Thursday, December 23, 2010

5 Senses- Gingerbread Man theme this week

What fun we are having but whew, so many ideas and so much to do before Christmas.  My class has one birthday each month for all of the friends that have a birthday in a particular month.  Today was THAT day.  We have 9 December birthday friends.  I have my birthday friend parents pick something to help with a simple party and we take pictures, play a game, sing the birthday song and have cup cakes all in about 30 minutes.  It is a whirlwind of fun.  The children have seemed to really enjoy it.  I started doing this several years ago when I realized how many cup cakes per month we could actually have to endure.  Saves my sanity and makes it alot more fun. 

Now on to the Gingerbread man senses week.  It is always one of my favorites, and if there were more weeks between the Thanksgiving and Christmas break it could definitely last longer.  We read many different versions of the story of the gingerbread man.  I love doing senses at Christmas because our senses are stimulated by all sorts of sounds, sights, smells, tastes and things to touch. 
There are a gazillion wonderful websites with gingerbread activities on them, and most of the things I do come from one of those, though occasionally I have a brainstorm.  I actually had one this week by accident. 
I had done a whole bowl of different punches for patterning, which I had read about doing last year.  I made way to many and thought it might be fun to cut out a paper tree and get out some glue sticks and have the children decorate the tree.  It was a hit.  They were not required to participate it was just out there and they would come by glue a few on and move on.  We added sticky bows as well because I had a bag I had purchased to use in the paint center this week.  Yes we dipped our bows in red and green paint and painted with them.  Very pretty!!!!! 
A few years ago I bought some clearance gingerbread men place mats at Target.  I planned to just use them in the class a s a giant Gingerbread man, but then I had the idea to sew velcro on the back and let the children use buttons, and trim and stuff to decorate them.  They have been fun ever since.  I think you could make your own either using felt or fabric with velcro on it.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The wise men gave--------

A quick idea or 2 before Christmas..... December and November were so busy I am hoping to post some ideas and add pictures between Christmas and New Years.  
My class is big on drawing pictures for class made books.  It try to come up with many ideas because those books are the favorite to read during rest time.  Not enough to go around yet, but as the year continues more will be added.  The favorite right now is How many apples on top.  I got the idea from a teaching website.  I take a picture of the child's face and glue it to a paper.  On the top of the paper I type _________ has ______ apples on top.  They roll the dice to see how many apples they will draw on top of their head.  At the bottom I write   ___ apples are on the ground.   They again roll the dice to draw on the bottom of the page.  Lesson on math and spatial awareness. 
At Christmas I use to do this little Wise man page with 3 blank squares.  The children would paste gold paper on one, squirt perfume on another and a little spice on another.  We then would take 3 squares of wrapping paper and tape them over the gifts at the top to make a flap.  We added little mini stick on bows and I would write for them the gifts of the wise men  gold, frankincense and myrrh.  This year I had a little brain storm to make a class book but ended up letting the children take their page home.  At the top I had typed out  The Wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.   There was a big square in the middle of the page and at the bottom I wrote  If I could give baby Jesus a gift I would give him_________.
I was amazed to find that only one child wanted to give him toys.  One wanted to give him milk, several wanted to give him a flower, and I don't remember everything they said but it was cute.  The children drew a picture in the box of what we would give and then we taped a big square of wrapping over for the flap and put a bow on our present.  I could not figure out how to make it last as a book, but when I do we will keep them in class next year. 

One quick little idea.  Home made play dough, if your little ones are getting fresh play dough make it homemade.  IT lasts longer, and works better.  You can even make surprise play dough by poking a hole in the middle and putting a few squirts of food color in the middle.  When the children squeeze their play dough it will make a color as they mix the coloring in.  Don't put too many squirt 3 little ones is enough to give color and not make a huge mess.  My favorite recipe is:
My Favorite Play dough Recipe
(this is a double batch)
2 Cup flour
1 Cup salt
4 tsp. cream of tarter
2 T. oil
2 Cup water
food color or unsweet koolaide (for smelly play dough)
Put dry ingredients in a sauce pan. Stir in water and oil and coloring, while cooking over med heat. Cook until mixture comes away from the pan and begins to ball up. Store in air tight container. Keeps for a very long time.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

