... 

I better get going and try that out. 
After all...


 ...I am the barefoot teacher

~Til next time!