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How to Increase Fine Motor Strength in Kindergarten

Hi guys!  It's Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive continuing our August conversation about fine motor skills in Kindergarten!  We all know the importance of fine motor skills, but unfortunately, a lot of our students come in with underdeveloped fine motor skills. They also lack the strength that they need in those tiny hands to wield a pencil or scissors appropriately.  So today, we are talking about one way that you can increase hand strength in your students.

There are many different activities to help students increase their agility with regards to fine motor skills, but one of the best ways to increase their strength, is through the use of hole punches.  Hole punches can even be challenging for adults at times, especially when we shove too much paper in    : )  The grip and strength that students need to punch out a hole in a piece of paper, uses just about every muscle in the hand! Punch card activities can build the strength in their hands very quickly!

I created this quick freebie for you to use during the first couple of months at school. You can use it in small groups with students who are working on increasing their fine motor skills, or you can use it during center time, and let all students get a chance to grow their hand muscles.

There are 5 different templates for the kids to use.  You don't have to cut the shape out completely, just cut it into a square, and the hole punch will be able to reach the holes.

My kids LOVE using hole punches, especially if one of those happens to be the teacher's : )  If you are interested in this freebie, just click on any of the pictures in this post, and it will take you to the document in Google Drive.  I hope you find these templates useful, and please comment below with other hand strengthening activities that you like to use with your students!

Fine Motor Frenzy

Hey everybody! It's Breanna from A Pinch of Primary

This month on the Kinder Tribe blog, we will be talking about the ever-important FINE MOTOR. It's a FINE MOTOR FRENZY in August. For me, it's back to school this coming Tuesday (yes, so jealous of all of you that still have this beautiful summer to enjoy) and the beginning of K is crucial to developing the skills that are so important. This short and sweet post had a much grander plan, but then Back to School Night happened last night and it just hit me that I was watching CRUCIAL things happening right before my eyes.

My first station at BTS night was the kindergarten signature. This is beautiful for many reasons, you see who can write their name, who needs help from big sis, what their favorite color of marker is, and most importantly...who can HOLD the marker correctly and adjust when needed. Just like we all see, I had everything from holding it at the top to the whole-hand grip and then I had the veteran walking in with their fancy big kid grip. (You go, kiddos) I was taking mental notes of each and every "pencil" grip I could. Granted, these were markers so the utensil was a little bit different than normal, but it gave me a lot of insight on who will immediately need a lot of support in that area.

Another station I implement during BTS night is emptying their supplies. I set an example school box out and the parents were FABULOUS about letting their child put away their own supplies (without teacher prompting--insert PRAISE HANDS) Almost every single one of their supplies needed opened. The glue stick 80 packs we require on our lists always need opened and every other supply that comes in a tricky package needs opened. These packages were ALL opened by the kids. Some took 10 minutes to open all of their supplies and some were done in two minutes. I could SEE the concentration in their faces. It was a true struggle for some.

There are SO MANY amazing fine motor activities to practice the first week of school--tracing lines, cutting lines, using tweezers, Play-Doh, etc. What are your favorite activities to do to promote fine motor skills?

Heading Back to School? Who Can Use A New Laminator?

I Am In Love With This Laminator!

Enter to win one of these laminators at the bottom of this page.
It's my new favorite thing! 
So sleek, so smooth, so cool!

It heated up so quickly and was so easy to use too. 

All you have to do is slip the items you want to laminate into the plastic pouches. 

Click the image.

Then, slip the pouch into the input slot and let your Scotch Laminator do its thing. 

It will slowly pull the pouch into the machine and what comes out on the other side will make you smile!

I also laminated the backpack so it would hold up at my newest center. 

All of the pieces were laminated and I know they will last for years because this lamination is nice and thick. 

Students loved getting to fill their paper bag backpack with the items like liked most. 
If you like this set, click the image. 

I made extra cards for each piece so students may "buy" more than one of each item.

Did I mention that the laminator is super quiet too? Well, it is and I love how all of the colors pop when they are laminated. 

The best part is that they had fun while learning and sharing about their choices.

If you would like to see this Back To School Set,

You can win a Scotch Thermal Laminator for your classroom by entering the Rafflecopter below.  The Rafflecopter runs through August 6. The winner will be announced on my blog,, and on my Facebook page ( on August 7. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AND... if you like this give-away, you might like my other birthday give-away this week. I'm also giving away a set of 818 DJ Inker graphics!

And Good Luck!!! 

Back to School Organization

It's that time of year.....we are all excited and getting ready for Back to School.

One of the first things I always do in my classroom is work on fine tuning my organization.  I do this before bulletin boards, before setting up my tables, and before I set up my desk.

One of my favorite organizations tips is setting up a place to keep all your materials for the week.

I bought these 3 drawer units and added labels to them for each day of the week.  I also added a label for "next week" as well.  As I make my copies for the week or pull activities and books, I just put them in the correct drawer.

This makes my life so much easier during the week.  It also makes planning for a sub (or emergency sub plans) so much easier.  I can just pull everything out of the drawer and voila, the sub has all he/she needs.

I have one extra set of drawers for work that needs to be checked, stuff to copy, and items that need to be filed.

Do you think you could use these in your classroom?  Just click {here} for a free download of the labels.  There is even a couple blanks ones that you can write your label on.

I hope your back to school time goes smoothly and you have the best year yet!

