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Welcome to The Crazy Pre-K Classroom! Please enjoy your stay, explore my posts and join for more to come! Blessings, Christine

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About Me

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Round Rock, Texas, United States
I am a wife, a mother to 2 boys, and a Christian Kindergarten Teacher. Besides spending time with my family, I enjoy sewing, scrapbooking, quilting and creating innovative, hands on lessons for my students.

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Why teach Pre-K?

Because, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phillipians 4:13

Because, I love it and am called to it!

For my children and my husband!

Because I am me!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

WINTER FREEBIES!!!!!!

Hello All, I have taken a few activities from my Winter Units on TpT and made them free for you to sample! Each one can be found as part of one of the Winter units found in my store. I hope you enjoy these and the sale I am having on all of my Winter units as a Thank you for being great followers! This 20% off sale will last through the weekend! Have a Wonderful Christmas and Holiday season!Use this link to get your freebies: Winter freebies link!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Free 121 page Winter Animal Unit with $30.00 purchase NOW til Dec.2 at midnight!

O.K. so call me crazy but I have been wanting to do something special for all of my blog and facebook followers! So, here is the deal: Spend $30.00 in my TpT store after the 28% TpT Cyber Sale discount and I will send you my brand new 121 page Winter Animal Unit for free. Currently listed for $8.00 it includes 10 complete centers you won't want to miss this winter!Here are a few pictures from my New Winter Animal Unit. Use this link to go directly to this unit. Winter Animals Unit Link
I will need an email that can recieve and open a 150mb pdf via dropbox. You can leave your email below with a comment letting me know you have purchased and what name you use on TpT. You can send me a private message on facebook www.facebook.com/thecrazyprekclassroom) with the same information or send me an email at this address: thecrazyprekclassroom@gmail.com Thank you for your purchases, following, comments and freindship! Christine

Huge TpT Sale Monday and Tuesday!

Hello All, I am so glad to be back in the blogging world, I am sorry for my absence the last few weeks due to unexpected surgery. I have a way to make it up to you with a huge sale Monday and Tuesday on TpT! Get 28% off everything in my store even new items posted this weekend. Stay tuned for new listings, especially my new Winter Animal Centers to be posted later today. Have a wonderful Holiday season!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The importance of learning with Ten frames and Read the Room in Pre-K

Debbie Diller and other succesful educators have said that children can distinguish between objects when they have a frame to seperate them. This would be why word walls, number walls and many educational posters frame there content so that children can concentrate on one space and not get everything all jumbled together. This is especially important when learning how to decode words and counting. One to one correspondence practice where a child places one object in one section of an egg carton is the same idea. This year I have been working diligently with my pre-kers on using 10 frames. I am seeing this tool used more and more often to help with counting, one to one correspondence, identifying amounts and grouping. There are endless possiblilities for using these in the classroom. This week after practicing with the ten frames from my Hibernation Unit we completed the following worksheet. You can see that the child who colored in red understood the concept pretty well but the child that colored in brown needed a one on one lesson after what he did to his paper: I am also a firm believer in read the room activities for this age group. You can see from the recording sheets above that some students are able to accomplish this tasks and some are not. However, both students are getting exposed to proper letter formation, the idea that words have meaning, word picture association and common spelling patterns. On top of these valuable literacy objectives, vocabulary aquisition is amazing through this activity! This one read the room activity from my Hibernation Unit exposed my class to 15+ animals, some of which they had never seen or heard of. If you have not had the opportunity to use either of these activities in your room I would highly recommend them. You can find several options for read the room for $1.00 in my store to get you started or you can find mega packs that include 22+sets of read the room units. For the 10 frame worksheet see my Fall interactive worksheets 201pgs for $10.00. Go to my TpT store! Till next time, Christine

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Nocturnal Animal Acitvity Idea for Math and Literacy

