Bird Theme Centers in PreK and a Giveaway

BirdsandFeathers

For our centers time in PreK for a birds theme, we worked our muscles in our fingers in many ways.  I created birds from clothes pins to be Momma and Papa bird.  I tried glue dots for the feathers, but hot glue definitely works better and I repaired them with hot glue.  Students grabbed pipe cleaner worms and fed them to the baby birds, which are large pom poms with google eyes and beaks glued on them.  I found similar ideas that inspired mine here and here.

We also placed beads on the matching color feathers for more fine motor practice.  Just a warning–be sure that the beads will fit on the feathers.  Our blue feather had quite a thick quill, which made it a bit difficult to get started for some students.  We used goose feathers (aff. link) for this center.  This center idea came from ChildCareLand.

BirdsBugsPlayDough

We share some of our supplies in our preschool, so the bug play dough tools came to my class this week instead of during bug week.  My students enjoyed pressing these down into their play dough.  I also had several play dough mats, including some from  1+1+1=1 .  The bug dough tools are from Lakeshore and are called 3D dough stampers.

CuttingPatternBlocks

To prepare for our build a bird craft you saw in my last post I had a bunch of bird wings for students to cut out during the week in a few colors, including white so they could color them if they wished.

I also found several bird themed pattern block pages to put out on the table.  This site has a bunch, just be sure to always print actual size and NOT to fit so that your blocks will fit on the page.  I made that mistake a couple times in the past and could not figure out what I was doing wrong.

And now for my giveaway.  Since this is Teacher Appreciation Week, I will be doing a giveaway for a $10 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers.  Giveaway starts at midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning.  Winner will be announced Wednesday morning so that you can use your card during the sale.  Be sure to use the code THANKYOU18 when doing purchases during the sale on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Even if you don’t win the giveaway you can get great deals, especially on bundles, which will be an extra 25% off.

The bundles I use every week in my classroom include these:

Question of the Day Bundle

Alphabet Bundle

Calendar Cards Bundle

And here is the giveaway!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Bird Arts and Crafts in PreK

FeatherPainting

For our bird theme week we managed to create three completely different art or craft projects with my PreK students.  I enjoyed how they all turned out so our hallway is filled with bird themed projects.

Our first project involved painting with feathers. (aff. link)  I gave students blue and yellow feathers that they could dip in the same color paint to paint the paper.  I also provided pipe cleaner (aff. link) bird feet to dip in orange paint.  Students could use all or just one of the choices to create their artwork.

I found the idea for the pipe cleaner bird feet on Fun-a-Day.  They used the idea for turkey tracks.

HatchingEggCraft

In more of a craft vein, we created our hatching egg birds.  Someone donated hundreds of already cut out egg shapes made of a thick textured paper.  I drew a jagged line for students to practice their cutting skills first.  They also painted a circle and triangle yellow to be the head and body of the baby bird.  This project was inspired by Young School Art.

The next day I had the students put the craft together.  They cut tissue paper to make the grass.  Some students made a fringe and others cut the tissue paper into strips.  I enjoyed how the students placed the feathers and the top of the egg to make the birds have some personality.

ShapeBirds

Since we had a center to create insects and bugs recently, we took the idea to adapt for birds.  I could tell that my students were thinking much more about how to create their bird after having the practice with bugs recently.

The wings for this project came from a center we had during the week for cutting practice.  Several students enjoy cutting so there were plenty of wings to use for this project.

Coming up next I will share some of the centers we explored during our bird theme week.

Since it is Teacher Appreciation Week, there will be a sale on Teachers Pay Teachers on May 8 and 9, 2018.  My store will be 25% off with the code THANKYOU18.  You can head over to my shop and find some goodies.  Now is a good time to purchase some bundles for the fall or to use as review at the end of the year.  Below are a few bundles I use all year long in my classroom that will be awesome deals during the sale.

