Community Helper Week in Kindergarten

One of my all time favorite units to teach in kindergarten is community helpers. Below you will find resources and ideas you can use in your own classroom. 

Something that I do during my community helpers unit is to reach out to the parents. I asked parents to bring in “tools of their trades” for us to use doing free play and centers. We had an overwhelming amount of donations from my classroom parents. 

I have a lot of parents in my classroom that are doctors or physicians. They gave us some hairnets, gloves, and face masks for the students to keep. they also lent us some stethoscopes, a reflex hammer, and a lab coat. The students enjoyed playing doctor and listening to each other’s hearts. I also gave the students Bruce (my classroom bear) to use as a patient. The students loved playing doctor and veterinarian. 

We also had a lot of parents bring in materials for baking. The students loved using our play kitchen materials with the real kitchen tools. We had a parent lend us a chef hat and an apron. 

The students really enjoyed playing with all the materials that the parents brought it; however, the science materials brought in from a parents Lab job was the biggest hit! We had them practice mixing colored water using lab tools. The students loved watching the colors change while practicing their scientist observation skills. 

Now you cannot have a community helpers unit in kindergarten without inviting a member of the community into the classroom. On the last day of our unit, the Salt Lake City PD came into both kindergarten classrooms to talk about their jobs and their responsibilities to the community. 

Healthy Hearts ~ NGSS Science for Valentine’s Day

My school has adopted the NGSS science standards and I have been busy trying to figure out the best way to incorporate them into lessons I already implement and have created. I have come up with a few science labs/experiments to do with the students. Here is one of my new ones that I am extremely excited to work on this week. I will update my post once I have conducted the experiment with the students.

NGSS Standard for Kindergarten: Use observations to describe patterns of what plants and animals need to survive. Organization for Matter and Energy Flow. We are going to talk about how we need exercise to help keep us healthy. Next week we are going to talk about how we need healthy food to keep us healthy, and our teeth healthy.

Lesson Objectives: 
Students will conduct an experiment to determine what is the best means of exercise to increase our heart rates. 
Students will test out their heart rates with the following activities: dancing, running, jumping rope, and yoga. 
Students will construct and create stethoscopes to use during their experiment. 
Students will use real stethoscopes to listen to their heart beats during their experiment. 

Engineering of Stethoscopes:
Students will create their own stethoscopes out of the following materials:

Draw 1 1/2 inch lines around the tube. 
Cut the lines
Fan the tube over the tunnel. I cut off that little nubbin to help with taping 
Start to wrap the tub with tape around the funnel.

What it should look like when it is finished. 

 Now the students will have to do this on their own. This is very important when implementing the NGSS standards. The students need to come up with the best way to create this on their own. I am going to draw the lines on the tube and cut the tape for them, other than that…. they will need to make it on their own. Bonus: fantastic to help those fine motor kids!

Now on to the experiment

I will be using my science lab report poster that I created. I have created these science posters that you can print off with a plotter.

Problem: We know that exercise is great for our heart, but which of the following exercise will increase our heart rates the most. 
Hypothesis: The students will write down their hypothesis to answer what they think will increase their heart rates the most. The four exercises we will be testing are – jumping rope, yoga, dancing, and running. The students will record their hypothesis on these tickets. On the reverse is the conclusion that we will fill out later. 
Procedure: We will spend 5 minutes on each exercise. After each exercise we will use our stethoscopes to listen to each others hearts. We will also use real stethoscopes to listen to each others hearts. The students will record their heart rates on the following recording sheet. The first step to to have the students lay down, or rest their heads on their desks for 5-10 minutes. Tell your students that this is your resting heart rate and this will be the lowest on our recording sheet. We will compare what we think the speed of our heart is to our resting heart rate.
Observations: We will record our observations during each activity. 
Conclusion: We will take our hypothesis papers and on the back and fill out the conclusion. We will determine which activity got their heart rates up the fastest. 

I will update this post after completion of the experiment!

Fabulous Fall Link-Up

The leaves are starting to change and the weather is getting colder, fall is here! 

I have been feeling inspired to create lots of fall themed products. I’ve been finding new ways to incorporate some fall themes. I’ve collected tons of acorns and am excited for my kids to use them as math manipulatives this week. 
Now for the link-up… add your favorite fall product!

Apples, Apples, and more Apples!

Our kindergarten classroom just finished our apple week and to celebrate we had an apple party!

Here are a few of the centers we worked on this week.

Rainbow Apples ~ Color Word Center
Students pull different color apple cards from a deck. They then select that color marker to trace “The apple is” for hand writing practice. The students then copy the color word from the card to fill in the blank.

Apple Lacing Center
Students worked on their fine motor skills this week by pretending to lace wiggly worms through different apples. The apples are labeled 1-6 with 1 being the easiest with the least amount of holes to 6 being the hardest with lots of holes.


Let’s Cook! ~ Apple Center
This was one of my favorite centers this week. Students used our pretend cooking set to “bake” different apple items. They followed recipe cards for apple pie, apple crisp, applesauce, and apple butter. They then record down how much of each item they used to make the apple dishes. The students loved pretending to cook delicious apple dishes. This was also a great math and following direction center.
Planting Seeds with Johnny Appleseed Center
Students used Gator Grabbers to work on their fine motor skills and math skills. Students glued apple seeds (I had a parent spray paint popcorn kernels black) unto their paper. They glued the number of seeds that the Johnny’s sign had posted.
Apple Write the Room
This is one of my student’s favorite centers. I hid cards around the room and they have to go on a “scavenger hunt” to find the cards and write down the secret clue on the back of the card. Because this is the beginning of the year I made the worksheet that correspond with the cards have a traceable print. The students LOVED this center.
Apple Letters
I created this center to help students with their writing and alphabet recognition. Students pull apple alphabet cards from a deck and use thin markers to trace the letter on their recording sheet. They trace the letter in the color that the card has the letter represented. They are the colors of apples, of course! Red, yellow, and green.
Apple Jacks Sight Word Center
To help practice the sight word “the” students used apple jacks and kid tongs to fill in the letters. Students loved the smell of their finished craft!
Apple Tasting
Of course we could not have an apple party without any apple tastings! We tried apple butter on crackers, apple juice, and made our own applesauce!





You can find all of these centers and more in my apple unit on