FREE Back-to-School Resources for Distance Learning


The reality of beginning kindergarten with distance learning has set in and I am working on more resources to support teachers and parents with the task.  It is more important than ever to have a strong home-school connection and to provide parents with all they need to be successful at home.  The below resources will help with beginning the year with distance learning.  And check out my full library of free resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, click here.

To begin, I will be emailing this home to families before school begins.  Many of these tips are common sense to teachers, but families beginning school for the first time have no idea how to create a usable workspace and to keep focused.

Handwriting Alphabet Charts
Letter formation and path-of-motion is new to most students and families.  These alphabet charts can be sent electronically and printed double-sided to use as an anchor for writing at home.  I will also be linking them in my daily schedule so parents have easy electronic access.

I absolutely love these handwriting pages from my Letter Friends phonics resource bundle.  All letters have a "letter friend" animal to represent the letter sound.  Each page has clear instructions and is clear of extra clip art or wording.  I will be beginning with these pages then moving onto the Letter Friends Lowercase Handwriting pack when they're ready.

I love to give my students reading logs from the beginning of the year.  Before they can read, I have them use their logs for shared reading.  These "I Can Read 100 Books" are so fun for students because it gives them a clear goal, sets positive reading habits and routines, and gives them a reason to celebrate when they have finished "reading" 100 books.

I first created these labels when I thought I was going to be starting the year in the classroom.  All shared supplies need to be re-imagined, so I found plastic crayon boxes at Michaels and made these labels to attach to the lid.  They are fully editable in Google Slides and look great when printed in color.

Whether you are heading back into the classroom, or are beginning your year remotely, I hope these freebies help to make your transition a bit easier!  Be sure to follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store for more freebies, sales, and new products:

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Making a Felt Board with My Cricut Explore Air 2



This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

Who knew you could easily DIY a homemade felt board with (mostly) materials you already have at home?  I say easily because I still consider myself a novice Cricut creator, and the entire project took me about two hours from start to finish (including the design in Cricut Design Space!).  For this project, I used my Cricut Explore Air 2 and my Cricut StrongGrip mat.

Weeks ago, I found an old poster-sized frame that I have kept for nearly two decades.  In my teens, I bought it to display a poster of Johnny Depp.  Since then, it's had a few coats of paint and seen a few different pieces of art in a few different homes.  But this one is by far my fave.  Sorry, Johnny.

To start the project, I took apart the frame and spray painted it satin black.  It just needed two quick coats and was quick to dry.  I then recycled the glass to make the frame lighter.  For the felt backing, I used black (black is usually my go-to for bulletin boards and display areas) to make the letters really pop.  I found a yard of black acrylic felt on Amazon for relatively cheap.  For the backing, you really can use any felt of any color or material.  I cut the felt to-size right on the frame backing then attached it all together.  I love the monotone of the frame and the felt.

For the letters, I have read that certain felt works best to cut on a Cricut.  Of course, Cricut sells some made for the machines that would be best.  Second to Cricut, I've read that wool felt works well.  I bought a rainbow (duh) pack of wool felt from Amazon from Benzie Designs (also available on their website and Etsy).  I then cut the pieces in half, as I wouldn't be needing the entire sheet of felt for this project.

I designed this project in groups of four to five letters at a time to easily use different colors.  Although Cricut has a FabricGrip mat made specifically for fabric, I just used the StrongGrip mat and it worked fine (although the felt stuck to it, so I'm not sure how many more projects I'll be able to use it for).   To cut just one group of letters at a time (this would only be needed if you want to do rainbow colors), I hid the other groups as I cut (to the right in Design Space--click the eyes open or closed by each cut group).  I set the machine settings one notch beyond the "Bonded Fabric" setting and just used the blade already in my machine.  To my surprise, it all came out super easy and I did not need to use scissors or a knife to get any letters apart.

To finish, I lined up all of my letters in the center of the board using the hearts (included in the design) to off-set the groups with less or more letters. 

If you are wanting to make an alphabet felt board of your own, but don't have a poster-sized frame, simply edit the design in Design Space to make the letters and hearts smaller.  You can also use any felt board you already have or make a bulletin board out of felt directly on the wall.

