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Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

Capital L crocheted

Letter of the Week

Last week was a very busy one for me, both in preschool and in “real” life.  At home I had three different people have a stomach virus at different times (including me) and my oldest broken her arm roller skating.  Because of the craziness at home I did not get to post my favorite activities of the week in preschool.  So now I have a little time to breathe and am ready to share, including my first preschool printable.

Lion shapes craft for preschool

Lion craft using BW version and printing on construction paper

During chapel last week the story was Daniel in the Lion’s Den, so I wanted to make some type of lion craft to go with it.  Since I only have my students three mornings a week I try to combine skills whenever possible, so I combined the Bible story with the shapes theme for this craft.  I made two printables for this activity.  One is made in color so you can just print it out and then cut.  The other is in black and white so that you can print it on color paper.  I printed mine on construction paper.  The black and white version has several triangles to choose from for the nose; I am still perfecting my triangle drawing capabilities in GIMP and was not quite satisfied with several of them.  My students liked being able to choose a triangle for themselves.

Color Lion Printable  part one   part two

Black and White Lion Printable  part one   part two

During centers time we used some roads in shape form from Making Learning Fun.  I printed out the four main shapes we were learning and laminated them.

Source: makinglearningfun.com via Laura on Pinterest

Through Pinterest I also discovered a printable story retelling set for Mouse Shapes, which I somehow ended up with two copies of from the local library after searching fruitlessly through two book stores. We also sang several shapes songs, including ones that were posted on my walls.

 

 

For our letter of the week, I brought in the crocheted letters that I made, taught them the ASL sign for the letters, and wrote the letter on our white boards. We have a few worksheets that our school gives us to use and then I discovered a few things to use on my own. I read aloud (with a refrain for the students) a poem, “Little Lovely Lambs” which I found through Scholastic. We also used a couple of activities from Raising Rock Stars Preschool, including the minibook and words that begin with L sheet.

 

 

I know there is plenty more that I jammed into the week, including sponge painting with our four main shapes, a sensory bin of pasta and the shape blocks I found on clearance at the Target Dollar Spot, and our alphabet exercise cards. For more ideas for shapes, please check out my Colors and Shapes board on Pinterest. Many alphabet ideas can be found on my Alphabet Pinterest board as well.

 

If you download my lion craft, please let me know.  I would also love to see your creations with it.  Also, if you are interested in the crocheted letters, let me know or check out my crochet patterns page for more information.  I sell both the patterns and the finished product.

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Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

We started our week with Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and illustrated by Eric Carle.  I shared two versions of the story, the one pictured and an older version with a mother instead of a teacher and different illustrations.  I found clipart from Kidsparkz to make into magnet to put up on the easel while telling the story.  I had made this set before realizing my easel at school was NOT magnetic, so I had to bring in my kids’ easel to use for this week.  I also had a matching puzzle set available during centers time to match heads and tails as well as to put the story in order.  Another Brown Bear center was a roll and color sheet from Making Learning Fun.

Centers time also included a fishing for colored fish game.  I made the fish with my Cricut and laminated them before attaching a paper clip to each.  Students had to name the color as they caught the fish.  We also used the colored pasta bin from last week and sorted pasta by color.

Freight Train

Another book we read this week was Freight Train by Donald Crews.  I printed out color cards and hid them around the room, giving my students the instructions to find six cards.  Once they found six, they had to put each card on the construction paper train car that was the same color.  I noticed that a few kids had problems with a couple cards, so made a note of that to make sure I review colors especially with those students in the coming weeks.

Mouse Paint

Our main book for Friday was Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  I also found a set of printables from Kizclub to make into magnets for retelling this story.  After reading the story and using the magnets, we used a printable from Confessions of a Homeschooler to work on mixing paint colors.  We first painted the red mouse with a paintbrush that had a red handle.  Once finished, I took the red handled brushes and handed out yellow ones and yellow paint to paint the yellow mouse.  Then I took those and handed out orange brushes but no paint, asking the students how we could get orange paint.  We then mixed the yellow and red to make orange.  We continued in this pattern without too many mice getting painted the wrong color or too many colors mixed together that should not have been.  Once finished with the mice I gave them each a sheet of blank paper to paint as they pleased and to mix the rest of their paint to experiment.

