Apple Theme Lesson Plan for PreK

AppleCraftsWe were able to fill our bulletin board, windows and even send a project home during our Apple theme week in PreK.  My Apple Theme Lesson Plan for PreK included three arts and crafts projects.  One project was switched after an attempt at an idea seen online just was not working well.

AppleMarbles

We started out with marble painting.  I used bits of painter’s tape to attach the outline of an apple to the bin.  Students chose an apple color (or two) and I squeezed some paint near the apple outline.   I then added four or five marbles and students moved the container around to make the marbles move through the paint and all over the apple.  Yes, we did have a few marbles escape.

Another craft we did were sun catchers, inspired by these.  Students chose the color apple they wanted and were allowed to choose from green, yellow, and red tissue paper squares.

Finally, we made some apple cores with paper plates, paint, and black beans.  I had planned to try creating three dimensional apples from parts of egg cartons, but I either did not have enough tape or the example I saw online was made from a very different brand of egg cartons.

Craft supplies you will need for these projects (affiliate links):

AppleFineMotorBesides crafting, students also did some fine motor practice with q-tip painting and cutting practice with apple themes.  The q-tip pages can be found from 1+1+1=1.  I provided apple colors to do this painting.  The cutting practice is found at This Reading Mama.  We saved the cut pieces that students did not want to take home to use during our Scrap Bin Friday when we put out the scrap bin and various supplies for students to create whatever they want.

AppleMagnetsandGameI pulled out the magnetic Apple Orchard set for the easel again this year.  This set is meant to be used with play dough, but I repurposed it for my easel.

Students all played Hi Ho Cherry O, pretending that the cherries were apples.  This was a center that my assistant pulled students in pairs to play on Monday and then it was available for students to play on their own the rest of the week.  This is an older version.  The newer version has apples, cherries, blueberries, or oranges for the trees. You can see that version below.

LiteracyAndNamePracticeNot everything in our room was apple related this week.  Our letter focus was the letter C, so we had various activities during circle time as well as a couple dot marker pages and building words that start with C on one side of the easel.

We also did some name writing practice in the writing center.  Students traced, stamped, and wrote their names.  We do this activity periodically throughout the year to assess growth.

AppleSTEMandSensory

The science table for Apple theme in PreK involved some easy materials to gather.  Students took the materials to create apple trees.  The goal was to put as many apples on the tree as possible.  I found inspiration for this center on this blog.

For the sensory bin for our Apple theme in PreK my director got me several bags of split peas.  I added a couple cinnamon sticks, some apples, magnets, and some apples created from pipe cleaners.  During the week I suggested that the students rub the sticks together and then smell them so they could figure out what they were.

AppleOrchardDramaticPlay

This year’s Apple Orchard was fairly simple to set up since I had created the tree tops last year and had put them in storage.  The tree tops are painted cardboard with velcro spots on them.  The apples are ball pit balls with the other side of the velcro on them.  I recommend the soft side of the velcro on the balls so they don’t stick to other things.  The tree tops stick to a long strip of velcro that I placed on the bottom edge of my bulletin board.

The Apple Orchard cards can be found in my shop.  For students who start thinking of the apples as balls, the cards a great way to re-direct students to the intent of the pretend play as well as get in some color recognition and counting skills.  Students enjoyed filling my apple order when I gave them a card.

During our circle and story times we read several apple and fall related books.  Below you can see some affiliated links to get more information about them.

Click the link below to access my complete lesson plan for this apple week:

Apples Theme Lesson Plan for PreK

About Me Theme Lesson Plan for PreK

ClassBooksFirstPostPhoto

For our About Me week in PreK lesson plans I started out over planning the number of books we would read.  I forgot to think about the amount of time it would take to share our About Me bags and to read our two class books.  My lesson plans at the end of this post are updated to mostly cover only what we actually had time for in class this week.

