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My Must-Have Play Materials for Kindergarten

  Whether you're new to kindergarten, or a veteran teacher returning after our province-wide shut down - this year kind of feels like everyone's first day of teaching all over again. We're all very nervous, unsure, and if you're like me - feeling unprepared for the many unknowns coming our way this September. Here in Ontario, our kindergarten program is built on the principals of play-based learning, which sometimes seems impossible in our current pandemic reality. I know we're all hoping to spend as much time outdoors as possible, but being outside is not always an option. Students will still need to learn through play and explore while inside the classroom. I felt really overwhelmed with trying to find a starting point, so I decided to come up with a list of the most used and loved toys and materials in my classroom and go from there. In the end, I have a list of materials that are easy to clean, and easy to separate if need be so that each child can have their ow
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Upcycling and Classroom Hacks

I know we've barely begun summer vacation, but I'm already thinking about getting back into the classroom, and wondering what I need to replenish in my room. Teachers tend to spend a lot of our own money on our classrooms, I'm definitely guilty of this (you can check a few posts back to see just how guilty I am!). I want to give my students the most enriching program I can, and so I tend to buy materials, resources, books... the list goes on and on! But, over the years I have managed to find a few simple hacks to save myself a little bit of spending - and do some good for the environment at the same time. As we gear up to (maybe) go back to school, I thought I would share some of my favourite upcycles for the classroom!  1. PLASTIC FRUIT TRAYS First up, plastic fruit and veggie trays. These are perfect for SO many activities! I use them for arts and crafts invitations, to organize materials for small world areas, they're fantastic for play dough and loose parts set ups,

Math Centers

I've had a number of people inquire on Instagram about how I run my math centers and structure my math program, so I thought I would get back to blogging with a more in-depth look at how I teach math!  Let me start by saying, it took me a few years in kindergarten before I came up with a system that I was completely happy with. It is not easy when you're starting out in full-day kindergarten - I found at first that I really struggled with how to run a math program that served both myself and my students well. There is a lot of trial and error involved, and a lot of experimentation to find the right balance of instruction and play-based learning. My actual math schedule looks like this: I have 4 math centers a week. I run it this way because typically the over last few years, I have had a significant amount of prep periods on Monday and I'm not able to fit in a full math block. So on Mondays I would do a short mini-lesson around our math focus - usually I would try to gauge