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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, February 27, 2013

Teaching Addition the easy way!

Hello All, I just wanted to share some ideas for teaching addition to the four year olds we all love. I like to start out by using manipulatives for the children to count. Today I used paper hearts because the paper we were working on was left from Valentine's day. As we read through the story problem I had the children circle each number. They then identified the number for me. We counted enough hearts to represent each of the numbers and then counted them all together. Seems simple right? But in the brains of 4 year olds putting two groups together is not always that easy. First,there can be a color divide, getting them to continue past the first color set fluently into the next color set is a challenge. Second, they are used to rote counting without manipulatives in front of them. So to get around these problems I broke my groups up into small groups and placed their papers on a clipboard. We worked together on the rug to get through 2 word problems. After circling the numbers and reading them to me we set out our hearts and began to count, instead of stopping to correct when they stopped at the first set I just pointed to the next heart and said the next number. Then the child was able to go on from there. After we wrote our answer on the page I explained to them that when we are putting groups together we have to count all of the objects not just one group. Then there is writing and reading the number sentence. I used a white board as a visual to help them see what I wanted them to write and where. I drew the boxes on the white board the same as they were on the worksheet. I reminded them to write small so they would have enough room for all of the numbers. As we went through the process of writing the number sentence I showed them how to write the plus sign and the equal sign and then showed them how to read the number sentence. I had each child read me the number senence after to make sure they understood. And that was it, as a follow-up I had a simple addition worksheet with counting manipulatives waiting for them in the next small group rotation. here are 2 examples of how my class did with this activity. The one in orange is from one of my middle of the road stuents and you can see she had no trouble following along with me. The blue one is from my lowest student who has low muscle tone, she understands the concepts but I still need to write the numbers for her in yellow for her to trace because her hands are so weak. They did so well on this that I knew they were beginning to understand the true process of addition. Best of luck with your cuties, they can do it! (the worksheet came in a TpT packet and is copyrighted by The Teacher Wife) Till next time! Christine

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Rules of engagement! 10 essentials to engaging the 4 year old mind.

Have you ever looked through your curriculum and thought an activity would be great for learning but really boring? Sometimes I wonder who is thinking some of this stuff up? For instance I had an activity to do today to teach positional words where the children were supposed to use a plastic cup and a bottle cap to show me they understood my directions. I just couldn't do it! How boring to sit on the carpet and move around a bottle cap so........I changed it! I happen to have a class set of small bug jars and plastic spiders. Well, my kiddos know I am totally afraid of spiders so I told them that at the end of the activity they could "attack" me with the spiders. This made the boys especially happy! The class loved using their bug jars and spiders to complete the same objective. Here are some other ideas to help engage 4 year old minds with fun in mind: (1)Add a song: the best songs for learning involve movement and are ideally written on large chart paper for tracking while singing. (2) Get moving: During every lesson include a time for movement whether the movement is a short shake break, stretching session, musical movement or theme movement we all know movement of any kind helps the brain to learn. (3)Make lessons short, sweet and to the point: Don't talk around the subject, get right to it, engage the kiddos from the first minute, even better in the first 20 seconds and you will have their attention for 5-10 minutes. (4) Add props with interest: Think of items you can use to teach that your class will like, my kiddos are totally into legos this year so I use them in every activity I can to help keep them on task.(5) Switch it up: Don't overuse your props, think of new items from your kitchen, your schools supply closet or the dollar store. You would be amazed at how engaged a group of 4 year olds can be with the right props.(6) Wear a costume: Wear a hat that goes with your lesson, put on a white coat for Dentists and Doctors, wear funny sock for St. patrick's day. Anything that will spark their interest in the subject you are working on.(7) Invite a secret guest reader: Ask a parent or administrator to come read to the class, give your students hints throughout the week of who this person is. My classes favorite so far this year was my mother whom they had never met but embraced with the love only small children can show. It is really the novelty of it that sparks their interest.(8)Read, Read, Read: Find funny, serious, silly and non-fiction books to go with your theme. Exposing children to literature in different genres helps each child to learn in the way that is best for them. (9) Be goofy: Make your lessons light hearted, tell a joke, sing a silly song. Four year olds love being silly and they find my silliness to be some of the most fun of our day.(10)Show your love: Most importantly make sure every child in your class feels loved equally. You cannot engage a child in learning without showing them love. Till next time, Christine

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Do you love Read the Room?

I have to admit I love Read the Room! This activity is so popular in my classroom, my kiddos beg me for it every week! I love it because it allows children to move and experience writing in different positions. I especially love what my children are learning through this activity: (1)Visual Discrimination: Having to find each card and match the picture on the card to the picture on the recording sheet then write the word on the correct line. (2) Letter/Sound Recognition: Associating the letters and sounds in each word associated with a picture.(3)Handwriting Practice: Writing each letter on a line, practicing proper strokes and letter formation. (4)Self-Control: Being able to move around the room as instructed completing the activity without getting out of control.(5)Vocabulary: Identifying the common objects that go with your teaching. When I realized this week that I had 26 different sets of Read the Room I thought it was time to share! So, I have placed all 26 sets in one mega pack with 189 pages for your class to enjoy throughout the year! Click on the link to find it on TpT: Read the Room Mega Pack If you have never enjoyed read the room in your classroom it is simple: Hang the vocabulary cards around the room. Give each child a recording sheet for the given cards on a clip board or a hardback book. Have the children roam the room quiety recording the words for the pictures. So simple yet so much learning going on, I love it! (Bloggers picture uploader does not seem to be working, pictures to come once it is fixed!) Enjoy, Christine

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Huge TpT Super Bowl Sale!

Hello All, I am joining in on the huge TpT Super bowl sale! Every item in my store is 28% off! 20% from me and the extra 8% from TpT. This is the cheapest way to get great learning resources for your classroom! I hope you will take a minute to explore all of the items in my store so you can take advantage of the sale. I know today is the day I am buying everything in my wishlist! Click this link to go directly to my store: Christine's TPT Store Till next time, Christine