5 things about my job, I missed a week or two

I still love my job, and one of the things I love is when the children are reciting the pledge of allegiance, a Bible verse, or anything, they have their own words they use.  They don't exactly hear the words that are actually used.  As I think about it to share, I only remember when my nephew was small he thought that Jesus froze rather than rose.  Children put a whole new spin on almost everything.  2. I love my classroom.   It is a comfortable size.   3. I love my teacher friends because they share and care with each other 4. I love the fun Christmas stuff we are doing right now 5. I love that the children are glad to see me each morning and do not want to leave early because they might miss something.  How thankful I am to work in the enviornment I do, There is no place like it in the world.

the First Thanksgiving/ a little history for for PreK

Well a fun week last week, we turned a table upside down to become pilgrims and sail to the new land.  I never got around to taking pictures but it was fun.  I have collected some good info to use with preschool children on the pilgrims coming to America.  We talked about what they would need to take for such a long journey and has some awesome resources to help with that.  We talked about how the boys and girls had to leave all their toys behind and they played with things on the ship.  We had food, dishes, suit case, clothes and other things that you might need to pack if you were sailing across the ocean to a new land.   Another great resource is from  in their printable books they have a book called Pilgrim, Pilgrim.  It is a great very simple resource for the Pilgrims story.  In block center we used lincoln logs to represent the homes the pilgrims might have built after their arrival. 
We added a tee pee to our home living and the Mayflower left about mid week and we talked about how they had help from Native Americans and how they helped them learn about some new crops to grow.  They worked together and celebrated the First Thanksgiving in the new country.  We made Indian head bands with feathers out of sentence strips.  I wanted the activity to be a math center activity so I cut triangles, circles and rectangles out of many colors of paper.  I told the children we needed to make a pattern out of the shapes.  I did not want to worry about the colors because I wanted their head bands to be very colorful.  It was very interesting how some children not only patterned the shapes but also the colors.  Some patterned the way they placed their triangles and rectangles as well.  It turned out to be a great patterning math activity.  Random thoughts to teach often turn out the best.
Our school is a Christian school and for us this whole month has been learning about praying and thanking God for all he gives.  We read a book that was called  I  am Thankful Each Day. It was a great book to use to help the children think of the small and grand things in life all around us to be thankful for. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

5 things I love about my job

I love my job because 1. I get to play all day 2. I have a captive audience (well when I do fun stuff) 3. I get to teach about God 4. because 4 and 5 year old children have not developed sensors on what to say 5. because the kids think I am special ( won't be so good when they begin to say OH NO I DON'T WANT THAT MEAN TEACHER)  Fortunately, that has not happened yet, at least that I know of. 
I decided to add a 6th because the last couple of weeks have been rich in messages.  I love my job because every morning before work we meet either as a team or school for prayer or devotion time.  The devotions have been awesome, and the bonding time though brief with my team is priceless.  How many jobs can you go to work and hear Gods word, or start your day openly in prayer.

Friday, November 12, 2010

5 things I love about my job

I love the routine of going to work and the routine of my little classroom. I love the fact the children like the routine and let me know when I have changed course.  I love it when the children say "uhhh I am tired of doing all this work".  I love the many hugs I get. I love all the things our school provides to help make my job so fun and easy.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Letter Fun for letter Nn

We did alot of Letter Nn things like string noodles for necklaces, and finding letter Nns in the news paper this week.   The children in my classroom are becoming excellent letter detectives. We have a detective sheet every week, but this week I handed them a small piece of the newspaper. They had to find 5 letter Nns

 Every week we are letter detectives and trace letters that we place on the wall. I usually place 4-5 copies all around the room. We use pointers, fly swatters with a window cut out, and sometimes clearance drink stir sticks. Anything I can find that I think would make a good letter detective tools I buy and keep a good collection of tracers.   That is my favorite time filler. They finish snack and trace the letter of the week until it is time to go to the next activity.  It's a time filler---transition--- a way to learn and play and keep moving (probably the most important part for preschool children)
My team has a share an idea time at the beginning of our year and we make and take activities that we like to use in our class.  One of the ladies had a new letter detective idea which is so easy and cool.  We took file folders and opened them up and wrote random upper and lower case letters or stamped them all over the inside on both sides of the manilla file folder.  You can put several of each letter so you can use which every letter of the week you choose to do the spying.  We made little spy glasses by curving the end of a pipe cleaner to make a circle to use like a looking glass.  I have not used mine much but what a great idea.  Inexpensive and very easy. 
I also like the letter detective where you have an alphabet row, and cover a few letters up randomly on the poster or whatever you use for your alphabet.  The children have to spy what letters are missing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

