Sunday, February 10, 2013

Dollar Tree!

I randomly picked up a few things for school while I was at Dollar Tree today!  Sentence strips so friends can practice writing valentines this week, Spring pencils for writing station, chicks for a number game, and mini eggs for an ABC match game...I'm in school mode this weekend.. just wish I had bought more Scotch laminating sheets while I was out!

I am very excited for our upcoming units:
-Community/Construction/3 Pigs
-Hungry Caterpillar/Insects/Spiders

"Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes" unit is going very well!
As a group, our focus was listing characters in the story this week for literacy.  For math, we practiced counting sets with all sorts of valentine candy! Jack and the Beanstalk on Friday was a hit... We read one version, went over characters and vocab cards to the story, listed the characters, then we found another version from our library. We looked at the illustrations and compared it to the version we read.  Students drew what they would buy with the beans on paper leafs (we are making a giant bean stalk in science center!)....and for math we counted sets of jellybeans!  annnd we planted bean seeds! I love it when a whole day just ties together!   Will have to post photos of our Princess and the Pea counting/art activity soon! 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

3 Bears, New Toys!, and Fairy tales

For our winter unit in January the theme was The Mitten which transitioned to The Three Bears..and then this week we are starting our Fairy Tales and Nursery Rhymes unit.  The Mitten was super fun (see prev. post) and tied it quite nicely to The Three Bears..where we focused on size ordering..small, medium, large, big, bigger, biggest, small, smaller, smallest, etc. This is a photo of a corner of our reading area. It has the 3 bears felt board with sm. med. large labels, puppets, The Mitten masks, and vocab from here
Pretend Center: "Three Bears Cottage" ...small, med. large, cookies, bowls, spoons, stuffed animals, can of oats, winter dress up clothes, and The Three Bears storybook. To go along with The Three Bears story we taste tested "porridge" made in my crock pot and watched The Three Bears movie on Friday. Here's the video:
The Mitten and The Three Bears led us into winter weather, bears, and hibernations.  This is a photo of our science table  where we have winter vocabulary, weather books, hibernation stories, and a new weather puzzle!
After we did our mitten temperature experiment I left the therm. and mitten in science center as an activity.
Thank you to my wonderful asst. who drank all the water bottles and made our new color sensory bottles! She put in things like pom poms, colored pencils, erasers, beads, tissue paper, etc.  This is a photo from our science center that holds discovery and nature baskets, science tools, and two new games from Lakeshore.
This is a seasons Lakeshore game.  Underneath the winter mat is the spring mat. Students are learning the order and characteristics of the seasons during calendar and weather circle time. I love this game and they have been very occupied by it. It comes with little items that they match and sort to the pictures. I thought I would add in the spring mat and then when it's spring, I'll take out the winter mat and put in the summer mat. 
This new game is also in science, we have been talking about animals that live in snow and then forest animals. The game comes will all the animals needed for different habitats. The mat underneath is forest animals.  
Have I mentioned how awesome my storage shelves are?! The brown totes hold pretend center thing..the totes are from Target.  The teal baskets and other plastic tubs are from the dollar store.  The zebra bins are from Hobby Lobby. I  received my order for new manipulatives and supplies this week.. In the center book shelves we have new Lakeshore counting boxes and 4 tubs of manipulatives!
These are awesome!!!! I have two of these boards that just for writing letters in ABC center and one for writing numbers in Math center... they are very popular right now with the students.  The heat from your fingers/hand activates the board and creates a rainbow effect.
New counting boxes/games and manipulatives for morning tubs and math center. 
Current ABC center:  book basket (baskets on sale now at Hobby Lobby! lime green, pink, teal), abc puzzles, letter punches and twist up crayons, wiki sticks and letter cards, ABC lower case and upper case foam letter match
Here is an example of two of the counting boxes I ordered. I set up Friday afternoon for our Fairy Tale unit.  I have the frog game in math center for Princess and the Frog... and the treasure chest/coins I will put in the math center for the following week.  Excited about Fairy Tale and Nursery Rhyme many options of stories and activities! 
Check out my pocket chart in books center!  Is it strange to be excited about pocket charts? I ordered five and they just came in. I've been using removable stick on hooks to hang them in centers. Actually, the vocab pocket chart in reading is held onto the door with clip magnets.  The frogs and crocodile are for blocks center..the prince frog is at Target currently in the toy section for around $4.
Here are some other little fairy tale friends to join blocks center! 
Getting ready for Valentine's day with some vday vocab!

