Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
Instagram
“Follow The Child” — A Simple Valentine’s Day Activity
11 Feb, 2017. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week my students have been non-stop talking about Valentine's Day. To be honest, I wasn't planning on doing anything big for…
A Reggio-inspired inquiry on Lunar New Year and Chinese culture
28 Jan, 2017. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we celebrated the Lunar New Year in my classroom and explored Chinese culture and traditions. It was such a fun-filled…
Studying the human body with kindergarteners
7 Jan, 2017. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This year, my students were very interested in learning about the ways their bodies worked. We spent about three weeks learning about our five…
Polar Express Day 2016
20 Dec, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past Friday was our annual Polar Express Day. This is by far one of my favorite traditions. This year it ended up…
6 easy steps for effective guided reading lessons
10 Nov, 2016. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I know I say this often and about many things, but guided reading is one of my favorite times during our day. During…
STEM activities in November
5 Nov, 2016. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I love that STEM education is getting so much attention these days. Incorporating STEM activities in your classroom helps your students develop problem…
Exploring Owls With Kindergarteners
23 Oct, 2016. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello Friends! We just finished a really fun week of learning all about owls. My students this year are very intrigued by birds.…
Exploring shapes with kindergarteners
11 Oct, 2016. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I have found that when teaching kindergarten, at many times throughout the year I loop back around to concepts to help my students dig…
Our kindergarten apple orchard!
23 Sep, 2016. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Happy Fall! In Texas it definitely does NOT feel like the season has changed but I have high hopes that sweatshirt and boot…
The first part of our kindergarten bird inquiry
4 Sep, 2016. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The other day, one of my students brought in two bird nests that her family had found on their property. She proudly shared…
Kindergarten Activities To Go Along With “The Little Red Hen”
27 Aug, 2016. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past Friday marked our 9th day of school and I am happy to say, we are having an absolute blast. This particular…
What goes on during the first week in our kindergarten classroom?
20 Aug, 2016. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The first week of kindergarten is in the books. We had a lot of fun getting to know one another and discovering new…
Classroom Reveal 2016-2017
13 Aug, 2016. 26 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello everyone! I hope that you had a fabulous week! For those of you who already have a few days of the school…
Tutorial: How to dye beans for your sensory table
6 Aug, 2016. 10 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello everyone! This morning I was dying beans for my new group of kindergarteners and thought I would write a quick tutorial on…
Getting Ready For A New Year
4 Aug, 2016. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello everyone! I hope that you are enjoying your last few days of summer. For us here in Texas, the first day of…
Beginning Of The Year Literacy Centers And Activities
28 Jul, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
 The beginning of kindergarten is such a fun time. Ok, honestly, if I wrote this post at the end of May when our…
Using Student Portfolios In A Kindergarten Classroom
21 Jul, 2016. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last year I changed the way that I did student portfolios and it was a HUGE success. I posted a few pictures on…
5 Tried And True Morning Meeting Activities (for kindergarteners)
15 Jul, 2016. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I absolutely love using a morning meeting to begin our day.  In the book it says, "morning meetings help to create a climate…
Breaking Down The Day (Part 1: The First 30 Minutes)
13 Jul, 2016. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The first thirty minutes of the day are essential in my classroom because they set the tone for the rest of the day. During…
Guided Math In Kindergarten
21 Jun, 2016. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last summer I was tasked by my school to write a guided math curriculum for both kindergarteners and first grade students. These curriculums…
Incorporating Reggio methods in a “traditional” school setting
3 Jun, 2016. 22 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The Reggio-style of teaching has truly captivated my heart. Over the past year I have tried to implement many  "Reggio" methods into my…
Ocean activities for young learners
22 May, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I can not get over how quickly this year flew by.  We are down to only 4 days left and I am so…
Engaging lessons on tide pools
7 May, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we began a new unit on tide pools. As some of my students have never visited the ocean, the first day we…
Following my students’ interests to DINOSAURS
1 May, 2016. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We have had an absolute BLAST studying dinosaurs these last two weeks. My students are SO into them and I am ashamed to…
It’s SPRING! Take this science activity outside!
27 Apr, 2016. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about where you live, but here in Texas, we are experiencing a BEAUTIFUL spring!! Each day we are finding new…
Using informational texts during guided reading in kindergarten
24 Apr, 2016. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We have been working so very hard during guided reading these last few months. My students are doing such a great job at…
Hands-on activities when studying storms
9 Apr, 2016. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
In Science, our objective this past week was,  "students will observe, describe, and illustrate objects in the sky such as the clouds and Sun."…
Turning a picture book into a play to review the sequence of events
6 Apr, 2016. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The last few weeks we have really been working on retelling the sequence of events in a story. We have done this a…
Stone Soup
4 Apr, 2016. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
One of the literary "big ideas" that we have been focusing on during our read alouds is that we can retell the sequence of events…
A new take on whole group math
23 Mar, 2016. 14 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
A few weeks ago, I was able to attend the kindergarten SDE conference in Austin, TX. I had the privilege to listen to…
Using a rainy day to inspire writing
20 Mar, 2016. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
In Texas, we don't often get a rainy day that we can enjoy. However, last week, we got to enjoy not one, but…
Exploring rocks and minerals with young learners (part two)
13 Mar, 2016. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
(As this post is fairly long, I have broken it up into multiple pages, as a quick reference, at the bottom of each…
Part One: A Student-Led Inquiry About Rocks And Geodes
5 Mar, 2016. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
About a month ago, while we were on the playground, our students became fascinated with collecting rocks. Day by day, students would run up…
Subtraction Lessons Kindergarteners LOVE!
