Friday, April 6, 2012

Kindergarten Interest Areas

Each day I work with children in small groups during our language arts block.  During this time, the other children are engaged in activities that I've set-up in various interest areas in our classroom.  I'm calling them interest areas because they are flexible and ever-changing in terms of purpose.  For example, one day children may be engaged in an art project at an interest area, while the next day the activity is more math focused in the same area.  I do have a "math" center and a "writing" center, but I'm liking the greater flexibility I have with interest areas.

Here are some examples of the activities that have been putting out at each interest area over the past several weeks.

Spring Flowers 
Using bingo dabbers and circle stickers the children created flowers and other pictures.  I found this idea on Pinterest.

I've wanted to introduce weaving into a classroom for quite some time and just never really got around to it.  NAEYC's latest issue of Teaching Young Children has an article on weaving and it gave me the inspiration I needed.  I found these simple looms and loops at Jo-Ann fabrics.  I remember making pot holders this way as a child.  My biggest brainstorm was using an old baby-gate I had in my house as a frame for weaving.  Plus, the former kindergarten teacher left a huge supply of old neckties.  I had no idea what I was going to do with them all and then I realized they would be absolutely perfect for weaving through the baby gate.  Now, I have a weaving area in the classroom.  

Word Puzzles at the "Writing" Center

Eggs in a Basket

Lakeshore sells a game called "Strawberries in a Basket Counting Game" for $24.95.  I love the idea of the game, but didn't want to spend the $ for such an easy to reproduce game.  Since we are talking about oviparous animals in class and hatching our own chickens, I decided to make my own "Eggs in a Basket" game.  This cost me $6 at the dollar store ($1 for two large green dice, $2 for 2 sets of blue baskets, $3 for bags of colorful eggs).  These supplies are very flexible and I've been using them for other activities too, making the $6 investment quite worthwhile.  The game itself is easy.  Roll the green dice and then put that many eggs in your basket.  The person with the most eggs wins. 

Marble Mazes

Another idea off of Pinterest.  I made these marble mazes with a top and bottom from a sturdy candy box, colored straws and hot glue.  Easy peasey!  The kids are having a great time with these.  I might have them try making there own marble mazes because they've been asking a lot of questions about how I made these ones.

Discovery Area

I created this discovery area in the center of the room.  My initial plan was to have it focused on science explorations, similar to what is pictured here.  However, I've ended up using the area for a wide range of activities.  I like that 4 children can comfortably sit or stand around the tables and have ample room to work. 

Cleaning Money

On this day, the children cleaned pennies using salt, vinegar and cotton swabs.  Each child had their own workstation for cleaning.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, I have to know, where did you buy those number cards posted on the wall at the Eggs in a Basket table???? pls e-mail if you can,