Happy Saturday Everyone! Each year when we study Nocturnal Animals we end our unit with a "Day in the Dark:" where we dim the lights, play with flashlights and have all around learning fun in the dark. I wrote a post about this last year introducing my Nocturnal Animals Unit on Tpt and introducing everyone to my favorite activity, read the room with flashlights. Well this year on top of all the activities I did last year I added a new one. Since a few of our nocturnal animals like to rummage through the trash (raccoon, skunk, possum, rat etc.) we played "Trashcan Reading" here is what we did: I had forgetten my phone yesterday so the pictures are from home instead of the classroom :( I had this bucket of "trash" sitting out in the classroom, the kids asked me what it was and I told them it was my trash from working the day before. They we very curious about this trash bucket that was just sitting by my chair with all of this colored paper inside. While they were out of the classroom I spread the trash around the room, when they returned I told them that nocturnal animals had made a huge mess in our room and we needed to clean it up and bring the trash to the carpet. They were so giddy, there was screaming and giggling and talk about what animal had made this mess, it was crazy fun! Once they had collected all of the trash and were sitting on the carpet we went around the circle and if they could read me what was on the "trash" they could put it back in the trash can. If they couldn't I would either help them or have them wait till their next turn depending on their abilities. On each sheet of paper I wrote a CVC word, a nonsense CVC word, names of my students, CVC names of children not in our room and numbers with their respective word. Each child would read what was on the card ant tell me if it was a name, number, object or nonsense word. This activity was sooooo much fun, the kids did a great job reading and the variety of what I included in the "trash" allowed everyone to be successful, even those that are not reading yet could identify numbers and names. If you get a chance to try this activity let me know how it went or if you tweaked it in anyway to meet the needs of your students. Till next time, Christine

Monday, October 28, 2013

Patterns, Graphing and Number Sense with Pre-k'ers!

Hello All, Here is a follow up to my most recent post about the importance of math in the pre-k classroom. Today we worked on Graphs and Patterns. My class has been exposed to both of these several times in group teaching and number centers but this is the first time the children filled in the patterns and graphs on their own. I knew which ones would do well and which ones might have some trouble folllowing along. I will show you what both look like. I walked them through the patterns by first having a group pattern lesson on the carpet and then brining them to the table for the worksheet. We assigned each letter a color for the entire sheet so that there was no confusion in the switching of colors and so that I could use the colors to help them understand the pattern. A=orange, B=yellow, C=green, D=white. All typical colors of pumpkins; I even showed them pictures of each color pumpkin that I took at the pumpkin patch over the weekend but that is a different story. Back to the patterns there was AB, ABB, AAB, AABB, ABC and ABCD. We worked through each one together and I was scanning the room helping those that needed it. Here is my picture, a completed successful picture and a struggling picture. I will be working with this and several other students to make sure they can complete complex patterns successfully. The other concept we worked on today was graphing. We have made several large anchor chart bar graphs, venn diagrams and other comparison charts but today each child completed their own. Once again I walked them through the entire process in the hope that with some practice they will be able to independently complete graphs like this in math centers. We started by bringing our worksheet on a clipboard to the carpet, we also had our crayons. We colored the first object, the acorns, then counted them and filled in the 5 blocks. We went onto the apples and found six, was this more or less, how many more etc. We went onto the leaves and found 7, filled in the blocks and compared, how many more leaves are there than acorns, so 5+2=7? Which has the most now? etc. We then colored in the 4 pumpkins and compared all 4 objects like the other three. We found that 4+3=7, that anything plus one is the next number, how the graph shows more and less. This was a very successful activity and almost everyone was able to follow along and complete the worksheet without much trouble. The couple who did struggle were a couple of the same that struggled with patterns and are overall weak in number sense so they will be in a small group with more intensive instruction to get them on the same level as the rest of the class. Here are pictures of my graphing page, a successful graphing page and a struggling graphing page: As far as number sense we decomposed to 10. This was a very interesting activity and the first time I had done this with my pre-k'ers. They loved it! We decided how many to take away on each line and I walked them through each row. It was amazing to see the learning and thinking process that was going on during this activity and even better every child in my class was able to complete this successfully, even my strugglers. I only grabbed one picture of this one: Since I am 14 on 1 it is difficult to stop and fix each child's work as we go so instead I pull them during centers or quiet work time to individually work with my strugglers. If I had an aide I would of course use that person to help during the lesson. I also send home a few worksheets throughout the week with simple to complex patterns for all of the children to complete with their parents. The parents and I have an understanding regarding honesty when it comes to their child's strengths and weaknesses. The worksheets help the parents see first hand how their child is doing with each concept. Do you have a special way you teach number sense, new ideas or proven techniques? I would love to hear your ideas in a comment below! The pattern and graphing sheet can be found in my TPT and TN stores in my Fall Interactive Worksheet Bundle, the decomposing worksheet I printed off the internet and did not specify a copyriht so copyriht goes to the person who made that worksheet. Till next time.....

