Friday, November 11, 2011

Smart Board Koosh Ball Alphabetl Review Game

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The use of the Smart Board within the classroom has increasingly gained popularity because of the interactive component. Discovering ways to use it; can be quite exciting. I am just learning all the features of the Notebook software that is used in conjunction with the Smart Board; there are certainly some very exciting features.

I really don't know how many schools are purchasing these for their classrooms as it can be quite an expense. I will continually add activities that I discover and create as I am learning. I will be working with a trainer at the University.

1. Each child is given one or two alphabet picture cards (found in the member's area). These would be a review if the "Alphabet Program" were followed. Review letters are: c, u, a, t, m, e, q, r, f, h, n and d.
2. A child would be chosen to throw the koosh ball at one of the colored circles. Behind the circles are the review letters. The students need to be fairly close to the board and throw the ball quite hard in order for it to work. They could also just touch the circle.
3. Once a letter is displayed, the child holding the related picture card would come forward. A discussion would take place if this were a match.
4. The red circle down in the lower right-hand corner would be touched in order to return back to the main page.

This could be further used for a Center activity.

Note: The template was found in the teacher tools of the Notebook software.

SCIENCE ACTIVITY is currently creating a "Science Program" that is related to different themes. In the link below you will find an activity that could be used in conjunction with the "Family and Pets Theme".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Use of Worksheets In the Classroom

Research has shown that the use of worksheets within a preschool and kindergarten classroom is not beneficial for young children. A play-based curriculum has proven to be more effective; however, I feel this might be misinterpreted. I personally don't view a play-based curriculum advocates a laissez-faire approach where children don't require structure. It does not mean a classroom is filled with toys but rather literacy rich and engaging learning activities. For me, a play-based classroom is where a great deal of learning takes place at "Learning Centers". These Centers have been specifically designed to meet certain curriculum objectives but also require the children to be involved in discovery and conversation.

A Kinderplans classroom would look like this in relation to the "All About Me" Theme. I feel this follows a play-based philosophy.

1. Children would be completing the interactive component of their individual readers. After, they would be reading it to others.

Cooperation Games and Activities Used At the Centers
The students would be working in pairs playing the following games. These could be played as cooperation games; where they work together to complete the game or more competitive in nature.

Review of Concepts Introduced
1. Review Color Word Game - Students take turns drawing a color word card and place it on the picture that represents that color. They can use the board with or without the color words on it.

2. Alphabet Review Game - Children take turns drawing a letter card and place it on the picture that begins with that sound. They could use the game board with or without the words printed on it; this would depend on their individual needs.

3. Students would be spinning the word family wheel to make new words representing that word family and saying the new words.

4. Vowel Fun Game - Students would be working together to place the correct vowel that represents the picture.


Videos of Center Activities

Students would be drawing portrait of themselves and writing about it (inventive spelling) or the child would dictate a sentence and the teacher scribes for them.

1. Estimating amounts and counting to confirm their estimation.
2. Completing activities related to the focus number.
3. Ordering and estimating size of foot outlines.
4. Graphing eye, hair color and birthdays.

Students would be experimenting with shadows.

Note: We are currently working on a "Science Activity Book" that relates to the various themes. This will be filled with science activities that can be incorporated within each theme.

Suggested craft ideas found in the link below:


All About Me Crafts

The students would be operating a "Party Supply Store".

The students could paint a "me" picture.

Creating a home for "me".

The focus shared reading story could be projected on the smarboard or overhead. The students would be playing school and pointing to and reading the sentences found on the projection.

Creating a "Me" sculpture.

Listening to reading of the books related to the theme.

Re-enacting a positive character virtue.

Students take turns hiding a focus number amount and the others must dig and find that amount.

Suggested activity found in the link below.


Online Activities

In the links below you will find research that has been done in relation to this topic.


Play-Based Curriculum Research

Play-Based Curriculum Research


Monday, October 10, 2011

Smartboard and Computer Activities

Increasingly technology has been integrated into our classrooms. The use of computers and smart boards are increasingly being used for effective teaching practices. However; the term "effective" is a key word here. There are many games and activities available but they do not necessarily contribute to assist teachers with meeting the curriculum outcomes. It can be a time consuming task finding these resources. is committed to finding or developing these necessary resources over the next few years.


