Sensory Bins Ideas

We are always looking for new ideas for our sensory bins to keep students engaged. Changing up activities keeps the interest as new activities easily change the dynamic in a classroom by calming children down as they explore the new activities.

alphabet & numbers
alphabet cereal
aquarium gravel
birdseed (nut allergy issue)
bottle caps
cloud dough
colored pasta
colored sand
construction paper scraps
decaf coffee grinds
dried beans
drinking straws and scissors
Easter grass
ice blocks
Jello crystals
kinetic sand (homemade or store bought)
Lego blocks
magnetic objects and magnets
moon sand
nuts and bolts
oatmeal (use gluten free version if allergies are an issue)
pine cones (tree allergy issue)
pine needles (tree allergy issue)
plumbers pipes, elbows and joints
pom poms
saw dust
shaving cream (potential scent allergy issue)
shredded paper (look for sight words, letter hunt)
snow with shovels
snow with paint
straw (potential allergy issue)
tissue paper
water with soap to make bubbles
water beads (dollar store)
wooden chips/mulch
wooden pallets
wooden pallets


Play Dough Recipe

I have had many parents bring in recipes of play dough. This is our best recipe that we have found to send home to our families.

Dry Ingredients
2 c flour
1 c salt
4 tsp cream of tarter

Wet Ingredients
2 c boiled water
4 Tbsp oil
food colouring

Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl.
Mix all wet ingredients together in a bowl.
Mix together.
Knead together.


Poem of the Week for Kindergarten and Grade One

I love shared reading.

One of the biggest problems that I have found over the years is finding poems that are differentiated enough that I can find copies that are easy for my high readers and have enough visual supports provided for my lowest readers or my students who are just learning English.

This is why I wrote this poetry set. Each poem has 4-5 versions of the poem included. Some have very little picture cues while others have many visual cues for those who need it.

They are great for kindergarten and first grade students.

Benefits of Shared Reading
Integrating themes and interests, with simple sight words helps students develop their confidence in their ability to read!

These poetry sets have fun activities included to help engage students by integrating math and literacy centres which are already included for each of the poems in the sets.


Student Gift Ideas for Busy Teachers

Affordable gifts for students are not always easy for teachers on a budget. Here are some ideas worth considering, if you choose to give your students gifts.

1. Books
Check out sources like Scholastic and buy books of interest in bulk for a great sale! 
Remember to use your reward coupons for a discount.

2. White Boards & Markers
Check out  your local Dollar store. Whiteboards are a great gift idea to support
 printing and writing skills at home!

3. Reindeer Food
Make a batch of reindeer food for your students. It sparks their love of the holidays
and helps make the holiday season a bit more exciting as they anticipate Santa!
Click on the image below for my recipe!

 4. Hats
Hats are awesome to support oral literacy by encouraging dramatic play! 
Change up a 'hat' theme over the years.  by considering fun hats like animals,
community helpers, or even holiday themed hats!

5. Gak
Gak is an awesome homemade recipe, similar to putty, which is excellent for hours of fun. 
It is a great way to support fine motor skills in children of all ages! 
Find a recipe by clicking on the image below!

6. Personalized Clocks
Take photos of your students throughout the school year. Buy a cheap wall clock from your 
local Dollar store and replace the numbers with small printed images of each child OR place the photos beside each number.

7. Bells
Every other year we have Polar Express theme in our classroom. As a gift, Santa brings a bell with ribbon tied to it as a gift for each of the children. It is quite beautiful to see them full of wonder and walk around carrying their "treasured gift" from Santa.

8. Play Dough
I don't know about your class, but our play dough centre is always one of the busiest 
centres in our classroom. Having a "gift" of several bunches of different colors would 
be most of my students best dream come true!

9. Individualized Bookmarks
If I have a large number of students I have made individualized bookmarks for each of my students with a favorite quote, usually about reading. Many students end up using it throughout the year, especially in the older grades for their self-selected reading in class.

I hope that you can find an idea to make your gift giving easier this year!
I would love to hear about other ideas you give to your students!

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