The last two weeks were a little crazy over here with everyone taking turns being sick. So we took a little extra time to finish our zoo theme since we were having so much fun with it.  Sorry for the delay, we hope to be healthy and back on track here on out!
Whether you are trying to hold on to your sanity until spring break or you are in the home stretch of your school year, spring is JUST around the corner. And thank goodness because I need some warmer air and sunshine so bad!  My teacher friends and I are here with some great book suggestions to help you get some of your April planning done so you can get out and enjoy that fresh spring air. 

Finding good nonfiction books for kindergartners can be tough. I am always on the lookout for books with really great pictures and simple easy to understand text. I know I can always count on Pebble Plus books to be full of great photos and simple text. So this month I chose a set of 4 books about spring.
You can find these books on Amazon here (affiliate links).

One of the ways I use the books in this series is to make comparisons between texts.
First, we read Animals in Spring and People in Spring

Next we make an anchor chart with the things we've learned about both people and animals in the spring.

Then, we use that information and turn it into a Venn Diagram.

Finally, we read the remaining books in the All About Spring series.  After reading, students choose one of the topics (plants, animals, people, or weather) to write about.

We start by organizing our thoughts:

Then, students plan out their table of contents:

And finally they write information on each page of their book:

You can grab this writing activity for FREE here:


You can find differentiated Venn Diagram response sheets and more writing activities for your spring read alouds here:


FREE Reading Response Pages!




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Don't forget, each month, the Books Teachers Love Crew is giving away 4 of the books that we blogged about, and YOU get to choose the books you want! So scope out all 12 blog posts below, pick your favorites, and enter to win.

So it's been snowing all day here, but we're still thinking spring thoughts! This week we were on green and rainbow overload celebrating with some St. Patrick's Day fun!

So here were our plans for the St. Patrick's Day theme:

And here is what we actually did:
*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience* 

Our favorite books this week were:
St. Patrick’s Day by Anne Rockwell
Green Shamrocks by Eve Bunting
The Luckiest Leprechaun by Justine Korman

 Marshmallow Stamp Rainbow: 
For this rainbow craft I prepped a sheet of paper ahead of time by drawing the arc guidelines for the rainbow with a pencil.   Then we used a mini marshmallow and a clothespin for our paintbrush. Madelynn dipped the marshmallow into each color of tempera paint and followed the guidelines to fill in her rainbow.  This was a great fine motor and concentration activity for her.
Color Sort & Stack: 
Who doesn't love playing with their food? I stuck skewers into play dough and placed one Froot Loop of each color onto the skewers.  Madelynn worked hard to sort a tray full of cereal to stack a rainbow.

 Snip and Glue Shamrocks: 
We worked on our cutting skills with this Snip and Glue Shamrock. First, I printed a shamrock outline and cut strips of different shades of green paper. Then, Madelynn used her scissors to snip small pieces of paper, and glued them to fill in the shamrock.

 Sticky Window Rainbow: 
You know we love our sticky window activities over here. This week we made a rainbow with tissue paper. To prep the activity, I drew arcs on the contact paper with a pencil before peeling the backing off.  Then, I taped the contact paper sticky side out on the window for Madelynn to fill in.

 Rainbow Ball Game: 
This game was a combination of fine and gross motor practice.  I grabbed an O-Ball, filled it with rainbow colored scarves, then we played catch. Each time she caught the ball I named a color for her to find and pull out. Then she'd toss it back and name a color for me to find.

 Rainbow Bean Bag Toss: 
For this game we used rainbow bean bags and a hula hoop for a target. The goal was to throw the bean bags into the circle.

 Rainbow Relay: 
For this relay, I gave Madelynn a bowl of rainbow colored candy and a spoon.  On the other side of the room I lined up cups for each color. When I said go, Madelynn ran one color at a time across the room to sort them into the correct cups.

 Fruit Rainbows: 
This fruit rainbow was easy and could easily be made with different variations of fruit that you have on hand.

 Lucky Charms Treats: 
We made these treats following the recipe for Rice Krispy treats but swapped out the cereal with Lucky Charms.  (6 cups Lucky Charms, 3 Tbsps butter, 4 cups mini marshmallows Heat butter and marshmallows in microwave for 3 minutes. Stir until smooth. Add cereal. Press into a pan.)

 Licorice Rainbow: 
I've seen treat bags with these rainbow Twizzlers on Pinterest so I thought I'd make something similar for a special snack this week.  Since I didn't want to put them in a bag, I used a skewer and pushed it through each color. After arching the licorice back through the skewer a second time, I cut the extra length off then laid it on a plate with a few marshmallows for clouds.

 St. Patrick's Day Bin: 
In this bin: shamrock beadsgreen mega blocksgreen table scattergreen coinsglitter shamrocks/leprechaun hats(from Hobby Lobby), and green pouch lids

 Rainbow Sort Sensory Bin: 
In this bin: white beans, colored paper rectangles, colored pom poms for sorting, and tweezers

Dig for Gold Bin: 
In this bin: rainbow rice, gold coins, scoops, and cups

 That's it for this week, next week we're learning about zoo animals!