During the whole week we worked on making a Colors book.  The book was the size of half a sheet of construction paper, with a different color for each page.  Students glued on the appropriate color word (printed in the color it said) as well as an object that color.  For example, the red item was an apple, blue was a butterfly, and so forth.  This involved matching colors, practice in using glue sticks, cutting skills (cutting out the items), and allowed me to see if the students recognized whether they were gluing their words on right side up or upside down.

There were several other interesting color ideas that I just did not have time to do that you can check out on my Colors and Shapes Pinterest board.  If you check that out, you will also get a peek at some of the ideas I have in mind for next week’s Shapes theme.  We will also be working with the Letter L and Number 1.

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A peak at my students' Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree craft

The first week of preschool has come and gone.  I am quite pleased with how it went, although I feel bad that one of my students was sick all week and unable to come.  Hopefully I will have all of my students this week.  I thought I would share the favorite activities that I discovered online (and especially through Pinterest.)

I decided to use the Making Smart Choices at School book that I found through Pinterest on the first day of school.  We did the pocket chart cards by just taping them on my easel since I don’t have a pocket chart other than my calendar right now.  Later in the day the kids glued the smaller version onto a sheet to take home, which made for a good way to talk about how to use glue sticks.

For centers this week I dyed pasta (some that I had gotten a great deal on with coupons but did not care for when cooked.)  You can find some information about pasta coloring here.  I hid the letters from an alphabet puzzle in the bin with the pasta for the students to find and finish the puzzle.  This gave me a good idea of how familiar my students are with puzzles and the alphabet as I observed their strategies for completing the activity.  A second center involved cut up pool noodles that were strung onto clothesline.  On the final day of this center we even tried doing AB patterns and most kids were very successful with the pattern, which was awesome.  Another center involved cutting strips of paper between the stickers.  It was interesting to see which kids would want to just cut and cut and cut in this center.  It also helped me see which kids would need some more instruction on holding scissors, especially when I challenged them on the last day of the week with a bigger sheet of paper instead of strips.

One of our books for this past week was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  We read the big book twice, made a special snack with graham crackers, apple slices, and Scrabble Cheez its,  and did a craft similar to this one.  For our snack, I gave the kids two apple slices, one long piece of graham cracker (4 crackers), and a handful of Cheez its.  We did not use anything for coconuts for our snack.

I will attempt to get some photos of my classroom and the centers to add to this post tomorrow.  Somehow even though I brought the camera two of three days I only remembered to grab a shot of my bulletin board and my students to add to the bulletin board.

This week our theme is Colors.  What are your preschoolers doing this week?

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Preschool Train theme bulletin board

All Aboard The Preschool Express

Preschool finally started this week.  Last week seemed to be never ending with many hours spent in my classroom and at home in the evenings trying to get everything prepared.  I thought I had a plan for my bulletin board, but then I went to my first meeting of the year and saw two other teachers had already put up a bulletin board with that theme, so I had to start from scratch.  I spent some time wandering through Pinterest and then searching through Google and found a couple ideas to inspire me.  Not sure what I searched on Google, but I did pin them here:  All Aboard! and Kindergarten Express.

To make the board I used a standard size piece of construction paper for each train car.  I used one of my older daughter’s craft toys to cut a 4 by 4 inch window in each sheet.  The teaching assistant was kind enough to cut the circles from the Ellison die cut tool.  I cut a triangle to make the cattle pusher on the front.  I took photos of my students today and Monday to put in each of the train car windows.  At first I planned to have a photo of myself as the train engineer, but then I gained another student, so now one of my student’s photos is in black car.  (Yes, I only have six students, but I have a tiny room, no windows, and a “floating assistant” to balance out the small number of students.)

