Wednesday, September 26, 2012

D is for Dinosaur

D is for Dinosaurs!  At least in my room this week.  There are so many fabulous dinosaur units to pull from.  Kids love dinosaurs.  This week we talked about habitats of dinoaurs, what they ate, how they protected themselves, and how they traveled.  We made a few dinosaurs of our own.  We made "Name Dinosaurs".  They paint their dinosaur and I give them the spiny plates (colored triangles) with the letters of their name on them.  They have to put them in order on top of their dinosaur's back.

 We also used our handprints to make some dinosaurs.  We love to paint!
 Like all great teachers, I search and borrow ideas from other teachers.  One of my favorite teacher that has great idea for independent learning stations is Julie Lee.  She has some awesome ideas! Many times though, the content is too hard for my little Pre-Kers.  So sometimes I take her ideas and make them to fit our curricuclum and ability level.  This is one of those.  My kiddos were palentologists and went on a "Dinosaur Hunt".  I put colored dinosaurs all over the room with letters on them (only up to D because that's as far as we have gotten).  They had a paper in their hands with lettered dinosaurs and they had to go "find" the dinosaur with the matching letter and color it the right color.This was one of their favorite activities of the week.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Cookie Collection

It's "C" week and we love to eat cookies!  My kiddos love playing the "Cookie Collection" game because they get to eat the game pieces at the end.  We are still learning how to take turns with a partner and be good sports--winning and losing.  In this game they roll the dice and cover up the number with "Cookie Crisp" cereal.  This game covers a lotof our math skills for the week including: number recognition, flash counting, counting on, and one-to-one correspondence.  Yum!!

Thankful Things

One of the things I can't live without in my room, especially at the beginning of the year, is name labels.  At the beginning of the year I make several different size name labels for each child in my class.  Most of my children can't write their name for at least the first half of the year.  This is an easy way to get names on art work, class books and pages I want to keep for their portfolios. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Finally Fall

This is our ABC center and they are using highlighters to "spotlight" our letter of the week.

At the Math Station, they are working on pattern caterpillars.

At our Group Center we made caterpillars from the letter C.  This activity was good for following directions.

At the Writing Station the children were rewriting The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  They are writing The Very Hungry________. We put their name in the blank.  They cut out magazine pictures of food they like and glue one on each page with their picture.  At the end of the book they take a nap.  This lesson also reinforces days of the week. 

Today finally feels like Fall!!  It's a very cool 79 degrees.  And for Louisiana, that's nice! The kids loved getting out to play and didn't beg to come in because they were hot.  The teachers didn't even mind having recess duty today!  Now that the school year is progressing, we are getting into a routine--whew!  The first few weeks are tough learning rules and procedures for everything.  The children are gaining some independence with things they are becoming familiar with.  It makes our classroom run much more smoothly.  We are finally getting to do our learning stations.  This week we learned how to move to stations, what to do at particular ones and how to clean up when we are done.  I know we will be review this a lot in the next couple of weeks, but I'm looking forward to the day when it is second nature to them. Here are some pictures from my stations this week.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Roll and Write? Not Quite

I love the ideas of the Roll and Write games I have seen on other peoples pages.  However, at the beginning of the year in my class, most of us cannot write yet.  We do ALOT of tracing!   Their little muscles in their hands aren't developed enough to write.  So, I made my own version of those with tracing.  We play with a partner (and that is a challenge too at the beginning--"Why do I have to take turns?").  They take turns rolling the number cube and then tracing the number that they roll.  This helps with number recognition too.  I just use little 1" cubes and put sticky dots on them.  When we are finished with the game, I peel them off or put new ones over them.  Another way to use them is to use dice and have the children count the dots and then trace the number.  We are not quite ready for this yet.  I hope to have them at my store on TPT by this afternoon. Depends if they are good nappers today or not!

Bye-Bye Bullybug!

Each month our school focuses on a different character trait.  Finding ideas to explain these character traits to 4 years olds can be challenging.  This month our trait is "Compassion".  We talked about being kind to our friends and thinking of ways to show compassion to others.  We read the story Bye-Bye Big, Bad Bullybug by Ed Emberley.  We made "bullybugs" on our paper and then brainstormed ways the Bully bug could be nice to his friends and how he could show compassion to them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

A New Year!

These are some pictures of my room this year.  Every year I rearrange and do something different.  I get bored.  It also makes it feel like a new year!  I took the pictures from several different angles.  Our rooms are pretty small and I have a lot of stuff.  So I organize it for maximum potential. (and so I can find stuff when I need it!)

For teacher's New Year's comes in August or September. It's new children, sometimes a new classroom, sometimes a new co-worker, new ideas to try, new policies, and of course new school supplies! I've heard that if a teacher walks into a store when they put out the school supplies and is not totally drawn by the sights and smells, it's time to retire. I always make resolutions at the beginning of a new school year--things I want to change, things I want to do better. I am an organization junkie! Like if I lived anywhere near a Container Store, I would be in so much trouble! You can tell by the pics I am posting of my classroom, yet every year I want to organize differently and more efficiently. It's a never ending process. This year some of my resolutions are to differentiate my learning. In Pre-k everyone comes in on so many different levels. I want to let some of them take off, hold some of their hands and push a few. I also want to tackle more class books. They really love reading these! I always try to help them grow their independence and I love seeing their faces light up when they figure out they can do it by themselves! This year is off to an interesting start. We stagger the children as they come in so they can learn our school and routine. Most of them were only here a couple of days and Hurricane Isaac hit. We were out a few days and then out for Labor Day. This is our first full week of school. I hope we get in a routine soon. My little ones do so much better with routine!