Lesson Planning in PreK

LessonPlanFormSquareCover

I just finished creating a lesson plan form for myself that I decided to share with you all.  I had a lesson plan form in Open Office that I had modified over time but stopped really using Open Office anymore but I had not made the time to create one in a program I use.  So I added it to my Summer To Do List.

I have struggled with the perfect lesson plan form because I like it to be in chronological order, but I also need a section to put what will be at my centers each week.

The plan I used to use had separate spaces for all the scheduled parts of the day, but I found that some of it was mostly wasting space.  I rarely needed to put anything on my plans about lunch, for example.  So I just left those off of this plan.

LessonPlanForm2

You will notice that there are two sections  with a mention of arts/crafts and/or small group to be listed at those times.  This is when I have centers going on and pull students for arts/crafts and/or small groups.  If I have less than ten students then I am in the classroom by myself, so only one of those will happen during each centers time.  However, if I have an assistant one of us will be working on arts/crafts and the other in small groups each day.

LessonPlanForm3

I am a very visual person so I copy and paste book covers into my plans for Story Time as well as including pictures of the crafts I am planning.  Because of this I decided to figure out how to share a plan that would allow you to add photos to your plan as well in the sections for Arts/Crafts and Small Groups as well as Story Time.

FilledInPlanFormWithPhotos

As you can see above, in order to give maximum text space I overlapped the text and image fields.  This means if you do not want an image you can fill the entire box with text.  If you do want an image I suggest that you add it first so that you can more easily see how much text area you will have and make adjustments to your text size as necessary.

This form opens with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.  Be sure you have the most up to date version since some of the older versions did not allow for editable images.  The files will be downloaded as a zip file.  If you need instructions on how to extract zip files, this page has instructions for both Windows and Mac based computers.

As the year progresses I plan to share some of my plans with you using this form.  I would love to also hear from you if this planning form helps you.  You can find it by clicking any of the images in this post or by heading to my Freebies page.

 

 

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PreK Classroom Layout Changes

PreKClassroomLayout

Changing my classroom layout sometimes seems overwhelming to me.  When I start thinking about moving one area to another spot, suddenly I think of all the other things that will need to be moved and how many issues I need to solve because of the move.  That sometimes makes me decide against a change.  However, I got brave after our preschool camps were finished and managed to make a big change to my classroom with the help of my teen daughter who provided some muscle and some ideas of her own.

Above you can see what the classroom looks like when you walk in the door.  Just inside are my cubbies for lunch boxes and water bottles.  This is also where I put name cards down for answering our Question of the Day, so I knew I still wanted this to stay where it originally was.  I also kept my easel and math/fine motor table where they had been for the time being.  I did add  a new piece of yoga mat under the easel to keep it from “walking” when students work on it.  I found mine locally at a discount store, but you can find them on Amazon as well.  (Affiliate link below.)

PreKClassroomArrangement

My main art and literacy table needs to be close to the sink.  I kept it close to where it has been but moved the art supplies to be the back of the library area.  This makes the circle time area, where I will be having blocks, easy to see if I am working at the art table.  I don’t know at this point for sure how many students will be in my classroom next year, but do know that I wanted to move the block area to utilize the circle time rug to free up some space for other areas in the room if I had a larger group again like I had in the past year.

My main table usually has six chairs during centers time but moves up to eight during snack and lunch.  I am still working out how many chairs I will have in my room for the fall.  The number of students I end up with will help me figure this out.  It may also make some changes to my layout.

PreKClassroomLibraryArea

Since I moved the blocks to the circle area I could not have the library area near the circle time rug anymore.  I decided to put the library where I used to have blocks.  This makes the area a little larger.  I may need to move the bookshelf against the wall, especially if the science table ends up needing to accommodate more than two students.  The library pillow is a pet pillow from IKEA.  So far the camp kids loved using it, so I am happy with the addition to my room.

PreKClassroomScienceSensory

The blue table usually works as my science center in my classroom.  If I need to have more seating I will need to rotate this table and place an end against the wall.  I am playing around with placing the sensory bin either way.  The pretend play in the corner will change every few weeks, but I think I have plenty of space for adjustments.

You can also see the writing table in the foreground.  I had two tables like these for writing last year and have not decided if one will do or if I want to get another slightly larger table and scoot some things to make enough space for two students.  I do like the table being next to the small shelf because I imagine I will use the top of it for placing writing supplies for the center.

PreKClassroomPretendBlocks

This corner has always been my pretend play corner.  It has just been a matter of whether it gets enlarged along the front or side wall.  The main shelf may end up more angled to be parallel with whatever arrangement I end up with the circle rug.  The reason for this is that I no longer have a spot for an alphabet due to my rearranging.  The alphabet may end up on the back of that shelf.

My entire rearranging idea started with putting the blocks on the circle rug.  I like this idea since it gives more space for building.  I do need to still figure out the alphabet placement as well as think about where I will do my small groups activities during centers since I alternated between doing them on the circle time rug and at the science table in the past.