5 thinga I love about my job

This week I love the examples of compassion that bring you to tears, the smiles and the cheery hellos, the shy little children that break out of the shyness every so often, the colorful activities showing up in the halls at the end of the day, the laughter of teachers.  I work in the best place to be for sharing and caring.

Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and such

Our Bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made by a most loving God.  We have learned how special our bodies are and how they work.  We have learned how to take care our bodies b eating healthy, exercise and how doctors and nurses and dentists help us stay healthy.  The problem is I have gathered ytooooo many ideas.  Here are a few things we did and a couple of great things we did not have time for:
 We have been talking about healthy foods and exercise keeping our bodies healthy.  We  looked at and painted with all sorts of fruits and vegetables. A great Bible example would be Daniel eating healthy foods in the book of Daniel chapter 1: vs. 3-20.
 We made skeletons out of q tips and a set of teeth out of marshmallows.  I got the skeleton idea off a a favorite website, but can't remember which one, and a friend gave me the teeth idea.  We also had a dentist table with plaster egg carton shaped teeth and play dough scrapers, and tooth brushes.  I would color little cavities and plaque on their teeth with a washable marker and they had to get them off.   A great dentist experiment is to use a boiled egg and soak the shell in cola or coffee and then let the children use tooth paste to clean it off.  Works great,  You can also leave the egg soaking for several days and the cola will begin dissolving the shell which shows how it is so bad for your teeth enamel.                                                                                                        
Our last day is germ day and we will put glitter in a balloon and blow the balloon up and pop it to show how your sneeze spreads. We also made cover your sneeze puppets by tracing a hand, gluing tissue to it and stapling it to our paper plate that we have drawn our face on.  Only have my teacher example for pictures this week.  Thanks Mrs. Wendy for making this crazy puppet!

The best part of the week was two moms that are nurses came.  One talked to us about healthy bodies and nurses.  The other shared about germs and brought a black light and soap that showed if you did not get it all washed off under the black light.  Get those germs away!!!!! WASH WASH WASH!!!!  We  cleaned the home living  center, we pretended to be doctors and nurses caring for our baby dolls. 
A great science experiment for germs is to show how germs spread and bacteria grows.  We did not do this because we ran out of time this year, but it is GROSS to see when we have done it.  I take 2 pieces of white bread and put one in a paper bag labeled clean and the other we rubbed on the floor and on the chair and just had a kid rub their hand on it.  We bag that one in a bag labeled dirty.  When I have done the experiment I put the bags up and we check them in about a week to see that the dirty piece has grown many disgusting bacterias.  The clean one will have bacteria to, just because bread does mold but nothing like the dirty piece.  I have read that you can also use potato slices, but have never tried that.  VISUALS ARE SO IMPORTANT, 
Fun and very important week.  .Favorite resource this week was a book about muscles that one of my moms got at the half price book store and gave to me.  IT WAS COOL!  Title: YOU CAN'T MAKE A MOVE WITHOUT YOUR MUSCLES   We also used the beginning sight word booklet I Can Move from .

Friday, October 29, 2010

5 things I love about my job

1. prayer time every morning.  2. devotions that hit the spot like a healthy breakfast for the soul 3. the children's faces when they "get it" 4. their giggles 5. my assistant

Pp is for PUMPKINS is over and so isOctober.....

