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April Morning Work Stations have arrived, and I’m ready to give a quick run down of all 43 activities that I included in it.  Knowing that April is usually the month of Easter and there are those of you that can and can not celebrate it in your classroom, I added some Easter-ish activities and others that are more Spring-ish with showers, bunnies, chicks, kites and ducks and the like.  I think you’ll find a little bit of everything, but I’m anxious to hear what you think.

Oh and if you are wondering where I got my hot little hands on any of the cute manipulatives and items below, please just hop on over to my Morning Work Materials page and scroll down until you see April.  You’ll find everything right there. Or click HERE.

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Lucky to have Morning Work?  You bet.  It has changed my mornings completely.  My kinders rush into class and can’t wait to start the day.  Tardies?  Nope!  Dawdling in the hall? Nope!  It makes for a much more pleasant morning, and my students are getting that extra, hands-on practice they so desperately need.  They think they’re ‘playing,’ but we will just keep the fact that they are actually working between us teachers, ok?

This set of morning work activities has 39 station activities and over 225 pages.  It’s huge and will give you so many options from which to choose.  In my own class, I typically use between 12-15 and the rest I can put in my Word Work or Math Stations if I want, but I always have a choice.

Below I’ve given you a very brief glimpse of March’s packet.  Remember, if you would like to see a detailed materials list of where I secured the items for these stations, just click HERE.  I have a list of each month.  If you scroll all the way down, you’ll find March. 

1.Pot of Gold Sight Word Links

This station is editable. You can enter your own sight word list to add to the leprechaun pots and then use the leprechaun’s gold letter cards to link the letters to reproduce the words.  Just add plastic links and you’re all set to go!

2.Somewhere over the rainbow CVC Self-Correcting Fun

Use those same plastic links and this time, practice making CVC words.  The wonderful thing about this activity is that it is self-correcting.  Students create the word by linking the color or the rainbow cards, write the word . . .

and then open the card and check to see if the answer is correct.

If you’d like to change it up a bit and extend this activity, add colored letter beads.

3.Lucky Links Numbers and Quantities

More fun with plastic links!  (I bet you never imagined they could be used in so many ways.)   This time students link all the various values of numbers together  . . . numbers, quantities, ten frames and tally marks.

4.Rainbow Sand Tray Sight Words Trays

I love these editable sight word sand trays because I can simply enter different lists of words on different colored Astrobrights cardstock and  . . . Ta Dah . . . they are instantly organized for differentiation.  This month I took a common Dollar Tree small cake pan and painted the bottom of it with acrylic paint in a rainbow pattern.  I slapped a little Modge Podge over it just to make sure it was protected and then a bit of salt.  The result is rainbow writing in a whole new way.

5.Fill Your Pot Playdoh Counting Math Mats

Play-doh is a no-brainer.  Students love it, it is GREAT fine motor and so versatile that you can use it to practice a variety of skills.  This is a simple counting activity which is great for students still struggling with numeracy.

6.Luck of the Irish Playdoh Ten Frame

For my friends who are moving on to ten frame activities, I can offer a similar activity where they construct the number as a ten frame.

7.Luck of the Irish Playdoh How Many More To Make Ten

And for those students needing a greater challenge, they can create the number and tell me how many more they need to make ten by completing the equation.

8.Playdoh Rainbows and Dress A Leprechaun

For a more open-ended activity, students can use mats to create a rainbow or dress the leprechaun.

9.Playdoh St. Patrick’s Lucky Playdoh Items

These play-doh mats are especially great for thematic vocabulary.

10.Lucky  Q-tip Painting

A favorite in my class is always the q-tip painting activities.  This month is all about rainbows and St. Patrick’s Day. I always give my students a choice between the many pictures offered.

11.Colors of the Rainbow (Therapy Putty)

Do you use therapy putty?  This month I have a couple of options for you based on what you can find in your local Dollar Tree or Walmart Stores.  These first manipulatives I hid are from a St. Patrick’s Day necklace that I cut apart last year.  They were a great item for my students to dig in and find.

12.Colors of the Rainbow Sorting

But I get that not everyone has access to those cute little necklaces so a rainbow of pony beads would also do the trick.  In this activity they simply graph the beads they find by color.

13.Colors of the Rainbow, Find, Sort, Graph and Count

For a bit of a challenge, in this activity, they can graph and then count the beads they find.

14.Race To Fill  Your Hat

I love using these sweet little mini ping-pong balls and tongs to add some fun to this counting game.  And how about this shamrock dice?  Cute right?  Well, it’s super easy to differentiate this activity just by changing up the type of dice you offer your students.  The leprechaun hats are from the Dollar Tree and make a perfect container to hold the balls that each player wins.

15.Fill Your Pot

Self-correcting cards are the perfect answer to independent stations because they give instant feedback to your students.  Here students simply move the gold coins to the mat using tongs to represent the number.

Once they have done that, they open the card to see if they were correct.

