Saturday, December 15, 2012
Hello All, For those of us in the classroom this may be the craziest week of the year, the week before Christmas Break! In the spirit of the Holidays I have decided to throw a 15% off sale on TpT for my entire store! Enjoy some great teaching resources for low prices. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays to all of you! Christine
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Hello All, Happy Holidays to you all! I wanted to share this week a few of my time tested Christmastime centers. I don't have pictures of all of them but I will post the ones I have. So far this year my busy little four year olds are enjoying the (1)jingle bell pick up the most. I place a bucket of small jingle bells on the table with 4 ice cube trays and 4 pair of tweezers. The children fill up the ice cube trays with the jingle bells without using their fingers. They count, make patterns, compare each others trays and sort by color. They have begged me to play this every morning this week! Christmas Cookie Math and Literacy Unit I have this unit on sale for $5.00 this week to kick off a great Christmas season so get it while it is on sale. It will go back up to $7.00 on Saturday. Christmas Cookie Math and Literacy Unit Here is the link to the freebie I promised you all from my new Christmas Cookie Math and Literacy Unit: Christmas Cookie Freebie Till next time enjoy life! Christine
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Hello All, Sorry to neglect my blog this week but I took a much needed break with my family in Disney World! It was so nice to get away and enjoy my boys. I had evey intention of continuing to work on TpT sets and posts for my blog but little did I know that the time share did not have wifi!!!!! I think God had a plan to focus me on my famly, something I don't allow myself to do as often as I should.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Hello All, Today while going through the dollar store for the hundreth time this year I found something I wasn't even looking for. I went to find pot holders for a school project and came across these super cute kid sized mugs.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Hello All, In my neverending quest to fit just as much as I possibly can into my small amount of classroom storage I have found a new Favorite!!!!!!!
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Hello All, Sorry that I have been neglecting my blog this past week but I have been battling kidney stones and now I think I have the flu! But in all of this sickness I was so excited to check my Tpt store to find I now have 100 followers! It has been almost exactly one year since I started this blog and creating for TpT and I have to say it has made me a better teacher. I find myself planning ahead more, being more in depth in my lesson planning and being a more exciting teacher. Thanks to all of the great blogs and teacher sharing out there, I appreciate all of you!
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Hello Everyone, Please welcome my first guest blogger, Toni from teacherlingo.com. She has written a great article for us on integrating movement into our letter recognition lessons! Enjoy! Christine Making Letters Move Author Bio: Today’s guest post comes from Toni, an elementary school teacher with a specialty in differentiated instruction and designing hands-on lessons that incorporate the multiple intelligences. You can often find Toni writing for TeacherLingo.com, where teachers can buy and sell their original lesson plans, worksheets, and more. She is married to a middle school math teacher and is a mom to a mystery loving 7 year old sweetie-girl and a quirky little light saber toting 3 year old. Have you ever made cookies with a preschool aged child? They want to feel, taste, and smell each ingredient before placing it in the mixing bowl. Young children use all of their senses when exploring a new object! This is important to remember when introducing children to their letters and corresponding sounds. Young learners must be given opportunities to explore each letter in a variety of ways. The alphabet is most often explored through the use of language using poetry, nursery rhymes and stories that focus on a specific letter. Try creating some silly alliteration sentences with your students and have some fun reciting tongue twisters together as well. You can follow up these readings by asking your students to find the focus letter using a magnifying glass, removable highlighting tape or Wiki Stix. Logical and mathematical explorations provide students with the chance to focus on the parts of letters. They should have opportunities to assemble and disassemble the parts of each letter. Students can also sort letters by their attributes using large Venn diagrams made form hula hoops. To help them begin to really visualize the letters try playing a guessing game for a few minutes each day where you describe a letter and give students the opportunity to guess what it is. Linking each letter of the