Wednesday, August 2, 2017

August and September Homework for Emergent Readers

My NEW monthly HOMEWORK packets for EMERGENT READERS in kindergarten and First Grade encourage reading! My newest packet, for AUGUST and SEPTEMBER, emphasizes Letter & Sound recognition, as well as beginning sight words. August covers letters A-M and September covers N-Z. There are 3 pages that correspond to each letter. 

It may seem obvious, but Kindergarten and First Grade students need to READ to be READERS!  Homework that encourages reading is PRICELESS. 
The content on each page provides NOVELTY and encourages THINKING, READING & VOCABULARY GROWTH! At the top of each paper is a place for a parent’s signature. These pages are also perfect for MORNING WORK or CENTERS. Your students complete the pages in class and take them home to READ! Mom and dad send them back with a signature.
There are 82 pages in the full packet.

Thank you for stopping by Kindergarten with Susie. Creating materials for young children is my life-long passion and I hope to make a difference for you and your little ones.

Warmly, Susie

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

ABC Find Your Match FREEBIE

This activity is the newest game to accompany my ABC program. The SAME pictures are utilized in All my ABC products, and this newest product continues the tradition. Many teachers provide a variety of ABC pictures to teach the sounds to their children during the first months of school. I believe that by providing my students with only ONE picture per letter in the first few weeks of school, it accelerates the learning of letters/sounds. In a few weeks, after concepts have been grasped, multiple pictures are introduced. 

My kids love to play this game because they are familiar with the pictures and of course they walk around to find their match! I have lots of different versions of “Find Your Match”, but this one is their favorite! 

It’s perfect to play during the first month of school as you introduce and reinforce recognition of letters and sounds both with capital and lowercase letters.

After you pass out the cards, each child walks to a “private place” to peek at his/her card, then QUICKLY and QUIETLY bustles around the room to find his match. When the match is found, the team “ZOOMS” to the pocket chart to grab a number. These are included too! The students line up in number order in front of the room and wait until all the matches have been found. When all teams have taken a number from the pocket chart the game is over!

Your kids will ask to play this over and over again!

There are cards for all 26 uppercase and lowercase letters as well as the ABC matching pictures from my ABC program. If you only have 20 kids, choose 10 letter cards and 10 pictures to play the game. Rotate the cards each time you play.

This is a perfect game that provides a break from sitting on bottoms for too long! I believe young children learn BEST when engaged in an activity. I try to keep paper work at a minimum for the first few months of school.  I want to hear laughter, conversations, and new vocabulary echo off the walls of our classroom! 

ABC Find Your Match gets kids moving and laughing and I would like to share it with your little ones too. It will be FREE FOR THE NEXT 2 DAYS: September 7 and 8. Please go to my Kindergarten with Susie store on TPT and download it for free.

Your feedback and comments would be so appreciated! Creating materials for young children is my life-long passion and I hope to make a difference for you and your kids. Please share your thoughts with me.

Warmly, Susie

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

First Day of Kindergarten .. Soar!

The first day of school will be here soon, and it conjures up mixed emotions for many of us!  On one hand we dread the thought of the early mornings, the late afternoons, the exhaustion, and the stress of getting everything ready on time.  On the other end of the spectrum, we feel the excitement, the thrill of the first day, and our first peek at our new student’s names.

My First Bulletin Board! On day 1 the hearts are blank. On day 2 the pics are up!
At my school, on the first day of kindergarten the parents stay for the first hour. The parents and kids rotate through centers, making a raccoon hat together, a red painted hand-print, writing a note to their children, filling out a quick and easy information card, and touring the room and bathrooms. It culminates with everyone gathering around as I read the Kissing Hand story.  After all the parents have left the room, the kids and I have a chocolate KISS together!

A “daddy” helping to color a Raccoon Hat! I love watching the interactions between the child and the parent during this first hour.
Time to smile! Daddy and you did a great job! It’s a huge advantage having the parents stay and help!

There are 30 children in my kindergarten classes on most years, and yet this hour goes incredibly smooth considering there are usually 70 or more individuals in the room that morning. Each parent is given a clip board with this Letter.

It culminates with everyone gathering around as I read the Kissing Hand story.  After all the parents have left the room, the kids and I have a chocolate KISS together!