16.Fill Your Pot With One More

For students looking for a bit of a challenge, have them use the coins to answer the equation.

Then once they have the equation, they can open the card to reveal the answer.

17.Empty Your Pot with One Less

Once less works the same way.  Use the tons to make the number, take one away and complete the equation.

Open the card, and then check your answer.

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It’s that time of the month . . . time introduce you to February’s Morning Work Station Activities, and I just know you’re going to LOVE them!!!!!

You’ll find a brief listing and a picture of each activity below.  There are 36 activities, so I’m going to make it kind of quick.  But, remember, if you would like to know where I secured various items that I use with these activities, just click on THIS LINK to see a breakdown of all the materials I use in each activity.

1.Box of Chocolate Sight Word Links

This EDITABLE activity allows you to enter the sight words you wish instead of being stuck with the ones I use.  Students then use plastic links to spell out the words on the candy heart box card.  GREAT fine motor practice.

2.Sweet Sounds CVC Self-Correcting Fun

This self-correcting activity allows students to immediately get feedback. . .

Students look at the card and spell the word out with heart cards and plastic clips.  They then write the word with dry erase marker . . .

. . . open the card and they can see whether they are correct or not.  These self-correcting cards make activities so independent.  I LOVE that.

3.Lovely Links Numbers and Quantities

Again with the links?  Yes!  If you are like me, you have a tub of plastic links in your cupboard and you don’t really know how to best utilize them.  Well, here’s your answer.  I place playing cards in a sensory tub filled with Valentine themed items and students search for the cards.  When they find a number card, they hang it up using some cute thematic clothespins.  Then they match up all the quantities, ten frames and tally mark cards below the numeral. Numbers come in 0-20 so you differentiate this activity as needed.

4.Sprinkles and Sweets Sand Tray Sight Words Trays

I love using a sand tray as another way to practice writing each month.  If at all possible I try to make it thematic and fun, so when I saw this idea from Pocketful of Preschool for adding Valentine’s sprinkles to my sand trays, I knew it would be perfect.  I added editable ‘cupids arrow’ sight word cards and printed them off on different colored card stock so I could easily differentiate them.  I use themed pencils from the Dollar Tree or plastic heart straws from Walmart as my writing utensil for these trays.

5.Sweet Play-doh Counting Math Mats

Nothing is better for fine motor practice than play-doh, and what kid doesn’t love it?    In this first set, students who are still working on number recognition and numeracy simply count the number of chocolate candies, write the number using play-doh, then make the same number of candies for the candy heart box.

6.Sweet Play-doh Ten Frame

To extend learning, in this activity students make the number and then represent it as a 10 frame number.

7.Sweet Play-doh How Many More To Make Ten

And finally, in this play-doh activity, students make the number, represent it in a ten frame and tell me how many more they need to make ten.  Everyone gets to use Play-doh at their own level of readiness.  That’s a win-win!

8.Play-doh Cupcake Decorating and Box of Sweets

Combining fine motor with creativity is especially engaging for your students with Artistic Multiple Intelligences.  Here they can decorate a Valentine cupcake or the other mat allows them to fill a candy heart box full of ‘candy goodies’ of their creation.

9.Play-doh Valentine’s Day Items

Or you can offer these thematic vocabulary play-doh cards for students to use.  As long as it’s play-doh, they’ll love it.

10.Valentine’s Q-tip Painting

Always one of my most popular stations, in this activity, students use q-tips and paint to trace the picture.  There are four different thematic pictures from which to choose.

If your students are also huge q-tip painting lovers like mine, you may also be interested in checking out my latest editable Dot-It, Paint-It, Stick It.  It gives you a chance to offer your students more opportunities to paint and stick as they practice their sight words and letters. Just click HERE to see all about them.

11.Sweet Sort (Therapy Putty)

Therapy putty is a must.  This month I am hiding these colored heart buttons I found at Target last year in putty, but really, you can use heart shaped pony beads or regular colored buttons as well.   If you interested in using the heart shaped pony beads, there is a link here to where you can find some on Amazon.  They include white, red, purple and pink colors that can be used with this activity for simple sorting.

12.Sweet Hearts Graphing (Therapy Putty)

To extend this activity, I also offer a graphing option.  I have three tubs of therapy going this month, so students graph each tub for this activity.

13.Sweet Sort, Find, Sort, Graph and Count (Therapy Putty)

Or you can offer them this graph and count option.  Students graph what they find, record the quantity of each color and then the total.

14.Race To Collect Your Valentines

I hope you’ve stocked up on pink and red table scatter from the Dollar Tree because I use them a LOT this month.  In this game, students roll a dice (or two) to determine how many hearts they can move from the candy box to their heart tin.  If they drop their hearts on the way over, they lose them.  My students have graduated from tongs this month on a few activities to ‘cheater chopsticks’. They love using these and it makes the games a bit more challenging.  Remember, you can also use different kinds of dice to differentiate this activity for different levels of readiness.

