If your classroom is anything like my house right now, then you have basketball madness happening nonstop for all of March! This is bigger than the Super Bowl for my husband, and I feel like I now eat, sleep and breathe BASKETBALL! So, if you can’t beat them, join them! Transform your Kindergarten classroom with a Basketball Theme and create some fun madness this March.
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1. March Basketball Madness Morning Work for Kindergarten
A great way to incorporate a basketball theme (or really any theme!) is to infuse it from the start of your day. I snagged these printables here. They are simple enough for a little one to follow independently but have enough variety to differentiate among students’ individual skills. Double win! Plus, with color by number, I always find a little more engagement than usual once the crayons come out (and ESPECIALLY if you allow your Kindergarten crew to use markers!). It will be a good kind of madness!
2. Shooting Baskets
If you give a Kindergartener a basketball, they’ll want a hoop to go with it. Embrace the Kindergarten madness this march and find ways to encourage them to shoot hoops. Ask the physical education teacher if they have any available small hoops you could use for the week. You could also send an e-mail out to your staff to see if anyone has one from home they would be willing to spare. I have this one at home with my little guy. It’s a great height for Kindergarten. This one is a cheaper option and definitely easier for set up and take down.
If you have multiple hoops, set them up around the room and tape cards on the backboard. You could have sight words, letters, pictures of words, simple addition or subtraction sentences. Then, students can rotate through having to read the word, say the letter’s sound, say the beginning letter for a word, or solve the math problem. If they get it right, they get to shoot a basket! If you have one hoop, set it up in the room. Students can earn it for different behaviors or can shoot a basket whenever they turn in an assignment.
3. Dribbling Outside
Take advantage of Spring arriving in March and have your Kindergarten Basketball Madness players take their learning outside. Grab some sidewalk chalk and get writing some CVC words. Student can walk the sidewalk while dribbling their basketball and read the words as they pass them. Try it with digraphs, vowels and their sounds, teen numbers, or whatever skill your little ones need.
4. Basketball Manipulatives
Basketball themed stations are fun, but not necessary. Your hands on centers activities don’t have to be basketball themed. You can choose any center you’d like, but switch out the manipulatives instead. I used these pompoms as basketballs in the picture above. You could also use orange linking cubes or orange play dough rolled in a ball! (Playdough gives bonus fine motor practice! Score!)
5. Sports Jersey Spirit Day
Is it just me, or do teachers love a good spirit day? Kindergarteners certainly do! Get your room looking the part by inviting students to have a Sports Jersey Day. To be more inclusive, I always broaden the spirit wear from simply basketball to all sports to help families better find something for their child to wear. Since clothing and sports attire at home is something a child is not always in charge of, I always make sure to have a couple extra items in my classroom on spirit days so if anyone forgot but would like to participate, they still can!
6. Read Kindergarten Basketball Madness Books all March
What is Kindergarten Basketball Madness without some basketball themed books? I especially like The Boy Who Became King (A LeBron James Children’s Book) – and it’s free on Kindle for Prime members! Find it here. Read Aloud aren’t the only books you can read. Printing out decodable readers for your little ones are another great way to encourage independent, age appropriate reading skills.
I love printing Kindergarten leveled books for Independent Reading time. There are three different basketball themed readers to download here. If you’re looking for more Emergent Readers for Kindergarten outside of a basketball theme, check here!
7. Create a Kindergarten March Basketball Madness Bracket
The great thing about Kindergarten is no matter how many times other students have seen something done each year, Kindergarteners are seeing it for the first time! A simple Google or Pinterest search will show you tons of ideas for a Book Basketball Bracket. Our school does one every year and it’s become a huge school tradition!
To make one for your school, first, students and staff are invited to nominate a book of their choice. Then, a staff committee of volunteers sifts through to choose the school bracket. Once a bracket is chosen, staff are invited to record themselves reading the books aloud. Our principal compiles them as links to be sent to teachers and families. Students LOVE watching their teachers read aloud books. Many families watch them nightly just for fun- how cool! Last, students are able to vote on the bracket online through a visual google form our principal creates. We always have 3rd grade buddies visit with laptops to assist in this.
One year, I video recorded my little Kinders talking about their favorite books from the bracket. We tweeted the authors of the books. We ended up getting Josh Funk to Skype our WHOLE school on the last day of the tournament as his book was in the final two! Who says little people can’t do huge things? It was awesome.
8. Map Out The Schools Playing in the Tournament
We all know our Kindergarten Basketball Madness theme is based on the many college and universities that play all March. Why not map them out? First, get a map of the United States. Then, mark the map for the teams that are playing. Next you can either remove them as their team leaves the tournament or change colors of your markers as teams move on. Geography built in- woo hoo!
9. Fine Motor: Basketball Qtip Painting
The Go To List has an adorable Basketball QTip Craft. If you already keep many craft supplies around (as I’m sure you do!), then you just need some orange paint, paper plates, and qtips. I keep plates and tips stocked already in my room. Next, just make a sample and let your kids have a BALL!
Are you planning on infusing some Basketball Madness into your Kindergarten classroom this March? Which of these ideas will you be using? What are some fun activities I haven’t added to the list yet? Let me know in the comments below. I absolutely LOVE hearing from you!
Keep you head in the clouds, Cloud Nine Teachers!