We spent two weeks on our Community Helpers theme. One of our crafts involved mixing paint to make a fire. I showed my students red and yellow paint, putting some of each on the paper. I placed a piece of plastic wrap on top of the paint and asked them to mix the two colors to make a fire to put out. We discussed how we started out with yellow and red and then I asked them what other color they saw when they were finished. The next day we painted hands blue after gluing on a hose. Students used their blue hands to make water come out of the hose to put out the fire. Activity was inspired by this pin.
Thanks to another teacher I received these small red cups. I placed foam numbered flames with hot glue onto each cup after discovering that sticky tack definitely does not work. Students sprayed the cups to put out the fires. As the sensory bin was used it got more difficult to place the cups in stacks due to the fact that the cups slide around in the water.
These community helper puzzles were a great find at the Green Valley Book Fair. I love that they are self checking; they will not go together unless they are in the correct puzzle.
In addition to community helper activities we also worked on letter C activities. My students are very interested in everything dot marker, so I put together many different dot marker activities for my students. The one pictured can be found here.
Our pretend play has been an Auto Shop. Printables for this are from Pocket of Preschool. I discovered a few things this year that were not an issue last year. I tried a different method of raising up the car this year. The cubes worked okay, but one student tried to kneel on one of them. So, we ended up sliding the two crates directly under the car, which actually allowed two spots for the students to lay under the car at a time.
I also discovered that my students liked twisting the pipe cleaner wires around the crate instead of into the car. I did not complain since it was still great fine motor work for them.
I also discovered that my students liked dumping things into the car and sometimes needed help getting things out to put them away.
Next we will take the car and turn it into a tractor for our pumpkin patch.
We start our day with our Question of the Day. I usually have questions that go along with whatever we are studying, so this past week we have had several questions about community helpers. I thought this one would be one that everyone would say yes to, but that was not the case. Learn something new about my students every day. My community helper themed questions can be found in this set.
To go along with our question, I had put out the play house with laminated flames stuck to it. I also found a set that was meant for play dough play and used it instead to attach to blocks for some block area fun. One of my students had all the fire fighter blocks balanced on the fire truck block and slid it across the carpet to put out the fire.
Our writing center focused on the letter M during the week. We used the Alphabet Stamping Set with some ink pads and my alphabet stamps from Melissa & Doug. This writing center will return in a few weeks with another letter. I like to switch up what is in the writing center and then circle back to something familiar in a few weeks with another letter or theme.
This is a center that I did not expect to be as huge a hit as it was. Part of the reason is probably that I found a couple of different punches that were easier for my beginning of the year PreK students to use. No luck finding a photo of the ones I used online, but the students could line up the letter in the shape and then punch using their thumb and two fingers. There is a similar type punch here. I had a few try out the hand grip hole punch, but we need to work up to that one. You can find one of the hole punch sets here.
I am discovering more about the group of students I have this year. I had several who were interested in trying out the first set of count and clips I put out this year. I have found that some years kids really enjoy these and other years they get ignored. Happily this seems to be a good year for these if this past week is any indication. Students count the bandages and then clip the clothespin to cover the correct number. This set came from Making Learning Fun.
For our sensory bin this week I chose rocks and aquarium gravel. I also used construction vehicles. This makes for a loud sensory bin, but the kids loved playing with it all week. In the past I have used rocks with sand, but since we used sand during the first week of school I wanted to give them a different experience.
And just to keep it real, a look at the bin after a day of play.
What are some of your favorite community helper theme centers?