Question of the Day Bundle

Alphabet Bundle

Calendar Cards Bundle

 

 

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Even More Bugs, Insects, and Spider Activities for PreK

BuildABug

One very popular center during Bugs, Spiders, and Insects week was the Build a Bug Center.  I gathered a bunch of shapes on a tray, along with glue sticks.  I had construction paper available for students to create a bug.  I also made scissors available in case a student wanted to cut any of the shapes before gluing.  One student created four different bug art pieces at this center during the week.  I quickly filled up my bulletin board.  You can see the first batch below.  The last set (which somehow escaped my camera) looked increasingly like specific insects as we discussed more about them as we went through the week.

BuildABugResults

This bug building center was inspired by What We Can Do With Paper And Glue.

BugObservation

In our science center we continued to observe our caterpillars as they each turned into a chrysalis.  We also did some observation of these insects from a Lakeshore set called Real Bugs Discovery Kit. (aff. link)  Some students also completed the Bug Observation Form that I printed from Sparklebox.  Several kids asked me if those were real bugs.

CaterpillarCraft

We created a several day craft to walk through the steps a caterpillar takes to become a butterfly.  You can see our caterpillars above.  I gave the students each a clothespin and a bin full of pom poms along with liquid glue.  They chose the colors they wanted and glued the pom poms on the clothespins.  I helped put the eyes on this time.

The next day we wrapped yarn around a cardboard tube to create the chrysalis.  We put the caterpillar in the chrysalis and then used markers to color a coffee filter, which we then sprayed with water.  Finally, when dry, we had the caterpillar grab its wings and emerge from its chrysalis.  They are currently hanging all around the room with the butterflies clipped to their chrysalis as if they just emerged.

LadybugRhyming

We played a small group rhyming game with a ladybug theme during our bug week.  I placed half the ladybugs in the grass, which is a drying rack for baby items that I picked up as a special buy at Aldi.  I found a very similar one on Amazon. (aff. link)  My students each received a few ladybugs and then took turns choosing a ladybug from the grass.  They then all looked at their ladybugs to figure out which person had the ladybug that rhymed to make a match.  You can find these ladybug rhyming cards on TPT.

BeehiveDramaticPlay

Our dramatic play for our insect them was BeeKeeping.  I utilized some pieces that one of my coworkers had put together last year along with some printables from this Honey Bees Dramatic Play set.  I always want labels for everything in my dramatic play because it helps with literacy development as well as clean up.   The beehive above is a file box. (aff. link)

InsideBeehive

Inside the beehive there are hanging file folders that are covered with artwork of beehives and some with painted bubble wrap.  The artwork helps the students fill out the checklist that is also part of this set, so students need to look carefully at each part of the hive to check for danger.

BeehiveInspection

I laminate my inspection sheet and have a dry erase marker and eraser available at the center for students to complete.

Beekeeper

To be a beekeeper we needed gloves, a hat with netting, a smoker, and some tools to gather the honey.  Next year I will probably add some kind of white shirt to be the beekeeper’s clothing.

BeeGarden

You cannot have bees without some flowers for them to gather nectar from, so I pulled out this set for students to water.  They also had fun taking them apart and putting them back together in various ways.  This set was found at Toysrus and was called the Mix and Match Flower Garden.  A similar set that does not have the base can be found here. (aff. link)  I actually have it as well as use it during our gardening unit.

BeeBook

For checking out more about bees in our pretend play area, I have this book.  It is called Honeybees, An Amazing Insect Discovery Book.  This book has some great photos for students to look at while in the pretend play area.

 

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Bugs, Insects, and Spiders in PreK

InsectQuestion

We started our Bugs, Insects, and Spiders week with a question of the day that would go along with our dramatic play area.  I love the photo of the kids in the beekeeping suits in this question.  This question is part of my Spring Question of the Day set.

InsectPatternBlocks

Pattern blocks are inviting when on the easel with sticky paper.  The pattern blocks are made of foam.  I used painters tape to put up clear contact paper over the insect theme pattern blocks that I printed out from PreKinders.  You can find pattern blocks from Teacher Created Resources. (aff. link)  We often use Contact brand liner (aff. link) for these projects, but have also used Duck brand (aff. link) as well.  Since this side of my easel does not have a tray, I use a large clip to hold a container for the foam pattern blocks.

