Halloween crafts for early learners

I love Halloween for doing crafts with my kinders.  It seems that my boys (who are often the ones needing more exposure and practice with activities involving tracing, cutting, threading, etc.) are often very motivated and interested in practicing these skills when they involve bats, spiders or anything else Halloween.

Here are my top 5 favourite Halloween crafts for early learners (click for instructions):

#5 – Five Little Pumpkins

#4 – Pumpkin Sewing

#3 – Black Cats

#2 – Spider Webs

And my #1 favourite Halloween craft……Pop Can Bats

Do you have a different favourite Halloween craft for early learners?  If yes, please share your favourite below.

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Finding your “favourites” made easy for kinders

A couple of years ago, I came across Symbaloo, a great website for sharing internet favourites with my kinders and their parents.  With symbaloo, you can create your own account (here’s mine) and make buttons for your favourite curriculum-related websites.  The brilliant thing about it is that you can add an image to each of your links so that non-readers can find their favourite sites too.  Also, you can constantly edit your Symbaloo page, adding and removing buttons as needed.

I set my Symbaloo account as my homepage on my classroom computers to help make my students more independent at finding their favourite sites (that being said, I still have to supervise them closely, but it stops me from being constantly asked to help find the pattern machine game or Toupie et Binou).

And, if that is not all, Symbaloo now has a FREE iPhone app! If you create your own free account, you can now access it and any other webmixes you like on the go.

I like to share my Symbaloo site with parents so that at home, they can easily find websites that are appropriate for kindergarten students.  Parents have the option of setting it as their homepage or adding it to their iPhone as well.

As a French immersion kindergarten teacher, my links relate to French language learning, math and problem solving.  What is your favourite website for your kindergarten students or child?

Teaching Kinders to Hold Scissors Properly

If you are like most kindergarten teachers, the beginning of the school year brought you a handful of students who are still learning to hold and use scissors properly.  If you are looking for a strategy to help them remember how to hold those scissors, try using these six cues that our OT used with my students.  I have made them into a poster with visual cues that my students are able to read independently as a reminder to themselves and each other.  (No chicken wings means keep your elbows down).

One other little trick that I sometimes use for students who are having a hard time keeping their elbows down is I have them lie down on their stomach while cutting.  As they need their elbows to support themselves, they are forced to keep their elbows down and in turn, use their helper hand to steer.

What do you do in your class to help your students learn scissor skills?  If you have another trick or idea, please share it below.