alphabet to an action allows students to experience the alphabet with their whole bodies. Try creating a letter workout for your class. Assign each letter a specific exercise and have your students perform each action as they recite the alphabet each day. They will rotate their ankles, balance on one foot, clap and dance as they move through the alphabet. You can also challenge little learners to make letters with their bodies in groups of two or three. During outdoor time games like hopscotch and jump rope can also be adapted to reinforce the letters and their sounds. Music is always a hit with the preschool learner. Provide a range of alphabet themed music for your students to sing along and dance to. You can also lead them in songs, chants and nursery rhymes to help them remember their letters and sounds. Allow them to make up some funny alphabet songs too! To make the alphabet personal, create an alphabet book for each student. Write their name on the front and allow them to bring in pictures of items from home or magazine pictures of things they are interested in to place in their book. By filling each child’s alphabet book with things that have personal meaning they are more likely to remember each letter and the sound associated with the items they chose. Interpersonal activities give students the opportunity to practice their letters with their classmates. Give groups of students a bag of toys or pictures to sort by their beginning letter. You can also hide letters around the room and send teams of students to hunt for the letters and match them with their sounds. Children are drawn to nature, so bring the natural world indoors and connect it with the alphabet. Take your students on a nature hike and gather natural items like acorns, berries and cones. The children can then help you set up a nature alphabet table to display their findings sorted by their beginning letter. Of course, no alphabet activity list would be complete without mentioning multi-sensory activities. If you have the space your classroom you can set up a sensory center and allow students to choose how they would like to practice their letters. The sensory center can be stocked with things like sandpaper, shaving cream, play dough, aluminum foil, pipe cleaners, puffy paint, and sand. These messier sensory activities can be placed in a zip-lock bag and sealed for less mess. Preschool is such a wondrous time, and if you make learning letters fun and exciting and you will soon have a classroom full of proud alphabet experts.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Hello All, Today our curriculum (Handwriting without tears get set for school Pre-K) called for sentence building. Each child was supposed to dictate a sentence and we were to count the number of words in the sentence. This is a simple activity that would only take a few minutes had I not put my own spin on it. I decided to turn this into a sentence building, sight word, graphing activity! WHEW! Literacy and numbers in the same lesson, I love double duty lessons!
Monday, October 22, 2012
Hello All, I just wanted to share with you some great activities our department did this past week for Nocturnal animals and hibernation. We had so much fun exploring how animals live at night. We spent an entire day with no lights on, the kids brought small flashlights and one Mom donated finger flashlights (which are totally awesome, this was the first time I had ever seen them!). My class spent time discovering new animals that are nocturnal that we didn't already know about, like scorpions! My favorite part of the week though was our letter and number hunts. I hung the #'s 1-20 in my classroom and gave each child a clipboard with a recording sheet on it. They were instructed to roam the room with their flashlights and find each number. Once they found a number they were to color in the box that had the same number. We did the same with letters in my collegues room. The class had so much fun with this! I was surprised at how it kept their attention. They found all 26 letters and all 20 numbers without complaint or stopping. Here are a few pics of the fun! (sorry they are a little dark since we didn't have the lights on) Nocturnal Unit Hibernation Unit Iwill be posting more hibernation/nocturnal activities throughout the week so check back often and follow me! Enjoy, Christine
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
So, in an effort to make life easier on myself I started jotting down and copying short literacy ideas to send home to my kiddos parents. I had a few struggling students that I wasn't ready to put in books but I wanted them to practice letters and literacy skills in a meaninful way.They have enjoyed this so much that I decided to type it all out on cute cards and make a unit for Teachers Pay Teachers. I fugure, like myself, there must be some other teachers with students like mine who are not ready for true reading groups but would benefit from some practice at home. The great thing about these activities is that they also do double duty when you use them in your classroom during small groups. 5 Minute Literacy