15.Fill Your Heart

Conversation hearts make a cheap and delicious manipulative for morning workstations this month.  This self-correcting activity has students moving hearts onto the candy box to represent the number shown.

Once all the hearts are moved, they open the card to see if they are correct.

16.One More Heart-Plus One More

Want to extend this activity?  This is a plus one more version.  Students use the cutie patootie people cheater chopsticks to move hearts to the candy box on the mat.  They then write that number in the box and add one more to it.

Opening the card will give them instant feedback as to whether they are correct or not.

17.We Love Having A Ball with Greater and Less Than – Grab, Spin and Win

Mini ping pong balls are the perfect size for this game, but if all you have are regular sized ping-pong balls or maybe leftover ‘beer pong’ balls from January’s morning work, you can just paint little hearts on them with paint pens.  I elected to grab up these mini pink ones and wrote numbers on the balls in different ranges.  Students will select a ball using chopsticks, identify the number and then spin the spinner to see if the greater or lesser number wins both balls.

18.Valentine’s Less And More

More uses for those plastic hearts from the Dollar Tree!  In this activity, students read the number on the self-correcting card and move that many hearts to the candy jar on the mat.  I used these cute little tongs.  You can get them from Walmart or Amazon.   Then they write the number in the box and indicate what number comes before and after.

Opening the card will tell them if they are correct.

19.Sweet Sticker Count

If there is one great thing about Valentine’s Day is the unending supply of cute stickers!  Wow!  No lack of little stickers this month.  You can find them at Walmart, Dollar Tree and most anywhere.  Students pick the stickers they would like to use and outline the heart on the sheet.  Then they record how many they used.  There are a couple of different options you can choose for extending this activity in case you want to challenge some of your students more than others.

20.Lovely Addition

If your students are beginning to work on addition to 5 or even to 10, you can customize this activity to fit their level of readiness.  Students punch out hearts from two different colored papers.  Then they take those hearts and glue them in their addition booklet to represent the equation shown.     Don’t fret if you don’t have paper punches like these.  You can always use two stampers (I saw some cute ones at Walmart!) to illustrate the equation if you prefer or even stickers.

21.Valentines Gel Bead Sort

I love the color of this month’s gel beads . . . purple, pink and white. Of course, you can really use any colors you would like but trust me when these colors are sat on a light table, they are B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!!!!

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January in Michigan can be downright drab and dreary.  It’s cold it’s snowy and really really white!  There’s only one way to combat the lack of color, and that’s by utilizing every Astorbrights® advantage that I can muster.  A gang of brightly clothed snow friends seemed to be just the thing to brighten things and get the New Year off to a great start.

I don’t really have the benefit of a hallway bulletin board for my classroom creations.  The area above my coat rack was (and still is) a wall of windows.  These were impractical because they basically looked into, not my classroom, but the backside of a set of cupboards that had been put up.  So I covered the windows with installation board and white vinyl.  The challenge, however, has been to find a way to fill the space with color and fun each month.  I mean, it’s a big white space.  It needs color!  So, of course, Astrobrights was just the tool I needed to make this space bright and cheery.

In September, I used Astrobright cardstock to create colorful monsters to welcome my new kinder friends.

In October, my students created a colorful pumpkin patch of shapes and sizes to celebrate the fall season.

We used hexagons, octagons, ovals, triangles, squares, and circles to create a bushel of sweet pumpkin pals.

In November, we use that same idea of various shapes to create a flock of turkeys.

Each time, Astrobrights® Papers did the trick and brought the BRIGHT!  So, of course, when I was pondering what kind of fun friends we could make to brighten our board, I knew that Astrobrights would HAVE to be part of the plan.

Each student was given a different shape to start their snow friend.  There were octagons, hexagons, circles, rectangles, and ovals.

We talk a lot about using shape when creating in my classroom.  If you draw a shape, you can make all kinds of things.  So after the head, it was simple to talk about eyes being the shape of circles, noses being triangles and so on.

Step by step we used shapes (half circle hats with rectangular brims and circular puff balls) and Astrobrights papers to create these adorable snow friends.  I added a little banner using some of my favorite Astrobrights blues and purples to give it a finishing touch.

Venus Violet, Blast Off Blue, Celestial Blue®, Terrestial Teal

I absolutely love them.

They are all so different and fun.

And they will definitely make coming back to school in cold, snowy January a bit more bearable.  If you’d like to grab a copy of the banner to print on your own choice of Astrobrights papers, you can click the banner below to get yours.

Happy New Year!

The post Astrobrights Brings Color To Your New Year Snow Friends! appeared first on Differentiated Kindergarten.

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Magnets are a staple tool in any early childhood classroom.  Mine included!!  But the struggle is how to use them after the newness and novelty of sorting them and making your name with them has worn off.  I struggled with this too, so I came up with an activity that could grow with my students and challenge them as they move throughout the year.  And best of all, they are totally independent!  I love that!