I had some fun making letters from other letters since I did not have enough L or H cut out letters in the pack to make my whole title.  I used a border with colors on it since we are reviewing colors next week and this bulletin board will be up then as well.  We also plan to read Freight Train next week as well, which will go well with the train themed board.  I kind of wish there were train tracks on the board, but sometimes time gets away from you and you just go with the general theme.  No one has mentioned the lack of tracks or the unlikely grade for the train yet, so no worries.

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On Saturday I did a quick run to the used book store because one of the books I wanted to use for preschool this week was not available at the library and I did not currently have a copy of it. Unfortunately, I still did not get a copy of that book, but I did find some other great deals. Our local used book store is McKays. In general I utilize the library and used book store for most of my reading.

In the kid’s section I found a Magic Tree House Research Guide Mummies and Pyramids.
I thought the girls would enjoy this since we just finished reading aloud The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder. My youngest snatched it right up when I returned home yesterday.

For my preschool class I discovered DK Eyewitness Explorers Seashore and Commotion in the Ocean. The Eyewitness book has lots of nice clear photos to share with the class while the Commotion book is filled with cute poems about different types of sea life. The Commotion book is more about fun than relaying too much information. Along with the books I already have, I think I have an abundance of books to share this week with my class.

For myself, I was very fortunate to find a book in the free book bin out front. It is a devotional, called Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman and editied by James Reimann. I read a devotional from our church each evening, so I am hoping to add this one in at the beginning of each day.

Have you had luck lately at your local used book store?

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crochet numbers one, two and five

crochet numbers sneak peak photo

As I planned, I worked on some crocheted number patterns during my Easter break from teaching preschool. A few customers have asked about these in the past and I finally felt like I had the time to squeeze in some pattern writing. I am sharing a sneak peak at the numbers that are ready to be tested. I have sent off the number one pattern, typed up the two, and have the five hand written.
Another angle of my new crocheted numbers
I did work on the three, but am unsure whether I like the looks of it, even though it is the same font as my letters and these numbers. I think I will try checking out threes in different fonts to see if I like one of them better before making a final decision about it. I also did not make my first three with the same brand of worsted weight acrylic. That made it just slightly smaller than these, which certainly would not work if I want to photograph them together.

Crocheted numbers one, two and five


Stay tuned for more number patterns coming soon. I hope to get through the set and get them all tested soon so that I may offer them in my ArtFire Studio. I also want to use my sample set in my preschool classroom while reviewing numbers during the last month of school.

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Since this is my first year teaching preschool I have been very busy each month gathering materials for the different themes for each week. Being on a tight budget makes me utilize the internet quite a bit. As I have gotten more familiar with a few sites maintained by teachers, I have grown to check the same few sites each time I need something new for the next theme. I know I will find something useful on these sites and I don’t have to worry about getting trapped on a malicious site while searching on a search engine. (Although with Linux the most that usually happens is that I have to close everything up and start over.)

For this post I would like to share some of the interesting printables I have used so far on Making Learning Fun.

Just this evening, while waiting for my daughter outside of her ballet class, I was cutting out some dinosaur themed patterning activities from this site. I will put contact paper on these and use them with either clothes pins or with some large colorful plastic paper clips I picked up on clearance at Staples.

Another great find on this site are the calendar numbers. My school provided me with a hanging pocket chart calendar with the same numbers to use all year. I prefer to utilize the calendar to work on patterns, so it has been great to find some different themed calendar numbers here. I have used the dental themed ones, Native Americans and turkeys, and the Nativity one for December.

If you are still looking for some Valentine ideas, there are quite a few to be found at Making Learning Fun as well. I printed out the Conversation Heart Count for my kids to try. We have not had time to use it yet this week, but hopefully Friday will allow some time as we finish up making a few crafts.

I hope to share a few more of my favorite preschool sites over the next few weeks. In the meantime, please check out the preschool links on the right sidebar.

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