PreKClassroomCirclePuzzlesWriting

It currently feels super roomy in this section of the room so I know I can make some adjustments based upon how the use of the room works during our Vacation Bible Camp next month.

Be sure to check out my latest freebies.  I just added a lesson plan form that I updated for use during the next school year.

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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?

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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

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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

 

 

 

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Penguin Math Games in PreK

GridGamePin

So I had grand plans when I found these penguin erasers at Oriental Trading and then we had a bunch of snow days.  Since I already created several games I decided to use some of them in our early care room instead.

Above you can see the Penguin Grid Game.  Students roll a die to figure out how many penguin pictures to cover.  If you don’t have the erasers  the students could use goldfish crackers to feed the penguins or Aldi’s has penguin crackers as well that could be fun.  I see that the erasers are also available at Fun Express, but I am unfamiliar with that company.

The younger students in early care worked on matching penguin colors to fill in the grid, while the older ones worked using the die as well.

PathGamePin

For the Penguin Path Game, students chose their favorite color penguin to take from start to finish.  They rolled the die and moved the appropriate number of spaces.  This involves practice counting as well as working on one to one correspondence when moving along the path.

There is also a spinner included in this set of math games that can be used to play the path or grid game.  I chose to make the spinner separate from the boards in case you want to use the die instead.  I also find that students tend to knock their pieces all around while spinning if the spinner is attached to the board.

PatterningPin

In our PreK classroom we work on patterning with our calendar cards daily, but I also like to rotate in centers on a regular basis to practice patterns.  These ones can be used without the erasers by using the answer choice pieces at the bottom of each set of pattern strips.

I cut and laminated mine to use with the erasers, but if I did not have the erasers I would cut and laminate the answer choices.  I would then utilize velcro dots or clothespins to have students secure their response to the strips.

Penguin Math Centers

This set of Penguin Math Games can be found in my TPT shop.  If there are other penguin related activities you would like to see be added, please let me know.

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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.

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Winter Theme Books and Songs for PreK

WinterBooks

During our winter theme week I have many favorite winter books to share with my students.  Some of them work well with a hibernation theme as well.  I have several felt and magnet sets to go with some of these winter books that I will share sources for below.  Large photos of book covers will lead you to Amazon.  If you purchase through the link I will get a few cents as an affiliate link.

The Mitten by Jan Brett is a classic winter tale with incredibly beautiful and detailed illustrations.

To go along with this story I created a white mitten on my knitting loom.  You can find a pattern here if you have a loom.  I used photos of animals from 1+1+1=1 that I laminated to put into the mitten as we retell the story.  I would love to eventually get animal figures to go in the mitten.

Other activities related to The Mitten that I have used include:

Mitten Character Classification from Pre-K Pages

The Mitten Letter Mazes from 1+1+1=1

Jan Brett’s Mitten Retelling Pieces with Mitten

The Mitten in the Snow Song

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is another classic must read.  The students I teach do not live in a city, so we discussed what told us that he lived in an apartment building as opposed to a house or townhouse.

Story Retelling Cards — These have been updated since I downloaded so are different clip art than I have used.

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel is one I use to teach the American Sign Language for our winter clothing words.  As I read I don’t say the word after the first time and just sign it.  The students sign and/or call out the word to finish the phrase.

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow felt board pieces

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London is one of the many Froggy books we read during the year.  This is another book that I use to reinforce American Sign Language signs.

Story Retelling Pieces at Kizclub

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen is a great calm book to read aloud.  It shares a night adventure between a child and father looking for owls at night.  Each page has hidden animals to watch for.

A Silly Snowy Day by Michael Coleman is a fun story about a tortoise who wants to go out in the snow even though he should be hibernating.


Curious George Snow Day by H.A. Rey is familiar to many students.  Several of my students remembered the skis and snow shoes from this story when they were working at centers later in the week to build those words.

MyWinterBookSquareCover

In small groups we used my Winter Book printables.  Students really enjoyed having a book with their own name on each and every page.  I even created some extra copies for the students in our early care who are not yet old enough for my classroom.  They carried their books around and hugged them.

Songs for a Winter Theme

I’m a Little Snowman There are many versions of this one so I try to have the words in front of me so I don’t mangle several versions together.

It Is Snowing This one is great to sing quietly and to use the ASL signs for snow and quiet.

Ten Little Snowmen This is not the exact version I have.  Mine ends with snowmen melting in the sun.  I have ten snowmen on my magnet board to go along with the song.

Ten Little Snowflakes  This link has an explanation of how she does this song with a flannel board.

A Winter Patterning Freebie

SnowmanPatterningSquareCoverBetween having bad weather and having an overwhelming amount of winter theme centers I realized I forgot to share my Winter Patterning Freebie.  You can find your way to it through my new Freebies page on my blog.

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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.

 

 

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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:

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