I have a small classroom, so making my stations mobile is a must.  Dollar Store cookie sheets do the trick and if you add a little spray paint . . . well, all of a sudden they are something special.

The other thing you’ll need, of course, are magnets.  Now I have my favorites if all I want to do is engage kids.  Those are these awesome little puzzle letter magnets.  If you ever see them, snatch them up.

They are hard to come by, and you can’t always find them in lowercase letters.  And I do give my students the option to use these later on in the year, but for those first of the year, still getting acquainted with proper letter formation activities, my heart belongs to Lakeshores Letter Magnet set.

It’s HUGE.  And the organization makes my kindergarten teacher heart go pitter patter.

In addition to magnetic letters and a cookie sheet, you’ll just need a dry erase marker and eraser (I use cut up pieces of Mr. Clean Magic Erasers), some clothes pins, and some self-correcting word cards and a response mat.

Putting the self-correcting cards together is super simple.  All you do is print, laminate, cut,  fold on the dotted line and secure the card shut with a clothespin.  Students select a card and place it on the top of their mat.

They then use the magnets to build the word.

Next, they use the dry erase marker to write the word.

And finally, they open the card to determine if they have built and written the word correctly.  It’s immediate feedback!

When it’s done all together, it might look something like the video below:

IMG 1228 - YouTube

And because I want to make sure students at all levels are challenged.   I also have sets for diagraphs, bossy R, blends, magic e words and many other sets as well as math concepts.  In this free set that I’m giving you today, you’ll find cards for CVCC words as well as CVC words.

It’s the same idea of building the word with magnets . . .

writing the word . . .

and checking the word to see if it is correct.

If you’d like to try this activity with your own students, just scroll to the end of this blog post to claim your free sample! It includes both cards and playing mats for CVC and CVCC words.

Use the form below to claim your free activity.  Once you enter your email address, a confirmation email will be sent to you.  Once you confirm your membership to Differentiated Kindergarten’s mailing list, the freebie will be downloaded directly to your computer’s ‘download’ file.

Hope you enjoy it.

The post Making Magnetic Word Work Independent appeared first on Differentiated Kindergarten.

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This month has literally been a whirlwind . . . presenting in two different states, teaching full-time, holiday parties, kids concerts, a quick trip to Boston from Michigan to visit doctors at the Children’s Hospital (I may or may not be sitting in a hotel room in Bean Town as I write this . . .) and a myriad of holiday parties  . . . it is a wonder I ever got these stations done before the New Year, but I did!  And, hopefully, you’ll have plenty of time to relax, enjoy the holidays and do a little Morning Work planning before you head back to school in January to Ring in the New Year.


So without further delay, here’s what’s in store for January.  I have included a link that will take you to all the supplies you might need for each station within the directions for this set, or you can check out my Morning Work Materials Page HERE.


Within the packet, there is an individual “I Can” card for each activity. This, along with the idea of building off from activities from previous months’ activities, makes these stations incredibly independent if you need them to be.


In all this month, there are 37 stations.  I’ve included a very brief explanation of each below.

1.Hang Your Mittens CVC Self-correcting Cards

Student string letter mittens in order to make the CVC word pictured on the card. All they have to do is open the card after they have made the word and written below  . . .

and they instantly get feed back as to whether they did it correctly or not.

2.Snowball Sight Words and Winter Mittens

Grab those links from your cupboard and a hole punch.  Student link their sight words (Yes, it’s editable so you can add your own words.) and spell the word by linking letters together.

3.Linking Snowman Numbers and Quantities

More linking . . . this time with numbers, quantities, ten frames and tally marks.

4.Snowy Sand Sight Words Trays

Insert the sight words appropriate for your students with these editable snowflake sight word cards.  I make them black/white so you can easily organize and differentiate them by printing them on different colored cardstock.  Grab one of your icicle ornaments from your stash of holiday decorations or a festive wintry pencil and students can write their sight words in ‘snowy’ sand.

5.Snowy Playdoh Counting Math Mats

Making numbers and matching the quantities with dough is always a great fine motor activity.

6.Snowy Dough Counting Making Ten

You can make this activity a bit more challenging when you turn it into a ‘how many more to make ten’ activity.

7.Dough Make a Snowman, Design a Mitten

Because I believe that my students deserve to get as much fine motor practice in as I can give them, I encourage dough play. . . A LOT.  In this one students will complete thematic wintry pictures:  create a snowman or decorate a mitten.

8.Making Wintery Items With Dough

This dough activities encourages fine motor practice and supports winter vocabulary words.

9.Winter Q-tip Painting

Always a class favorite, Q-Tip painting supports fine motor and hand-eye coordination.

10.Hidden Snowman Stuff in Dough (or Therapy Putty)

While I usually use therapy putty for this activity, it’s pretty difficult to find it in white.  So I opted this one time to use dough instead.  Students search through the dough to find ‘snowman stuff’

11.Hidden Snowman Stuff in Dough (or Putty) Sort It

If you’d like to extend this activity, they can sort the items they find . . .

