Monday, April 17, 2017

May Morning Work Tubs

I have great news: May Morning Work Tubs are now posted!  I'm so excited to have these ready for you.  I'm excited to say that I was able to incorporate many of the themes and materials that many of you have requested!

The May activities are pretty heavy in spring themes, such as flowers, bugs, and birds.  Some of you told me that you do an ocean theme in the spring, so I made an ocean activity.  I also added a weather activity that's in the style of my color-by-number packs, and I included a really neat life cycle sequencing activity, too!

Here are all 20 activities included in the May pack, plus some affiliate links to materials on Amazon to help you out!

1. Sight Word Spin & Trace:  This is editable!  Also, I changed the yellow spinner choice to pink because I've been having a hard time finding yellow dry-erase markers.  These are the spinners I have!  I hot-glue them to the laminated spinner and they work great!
2. Beginning Blend Puzzles: There are eight blends included!
3. Short Vowel Spin & Cover: Yes, another spinner activity!  I keep hearing how much your students love spinner activities, so I included another one this month.  You can cover the spaces with any manipulative. I used these two-color counters.
4. Rhyming Butterflies: By this point in the year, I want my students to be able to match rhyming words in addition to rhyming pictures. Therefore, I added this rhyming word matching activity.  I added a fine motor component with the plastic links, which you can find here.

5. Catch a Worm:  There is a CVC word version and a CVCe word version. You can use one or both!  You can use these as a simple matching activity, but I made them even more fun!  I glued a medium-sized clothespin to the back of each laminated bird so that the opening is behind the bird's mouth.  Then, the students can clip the correct worm card so it looks like it's in the bird's mouth!

6. Scrambled-Up Sentences:  I included some scrambled-up sentences in my March pack and I had lots of positive feedback about them!  So, I included some more and I increased the number to ten sentences. I highly suggest putting each group of words and the matching picture card into separate sandwich-sized baggies to keep them a little more organized.
7. Butterfly Net Number Matching: The butterfly net is optional, but it certainly increases student motivation!  Also, I've struggled for years to find good quality butterfly nets! The dollar spot/dollar store ones last maybe a year.  This year, I splurged and bought these nets on Amazon and they are really sturdy! They're a little more pricey, but they should last for a long time!
8. Flower Pot Counting: You can use any mini flower pots you want (I suggest plastic!), or use plastic cups.  I have an addiction to all things colorful and pretty, so I am using these plastic pots.

9. Flower Stem Counting: I included quite a few counting activities this month, and here's one that combines fine motor work with the pony beads that all kiddos seem to love using!  Laminate and cut out around the flowers, and then tape a green pipe cleaner securely on the back of each one. I used three-four pieces of tape.  I used half of a pipe cleaner for numbers 1-10 and a whole pipe cleaner for numbers to 20.
10. Bug Jar Subtraction: Here's a great hands-on activity for sorting subtraction sentences by their differences.  I saved some green paper shred from Easter and am using it with this activity to hide the bugs in "grass". 
11. Bug Counting:  My students have always loved using the figurine-style manipulatives, so here's a fun activity that, again, incorporates good fine motor work.  Add a set of these plastic tweezers to add some difficulty!  These are the bug counters that I have.
12. Flower Counting Mats: You can use any flower-shaped object for these, or students can draw flowers on the stems with dry-erase markers.  It's up to you!

13. Ocean Animals 9x9 Puzzles:  I promised an ocean animal activity, and here it is!  I love these 9x9 puzzles and have included them in several other monthly packs.  I suggest placing the puzzle mats into a plastic sleeve or laminating them.  Then, put each set of nine pieces into its own sandwich-sized baggie.
14. Life Cycle Sequencing Mats: I've had dozens of requests for life cycle activities, and I hope you love these life cycle mats.  I've simplified them by making the outline on the sequencing pieces match the color on the correct sequencing mat.  There are mats for butterflies, frogs, ladybugs, ants, and worms.
15. Spring Playdough Mats: My five year-old LOVES these!  I included a basic spring image on each mat.  Your students will use playdough and other tools if desired to create on each mat.  My daughter put googly eyes on her ladybug and we used short pipe cleaners for antennae.
16. Weather Color-by-Number Pages: There are four different pages included.  They aren't editable due to clip artist terms of use, but they do provide great practice with following directions and reading color words!  Since there are some unique colors included, I would suggest making copies of these and letting students use crayons or colored pencils.

