I never considered myself a crafty person before I taught Kindergarten. Sure, I like to draw and design websites but paper crafts? No way. But after two years of anchor charts, bulletin boards, and all of the paraphernalia that comes with teaching this age range, I have added this media to my bag of tricks.
One of the things that I’m known for at my school is the hats that I make for my bitties. The event that sparked the idea for them was the Literacy Parade my school puts on at the beginning of the year, as a pseudo-Halloween. The students are allowed to dress up–as long as it is a book character. The problem comes from the fact that we are a Title 1 school, which means that the majority of the students are on free and reduced lunch. My entire class this year qualifies for that benefit. The result is that most families don’t have the money to spare for costumes and the costumes are left to the teachers because all students must be included. I let my bitties choose their favorite storybook and made a hat for them to keep featuring a character from the story. Mine from this year is shown on the top left, featuring Vashti from The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds.
Throughout the year, I make many more for them. For Thanksgiving, we made turkey hats (mine is top center). For Anti-Bullying day, the students get a much simpler and more uniform model, a pink sentence strip reading: I am not a bully. Our Reading Coach put on a Vocabulary Parade and each student had a word hat. Because of the age range, we chose words that we would use in our writing, like Rocket from Rocket Writes a Story by Tad Hills. And at the end of this month, for our End of Year Program, my class and another class I teamed with will be wearing hats representing different jobs they might have when they grow up.
I wish that I could share pictures of them in their hats, because they are absolutely adorable. The hats do take a lot of time to make when considering the number of students I have, but seeing their smiles shine while wearing their "thinking caps" makes it all worth it.