Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sponge Activities - Not A Single Moment Wasted!

Two blog posts in one weekend!?  What is happening here??  Well...I should be meal planning for the week to prep for grocery shopping, but my boys are still sleeping - so I am taking advantage of this moment to bond with my coffee and computer.  :)

I was shocked when I realized that I have not yet written a post about my sponge activities, so here goes!

In Kindergarten, one of the biggest questions that I hear at the beginning of the school year is usually, "When do we get to plaaaaaaay?!"  Over time, my students learn that we play while we learn.  (I mean, who doesn't consider writing letters in shaving cream on their desks "play?"  I sure do!)  But there are occasions when my students get to "just play" - or at least they think it is just playing.  We call them sponge activities.

When some students finish their required task in advance, they are allowed to pick a sponge activity to "sponge up" the extra few minutes before the entire class is ready to move on.  Here are the sponge activities that we have in our classroom this year:

* number magnets on a magnetic board (Students can sort by color or number, put the numbers in order, add, subtract, etc.)

* file folder games (There are many games on different topics.)

* step-by-step drawing books (for our budding artists)

* puzzles (for our spatial learners - simple wooden ones as well as more challenge puzzles with many pieces)

* matching cards (I found mine at The Dollar Tree.)

* Find-It games (I have one that I purchased at a garage sale, but I now also have others that I made myself.  Students find number and letter beads in the bottles full of rice.)

* lacing cards (in the pink bucket - great for building on those fine motor skills)

* wooden shoe (Ours is kind of hidden behind the pink bucket, but the kids can practice tying shoelaces on it.)

* read-with-a-puppet (My students grab a puppet and a leveled reader, then either read to it or have the puppet read.)

Of course, each of these sponge activities is taught and modeled to the students, so they know my expectations.  As each activity is taught, a card goes up on the damask memo board.

Do you use sponge activities in your classroom?  If you have other ideas to share, I would love to hear about them!

As always, thanks for stopping by and enjoy what is left of your weekend!  :)

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