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Spring has sprung– and so have spring inquiries!!
14 Apr, 2018. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Good Morning everyone! I hope that this post finds you well. This past week we have been studying all things spring (in the…
Mario Day!
9 Apr, 2018. 6 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello friends! On Friday we had SUCH a fun day! The first grade teacher and I had asked our principal if it would…
Activities For A Dinosaur Day
12 Mar, 2018. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We just finished up a week learning about dinosaurs and boy did we have A BLAST! As this was the week before our…
Exploring Simple Machines With Kindergarteners
4 Mar, 2018. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Good morning, friends! We have been having so much fun this past week exploring simple machines as our STEM focus. Throughout the week…
Our Kindergarten Unit On Antarctica Continues!
4 Feb, 2018. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello everyone! I hope that y'all are doing well. Last week I blogged about the beginning of our Antarctica unit (you can read…
A Journey To Antarctica
28 Jan, 2018. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about you, but every now and again, I like to switch up my "typical" units.  Even though I love teaching them, for…
Exploring Rocks
18 Jan, 2018. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week and a half we have been exploring rocks. My kindergarteners are absolutely loving this unit and many of them told…
A new take on exploring our 5 senses
28 Dec, 2017. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
If you look at any of the kindergarten standards, again and again it comes up that students will use their five senses to…
Learning about our amazing skeletal system in kindergarten
23 Dec, 2017. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I love how inquisitive young learners are. I love that they naturally want to ask why and dig deep to find the answers…
Kindergarten Christmas STEM activities– Our Christmas guide continues!
6 Dec, 2017. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
We have been having so much fun completing these Christmas STEM activities. Even though December is in full effect (as well as a…
A Christmas Activity Guide For Kindergarteners– Part 1
26 Nov, 2017. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't know about you, but I absolutely love this time of the year! I love driving around at night and seeing the…
Exploring Pumpkins
12 Nov, 2017. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello everyone! I know that the season of exploring pumpkins is coming to a close this year, but we had too much fun for…
A Week Of Spiders!
7 Oct, 2017. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
This past week we had SO much fun learning all about spiders. Our week was jam packed with activities, reading, crafts, and more.…
Vet Day– A classroom “flip” in a kindergarten classroom
30 Sep, 2017. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
The past few weeks we have been learning about our community and community helpers. On Thursday, I transformed our classroom into a veterinarian's…
STEM: Block Play In Kindergarten
24 Sep, 2017. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Every afternoon, we end our day with 45-60 minutes of uninterrupted play time. In our classroom, we call this "exploration centers." During this…
Art Matters– Exploring the work of Henri Matisse with young learners.
16 Sep, 2017. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
 Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope that everyone's year is off to a fantastic start and that you are starting to find your groove.…
Developing a Growth Mindset in young learners
19 Aug, 2017. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello everyone! We just finished our first week in the 2017-2018 school year and I have got to tell you, we had the most…
2017-2018 Kindergarten Classroom Reveal
13 Aug, 2017. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello friends! I hope that you are doing well and that you are enjoying this "back to school season." I can't believe it but this year…
STEM!
17 Jun, 2017. 12 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello friends! The last two weeks my friend and I have been running a STEM camp for 5-10 year olds at my school.…
Exploring Coding With Kindergarteners (with and without technology)
10 May, 2017. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
As I began planning for this year, I realized that introducing my students to coding was a 21st century skill that I needed to teach.…
Engaging Activities When Studying The Moon
7 May, 2017. 2 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
If you caught my last blog post (you can read it here), you know that a few weeks ago we transformed our classroom…
A journey into space!
29 Apr, 2017. 7 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
At the very beginning of the school year, I showed my students a video taken from the International Space Station. Oftentimes, teachers will ask…
Crayola inspired PBL in kindergarten! (Goodbye Dandelion!)
1 Apr, 2017. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Have y'all heard that Crayola is retiring a crayon from their box of 24 crayons? When I heard this news, I thought that this…
The beginning of a plant inquiry
22 Mar, 2017. 10 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Hello friends! I hope that this post finds you well. We are currently in the middle of a giant plant inquiry. This year, I…
Our Butterfly Inquiry
11 Mar, 2017. 3 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
For the past two weeks we have been learning about the life cycle of a butterfly in our kindergarten classroom. It all started…
Engaging hands-on activities to help you gear up for spring!
26 Feb, 2017. 1 Comment. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I know that it is not officially spring yet, but it certainly feels like it here in Austin, TX.  I currently have my…
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. 1 Comment. 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…
The first part of our kindergarten bird inquiry
4 Sep, 2016. 4 Comments. 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. 28 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. 11 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. 9 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…
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…
Hands-on activities when studying storms
9 Apr, 2016. 2 Comments. 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. 2 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…
A new take on whole group math
23 Mar, 2016. 16 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. 7 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.…
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. 6 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. 6 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…
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…
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. 8 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…
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.…
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. 17 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…
Cause and Effect
25 Feb, 2015. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Cause and effect is not always the easiest concept for students to grasp.  However, I was determined this year to make it tangible…
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…
Hands On Activities For Young Learners
11 Nov, 2014. 4 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I don't think I've ever mentioned this on my blog; however, when I was in college, I was blessed to have an absolutely…
Hello, November!
6 Nov, 2014. 5 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
I simply CAN'T believe that it is November already. Where oh where has the time gone? I find myself having to warm up…
Wrapping up October, in comes November
5 Nov, 2014. 0 Comments. Posted By: Kristen Smith
Can you believe that it is already November? I certainly can't! Last week we were fully immersed in all things PUMPKIN! We had so…