ABCMagnet

The other side of the easel has some alphabet review for my students.  The Alphabet Beginning Sounds Match is from my shop.  I like having a handful of letters for my students to review, instead of the entire alphabet.

ABCMagnets2

I used both capital and lowercase alphabet magnets for this center.  This set of alphabet magnets can be found here. (aff. link)  I am liking this set of alphabet magnets, although the lowercase t does have the curve at the bottom.

InsectLacing

During our Bug, Insect, and Spider week we did a couple sewing projects.  This center got a bunch more use out of it after we created a spider web with a paper plate as one of our craft projects.  I had a difficult time finding a source for these.  I would not suggest buying them at this price, but wanted to share more branding information in case you could find them somewhere else.

Cootie

How can you  have Bug, Insect, and Spider week without Cootie? (aff. link)  My set has one missing leg, but none of the kids seemed to notice this year.  Putting the legs on is probably the biggest challenge for preschoolers since the legs look like they should go on one way, but really go in on more of an angle.

InsectMeasurement

We used some linking cubes to measure some insects this week, thanks to this great freebie.  Most of my students did not bother with filling out the form, but a few tried it.  They did enjoy measuring how big each insect was.  You could use a variety of non-standard measuring tools for these critters; we used linking cubes similar to these. (aff. link)

InsectSensory

My sensory bin was filled with shell, rotini, and bow tie pasta to represent the stages of a butterfly.  I also picked up some bug catchers, small nets, and tweezers from Dollar Tree.  The nets try to slide off the plastic handle, so I will probably glue the plastic handle shut for next year.  I also have some plastic bugs from Melissa & Doug to catch.  They look similar to these (aff. link), which may be the updated version since I have had these for several years.  Some friends captured bugs while others used the bug catchers to sort pasta.

My next post will share some more of my buggy week with a look at our bee keeper dramatic play that I was fortunate to have a bunch of help creating from both a coworker and a great set online that I purchased.

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Pond Life in PreK

QuestionoftheDay

We start each day with our Question of the Day, so Pond Life week started with questions about turtles, frogs, and dragonflies from my Animals set.  I like having questions with photos, especially for students who may not have seen any of these creatures in real life.

FeedTheFrog

On our fine motor and math table we played Feed the Frog with black pom pom flies.  I found the trash can at the local Dollar Tree, but they do not currently have them in stock.  I have seen other versions that use a parmesan container as well.  I would like to get some plastic flies (aff. link) to go with this game.  I had students roll the die to see how many flies to feed the frog with the tool.

PathGame

I made a spinner for this path game so there would not be competing dice on the same table.  Students move their frog along the lily pad path to the finish.  These frogs (aff. link) look like the set I have used in several places in my classroom, including this game.  I also used the frogs in my sensory bin with water and pony bead and pipe cleaner tadpoles with green foam lily pads.

turtlelettersound

I used these ABC Turtles from maketaketeach, along with letter tiles for some work on letter sounds.  This is a center that mostly required some assistance from myself or my assistant to at least get them started with the activity since many know their letters, but are still working on letter sounds.

WordBuilding

For the Pond word building students had to be able to match up lowercase and capital letters.  You can find the cards for this at A Teaching Mommy, along with several other printables for this theme.  I try to have my students sometimes match lowercase to lowercase and sometimes capital to lowercase or lowercase to capital letters when we use the letter tiles.

writingcenter

My writing center had a die with letters on it to practice writing on this sheet from PreKinders.  However, a couple girls ended up doing the heart grid above during their time at this center.  I promised to take a photo of it for one of the girls.

ScienceCenter

We are watching our caterpillars grow, so they are on the science table, along with frog life cycle stamps, some Pond Life words and some magnifying lenses.  Pond Life words were found at Sparklebox.  This is a UK website, so be sure to check wording and spelling for printables there.

PondPuzzles

I put out our Pond Life puzzles for my students to work on the large rug.  These are challenging puzzles, with no picture underneath, so are good for this time of the year.  The puzzles are say Excellerations by Discount School Supply on them, but I cannot find them anywhere online to share a link.