We had so much fun harvesting plastic pumpkins and apples and pretending to haul the to market.  We had scare crow dress up clothes and a crow puppet to play with in our home living center along with the crops to harvest.   Lots of fun!!!!! 
We patterned the paper clips that I said earlier that I got from Staples office supply dollar bins. 
We made really cute scarecrow cookies for a treat at the end of our special Pp party day.  I saw the idea in a Family Fun magazine a couple of years ago and the children really enjoyed making them and eating them.  If you have never checked that magazine out go to their website  and you can get back ideas from their old magazines.
We traced our whole bodies and posed so that we could be scarecrows.  the children gave themselves faces and clothes and then we had them glue some patches and hats on the their heads.  We used them to decorate our walls today. 
We also had a scarecrow dressup relay during our Letter Pp celebration.  I had parents help me get 3 sets of shoes, shirts, pants or adult jean shorts, gloves, and hats and the kids got in teams.  Of course at their age we had an adult helper on each team.  It is so fun to watch the kids try to help dress each other fast.  The first round is the slowest, but once they get the hang of it they go faster and faster.  Everyone is a winner.   Thanks to Chick- fil-a  donating 16 If you give a Pig a Party books we had prizes for all. 
I have to share a book that was the hit of the week and read over and over.  The book is called Pickle Things by Marc Brown.  It is so silly and the kids totally enjoyed it. Ohhh...... as I write this I am thinking make a pickle person next year.  I will have to remember and try it.  Read the book and you will see why. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Continuing the Pp is for Pumpkins what a fun art activity yesterday.  We made knuckle pumpkins. My assistant painted orange paint on the front part of the knuckles, and then the children pressed them on to paper.  They were allowed to make as many as they wanted.  Then the used green thumbprints for the leaves. 
Mommys of little guys seem to like to make hand print t-shirts and things knuckle pumpkin patches would be a cute t shirt addition.  On that note, a few quilting Mommies should save their little hand print t shirt collection and make a little quilt.  So cute!!!!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Letter Pp- so many ideas

Of course the main letter Pp idea this week is PUMPKINS.  We started off the week harvesting plastic pumpkins to take to our farmers market ( pretend of course)  Tomorrow our school holds a pumpkin patch for the kids and it is alot of fun.  We will be doing many activities incorporating pumpkins.  One of my favorite is a math activity that I got from a friend a couple of years ago.  We will have two die cut pumpkins for our paper.  We will roll dice and glue ___ number of seeds on our first pumpkin.  We will roll the dice again for the  second pumpkin.  Then we will add the 2  sets of seeds and write the number.  Yes my 4 year old class is quite capable of counting seeds for addition.  In fact they really like adding numbers together. 

We also will be doing things with pizza ( like having a pizza party on Thursday).  I made a math game a few years ago by cutting 4 brown circles for the pizza pie, strips of yellow for cheese, white little mushroom shapes, green strips for pepper, and red circles for pepperonis.  ;( sadly I lost my original which was not a dice game but just a recognition of numbers game.  They had to put 1 mushroom, 2 bell pepper, 3 cheese strips and 4 pepperonis.  Since I lost my original we will be rolling the dice to find out how many of each topping and writing that number on a piece of paper.

Also I found some very cute pumpkin poems on a website last week.  I will post the website later along with some more and pictures of the week.  LOT'S OF FUN AHEAD!!!!!  The website for the pumpkin and fall poems is  I did not see the cutest poem that I found on that sight and cannot find it to post the resource but have included the poem below.
One day I found two pumpkin seeds.I planted one and pulled the weeds.

It sprouted roots and a big, long vine.

A pumpkin grew; I called it mine.
The pumpkin was quite round and fat
(I really am quite proud of that.)

But there is something I'll admit

That has me worried just a bit.

I ate the other seed, you see.

Now will it grow inside of me? (I'm so relieved since I have foundThat pumpkins only grow in the ground!)

ON A SIDE NOTE:  Staples has some dollar bins I discovered today.  I bought several packs of plastic paper clips to use as a linking pattern activity.  Hey, Plastic Paperclips begins with Pp.  We have another math activity

Friday, October 22, 2010

5 things I love about my job week 3

I love 1. my co workers, and the way the minister to each childs needs, 2.  my assistant who makes my job easy  and fun, 3.  the families of each child,  4.  turning the I can't and I won't into I can,  5. the many ways my students say my name like Mrs. Manette, Mrs. Lanette, Mrs Manettey, Mrs. Banette, teacher, Mrs.(whoever there last teacher was).  I wonder if they ever learn how to really say it, though it brings a smile to hear all the 4 and 5 year old variations of Mrs. Nanette.