I absolutely LOVE the way this project turned out and think it will make an amazing addition to any classroom, playroom, or home.  If you make one of your own, I would love to see it!  Tag me on Instagram @missmskindergarten.

Happy crafting!

<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://lnk2.io/yDjMwFQ" />




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Kindergarten Summer Practice


As a teacher, the "summer slide" is always one of my fears.  We work so hard for ten months out of the year to get our kindergarteners reading, writing, adding, and subtracting.  And many times, our students do not keep up with their newfound skills over the summer.  This makes for a backward "slide" in reading levels and academic abilities.

And this year, I anticipate it being even worse.  The "COVID slide" is five months of missed classroom instruction; much more than the typical two months of summer.

So to provide my students and their families with meaningful summer activities, I created my Summer Kindergarten Handbook.  It includes 11 essential end-of-kindergarten skills to continue practicing during the summer.  In the beginning of each section, I included a parent instruction page that explains the skill, why it is important, how to practice it, and extra tips to make learning fun.  The skills included are: reading, finding just right books, sight words (Fry 101-200 words), writing sentences, digraphs, long vowels, reading CVC words, nonsense word fluency, addition fluency, subtraction fluency, and numbers to 120.

I printed these books, bound them, and delivered them to my students in a fun "summer swag bag" filled with various other fun things like Play Doh, bubbles, and books.

And this year, I had a lot of students that were loving writing at home, so I also created some Creative Writing Prompts to send home in addition to the handbook.  I added this to my summer HyperDoc for parents to print and use as they wish, along with my FREE Summer Reading Log for extra reading motivation.


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Reading Wands

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cricut. All opinions are 100% mine.

https://design.cricut.com/landing/project-detail/5e755b7a738fc506a0f6c476

Learning to can be such a tricky skill, but there are so many ways to make it more engaging.  When students begin to read sentences in books, it's important that they "track" (point) to each word as they read.  This helps to slow them down and to focus on each word.

To help with this, I made some "reading wands" with my new Cricut!  The wands can be used in two ways: to track words, and for letter or word hunts!  To use for word hunts, the wands can be placed over words or letters (pictured above) as opposed to pointing to words.

They were SUPER easy to create.  I just used regular 8.5" x 11" cardstock that I had at home with the light grip mat.  

And the design is in Cricut Design Space for free!  Click here to access the reading wands.  

Enjoy!  :)
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FREE Kindergarten Resources

I am sharing a variety of resources that can be sent home or electronically shared with parents during this difficult time of "remote learning".  Some of these resources are paid products that I temporarily changed to a freebie, and some are always free.  To check out my full library of free resources on Teachers Pay Teachers, click here.

This opinion writing unit can be done by most kindergarteners independently at this time of year.  I like to teach them how to answer both questions using the word "because" e.g. "Dogs are my favorite pet because they are snuggly".  

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Handwriting-Alphabet-Charts-4813792
 I love these alphabet charts because it shows students and parents the correct path-of-motion of the letters.  These can also be used as individual practice pages to practice all letters at once.  Homes without printers can also use this as a guide to practice on regular paper or notebooks.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/First-Grade-Sight-Word-Slides-5326519
I use these slideshows in the classroom to practice sight words.  They can be used just like flash cards, but without the paper.  Or play the slides and have students practice on their own.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/How-to-Read-a-Picture-Book-4680585
This is one of my favorite free resources.  I send this home and keep it in book bags in the beginning of the year, before my students are readers.  I have parents use this to guide their home reading of picture books.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Just-Right-Reading-Freebie-3176670
These bookmarks and posters make a great home reference on how to choose a "just right" book.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/I-Can-Read-100-Books-Reading-Incentive-5326747
I just made this for my own students during our remote learning.  I'll have them bring them in when we return and celebrate all of the reading we did at home.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/3D-Shape-Worksheets-3135385

I use these practice pages to supplement my math curriculum when we learn about 3D shapes.  It also includes a 3D shape hunt that will be perfect for students to do while at home.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teen-Number-Practice-Pages-3505995
Teen numbers are one of the trickiest math concepts for my kindergarten students.  I added this to my remote learning so students can continue working on their numbers.

I hope these resources help to make your new role as a "remote" teacher a little easier!  Be sure to follow my Teachers Pay Teachers store for more freebies, sales, and new products:



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