Colors Theme
One of the suggested themes for October is "Colors". In the link below you will find suggested activities for that theme.


Color Kindergarten Preschool Theme

Smart Board Activities for the Colors Theme

Color Words

Smart Board Activities for Color Words

Color Sorting Activities

Color Identification and Sorting Activities

Computer Game for Identifying Colors

Identifying Colors Computer Game

Halloween and Pumpkin Theme - Mini Lesson Idea
Together read "Pumpkin Faces" as a shared reading experience. Sample page from the link below:

Halloween and Pumpkin Theme

Follow-up Smart Board and Computer Activities

Follow-up Pumpkin Activity

Please feel free to post your comments and suggestions for integrating technology into the Preschool and Kindergarten classroom.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Teaching Printing in Kindergarten and Preschool


Focus on Lower Case Letters

When teaching printing I believe considerably more time should be spent on teaching lower-case letters.


The reason I believe the focus should be on teaching lower-case letters is because 95 percent of what we read is written in lower case letters. That leaves 5 percent written in upper case letters. In my experience, when children are taught to print words in upper-case letters it is difficult to undo this habit in the upper grades. Having taught a number grades; I have spent a great deal of time retraining children to not place an upper-case letter in the middle of a word. If focus were placed on printing lower-case letters first; this problem might be reduced. Children could be trained when upper-case letters are appropriately used in conjunction with proper grammar usage.

Handwriting for Preschoolers and Kindergarten Children

What is your opinion on this? COMMENT BELOW...

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Center Suggestions

Listed below are center suggestions:
1. Literacy
2. Reading
3. Writing
4. Listening
5. Math
6. Science
7. Social Studies
8. Computer
9. Crafts
10. Playdough
11. Easel
12. Blocks
13. Puzzles
14. Puppets
15. Housekeeping
16. Dressup

In the link below you will find signs that can be used to identify these centers.

Signs for the Learning Centers

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Preschool-Kindergarten Lesson Plans on Bugs

The video demonstrates lesson plan ideas for incorporating your Bugs theme within your classroom. Click on it to preview it.

For more ideas visit the link below:

Preschool and Kindergarten Lesson Plans on Bugs

Below you will find a list of related books that can be used in conjunction with this theme.
1. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
2. The Very Clumsy Click Beetle by Eric Carle
3. The Very Lonely Firefly by Eric Carle
4. The Very Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
5. The Honeybee and the Robber by Eric Carle
6. Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
7. The Best Bug Parade by Stuart J. Murphy
8 Bugs for Lunch by Margery Facklam
9. Bugs! Bugs! Bugs! by Bob Barner
10. Charlie the Caterpillar by Dom De Luise
12. Creepy Crawlies by Kathryn Kilpatrick
13. Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose
14. How Many Bugs in a Box? by David Carter
15. Icky Bugs Counting Book by Jerry Pallotta
16. I'm a Caterpillar by Jean Marzollo
17. I'm as Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Wood
18. In the Tall, Tall Grass by Denise Fleming
19. Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni
20. Insect by Robin Bernard
21. Insects Grow and Change by Elaine Pascoe
22. Ladybug, Ladybug by Ruth Brown
23. Monarch Butterfly by David Schwartz
14. Sam and the Firefly by P.D. Eastman
15. Snappy Little Bugs by Claire Nielson

Friday, April 29, 2011

Preschool and Kindergarten Math - Adding and Subracting

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This video in this post demonstrates how adding and subtracting can be introduced using well-known nursery rhymes and two-sided counters for kindergarten math.

