Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Very Busy Spider...and Preschoolers!

Wow!  I haven't posted in a long time.  I was busy getting married over the summer, and then prepping for school.  When I saw that Deborah at Teach Preschool was hosting a linky party for Fall and Halloween inspired activities, it gave me me a kick in the pants to get back to my blog.

This week our students are learning S for Spiders.  I love Pinterest and blogs simply for the fact I learn new ideas and tricks to teach my students a concept or theme!  Deborah's spider webs were the perfect way to have our children make webs, and I found this picture on Pinterest for our very own spiders!

The other fun idea I found was Playdough eyeballs from Teach Preschool.  What a genius idea!  My students loved the addition to our playdough center.  It was a big hit.

Finally, I came up with two new ideas for my own classroom that I would love to share with you!

First, with inspiration from Deborah's mini poster about spiders, I created my own anchor chart.  I see them a lot on Pinterest, but designed for upper grades.  I wanted to create one that is interactive for my students and at their level.  I took Deborah's three concepts about spiders 1) Spiders have 8 legs  2) Spiders eat mostly insects that fly  3) Spiders catch insects in their sticky web and created a chart!  Here is a picture:
 This is without the parts added during our discussion.
Here it is completed!  Students had the opportunity to put 8 legs on the spider, wings (made of parchment paper) on the fly, and add a fly to the sticky web.  The web is drawn with a black marker, with a piece of contact paper over it to allow the fly to stick!  Students also had the chance to touch the contact paper to feel how sticky the web was.

My second addition to our centers was a spider sorting game.  While at Walgreens last week, I found rubber colored spiders.  I knew I had to buy them for a sorting game!  I created webs of different colors on my computer, printed on cardstock and laminated for durability.  I added magnets to the webs and spiders.  (Note: Make sure you use super glue or E6000 glue for the magnets on the spiders!  Hot glue doesn't work!)  I added this game to the magnet board in our classroom.  What an easy way to practice color sorting!  Find the game here.  (Freebie!  What joy!)

Here are the spiders I found at Walgreens!

I hope these activities will add to your fall learning experiences.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Our ABC Book

I have not been happy with the ABC books I have created or used for our 3/4 class.  I finally found one on Pinterest!   Find it here!  I was so excited because it combined a simple practice of writing the ABC's and an activity that relates to the letter.  I do not get all up in arms if their writing isn't perfect yet, because that will come with time.  I simply want to introduce them to the letter, practice the sound, and begin to think of words that start with the same letter.   For the activities, I want to do something that works their small motor skills...cutting, tearing paper, drawing a picture of themselves, etc.

As you will see in the pictures, I used some of her same ideas for the book, but changed some to make it work for my program.  We use Handwriting Without Tears so I used their word printing to make the letters. The idea for the letter X can be found here.

I will definitely be making these again for next year!

Dirt Sensory Table

I love the Target Dollar Spot.  Absolutely love it.  In face I am looking forward to Back to School time just to go shopping at the Dollar Spot. 

I hit pay dirt (pun intended!) when I went a couple of weeks ago!  Kids sized gardening gloves!  Kids sized shovels and trowels!  I decided to add dirt to the table and let the kids explore.  I also added plastic flower pots.

Next year, I think I will add bulbs or something that they can "plant."

I love Target!

R is for Rainbows and Rain/ U is for Umbrella

R is for rain and rainbows!  U is for umbrella!  A lot of my inspiration for our rainbow week came from  Deborah has a lot of wonderful ideas for rainbows!

Letter Work:
Here we integrated color words and writing and made a color book.  This was from Teach Preschool too!

We also made our own version of the Rainbow Roll Game found here.  I made an electronic copy of the game which can be found on Google Docs.  The letters and numbers are included that you can change how you play the game.

Large Motor Activities:
We made movement ribbons for the kids to practice moving to the music.  I would play soft and loud, fast and slow music and the children would move their ribbons to the music.  They even involved their body!

I was inspired to create my own ribbons after finding this pin on pinterest.

We also used streamers to create a rainbow of our own!  We read the book A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman and created this fun movement activity.  The kids weaved the streamers themselves, and then they worked their bodies through the small openings!  The activity is inspired by this post!

 We made 3-D rainbows inspired by this post.  Each rainbow was unique!

We read Cloudette by Tom Lichtenheld.  It's a wonderful book that talks about how a cloud makes it rain.  We then let the children mix black and white paint to make a rain cloud.  We mixed blue food coloring in with corn syrup and they drip drop painted rain drops on their cloud!

B is for Bugs

B is for bugs! I is for insects!  Due to our crazy busy schedule, I only had the chance to take a few pictures from our bugs week.

Centers: I used PreKinders for a lot of this bug theme!  It was a wonderful resource.  Check out this link for the bug jar sorting printables from PreKinders.  I also purchased Learning Resources Backyard Bugs for counting and using them with the jar printables.

I made this addition and number practice activity for my students.  I used the glass beads from the crafts stores and used Modge Podge to adhere black paper to make spots.

 I would tell the students how many dots to put on their ladybugs and then we would add.  I introduced the concept of "Counting On" to the students to help them prepare for Kindergarten.

 For our 3s class I would just tell them which number of spots to put on.  This is a great activity to practice one to one correspondence.
Bulletin Board:
The inspiration for this bulletin board can be found here!

Here are the crafts we did for the different bugs:

  • Ladybug
  • The bumble bee, click beetle, and the ants were from The Mailbox
Circle Time:
For my older students I created Bugs Sentence Strips which are available for sale on my Teacher Pay Teachers store. 

Hope you enjoyed going buggy with us!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Bugs Sentence Strips

Here is the latest product in my TpT store!  Bug Sentence Strips can be used to introduce different types of bugs, as well as practice sight words and color words.  I hope you enjoy it!

While there, check out my TpT store...

Catapults and Levers

One of my goals this year was to incorporate more science into the classroom.  This past week we made catapults in the classroom!

For personal ones for the kids to take home, we used this craft with popsicle sticks.  We had the kids glue the popsicle sticks together and then we hot glued the clothespins and spoons on.  We gave the students cotton balls to launch.  Watch out!  Fun to be had by everyone!  They played with their catapults for a good hour!  We loved to teach them how to tilt and angle their catapult to make it go further or a different direction.

One of my aides and her husbands created a lever for the kids to experiment with.  We also put out cylinders, blocks, rulers, cotton balls, and other flying materials for the children to begin to create their own.  Check out the pictures!

We had the students do some critical thinking and writing with this activity.  Check out this freebie!  It is designed to get the students thinking about what they thought could happen, and then what actually happened.

Then we decided to try to do some "Angry Bird" type experiments.  We built a building and then tried a slingshot method to knock it down.  Gave the students a real world experience off the iPad!