And here are the themes that will be coming soon:
And if you want to catch up on our past Tot School Activities, you can find them all here:


January:

February:

September:

October:

November:

December:
Christmas

January:

February:

March:


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Well its March which means we are thinking spring thoughts here is Wisconsin and hoping for warmer days soon.  So although it is too early to do any planting outside, we decided to start learning about plants so we're readyto head outside as soon as we get a taste of warm spring air.

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience* 

So here were our plans for our Plants theme:

And here is what we actually did:
I had way too many great plant books to just pick 5 for this week, so I went with a few of my favorite series.

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert 
Gardens Series by Mary Schuh
Once There Was a Seed by Judith Anderson and Mike Gordon
Counting Flowers:
To add a little counting practice to our fine motor activities this week I made these number flowers. I glued a mini cupcake liner to a stick and folded a few extra liners to create the leaves. Next I numbered the flowers from 1-10. Finally I gave Madelynn a pile of mini pom pom "pollen" to add to each flower. She counted them out one at a time as she grabbed them with the tongs.
Build a Flower:
I am so glad Madelynn is becoming a pro with a glue stick, because I have TONS of foam shapes laying around that are not stickers. I'm not sure why I thought they were a good idea, but they are coming in handy now for art projects! I sorted out some shapes and colors into cups for her to use as flower parts. We used the book Planting a Rainbow as inspiration for building flowers.
Flower Necklaces:
This flower bead threading activity was super easy with this Flower Power Bead Kit from Melissa & Doug. Its no secret I love all things Melissa & Doug and this kit is no exception. I love that it is made for little hands with the string that is similar to a shoelace with an extra long plastic aglet to push through the beads without it fraying. 
Sticky Window Flowers:
Something about light shining through sticky window activities just makes me smile every time.  For this flower garden, I taped up a sheet of contact paper (sticky side out), gave Madelynn a container with the leftover foam shapes from our gluing activity, and let her create away! The best thing about using foam vs. paper? It is easy to remove, reposition, and reuse the pieces!
Flower ABC Match:
I made this little flower match activity with uppercase letters on the flower centers, and lowercase letters on petals. Then I taped the petals to mini clothespins for Madelynn to attach to the flowers.
Flower Number Hunt:
We love our scavenger hunts! First, I printed themed cards with the numbers 1-10. Next, I hid them all over the house. Then I gave Madelynn a clipboard, recording sheet and some crayons and sent her off to find the first card. We are working on number recognition, so after finding a card Madelynn would tell me the number, then color it on her paper. To spice things up I gave Madelynn a different action to do as she searched for her next card. My favorites? Fly like a bird, crawl like a turtle, gallop like a horse, run like a cheetah, slither like a snake, walk like a bear, tiptoe like a ballerina, and hop like a rabbit. This definitely helped to get a little extra energy out and prevented her from just slowly walking to each new card. I created different levels of response sheets to practice counting sets and writing numbers as well. If you'd like a copy you can grab them here.

Nature Walk Checklist:
We tried really hard to get outside this week, despite it being a bit cold and windy. Aubrey's been fighting a cold, and I didn't want to make her come out with us, so while she napped we improvised with  backyard nature walk. Madelynn was able to find most of the items on our checklist and loved finding and coloring each one.
Flower Hop Memory:
This was a fun new game we tried out this week. First, I drew 6 different colored flowers on the ground and had Madelynn help color them. Then, I named a color for her to jump on.."pink." Next, I named another color to jump on, adding on to the previous color... "pink, then purple." Finally we continued to add colors in the sequence to practice following multi step directions..."pink, then purple, then yellow, etc."
Fruit Flowers:
We built these fruit flowers with green grapes, strawberries, pineapples, clementines, and a blackberry.
Veggie Flowers:
We built these veggie flowers from celery, cucumbers and orange peppers. I used small flower shaped fondant cutters to punch out the shapes.
Flower Pattern Snack:
I found these fun flower shaped marshmallows at Target this week so I added them in as an easy patterning snack this week.
Flower Play Dough Tray:
Play dough trays are always a hit around here. On this tray: yellow, pink, and purple play dough, pipe cleaner stems, leaf sequins, colored sequins, colored gems, and flower fondant cutters
Planting Flowers Bin:
In this bin: black beans, fake grass, plastic/silk flowers, cups and this AWESOME flower shaped cake pop maker I found to use as a fine motor tool
Build a Garden Bin:
In this bin: split peas and this adorable garden playset (I admit the quality on this toy isn't the best, but it was relatively cheap and Madelynn LOVES it)
Planting Carrots Bin: 
In this bin: split peas, carrot easter eggs, fine motor tools, and boxes

 That's it for this week, get ready for all of the green next week for St. Patrick's Day!

And here are the themes that will be coming soon:
And if you want to catch up on our past Tot School Activities, you can find them all here:


January:

February:

September:

October:

November:

December:
Christmas

January:

February:
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