Winter in Pre-K

Just a couple photos to share from some of our winter pre-k activities... Students counted the letters in their name, counted snowballs, wrote their letters, and created these cute snowmen! 
We filled up the Grinch with hearts by performing extra acts of kindness! 
We read the book "The Mitten" which I have come to love.. there are SO many ideas, lessons, activities that can tie into the mitten on all subjects!
-We measured ourselves with mittens and compared our heights when we discussed small, tall, and small, medium, large!
-We used a thermometer in and outside of a mitten and discussed how mittens and clothing keep us warm!
-Students acted out The Mitten characters by wearing animal masks
(from and squeezing into a mitten (masking tape on carpet)!
-Discussed winter animals and hibernation!
-Compared mittens and gloves!
-Designed our own mittens!
-Talked about the color white, camouflage, and snow!
Snow sensory tub:  snow plows, dump trucks, snowman beanie babies, mitten christmas ornaments, forest animals, berries, pinecones, mini trees, clear glass gems for ice, fake snow, cotton batting,
pipe cleaners and beads, and diff. size pom poms.
Snow globe art! We used a pencil eraser for snowflakes...
Torn paper wreaths... used a circle punch for the ornaments, scrap ribbon, construct. paper, and paper plates!

Why didn't I think of this before?!

I must say..I use this little glass jar about six times a day! It is perfect for calling names for bathroom breaks and choosing students to answer questions during read alouds and math whole group!  

Little Red Hen

I just found the photos from our Little Red Hen on one of my many camera cards... We did this unit after Fall/Pumpkins/Apples.. leading up to Thanksgiving..and right before our Gingerbread Man unit.  Our student "I Can" statements were about answering questions/asking questions about the story, counting sets, and identifying shapes. 

We had many cooking/baking projects including mixing homemade bread! The kids measured and mixed and I took the bread home and baked it.  I found a really easy recipe from Steamy Kitchen  The post says "so easy a 4 year old can do it!"and  it was THAT easy! It is no fail, really tasty bread that I have made several times now for family since our unit. 

For counting sets, students counted baked snacks like crackers and even mini chocolate cookies (cookie crisp cereal!).  We read many different versions of the little red hen, including "Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza." Students created paper plate pizzas with paper shapes..they turned out really cute..have to find the photo I's somewhere on one of those camera cards : )
Sign for our pretend bakery that I made last year.  I used images of real life bakers, breads, and pastries. I found these great stickers at Michaels. 
My mother in law made this really cool pie.. she has been making all kinds of "amigurumi" foods and characters for our classroom! 

Small, medium and large amigurumi cookies, fortune cookies, felt cinn. rolls, and cookies... varied textures and sizes!
I picked up some baking tins and trays from the dollar store for our pretend bakery : )

Here are some of our read aloud stories.. I highly recommend "Cook-a-Doodle-Doo!"  For next year I plan to have the class make mini strawberry shortcakes.. wouldn't that be fun?! I put some of our stories in our pretend center along with some cookbooks/recipe cards I took from my kitchen.

We read "The Best Mouse Cookie" before we counted sets with cookie crisp's so much fun to incorporate literacy with other subjects!
For the sensory tub, students sifted, poured, measured, and drew letters in flour.
We opened up our play dough center for molding and baking cupcakes and cookies.  I also added in some fall cookie cutters. I found the plastic table cloth for cheap at Big Lots. They had a ton of cute table cloths, including yellow and teal with white polka dots! (Which I also just had to pick up) : )
Cherry pie was the theme for our math center.. After the read aloud I kept the book in the center..students played hi ho cherrio (which I found at a garage sale for a buck over the summer!). I had some mini pie tins and created a little play dough counting game. 

And TADAAAA!!! my new blocks center curtains!  The fabric is from Hobby Lobby. LOVE!