More Information on Pre Kindergarten Math

Friday, March 25, 2011

Preschool-Kindergarten Math on Numbers and Problem Solving

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View the Video on SchoolTube Click Here is in the process of developing a full kindergarten math program which is meant to cover the majority of the math outcomes. This video demonstrates activities that can be implemented to achieve the outcomes outlined below. The templates mentioned are available to members of the site.
1. Identify whether the number of objects in one groups is greater than, less than, or equal to the number of objects in another. This is best developed through the use of graphing activities.
2. Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them.
3. Reason abstractly and quantitatively.
4. Model with mathematics.
5. Use appropriate tools strategically.
6. Look for and make use of structure.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Preschool-Kindergarten Math Games

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Learning numbers and number sense is a important curriculum outcome for Preschoolers and Kindergartners. The video demonstrates follow-up games that can be implemented for review, once the numbers have been introduced. This offers an engaging learning experience and reinforces number sense for children in the early years of learning.
More Preschool-Kindergarten Math Games

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Preschool-Kindergarten Math - Numbers

One of the biggest challenges in teaching Preschool and Kindergarten math is a child's ability to understand cardinality. Cardinality is a child's ability to attach meaning to a number. A young child may be able to count by rote and even use one-to-one correspondence but may not understand that the set represents a specific number. They may not understand that the last number counted represents the total amount. For example, ask a child to count a set and ask them how many there are. Can they confidently relay the total amount (understand the last number counted represents the total)? If you rearrange the set, will they still understand it represents the same number? According to research this is a challenging concept for children and requires them to be actively involved in activities and games that help them develop this. Games and activities that involve counting and comparing are great for developing this. It is a key concept for children because it is the framework for developing other math concepts. has developed a Math program which addresses many of the Kindergarten curriculum outcomes. The video above demonstrates activities that are found in the "Number Sense" strand from the curriculum. It provides ideas of how specific numbers can be introduced and follow-up games and activities can be used to develop the concept of cardinality.
Note: Numbers to 20 are introduced in the program to address the different school jurisdictions curriculum outcomes.

More Preschool-Kindergarten Math Ideas

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Preschool-Kindergarten Writing

Children are best encouraged to engage in an activity when they
see others participating in it. This is why it is important for
educators of young children to model the writing process.
Outlined below are a few ways in which this can be

1. Many teachers like to begin each class with writing a short
morning message. This message outlines what activities are
planned for the day. As the teacher is writing she models the
writing process. She might focus on how words make a sentence,
stretching sounds to determine how they are spelled or the use
of capitals and periods. This modeling is a very important
component in a child's learning process as it demonstrates to
them that writing is an important means of communication.

2. Within a learning environment should be a safe and encouraging
place where the children can develop this skill which would be the
"Writing Center". The "Writing Center" would consist of a table,
chairs, paper, envelopes, pencils, crayons, felts, tracers, rulers,
whiteboard, chalkboard and clipboard. The alphabet, in upper and
lower case letters should be posted nearby at the child's level.
Plenty of print should be displayed within the classroom for the
children to use as models for reading and writing. As a member
of the Kinderplans website you will have access to hundreds of
picture cards related to specific themes. Each of the cards have
the words printed on them. These were designed to use for this

3. Writing develops at different rates. For many children in the
younger years they draw pictures to convey their ideas. This
begins with scribbling to something that resembles a picture.
The educator (teacher) may ask the child to dictate what the
picture conveys and print this in words and read it back to the
child. This is another means of modeling the writing process.

4. Large classroom books can be made for the children to read.
These books were designed around each child's conveyed message.
for example, if you are working on a "Colors Theme", each child
would dictate a sentence telling what their favorite color is.
After, they would would draw a picture displaying the color. The
teacher would include the printed text of what each child said
below the picture drawn. This would be bound together to make a
classroom book.

It is important to understand that writing is a process and each
child develops at their own pace. The more support and
encouragement provided the greater the success!

In the link below you will find some suggested craft/writing
activities that can be done together as a class.

Preschool-Kindergarten Writing Activities

Monday, January 24, 2011

Preschool-Kindergarten Lesson Plans for Community Helpers Theme

Click on the video to view a demonstration of Preschool-Kindergarten lesson plan activities that can be used in your Community Helpers theme. The readers are great to use to teach beginning reading skills. The matching game can be added to your Literacy Center. These are resources that have been added to the "Community Helpers" theme found our sister site

More Lesson Plan Ideas for Community Helpers Click Here

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nutrition Lesson Plans

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The video on the left demonstrates how literacy and games can be integrated into your Nutrition lesson plans. You can find more videos and ideas in the link below:

Nutrition Lesson Plans