Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

Ready, Set, Kindergarten! — Bugs & Insects

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To start, I went over our mobile classroom items of the week (Color: Brown [like the dirt most bugs live in; Shape: Circle [since most bugs have circular heads or bodies]; Letter: I & J [we’re going to double up on letters for May and June because we’re not going to have this program in the summer and I want to discuss as many letters with the kids as I can!]; Number: 8 [the number of legs on a spider]. Our concept of the week was Coding. 

Then we started circle time:

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. 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?
Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/460563499387764713/

Then it was time for our theme discussion. 

Non-Fiction Book: Bugs are Insects by Anne Rockwell; illustrated by Steve Jenkins

bugs are insects

I made sure the kids understood the concept of insect versus arachnid. I found this really helpful poster from American Pest: 

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I inserted this image into the PowerPoint presentation and kept it up on the screen while the kids walked around the centers.

Fiction Book: Big Bug Surprise by Julia Gran

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Prunella looooooves bugs. But no one wants to learn as much about them as she does! That is until a colony of bumblebees invades her classroom. What will they do to get rid of them??

When we were done with our theme books we talked about the letters of the week. We talked about letter I first. We talked about the sounds I makes and some words that start with I. Then we reviewed letter J.

I decided to then focus on only one letter for our book and craft. Our letter I book: Imogene’s Antlers by David Small:

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Imogene wakes up with a huge set of antlers! 

Then we did our letter I craftThis is the same one I created for our Annual ABC project two years ago. 

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Before our centers we did a group project. I reviewed the butterfly life cycle with the kids. I used this worksheet from The Primary Post. We talked through the stages of a butterfly and put the egg, caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly in order.

Then I handed each of them this worksheet:

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And I held up our snacks:

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We discussed which snack fit best with each stage of the butterfly’s life (egg = mini marshmallows; caterpillar = gummy worms; chrysalis = Tootsie Roll; butterfly = cracker). As we discussed each stage they each got a small handful to put in the correct area on their worksheet. Then, of course, they got to eat their snack. 🙂 I got the idea for this activity from My Joy-Filled Life.

After we were done with this activity, I reviewed our centers. I made all the signs in Canva.

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I filled the tray with salt and lined it with an image from Canva. The number formation rhyme is from Teaching Mama.

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The igloo and iguana came from TOOBs (Arctic and Galapagos, respectively). The insect is the same ant from the A bin. I found the ice cream cone eraser in the library supply closet. The ice cube is from my Boo Bunnie from home. The invitation was leftover from my son’s second birthday party.

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The jet was leftover from our A bin where it was an airplane. The jaguar and jet ski are from TOOBs (safari and in the water, respectively). The jalapeno came in a food set from Dollar Tree. The jelly I swiped from our local diner. I found the jack-o’-lantern eraser in the library supply closet. 

The foam letters for both bins came from puzzles I found at Dollar Tree. I created the tub labels in Canva.

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I created brown play-doh using a mix of red, green, and blue food coloring, which was more complicated than I thought it would be! I got the alphabet and counting mats from Oriental Trading. 

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I filled our sensory bin with TOOB bugs and animals and had the kids sort each one onto our insect/not an insect mats that I created in Canva. I found the fake flowers and bug catching net at Dollar Tree.

I combined ideas for this sensory bin from Sharing Kindergarten, Kinderplans, and Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten.

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I got this idea from Fun Learning for Kids. Danielle was even kind enough to provide a pattern for the butterfly! I loaded our tray with jewels and googly eyes from Dollar Tree. I cut pipe cleaners to about an inch long for antennae. I also set out sequins, stickers, and dot painters. The kids had a great time creating their own beautiful butterflies. 

This activity was so popular I might break it out again for our butterfly story time at the end of the month!

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I got the idea for bug fossils from Plain Vanilla Mom. I set out a mini rolling pin and tweezers for the kids as well. I also printed out and laminated these bug fact cards from Stay at Home Educator. If I’d had time I would have created my own since I couldn’t verify that they were accurate and there were a couple typos. 

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This activity was SUPER popular. I should have printed out and laminated two mats since we had two Bee-Bots. Live and learn. We’re lucky the county bought and loans out coding materials to all of our libraries and Bee-Bots are among the options we have access to. (They’re expensive!) This is a great introduction to coding concepts for young children. I got the instruction poster from Kim Collins on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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I got the idea to create a Bee-Bot mat from Della Larsen’s Class on Teachers Pay Teachers. She had the brilliant idea to create 15 cm x 15 cm squares (the distance the Bee-Bot travels for each move) to make themed mats! I created my squares in Publisher using the ruler to make sure they were precise. Then I laminated each square and taped it to the floor using good strong packing tape. Worked like charm. I printed out duplicates of the mat pictures so the kids could pick one and program their Bee-Bots to travel to that spot.

I might try this again with a space theme over the summer!

Our session summary:

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I also handed out two letter/number of the week worksheets for them to color at home and practice their writing. I got the letter worksheets from Easy Peasy Learners and the number worksheets from Tot Schooling. And lastly as homework I sent home an insect early emergent reader I got from This Reading Mama for the kids to color and try reading. 

Next session: Plants & Flowers!

4 thoughts on “Ready, Set, Kindergarten! — Bugs & Insects

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