Friday, October 12, 2012
Hello Everyone, Thank you to everyone who linked up and visited my first linky party. All of the fall freebies were fantastic! I said I would giveaway my Pumpkin Patch Math and Literacy Unit to one lucky linker, drum roll please...... THE WINNER IS: Shuna Patterson @ Pocket Full of Kinders! Congratulations Shuna! Have a blessed weekend! Christine
Saturday, October 6, 2012
Friday, October 5, 2012
After having a super fun week with my kiddos studying corn I decided to put everything we did down on paper and give it away for free! It all started with a pesky common core objective involving measurement but turned out to be so much more! My teacher freind Bev Fleming and I decided that our Autumn theme would be best served by studying fall veggies, which eventually lead us to corn. We decided to create a cornstalk that would "grow" all week long. I made a base out of wood and used an old lightbulb holder to place pvc pipe in. I bought 4 couplers to attach the pvc pipe together as it grew. Here is a picture of our cornstalk on day 3. It grew from 1 foot all the way to 9 feet, with 5 ears of corn on it. Corn Themed Mini-Unit
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Letter name and Sound recognition is one of the key objectives of Pre-k and K instruction. We spend a majority of our day working on letters, including letters in every activity and talking about letters (and numbers for that fact!) Here are some strategies I use to help my little kiddos remember those letter and sounds! 1. I seperate my letters and sounds: When I want the children to focus on sounds I only use the sound, I say "this letter says a,a,a holding up or pointing to the letter a. this gives the child one thing to focus on versus trying to connect the letter name and the sound. 2. I follow my sound instruction with a practice sheet or activity: This helps the children solidify the letter sounds they have just worked on. 3. I only work on a few letters at a time: Overwhelming the kiddos with all 26 sounds at one time does not help them learn, breaking up the alphabet into small chunks helps the children to concentrate on the important letters first and then onto the next set when finished. 4. I teach with letter manipulatives: Whether I am teaching the sound or the letter name I use letter magnets, letter tiles or letter printouts to help my kinesthetic and visual students learn. 5. I have the children write the letter on the board: When I am teaching the letter name and formation I allow each student to come up to the board and practice the correct strokes before trying on their own. 6. I follow my letter name instruction with tracing practice: To solidify the proper strokes for a letter I follow my instruction with a worksheet or cutting activity that practices the given letter. 7. I play sound and letter name bingo: I use the same cards for both sound and letter names, however I do not mix them both in one game. I try to play one or the other 2-3 times per week for a few minutes. The brain starts to make the connections without direct instruction to connect the sound with the letter name. 8. I work in small groups depending on ability: I break my kiddos into groups of 4 and work on letters depending on where they are. For instance right now I have a group that is solely working on letter sound identification, another group decoding CVC words and a third group blending, reading CVC words and working on sight words. 9. I keep sight words seperate from sound/letter name instruction: I have found that sight words can confuse some kiddos who do not have a good handle on letters. I make sure to work with these kiddos on mastering letters before introducing sight words. I do introduce sight words to any kiddos who need it through small groups. 10. Read, Read, Read: I believe reading to my kiddos either through books or pocket chart stories helps children connect the sound with the letter. I hope you find these strategies helpful in your persuit of teaching young brains, remember to keep it light, fun and with as much movement as possible. Combining visual, audio and kinesthetic learning strategies will imporve the outcome of your kiddos year! Till next time, Christine
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Hello All, I had so much fun with my 5 senses unit this week at school that I decided to create a whole unit around it. I included some items that I have been using in my classroom such as the vocabulary building cards and the word wall/pocket chart vocabulary cards. My 5 Senses Unit 5 Senses Hearing Worksheet Freebie
Saturday, September 29, 2012
