Sunday, October 5, 2014

LOTS of Cat-tivities and Freebies!

We are working our way though letters, and this week one of the letters was "Cc."  So, when my little sweetie brought in cucumbers and carrots for snack, my day was complete!  Of course I had to make the kids turn their cucumber pieces into a "C" before they could just enjoy them. They were probably thinking the work learning never ends...
Cat Cookie day  is favorite of mine, probably because it is another one of the my children's favorites. It's fun any time of the year.  "Cat" is always a word the kids are proud that they can write.  It is fun for Halloween black cats, too. You could just make the frosting black and be all set!

I always make a poster for the room.  The kids love love looking at it and remembering their cats.
I am doing a little throw-back post because it has ALL of my great Cat Freebies and At Freebies.  I refer to this post when I have my Cat Day, so in case you missed it, I wanted to share it again!

Here is the "recipe" if you would like it.  (Don't get too excited- it isn't an old family secret or anything.) Just click on the picture below!  I make some copies for the children to look at as we make the cookies, then I send a copy home with each child with his/her cat cookie picture stapled to it.

The children follow the directions and make their own cat cookie.  I take a picture of each child with the cookie before it is eaten and send it home stapled to the recipe. That way, they can remember their cat and eat it, too.

 Making these cookies is a great lesson about following directions, carefully spreading the frosting, using a plastic knife ( not licking the knife...), and counting. Most of the children have never spread frosting.  One little boy said, "This is the second time I have used a knife. The other time was with our butter!"

We do lots of "at-tivities" before we make our cookies. (Sorry- I couldn't resist...)
I have a box of Word Family files.  In each file, I keep the activities that I to use for teaching that word family, as well as photo-copies of the titles of the books I use for that word family. For example, here is a look at some of the things in my "at" file:
(I have Word Wall Roll games for each word family made and ready in each file.)

I like to  copy the cover of the books I use and slip them into the folder, so that way I don't forget what ones work well.

I also keep copies of the activities that go with the book inside the front cover of the book, so that if I pull a book, the activity is right there with it.  This is so helpful if you need a quick sub plan, or have an unexpected chunk of time to fill, because the activity is right inside the book. For example, these were a couple ideas I had in the front cover of Only the Cat Saw that may be great for another day:
Only the Cat Saw is a sweet story with beautiful illustrations.  We had great conversations about what goes on outside when we are asleep, or what we think happens inside the school when we are gone!  (Hmmm- that's a good question!)  Here is a sample of the inside of the book to give you an idea.  The text is hard to see, but father is singing to the baby, and mother is giving the little girl a bath and only the cat saw... the beautiful fireflies.  (This also starts the heated debate whether they are called 'fireflies' or 'lightning bugs.')

After we read some cat stories, we made an interactive writing "at" chart. (Don't judge the pictures- it was a quickie.  But even if I had all the time in the world, those would probably still be the way my pictures look, so- go ahead and judge. It's not pretty.)

There are so many fun cat books to use in the classroom!  Here are some of my favorites:
We read Millions of Cats to begin our Cat Day.  I like using this book because the illustrations are black and white and SO detailed. It is a little different than lots of our read aloud books.  I am always surprised how much the children always love this book, because it is harder to see the illustrations in a group on the rug.  Today, I showed some of the illustrations on the Smartboard after we read the book, just so we could take a closer look.

We learn to draw a cat after we read the story.  I have them draw as many different cats as they can on one page! It is a fun activity that lets the children practice details and lots of creativity. Andertoons has a cute page to teach how to draw a cat. We do an interactive writing activity to practice drawing a few cats before we head off to experiment with our own.
Cartoon Factory has this one:
Here is a little Youtube How To:

Square Cat is another sweet book.

This is a good book for making connections with Spookly the Square Pumpkin when we read that soon- and an easy idea for a square cat craft.    Here is a review from Amazon:
Eula is the only square cat in town. Everything that normal cats do is hard for her -- she can't get her square paw into mouse holes, she can't wear her favorite circle skirt, and all of her friends are round! Eula is sad until her two best friends show her just how well a square cat can fit into this round world.

We did a little "chunking" with the "at" blend.

We made this little "at" cat.  I have had this for EVER. I got it from an old Mailbox magazine years ago.  It is a really fun little activity, and the children love making it. 

Next, I found some fabulous  word family freebies for "a" families at TPT!  There are so many wonderful things out there!

This Word Family of the Week "at" Family Book FREEBIE has LOTS of activities from From the Pond's TPT store- and is perfect for "cat" day! It is the freebie part of their big bundle of Kindergarten Writing Books from their TPT store.
Kinder Kids Fun has free Word Family Practice Sheets for the at, ap, et, ig, ug families.  Here is the "at" sheet.  It's a great little quick beginning letter sound activity- and some "at" words to read! You could make these into a book for each child to make.
Word Family Practice Sheets Pack 

The Word Family Sliders FREEBIE at Julie Van Alst's TPT store are perfect for practicing word families and chunking words.  She has sliders for 18 word families.
Word Family SlidersWord Family SlidersWord Family Sliders
I Heart Literacy has a free Word Family Short A Onset and Rime Cards set which includes the following families: -at, -an, -ap, -ag, -ad, and -am. These have great pictures and would make a great center.
Word Families- Short A Onset and Rime Cards
Amanda Cole made these cute little Word Family Rotating Houses!  They are really clever, and the kids would love them. This freebie includes a house for "at" and "an."
Word Family Rotating House FreebieWord Family Rotating House Freebie
Latoya Reed has a wonderful "at" Word Family Mini Pack freebie with 14 activities in it!  

at word family mini packet
Katie Mense made a great Dinosaur Literacy Word Family Center freebie!  The children use magnifying glasses to find the hidden word family word on each bone, then record it.  My kids will love this center! SO much fun!
Dinosaur literacy center, word families (Revised!)

Valerie Downs made a Smartboard Interactive Lesson for Word Families that is free at her TPT store.  The children can write in the beginning letter to finish the word. This picture is the "an" family, but it also includes -ap, -at, -en, -et, -ig, -it, -og, -op, -ot, -ug, and  -un.     I haven't tried it, but it looks like fun!      
Word Family Beginning Sounds
K is for Kinderrific made this cute Write the Room Freebie. You put the bubblegum words around the room ready for the children to find and record.
Write the Room FREEBIE  (-at word family)Write the Room FREEBIE  (-at word family) Write the Room FREEBIE  (-at word family)   
My Chunky Monkey Prezi is FREE at my TPT store.

It has links to some fun word family and blend games and videos.  It is the preview to my Beginning Reading Prezi.  I also bundled my Beginning Reading and Writing Prezis. I use these almost every day!

Have a wonderful day! And thank you for ... checking me-owt.  (My son has this shirt, by the way...)

1 comment:

  1. Wow those cat cookies look amazing - what a clever class you have! I also really like the cat's whiskers idea with the "at" word family on them :)
    Special Teaching at Pempi's Palace


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