Calendar

I could have used my frog themed calendar this month as well, but chose to use the insects set instead since I really like all these cute insects in this set.  We are also growing our caterpillars into butterflies as well as doing an insect theme this month.  If you really have a hard time deciding which calendar numbers to use each month, please check out my bundle.

During story time we used several pond animal themed books.  There are affiliate links to them below so that you can get a closer look at them by clicking on the book covers.

This version of Five Little Ducks is a board book with cut outs.  I usually use this one during farm week and read the next one during ponds week.

The illustrations by Ivan Bates in this version of Five Little Ducks are really cute.  I like how each duckling has something to give its mother when they return.

Jump! is one of those chain stories.  Each animal jumps because of a larger animal.  The version I have also has Spanish in it.

Frog and Toad stories are fun to share at this time of year because students are better at longer stories.  They also enjoy hearing stories that involve characters they know.

It’s Mine! by Leo Lionni is all about some frogs that are selfish and how they learn not to be.  I channel my inner three year old to read the lines of the selfish frogs.

This one has some great photos of frogs without filling the page with too many words for a preschooler to handle.

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Dental Health Books and Circle Time Activities for PreK

I was gathering my dental health materials for our second week of healthy habits when I realized I might need a few more activities to round out the week.  When I get ready to plan a theme in my preschool classroom I try to divide up my plans into different areas to make sure I am covering everything I need to as I plan.  I try to gather my books and circle time activities together to make sure I have plenty for each day of the week.  Here are some of the dental health books and poems that I plan to use.

Dr. De Soto is a book that I think originally belonged to one of my own children before I started teaching preschoolers.  I enjoy being able to read longer books that have a story that my students really need to follow along with as I read.  I enjoy asking my students whether they think Dr. De Soto should treat the fox, what might happen if he does, and how will he keep from getting eaten in the process.

Many of my students have seen Little Bear episodes on television or on another electronic device, so Little Bear’s Loose Tooth might be familiar to some of my students.  We often talk about whether any of them have known anyone with a loose tooth.  Often there are older siblings to talk about.  We can also take guesses as we read whether each attempt at getting the tooth out will work.

Why Do I Brush My Teeth? is a nonfiction book with color photos and suggested activities on each page.  At least one of these suggested activities we will be doing this week with an egg and vinegar.  I also plan on having a few mirrors to pass around while I share this book, as well as having one with the book in my library area.

I Know Why I Brush My Teeth is a bit longer than the other books.  It is told as a story with a mother explaining to her son about teeth when he discovers a loose tooth.  There are lots of details in this book about tooth brushing, fluoride, foods to eat, visits to the dentist, cavities, and parts of teeth.  Some years I can read the entire book and other years I just read portions, depending upon the type of group of students I have.

I also make sure I share songs during the week that go along with our theme as well.  Here are links to a few that are easy to sing (love those piggy back songs to familiar tunes):

Brush Your Teeth (to Row, Row, Row Your Boat)

Brushing (to Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)

I’ve Been Brushing (to I’ve Been Working on the Railroad) There are actually a bunch of songs here, just make sure they will work for you with the tune they suggest.  Sometimes I know it is just my lack of musical talent, but sometimes there is a word left out or something that just makes the words not quite work with the tune given.

Insect themed calendar set with three sets of cards for three pattern choices. Also has month headers, days of week, and seasons.
Insect theme calendar set

Since it is a new month I have just switched out my calendar numbers.  I did not go with a dental theme since the rest of our month will deal with spring type themes.  I decided I needed to use these great insects.  I discovered I had to laminate the last week’s worth last night because somehow I had managed to fit all the other numbers into little spaces during the year when I was laminating other stuff, but not 24-30.

questionofthedayteeth

I also plan to use my Question of the Day for healthy habits during circle time.  One student has the job for the week of tallying our responses and then we figure out which answer has the most and which has the least responses.   Healthy habits questions are in this Question of the Day set or you can find them in the bundle.

Do you have any favorites for circle time that involve dental health?

