Tuesday, July 8, 2014

White Board and Easel Games

I have tried very hard to use my great easel in my classroom, but I struggle.  We cannot always have paint, although all the students would love it!  It is hard to have enough space to use the easel since it is so big!  So I began trying using it it for various things.  In the beginning of the school year I use if for "Look Who Is Here" with their pictures and their name card.  In the morning as my students arrive, they hang up their picture or their name matched to their picture.  
I use the back side for painting weekly but, not every day.  I use it for drawing too, but we needed something new.  Below are the games I have began using and I am in the process of creating more.  My easel is a magnetic white board.  If you don't have this type, setting aside space on your white board will work.  Buying a  smaller white board may also work.

The cards seen here are laminated and have magnets on the back.  I use the sheet magnets from Oriental Trading Company.  They have a stick side to adhere to the cards.  I add the cards to a bucket on the shelf and give the students a few dry erase markers and they are ready to write!  I have now added a number line to put at the top of the board so that my students had a number to look at or copy if they needed a model.    The first one I made is Count and Write Dental!  The one below is Count and Write Bugs.  My students love finishing all of the cards and then getting their photo taken with the work they did.  I print it out and place it right in their portfolio!  So easy!  I can also assess them using our Teaching Strategies Gold documentation for their final assessment for each quarter.  It has become a favorite activity!  We hang up their picture on our door when they finish this too!  It is quite special.  Their parents love it!
Stop by and grab one of these Count and Write games at my TPT store.  
                                                         Count and Write on TPT

Play Dough Mats for Preschool

I have worked all year long and never got the time to get my activities up on TPT!  I have tweaked and researched and I am finally ready to share my stuff!!!  I make things that I want to use and that I know other preschool/kindergarten teachers will use.  I love all of the cute things I that I have seen and I thought to myself, you know, I can do this too!!!  I have included a preview of the product with some pictures of my students using them.
I began the year by making play dough activities.  I wanted to change up my play dough and make it a bit more educational and meaningful.  I had kids in my class who were using their creativity, and they were strengthening their fine motor, but seemed to need more.  I started with the play dough mats.  Here you can see how much fun these can be!
My students love rolling out the "worms" for the numbers and then using a real plastic knife and cutting off cylinders for the marshmallows in the mugs!  I have also had fun using these during teacher evaluations.  My bosses love that I can sit and assess as they are learning!  Shocking, right?!
Here is a sneak peak into my other great play dough mats...
                                                         Flower Play Dough Counting Mats
This game is my favorite one... Play Dough Pizza Math Mats!!!  I found the greatest clip art from the 3A.M. Teacher!  It was calling my name.  I have not used this one yet but I cannot wait to try it.  I am going to print it and try it out with my twin girls!  I know they will love it!
                                                       Play Dough Pizza Math Mats
 I hope you love these.  I know your students will!  Enjoy!



Wednesday, March 12, 2014

DR. SEUSS CELEBRATION WEEK!

It been a wild week of rhyming, counting, and reading our favorite Dr. Seuss stories!  We started off with the Cat in The Hat.  It was fun!  We made Thing 1 and Thing 2 "hair by cutting paper strips and gluing them to a sentence strip.  I made them each a Thing 1 or Thing 2 shirt signs and took great "photo booth style" pics for the kids to share with their families.  We are making frames and giving them to our moms and dads at the end of the week.  Day 2 we read the ever popular Green Eggs and Ham!  It was so much fun.  We made platters like this one below.  This was a cutting activity.  We are working on cutting pre-drawn shapes to get ready for the cutting and gluing activity worksheets our 5's will have to do once they are in kindergarten.  These too provided us with a photo opportunity that we are going to surprise our parents with on Friday.
We added fun foam eggs and hams for our water table.  This was a hit with many kids.  Our ham's were so good looking 2 of them had bite marks in them after the first day! 
We needed many more frying pans and after taking the photo here I finally found them!
Cooking came next and the drama that came with green scrambled eggs could have been worthy of an Academy Award!  Many of them were convinced they could not eat green eggs!  The faces were hilarious!  All liked them except one!  And they loved the heated up sliced ham!

