Teddy Bear Theme Questions
For our first short week of PreK we celebrate a Teddy Bear Theme to help students learn about their new classroom.
Each day starts with a Question of the Day like the one above. The teddy bear themed questions can be found in the Rainbow Bears Centers in my shop. My students choose their name card and place it under the response they choose. Later in the day during circle time we count and discuss the responses, learning about most and least, ties and the word unanimous.
Since the easel can be seen upon entering the room I like to start the first week with all of my students name on the easel. I was worried I was going to run out of letters to spell them all, but got lucky with just enough letter As to make all twelve names. Later in the year I will revive this center when students are more interested in spelling each other’s names.
Teddy Bear Theme Math
Games that are simple and easy to succeed in playing are important for the math center during Teddy Bear week in PreK. The path game is also in my Rainbow Bears Centers.
The top game can be found here. I do notice that our bears have more of a red-orange, which makes it a little more challenging for students to differentiate between red and orange. If I bought more rainbow bears I would probably buy in person to be able to see the shade of orange.
The bottom game is a simple Teddy Bear path game. Students roll the die and move to the correct color bear. At the end of the game if there are no more of that bear color to move forward students may move to the end to win.
Each of these games is a good way to review colors and turn taking at the beginning of the year and allow most students to feel successful right away in the classroom.
Teddy Bear Theme at Circle Time and Fine Motor or Literacy Center
During circle time I usually have at least one poem or song on the pocket chart, although it is definitely not the only song or poem we use all week. For the Teddy Bear Theme in PreK my main song is Ten in the Bed in the pocket chart. Students practice lots of counting with this song. I put velcro on the bears to put them in the bed. It is pretty strong velcro, so I used sticky tack to help keep the bed in the pocket chart as well as holding it still with my hand for each child to come up and take a bear out of bed.
We also use the action song, Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear during this week. I have discovered that there are many versions of this song out there, so check out several and choose the one you like best. Lots of turn taking and movement help keep students engaged and on task during circle time.
Note: I sing most of my songs myself as I find the students join in more often if I sing compared to playing a song. If I sing then I can start up a song while in line somewhere besides next to whatever I use to play music for the students. We often sing while getting in line and waiting for the last student to join us.
I introduce q-tip painting right away with my PreK students. I found the colorful qtips at my local Dollar Tree, which definitely helps encourage kids to not accidentally mix paint. Some students will need explicit instruction to not mix paints on purpose when they are in a center that everyone uses. I keep this center near myself or my assistant during the first week so we can help model expectations. These pages are also found in the Rainbow Bears Centers.
Not every activity in the classroom has to have bears in it during Teddy Bear Theme in PreK week. My sensory bin is a simple bin with black beans, funnels,and some tools to help gather, catch, and pour. Students also begin to learn how to clean up when spills happen with a small hand broom and dust pan.
Teddy Bear Theme Writing Center
I put out bear theme alphabet cards and a few draw and erase boards for students to explore for the writing center. The bear cards are in the Rainbow Bears Centers.
You could put bears in the science center with the scale, but I put foam shape blocks. Since it is the beginning of the year, my expectations are for students to explore the scale. Later in the year I will bring the scale back out with specific activities led by myself or my assistant or with activity cards.
Grocery Store Dramatic Play
For a successful beginning of the year dramatic play area I choose a center that is simple and high interest. I also limit how many accessories are out so that students do not get overwhelmed when cleaning up.
For the grocery store I limited the number of groceries.
With all dramatic play themes I generally have name tags for students to wear. This helps me figure out who is supposed to be in the center if too many students end up there. It also helps define roles for students. For example, the grocery store has a shopper and a cashier name tag. Students wear the tag for the role they want. They switch if they want to switch roles.
Freebies for You
Be sure to check out my Freebies for PreK Teachers page for lots of help this year.