 

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Easter Centers in PreK

EasterMathCenter1

I have a few Easter centers that get used every year because I know my students will enjoy them.  The basket of eggs from Dollar Tree, along with the egg grabber that I picked up somewhere along the way, keep my students busy counting throughout the week.  If you don’t have a Dollar Tree nearby, this set from Amazon looks similar (aff. link).

EasterMathCenter2

We have way too many foam numbers in our craft closet, so I stapled them on small cups for sorting and counting up to 10.  We keep getting alphabet and number foam tubs (aff. link), so I know I have plenty of numbers to create more games.

EasterColorSorting

Another inexpensive and fun center involved more supplies that we usually have plenty of laying around.  Just take a cardboard egg tray and fill it with halves of plastic eggs in various colors.  I added buttons to match with a couple different types of grabbers.  Later in the week I switched out the buttons for pom poms.

SensoryBin

Generally sensory bin photos are the “before” variety that look really adorable.  This is not one of those.  This is the “after” variety, after a day of play.  I filled this with plastic egg pieces that needed to be matched with capital and lowercase letters.  There are also some small baskets, some more glittery eggs, and shredded paper grass.

I highly recommend paper grass (aff. link) over the plastic.  One year I used plastic and the static in the room was ridiculous.  Plastic grass was sticking to the wall and all over the kids playing in it.  I wish I had a photo of it; it was hilarious.

FruitVeggieWords

In addition to Easter we were also starting to discuss healthy habits, so I pulled out the fruit and dairy letter tile cards for my students to build some words.  I decided to use the lowercase cards this time for simple matching.

EasterCardCenter

The best way to get my students busy in the writing center is to have a card writing center.  I found these free card fronts and printed and cut them out.  I also cut and folded some construction paper.  Students glue the message  on the front the card and then write at least the name of the person the card is for and their own name inside.  I have family words and student names available for them.  Many students also drew pictures in the cards.

ResurrectionPuzzle

Due to my jelly beans being too hard to poke toothpicks in, we ended up with this puzzle and some other activities in the science center during the few days we were at school.  For this puzzle I did not cut it all the way up since twenty pieces might be a bit much for some of my students.  I cut some pieces individually and left some with two pieces together.  I had several students call me over to show me that they had completed this puzzle.  You can find this puzzle Christian Preschool Printables.

 

 

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Kites and Wind in PreK

KiteTails

This year we decided to focus on kites and wind in our spring theme week in preschool.  Besides making paper bag kites to fly outside during one of our windy days and blowing paint through straws, we also did several centers with kites, wind, and springtime weather as our theme.  I found the kites shown above at Confessions of a Homeschooler.  I attached chenille stems (affiliate link) to the kites and added pony beads (aff. link) for this activity.  Chenille stems are a bit easier for students to add beads to than yarn.  This was a popular activity.

UmbrellaGridGame

Also on my math and fine motor table was this umbrella grid game from PreKinders.  I added one of my foam dice and some flat blue glass beads (aff links).  I purchased my beads either at the dollar store or with a coupon at a craft store.  For advanced players I would suggest they make a pattern as they play with the different shades of blue.

PaintWithWater

My students really enjoy painting with water on the dark side of my easel, so this time I found directions for drawing a kite and let them try it out with a paint brush.  Sometimes they create the kite, and other time they paint their own ideas.  I am not sure where this direction sheet came from; if anyone has seen it please let me know so I can give proper credit.

RainyDayEasel

For the other side of my easel I chose to put up a felt board and have students play this roll and put together game.  I printed the pieces on milk filters and cut them out to use on the felt board.  The milk filters I linked you to are smaller than the ones I purchased, but I do not see 15 inch ones available currently on Amazon.  I cut them down to fit in the printer as an 8.5 by 11.  After posting this, I finally discovered where I found this game.

rainbowquestion

Managed to take a photo of my question of the day when the early morning sun was hitting it.  Hopefully next time I will remember to photograph it at the end of the school day.  This question comes from my spring set and is also included in my Question of the Day bundle.