Back to School - Classroom "Rules"

Hey ya'll! It's Emily from Carnes' Corner.  I hope you've had an amazing summer!  

(Happy Christmas in July, by the way! Did you notice that was today?? Stick around for a fun Christmas in July giveaway at the bottom of this post!)


As we prepare to go back to school, I wanted to share with you one of my FAVORITE activities to do with the kids during the first week.  I'm BIG on having the students help me make our classroom rules (I call the procedures/promises), so that they feel they have some investment, or ownership in them.

So, on day 1 and 2, we brainstorm "rules" on the white board and add/edit them throughout the day(s). Here's what it looked like on day 3 for us last year...

Then, when we are completely happy with how everything looks and all of the promises are edited the way we want them to be, I transfer them on a poster to display in the classroom.  (I normally will write this at home that night, and bring it to school the next day--normally around day 4 or 5, depending on how much detail we need to add and how much editing is needed).  

They're SO excited to see it on a poster, and then I tell them that instead of signing it (we have a big discussion about a contract, etc.), we're going to make self portraits to place around our promises.  It's a super fun activity, and the kids LOVE it!  Here's what ours looked like this past year...

Do you have your kids help you when creating classroom rules? What does that look like in your classroom?


And now, for our Christmas in July giveaway!  

Some of us at The Kinder Tribe wanted to share some of our TpT products with you to help celebrate the holiday!  Here's what's up for grabs:

Enter the giveaway below...winner will be selected on Friday, July 29th!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Back to School: Prep Your Classroom

Hello!  It's Katie from Miss Kate's Desk.  Today I want to share my tips for prepping your classroom in the summer.  I don't know about you but it seems like there's always a lot to do and clean.

1.  CLEAN.  My school is an older building and dust accumulates fast.  The first day into my classroom I like to clean EVERYTHING.  I dust and wipe down counters.  I pull out tubs and clean in and between them.  Basically I try to get every surface.  My custodians clean the floor and that's about it.  So before I start anything else I clean.  Swiffer dusters, Magic Erasers, and Clorox wipes are my best friends.

If you have tubs on top of your tables or pencil/crayon boxes those are good to clean too.  The best product I've found for them are Magic Erasers.  I wet them a little and wipe down the containers the students use on the tables.  We all know how they get marked up with crayons and pencils as much as we tell them not to.

You can see two of my favorites here...wipes and a Swiffer duster.

2.  REARRANGE.  Rearrange tables or furniture (find a buddy to help, no one needs a knee brace or hurt foot on the first day of school).

3. ORGANIZE.  I like to go through each shelf and area to get ready for the new school year.  I have a trash can or recycle bin close and go through things.  Yesterday I threw away some old literacy station pocket chart games that were tearing and haven't been used in a couple of years.  That freed up a bunch of space in my tubs.  It's also the time to think if your storage spots are useful and work for you.  If they do not, think of how you can rearrange.  We all know it's better to do it now than during the busy school year.  Summer is a great time to go through your math or literacy station activities.

I had a very small area for indoor recess activities and this year my district is bringing back PLAY in kindergarten.  We can have a small chunk to do play centers so I had to clean and organize an extra shelf to house new play center activities.  All the blue tubs you see are new (on sale) and what was there before was reorganized to a new spot.

4. BULLETIN BOARDS. I usually save these for last because I like to think of what borders I'm using and what is going to be on each board or wall.

Other helpful tips

  • STICK TO ONE TASK!  I am terrible at this, but it makes for a more productive time in your classroom.  Start in one spot on the task you're doing and keep at it.  4 things going at once will drive you crazy!  
  • MAKE A LIST.  Your mind is thinking of so many back to school things, a list is a great way to remember what you need to do.  I also have a list of things I need to make or buy as well.
  • DON'T STRESS.  Even if you do not get into your room until right before the first day of school, it's okay!  The students are not going to care if the cute growth mindset posters didn't get hung up in time or that the a bulletin board is blank.  
  • TAKE HELP IF OFFERED.  We have an amazing building aide who is up at our school a lot during the summer because she does PTO things.  She always is asking people what she can do to help.  I would never take her up on help in the past...but then she helped me do a bulletin board and she's amazing at it!  My mom also offers to help come up and dust and clean.  I gladly say yes.  Even little things like that save you time that you can use on organizing or planning.
Have a great rest of the summer and enjoy getting your room together for a new school year!  My system of how I work in my room over the summer may not be for everyone, but this is what works for me.  Find the best way for your room and your tasks that need to be completed.  

Meet the Teacher- Back to School

 Hey tribe! It's Jill from Chevron and Centers.
 The 2016-2017 school year is quickly approaching! I report back to school on August 4th. I will get to meet my new kinders on August 8th. I am not ready for summer to be over but I must admit I am excited to see their little faces!
 I always love giving my kiddos a few things at Meet the Teacher. A few years ago I found the Ready Confetti poem on Pinterest and it is a big hit my with kiddos! It is so much fun hearing then tell me about how they put the confetti under their pillows and didn't worry at all about the first day of kindergarten.
My Walmart finally had the bubble wands on clearance..whoop whoop! I made these Bubbling with excitement tags to go with them. I also found this adorable quote on Pinterest to put on a bag of goldfish. It may be my new favorite idea!

I couldn't resist HA!
If you would like to grab the tags just click on the picture below! What are some of your favorite things to do for Meet the Teacher?
I hope you all have AmAzInG  2016-2017 school year!!! Much love!