I found the template pages for the School Shoes book from rubber boots and elf shoes.  We created our school shoes last week for our bulletin board and I took the students’ shoe photos for the lift a flap book as well.  I waited to share it until this week, partly due to the time to get it put together and partly to get a student back to school who had been out for a few days.

We read both the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom class book and the School Shoes book at circle time and then put them in the library for students to read again and again.

CuttingPracticeCenter

To assess the cutting skills of my students at the beginning of the year, my assistant had each student try out this cutting center.  Students chose scissors and the cutting strip they preferred.  Strips were either letter F related or About Me related.   After cutting they could choose to paste the pieces onto a construction paper strip to take home or just put their cutting into the bin provided.  Students also counted how many strips they had cut.

PotatoHeadSpinandBuild

A popular center this week was the Mr. Potato Head spin and build activity.  This is great fine motor practice and when students are remembering to use the spinner they practice taking turns and following directions.  We also talked this week about having each of these body parts ourselves.

EaselActivities

Our Potato Head felt activity on the easel was nearly always busy this week.  Students created some very interesting creatures with the pieces, including what looked like a rabbit with very large ears (made from the two hat choices.)

On the other side of the easel I put out the family magnets.  I think the photo above was the least amount of magnets ever on the board.  Students generally covered the entire board.  Towards the end of the week a few started to sort the pieces, so these may get some more time next week for further exploration.  The family magnets came from this set on TPT; I think the store offered them at one point to try out before purchasing the whole set.

DotMarkerLetterTiles

PreK students tend to love dot markers.  In PreK we start to learn to dot with a purpose instead of just dotting every spot.  The dot marker sheet above required my students to only dot the letter F as well as anything that starts with the F sound.  Since this is the first time we did this type of dot marker activity I put out picture cards that matched the pictures that they should dot.  You can find the Alphabet Letter and Sound Search dot marker set in my TPT shop.

Before I created some letter tile sets of my own, I discovered a set of body part words to use during the About Me theme.  I keep my letter tiles in a container I purchased at a craft store that I think is meant to be used for jewelry findings.  I added little stickers with the letter in each section since sometimes the letters get turned upside down, making it difficult to find what you are looking for.  We use the alphabet song as a tool to help students find the tiles in this container.  I sing the song and have them point to each letter until we stop at the letter they are searching for.  We also do this with our letter stamps container as well.

You will noticed that many of the letter activities shown have the letter F, while activities like the letter tiles involve many letters.  I choose to have a letter that we focus upon each week, but we also have many activities that involve all the letters.  I also spiral back after we get through a handful of letters to review those we have already done.

PokePinandFingerprintScienceThe poke pin activity above utilizes a q-tip painting page since this is the first time we have gotten this type of activity out.  The q-tip page has fewer times to poke to be successful in finishing than some of the pages we will get out later in the year when they have more stamina.  You can find the set of q tip painting at 1+1+1=1.

For our About Me science center we studied our fingerprints.  I somehow managed to miss getting the magnifying glass on the table when I took my photo.  You can find the printable at Making Learning Fun.  The site used to have a printable that said “God Made Me Special”, but they now have this one.  This was another very popular center during the week, with some students making several pages of fingerprints.  It helped to have a sample sheet on the table so students knew to just use fingertips and where to put the fingerprints.

WritingCenterActivities

My PreK students already started creating things for each other in our writing center.  I put out a bunch of writing paper in various colors, along with our family words and body part words.  Just a few students were ready to use the words, but most students who chose this center were able to at least write their own name when finished.  We also ask that students write the name of the person they are giving a paper to as well.

The name cards are also at the writing center for practice with dry erase or to be used to figure out how to spell a friend’s name.  I also put out letters T and F cards in both capital and lowercase.  I will add the letter cards each week so that students can continue to practice the letters we have already worked on during the year.

LetterFSensoryBin

The sensory bin this week was relatively mess free.  I simply picked a bunch of items from our supplies that start with F.  I also had some matching cards with pictures of items that started with F in the bin.  I added the plastic farm, a farmer, a frog, a fox, flowers, feathers, fence pieces, and some alphabet letter Fs.  Putting everything back in the correct bin is probably what will take the most time with this bin.

During circle times we focused upon the Bible theme of God Made Me, using the Cross Connection for Early Learners lesson.  Books  and other items we used this week are shown below with Amazon affiliate links if you are interested in getting them for yourself.


My students also enjoyed several songs during circle time, including “Proud to be Me” by Signing Time!

My About Me lesson plan for PreK, which includes links for everything I did, can be found here:

About Me Theme

A blank lesson plan form that you can use for yourself, along with two more plans, is available in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.

School Theme in PreK with Lesson Plan

SchoolThemeInPreKOur School theme in PreK was full but not overwhelming.  I am still getting used to having twelve instead of sixteen students, so I have been thinking that some activities will take longer than they actually do.  Because of this I was actually able to get pretty much everything on my lesson plan completed this week.  You can find the link to my School theme lesson plan at the end of this post.

I used some of my Summer Fun Questions in my Question of the Day Bundle.  They are great for the beginning and ending of the year.  I knew most of my kids would pick house for the question above since we had a hot day the day before and everyone was in houses.  We also had not gotten the bubbles out yet.

One of the books we read this week with our School theme was Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, so we had a sensory bin with a coconut tree.  I got the idea for the tree from Pre-K Pages.  I found the contact paper and the plastic greenery at the local dollar store.  I will probably have to do some work on the greenery before I use it again since my friends had quite a bit of fun with it and loosened the hot glue I used to help keep it in place.

We also used the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom themed playdough mats from Practically Pre-K.  We have the Lakeshore Alphabet Dough Stampers that we used with these mats, although we also let the students just explore the dough any way they liked as well.  There are other letter stampers for playdough also available on Amazon, which I have not tried yet (Amazon affiliate link below.)

JumboBlocks

One of our activities on the math and fine motor table were our jumbo linking cubes.  I had put the letters to spell each child’s name on the cubes.  Since it is the beginning of the year I made a list of students and color coded the letters.  Each color cube had about three students’ letters so that it would not be overwhelming for the students to find their own letters to build names.  My assistant worked on this with each child individually.  I hope to have the printable I made for this activity, along with another idea for using the jumbo linking cubes ready for my shop soon; I just want to test out the other activity as well with real students before sharing.  The link to the cubes below is an affiliate link.

LetterBuilding

At our math and fine motor table we also had our pattern blocks and cubes out to build letter T.  The pattern blocks printables come from Confessions of a Homeschooler.  You can find the cubes and triangles Lowercase Letter Building in my shop.  The letter t is a good one to start with since it does not have triangles.  Pattern blocks and cubes and triangles are affiliate linked below.

WordBuilding

We have a letter focus each week in my class, with plenty of activities that involve all the letters of the alphabet as well.  In addition, we build in a review week to spiral back and review a handful of letters that we have covered.  Our letter focus this week was T, so we built words that start with T on our easel.  These word cards come from This Reading Mama.  I cut them apart to work on my easel.  Magnetic Alphabet link is below.  The lowercase t is not my favorite, so if you have another suggestion, please let me know.

ScienceWriting

I switched placement of my science and writing centers this week.  Since science was an activity for one student, it moved to the small table.  I put out a flashlight, a mirror and a few black circles of construction paper.  Students shined the flashlight on the circles as well as figuring out what happens when you shine the light into the mirror.  We did have a mishap at some point with the flashlight, so we need to purchase a new one.  My assistant commented that we now have a maraca instead of a flashlight.

The writing center had dry erase markers, name cards, and word cards.  The name cards have the student’s photo, the student’s name, and boxes to practice writing each letter of the student’s name.  The word cards can be found in my Alphabet Words Letter Tile Cards set.  The cards with blanks can be used in your writing center with dry erase, letter stamps, or writing utensils.  The word building cards with the lowercase or capital letters can be used with letter tiles.

ChickaTree

We used green rice as our base for our sensory bin.  The magnetic alphabet letters are from a long ago order to Oriental Trading.  I tried to spell a student’s name on the tree each morning for them to discover.

ChickaSnackForSchoolWeekTo complete our week we made a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom snack with pretzel rods, green apples slices, and alphabet cookies.  I almost struck out getting something alphabet shaped for this snack since the store had replaced the Cheez-it Scrabble crackers with Spiderman themed ones and there was no Alpha-bits cereal.  I found the alphabet cookies in the aisle with the individually packaged snacks.

My book basket was completely full this week.  I made it through many of them.  Below are some affiliate links to some of the published books I used.  I also used some teacher created books that you can find linked in the lesson plan file.

My lesson plan for this week has been added to the free lesson plan form file in my Teachers Pay Teachers shop.  It includes links to all the books I used as well as songs, crafts, and our Bible story for the week.   Links are included for many activities as well.  Make sure you have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat to be able to CTRL-click the links.

 

 

Bear Theme in PreK

Our first week of school only contained a couple days, so we decided to go with a Teddy Bear theme in PreK.  Even though it was only two days, I still created a full week’s worth of centers activities to fill my room with Rainbow Bears.  I am including a link to my plans in this post so that you can plan your own bear filled week, no matter how many days you may have.

RainbowBearRollAndGraph

In my math center I set up two different bear games.  I chose to use dot markers with the Roll and Graph game, although I could have also used bear counters and laminated the graph sheets.  The dot markers and dice cube I used can be found below through these Amazon Affiliate links:

RainbowBearPathGame

My PreK students also played this Rainbow Bear path game in the math center.  We used large rainbow bears for game pieces and a foam die to decide how many places to move.  This is a good way to get an idea of what your students’ one to one correspondence skills are to begin the year.  You can find the rainbow bears and die below in Amazon Affiliate links:

RainbowBearPuzzles

The bear puzzles on the easel were popular this week.  It was easy for students at the beginning of the year to match up the puzzles by color.  I also placed capital and lowercase letters that each color started with on the puzzles.  You can see the easel is in the window where we get plenty of sunlight from the bottom photo.

Someone had just donated some adhesive magnet sheets to me so it was quick work to print, cut, laminate, cut and add the magnets.  I suggest cutting the puzzles into two pieces after laminating so they will match up nicely for students.

BearActivities

On the table where we do our arts and crafts as well as some literacy activities, I put out Bear Ten Frames for use with play dough, Bear cutting strips, and Bear qtip painting.  The cutting and qtip painting will come back out during our Colors theme week as well.

TeddyBearDoctor

Since we invited students to bring their teddy bears during the first week of school, I decided to start the year with a doctor’s office.  Students doctored a teddy bear, their friends, and even me.

You will notice that I try to have a bin for each item and a label with words and pictures for everything in the dramatic play area.  This really makes clean up much easier and adds additional print awareness to the room.

If you want to do a bear theme in your classroom, you may want to check out my lesson plans.  I have included links to everything I have used.  (None of them are affiliate links.)  There is a list of books, names of songs, and links to find all of my Rainbow bear items.

TropicalBirdCraftsWhen you look at my lesson plans you will notice that I had planned to create a bear mask with my students.  We ended up not having time for this because I forgot to schedule in our chapel time during our first day.  I decided I would rather not feel rushed to complete the bear masks when they would be wet and not be able to be taken home that day anyway.  We ended up finishing up our toucans and macaws for any student who had not attended open house and then put out the bear qtip painting that had not made it out yet.

The macaw craft idea came from this pin.  I adapted the toucan craft from the macaw idea by adding a long beak and taking some ideas from this craft.

BearActivitiesScienceWriting

For our writing center I pulled out a magnetic etch a sketch I got from the local dollar store as well as my ABC Rainbow Bear cards.  Students draw a letter out of the tub and draw that letter on the etch a sketch.

The science center had my scale for exploration, along with bears.  We will use the scale several more times this year, so this week was mostly about free exploration.  The scale I have is found in the affiliate link below.  I got it for about five bucks at a book fair.  We put away the weights that come with it since they are not appropriate for this age group.

 

TeddyBearLessonPlan_Page_1

You can see the first of the two pages of the bears lesson plan above.  The second page includes books used as well as all the centers used for this theme.  To grab my lesson plans for this week, please download my free lesson plan forms.  This week’s lesson plan is also included in this file.  Be sure to have the latest version of Adobe Acrobat and you will be able to CTRL-click the links to see where I found the activities that we did.

 

 

 

 

 

What I Am Printing For Back To School And A SALE

Rainforest Classroom Decor Bundle

Do you have lots of printing to do to get ready for your new school year?  I sure do.

You can see the new Rainforest theme I am putting together for my classroom above.  I am excited to get my room ready with these printables and show you as it comes together.  But first comes our Vacation Bible Camp this week, then waxing the floors….and then lots of printing, cutting and laminating.

Alphabet Bundle

I will also be printing some of the new additions to my alphabet bundle for use in my writing and literacy areas of my room.  I just added the letter tiles cards to this set, which can be used with letter tiles, stamps, dry erase, or any writing utensil you wish.

Question of the Day Bundle

I am also working on a few new additions to my Question of the Day Bundle, which will be added soon.  Fortunately, I have all but the new additions printed and laminated for myself since I use them every year.  So if you already have this one, check your purchases for the update.  I hope to add to it next week after our Vacation Bible Camp finishes.

Fall Math and Literacy Centers Bundle

If I get really ahead I will start printing the fall books from my Fall Bundle.  I have found that my students love reading the books that have their own name on each page.

Ready to color and read
Ready to color and read

If you have anything on your wish list to purchase, please be sure to grab them on Tuesday or Wednesday, August 6th and 7th.  At that time the Teachers Pay Teachers Sale will be going on.  My shop will have everything on sale for 20% off and you can get an additional 5% by using the code BTS19.  My bundles will be incredible deals with the extra percentage off in addition to the regular bundle discount.

SalePinPhotoLayout

Hope you are having a great time prepping for back to school.  I will be excited to start working in my room after the waxing next week.

 

Using Alphabet Letter Tile Word Cards

LowercaseTileBLog

One of my summer projects was to create some activity cards to use my letter tiles more regularly.  I just completed this Alphabet Letter Tile Word Cards set that I plan to use throughout the school year in several ways.  The cards can be used with letter tiles, stamps, dry erase, or with a variety of utensils for letter writing practice.

When I first introduce the letter tiles cards I usually use the cards with the lowercase letters already printed so that it is a matching activity.  Later I will move students on to using the capital letter cards and the blank cards to build the words with the letter tiles.

CapitalTilesBlog

My example photos have the sheets uncut, but I generally cut them into long cards so that students only have one word to look at to avoid confusion.

DryEraseBlog

I also will use the Alphabet Letter Tile Word Cards in my writing center to practice writing words that start with the letter focus of the week.  I also sometimes add words that go with our theme as well, which can also be found in my shop.

Above you can see the dry erase sleeve that I sometimes use.  I also cut and laminate the cards, which makes it easy to put them on a ring.  You can find the dry erase sleeves on Amazon (affiliate link below):

The dry erase marker above is from IKEA.  We are trying these out this year since it appears that students cannot smush the tip into the marker.

StampsBlog

Another way I will use these Alphabet Letter Tile Word Cards is with my alphabet stamp set.  Please forgive how weak my stamp pad was in the photos above.  Obviously we need to try a new kind of stamp pad.  The stamp set link is below  as well as a stamp pad set (affiliate links)  I might try next.  They would not be good for large stamps, but look like they might work well for alphabet stamps.

For more information about this product please check it out by clicking the image below.

Alphabet Words Letter Tiles Cards

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.