rollandwrite

I combined something I had already printed from PreKinders with my new Spring Alphabet Centers cards for my writing center.   I put six of my alphabet cards in the foam pocket die (aff. link).  Students roll the die and write whichever letter comes up until they have filled all the squares.  Students can also play this in pairs and take turns writing.  I switched out the cards during the week to practice different letters.

qtipcolors

Since my students still like qtip painting, I pulled out these printables from 1+1+1=1.  As you can see, one student worked on her patterning while painting.  The students all seemed to want to finish the rainbow at the bottom of the sheet as well.

calendar

I am using the free Spring calendar numbers from my shop this month.  They are also available in my Calendar Bundle.  Be sure to let me know if there are any calendar number themes not included as I would like to add a couple more sets to the bundle.

windexperiment

For one of our science activities I set up a wind experiment with straws and objects from the classroom to blow.  I used an IKEA bin to limit where the items would get blown.  I used straws cut in half and labelled each straw with a student’s name so that we could avoid sharing straws and germs.  The items I used matched up with this free printable.  Most of my students who tried out this center did not necessarily bother with filling out the sheet; if I had an assistant I would probably have the assistant guide students in completing the sheet.

pizzashop

Since our healthy habits theme was coming up soon, I decided to switch to a Pizza Shop for our dramatic play.  We had not had a food related theme in a while.  Printables for this theme came from Pocket of Preschool.  I also followed several of her suggestions for creating pizza toppings.  The pizzas on the bulletin board were created by students.

pizzacustomertable

The toppings are old spice containers with appropriate colored paper shred inside.  I did have to explain to one student that he could not actually shake it out.

pizzatoppings

Keeping the pizza shop toppings put away nicely when finished does require good labelling and containers.  One also needs to model and help in the first day and remind afterwards to have the shop look like this at the end of the day.  There are plenty of times that there are pizza toppings everywhere, but there are also beautifully created pizzas and students using the menu to mark what toppings they would like.  We even had our pastor come in and order a pizza from our students.  They loved it and the look on their faces was priceless when he pretended to leave the room with his pizza.

A new favorite book I discovered relating to kites and wind was Stuck by Oliver Jeffers.  This has the perfect four year old sense of humor in it.  The kite gets stuck in the tree and the kid keeps throwing things in the tree to knock it down.

We also read Curious George Flies a Kite:

What are your favorite books for preschool related to wind and kites?  I am always on the search for more books.

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Favorite Authors Week with Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond Books

bakingsensorybin

For our favorite author week in PreK I chose to use Laura Numeroff and Felicia Bond books.  Since many of them involve baking, we had a baking themed sensory bin.  The base was flour and oatmeal.

closeupbaking

My students loved playing with this bin and used lots of pretend play while working.  The best part was looking over and seeing kids who obviously had touched their faces while playing.  We had several who had to not only wash hands afterwards, but also get a wipe to clean faces.

cookiepuppet1

We do not often make puppets in my class, especially with lots of pre-cut pieces, but since I found this template online and we had our library pretend play up with the puppet show I thought this was the perfect week for a puppet.  You will notice that the puppet above had some whiskers that shifted while drying.

cookiepuppet2

Not sure what the plan was with this puppet’s whiskers, but love the planning for the chocolate chips on the cookie.  Several kids also opened the mouth to draw inside, which was great thinking.

cookiecerealcounting

I was lucky to find cookie cereal at Aldi that was allergen free for my class, so we were even able to have a cookie snack at the end of the week.  We used the cookie cereal with this ten frame match up that you can find free from KidSparkz.  There are a few other activities also available with the set.

spincookie

We also played this spin and cover game with our Aldi cookies.  This one seemed to work okay with the spinner being attached to the game, although I usually prefer them to be separate since my preschoolers sometimes make all the pieces go everywhere when spinning.