29 Feb, 2016. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
During Math we have been working very hard at solving subtraction equations.  As most kindergarten students do, mine love anything that involves play dough, acting, or…
American Symbols
20 Feb, 2016. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Part of our Social Studies standards require that we teach our kindergarten students about American symbols and famous presidents. This is not one…
Number of the day– in kindergarten
17 Feb, 2016. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Two months ago I incorporated a new routine into our day. We call it, "Number Of The Day." During this time, my students…
Using Provocations In Your Kindergarten Classroom
5 Feb, 2016. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I have been using a lot of Reggio-inspired practices this year in my classroom and am so very happy with the results that…
A Kindergarten Unit on Castles
3 Feb, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The past three weeks we have been learning all about Medieval Times in our kindergarten classroom. My students had shown a huge interest…
Exploring Sound With Kindergarteners
30 Jan, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We just finished a unit exploring light and sound. If you would like to read about the light inquiry, you can do so here. Today,…
Exploring Capacity With Kindergarteners
27 Jan, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Capacity: the maximum amount something can contain. In order to teach my students this term, I purchased four new sensory tubs from Amazon.com.…
Exploring Three Dimensional Shapes In Kindergarten
24 Jan, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
For the last 2 weeks my kindergarten students have been really digging deep to recognize, name, and define three dimensional shapes. To do…
Exploring Light In Kindergarten
9 Jan, 2016. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
{This blog post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.} This past week my kindergarteners explored light. They enjoyed our unit SO…
Adding PLAY To Your Guided Reading Groups
1 Jan, 2016. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
As a teacher we want our students to LOVE to read. We want our students to devour good books and to become amazing little readers.…
Teaching Kindergarteners To Write Narratives
30 Dec, 2015. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This year, one of my professional goals was to get better at teaching my students to write. At the beginning of the summer,…
Simple activities to make your Arctic unit come to life!
27 Dec, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I love teaching because every year, every month, and every day I get to learn something new. I get to see the joy…
Polar Express Day 2015
23 Dec, 2015. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
First of all, Merry, Merry Christmas from all of mine (minus those who were sick with strep throat this past week) to all of…
A few of our favorite things
18 Dec, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Two years ago I switched grades from first to kindergarten. I was excited to make the change since I had previously taught kindergarten for…
A Quick Game To Practice Sight Words
14 Dec, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hi Friends! Today I wanted to share a SUPER quick and easy game that we play often in my classroom. To practice ANY…
Teaching Kindergarteners to “Make 5”
12 Dec, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The past week during guided math we have been diligently working on "making 5." To do this, we have played many games. The…
Hands-on Ways To Practice Patterns In December
8 Dec, 2015. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
One of the math skills that we are currently working on in my classroom is reviewing patterns. We have already mastered repeating patterns…
Why teaching handwork is still important (and a giveaway!!)
22 Nov, 2015. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
As many of you know, the afternoons in my kindergarten classroom are a very special time for us. During what we call "Exploratory…
An Easy Way To Increase Engagement: Rally Coach
11 Nov, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
One of my favorite ways to increase engagement is to use Kagan structures. I was beyond blessed that when I was in college…
Following My Students’ Interests… To Africa
9 Nov, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
My students are obsessed with endangered animals. I honestly have never seen a group of kids so INTO a topic. While learning about…
What Goes On During Our Math Block?
7 Nov, 2015. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Many people often ask me what my classroom looks like during our math block. I thought today I'd give you a brief tour…
Making Magic Potions
3 Nov, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
For our Friday experiment last week, my students entered our classroom to find, silver platters set out with intriguing science tools. They "oooohhhed…
Using pumpkins to teach math
1 Nov, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The week before Halloween, my school enjoys "Spirit Week." Every day has its own theme and the kids (and teachers!) come dressed accordingly.…
Fun In October
25 Oct, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We have been having a BLAST with our October activities. With Halloween just around the corner, here are a few fun things you…
We Are Authors
24 Oct, 2015. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
For the last two weeks we have been working very hard at writing books about what we know about.  We culminated the process…
Patterns, Patterns, Patterns!
9 Oct, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week, during math centers/investigations, my students were presented with a question. "Can you make a pattern?" They each selected a material…
What have we been up to during Guided Math?