12.Hidden Snowman Stuff, Find, Sort, Graph and Count

or even graph and count the items.

13.Race To Fill Your Ice Bucket

My students are all about dice in dice and these activities not only support fine motor but number recognition, quantities and addition (depending on the dice you use). I’m delighted at how quickly they know which number they have rolled without counting and how quickly they add the two numbers together.   Using acrylic (fake) ice cubes, students roll the dice and move that many cubes until all the cubes are gone, and they can count to see who has collected the most.

14.Snowy Ten Frame Self-correcting Cards: How Many More To Make 10?

Another great self-correcting math activity, students use tongs to move snowflakes (pompoms, acrylic snowflakes, buttons or white flat marbles) to the ten frame to represent the number shown on the card and complete the equation.

They then open the card to see if they made the number and completed the equation correctly.

15.Snowman Grab, Spin and Win

Did you know you can buy ping-pong balls in bulk?  Even better because they’re cheaper, you can buy beer pongs.  They make amazing sensory table filler and with some dots for eyes and a mouth and a centrally placed orange triangle, you can transform them easily into a little snowman.  They make this number value game so engaging.  I have my students use Dollar Tree long-armed grabbers to pick up a snowman, identify the number and compare it to their partner’s. Then a spinner that says greater and less on it is spun to see which player will keep the snowman . . . the one with the greater or less number.

16.Fill Your Mug With Marshmallows Self-Correcting Cards(0-10)

More independent stations using self-correcting cards. These are differentiated so if you have little ones that are still working on number recognition, they can use this set.  Grab some stale mini marshmallows and cute tongs to move the marshmallows to the playing mat.  When you open the card, it will immediately tell your students whether they are correct or not.

17.More Marshmallows Self-Correcting Cards (Plus One)

And for those students that need a bit more challenge, here students are still moving marshmallows, but this time they are adding one and completing the equation.

When they open the card, they immediately know if they did it correctly or not.  You’ll notice in this example, while the answer is correct,  the child did not add the extra marshmallow.  Oops. They don’t generally make that mistake more than once.

18.Counting Snowflakes With One More and One Less Self-Correcting Cards

Here’s another self-correcting set using cute little rhinestone snowflakes I found at the Dollar Tree.  You could also use flat white marbles or pompoms or buttons.

And then they open the card to confirm whether they are correct or not.

19.Wintery Sticker Count

Probably one of my students’ most favorite stations, sticker counting sheets are amazing for fine motor and it will get your students counting.  I have a couple of options for students to select from in this set.

20.Wintery Gel Bead Sort

This month’s gel beads are blue and white.  I used the extra white beads from Christmas (There are a ton that come in those little bottles.) and some blue ones.  Pick up some snowman or snowflake cookie cutters and your students can sort the beads by color.  I have a rule that they can only pick one up at a time, assuring they use those pincer muscles.

By the way, if you want to take gel beads to the next level, stick them on top of a light table.  They are SO beautiful.

21.Wintery Gel Bead Roll and Win

Need a bigger challenge?  Throw in a dice of your choice to see who can fill the bottom of their cookie cutter first.

22.Snow Ball Maze

My students love Lego challenges, and when I challenge them to build mazes, they use their fine motor skills and develop skills in strategy.  We worked on building mazes at a larger scale last month, so this month I’ve taken the size down a bit.  It’s the same concept but this time with smaller legos to build those fine motor muscles.  I threw in a small white marble to act as my “snowball.’

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Some people put their holiday decorations up the day after Halloween.  I don’t judge.  I get it, it’s a magical time of the year. So I’m hoping you won’t judge me when I tell you that I have every intention of starting December Morning Work Stations a week before December actually graces us with its presence.  I just CAN NOT possible wait.  I know my students are going to FREAK out with excitement.  Morning Work for December is HERE!!!

And with 36 activities from which to choose, I’m going to have a tough time panning it down to the only 12-15 stations that I usually have going, but I’m gonna try.  I figure anything I don’t get to will get added to my Christmas Break Party Stations.  Hey, these activities are fun, engaging and my students love them so why not?

So if you’d like to get a peek at all the goodness included in this month’s set, here’s what I put together.   Remember, each activity includes a materials list and, most importantly, an ‘in action’ I CAN card to help make these activities more independent.

Activities In This Set:

1.Sight Word Paper Punch Garland

Editable sight word cards are included to help make differentiating this station easy.

Don’t have letter paper punches, no problem. Just substitute stamps!

2.String Your CVC Lights

Use links to string your letters in order.

Then open the self-correcting card to see if the answer is correct.

Need a response sheet to differentiate it and make it a bit more challenging?  How about something like this?

3.Link Your Lights Sight  Words

Use those same links to make sight words.

or string up your lights

or exchange your lights for ornaments.  I’ve included ‘I Can’ sheets for all of these possiblities.  Oh and the sight word lights are editable so you can create the list of words you want.  Heck, print them on different color paper to easily organize them by different sight word lists.

