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5 Key Benefits of Using Write the Room in Your Classroom

Don’t you love finding activities that get your students up and moving? I do too! That’s why I absolutely love Write the Room activities. This simple idea of putting words up around the classroom and having students write them on a recording sheet is so engaging and can be a great learning tool. I use Write the Room during all sorts of subjects – math, writing, language arts and more! I’ve found that there are many advantages to using this activity. Here are the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room in your classroom.

Don't you love finding hands on activities for your students? I do too! Read about the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room activities in your classroom.

Write the Room Benefits

 

1. Not just another worksheet

Although in reality this activity requires a worksheet (recording sheet), this is not just another typical, paper and pencil, do at your seat worksheet. Students have to move their bodies all around the room to search for the words they need to record. I use this activity during the holidays to get students excited for the upcoming season or as a review of something we’ve learned recently.

2. Handwriting Practice

This activity gets students to practice their writing and handwriting. My kindergarteners benefit from constantly observing the right way to write, tracing words and letters, and practicing writing on their own in order for them to be able to communicate through writing. We focus on handwriting a few times a week and the proper way to write the letters and numbers. Write the Room is an awesome way for them to practice their handwriting without making them trace and write the same letter for a whole page.

Don't you love finding hands on activities for your students? I do too! Read about the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room activities in your classroom.

3. Beginning Letter Recognition

In kindergarten, it’s important for students to learn their letter sounds as it makes reading and sounding out easier. Write the Room helps students focus on beginning letters and sounds. Along with all the themed words in a certain Write the Room resource, there is a picture that matches. When students find a word, they must look on their recording sheet for the beginning letter. As they write the word, they are thinking of the picture and are able to practice sounding out the word.

4. Builds Vocabulary

Write the Room is a good way to build your students vocabulary. You could use this activity to begin your science or social studies unit using key vocabulary as the Write the Room words. Sign up for my newsletter and receive a Community Helpers Write the Room FREEBIE! I also use Write the Room to build vocabulary around the holidays. Students match the picture to the word during this activity and then notice the word in our seasonal books. Students feel so proud when they know how to read a fancy word!

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5. Review Activity or Assessment

This activity can be utilized as a review activity or assessment. After I teach nouns for a few weeks, students show me what they know by completing a write the room (nouns edition). In kindergarten, we learn what a noun is and students practice distinguishing between the different kinds of nouns. During this Write the Room, students find a noun card and have to decide if it is a person, place, thing or animal. Through this activity, we review what they’ve learned and I can decide if I need to continue to work on nouns or if we can move on to something else.

Don't you love finding hands on activities for your students? I do too! Read about the 5 key benefits of using Write the Room activities in your classroom.

Have you used Write the Room in your classroom? How does it benefit your students? Leave a comment below!

Resources

Check out the different Write the Room resources I have in my TpT store. *Save a TON by purchasing my Seasonal Write the Room Growing Bundle!*

Seasonal Write the Room Growing Bundle

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A Unique Way to Use Elf on the Shelf in the Classroom

Elf on the Shelf is typically known for getting into trouble and doing mischievous things. Not my Elf! My classroom elf promotes kindness throughout the holiday season in my kindergarten classroom.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Inspiration

I am obsessed with everything the holidays have to bring! My favorite time of year is right before Thanksgiving and throughout the month of December. This is when we start to cozy up by the fire, set out decorations, light scented candles and spend quality time with our friends and families. It’s also a time of fun activities in our classrooms as well as reflection on what a great year it’s been.

The holidays in the classroom can be a tricky time. It’s hard to balance doing exciting activities to celebrate the holidays while still managing to teach the academics and not let your students spiral out of control.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Classroom Elf

I’ve always loved Elf on a Shelf and the magic he inspires. (Not to mention students are always on their best behavior while the elf is watching.) And, I love using my creativity to make our elf get into trouble. However, I wanted to give our elf a bigger purpose. So last year, our classroom elf, Elfie, challenged us each day to complete an act of kindness.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

The Letters

Each morning, my students find our classroom elf in a different spot of the room, up to some sort of silliness, next to a letter. The letter explains what the elf is doing and encourages the class to spread kindness or Christmas cheer through a specific action.

For example, I introduce my elf by having him sit in one of our buckets we use for bucket filling. Through this letter, he tells students to spread kindness through writing a bucket filler for someone they wouldn’t normally write one for.

Do you use Elf on the Shelf in your classroom? Instead of getting into mischief, my classroom elf promotes kindness during the holiday season. Read how here

These letters state many different ways students can share joy through the holiday. From giving a hug or smile, to donating old books or clothes, these letters give students as young as kindergarten concrete ideas of how to show love and spread kindness.

Check out my Classroom Elf: Promoting Kindness here.

