New Blog Alert

I am so excited to announce my new blog I will be permanently switching over to that blog full time and no longer updating this Kindergarten Corps blog from now on. My new blog is on Word Press and has way more cool features that I am so excited to expand on in the next few years. Please book mark it because there will be lots more great things happening over there soon.

One of my favorite things about it is the Free Resource Library. So many goodies are waiting there for you to download and use with your Kindergarteners. Please check them out. 

Here are a few of my first blog posts. Each picture is a link to my NEW BLOG.

stem, engineering, science
Engineering Lessons in Kindergarten

In this blog post, I share about my experience attending a professional development workshop with engineering lessons in Kindergarten. I include tons of pictures and free downloads to help you duplicate this lesson in your own classroom. 

Tips for Teaching CVC Words in Kindergarten

In that blog post, I share several tips for how to teach CVC Words to mastery in Kindergarten. It is definitely an ideal read throughout all of Kindergarten since at any given time you will have a handful of students who are ready to read and write with CVC words. Best of all there are free downloads that will help you with this process. 

Tips for Teaching Sight Words in Kindergarten

In this blog post,  I explain the importance of Sight Words as a part of reading instruction in early literacy. Then I share tips for how I make sure my students master their sight word goals. Plus, there are so many sight word freebies waiting for you there. 

Shapes Unit in Kindergarten

In the above blog post, I elaborate on a past blog post for teaching 2D flat shapes like: squares, rectangles, triangles, circles, and hexagons. I use a popsicle stick activity and shape stickers as well as a free little reader that rhymes. Be sure to check it out and download all of the applicable freebies I included on the post. 

Counting Collections in Kindergarten

In this blog post, I expand on how I've started counting collections activities with my class of Kindergarten students. Many years ago, I watched a video at a professional development workshop regarding it and could not get it out of my head as something I wanted to do. However, it took me years to finally bring myself to implement it. I'm so glad I did! I hope you will read the post and take the plunge as well. 

Social Studies in Kindergarten: Maps

Finally in this blog post, I dive into one of the most fun units I teach: Maps. I always teach Communities, Transportation and Maps in that order. Here, I outline some of the best features and of course give you some free downloads to help you along the way. Be sure to check it out. 

Bye for now. Hope to see you at soon!

Counting Collections Introduction

Counting Collections in Kindergarten

I've been learning about Counting Collections for the last 4 years. However, I never had the time or money to invest in really giving it a go with my Kindergarten students. Finally, I was able to start creating my collections this school year. At the beginning of the school year, I knew I wanted to wait until the 100th day of school was over to introduce it. So I took my time building the collections months ahead of time. It began with perusing Office Depot's website and coming across this deal on storage containers.

counting collections
Counting Collections Containers for Cheap!

For $1.29 each plus free shipping on orders over $35 I told myself, "It's now or never, Janine." I went ahead and ordered 34 containers for my class of 24 kids in order to have some boxes left over to differentiate for those kids that struggle with numbers up until the end of the school year. One way, I saved money was by collecting "trinkets" from all over my house and classroom. Seven years in the same classroom will naturally create pockets of "stuff" tiny enough for little fingers to count. So it was surprisingly easy to fill a whopping 20 containers with cute, small, colorful things! For the other 14 boxes, I headed out to Michael's craft store and used my 15% off teacher discount by showing my teachers' union ID card at the checkout counter.

Here are my 34 boxes!! I am so proud of them.

counting collections, skip counting
My Collection of Collections :)

They were all ready just before our 50th day of school and I was a tiny bit heartbroken to have to store them in a closet until the 100th day of school passed. But it was for the best considering my students come in with little to no foundation skills the first day of school. So they weren't ready for this kind of skip counting at the 50th day.

In order to keep track of which child has counted which box, I made a grid checklist for each child. Each page has 6 grids. I printed it out 4 times for my class of 24 kids. Each page is for each number sense skill group.

counting collections, skip counting
Counting Collections Checklist Grid

I noticed 4 boxes contained very small objects that totaled way over 120 so I chose to keep those last 4 OFF the checklist. I will unofficially bring them out for the kids who are ready when needed. I will probably just hand write the number behind the child's grid to keep track of which of the four they've used already.