17. Umbrella Color Sorting: Several teachers have asked if I could make a magnetic wand activity, so I decided to use magnetic wands and magnetic counters for this month's color sorting activity! Of course, you can use pom-pom balls, buttons, beads, or any other object instead! 
18.  Spring Symmetry: There is a traceable version and a do-it-yourself version that's more difficult!
19. Spring Lacing Pictures: I love lacing card activities, so I made some spring-themed lacing cards!  I'm using some of these shoelaces that I have had for a long time, but you could also use yarn with the ends taped.
20. Exploring Nature Tub PLUS Observation Journal:  This tub is a little different than the others, but I'm excited about it!  You will add anything you want from nature, such as flowers, sticks, leaves, rocks, etc.  Then, I made a little observation journal that's easy to assemble. Laminate it, and then your students can use a magnifying glass to study each object and record what they see in the journal!  I have this magnifying glass, and the set includes a set of plastic tweezers that you could use for the bug counting tub!

That wraps up my May tubs!  I will be adding a summer-themed morning work tub set, and then the growing bundle will be complete!  If you want more information about the May pack or the bundle, click on the images below.

I would love to see pictures of how you use the tub activities in your classroom!

**This post includes affiliate links for your convenience.  

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Bunny Hop CVC Word Game Freebie

One of my favorite and most popular activities is my Bunny Hop CVC Word Game, and it also happens to be my most-downloaded freebie on TpT.  It was one of the first resources I ever created and although it's well-loved, I felt like it needed a bit of an update.  I spent my day working on it and it's ready for download now!

If you haven't used the game before, it is simply a board game with CVC words on the spaces.  The goal of the game is to get your bunny to the basket of eggs while reading CVC words along the way.  There is a color version and a black-and-white version so you can save that precious ink if you need to!

When I updated the file, I did make one minor change.  The game used to require the assembly of a cube for students to roll while playing.  I decided to change it to a spinner for a few reasons (who doesn't love spinners?!), but mostly because spinners are way easier to store from year-to-year.  My game cubes kept getting crushed in my file cabinet and I had to reassemble them every year.  No thanks!

I recently found these awesome plastic spinners on Amazon, and they are a game changer!  I'm laminating the spinner mats and hot gluing the plastic spinner right on top.  Of course, there's nothing wrong with the good ol' paper clip-and-a-pencil spinner trick, either!

Another important thing to remember is that you absolutely don't have to use the bunny game pieces!  You can use mini erasers, manipulatives, or anything else you have on hand.  

This game is perfect as a partner activity, learning center, RTI activity, guided reading group activity, and much more!  I would LOVE to see how you and your students are using the game!  Tag me on Instagram (@kroltgen) or on Facebook!

Click on the cover image below to grab this freebie!  I hope you love it!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

April Morning Work Tubs

It's nearly April, and my April Morning Work Tubs are ready to go!  I have a super exciting announcement about the April tubs, so be sure to read all the way through!

I wanted to give you a quick sneak peek of the activities to help you gather materials.  As with the other months' packs, I try to create these activities in a way that makes them flexible material-wise. For the most part, if you don't have the same exact materials that I use, you can still use the activity.  You may have to modify it to some extent.  I'm also including some affiliate links to a few of the materials.

1.  Spring Ten Frames
2. Sunflower Seed Counting Mats
3. Happy Flower Color Sort (These are the tweezers I use - they've lasted for years!)
4. Rainy Day Sort (I made this as a sensory tub, which is optional, but it makes it more fun!)

5. Flower Cut and Punch
6. Spring Day Spy-a-Word (This is the magnifying glass that I have.)
7. Bunny Line Tracing
8. Recycling or Trash Sort (Here are similar trash and recycling bins.)

9. Spring Word Building
10. Spring Sight Word Puzzles
11. Springtime 1-10 Puzzles (These are editable!)
12. Springtime Sentences

13. Beehive Playdough Mats
14. Spring Roll and Graph
15. Build a Nest
16. Spring Pinning Pages (I use these jumbo push pins!)

17. Spring Picture Search
18. Springtime Sequencing
19. Color-by-Number/Color-by-Sum
20. Number Nests

My SUPER exciting news and announcement is that my morning work tubs now include student instruction cards AND they are editable!  I will be adding student instruction cards to all future packs and I'll be going back and adding them to the previous packs as well.

I hope you and your students love the April tub activities!  Click on the pictures below to view the April tubs and the bundle in my store.


Monday, March 27, 2017

Spring Fling & Easter Things Activity {Free!}

I'm so excited to team up with a group of bloggers to share some Easter activities with you today!

As a former kindergarten teacher who is now a SAHM, I'm always looking for ways to incorporate some learning into our everyday lives.  I have a two year-old who knows most of her uppercase letters and a five year-old who is starting to read, so I'm also busy finding and making activities that both of them can learn from.