Classroom Elf

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Creating Christmas Magic in the Classroom

 

Creating Christmas Magic in the Classroom

One of the things I love most about teaching kindergarten is the ability to go ALL out on every holiday. It’s like a built in addendum to our contract that in kindergarten, you must celebrate everything and anything! This year, I incorporated many fun, engaging and also educational Christmas lessons to spread the magical joy in my kinder room.

Elfie

This is my fourth year using Elf on the Shelf in my classroom. I use Elf on the Shelf in a unique way, to encourage acts of kindness throughout the holiday season. The first day our elf arrived, students spotted him immediately! Some of my kids had an elf in their home and knew the rules so I wasn’t surprised when one of my students shouted “don’t touch him!” Each day, students look forward to seeing where our elf was in the room and what shenanigans he was into! I start our day by reading the letter from Elfie and discussing what act of kindness he challenges us to try. Find a full list of acts of kindness and what the elf does in my TpT store through this here.


 

Polar Express

The last week before break, I’ve made it a tradition to celebrate Polar Express week. This is where I take a break from our language arts and math curriculum and incorporate different lessons all about the Polar Express. I purchased a few different TpT products to make this week happen. I use The Polar Express by Teaching in High Heels for our “write the room”, to compare and contrast the book and the movie and to describe our time on the Polar Express through our five senses. I use All Aboard the Polar Express by Free Falling in SDC to make our conductor or reindeer hats. Last, I use The Polar Express: Book Companion by The Curious Catfish for my North Pole tickets and my writing craftivity.

I’ve also come across a few freebies on TpT that I incorporate into my week of everything Polar Express. My absolute favorite lesson I’ve used during this week the past few years is the sequencing activity from Erica Bohrer’s Polar Express Movie and Craft Activities – FREEI do this whole class first, then students sequence on their very own Polar Express train. This week is very language arts heavy, but this freebie Polar Express Doubles/Doubles Plus 1 by Studly Peaches is a fun way to incorporate math, with various versions of a five in a row game. The Polar Express has been one of my all time favorite Christmas stories since I was a little kid and bringing this love to my kindergarteners makes for a very magical week before Christmas break.

Gingerbread House

I am so blessed to work at a school with the BEST co-workers. This year, our lower school team teachers (grades k-2) are some of my best friends. We planned a kindergarten through second grade gingerbread house decorating party! Parent volunteers brought in graham crackers, icing, and candy. The day before our party, our volunteers assembled our houses and then day of we had a few parents help pass out the candy or fill up student’s cups with extra icing. Every year, I am amazed with student’s creativity!

           

Parent Gift

Each year, I’ve made a different parent gift for students to give to their parents. I’ve never been super impressed with anything I’ve had them do in the past so I turned to my favorite addiction – Pinterest. After browsing pinterest for what seemed like hours, I settled on a salt dough handprint ornament that the students paint to look like Santa.

This was a very ambitious project but with only 15 students and the help of my assistant teacher, we were able to accomplish these gifts and they turned out AMAZING! Check out this link to see the full tutorial of how to make these ornaments. Students loved seeing their handprint after I baked the dough and felt so proud when they turned their handprint into a Santa ornament.

How to Create Christmas Magic in Your Classroom

What kinds of traditions do you have in your classroom around the holidays? This time of year is very hectic but also extremely magical. I wish you and your students a happy holidays and restful winter break!

Turkey Tuesday

One of the most exciting parts of teaching kindergarten is being able to use your creativity (especially during the holidays)! By the time October hits, it feels like we’re off and running with nonstop activities until Christmas break. I try to incorporate art once a week to go along with a monthly theme or a holiday that is coming up. The best thing about kinder art is that they all look SO different by the time these little creators are finished.img_8298

To celebrate Thanksgiving, we made turkeys out of paper plates (half a plate), tissue paper and construction paper. I used parts of the turkey template in Kelly Morgan’s Thanksgiving Everything Pack. I’ve had this resource of hers for a few years now and have used this template in various ways throughout the years. Not only does this pack have this craftivity (love that word!) but she has language arts, math, social studies and other resources all related to Thanksgiving. Total TpT jackpot!

We pasted the tissue paper squares to the paper plate by painting over them with liquid starch.img_8292
Not only does the starch make the papers stick, but it creates a shiny coat for the turkey’s feathers. Creating the turkey’s feathers was all that my kinders could handle for one day so we let the liquid starch dry and saved the turkey body and parts for the next day.

In my first year teaching, when I did craftivities like this, I would hand out each construction paper separately and it would be hard to manage since all students were cutting and gluing at different paces. I would be stressing out, running back and forth, handing different pieces to different students. Now, I’ve found that handing out all papers at once is less chaotic and actually more fun for the kids because they can be a little more creative. I put my sample on the board incase students want a reference of what the end goal is but I’ve found that some students don’t want to look at the model; they want to do their own thing! Teachers all have different ways of leading projects depending on their style and their students. What works in your classroom? How do you manage art projects?

I love that the same art project can produce such different results. What types of Thanksgiving projects do you do in your classrooms?

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