This past week we studied the 5 senses. I was eager for something new to do that wasn't the same old lesson. My teacher friend, Bev Fleming, and I came up with an idea. We decided to create a 5 senses treasure hunt. We started with a plan to create 5 stations that the children would visit, each one dedicated to one of the 5 senses: 1. Hearing: We used a sound CD that came with an ABC sound bingo game and each child had a set of earphones. 2. Tasting: We used marshmallows and had the children shut their eyes and hold out there hand, then taste. 3. Touching: We placed smooth items inside a box with a small opeing cut out of the top. The children were told not to look into the box. 4. Sight: We used view finders, you could also use kaliedescopes or toilet paper rolls with pictures taped to the end, look through to the ceiling to see the picture. 5. Smell: We used garlic, pepper, pepperming extract and candy for the children to smell without removing the lids on the garlic and pepper. We broke up our group of 23 students into groups of 4 and started each group in their respective station. We helped each group through the activity and then the students colored a box to show what they had seen, smelled, tasted, touched or heard on the recording sheet. We rotated the groups through each of the 5 stations and when we were finished we gave each student a treasure. For the tresure we put together a bag of small toys, whistles, fake glasses, flip frogs and some skittles. The kiddos were so excited and had great learning fun! Download the recording sheet on TpT for free! Use the link below: 5 Senses Treasure Hunt Recording Sheet
Monday, September 24, 2012
First for the freebie! Download a free sampler of my new Fall themed ABC and 123 worksheets here: Fall Themed ABC and 123 Worksheet Freebie Fall Themed ABC and 123 Worksheets Fun in the Pumpkin Patch Unit which is a 104 page complete math and literacy unit ready for your fall classroom fun!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Hello All, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite days of the year. As you know fall is my favorite season, I can't get enough of it! This past Friday I made applesauce in my classroom with my kiddos. This was our final apple project :( It was such great fun and easy too! I did do some pre-planning by having some of my families donate apples and then gathering supplies the night before: What you need: Crock Pot with lid Apples any and all varieties Cinnamon Water Potatoe Masher Cutting board, peeler and knife(with cover for safety) Here is how our lesson progressed: We started by talking about the parts of an apple. I sliced one in half to show the star and discuss the life cycle. I then showed how you peel an apple and allowed the class to try the skin (there were no takers so I tried it myself, I personally love the skin!) We had a short discussion about kitchen safety, not touching knives and being careful of things that are hot. I then diced a few apples and placed a few tablespoons in a bowl with a sprinkle of cinnamon. I gave each child a bowl and a spoon. They stirred the cinnamon in and ate the apples. We talked about the apples being crunchy and sour and what we thought would happen to the apples as they cooked. It takes 3 hours for the full crock pot to cook so I had already started the pot before the kiddos came to school. I opened the crock pot and showed the children from the counter what was cooking. I also instructed them not to come near the counter for the day. I had a full pot of diced appples, 3-4 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/2 cup of water. I showed the kiddos how to measure the cinnamon and water. When I checked on the applesauce I showed the children how it was breaking down and turning brown. One little guy says, "that looks disgusting, I'm not eating that!" Wouldn't you know that he was the one who ate the most, go figure! I mashed the apples once they were soft and showed the children in a large bowl how I mashed the pieces together. We talked about how our apples had changed and how our applesauce was different than the applesauce from the store. The kiddos were totally engaged and I couldn't believe how much applesauce they ate! We took small cups of applesauce to our friends in the other classes and enjoyed the rest of the day in our cinnamon filled room. Have fun cooking in your classroom! Till next time, Christine
Friday, September 7, 2012
This week in our apple unit we joined with another class to have an apple tasting. We sampled red, yellow and green apples. We talked about their names, what they taste like and if we liked them. We then made a graph of our favorite apple and then counted how many of each we liked. You can see we ended up with a tie between the red delicious and granny smith apples.
Pre-K children often come to school with the ability to rote count to 10 or 20 but most of the time they cannot connect the counting to the number. In order to facilitate this connection I taught a very simple lesson during group time on the carpet. I took my apple number and graphic cards and also found some basket cut outs. I lined the baskets on the carpet and placed the numbers 1-5 in order on the baskets. I then laid out the graphic cards out of order. I called on a few children to come count the apples and match them to the proper basket. Apples, Apples Everywhere Math and Literacy Unit