Summer School at Home with HeidiSongs: Getting Ready for Kindergarten, Week 3!

Welcome to Week 3 of Summer School at Home with Heidi Songs! We have great ideas to work on over the summer so your little one will feel confident and prepared to start Kindergarten in the fall. If you are just joining us, check out Week 1 and Week 2.

Campus Visits

Helping children to become comfortable with their physical space will go a long way in reducing first day fears. Over the summer take time to visit the campus your child will be attending. Show them where you will drop them off or where the bus will be. Help them to find the main office, library, bathrooms, and drinking fountains.

The kindergartners at my school were all greeted with personalized lawn signs to take home on their first day of school!

This is also a great time to have conversations about following rules, who to ask for help if they need it, and what to do if they feel sick or forget their lunch. To help keep the conversations going at home, take photos on your visit. Having pictures will help keep the campus …

Teaching Kids to WRITE the Numbers

Teaching children to write the numbers correctly can be very frustrating for early childhood teachers!  Also, attempting to GRADE their writing can be equally TRICKY!  What does a number written correctly look like, versus one that is not?  In this post, I am going to tell you how I teach my students to write the numbers.  I've posted some examples of student work showing numbers that look correct and some that are not, in my opinion.  Check the captions under the photos for explanations on why certain numbers "would pass" or not.  I also have some number formation poems to share with you, plus a free download of a parent guide that explains what those correctly formed numbers should look like- and the incorrect ones!

So it seems that every year, getting the children to write those numbers can be something like pulling teeth:  it comes slowly, and getting them to just "CARE" seems to be half the battle!  Perhaps the reason for this is that we know that the mos…

Five Classroom Management Games Kids LOVE!

The end of the year is upon us, and most teachers are pulling every trick they have out of their hats to help them maintain class control (and their sanity!) as the school year comes to a close. In honor of this unique time of year, here is a collection of my favorite classroom management games that kids LOVE! Enjoy!

"The Don’t Say a WORD Game” (A Game for Transitions)

This is a game that I made up one year when I had a particularly “chatty” and social class. Every time we came into the classroom, (or lined up to go out,) they were very noisy, and the only thing that stopped them was negative consequences, which I hated!

What you need:
1.  Nothing!

How to play:
1. Everyone must walk into or out of the classroom without saying a single word.  If they do, the whole class earns a reward, such as an extra five minutes of playtime.
2. To make this work, I sometimes gave the extra playtime minutes to those that were quiet, rather than take the reward away from the whole class. Unfortunat…

Organizing Materials for Easy Lesson Planning

Here are my best tips to help you get your classroom materials organized in a way that makes sense, makes things easy to find, and helps you get your lesson plans done quickly and easily! The basic idea is simply to organize your language arts and math materials by skill so that any time you want to teach a particular concept, you simply go to that folder, binder, or box and choose from what you have, and start writing! If this sounds like something that would work for you, read on! Hope it’s helpful!

Other seasonal materials that are always used at a certain time of year are filed and organized chronologically, by month or holiday, etc, which is what I do with my social studies materials. Science is filed away separately by topic. I do this with both physical and digital materials, using lots of folders on my computer to keep things organized. At the end of this post, you can read about how I organize some of my HeidiSongs materials specifically if you are interested.

Here is the que…