Learning Opportunities With Hats
If you have been in the classroom for any amount of time, then you probably know that making things is always a big hit with students! It provides an experience for them to tie their learning to, and in turn, helps them remember the content. In my classroom, I liked to take it a step further by making their learning wearable! In almost any content area, you can create learning opportunities with hats.
Not only do these hats give students a fun project to create, but it also gives them a reminder of their learning that they can take home with them that day. They will be excited to tell their parents (and probably everyone else) all about their hat. As an added bonus, if you allow your students to wear them for the day in the classroom, they will be looking at the content all day long on their friends' heads. These are some of my favorite ways to incorporate hats into our learning throughout the year.
Learning Hats for Literacy
In most kindergarten classrooms, we learn a letter a week. We discuss what sound the letter makes, practice writing it correctly and think of words that begin with that letter. My Alphabet Hats can be a great way to reinforce all of those skills with each letter of the alphabet. After talking about how to correctly write the letter of the week, students can then trace the letters on the band that goes around their head.
The front of the hat includes pictures that start with the letter, which students can color. By the time we create the hats, we have more than likely already discussed different words that begin with the letter of the week. These pictures then serve as a visual reminder of what sound the letter makes. When students wear them at home or wear them around the classroom, they get to see those reminders consistently, which helps their new learning stick!
Learning Hats for Math
Another important skill that you have to cover each year in kindergarten is numbers. We generally require students to know numbers 1-20 very well. That includes writing the numeral correctly, as well as being able to recognize and represent the quantity in numerous ways. Numbers Hats can be a great way to reinforce that!
As with the letter hats, the number hats include a place to trace each number so that students can get additional practice writing it. They also show multiple representations of the quantities that students can count and color. This gives them visual reminders of what each number looks like with representations like dice, tally marks, and ten frames.
You can also use learning hats for other math concepts like 2-D and 3-D shapes or ways to compose and decompose numbers. No matter which math skills you are addressing with hats, students are sure to remember the fun they had while creating the hats, as well as the concepts they reinforce.
Learning Hats for Science
There are multiple ways that you can use learning hats in science, but my favorite way to use them is when teaching life cycles. While creating the hats, students can put the pieces of the life cycle in order. This can be done with many insects, as well as animals that lay eggs like frogs and chickens. Then, when they are done, the students have the perfect visualization of the life cycle.
I especially love using hats for life cycles because the hats connect and make a full circle. For example, with animals like a butterfly, we may think of the butterfly as being the end of the life cycle. However, the cycle begins again with that same butterfly as it lays eggs. When you place the images on the hat and connect it, it shows the continuation of life cycles, which is a great reminder to students of how life cycles work.
Throughout the year, you can create learning opportunities with hats in almost any content area. Students will have fun creating the hats, which will help them remember the content. Even better, you will love that they provide students with a great visual reminder of the skills they have learned, and students will love that they get to wear their learning.