Monday, October 18, 2010


It is fall and while there are not many colorful leaves yet were are learning about the season this week in our class room.  We did the most fun art ever, and I don't know where I saw the idea.  We covered our table in butcher paper, and I had gather leaves from my trees ( the biggest leaves I could find).  Each child picked 3 leaves and they were taped vein side up to the butcher paper.  The children were then allowed to paint the leaves, we used red, yellow and orange paint.  They then layed manilla paper on top and used playdough rollers ( the one with the one handle was best), and rolled over the paper to make sure they covered all of their leave territory.  The painting was a surprise to see after they lifted the paper.  Paint, rolling and surprises, all things that preschool children love.  It looked like so much fun I really wanted a turn, but wo is me I had to teach another group of children while my assistant had all the fun.  I highly recommend this for moms, teachers and anyone with a little creative spirit, even scrapbookers and cardmakers can get into the mix.  the vein detail was great and it was so much fun. 
Foot note:  don't wait until dark to hunt for leaves, because there are lots of spiders hanging around after dark. My clothes were covered in spider webs, but don't worry none got me :) 
Tomorrow more fun fall activities, I may post every day.......

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The 5 things I love about my job this week are 1) the ladies I work along side 2) the little eyes scanning the classroom to see what each day brings 3) hugs from past students that I never forget 4) childrens interpretations of their surroundings whether shared in art or word 5) keeping my little friends safe and helping them learn.
Using a new classroom management technique that I love love love. Check out the book Conscious disipline by Becky Baily. Great ideas for classroom as well as home management with children. I also love the Love and Logic books, but for me in the classroom the Conscious disipline has been a blessing.
Resting up now for another fun week
If you are a mom or a teacher Family fun magazine is an awsome tool. There is a sight with even more things and old magazine ideas from the past.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Safety week

Another fun week of learning and playing. It's been a short week because of an extra day off but alot of fun. Today we did a craft. Anytime they don't have total freedom at art I call it a craft, though today while there were some guidelines there was also much freedom of expression as you can see.
The directions were to take 1 small and 1 large rectangle and 4 circles to make the fire truck.
They then took 2 long and 5 short pipe cleaners to make the ladder. Now, the glueing of the pipe cleaners with regular glue was a bust and as you can see some made pools of glue to try.
Next year we will use craft sticks and tooth picks for our ladders. I was able to get some information while they were allowed freedom in their very creative interpretations of fire trucks. I learned who knew the difference between short and long, and large and small. I also learned who was able to count to 4. Hopefully they learned those things in the process of direction following at craft time. LOTS OF FUN!!!!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Safety week, and safety helpers

One of my all time favorite weeks in the fall is when the fire truck visits and they dress in their rescue clothes to show the children and help them know not to be afraid. What an awsome service it is to our children. We have alot of fun in the classroom as well, obstacle courses, a ladder out of masking tape on the floor makes great large motor activities for the children to play in homeliving. I always have stuffed animals to rescue at one end of the ladder.
We will look at shapes of different road signs and talk about them and how they help us stay safe. We will make our own stop signs and stop light cookies, which I have seen in many different curriculums. Take a fourth of a graham cracker, spread cream cheese or peanut butter and then have them place the correct color candies in the correct order of a stop light. EAT UP!!!!! Yummy and easy. Hey, you could continue and teach a math skill of patterns red, yellow, green, red, yellow green.
Whether a mom or teacher, extend fun to make it a learning activity. We also will be making a shape fire truck using squares, rectangles and circles. If you stay at home and need an activity for your little guys, maybe 2 or 3 year olds cut out red rectangles blue squares for truck windows and black circles for wheels. That would be a great beginning for little guys. If you stay at home, take your little guys to the firestation or call and check when they will be available to let your children look at our safety helpers.
Well---- off to have a great short week at school and will post a little more safety stuff at the end

