hands on is, hands down, the way to go

Internship is drawing (very quickly!) to a close – only four days left 😦  I realized that I have a lot of recapping to do. Here are some pictures of my lovely little learners engaging in some of the activities I have planned over the past month… (Never again will I put off posting this long – lesson learned!)

One thing I am extremely proud of is creating this Word of the Day program during my internship. This idea was taken from a Kindergarten teacher from Kindersley (check out @PamelaSawatzky‘s Twitter handle – she is a wonderful K teacher!) during a Phonological Awareness PD event at the beginning of the school year. It involves breaking down simple CVC words into their individual sounds and then placing a dot into a box (these are called El Konin boxes and are great for students to visualize the breaking down of words into sounds) for each of the sounds heard.

In the above example (“tack”), students identify the sounds they hear:

/t/  /a/  /k/    Then, Leaders for the day get to drag a dot into a box. We then practice pulling the sounds apart and putting them back together to create the original word. We also discuss which letters make the corresponding sounds.

Nest Making

As part of our Bird Inquiry unit, I was constantly adding to and changing our authentic nest centre. It ended with this evolution, where students had the chance to create their own nests. It was so interesting to see what students came up with and what strategies they used to make their nests. On one of my observation days, some of my students were eager to teach my faculty advisor how to make a nest. Such a cool thing to see! Nest Making 2

Here are some of the finished nests:

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Another endeavour that was on my internship bucket list was Outdoor Winter Centres. These were a lot of work (and took up a lot of freezer space – haha) but SO MUCH FUN! Take a look…

I filled spray bottles with coloured water for students to ‘spray paint’ the snow with. This was definitely the biggest hit. I wished I had had more spray bottles!

Winter Centres 8

Students also used the cookie cutters to create coloured shapes in the snow.

I also made ice cubes in every colour of the rainbow for students to create snow castle creations out of. This was also very popular. The spray bottles also become a tool for decorating the castles (of course the students thought of something I didn’t).

The students above are trying to save some ‘frozen’ animals (plastic figurines I froze into clear water) using warm water. Students also tried to refreeze the animals by adding snow into the water.

Frozen Animals


This is a fun activity that can cover a lot of Science outcomes, but those icy animals melt a lot faster than they freeze, so have A LOT on hand.

Winter Centres 2

I thought a frozen treat was appropriate for our ice and snow themed centres. Some apple juice, ice cube trays, and popsicle sticks did the trick real quick!

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Lucky for us, this December has included GORGEOUS weather, so it was cold enough to keep the snow on the ground, but still nice enough outside that mitts could be taken off for periods of time without frozen fingers. The perfect medium!

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I loved doing centres in my Math Patterns unit, so tried to do some hands on work for our Number unit as well. Some of the centres pictures in the slideshow above are:

  • putting the correct number of eggs into nests (to tie in with our Bird Inquiry unit)
  • putting the correct amount of coloured tiles into a ten frame
  • counting objects and finding the corresponding numeral to match up
  • building block towers of a specific height
  • playing a board game with a partner and moving a specific number of spaces using 10 sided dice
  • counting the number of stars in a ‘parking lot space’ and parking a car with the corresponding number in that spot

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I also added some centres to our letter learning work. Students could choose if they wanted to do work in their ABC books, draw items that started with the designated letter, make that letter out of play dough, or trace that letter on sheets in page protectors. Although this made Learning Time pretty hectic, I think it really affirms that students all learn in different ways and that these different learning styles are represented and planned for. This also gives students choice to try several centres that suit their interests, or hone in on a specific one.

One other cool thing we did for our Bird Inquiry unit was research on the iPads using QR codes that I created for websites, photo galleries, and videos all about birds. We were lucky enough to have the Grade 6 class come in and buddy up with our K’s, who loved this! 21st century learning at its finest!



To learn about the colour Blue in November, we discussed Picasso’s blue period and tried our hand at creating masterpieces using only shades of blue.

Picasso Blue Period


And just to end on a sweet note, here is an adorable Snowman and Reindeer cupcake that we all had (messy) fun making.


Stay tuned for a post in the future that sums up my internship experience.

Yours truly,


new book haul

Welcome to May, everyone! Hope the April showers are bringing some May flowers your way 🙂

In order to tide myself over with excitement until I receive my internship package (telling me where I will be spending four months in the fall), I ordered a whole swack of books to supplement my ever-growing classroom library (which has begun to take over the spare room in my family’s basement.. haha).

First of all, I got a super deal on 45 non-fiction books in 9 sets of 5 on different topics. I was extra excited about this addition, as I don’t have many non-fiction titles in my classroom library already and these books all connect really well with curriculum units in Science! I can see myself getting a lot of use out of these in the future.


Simple machines


Animal adaptations


Human body




Oceans and ocean life


Types of animals


Space and the solar system


Different environments on Earth


The Earth and rocks


This next one is also very cute. It has illustrations and short descriptions of different yoga poses for each letter of the alphabet. I could see this being a fun way to incorporate brain breaks – you could do a different letter each day.


Set of 10. Teaching phonics through fairy tales. Each book has a major sound focus (ex. ‘ee’) that is highlighted throughout the text. Classic tales are written in short, rhyming stanzas.


The classic song from Sesame Street in book form. Also includes a CD with 3 songs! Such a steal.


Awesome set of 6 that explains different plant parts. Has great pictures and simple text.


And finally… This one really excited the grammar nerd in me. A whole set of books that explain the parts of speech in first person. Ex. “If you were quotation marks, you would work in partners, and go outside of the words that characters in the story are saying.” SUPER cute!

On top of all of this, I am headed to the Scholastic warehouse sale this week to hopefully pick up some more gems at rock bottom prices. Gotta love teacher bargain hunting!

Until next time, go out and grab a great book!


5 card flickr story

Here are the five photos I chose for my story

Here are the five photos I chose for my story

Today, a presentation in our ERDG 310 class introduced me to a new online resource that encourages writing: 5 card flickr stories. The user selects 5 pictures in chronological order and then writes a corresponding story to go with the images they selected. This would be a great activity to use with students who get writer’s block! Below is a quick example that I did. I really enjoyed this program and can see myself using it in the future with students.


Do you have any great online literacy resources to share?