4.Linking Gingerbread Numbers and Quantities

Plastic links have never gotten such a workout.  Next, link like quantities to numbers.  Tally’s, ten frames, objects and numerals all together in one place.

5.Peppermint Sand Sight Words Trays

More editable sight word fun.  Sight word work should never be boring so how about indulging the senses with peppermint sand and candy cane writing utensils?  Peppermint sand trays smell so AMAZING.  You students will love it.

6.Playdoh Holiday Counting Math Mats

It wouldn’t be morning work without breaking out some Playdoh.  I personally think you can’t find a better and cheaper fine motor tool.  Here we combine math with fine motor for an excellent morning work activity.

This version includes the number and a little scaffolding help.  Students can match up the playdoh ornaments with the ornaments on the cards to make the number.

This version has them counting the ornaments on the mat but making them in a ten frame independently for another challenge.

7.Playdoh Holiday Counting Making Ten

For students who need an even greater challenge, making 10 would be perfect.

8.Playdoh Decorate Your Tree, Gingerbread

And just for fun . . .

9.Holiday Q-tip Painting

Q-tip painting has quickly become a class favorite. We use this technique for practicing letters, sight words and even thematic pictures.  It’s a great fine motor activity and can really strengthen hand-eye coordination.

10.Hidden Christmas Tree Bulbs In Therapy Putty

Therapy Hide and Seek has several choices.  Students can simply work the putty to find hidden objects.

11.Hidden Bulbs Find and Sort

Or they can find the objects and sort them by color . . .

12.Hidden Bulbs Find, Sort, Graph, and Count

Or find, sort, graph and count the treasures, or in this case plastic bulbs, that they find.

13.Race To Fill Your Bulb

Differentiate this activity by providing different types of dice, numerals, dice in dice, 12 sided, 9 sided . .whatever you choose.  Students roll and use tongs to place that many pompoms in their ornament.

14.Deck The Halls Ten Frame Self-correcting Cards: Counting Before and After

Fun little Dollar Tree ice trays take make numbers on a ten frame more engaging than ever.  Add a pair of cheater chop sticks instead of tongs for moving manipulatives into the tray.

More self-correcting cards mean more independence for Morning Work.  This activity uses ten frames and works on numbers before and after.

Open the card to see if you answered correctly.

15.Deck The Halls  Ten Frame Self-correcting Cards: How Much More To Make 10?

Make it a bit more challenging by adding a ‘how many more to make 10’ card.

16.Ornaments Grab, Spin and Win

Working on greater and less is more fun with tongs and some mini ornaments.  Just grab an ornament and read the number.  Spin the spinner to see if the number that is greater or less is the winner.

17.Fill Your Sleigh Self-Correcting Cards(0-10)

More counting practice with Dollar Tree goodies.

Make the number using tongs to move your ‘gifts.’

Open the self-correcting card to check the answer.

18.Decorate Your Tree  With One More and One Less Self-Correcting Cards (0-20)

Get creative and use whatever you have handy (flat marbles, plastic bingo discs, stacking counters) to decorate your tree and record the numbers that come before and after.

19.Holiday Sticker Count

Any small sticker will do, but I love to pick up a couple of books of these thematic stickers.

The smaller the greater the challenge.

20.Gel Bead Sort

Whatever you call them, Orbez, Gel Beads, Water Beads . . . they are a ton of fun and are great for fine motor control.

Simply sort by color.

21.Gel Bead Roll and Win

. . . or make it a game and add a dice to challenge students to see who can fill their cookie cutter first.

22.Jingle All the Way Maze

I prefer to use Duplos for this activity, because it’s a first for my students, but they tend to pick the skill of making mazes up quickly.  Add a jingle bell instead of a marble for a little added fun.

23.Holiday Lego Challenge:  Tree, Ornament, Stocking

Who doesn’t love a challenge? This month it’s a stocking, ornament and tree?

24.Candy Cane Patterns with Beads

Students can never get enough practice patterning  . . .

25.Constructing Letters and Words

Where ever and when ever you come across transparent or interesting manipulatives, grab them up.  Translucent manipulatives on a light table are so engaging.

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The secret to a great morning in kindergarten is no big secret…it’s really quite simple.  Get them in the door with activities that are independent, engaging and keep them coming back day after day.  Easy right?  Right!  Well maybe the idea is easy, but sometimes the activities, organization, and implementation can be a challenge.  That’s where I come in.  I believe in the power of morning work.  I’ve seen the difference starting the morning with these activities has made in my classroom and in the attitudes of my students.  Students are on time.  They come in excited to ‘play.’  And when we do start the day, they are ready!

How It Works!

If you are new to my morning workstations, you can learn more about how I set them up and organize them in my classroom by checking out my blog post about Back To School Morning Work Stations HERE.

