Nursery Rhyme Week in PreK

SensoryBinPin

The sensory bin I use for Nursery Rhyme week is one of the easiest ever.  I grab our bin of pom poms from the art closet and dump it in the bin.  I could probably just leave it at that and the kids would be thrilled.

I did go to Making Learning Fun and add the Shear the Sheep game pieces as well as adding some foam nursery rhyme pieces to sort as well.

You can find some pom poms below with an affiliate link or head to your local craft store.

DotMarkerLetterTiles

We also made use of our dot markers and letter tiles during nursery rhyme week.

Making Learning Fun also had a set of Jack and Jill letter tile cards that I liked because there were several short words to build, which helped to encourage students who had not tried this type of center before to feel successful.

I created my own dot marker sheet for Hey Diddle Diddle.  Students had to dot all the cats one color, all the dogs another, and so forth.  Still perfecting this project, so if you have any other nursery rhyme printable ideas, please let me know as I would like to add a set of ideas to my shop soon.

Be aware if you use dot markers that smell you may end up with a kid with a strange colored nose as I did this week.  The set below does not smell, but the kids do enjoy the ones that do.

NurseryRhymeFeltBoards

I used one side of my easel for students to retell several nursery rhymes.  You can see above that someone was mixing together Jack and Jill with Humpty Dumpty.

The Jack and Jill set came from Sunny and Bright in Primary.  I just cut out the retelling set, laminated them, and added some velcro to the backs.

The Humpty Dumpty set was printed on milk filters.  I trimmed the ones below to fit in my printer and then printed the pages.  I then cut them out.  Students hands do need to be dry in order to play with these.  They stick to the felt board fairly easily.  I found the Humpty Dumpty pieces at KizClub.

NurseryRhymeGames

Some of our Nursery Rhyme games went with Itsy Bitsy Spider and Humpty Dumpty.

The Itsy Bitsy Spider path game was found here.  I added a couple plastic spiders that I had probably purchased at the local dollar store as well as some dice.

The Humpty Dumpty game has two game boards and students take turns picking a card to complete their Humpty Dumpty puzzle.  Sometimes they get the card they need and sometimes they do not.

WritingCenter

In our writing center we spent some time reviewing some of our alphabet letters and using them to make three letter words.  I used a roll and graph from This Reading Mama along with the alphabet stampers.  I made some of the printables go only up to five since I wanted students to play until one of the words won and many students don’t quite have the stamina to stick with it until ten unless it is a teacher guided activity.

I think the alphabet stampers I have are discontinued since I cannot find them online, but you try something similar to the ones below.  I chose to only give my students the ones they might need to complete the activity instead of the entire set.

ABCBeginningSoundsMatch

Another alphabet review activity was on one side of the easel.  I used one of the pages of my Alphabet Magnet Match along with alphabet magnets.  As you see I use super fancy painters tape to put my magnet match on the easel so that students can put the alphabet magnets on the matching picture.

I have several sets of alphabet magnets, including the ones below.  Sometimes I put out just capital letters, other times a mix, and sometimes just lowercase.

These are just a few of the nursery rhyme activities that we completed during our study.

We also used my Nursery Rhyme calendar set during circle time.

Nursery Rhyme Calendar Set

My students also loved finding the kitten who was lost in the mitten.  We had played games similar to the Lost Kittens and Mittens Game before on the pocket chart so they were already playing it during the first centers time before I even had a chance to share it with them.

Lost Kitten and Mittens Games

We also used some questions from the Reading Theme Question of the Day set during this week.

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

What are some of your favorite nursery rhymes and activities?

A Sale, A Freebie, And A Giveaway

SaleFreebieGiveaway

After many weeks of random snow days, delays, and holidays we now have a promised full week of school with preschoolers who have no idea whether we eat once or twice each day.  (Once on delay days and twice on regular days.)  To help celebrate back to a routine that should make life easier once we get used to it again I have a couple items to give away.

In addition, Teachers Pay Teachers has announced its quarterly sale which means my shop will be 25% off when you use the code:  TICKTOCK at checkout.

This is a great time to buy bundles because they are already regularly discounted and the sale makes them a steal.

Alphabet Bundle

For example, I use activities from my Alphabet Bundle every week.  Whether you are a letter of the week fan, do letter of the day, letter boot camp, or mix it all up there is plenty in this bundle to help you out.  Below is just one example of the items in the bundle.

Dot Marker Letter and Sound Search for T
Dot Marker Letter and Sound Search for T included in Alphabet Bundle

If you are getting ready for Spring  you may want to grab my Spring Math and Literacy Bundle.

Spring Math and Literacy Centers Bundle

It includes lots of centers ideas, including a newly added Spring Geoboards set.

Question of the Day Bundle

The Question of the Day Bundle is also used daily in my classroom.  This week I am using the nursery rhyme related questions.  Below you can see one of the insect themed questions that I will be using later in the year.

InsectQuestion

Where’s the freebie?  I just recently added a Dental Health set of count and clip cards to my TPT shop.  Just click the cover below to be taken to my shop for the freebie and to pick out some goodies for the sale.

Dental Health Count and Clip Cards

Finally, I have a giveaway of a $10 gift certificate to Teachers Pay Teachers as well as a giveaway for one resource from my shop that is worth up to $5.  This giveaway ends at 12:00 am March 1.  I will send out an email to the winners that day.

So, please enter the giveaway and do not forget the code of TICKTOCK to get your full 25% in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 25th and 26th.

I would especially like you to do the entry involving commenting on this post about your favorite book that you need more resources for.

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Transportation Theme in PreK

QuestionPatternBlockPin

Although we technically had two weeks of transportation in PreK it was broken up by the weather.

As always I started each day with our Question of the Day.  Around this time of the year I change the student name tags to last names so that they can start recognizing those.  I put first names on the back of the tags so that they can check to make sure they are correct as they grab their tags to answer the question.  For the siblings in my class I put all of the first names on the back of each tag.

This time I put the pattern blocks on the fine motor table, although I do sometimes use contact paper and put them on the easel.  You can find some pattern blocks sheets here and here.

EaselTransportation

Since we are not doing a space theme during the school year this year, I decided to use my rocket drawing activity during transportation week.  I found this at Making Learning Fun.

One of the letters we focused on during our transportation unit was letter K.  We used letter magnets to build words that start with that letter from This Reading Mama.  I use these magnet letters (affiliate link.)

MathFineMotor

My Melissa & Doug Magnetic Picture Maker was really popular this year with a few of my students this year.  I was fortunate enough to discover this on clearance at a craft store a few years ago.  This requires fine motor control and stamina since it has so many pieces to fill in a picture.

My Transportation Bundle includes this roll and graph game that I had my students complete with stickers.  This one is for my students who are still working on stamina so it only goes up to five.  I try to balance the activities in my room to appeal to different levels of the students in my classroom.

StampWrite

For my writing center I also chose a couple different activities from my Transportation Bundle to meet the interests and levels of my students.  I use the alphabet stamping set from Melissa & Doug (affiliate link) and crayons.  Just trying out new stamp pads.  Still looking for the perfect stamp pads, so if you have any you love, please let me know.

TransportationinPreK

The other writing center activity from my bundle involves dry erase markers and writing transportation words for my students who are ready for that.

I also used my transportation sort game in my sensory bin along with magnet fishing poles.  In order to make the cards magnetic I just put a few staples in the edges of each one after laminating.

For the science table I started with magnet wands and magnetic trains.  I showed the students how to use the wands to make the trains follow the taped paths without touching the trains.

BridgeBuildingPin

The other science activity for transportation involved building bridges.  I found some ideas here.  I printed and laminated photo examples and provided the supplies and let the kids experiment.

MoreTransportation

Another letter focus activity comes from my Alphabet Bundle.  Students use dot markers to dot the letter and pictures of words that start with the letter.  I purposely limit the letters and letter sounds on each page with this set of dot marker pages.

In the block area I added my train set from IKEA.  I have had this set since my girls were little, but there are many similar sets out there.  This one looks fun as well.

I was also gifted with some stencils that include transportation themed ones from Lakeshore. (not affiliate link)    These are great because they are really sturdy.  It does take a while for preschoolers to understand that they have to hold the stencil still while working with it, so the sturdy ones work best.  I would like to try out the Melissa & Doug set as well.

Those were my main centers activities during my Transportation theme.  If you would like to check out my Transportation Bundle and Transportation Calendar set, you can click through to them below.

Transportation Bundle

Transportation Calendar Set

 

 

 

Polar Theme in PreK

PolarQuestions

Our Polar theme week was shortened quite a bit because of snow creating snow days and delays.  We still managed to fit in a few fun polar theme centers and activities, beginning with our Question of the Day.  One of the questions asks students if they are taller than an Emperor penguin, so I had one displayed in my room so they could figure it out after taking a guess.

The life size penguins are from way back when I used to teach middle school and did a penguin research unit.  The final project was the life size penguin, which I now pull out each year to share with my preschool students.

PenguinEasel

Easel activities included a penguin number order puzzle is one of several in 3Dinosaurs’ penguin pack.  I laminated and added magnets to the back to use on the easel.  I find that students are more likely to do these puzzles on the easel than sitting in a bin on a table.  The magnets also help the puzzle pieces stay still while students are attempting to put it together.

On the dry erase side of the easel I put up a step by step for drawing a penguin.  I am unsure where this particular one came from, but found a few similar ones here and here.

PenguinPatterning

During January we do an assessment of several skills of our PreK students, with patterning being one of them.  I used these Penguins on Ice (affiliate link) to assess three different types of patterns with my students.  Even students who never want to leave the block area were happy to come play with the penguins with me.

There are plenty of penguins and ice bars to have several students at this center at a time.  I set it up for two students, but occasionally ended up with three with no problems.  If I had gotten out all of the ice bars I could have definitely had four spots to play.

PolarFineMotor

Most activities and centers in my classroom work on fine motor skills alongside literacy and math skills.  Above you can see a counting activity with polar animals from my math center that I found here.  Students needed to match the clothespins with the clipart of the animal before clipping it onto the cards.

Since my students this year enjoy Q-tip activities I pulled out my new Polar Q-tip Painting set, which is also part of my Arctic Math and Literacy Bundle.  Students use a qtip or cotton swab to paint the dots and can use the qtip or another writing utensil to trace the polar animal’s name.

PolarScienceTable

We played some Pop’n Drop Penguins this week.  I simplified the game rules for students since I did not have a student this year who already knew how to play.  They enjoyed popping the die in the middle, while I enjoyed the die not bounding around the room.

I also had out an Arctic TOOB set, similar to this one.  It appears that mine has some extra pieces in comparison.   I used the printable cards from Montessori Soul to go along with my set.

SensoryBinPenguins

Since we had a good amount of snow outside that shortened our week I was able to put real snow in our sensory bin with our Penguin TOOB.  I also found some penguin cards at Montessori Soul that I stuck to the lid of the sensory bin so that students could match with the figures.

PolarWriting

I added two different activities to my writing center.  The first one utilizes my alphabet stamps for practice stamping and writing polar animal names.  This is also part of my Arctic Math and Literacy Bundle, or can be found separately here.  Most of my stamping activities earlier in the year are for the beginning letter, but by this time in the year there are several students ready to stamp whole words and write them.

The other writing center activity involved coloring by code.  Since my students do not know the words for the colors I colored over the words with the correct color on each sheet.  We also had an older student visiting who colored the samples for the center to help students understand to color the entire area, not just the individual number to complete the activity.  You can find these sheets here and here.

PolarCenters

In addition to the real snow in the sensory bin, I created some snow with baking soda and white hair conditioner.  Students drew the alphabet letter in the snow.

Since we had not used our poke pins in a while I pulled out this penguin poke pin sheet.   Since it was a short week there were not too many students who finished this one.  The Polar q tip sheets could also be used with poke pins to make an activity that is shorter in duration for students whose hands get tired with this penguin.  I use the large pins below along with a couple cork board squares under the paper for this activity.

Since I still had my Penguin Hunt dramatic play up from the previous week, I added some ice fishing to it.  My director had created the ice fishing with the same thick blue plastic that I had utilized earlier in the year to make my bulletin board look like an aquarium.  She added magnets to some plastic fish.  The fishing poles we had are from Lakeshore, but the set below already is set up with fish and looks great as well.

You can sneak a peek at some of my polar theme crafts on my Instagram page.
Penguin Sponge Paint

Polar Bear Marshmallow Paint

If you are planning your Polar Animal or Penguin theme in your classroom, be sure to check out the activities I have in my shop below by clicking on the images.  Since I did not have time for them all I will be sharing some of them with my early care students next week.

Arctic Math and Literacy Bundle
Arctic Math and Literacy Bundle

Penguin Math Centers

I created the Penguin Math Centers to go along with a cute set of penguin erasers I picked up on clearance at Oriental Trading.  I will share some of the activities in action soon.

PreK Winter Activities & Learning Centers

SnowballABCSensoryBin

Our PreK winter theme must have been to get my students ready for the eight or more inches of snow we received over the weekend.

I created a new winter theme sensory bin this year inspired by Differentiated Kindergarten‘s idea with ping pong balls.  Since I am dealing with preschoolers I made my bin a letter recognition activity.  I drew snowman faces on the balls that had an alphabet letter written on the back side.  Students caught them with the tool and marked on the alphabet sheets that I had printed half size from my Winter Bundle or Winter Alphabet Centers.  I am providing affiliate links below to Amazon to help you find the supplies for this bin.  The scoopers I have are from Oriental Trading, I believe, but I would love to get the set below soon (and an extra set of ping pong balls.)  I also added cotton balls as suggested to mine.

My students did a great job keeping the balls and cotton in the bin.  When prompted they did a great job filling in their sheets to mark which alphabet letters they found.  We are still working on getting some students to remember to put their name on their sheet in case they don’t finish and will return later in the day or week to complete the activity.

GeoboardsWithLoomBands

I was very pleased with how hard my students worked on creating the pictures on geoboards.  I only made loom bands available this time and showed students to only stretch them between two pegs.  I was lucky to find a clearance sale at Oriental Trading to pick up some more bands, so you might check to see if they still have any on clearance there.  The cards are also part of my Winter Bundle or Winter Geoboards.

PenguinHuntDramaticPlay

Since my dramatic play will be for two weeks, I put up our Penguin Hunt activity.  Some years I have a Polar Expedition with Arctic animals to search for and other years I have penguin to search for in the classroom.  I found the printable penguins to put up throughout the room on a site that has apparently shut down, but there are some similar ones here and here.  I made my own laminated checklist for students to find the penguins with small versions of the larger photos.

To play in the center, students had to put on gloves.  This is a great way for them to learn how to put on gloves.  These were purchased at our local dollar store.  We did need to bring them home over the weekend to wash as they did start to smell a bit at the end of the week after many sets of hands wore them.

We also had play binoculars to search for all the penguins.

During the next week we will add ice fishing to the area.

SnowmanNumberSense

I used my table top easel to set up part of this snowman number sense set from A Dab of Glue Will Do.  I only used numbers five through ten for this center.

WinterCountAndClip

Another number related center was my Winter Count and Clip set.  I chose to use the set with the dice at the bottom this time.  There are also cards with fingers to count and numerals.  I found the mini clothespins at the local Dollar Tree.

WinterPathGame3Photos

My final math center for the week was this simple path game with spinner.  There is also an option for dice with this game as well.  I used water bottle caps along with the printables made to fit on them for game board pieces.  This is also part of my Winter Bundle.

WinterEasel

I utilized magnets and contact type paper this week on my easel.  For the black side I used snowman magnets found at Dollar Tree.  On the white side I put up a pattern block mat for a snowflake from PreKinders.  I put it up and then put some contact type paper sticky side out on top of it.  I provided foam pattern blocks to stick to the mat to create the snowflake.

ThinIceAndSnowflakeMatching

Our science activities this week included playing Thin Ice.  The balls are in a moat with water.  Students use the tongs to grab a ball and gently put it on top of a tissue.  They attempt to get all the balls to the top before the tissue breaks.

We also matched snowflake designs.  I attached one set to a cookie sheet.  This set I can no longer find online; I think it may have been updated since I printed it.  I would really like to print this one of snowflake photos to match next year if I can remember.

WinterWritingCenter

I had two different writing center activities this week.  The first used my alphabet cards from my Winter Alphabet Centers set.  I used salt to be my snow and flat glass beads to place on the letter that the student has drawn.  A couple of the snowflake clothespins were used to hold up the chosen card.

You can see the interesting creation a student left me at the end of centers time one day.  I had to take a picture of it.

The second activity was to help review some of our alphabet letters.  This activity comes from This Reading Mama.  I cut the graph down to be shorter so that students would have more likelihood of finishing before getting tired of writing letters.

WinterQuestionAndWords

Part of every morning and circle time is our Question of the Day time.  You can see an example of one of my winter questions.  This time marshmallows won out for the most responses.

We also worked on building winter words with our letter tiles.  I also sometimes use part of this set for stamping and handwriting practice.  This is also found in my Winter Bundle.

Next I will share favorite books, songs, and poems for our winter theme.

 

 

Bears and Hibernation in PreK

BearMaskCave

Our first week back from winter break was a short three day week, so I centered most of my plans for bears and hibernation around the book, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (Amazon affiliate link) by Helen Oxenbury and Michael Rosen.

The first craft involved painting the backs of paper plates with brown paint and scrapers.  This project was inspired by this one for Brown Bear. The paint scrapers/brushes are similar to the ones with the green handles in this set below.  After students painted with their choice of scraper/brush, I cut the shape to make the mask.  The next day students attached ears and nose.

Some students used their masks to be the bear in our pretend play area.  I utilized a discontinued Cranium building set to make a large open cave area so that I could clearly see what students were doing while pretending to be a bear.  You could also utilize a pop-up tent.

I found a map set that matches the order of events in the Bear Hunt book.  Part of this was also used on my easel to put the map in order after reading the book together.  I also used signs around the room to use with the map to travel around the room to find the bear.  The map was laminated and put on a clipboard for the two students who were searching for the bear to follow around the room until they reached the cave and the bear.  The bear was the third student playing in the pretend play area.

BlockEasel

Students could also re-create the Bear Hunt in the block area, where I provided the characters as well as some winter trees and some blue and brown felt which could represent the water and the mud in the story.

QuestionMatchingGame

Our question of the day related to hibernation all week, including the one above.  There were actually a few children who voted to hibernate all winter.  The hibernation questions can be found in my Question of the Day Bundle, or in the smaller set of questions here.

I played a matching bears game with a few students during this short week.  This gave my students a chance to see that there was more than just brown and white for types of bears.

CaribooRollCover

Always a favorite with any set of cards is the Cranium Cariboo.  This is also no longer made, so if you see one anywhere be sure to snag it.  My only challenge is to remind my students to use the cards to pick which door to open because they get so excited about finding the balls that they forget.  The winter themed cards were a freebie on TPT.

The Roll and Cover game was matched with the size sorting bears and a foam die.  This game suffered the indignity of being at the same table as the Cariboo game, so was sometimes ignored or played while waiting for a spot to open up for Cariboo.  The bears below come in three sizes.  I am not sure where we got ours as they come in four sizes with the numbers 3, 6, 9, and 12 on their bellies, which I just discovered this year.  I had always assumed they were three different sized until I noticed the numbers.

DoughPunching

Play dough is a great activity for any week.  It is especially good for back to school after a break.  The play dough mats I used came from Child Care Land  (I don’t see the exact one there right now but she has some cute printables for play dough.) and Sparklebox.

We also worked on some letter activities during the week to go along with the letter I, including punching.  Students work on recognizing the letter as well as building hand strength.  I use regular hole punches as well as some crafting ones I found at the dollar store that seemed to be a little easier for some of my students to use.

SensoryBin

I tried to have some bears in my sensory bin but students kept thinking they were just in there by accident from the roll and cover bear game.  The bin is white rice, winter pasta, silly bands shaped like the alphabet, snowflake table scatter, flat clear glass beads, a snowflake container from the dollar store as well as a large scoop I just picked up from Dollar Tree, along with a few other tools to pick up things.  The scoopers below look great and will probably be added to my list soon.  The set I have I believe were from Oriental Trading Company.  I like them but they do occasionally come apart when students try to use them with two hands instead of like scissors.

I was happy to discover one new book for this week on Christmas clearance at Walmart as well as one at our local used book store. Favorite books this week include the following:

Pet Theme in PreK

PetRollAndGraph

For my Pet theme in PreK I wanted to introduce the roll and graph center in small groups.  I did not find a roll and graph that I liked, so I created one of my own.  The next day my director showed up with the pet counters (affiliate link)  and I realized I had made my game to match them.

I purposely made my game only go up to five since many preschoolers do not have the stamina to get a winner in this game if it goes up to ten.

We played it at first with a dry erase marker in small groups and took turns rolling until one of the pets won the game.  After all students had played this way I put it out on the math table with the pet counters to play the game.

You can find this game in my new Pets Math Centers.  This also includes count and clip cards, a path game, and a measurement center.

FishInTheVetCenter

During Pets week we continued to play in our Vet Center for dramatic play.  We even had a pet fish.  I used the original container our real betta fish came in to create a pet fish for our center.  The fish attached with fishing line so that it appears to float inside.

WritingCenterStampDryErase

For writing during Pets week we reviewed letters T and F and added P.  Dry erase activities were available again as well as a new stamping center.

I decided to cut the stamping center pages in half since it is the beginning of the year.  This made the students much more likely to try it out since it did not look like too much to do at once.  I also reduced the stamps to only the ones needed.  Later in the year I will have the entire alphabet out when using these stamps.

You can find the stamping center in my alphabet bundle or in its own set.  The dry erase letter practice can be found on This Reading Mama’s site if you subscribe to her blog.  I cut them into strips and laminated them.

PizzaEaselPin

Since our focus letter for Pets week in PreK is letter P, I had to pull out my pizza felt pieces.  My students made lots of different pizzas, with several pizza faces being created as well.  We did have some peppers get destroyed, so I brought the pieces to circle time and talked about being careful with our felt pieces.

We also had to sing the Silly Pizza song from Signing Time!

I do not do quite as many signs as Rachel does while singing with the kids, but I do work on all the main signs, like apple, crackers, ice cream, cereal, and so forth.

EaselAnimalSort

The other side of the easel had a size sort with common pets.  I am pleased that more students are noticing this side of the easel this year, probably partly due to having more students so that the most favorite spots are taken and they need to do a little more exploring.

PlaydoughHats

Play dough is still a favorite so I put out two mats from Sparklebox.  I W alaminated them with something on each side.  I have found that a magic eraser does wonders for cleaning these mats when play dough residue builds up on them.

We had several birthdays the week before and several children wearing birthday crowns, so I decided to put out a crown that everyone could wear who was interested with this letter P hat center that I purchased from Beth Gordan.  A few students made two hats, one to wear and one to share with a younger sibling.

LetterPCircleTime

My letter cards from the Letter Pp Book are in my circle time area all week, except when we borrow them to draw something on our dry erase boards that starts with our letter or when coloring our letter books in case my students want their pictures to match.  These are also in my alphabet bundle.

My students loved the poem of the week since it was quite the tongue twister.  We practiced lots of P sounds and searched for the letter P in the poem.

SunflowerScience

Science this week was not specifically related to pets because we had some sunflowers that were ready for exploration.  Last spring my class planted sunflowers and I was able to save a couple huge heads for some up close discovery.  We will save some of the seeds to plant this spring.

DaysOfCreationSensoryBin

Since we have been studying Creation in our Bible curriculum, our sensory bin has changed each day for six days to represent the six days of creation between family week and pets week.  My students were happy to discover what was new each day.

In my next post I will share some of our songs, books, and arts and crafts projects from Pets Week in PreK.

Family Theme in PreK

QuestionsAndLetterWork

For our Family theme in my PreK classroom we also focused on the letter F.  Our questions of the day related to family and our letter F.  You can find the family related questions in this Question of the Day set.  The letters in your name questions are a freebie in my shop.  I printed mine on colored paper for more interest.

I did find that my students who were a brother had a hard time not counting themselves when deciding how many brothers they had.  I do have brothers in my classroom so we did some counting to figure it out, but it is a concept we are still learning.

The cards for the letter F are part of my Alphabet Bundle.  I use them during circle time to talk about things that start with a particular letter, to sort between a letter we have already worked on and a new letter, during our small group writing and drawing time, as well as in creating our letter books.

EaselIdeas

One of my goals for the last couple of years on and off was to make sure I have some new ideas for my easel so that there are different kinds of opportunities to work on a vertical surface.  This week I found a great set of family cards from Fantastic Fun and Learning that I could laminate and add magnets to for one side of the board.  This was played with often during the week, which is great since sometimes that side of the board gets forgotten since you cannot see if from most of the room so kids forget to look at it except when they are lined up for leaving the room.

The other side we used with dry erase markers and practicing creating pictures with circles.  You can find the free printable here.

FamilySorters

Since my students discovered the family sorters late in the week, I kept them out this week, but made the houses stand up and found some new sorting mats.  Students discovered new ways to sort the people and pets throughout the week.

(Note: All Amazon links are affiliate links that earn me a few cents if you purchase through the link.)

 

HousesCreationBin

For my family theme in PreK I printed some photos of houses in the area from the real estate website so that students could choose one they might be familiar with and build it.

Our Bible lesson for two weeks is about God creating people and the world, so my sensory bin is a creation bin, with something added each day based upon the days of creation.  We use Cross Connections for Early Learners in our school for our Bible curriculum.