One of my former students' and my own children's favorite activities are hide-behind activities like my "Where's the Gold?" St. Patrick's Day activity.  I found the cutest bunny clipart and HAD to make an activity with it, so I came up with this "Where's the Carrot?" alphabet game!  The best thing about this game is that you can really change it up and play it in a variety of ways.  I use the uppercase letter cards with both of my girls, and I use the lowercase cards with my five year-old to add some difficulty.

The first activity that you can do with the bunny cards is a classic hide-behind game.  I had my girls cover their eyes while I hid the carrot behind a letter.  Then they took turns guessing which letter the carrot was hiding behind.  I will point out that it's important to have the child(ren) verbalize the letter, not just point to it.  That way, you can really make sure they know their letters.  There are a few letters my two year-old still struggles with, so I let her point to a letter if she didn't know it and then we practice the letter a couple times before I lift it up to see if the carrot is there.  

After I played with my girls a couple times, they wanted to keep playing together so they took turns hiding the carrot.  My two year-old had fun covering her eyes while her big sister hid the carrot!

Also, I hung up a pocket chart on our front door and we used that to play the game.  However, if you don't have a pocket chart, this game works perfectly fine on a table or on the floor!

My five year-old and I played the game while my two year-old was napping, and we played with the lowercase letter set.  To make it a little more challenging, I had her call out the letter sounds instead of the letter names.   When we're done playing, I also have her put the letters back in order to work on alphabet order.

If you want to make the game easier, you can just pick a handful of letters to use.  When my two year-old and I played the St. Patrick's Day version of this activity a few weeks ago, I picked the letters in her name plus six letters that she's still working on.

Since I included uppercase and lowercase cards, you can also use the cards in a memory game!  Just print off both sets of cards and remove the carrot cards. 

This activity is available to download on Dropbox by clicking here!

Here are some other EGG-CELLENT ideas for Easter fun with your littles! Just click on the photos to read more from these creative mommy bloggers!!

Easter Bunny Carrot Treat 
from A Boy & His Mom

Easter Bunny Alphabet Game FREEBIE
from Resources By Mrs. Roltgen

Resurrection Egg Garland [Freebie]
from Buck & Chuck

Naturally Dyed Easter Eggs
from Oh My Gee

Vegan Bunny Pancakes
from The Mama Journey

Pretty Easter Wreath
from Real Life Mama Drama

Easter Themed Sensory Bin
from Kenz and Matt

Thursday, March 9, 2017

St. Patrick's Day Activities

Hello!  I wanted to share a few of the St. Patrick's Day activities that I have available in my store.  

I know many of you might have Spring Break next week, but you can save the ideas for next year or try them after break!  These would also work for parents who are looking for some fun activities to do at home! 

The first activity is my St. Patrick's Day Color-by-Number activity pack.  There are six pages that are perfect to use at school, at home, or in the car!  They require very little prep - just print and go!  My five year-old LOVES attaching a couple of my color-by-number pages to a clipboard and taking them in the car.  (Although I think she loves getting to use a clipboard just about as much as she likes doing the coloring page. ;))

If your students (or kids) like using jumbo push pins, they will love these St. Patrick's Day Pinning Pages!  There are eight pages and can be used with jumbo push pins or as tracing pages.  The word at the bottom of the page is traceable.

You can print the pages and use them for pinning as-is, or you can tape each page onto a piece of construction paper and poke through both pages.  Then, when you remove the pinning page, the construction paper will look neat!

The last activity is one of my favorite freebies in my store!  My "Where's the Gold?" number recognition game has been a favorite with students and my own daughter!  This is a pocket chart game that comes with a partner game that you can use for reinforcement.  It's easy to customize - you can use only numbers 1-10, or focus on teen numbers, etc.  I've played this game with my older daughter for a few years now. When she was three, we only used numbers to 10.  Now, we can use all of the numbers and it helps her with those tricky teens!

If you're in the classroom, you can modify this game for small group use.  You can use a tabletop pocket chart and pick a smaller set of numbers to focus on.

 Finally, if you're looking for looking for some thematic center activities, I have a St. Patrick's Day Centers Bundle!  It includes a total of 16 centers that touch on a variety of math and literacy skills.

Thanks for letting me share these activities with you!  Enjoy the rest of your night - it's almost Friday!!!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Teacher "Pot o' Gold" Giveaway!

Hey everyone!  I'm popping in quickly to share about a quick and amazing giveaway!

A group of my blogging friends and I are giving away $400 in gift cards!  We are giving away one $100 TpT gift card, four $50 TpT gift cards, and two $50 Amazon gift cards!
It's easy to enter!  Simply use the Rafflecopter below.  The giveaway ends March 7 at 11:59 p.m., so be sure to enter right away!

With a bit o' luck, you just might win your Teacher Pot o' Gold!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway