Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

Ready, Set, Kindergarten! — Polar Bears

Our second Ready, Set, Kindergarten! program! I started off by introducing our theme and going over our “classroom” rules.

Then we started circle time. I opened our mobile classroom and we started with our Days of the Week song:

Song: Days of the Week (to the tune of The Addams Family)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday,
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday,
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday,
And then there’s Saturday.
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
Source: Ms. Brown’s Classroom

We looked at our calendar and discussed what day of the week it was, what month we were in, and what day of the month it was. As you can see I changed the current day to a yellow square so it would really stand out. Then we moved on to the weather:

Song: What’s the Weather? (to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine)
What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it sunny? Is it windy?
Is it rainy? Is it cold?

What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it snowy? Is it cloudy?
Is it stormy? Is it hot?

We decided it was cold and cloudy. Then it was time for our theme discussion. I asked them if polar bears lived in a cold or hot climate. We talked about what polar bears eat and what a carnivore is. Then we talked about how penguins and polar bears never live together and actually live on opposite ends of the globe. I brought the globe from the children’s area to show the kids that polar bears are on top and penguins are on the bottom.

One of the mom’s was nice enough to take some pictures for me!

We also talked about how polar bears live on the North Pole with Santa! 🙂 Next we read our books:

Book: Polar Bears by Gail Gibbons

I read most of this book and it was quite long. I ended up skipping our fiction book this week: Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson; illustrated by Stephen Savage

In hindsight, I should have read this book. It’s very short and I think they could have handled it.

Then we talked about the letter of the week. We talked about the different sounds B makes and some words that start with B.

Then I read our letter B book: Bear and Bee by Sergio Ruzzier. This book went perfectly with our theme AND our letter B craft!

When we finished this book, I reviewed the different stations I had set up. Last time I tried to introduce stations while they were already into the craft and it was a bit too chaotic and noisy!

Then we conducted a quick science experiment. I filled two plastic bags with Crisco and duct taped them together to make a “blubber” glove. I got the idea here. I had the kids make a prediction of what they thought was going to happen when they dipped their hands in the water with and without the glove and which hand they thought would be warmer.

Then they lined up and I had each kid dip one bare hand in the ice water while the other hand was enclosed in our blubber glove. Obviously, the blubber hand was much warmer so we talked about how that three inch layer of blubber keeps polar bears warm and cozy in the Arctic air and when they’re swimming in the icy ocean.

After they’d had their turn with the ice water, each one went to the craft table for the letter B craft. I did the exact same craft I did for our Annual ABC craft in 2016.

Before our program began I’d set up two tables at the front of the room. I put all of the supplies for our letter craft on them and when it was time for our craft I simply rolled the tables over, locked them, and had the kids stand around. It worked out perfectly.

Our other children’s librarian thought of covering the tables with butcher paper so we could take the paper off when the program was over and we wouldn’t have to sit there with antibacterial wipes scrubbing glue stick remnants off the tables. Brilliant!

Then it was time for centers. There are a few repeat centers we’re going to have every time and a few that will change with each theme.

I made the center instruction signs in Canva. I used the same laminated winter scene from the last session in our sugar tray. I got the instructions for the letter here and the number here.

I found the mats for letters (about $10) and numbers (about $12) at Oriental Trading. I used the same blue play-doh from our last session. The kids rolled and shaped the play-doh to make the letter B and then rolled 10 circles to cover each fish. I taped the mats on the table so they wouldn’t move around.

We’re missing the B sensory bean bag but we still had the tub I put together.

The boat came in a TOOB set that the library already owned. The library also already owned the ball. The banana came in a pack of food from the dollar store. The bear was part of a set of Lakeshore Learning bear counters the county gifted us. The button I found at home. The butterfly was part of an eraser set I found at the dollar store. The letters came from foam puzzles I found at the dollar store.

I thought this was such a fun idea. I bought three packs of paper gift bag filler at the dollar store and emptied it into a bin. Then I put in eight Arctic animals from a TOOB and eight “jungle” animals from the safari TOOB. (I say “jungle” because some were obviously plains or desert animals so I fudged it a little.) Then the kids sorted each animal into the arctic or jungle habitat.

I got the start of this idea from Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten (a BRILLIANT site!) but made it my own. I found the tweezers at the dollar store. I gasped when I saw them because I’d been all ready to buy a set of six from Amazon for $12.99 but I really didn’t need six and they were a little expensive so I was thrilled when I found these. It was meant to be. I included magnifying glasses (also from the dollar store) so the kids could look at the animals closely.

These FREE mats came from Pocket of Preschool. I printed them out onto card stock and laminated them. I bought colored Goldfish crackers and the kids sorted them into colors and also counted 1-10 goldfish and put them into columns. I saw a few crackers make their way into some mouths. 🙂

I got this for free and I can’t remember where it came from!! It was one of the first things I gathered for Ready, Set, Kindergarten! and the source has since been lost to me. If it’s yours let me know and I’ll link to your site!

As you can see I cut out the uppercase letters and glued them onto the snowflake. I laminated everything and then I hot glued the lowercase letters onto clothespins. The kids matched up the lowercase letters to the uppercase.

I also cut out polar bear footprints so the kids could get a feel for how big they were. These were actually small compared to how big they can be! I got the footprints from The Creative Classroom. I cut them out and mounted them on blue construction paper to make them a little larger. Of course the kids loved jumping from foot to foot.

Our session summary:

Inside left and right pages of booklet

I also handed out a letter/number of the week worksheet for them to color at home and practice their writing. I got the letter worksheet here and the number worksheet from Tot Schooling. And lastly I sent home a Shadow Matching Game that I found here for homework.

Because my hours were cut so drastically we decided to do this program through June but not in July and August since we’re so very busy in the summer. We’ll pick it back up in September.

Next up: Dinosaurs! (The kids were VERY excited about this theme!)

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