Day One:  white and black beans to represent day and night

Day Two:  cotton rounds or cotton balls for water in the sky and blue foam shapes to represent water below

Day Three:  trees and green hill to represent plant life

Day Four:  star shaped ice cubes for sun, moon, and stars

Day Five:  fish and birds

Day Six:  animals and people

ScienceMagnets

Science this week involved magnets, so there was a lot of fine motor practice.  The gumball magnet counting game is from Lakeshore.  I discovered the Melissa & Doug picture maker on clearance at a craft store one summer.  I am thinking by the price at Amazon that it may be discontinued so I would suggest watching for it at yard sales both online and off.

PatternBlocksandPlayDough

We worked on letter T and F for our pattern blocks as well as doing fish and train patterns.

Play dough is out nearly every week, especially at the beginning of the year.  This week we had face mats out from Sparklebox.  I put out different faces each day during the week.

PoemCalendarPhotoLayout

As part of my circle time, we have a poem or song every week.  To go along with letter F, we had Little Miss Muffet.

As you can see from the calendar it was a big week for birthdays in my classroom as well.  Lots of birthday crowns….

To go along with our family theme we sang a couple songs and learned some of the ASL signs to go with them.  These are In A House and Mom Has a Mom, both from Signing Time!

VetDramaticPlay

We changed our doctor to a veterinarian this week, complete with several pets.  I like to use the labels from Pocket of Preschool and many of the printables as well for this center.

VetDramaticPlay2

My daughter was kind enough to share many of her old stuffed animals for our pretend play.

WritingCenterPhotoLayout

My students are really enjoying the writing center so far this year.  We have our names to practice again this week, along with letter F and T.  In addition, I added family words and paper from Pocket of Preschool.  I had one student who practiced writing nearly every other students’ name during the week, giving them to the students as presents.

I would love to hear about your favorite family theme activities in your classroom.

 

About Me Theme in PreK

AboutMeSensoryCrochet

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.

AboutMeEasel

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.

(Note:  all Amazon links are affiliate links, which means I get a few cents if you purchase through my link, which helps me pay the bills.)

AboutMeMathandFineMotor

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.

 

AboutMeChicka

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.

AboutMeLiteracyWriting

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.

AboutMeScience

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.

 

 

 

Prepping for PreK Open House

GettingReadyForOpenHouse1

The last week has been all about getting ready for our Sneak Peek, or Open House, in PreK.  There is lots of arranging furniture after the floors are buffed, printing and laminating items with student names, organizing supplies and labelling everything as well as decorating doors and bulletin boards.  Not to mention actually doing lesson planning.

PreppingBulletinBoard1

Since I am sticking with an ocean theme this year I wanted to change up a few things, including my idea for the hallway bulletin board.  I often have student names on fish or have students create some kind of fish craft to put on the bulletin board, but I wanted something different this year.

A church member found that his work was going to throw away this large spool of blue plastic sheeting.  For those of you old enough to remember overhead projectors, the sheeting is about the consistency of those rolls, but blue in color.  The ocean themed bulletin board paper was looking like it had a few too many staple holes, so I was about to tear it down when I came up with the idea to cover it with the blue plastic sheeting.

PreppingBulletinBoard2

I added a few fish to the board and then covered the bottom with a layer of the blue plastic sheeting.  You can see above a bit of the difference between the top fish and bottom fish.

I had to wait until I had some help for the top layer because that spool is heavy.  I will share the next step in the next post, along with our added student crafts which the students will work on during the first week of school.

Questionsforfirstweek

Since I updated my Summer Fun question of the day set this summer, I decided I really needed to use some of them the first week of school.  I chose to use the question about liking tricycles or slides for the Sneak Peak Open House.  Slides was the winner for my classroom.

Question of the Day Bundle

If you don’t want to have to think about which question to ask every day all year, you can use all of my hard work with my Question of the Day Bundle.  I created it because I used to write the question every morning when I first started doing my question of the day and would sometimes be racing to come up with one before the first kid came in the room because it slipped my mind.

Ocean Theme Decor Bundle

As always happens, I have a new student to create name tags for before our first day of school.  I will have to get out my ocean themed name tags files from my decor bundle for some last minute additions.

Alphabet Bundle

On the agenda for the next couple of days before the official first day is making play dough, finishing up lesson plans, and trying to get ahead on printing from my Alphabet Bundle for at least the first month.  I also hope to get a few great photos of my bulletin board once completed because it makes me smile and one of my students was already fascinated with it.