For our second week of PreK we focused on an About Me theme, with lots of emphasis on our names and the letters in our names. The sensory bin was full of green rice, pasta in the shape of alphabet letters, and alphabet magnets, along with tools to interact with the letters and rice. In addition, I used a clip art font that matched the pasta to create an alphabet sheet that letters could be matched with.
I also introduced my crocheted alphabet letters to my students. I keep these out all year long. You can find the crochet patterns to create these here. When I created them I chose to use the same color for the capital and lowercase to help with matching.
Although we have many activities that include several letters of the alphabet, we do have a focus letter of the week. Our first letter is T, so one side of the easel had words to build with letter magnets that start with T. You can find these cards from This Reading Mama. I cut them apart and laminated them for my purposes. I used the two sets of alphabet magnets below for this activity. I did not like the shape of the lowercase t in the foam magnets and did not have enough to have six of them anyway.
I use a large binder clip to attach my small bins on the side of the easel that does not have a shelf.
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I introduced the family counters this week, along with houses that I printed on matching colored paper. Students were mostly given a chance to just play with these however they liked. Many sorted by color and some started playing pretend with them. I will add some more ideas with these next week since our theme will be family.
Some of the building bricks ended up on the math and fine motor table with the opportunity to build the letter that starts your name. At least one student made at least four different letters, including the first letter of his name. I will put the letter making cards in the block center after this so students can try this again if interested.
One of the books we read this week was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. We also found the letters in our name with dot markers while some students also used the letter T dot marker page to find the letter T as well as pictures of things that start with T. The Chicka Chicka page can be found here. The letter T dot marker page is part of my Alphabet Letter and Sound Search. For these sheets I only place a handful of letters and sounds on each sheet so that students are not overwhelmed. For example, the T sheet has T, F, M, and P only.
We created our own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Look Who Is In Our Room book during the week. We used green feathers for the leaves, so no cutting a million leaves for the teacher and assistant since kids are not that proficient at cutting during the first couple weeks of school. The trunk was brown construction paper this year, although I have also used sandpaper in the past. Foam letters were used for student names and I added a photo of the student to help students read the book to themselves once it is placed in the classroom library.
On the last day of the week we ate a special Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree with a graham cracker, green apple slices, and alphabet cookies that I found at Walmart.
My assistant and I finished making the name cards for the writing center. These consist of the student’s photo with name at the top and blank boxes below each letter for name practice. These cards will be in the writing center all year for practice. Students right now are mostly focusing upon their own name, but some want to practice their friends’ names as well.
I also found some letter T handwriting practice to laminate as well.
In the crafts and literacy center I introduced using a poke pin. I use a couple layers of cork board with a carpet square underneath to protect the table. I use the large poke pins for this and only have this center available to one student at a time. I also make sure it is near the area where I or my assistant is working for this introductory week so there are no accidents. I used the letter T sheet from this set.
For science this week I pulled out as many shades of knee high panty hose as I could find. Students could put them on their arms to compare shades to see if any of them were close to the shade of their own skin.
Fingerprints were a huge favorite this week. Lots of kids covered in purple ink. The fingerprint page with the magnifying glass is found at Making Learning Fun.