In addition to building on previous knowledge and familiar activities, one of my ‘must haves’ for keeping morning workstations independent is having a visual, in action ‘I Can’ sheet for each activity.  It is a great way to give students a visual nudge in the right direction.

These are all the ones you’ll find included in November’s packet.

And I know they are going to be so excited for November’s set, just as much as they loved October.  So let me show you what I’ve come up with.


2.  Dry Erase Tracer Pages

3.  Linking Leafy Words

I provided the ability to edit the ‘bag of leaves’ cards so that you can provide your students with the words you want them to practice.

4.  Linking Acorn Numbers and Quantities

Students love when I put these activities into a small sensory bin.  Choose which skills you want them to focus on or give them the challenge of matching up all the quantities.

5.  Feathery Sight Words In Sand

This is always a favorite for my students. My 85-year-old mother tromps through the words every year to find me turkey feathers, but you can also get them on Amazon or often at local craft stores.

6.  Feathery Sight Words Now and Then

When I really want to step up the ‘writing with a feather’ activity, I add a response sheet and a little diluted tempera paint. Editable feather cards mean that students can work on the words that are appropriate for them.  Just print them off on different colors of Astrobrights cardstock for easy differentiating.

7.  Playdoh Acorn Counting Math Mats

I still have students struggling with numbers so these simple cards are perfect.

8.  Playdoh Acorn Counting Making Ten

SInce all kindergartens want to use playdoh, I didn’t want to leave my kids who had mastered their numbers out, so I extended the activity a bit with a ‘making 10’ challenge.

9.  Playdoh Turkey and Fill Your Plate Mats

10.  Fall Q-tip Pictures

Another favorite fine motor activity . . . choose from a maple leave, acorn or pumpkin design or complete all three.

11.  Autumn Leaves Finger Painting

12.  Hidden Acorns

It wouldn’t be morning work with a therapy putty activity.  I found these small acrylic acorns at Hobby Lobby, but you can use buttons or pony beads just as easily.

13.  Hidden Acorns Find and Sort

Here students simply sort what they find by color.

14.  Hidden Acorns Find, Sort and Count

You can also give them this laminated recording sheet for sorting and counting.

15.  Feed The Bird

It’s super simple to differentiate this activity just by changing out your playing dice.  Here my students use a dice-in-dice and add that many pieces of ‘bird feed’ to their turkey.  When all the feed is gone, they count up their pieces.

16.  Leafy Ten Frame Self-correcting Cards

Making morning work independent is easy with self-correcting cards!  Here students make numbers 0-10 on ten frames by moving the plastic leaves (you can also use foam) to the mat to make the number.

When they have completed the task, they open the card to see if they did it correctly.

17.  Leafy Ten Frame Self-correcting Cards Counting Before and After

For those students that need a bit more challenge, I added recording the number that comes before and after.

18.  Acorn Grab, Spin and Win

You can use either artificial or real acorns for this activity.  I live in the woods of Northern Michigan, so I have used both.  Simply write numbers on your acorns using a paint pen or silver Sharpie.  Students use tongs to select a number and compare it to their partner’s number.  They then spin the spinner to find out if the number that is less than or greater gets to keep both acorns.

19.  Self-Correcting Sunflower Seed Count

Because I can’t get enough counting exercises in this year, I included this sunflower seed self-correcting counting activity for numbers 0-10.

Love how those cards make this so independent.

20.  Self-correcting Acorn Count (0-20)

For students who need to count beyond 10, there is a self-correcting counting activity using these pretty artificial acorns I found on Amazon.

21.  Acorn Sticker Count

Who would have guessed that stickers could be such amazing fine motor practice, but they are.  Students outline the acorn with stickers and then count up how many they used.  You can use any stickers you find really.  I snagged these up at a local department store.

22.  Gel Bead Sort

Of course, there is a gel bead activity.  Students really have to work hard to pick up those beads one at a time.  The sorting activity is a great enough challenge some days.

23.  Gel Bead Roll and Win

If I really need to extend the activity beyond sorting, I can differentiate using various dice . . . and by the way, a small light table takes this activity to a whole other level of engaging.  Trust me.

24. Thankful for Legos:  Pilgrim Hat, Fall Tree, Turkey

My students are once again, obsessed with Lego challenges.  This month my son, MaGill, was my guest Lego designer.  He came up with this fabulous turkey, a pilgrim’s hat and fall tree to challenge my morning work students.

25.  Constructing Letters and Words

Need a new way to practice sight words?  I always do, so I created these editable Fall Sight Word cards, and I’m putting this fall scatter to good use by making words with them.

If your class is like mine and you still have students who are not yet ready for sight words,  I also have letter cards for them to practice letters as well.  Again, those transparent scatter pieces are amazing when you throw them on a light table.  You HAVE to try it.

26.  Turkey Containers Count and Record

Dollar Tree containers are my most favorite thing these days.  They are easily converted into some thematic picture and can easily house various manipulatives.  These little turkeys I created will house more of that great acrylic fall scatter, but you could use buttons, pompoms or pony beads if you prefer.  Students count the leaves and record their answer.

