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“My Holiday Traditions Number Book” Easy Reader Project!

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Hey, everybody!  I’ve got a brand new book making project that’s just PERFECT for Kindergarten, TK, or first grade!  It’s called “My Holiday Traditions Around the World Number Book” and I can’t wait to share it with you!  It goes along perfectly with my existing Holiday Traditions Around the World book; in fact, it uses parts of the same illustrations!  So if you like that book, you’ll probably like this one, too!




This project is a fun, easy reader for kids to make when learning about holiday traditions around the world.  In it, the kids make the illustrations for their own easy reader book that gives just “the gist” of ten different holiday traditions, all told in a rhyming number poem. The little crafty illustrations are a great follow up activity to reading our Holiday Traditions Around the World book, (or reading about these holiday traditions from ANY books, really!)




Plus, it gives children a chance to practice writing their numbers AND their emergent reading skills at the same …
   

15+ (Mostly) FREE Hands-On Alphabet Letter Building Ideas!

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Today, I am excited to share more than 15 hands-on ways for kids to build a letter!  Building alphabet letters is a great way to help children remember its shape and form.  My class added this to our weekly Letter of the Week routine this year, and I am SO glad that we did!  It seems to be making a HUGE difference especially to my lower students- those that have come with little prior exposure to the alphabet and/or no preschool experience.  And that's definitely a WIN!




It seems that the more the kids build and form that letter, the more likely it is that they will recognize it later.  This, combined with our Letter of the Week Focus Wall routine and weekly practice writing the letter, our HeidiSongs Alphabet Songs, and our daily Zoo Phonics practice from A-Z are making the most difference in helping the children learn the alphabet.




Our Weekly Routine for Letter Building

As we study our letter of the week, we pick one day to do letter building, but it could certainly be spread out…
   

Can’t Do Halloween? Try Mad Scientist Day!

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If you cannot celebrate Halloween at your school, here’s an alternative:  Mad Scientist Day!  Mad Scientist Day is a fun-filled day of hands-on science experiments, some of which are done with candy!  The children get to dress up as scientists, “mad” or otherwise!  This helps keep the focus of the day on academics rather than just candy and spooks.


I first learned about this wonderful idea from Reagan Tunstall on her amazing blog, Tunstall’s Teaching Tidbits.  It sure looked like a LOT of fun, so I introduced the idea at my school last year when I discovered that the kids are not allowed dress up on Halloween.  (My new school does have a big “Pumpkin Night” carnival type of event right before Halloween each year, but the school day is reserved for academics only.)  My teammates were excited about the idea, and the principal was happy to give permission for this academically focused event!  So last year, both the first and second grades participated.  This year, the ENTIRE SCHOOL is o…