I also laminated ten frames with five frames on the reverse side for future use. I knew that when I introduced this activity, I would do it in small group and I'd start with my two highest number sense skill groups. This way, I could work out the kinks for the next day when I introduced it to my two lower number sense groups.

I randomly selected containers for the kids on the first day and we filled out our paper together EXCEPT the picture portion. I told them they were going to do that part AFTER they counted their collections on the mats. In the future, I do want the kids to count with a partner but for these first two introduction sessions at my small group table, I told the kids to cross that part out as they were going to each count their own collection today.

counting collections, skip counting
Counting Collections Documentation Form

If I don't see an improvement with each small group after two sessions with me, I will probably keep this activity restricted to small group for another two or more sessions before trying this activity with the whole class. In that case I'll "white out" that partner name row completely because if they're doing it in small group with me I am basically "the partner" that helps them figure it out so they wont need a child to help them.

After two rotations I was tired but the joy on the kids faces was worth it! Today's two groups went pretty well. I knew they would as I selected my two top groups to work with. Here are some shots of the kids placing their objects in the ten frames:

counting collections, skip counting
Kids using their ten frame mats while counting their collections
I used an Astrobrights paper variety pack from Walmart and I made my own ten frames in PowerPoint. Again, its not visible in the photo but the reverse side of each mat has 6 five frames for the days when the kids are ready to count by fives. 

counting collections, skip counting
Wrapping up our session by drawing a picture of HOW they counted. 

The kids did really well at counting their totals and writing the number. However, tomorrow's two groups may need a number line or 100s chart. This day's two groups did need me to count how many FULL ten frames they had in order to draw that quantity of circles with the number ten written inside. As well as how many single items were left over in the UNFILLED ten frames and drawing that many circles with a number one written in them.

Before wrapping up today's sessions completely, I held up each child's page to the group and verbally went over all the parts of the sheet out loud for the rest of the group to hear. We clapped for each child and I reminded them that at some point they will have to count those other collections too! Then I asked the kids to put away their collections and snap the locks on the lid into place. It was a lot of fun!

Here are the blackline masters for each of the activities pictured above. I made some pages not shown above to help differentiate for my class. My goal is to begin implementing Counting Collections on a weekly basis from now until the end of the school year.

free counting collections, skip counting
Miss Campos Blackline Masters
Enjoy :)

Mother's Day Popsicle Stick Frame Gift

Happy Mother's Day! Despite checking Pinterest every year for a craft that might top it, I've had my Kindergarten class do the same gift for their mothers for the last five years.  It's unbeatable and very simple to recreate. Here is the wrapping I use:

Mother's Day gift from Kindergarten
I took simple brown paper bags and whole punched them. Then I used those holes to tie a bit of plastic ribbon through and make a bow on the front. 

These bags could also be used to wrap Father's day presents or use red and green paint, ribbon, or marker to decorate Christmas presents as well. 

hole punch the paper bag
The final product comes out quite nicely! I just love the hand print and I chose white because I happened to have a reel of white ribbon and white chalkboard marker on hand. Also, I was running short on time and not giving kids a choice to pick their favorite color and just use white for the hand prints made the process so much quicker!

Kindergarten Mother's Day Present

Inside the paper bag is the actual present. I have the kids paint popsicle stick frames for their mom. I add their picture inside holding a bouquet of flowers in the matching frame color. To date I only have two colors: pink for girls and blue for boys. They NEVER complain and love the choices. I allow two colors only mostly to cut down on cost since I shoulder the finances of the entire project. 

Mother's Day Frames and Picture

I pre build the frames with a hot glue gun to ensure durability. However, the kids paint the frames themselves which they find so fun. Before the frame dries I let them sprinkle glitter to add some sparkle. 

Painted popsicle stick frames
Above are the dried frames. I also buy foam paper from Walmart and sometimes from Michael's in the matching pink and blue colors. 


Then I cut the foam pages to fit perfectly behind the popsicle stick frames. Here are my pre cut stacks. 