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Color the correct number, the importance of 10 frames and other number sense strategies!

In Pre-K and Kinder working with numbers is just as important as word work. We spend alot of time talking about manipulating letters for reading but not much time talking about manipulating numbers. Sure counting forwards and backwards is important but if you cannot identify what number comes before or after then there is a problem. Leaving holes like this in the learning of numbers and math strategies can cause frustration for children later in their education. Count and color is an excellent way to help children understand one to one correspondence and how to stop counting at a certain number. I have often found in my classroom that when you ask a child to count objects they either skip, go to fast or cannot stop till they get to 10. These habits all need to be worked on before they become a permannent way for the child to work with numbers. This also brings in the importance of 10 frames, having a child place one object in each box allows them to decifer between each box and the objects don't all blend together. It has been proven that word walls with frames allow the children to focus on one letter instead of focusing on the whole wall, this is also true for numbers. Whether or not the frames are labeled with numbers the framing of the object alone helps create a stopping and starting point for each object or number helping the child to slow down and count one at a time. Using worksheets like the following can help you identify which students are doing well and which ones are struggling with number order. Being able to cut, move around and place the numbers in order helps the child to solidify the learning of this concept. This child is able to put numbers in order and to stop at a number given when coloring letting me know that they understand the concept and are ready for the next level of number sense. With these next two worksheets you can see that these 2 students are on 2 different levels. One choose to count and color each graphic letting me know that they did in fact count and can distinguish between one object and a group of them. on the other papaer you can see that while this child may have counted they chose to color straight through the whole group of objects, this can be attributed to laziness on the childs part or they cannot distinguish between each graphic which would indicate the inability to count one at a time if the answers are wrong or a possible visual problem. Identifying small groups without counting, counting manipulatives to match a number card, putting number cards in order, reading the room for numbers/number words and identifying numbers before and after are all critical thinking skills for success in math. The inability to identify numbers and sets quickly can seriously inhibit learning in math later in education. In the classroom if a teacher asks what 3-1 is and you do not know that subrtacting 1 results in the number before 3 then you are stuck counting and working while the rest of the class has moved on. This skill for adding and subtracting is crucial for learning more advanced math skills and for keeping up in the classroom. This skill needs to be so automatic that only a second is needed to solve and move on. We can also not dismiss the importnce of patterns, graphing, size/shape and attribute comparisons, basic fractions and number identification without counting. In order for a child to have sucess in math throughout their education they need all of these skills plus the essentials that come with each grade. It is imperative that those of us teaching 4-5 year olds help to solidify as much of these skills as possible before our children move on. These worksheets and number sense activities can be found in various units I have created for TpT and TN. These worksheets in particular are from my Interactive Worksheet Bundle, use the following links to go directly to them: Interactive Worksheet Bundle Teachers Pay Teachers Interactive Worksheet Bundle Teachers Notebook For 10 frames and other number sense learning check out each of my themed units to get exactly what you are looking for. I hope this post helps us as teachers and parents understand that the understanding of numbers is just as important as reading. Till next time, Christine

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Thank You freebie! Turkey ABC uppercase and lowercase letter match with recording sheets!