This is me reading the second book of the morning after the parents have left. It’s called Lizard’s Song. You can see the Chester Raccoon puppet, a red dish filled with chocolate kisses, The First Day of Kinder sign, and my beloved Mrs. Wishy Washy Big Book.


At the end of the day, the children proudly wear their Raccoon Hats and Badges as they are greeted by family! The First Day of School is exhausting but always a great success!

To see more ideas for the first day, check out my

Monday, May 2, 2016

Earth Day

EARTH DAY has come and gone, but I wanted to share this FREEBIE with you for next year! You can think of me as being a few days LATE or you can consider me a year EARLY!

Todd Parr’s, The Earth Book, is a non-fiction, and easy text, that elicits lots of questions and thinking with young children. It is printed in paperback and hard cover. If you don’t own this book, it is a good one to have in your collection. 

After reading and discussing the importance of Earth Day, we brainstorm a list of ways that we can make a difference. In addition, I place the following text in my pocket chart.
Earth is home for me and you.
There are mountains, lakes, and rivers too.
The planet needs us all to care.
Let’s keep earth safe for all to share. 

As an easy classroom activity that can be sent home that day, I created the mini book, “Planet Earth.” You can download it for FREE at my TPT store. After our discussion, every child “FOLDS” the Earth Day Book, colors it, reads it to three friends, and takes it home to share with family. I’ve included a color version of the Little Book as well as the black & white version. I’ve also included the FOLDING DIRECTIONS. The folding may seem tricky at first, but my kindergarten kids have been learning it for years. However, if you want a no hassle activity, you may want to fold the books the night before. I hope you enjoy this activity! Will you let me know?

Monday, February 1, 2016

February Homework

Does anyone struggle with finding homework that contains reading opportunities for young students, encourages the parent and child to work together, and provides a glimpse of our monthly study topics? 

I’ve always wanted to send home assignments that encourage communication between the family and the child. My desire is to REQUIRE (in a non-threatening way) that the parent actually work with his/her child!  Is this too much to ask?
To achieve this endeavor, I created my first monthly homework packet in September of this year and and the result was overwhelmingly positive!  Since then, I’ve designed a new packet for every month based on new suggestions and ideas from parents and teachers.

February’s HOMEWORK packet is my favorite of them all!  My students read & copy words and sentences, as well as sequence and write numbers. At the top of each paper is a place for a parent’s signature and a box to write the number of times the child reads the words and sentences. The pictures are fairly large and “simple,” making them easy and fun to color.
The content/format of each paper varies to provide NOVELTY and encourage THINKING!  February is filled with the Presidents, Groundhogs, and Valentine’s Day. To give you a glimpse of the format, I'd like to share these 7 sample pages with you. You can download them free at my Kindergarten with Susie store.

It is my hope that you, your students, and their parents enjoy these sample pages.  Creating materials for young children is my life-long passion and I hope to make a difference for you and your kids. Please share your thoughts with me.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Snowman Brace Maps!

My kids LOVE making new Brace Maps!

September was an APPLE
October was a PUMPKIN
November was a SCARECROW
December was a GINGERBREAD BOY

January’s map is .. a SNOWMAN!
After a few classroom maps, my students grasp the concept, and begin creating their own maps! They’ve shared Brace Maps of a penguin, duck, flower, and one of my all time favorites, an ice cream fudge sundae!

Individual and innovative brace maps will not always be “spot-on perfect” every time. Remember that the final PRODUCT is not as important as the PROCESS. 

As teachers we encourage our students to create a finished product that is ready for display or to share with parents and other teachers. “Look”, we might exclaim proudly, “Susie made an adorable map of an apple!”  Susie copied the example in detail and produced a map that looks very much like the sample.

However, the child that created a brace map of a watermelon might not have included all of the parts, and may have run out of time and never completely finished. Does it mean that this child learned MORE than the other child?  It DEPENDS on the level of engagement for each child.  In other words: Whose brain was growing today? The finished product is NOT always the determining factor as to the validity of the task.

Children that are encouraged to THINK ... LEARN new concepts, and INCREASE synaptic connections in the brain will create new understandings that lead to academic and life-long success! 

Children need TIME to develop a concept and the opportunity to “TEST” their ideas. My number one priority is to help my little ones ENGAGE in new ideas, FORMULATE new concepts, and IMPLEMENT their ideas!

Give children TIME to experiment with new IDEAS! The results will be amazing!

The Snowman Brace Map template is FREE on my TPT store. Just follow the link. :)