Miss Bindergarten

Information provided on this page for classroom use only; not for publication.

thevirtualvine.com 2001

This page is based on a book titled: Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate.  It shows pictures of what Miss Bindergarten does to get her classroom ready for school, as well as what her students are doing to get ready. 

She has 26 students and each student's name begins with a different letter of the alphabet.  In turn, each student is an animal that begins with that same letter of the alphabet. (Adam is an alligator, Brenda is a beaver)  Their last names rhyme with how they're getting ready for school (Adam Krupp wakes up; Brenda Heath brushes her teeth.)

This is a good "beginning of the year book", because it shows the preparation for starting the year off right and also gives the students a peek into what their teacher has done to make their classroom ready for them.  (I think some of my students actually think I'm at school 24/7! :)  )  The books also leads the way into working on name recognition (both first and last), as well as rhyming.  So, with this in mind, this book would work just as well for other early childhood grades, not just kindergarteners.  (You can find more name activities on the
Names page.)

Somewhere in this over-stuffed house of mine (or either in my over-stuffed classroom), thereís a pack of pictures that I took at the beginning of the year last year while I was setting up my classroom.  Iím going to combine those with some I took the year before when we were painting my classroom, to make a book similar to Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten.  It will be about how I get the classroom ready for school to begin.  (I did not get the pictures developed in time to make the book last year.)

An additional idea would be to make duplicates of those book pages, then add a page about each of your students getting ready for school.  You could even take their picture doing something that they did to get ready for school, such as Brenda brushing her teeth, and put it on their page.  Then these pages would be bound together with the pages from the first book about your classroom, to create another book.  This one would be a favorite in your Reading Center!

A coordinating activity would be to graph of all your studentsí names by first letter.  Make a graph with 26 columns (one for each letter of the alphabet) that is at least 5 inches wide.  Write, or have each student write, their name on a 3 x 5 index card.  Then have each student tape their name card in the appropriate column according to the letter his or her name starts with.  Discuss which letters have the most name cards, which have the least, the same, and which have none.  Then have the students try to come up with names for the letters without name cards.

* Helpful Hints for some of the harder ones Ö E: Ethan, I: Iris, O: Olivia, Q: Quentin, U: Ulmer, V: Valerie, X: Xavier, Y: Yolanda,  Z: ZoŽ 

If you work well in rhyme, you might want to try and have your students come up with a sentence for themselves that rhymes with their name.  Iím not too good at this, and some names are just plain hard!  Some names lend themselves well to this:  Matt has a cat.  The students could then illustrate their page and they could be bound together for a class book.

You can use highlighter tape (or purchase book covers and cut them up Ö which is what I did to make highlighter tape) to have the children help identify the rhyming words either in a big book or on a chart. 

For Center activities, depending upon ability, you can have your students match first and last names of their classmates (provide a model with the names).  Write each studentís first name on a 3 x 5 card, then their last name on another card.  Laminate.  If you take their picture and laminate it, then they can match both names to the picture.  Or, you could write their first and last name on a sentence strip and have the students match them to the correct picture. 

You can use the name cards from above, add an index card with each capital alphabet letter, and have the students sort the name cards according to what letter they begin with. 

More advanced students might want to try alphabetizing the name cards even if itís only to the first letter.
You can copy all the animal pictures from the book and shrink them to fit on index cards and write the kind of animal that it is beside each picture (begin the animal word with a capital letter).  Laminate.  The students can match these cards to the correct letter of the alphabet for practice in letter discrimination.  If you write the animal type using all lowercase letters, it also becomes an activity in matching capital letters to lowercase, since the letter cards are capital letters and the animal type begins with a lowercase letter.  For some students, you might want to write the beginning letter in a different color ink to aid in beginning letter discrimination.
Donít forget to purchase an extra copy of the book to go in the Listening Center along with either a purchased cassette or one that youíve made yourself.
Who Is Miss Bindergarten?

Ashley Wolff (illustrator of Miss Bindergarten books)
Here are some other Miss Bindergarten books that you might be interested in as well:

Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten 

Miss Bindergarten Stays Home from Kindergarten