It is almost that time of year again when we are reminded to give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. My followers, you, are certainly friends to be thankful for. Thinking about all of my blessings this past weekend at my brothers wedding amongst some of the most gorgeous fall scenery I was inspired to create a little something special for all of you. This center includes uppercase and lowercase full color turkeys for matching and letter recognition with three differentiated recording sheets. One blank to write both letters, one for recording uppercase letters and one for recording lowercase letters. I hope you enjoy using this center and thank you for being you, teachers who inspire children to learn everyday! Turkey ABC Matching Cneter Freebie!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

TPT FLASH SALE FB100K!

TPT hit 100K likes on facebook and is offering a 10% DISCOUNT ON EVERYTHING! They have not said how long it will last so I put my store on sale for 20% off for today and tomorrow to give you some awesome deals! Don't forget to plug in the code at checkout FB100K for your extra savings! Use the following link to go straigh to my store! MY TPT STORE

Fall worksheet mega bundle and a new FREEBIE!

Hello All, With fall in full swing and parent teacher conferences on Monday I have not had much time to create or blog however for all of my loyal followers I have decided to make it up to you buy bundling all of my fall worksheets at a discount and adding a 5 worksheet freebie to my store! My kiddos have been enjoying my newest sets of worksheets that are all interactive and keep their attention. I have taken out all of the centers and other printables in order to give you an entire unit of useable worksheets with 22 exclusive worksheets for free. You will not find these 22 new worksheets in any of my other units, they are only in the bundle.All of the worksheets are interactive withmore than one way of learning on the page. The students have really enjoyed all of the cutting/gluing, counting, coloring the correct number, matching the correct letter etc. These have been working so well in my reading group rotations. I have hardly been interrupted and this early in the school year that is impressive with 4 year olds. Here are a few pictures of my kiddos enjoying some of these worksheets.
Click this link to go directly to the mega bundle: FALL INTERACTIVE WORKSHEET BUNDLE Click this link to go directly to the 5 worksheet freebie that will give you a good idea of what is included in the mega bundle: INTERACTIVE MEGA BUNDLE FREEBIE I am realy enjoying seeing all of the hands on lerning that is taking place and the foundational skills these worksheets are helping to solidify. We all know the old addage, see, hear, do. These are great for the see and do once you give them a lesson. I hope your year is off to a great start! Enjoy, Christine

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Apple Fraction Lesson and other apple happenings in room 2116!

This week has been a whirlwind of fun apple activities. I think my favorite new apple activity is the apple fraction stamping we did on Tuesday. I sat everyone down at the table and showed them whole, half, fourths and eigths. They were amazed that you could cut and apple like that and put it back together. After each cut I had the children stamp that section on a piece of construction paper where I had written the different fractions. I was amazed at the amount of critical thinking this activity produced. My four year olds had the best questions like, "So if you cut it again what do you get?" and "Why does the apple have a stem and 5 points on the bottom?" Our last stamp was the 5 points at the bottom because it looks cool and reinforces the 5 section "star" in the middle of the apple that holds the seeds. One little one asked me, "Mrs. O'Donnell if the seeds are stuck inside the apple how do we get more apples?" So then we had a talk about planting seeds and how the seeds can grow in the ground even if they are still in the apple. This was a great lesson, here is a picture of the finished stampings. I couldn't take pictures and teach the lesson at the same time so sorry no live action shots this time. I hope you get a chance to try this in your room, it was great learning fun! We also took some time out of our week to make apple donuts, apple pie, have an apple tasting with graphing and drink apple juice. I'm exausted but this is still one of my favorite weeks of the school year! And to end the week with a bang we will make crock pot applesauce for the entire department tomorrow, YUMMY!!! Check out some fun pictures of our week below! Till next time, Christine

Friday, September 13, 2013

Giveaway on Teachers Notebook: Scissor Skills Unit

Hello All, I am holding a short giveaway (9/14-9/16) for my newest unit: Scissor Skills: teacher book, cutting practice+. Please visit the giveaway section at www.teachersnotebook.com to enter and while you are there please check out all of the new items in my store! Check out the following pictures to see a sampling of what is in my Scissor Skills Unit Thank you for being loyal followers, good luck! Christine