The Lorax was next!  This story is so cute and I love reading it!  My students were very focused on listening and really got into it.  Once done we all had a great conversation about trees and where things come from.  Many of my students continued to comment through the end of the day about where animals would go if we bought more blocks for our classroom!  It was too funny!
These turned out great, but the conversation was even better!  Some drew animals in their pictures and were talking about how happy they will be by the trees they made.  
The rest of the week includes reading more fun Dr. Seuss and making some adorable FOX IN SOCKS!  I will post those soon!
What are you doing to celebrating Dr. Seuss?



Monday, March 3, 2014

My New Teacher Planner Has Arrived!!!

My new teacher planning book has finally arrived and I am so glad!  I have wanted to order a planner from Erin Condren forever!  She has an amazing website of fun products.  I took some photos of what actually comes when it arrives at your door, so you too may want one!
It arrives in a very "designer looking" box!  I have to say it was very pretty!  It comes from FedEx too, so it was here early one week day morning, when I had two sick children at home. It gave me a project to fill up my day off!
When I opened it, the inside was very fancy!  It was all wrapped in matching tissue and had adorable stickers and samples inside.
This was the first part I could open, but I went straight for the orange tissue and barely had time to snap the photo to share with you here!  I ordered the planner and a set of markers.  I also ordered  the elastic bands that hold your place in the book.
Erin sends you sample labels from her site which are very cute!  I may have to get a few when I run out.  It is a very generous sample!   
       
 Finally, I got to open it!  This is my new planner.  It has blank calendar pages for each month so you fill in the dates!  It will work whenever you buy it!  It is not set on this year.  In other words, she has no numbered days on the month at a glance pages.  You fill in the calendar yourself. I was worried when I ordered mid year if that were going to be the case!  Mine was on sale too, which I figured was a "sign" that I should order one!
I highly recommend getting one of these if you need something that helps you stay on track at work!  Here is the link to her site!  Go check it out!  And if you are not a teacher, she has life planners that are great too!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Dental Week in Preschool

We had a prospective donor coming to our program so we spiced up our dental activities.  We began by talking about things that keep our teeth healthy.  We gave all of out students floss and got to practice what it was like to use it.  We had this tray to practice as well.  The students had green play dough to use as food stuck in between our teeth and then plastic lanyard to use as floss.  Our mega blocks were the teeth.

We made my favorite art project too!  The pink play dough and white Lima beans for the teeth is quick to set up and funny to photograph!  We let each student make it and then take their picture next to their art.  I left out this student's face but we created a book of our funny faces with teeth!
I have recently been trying to find new things to do with my easel.  It is hard to use it for painting with so many things going on in the room.  It usually takes an adult to monitor it.  So her dis what I have come up with of this week.  We made it a math station.  The picture cards are lamina tined and have magnets on the back.  There are dry erase markers and each student comes, counts the objects on the cards, and writes the answer.  Then we photograph them so that we have it for their file and we even send it to their parent over my cell phone.  I had great responses from the parents who received the picture of their child's accomplishments.  They were very proud.  
We also jazzed up our tooth brushing table but we had trouble taking a picture that made it look as good as it does in person.  The kids love it.  As they come out they have picture cards of foods that are good and bad for teeth.  They place their food card on this table and then sit down to brush!

 We are trying hard to make our students learn as much as they can about teeth care!  I think they love going out to our fun table so I know we are making an impact.  They get to brush now to music thanks to one of our co-workers.  I know they love that!

Fun Winter Counting Activities-Come Enjoy Them Now on TPT!

I have worked hard on these winter activities and they were a big hit in my class.  I finally have an entire winter unit on TPT for you to use!  Come on over and check it out!


