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A Montessori Monday Post- Nouns and Verbs
13 Feb, 2017. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I was asked by several people to start a weekly series on Montessori materials/lessons/activities that I use in my classroom. As an aside,…
“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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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 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.…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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…
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: 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…
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…
Exploring 100
22 Feb, 2015. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Children are naturally inquisitive. As they grow, they, without prompting, seek out learning. As many of my friends who have toddlers would attest…
3 {Easy and CHEAP} Ocean Activities
19 May, 2014. 22 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We are down to 8 days left of school. Those days include 5 full days and three half days... amongst those days we…
Writing about shells {and the ocean}
9 May, 2014. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The ocean is one of those things that simply fascinates me. My mom has a picture of one of my brothers and I…
3rd Annual Camping Day!
4 May, 2014. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
It has become a tradition at my school that every year, around this time, I host a camping day for the first graders.…
Easter Activities and a GIVEAWAY!!
15 Apr, 2014. 22 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Teaching the Easter story is such a humbling and exciting series of lessons while teaching at a Christian school. Every day, my class…
Exploring Plants
13 Apr, 2014. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week was our testing week and I am very glad to say that it is over! My students did fantastic but by…
Frog Week- summaries, writing, and an art “experiment”
30 Mar, 2014. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
In Texas, the weather is currently beautiful. Spring is in the air (and allergies are on overdrive)! To capitalize on what is going…
Texas sized fun! {making social studies come to life!}
21 Mar, 2014. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We have been having SO much fun learning about Texas this week. My students would concur that Texas is a pretty incredible state.…
Getting Ready For A Week Of Texas And Tall Tale Fun!
16 Mar, 2014. 8 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week was our Spring Break. I started the week crazy sick. After school on Friday I went straight to the doctor and…
Having fun in the winter! {Freebie!!}
11 Jan, 2014. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Weather in Texas is so crazy. One day this week it was 29* when I woke up. The next day, my students were…
Winter is Here!!
9 Jan, 2014. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Winter has definitely hit my classroom. While we are NOT experiencing all the snow and cold that y'all are having, we did get…
Clams?!
22 Nov, 2013. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Today my class was in for a surprise when they walked in the door. We have been diligently studying Thanksgiving and what the…
Move over alligator, the shark has replaced you
29 Oct, 2013. 12 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Last week after assessing my students I noticed that a few of them could use a little bit of extra practice with the…
We’ve got spirit, yes, we do! (and owl pellet dissections!)
27 Oct, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we celebrated "Spirt Week" at my school. Each day students were able to come to school out of uniform. (which…
More Apples and Johnny Appleseed Day!
27 Sep, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Oh wow! What a whirlwind this week has been. My students have amazed me this week. They have worked so hard and have…
How to make applesauce in your classroom {recipe included}
21 Sep, 2013. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
On Friday my class made homemade applesauce in class. It is truly one of my favorite activities that I do every year. I…
Apple Juice! {classroom style!}
20 Sep, 2013. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
On Tuesday, in one of my guided reading groups, my students and I were working our way through an "apple" reader. In the…
Apple Weeks start TOMORROW!! {plus TONS of Freebies!!!}
16 Sep, 2013. 10 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hooray, hooray!! Our Apple Weeks start tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited!! I have TONS of fun things planned for us and…
We Love Weather!
14 Sep, 2013. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The other day one of my students raised her hand and asked, "Miss Smith, are we going to study weather next week?" I said,…
Visual Plans and Freebies!
9 Sep, 2013. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Before I get into my visual plans, I have to tell y'all about my latest obsession. Here in Texas unfortunately it is still…
Weather Galore!
7 Sep, 2013. 9 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This week we started our first "science theme" of the school year. I start my year with weather because it echoes both my…
Week 3: Weather! {Visual Lesson Plans}
3 Sep, 2013. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Tomorrow we kick off one of my favorite units. {Yes, I think I say that about every unit... but I really love this…
Reviewing color words with science
31 Aug, 2013. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we reviewed our color words. I'm so happy to say that this year most of my first graders came to…
The first week back and visual lesson plans for week 2!
24 Aug, 2013. 17 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I am so happy to say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our first week of school! Wow! What a whirlwind! I was in…
Back into the swing of things!
21 Aug, 2013. 11 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Oh my goodness y'all. It's Wednesday of our first week back in school and I can already tell you that I am IN…
Magic Play Dough
18 Aug, 2013. 23 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Yesterday we had our annual "Meet The Teacher" day. It was a HUGE success! Most of my class showed up and it was…
Ready or not… here they come!
16 Aug, 2013. 21 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Tomorrow is our big day! The new students arrive for "meet the teacher" and then Monday we start a brand new school year.…
Classroom Pictures!!
10 Aug, 2013. 27 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Welcome to my classroom! Everything is ready for the first day of school! The chair pockets are on the chairs, the community supplies…
Meeting Students Where They Are
6 Aug, 2013. 150 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Ah the joys of teaching first grade. Such a wonderful, magical grade. The students are full of wonder and awe and are so…
Songs for your first grade classroom
5 Aug, 2013. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The other day I blogged about using songs in your classroom. I had a bunch of people email me asking me what songs…
“Always do your personal best”
3 Aug, 2013. 13 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I, like most of you, have been trying to get my classroom set up for another new school year. I am so close…
Dance like no one’s watching
1 Aug, 2013. 13 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Let me paint a scene for you. You are driving, switching mindlessly through the various preset radio stations and all of a sudden…
Reading takes you places!
31 Jul, 2013. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The countdown is on. My room is SO close to being finished and I'm now onto the planning, prepping, copying, and laminating phase.…