Saturday, October 9, 2010

5 things I love about teaching Preschool children

Along with ideas to share, I will be posting weekly the 5 things I love about teaching preschool children. If you are a teacher, maybe some of these will inspire you or refresh you in your own teaching experiences. I love 1. sharing God's love with them 2. listening to them as they share things they think are wonderful 3. their wiggles 4. their giggles 5. the look they get when they discover something for the first time. I love my job!!!!!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reminder of being Thankful

My Daughter had posted our thankful tree from Thanksgiving last year on her Face book page. It reminded me to share and idea for families. Every year for many years I have made thankful trees with my class with leaves that have the things they are thankful for written on them. Several years ago, I thought why have I never done this at home with my own children. My own children are grown now, but it was not too late to share with grandchildren. We have added leaves every year for 2 or 3 years now. I can't wait until the tree is so full of leaves from many years of family sharing what we are thankful for.
I set out to find the right twig and pot to put the twig in. I cemented the twig in the pot and die cut many fall colored leaves and a couple of turkeys for my grandsons.
On the pot I wrote the Bible vs. "Give thanks to God for he is good, his unfailing love endures forever" Psalms 107:1. Everyone celebrating thanksgiving with us adds a leaf. We change houses for Thanksgiving so the tree travels with us. For at least a minute each person stops and thinks of one blessing for that year. It makes a great table decoration and now I have shared with my family something I have shared with little children for so many years.

Monday, September 27, 2010

So many ideas...... hard to choose

Every year I struggle to decide what to use and what to leave behind for another year. Teaching Pre K children is a blessing. They are eager, and excited and hesitant and imaginative, and straight forward.

We have been having alot of fun getting use to our class and our routine. We made a collage this week using our favorite color. We let them use crayons, markers, colored pencils, pieces of construction paper, feathers, and dobbers. They turned out very nicely and allowed lots of freedom of expression. I had tooo many choices for art this week I try to find things that go with the theme or the letter. Favorites was our theme, our letter was Dd, we did dot art using markers making tiny dots to create a picture. You could also do drip art using droppers and thinned tempra, or doodle art, just letting them doodle all over the page. You see what I mean there are tooo many choices. I have used all of the choices I described and probably would have done the drip art had we not been having our pictures made that day. We had to stay clean :)

Next week we will be doing letter Gg and will be using glitter, glue, and green for our art experiences. Well enough for now, I will be adding more later.
Well, the week is now over, and what a messy week. Glitter, glue, garbage painting, and a puppet of our letter friend Gus the Goat. My goodness what a week.
The best part of our goat puppet was we cut a small hole in his mouth so he could eat garbage.
Kid's loved him. Thanks Frogstreetpress for great letter friends.

New year, new class, new fun

Well a new year of teaching is in full swing, and using some old and new ideas makes it all the more fun. Every year we spend September learning about our school, our selves and our friends.
Today we learned about our families and some of our favorite things. A fun activity is to trace the childrens arm and hand spread on brown paper for the tree, then I have seen the remainder of the tree done many ways, have them tear green paper into pieces for leaves, make leaves with markers, but we used our thumbs and green paint to make ours. As you will see from the picture they had freedom to place their leaves where they chose. We then used red paint and thumbs to make our family members. We created a family tree. We are proudly displaying our family trees in our room right now

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Summer time catch -up

It is hot outside, and while I am trying to organize for a new teaching year, I am remembering all the ideas I never had time to sit down and post last year. This may take me several days and the ideas will definitely be in no specific order, but here goes. One of my favorite units that we did last year was Fairy tales and other Children Literature. I love children's literature and the different illustrators. During this special week we had Princess day, Bear story Day, Dr. Seuss day, and then sharing our own favorites day. Really this could all take a whole month, but we just touched on some highlights. Of course. Princess day had all stories about Princess'. I focused on the Princess and the pea and did many fun activities in class, like having all the children bring their old nap mats and we stacked them and did experiments to see what we could feel under all the mattresses. We decided we were all Prince and Princesses, and could feel even the smallest thing we placed under the mattress. I have done this unit before and had created a math center involving pea pods. I made foam pea pods and got pea sized pom poms for counting. We counted by 5's having 5 peas in each pod and we added peas and pods by rolling dice to see how many pods we had and then rolling dice to see how many peas we had in our pods.
On our Bear day, of course we learned about The 3 Bears, Winnie the Pooh, Teddy Bears picnic, Corduroy and several other bears, since I have a collection of old Children's literature. We made Bear puppets, went on a Bear hunt and brought our favorite snugly bear for the day. I love how every ones is so different.

