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1.  Free, printable books that teach word families and sight words are available at http://www.hubbardscupboard.org/printable_booklets.html#ConceptBooklets !!

2.  Dr. Maggie Allen’s Learning Express: http://www.drmaggieallen.net/

3.  Carson-Dellosa has a lot of great educationl products for sale.  I especially like their math and language arts pocket charts, as well as their chartlets (which are only $2.49 a piece!).  Their website has a section of free ideas as well.

4.  Creative Teaching Press has some nice educational mini posters that are only $1.99 a piece.  They also sell Itty Bitty Phonics Readers for only $1 a piece!  I love their Learn to Read Math Readers.  You can purchase Dr. Jean and Dr. Maggie resources from them.

5.  You can buy some wonderful early childhood products from Lakeshore Learning Materials.  Look for sight word puzzles, word family sliders, and all sorts of phonics and math materials.  You can listen to clips of popular educational music on their website.

Maybe some people dream of a shopping spree in their favorite clothing store.  I dream of a shopping spree at the local teacher’s store.  Order some catalogs and let the drooling begin…

I have had the pleasure of working in both a wonderful pre-K and a wonderful kindergarten class.  I have a B.A. in Elementary Education, and educating young people is one of my (many!) passions.  I thought I’d share some of my favorite kindergarten materials, for homeschooling parents, new teachers, and/or parents interested in supplementing their child’s education.

1.  The Mailbox Magazine:  I love, love, love this teacher’s resource!  They have grade-level specific editions for preschool, kindergarten, grade 1, grade 2-3, and intermediate grades.  Their kindergarten magazine is one of my favorites.  It has a lot of great academic content in addition to seasonal ideas.  Thankfully my library subscribes to this magazine. 

2.  The Mailbox books.  They have a wide variety of books for kindergarten teachers that are full of fun, useful, and creative ideas.  The Mailbox Superbook: Kindergarten has a wonderful selection of materials.  I also really like The Best of the Mailbox: Kindergarten-Grade 1.   If your child is interested in a certain topic (say, pets, or dinosaurs, or insects), look for The Best of the Mailbox Themes.  Each theme book is only $8 and is full of reading and math activities, crafts, and other fun ideas.  I could go on forever about the Mailbox books… I’ll stop here 🙂

3.  Evan-Moor’s Take It to Your Seat Phonics Centers.  These wonderful, colorful, hands-on centers help children learn about letter sounds, word families, and other important phonics topics.  These are available in four different levels, and are great for helping your child with phonemic awareness tasks like rhyming and counting syllables.  You just laminate them and then cut them out.  I tutored a kindergartener last year and she always asked to do these centers!  They have themes like cookies– they’re so cute!

4.  Children’s literature that teaches math.  I especially like the MathStart series by Stuart J. Murphy, a visual learning specialist.  There are fun, colorful books on all sorts of early math concepts.  Also look for the Numbertales series.  I was able to order a single Numbertales book at my local Barnes & Noble– I didn’t have to order the entire set.

5.  Math manipulatives, and any sort of hands-on math activities.  Look for 40 Easy-to-Make Math Manipulatives: Innovative and Inexpensive Manipulatives That Help Kids Practice the Math Skills They Need to Know.  This is one of Scholastic’s many wonderful teacher resource books.  The book says that it’s for grades 1-3, but many of the activities in there are more appropriate for preschoolers or kindergarteners.  This book is so much fun!  Your child can work on counting by tens, addition, subtraction, measurement, money, time, and so much more.

6.  Educational songs.  I like some of Dr. Jean’s songs (although not all of them).   Look for the following albums: Sing to Learn, Totally Math, Totally Reading Volumes 1 & 2, and Kiss Your Brain.  A number of her songs are written to familiar tunes, and so if you like, just look up the lyrics online at http://drjean.org/html/lyrics/.  They Might Be Giants also has some great kids’ albums– Here Come the ABC’s, Here Come the 123’s, and Here Comes Science.  I know a Kindergarten teacher who loves their music.  The Mailbox Magazine is another great source for educational songs… wait, I said I’d stop talking about the Mailbox Magazine!  😉

I’m sure I’ll think of a lot more to post later– but these are the resources that really stand out for me 🙂