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Love and Logic

I read the parenting book Love and Logic a million years ago when I was a young parent, and loved the whole "natural consequences" approach.
When I started teaching, I read the Love and Logic teaching book, and LOVED it.  I knew that I didn't like using rewards and punishment, that I didn't like the feel of my classroom when everyone was concerned about if they were going to get a sticker or a point...or lose one.  I always believed that building relationships with kids is the key to good behavior.

A couple of summers ago, a few teachers from my school and I took a class about it.  It was great to have a refresher!  I created a "cheat sheet" to help me keep on track. 

Pig Math

Pig Math Freebie

We're in the middle of our alphabet countdown to the last day of kindergarten.  Today was P is for Pig Day.  I have a munchkin that is obsessed with pigs this year.

We pulled out a class favorite today, a math game we play with "pig dice".  We've played a simple one all year (it's a great fill in "the thing I had planned won't work" activity).  

You roll the pigs just like dice, and add up your points based on how they land.  Getting a "snout" is FIVE points, and doesn't happen very often.  

Today we played this one with some added addition.  They had a blast!

Here's a link to the pigs on Amazon.

And click the pig for a link for both pages as a freebie!

Thanks for playing!

New Stuff In My Fine Motor Center

If you've ever been to one of my SDE sessions, you know how much I love finding ways to play in the classroom and Kindergarten Play Centers, and one of my favorite centers is my Fine Motor Center.  They are a big part of my morning routine.  I've had SO many questions recently about what materials I use, plus I just had a bit of a shopping frenzy, so I thought i would update!

Fine Motor Center

Fine Motor Bins:  When

When my kindergartners arrive in the morning, the first thing they do is put their coats (and snow pants, mittens, boots...) and backpacks away.  They bring me their Tiger Notebook (a folder for sending papers back and forth), and sign in for milk.  They write their name on a sign in ticket every morning.  I save samples throughout the year for their portfolio.

Core Bites

Our morning work is on the table when my kindergartners arrive.  Occasionally it is a handwriting sheet, but most days it is a Core Bite.  We developed our core bites as a quick practice and review of skills we are learning throughout the year.  

Core Bites on TPT

Fine Motor Bins:  Why

When they finish with their Core Bite, there is usually 5-10 minutes left before we meet on the carpet for morning meeting for them to choose a Fine Motor Bin.  I developed my fine motor bins first because I was seeing more and more students in my classroom who needed more practice developing fine motor skills.  

I also wanted some fun, open ended activities that would build those motor skills, but also allow my munchkins to start the day in play and interacting with others.

Fine Motor Bins:  How

My fine motor bins are set up in rainbow colored tubs (rainbow...imagine that!).  The students check for their name on a nearby rainbow chart, then they know what color fine motor bin they can choose from that day.  Every Friday we have "Free Choice Friday" when they can choose any bin.

Fine Motor Bins:  What

My fine motor bins have lots of things to choose from.  Some more academic, and some just for fun, but they all help build their finger strength.  I switch things out as needed (meaning they aren't being chosen or they aren't being used appropriately).  

Some materials that I add are:  silly putty, beads and pipe cleaners, beads and feathers, puzzles, rainbow looms, pot holder looms, pop beads, mini party favor games like barrel of monkeys and connect 4, along with Lakeshore fine motor materials.  

I just added some new things I'm totally excited to introduce:

Old Keyboards With Words

Doodle Balls on Amazon

Easter Tic Tac Toe Games (from Walmart)

Zen Artist Board   

This is so cool!  They paint words, letters, or numbers with water and watch it slowly dry.

Buy The Book Balancing Game
Lots of challenge cards, and a cute little cat that has to balance on the books.  I love that it includes a mini level.

Ice Cube Trays on Amazon

This is always a favorite.  Small ice cube trays, marbles, ice cream scoops, and a dice.  There is something very satisfying about filling the trays with marbles.

Magnetic Handwriting Practice on Amazon

These are a favorite in my classroom!  They come in uppercase, lowercase, cursive, 
numbers, and a "drawing" board.

Magnetic Schoolroom on Amazon

I also have a magnetic dollhouse and a farm.  They choose these often.

Fractiles On Amazon

Very cool!  We make all kinds of great designs with these.

FUZE Beads On Amazon

FUZE beads are HUGELY popular in my classroom.  It means I'm always behind on my ironing but check out these amazing creations.

Added something new this week!  They are called Lollipoptors and they are hard to describe.  The kids spin them and they stop in different patterns.  They are a bit mesmerizing....check out the video from my classroom!

Thanks for playing!

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