My latest obsession is making new games for my students.  I have worked hard on  my winter math games and I want to share them with you.  I have tried to make something for every level student I have.  This first group of pictures is from the lowest level math game which is one to one correspondence up to 5.  I found these supplies at Michael's and made the rest on my computer.  I went to KPM Doodles for the adorable clip art!


I made many levels of math fun, including these that I used cute Dollar Store green and purple containers to hold them.  I added very easy and basic classroom supplies to put these together.  
                                      
My favorite new activity is to make mats for learning with play dough!  This month we made the number in play dough and then added that many marshmallows to the hot chocolate.  This was very popular. You can buy the Play Dough Hot Chocolate Mats by themselves or in the Winter Activity Bundle.  Use the ink at the top of this blog entry.


We recently purchased these dry erase clear plastic sleeves.  They are a new center for our tables.  We put various papers in them.  This one seen here is count, tally, and write numbers.  It was great counting practice!  It had many levels and all of my students could practice.  We have been using this style of activity for letter and number formation practice.  I have 17 students who will be going onto kindergarten and they seem to love using dry erase markers so why not!
 We are also working on putting numbers in order.  This link game is easy and we partner two students up to use it.  This game goes up to 12.  Below I made a snowman match.  Students had to use a magnifying glass to find the matching snowman.  This game was quick but fun!
 Out math/art project was making a mug of hot chocolate.  We added real mini marshmallows and then counted them and wrote the number of marshmallows on the mug.  Here you can see number cards for the students who needed a model to look at used.  We drizzled hot chocolate powder on it when we were done to make it like a scratch n' sniff!  We hung these in the main hallway of the school and let's just say everyone enjoyed them and some a little too much.  They did not come down with the same amount of marshmallows they went up with!

My last math game was a snowman counting game.  I made this game woo and used these great Dollar Store items.  These we used on a rug on the floor and we counted up to 10 with these.
I hope your month finds lots of fun winter math happening and that these ideas inspire you to make something fun too!  

Letter Activities Everywhere!

Letters have taken over my preschool room and my children are really great at writing letters!  We have taught them many different ways and the amount of letter recognition happening is so wonderful I thought I would share it!  We began sorting letters back in the fall and above is a sorting activity my class did on the easel.  The green line in the middle is for letters that have circles and lines.  
Dry erase boards are one on my class' favorite wiring activities!  Here is an example of a child who just began recognizing her name and she is now working on trying to write some of the letters on her own.  She did this activity all on her own with out being asked (which really made me happy).
This child has been with me a year and he loves the dry erase board because he can fix his "Z" each time until it is just the way he wants it!  

This letter hunt is one of my class' favorite centers.  We set this out on a lunchroom tray at a seat and put different colored bingo markers out to dot the letter.  There is a pencil and bingo marker on the try so that they can do the letter hinting and the letter writing.  All of my students love this and we do too!  I found this on TPT.  Click here to grab this product! It is only $3!
We have places for all of our students to get as much name practice as they can throughout the year.  Here a new student practiced his name by matching the letters on his card.  The letters are blue if they are a consonant, and red if a vowel.  We begin with students matching the colors on their name card. 
I also tried out a basic "write the room" style letter and number hunt for my students.  Some just like writing on the clipboards, but some really like hunting for the letters.  We have a number hunt too!  Here is the station we have set out.  Usually the students partner up and hunt together.  This month to make it more interesting for the students, we will be hunting with lucky "letter glasses!"  They are shaped like shamrocks and are from the dollar store.  I think they are really going to enjoy hunting wight he glasses on!  
This next photo is of the letter cards that I hid around the room for my students to find.  The number sheet they traced the number, and the letter sheet, they circle the letter.  I then have them bring the sheet to me for informal assessment.  They have to find at least 5 of each and then identify them with me.  IT is great fine motor and they love using the clipboards.  All of the numbers had a snowman next to them to help the students find them.