We also had to follow my directions and make bears. I drew on the board and they had to copy along with each step to draw a bear. The exercise was strictly for direction following. These turned out cute as well. We talked about how many circles we used to make our bears.

I include Childrens literature throughout all my teaching units but this one just has everything totally focused on the literature of the day. I will definitely do it again. The children had a blast and I did too.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Little house on the Prairie -pioneer times unit.

It's been a busy month and my computer time has been limited. I used alot of fun activities this month but the one I am doing now, I want to share as I go. I will catch up on the others later. We are doing a pioneer times unit using My First Little House on the Prairie Series of books. A friend of mine shared the idea of doing this unit several years ago and this is the second year my teaching team is doing this unit. It is alot of fun helping children see what children were like in the past. The first day we explored the way the children were like todays children and the ways they were different. It is neat to see the children realize, there were no TVs or Wii's etc. One of the books Winter time in the Big Woods talked about how Mom would let the girls use her sewing thimble to draw on the frosty windows. We used the thimbles in our classroom with finger paint and drew on paper. Great for fine motor because they have to hold the thimble, since their fingers are to small to hold the thimble on. This book also talks about how when it was baking day Mom would give the girls a piece of bread dough to play with and then cook. This week we will be using the frozen bread dough thawed and roll it out into a snake to make our first initial of our name. last year we actually made 4 squares of a 9 patch quilt by precutting the fabric and letting the children place it. It was neat but this year I wanted to talk more about the activity and how Laura's sister Mary got to make the pattern bear claw since she was older. I used scrapbooking paper and let them decide which one to make after a couple of days of playing with the paper and using 9 squares. I will be sharing more about this tomorrow, I will take a picture of their work it is very clever. It was just like playing with tanagrams and I love to see their face when they figure the patterns out, or even while they are puzzling over it and thinking it through. More on this later........

Sunday, February 7, 2010

another week down.

We can build it...... yes, we can! Preschool children in general love to use pretend tools. We had a great week, playing with pretend construction tools, building hotels, house, machines and many other things out of our blocks. The joy of teaching Pre k is their fresh little imaginations. Nothing is too great or small when you are in preschool.
All year long I have the children make a page for different class made books. Got the idea years ago from someone at a conference. There is all sorts of info out there for class made books and if you haven't done one with your class, try it. You will be glad if you do.
Since our theme was building, I had the children create a building out of blocks and have me take a picture of them. They had to tell me what their building was. I published the pages to their words "______can build a_______", "yes, he/she can!"
Monday we will laminate the pages and put them in a 1" binder with the title page and the rest of the year the children will enjoy that book, along with the 5 or 6 others we have already made. Most of our books are pictures drawn by the children, but every now and then I throw in an actual photograph book.
Another favorite during the builder week is to let them use painters tape and tape all over a large piece of white construction paper. We talk about painters, and drywallers (which is another fun activity). I let them paint all over their paper and after the paint drys we peal off the painters tape. The children are suprised to see the white designs left by their tape.
Now on to the drywall. another experiment in art is to use putty knifes and pre mixed wall texture. We add tempra and let the chidren work at the easle. I discovered the poster board works better than paper, because the paper absorbs the water and kinda melts. They use the putty knife to smear it on, and this year I could not find my tools to make designs, so they scrapped on their texture art with plastic knifes and forks. Really cool when it drys.
Well, headed off to watch the super bowl.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Around the world in 6 days

Well what a whirl wind trip we had. We visited Africa, India, China, England, Slovakia, and Brazil before heading back home for Texas. Preschool 5 year olds don't always get the world being so big, but my little friends this year got it. We had a great time. I used a beach ball globe to show them our (pretend) flight path.