Popsicle stick frame backings
I then use a hot glue gun to secure them to the back of the popsicle stick frames.
Incomplete Kindergarten crafts for Mother's Day

All they're missing in this stage is the kids' pictures. I had them hold a bouquet and I took the photos in horizontal format to fit in the frame the best way and added a magnetic strip to the back of each frame so that mothers have the option of putting the frame on the refrigerator or a file cabinet at their work. 

Magnetic strip on backside

Here is a close up of the frames just before I glued the magnetic strips to the back.

Boys' Popsicle Stick Frames

Girls' Popsicle Stick Frames
For the mother's day card, I had the kids create from scratch with markers and paper. I wanted to keep everything as simple and inexpensive as possible without losing any cuteness points. I added the frames and the card into the brown paper bag and sent it home with the kids on Friday. They were so happy! I hope their mom's enjoyed their gift. 

Beginning Addition in Kindergarten

To introduce the concept of addition, children must learn to first join groups. I rely on the sight words 'and' & 'is' to help with this concept. Kids are used to reading pattern sentences with sight words in reading and writing so the following number sentence frame is a natural bridging step.

" ____ and ____ is ____"  

as well as

" ____ is ____ and ____"

kindergarten addition
Beginning Addition in Kindergarten with sight words
Pictured above is a collage of bulletin board activities to help reinforce the joining groups concept. Here are the close up shots.

kindergarten addition
6 Flowers is 2 red flowers and 4 orange flowers

kindergarten addition
4 brown gum balls and 5green gum balls is 9 gum balls all together

kindergarten addition
3 red fish and 2 blue fish is 5 fish all together
kindergarten addition
4 orange gum balls and 8 purple gum balls is 12 gum balls all together
To download the above gum ball machine activity for FREE click here: "Addition Unit Freebie"

We also had a laminated math center using the gum balls theme. Some kids took to it right away and others need me to go around and double check their work. Either way they love using dry erase markers.

Addition math centers for Kindergarten

Dry erase markers Math Centers

Within the addition unit these activities are a part of there are also plenty of no prep printables to use as homework and class seat work.

My absolute favorites are cut and paste activities.

Kindergarten Addition using ten frames

Kindergarten Addition: Joining Groups

Kindergarten Addition : Joining Groups

If you would like to see the entire unit and perhaps purchase it for your preschool, transitional kindergarten, or kindergarten class click on the links below. It is reasonably priced and full of activities. 

Introduction to Addition Unit from Miss Campos on TPT

Click this link to see on TPT: Beginning Addition in Kindergarten by Miss Campos 2016
For a FREEBIE version of the gum ball drawing page click here: "Gum ball Machine Addition"

I will be working on the follow up activity real soon too. It will utilize the plus (+) and (=) symbols.

12 Days of Christmas Free Lil Reader

'Tis the season for giving. Here is a free download for a 12 Days of Christmas Reader. I am so excited that my Teachers Pay Teachers store has reached 3,000 followers that I have celebrated by creating two freebies.

Twelve Days of Christmas book Freebie

I read the book, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" to my class. Actually I sang it to them! They loved it and then we filled out a little reader to go along with it. The Rebus style reader was a big hit. It is perfect for retelling skills. Download it by clicking here.

The Twelve Days of Christmas
The wonderful clip art for it is from Educlips. Her artwork is perfect for Kindergarteners.

The second freebie I have created for my TPT milestone is for math and sight words and follows a holiday lights theme.
Kindergarten Sight Words

Kindergarten Sight Words 2

There are a total of 12 Kindergarten sight words on colorful holiday lights. Perfect for printing on card stock, cutting out and laminating. Also available in Spanish. 

The next component of the 3,000 follower holiday freebie set is a poster of numbers one to ten along with blacklines for holiday lights. The kids cut out the holiday light bulbs and glue them onto construction paper in the correct order. The color poster paper can be displayed to help them reference number order. 

Holiday Lights Counting Practice

Holiday Lights Number Order Practice
I included higher numbers in the freebie even though the majority of my Kindergarteners are not there yet. I'm sure all firsties would be.

Holiday Lights Number Sense Poster - THE TEENS

Holiday Lights - Number Order Practice

Here is the link to this Holiday Lights Freebie. Be sure to follow my TPT store while you are there to be notified about new products and sales.

Hope you enjoy my milestone freebies this Holiday season. Tis' the season!