7 Oct, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I must say, I am so very grateful that I created a year's worth of guided math plans this past summer. It has…
Art Matters In Our Kindergarten Classroom
4 Oct, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Art is a great way to help your students develop language skills, strengthen their fine motor muscles, develop their sense of self, and explore…
Our Latest STEM/STEAM Activity
26 Sep, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Many studies have found that current graduates are lacking the essential skills they need to problem solve. For this reason, there has been…
Activities During Our Forest Inquiry
24 Sep, 2015. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We currently are knee-deep in our forest inquiry. Throughout the week, my students came up with some great wonders! Here are a few things…
Math In September
20 Sep, 2015. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we continued our Forest Inquiry. My students are absolutely loving learning about forests, leaves, trees, and forest animals. To bring our…
Letting go and watching them soar
19 Sep, 2015. 14 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We are currently on our 22nd day of school. For the past few weeks, we have been hard at work learning routines, procedures,…
Kindergarten: where young scientists are born
12 Sep, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we began the journey on a four - six week inquiry.  I'm excited and my students are even more excited. Basically,…
Community Helper Fun!
5 Sep, 2015. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week my class learned ALL about community helpers. Each day we studied a particular helper and did activities that went along with…
Exploratory Centers– A Case For Play
1 Sep, 2015. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Every afternoon, I set aside 30-45 minutes for my students to explore items, activities, and experiences in my classroom. I'm sure many of…
Making a Bible Lesson Come To Life With Science
30 Aug, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The first Bible lesson that I always teach my class is the story of Creation. This year was no exception. In order to…
Whole Group Math Mini Lesson Fun!
28 Aug, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we have been working on learning the numbers 1-6. I wanted these lessons to be as hands-on and interactive as possible.…
Getting Your Guided Math Groups Started In Kindergarten
23 Aug, 2015. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Guided Math is such an important part of our day in kindergarten. This is where my young mathematicians get the small group attention that…
Teaching kinders to sit at the meeting place
22 Aug, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we finished up our first week of school. I am already IN LOVE with my new group of kinders. They are…
Meet the Teacher
16 Aug, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week has been a whirlwind! Not only did I present during our staff's inservice week, but the week culminated with our…
Bringing Inquiry Into Your Classroom
3 Aug, 2015. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This summer I have done a lot of research on bringing inquiry and exploration into my classroom. I have been reading books, articles,…
Setting Up My Kindergarten Classroom and Tackling Storage
26 Jul, 2015. 15 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week I spent some time in my new kindergarten classroom. I don't know about you, but it takes me SO much…
Setting the Tone The First Week of School
14 Jul, 2015. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about you, but I am starting to feel the pressure of heading back to school. This upcoming week I am…
Assessments and Data
9 Jul, 2015. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
With just a few short weeks of summer left, I am trying to prepare as much as I can before the back to…
Guided Reading At The Beginning Of The Year (kindergarten)
1 Jul, 2015. 12 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I often get questions asking me how I store all of my centers and classroom materials. I am in a little bit of…
Classroom management without clip charts and extrinsic rewards
23 Jun, 2015. 10 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last year I finished my 12th year of teaching. Over the last 12 years I have seen many behavior management trends come and…
Fostering Independence At Centers
21 Jun, 2015. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
It's no surprise that small group instruction is essential when trying to meet the needs of all of the learners in your classroom. However,…
How to set up a morning meeting in your kindergarten classroom
14 Jun, 2015. 38 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
A few years ago, I dabbled in using a morning meeting in my first grade classroom. I wrote my students a message every…
How to: Guided Math
2 Jun, 2015. 16 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Each year, at the close of the school year, I like to reflect back on things that worked in the previous year. This…
Oceans, Islands, and Waves OH MY!
14 May, 2015. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we are learning all about the Ocean and BOY OH BOY are we having a blast!! I am so glad that…
What have we been up to?
8 May, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The last few weeks have been SUPER hectic. You know how it goes. However, I just HAVE to share some of the FUN…
Math In May
6 May, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Can you believe it is already May?! Where has the time gone?? At one point today I stopped to take in the quiet…
Hands-On Subtraction Lesson/Center
21 Apr, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I love making lessons hands-on and engaging for my students. To truly drive home the concept of subtraction, I went with a Montessori-inspired…
Plant and Earth Day Activities
19 Apr, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
If you read my last blog post, I promised to tell y'all about the rest of our Earth Day and plant unit activities.…
Earth Day Activities
17 Apr, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we have been gearing up for Earth Day. We have been learning all about plants and our world. To make…
Morning Activities for 4 and 5 year olds
10 Apr, 2015. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I am very thankful to teach in a school that understands that young learners need time to explore and engage in tasks. Every…
Hands-on lessons for young students about rocks!
5 Apr, 2015. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The past week we have continued our study on the Earth. This week we focused on the "land." Throughout the week, my students…
Peter Rabbit helps with teen numbers!
30 Mar, 2015. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
If you are anything like me, there are certain picture books that stand out as your absolute favorite childhood stories. I distinctly remember…
Gearing up for Earth Day!
28 Mar, 2015. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The past two weeks, my class has been gearing up for Earth Day. We have been having a blast each afternoon as we learn…
St. Patrick’s Day Fun!
13 Mar, 2015. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we have had so much fun learning about St. Patrick's Day! My students have LOVED all of our activities to fit…