After I showed them the country or continent, I would toss the ball out and see if they could point at it for me. They did so good. As I shared in my last blog we traced all our contries/ continents and tried to write their name on them after we cut them out. We decided to not make a mobil, so I am adding a picture of what we did.
Oh go back to the description of the queens crown for England I have taken a picture to show you what we did.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A new unit coming up. I have done it before but I have not collected enough fun things for my own satisfaction. I am teaching around the world in 6 days. Each day we will visit a different country, or continenent. Today while trying to decide on a few last minutes I traced Africa and India on file folders and cut them out. Each day we will trace and cut the shape of our country out. Those that can will copy the name of the country, or continenent on the shape. At the end we will string them all up on a big picture of the world. A mobil will be created. Just for my added "Bible touch to this" I will put God created the whole world and everything in it. ( this is a future Bible vs. for my class). They can enjoy sharing their work with their families. We will practice tracing, cutting and printing, all great learning tools for my Pre K friends. I will let you know how it turns out, because as of now it is just an idea.

Update from this original blog--- we have traced 4 continents or countries so far. It has worked out great. What a great and easy tracing and cutting practice it has been. I guess we could call this a geography lesson as well as multi cultural. I am just excited that it has turned out good.
*****Today we made crowns because we learned about the queen of England. The children used glitter glue and sequins for their jewels. Teacher assembly was required but the children were very proud of them.
Supplies: Tag board strips for the base and cross part on top. glitter glue and sequins for the jewels. purple tissue for the fabric part.
Instructions: Took 2 strips about 12"x 2" and stapled in center making a cross or plus symbol. took the base which was 24"x3" and stapled end to end making the base. Let the children decorate the pieces with the glitter glue and sequins. Stapled the cross to the base at the 4 ends and underneath tucked the purple tissue and taped down. The children were excited to be kings and queens. Picture coming tomorrow. I barrowed a crown to show you a finished product

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Random stuff

Don't you love it when you have something sitting on your counter, you want to use it, but how can you make it a learning experience? The last week and 1/2 I have had snowflake oriental trading little stampers sitting in a bowl waiting for a brainstorm. I wanted to use them but wasn't sure how. Today it hit me! The children can roll dice and they can stamp that many snow flakes on their page. A teacher friend came in, she thought it would be good to fold the paper in 1/4's and then they could roll 4 times and stamp 4 times. It was awesome! I had the children write the number in each square as well. Such a simple thing, why does it take a brain storm or searching all over to come up with these simple things. so thats the random thought for today........... just a footnote, you would not have to use stamps, you could use colored daubers and have them stamp a different color each time they roll. You could also use stickers. So many simple things out there, it's just hard on the spot to know quite what to do. LEARNING CAN BE FUN AND EASY.

Monday, January 11, 2010

snowman picture goal for the day

Alright, today is the day I will figure out how to post that snowman on this blog. TaDa, a grocery bag snowman from Texas.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter still and more on yesterdays snowman post

Well I thought about what I blogged and I decided to share what we learned by building our grocery bag snowman.

We were in 4 teams and everyone got a different amount of recycle paper. We learned to work as a team to make our ball.

We were learning the concept biggest to smallest so we had 4 balls and had to decide which was biggest, medium, small and smallest.

We heard the story about Frosty before we started any of the snowman building. We talked about what the boys and girls used in the book for eyes nose mouth etc. I had our items all set out. They had to choose from what was available.

What a fun learning experience it was, and since I am still learning, I have not posted the picture yet.
OK teaching team I challenged you via email to find me. Monica found me and shared with me the link. Pretty sad when I don't even know how to tell people to get here. More winter stuff later.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter fun in my preschool classroom

Well this is my first attempt at a blog and sharing my love and ideas(nuggets) for Pre-K teaching. We built a snowman out of trashbags (actually grocery bags turned inside out) 4 teams raced to fill their bag with wadded up recycle paper and we taped and tied the 4 balls together. I let them choose sorting buttons for eyes, nose, mouth and of course we had buttons as well. Next I let them use my teaching pointers for arms and my gloves and scarf. I forgot a hat but we found a sombrero in our resource room. He was a special snowman we were so proud of. The kids loved him. If I knew how I would share a picture. I will try to figure it out and share later.
Tomorrow I will share the rest of our snowman day activities. Did we have snow? No, we live in the DFW area, never much snow, but it was definitely cold enough this week.