IMG_0964

During most years my students really enjoy dice games and dot markers, so combining the two usually means I need to make more copies before the end of the week.  This Mouse Cookie game is from Royal Baloo.

milkandcookie

We also had some letter and sound review with this cookie and milk matching game.  The linking shapes we used were a bit finicky, so my director and I both are thinking of adding a set like these to our wish list to purchase.  If you know of a great brand, please let me know.

storysequencing

After I shared If You Give A Pig A Pancake, I put out this story sequencing activity.  I put velcro on it as well as laminating it instead of having it be a cut and paste activity to make it more age appropriate for my student’s abilities.  They enjoyed following the story in the book and placing the pictures on in the circles.

letterwatercolor

I try to switch up how we work with our letter books each week.   This time around I decided to have them use watercolors at a center throughout the week so that we could cut them up and put them in our letter books on Friday.  My letter books are in my Alphabet Bundle, or you can get the Letter J books separately to try them out.

palmsundaypathgameeasel

Our Bible lesson this week was Jesus riding into Jerusalem.  I decided to put this path game on the easel and use alphabet magnets that match my student’s names as their game pieces.

gears

My science table this week was filled with this Learning Resources gear set.  My students enjoyed exploring this set throughout the week.  Since we had not used it this year I just put it out for exploration, with no specific instruction or requirements.  I did answer questions if students asked.

Some of the stories we read for our author week:

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A Few Nursery Rhyme Activities in PreK

 

A Rather Tall Wall for Humpty Dumpty
A Rather Tall Wall for Humpty Dumpty

We have been having literacy themed studies in our early learning center lately, including a study of nursery rhymes.  Above you can see one of the science based activities that went along with Humpty Dumpty.  My students were given some blocks, a Humpty Dumpty Easter egg with some washers inside to make him magnetic, and a magnet.  They built walls, put Humpty Dumpty on the wall, and then tried to make him walk along the wall with the magnet without falling.

Another Humpty Dumpty Wall
Another Humpty Dumpty Wall

As you can see, different students had different ideas about how to build a wall for Humpty Dumpty.  I also sent home a bag with instructions to fill it with something that would keep Humpty Dumpty safe.  We then recited the Humpty Dumpty rhyme, tossing the bag with the raw egg and whatever they brought to keep him safe off the wall (preschool shelving.)  The kids loved waiting to see whether each egg made it or not.  This year we had some break and some not, which is great.  One year none of them broke so I let the kids put an egg in the bag with nothing so they could see one break.

Baa Baa Black Sheep Sensory Bin
Baa Baa Black Sheep Sensory Bin

When I looked at my past lesson plans I could not immediately remember what I had done for a sensory bin with Nursery Rhymes.  Then I saw the sheep and the cards in my box of Nursery Rhyme stuff and realized what an easy bin this is.  I just poured in our art supply box of pom poms (Amazon referral link)  in, along with some cards and sheep from Making Learning Fun and a few tools for fine motor practice and I was set.  We did not play shear the sheep as suggested.  Instead they filled their sheep with wool based upon how many pom poms the sheep suggested.  Of course, the students also made up their own games all week as well, including lots of different types of sorting.

Library Dramatic Play
Library Dramatic Play

To go along with our literacy theme the dramatic play area was turned into a library.  One of my coworkers created much of this last year, with help from Play to Learn Preschool’s set.  This was a great way to get students to remember our library shelf by moving it into dramatic play and adding opportunities to share stories with one another with big books and felt pieces for retelling.

Story Time Area
Story Time Area

Felt pieces were placed in the blue bin below the easel.  I switched them out based upon books and rhymes we had been doing during circle time.

Check out and return area
Check out and return area

Students were very excited to check out library books and take them home.  Most students were good about bringing books back quickly, but we did have a few who needed some reminding.  This is good practice for when they go to elementary school and need to keep track of school library books.

Puppet Show
Puppet Show

After the first week of Nursery Rhymes I added the puppet show to the library.  Our pastor was kind enough to build this for our school.  I placed puppets in the center that went along with our nursery rhymes and Bible stories so that they could retell them with the puppets.  It also helped give them ideas and reduced the temptation to turn the puppets into boxing gloves.

Nursery Rhyme Calendar Set

We have been using our Nursery Rhyme Calendar during our literacy weeks.  I chose to use the Hey Diddle Diddle version with an ABCD pattern.

Question of the Day Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, Favorite Books

We also used many questions from the Fairy Tales, Nursery Rhymes, and Favorite Books set, including the one above.

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