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Home-School communication is KEY in our classrooms.  My own classroom doesn’t start with report cards for our kindergarten friends until after the first of the year.  Because of that, I try to make it a point to send off a quick, positive note each month to my parents just to give them a little insight on their child’s progress.

This post contains affiliate links that help support the maintenance of this blog by providing me with a small commission when products are purchased by readers.  ASTROBRIGHTS® Papers is partnering with me on today’s post.  I have received payment, trade, and/or products from Astrobrights in exchange for promoting their products. That being said, these opinions are my own, and I only promote and support brands and products that I actually use in my classroom. 

I always have good intentions of sending a note off for each of my students every month, but, quite honestly, I can never remember which students I’ve sent to and I’m horrible about keeping track on any kind of record-keeping device.  However, I came up with a great idea to solve this problem using Astrobrights and their amazing array of colored cardstock and papers.

Each month I have a different themed note card . . . one that is personalized with each students’ name. And I print each month on a different colored Astrobrights cardstock.  Not only does the beautiful colors make the notes appealing and fun, but the color helps with organizing and keeping track of which notes I have already sent and which ones I still need to complete.

I keep all of my notes in a little tin like the one below.  I found mine at Target.

It is super easy to see all the separate months when they are in the canister.  So for instance, in September I printed my cards on Terrestrial Teal™ cardstock.  When I took a look in my canister in late September, I could see that I still had a few Terrestrial Teal™ colored cards still in there.

When I pulled them out, there were the names of the student who I still had left to complete.

The color made distinguishing each month a breeze and personalizing each card meant I didn’t have to keep a log of who had been sent a card and who had not.  I knew that as long as there weren’t any cards left in that month’s color, I had made all my communication notes for that month.  It’s SO easy!

Of course, I want to share this colorful idea with you all.  So all you have to do is sign up below and the free EDITABLE file can be yours.  A note will be sent to your email confirming your email address and then the file will automatically download to your computer’s ‘download file.


The post Organize A Year of Editable Positive Notes with Color appeared first on Differentiated Kindergarten.

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After spending the summer traveling to conferences across the country and presenting of Morning Work Activities, I collected all the questions and suggestions and wish lists I gleaned from other teachers and put together a ‘Getting Started With Back To School Morning Work Stations’ packet that has everything you could possibly need to get your own Morning Work activities up and running in your own classroom.  And as October pokes its head into view, I have another set of Scary Good Morning Work Activities, that I think you might like to see for yourself.

These are 30 plus activities that are meant to build upon the stations that were introduced and used in September.  That background experience, along with the ‘in action’ I CAN cards for each activity really helps make these stations independent.

There are so many activities here, but I’m going to try and give you a quick glimpse of each to show you what is included.  I personally only use around 12 activities each month, but one request I heard over and over was that teachers and students wanted MORE.  So I was happy to oblige.

So without further delay, here is a quick photo preview of October’s activities . . .  make sure you scroll down to see all this scary goodness.  You will find your freebie towards the end of this post.  Remember for deals and all the how to’s check out the item HERE.

If you’re wondering where I found any of the materials for these sets, you can find a list of materials HERE.  Just scroll down past the items for Back To School Morning Work and you’ll find the list for October.

1.Trace And Cut The Lines Sheets 2.Tracing Cards

3.Cutting Straws And Making Patterned Necklaces

4.Measuring  With Links

5.Using Links To Link Letters In Your Name (Or Words)

6.Use Links To Link Numbers In Order

7.Use Links To Link Together Letters In Order

8.Using Hole Punches To Represent A Number (1-20)

9.Using Dough To Make Pumpkin Or Monster Faces.

10.Use Dough To Make Numbers On Ten Frames (with or without picture cues)

11.Use Push Pins To Follow The Dotted Lines Of A Halloween Picture

12.Rescue The Aliens From Therapy Putty

13.Find The Hidden Google Eyes in Therapy Putty And Sort Google Eyes By Color

14.Find The Hidden Eyes in Therapy Putty, Sort And Count

15.  Fill Your Pumpkin – Roll and Fill Game With Tongs

16.Pumpkin Self-Correcting Ten Frames (Use with ice cube tray or use included mats if you need)

17.Catching Flies Counting Game (Use with foam webs or the included printable web playing mat)

18.Google Eye Grab and Spin Number Recognition

19.Webmaster Game

20.Poison Spiders Number Recognition

21.Sticker Picture

22.Gel Bead Sort (Use with or without a light table)

23.Gel Bead Roll and Win

24.Lego Masterpieces (Including challenge mats for a Bat, Ghost and Jack-o-Latern)

25.Letter Construction (Using Halloween colored transparent classes or Letter Construction pieces from Learning Resources)

26.Sensory Bin Number Match

27.Jack-O-Lantern Count And Record With Tweezers

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