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.