Saturday, October 3, 2015

T is for . . .

 . . . tops
     Where do you find tops you ask? At your local party store of course! Have I told you what a gold mind that place is for finding random things that normal stores don't carry? It's my new favorite place to get preschool stuff!

 . . . truck math
     Check out the full instructions and free printable here.

. . . turtle climbers
      These turtle climbers were a huge success! We used the instructions over at Make and Takes. The only alteration I made was I doubled up the yarn so it didn't slide quite so easily. Thanks for the great idea!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Letter Poking

 Here's a simple way that we practice letters. Each week we do a letter of the week and have a corresponding worksheet. The day that we don't do the worksheet, we do poke letters. I print a large upper case and lower case letter on a paper. Then the kids use a skewer to poke the letter. As they poke it, they alternate between saying the letter name and the letter sound. Pretty easy and a good way to practice our letters. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Summer Fun - Rainbow Crayons

Sometimes you learn things about yourself that just kind of make you laugh. This blog is kind of like a filing cabinet for myself. I keep ideas that we've done and remember if they worked well or not and all that jazz. When getting ready for school starting I decided to start reviewing and tweaking my lesson plans for next year. I went to the letter z link and realized, there are no letter z activities posted.

This made me laugh because I do a letter z lesson every year, but is has never been posted because I am always behind, and then summer hits, and then I stop posting, and then the school starts again, and I start over posting stuff from the beginning of the year, which is, you guessed it, letter a.

Silly Miss Laura. Anyway, this isn't a letter z post either. Hahaha. It should be, but, well, it's not. Maybe someone needs to send me weekly words of encouragement that I can get the year done before school starts. I will work for chocolate if that interests anyone. :)

I think I miss posting things because I am feeling really chatty. How was your summer? Mine was crazy, but I have been learning some really cool stuff with all the classes I am taking. Ok, for real.

Rainbow Crayons.

Amidst the crazy, my kids and I did an impromptu craft project. We made some rainbow crayons. We ended up using them for party favors, but we have also used them for Valentines, put them in church bags, or kept them in my purse with a small notebook for times when you unexpectedly have to wait and you haven't brought a bag of toys like you might normally do if you knew you were going to wait with children in tow.

It's really easy and a great thing to do with all your broken, left over crayons. I don't know about you, but left over crayons are abundant in our house. Ours live in a can, yours might live in a pencil box or a bag or a box, but I know they are lurking around your house somewhere. This is a great solution for what to do with them instead of throwing them out. Plus, this makes a great rainy day project. 
Some brands melt better than others and I'm sure there's a scientific reason, but we just threw whatever we had into the mix.

1. Gather your broken crayons. Peel them, and break them into 1 inch or smaller pieces.
2. Put them into an oven safe, shaped muffin tin. We had hearts on hand so that's what we did, but you can always do it in a regular muffin tin if you want.

3. Put pieces into the tins and fill them pretty full.
4. Bake at the lowest temperature possible for about 30 minutes. Each oven/crayon type is different, so just keep checking back until all the crayon pieces are melted.
5. Carefully take them out without swirling or mixing the colors.
6. Let harden, then take out of the tins by tapping them on the floor and slightly bending them.

I know some people use a separate pan that they only use for crayon melts. We used one we normally bake with. After we were done, I scrapped all the hardened crayon bits off, then ran it through the dishwasher and it was fine.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Changing our Mindset by Changing our Words

 I saw this amazing bulletin board on facebook, posted by Volunteer Spot. This idea has really been on my mind lately with changing the way we handle challenge. I wanted to remember it so I decided to post it here in my digital filing cabinet. :)

P.S. I plan on posting some new preschool stuff in the next couple of weeks. You know when life throws you curve balls and you go into survival mode and other things kind of get put on hold. We're kind of at that point right now, so please be patient. It doesn't help that one of those curve balls was that our camera broke. So blogging is challenging when you can't take pictures. Anyway, we will get through this and solve problems, and come back with some really fun ideas. Thanks for waiting.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Growth Theory

 I have been taking a few classes this summer to make my license current and have been learning some fun things. As one of my assignments I had to make a screen cast about something I learned in class. I was really excited to talk about the difference between fixed theory and growth theory. 

I used two books as references. They are both amazing. This first one is written for the general public and is amazing at helping you rethink how you take on challenges. The second is written for teachers and gives more specific strategies for engaging students in a classroom. 

We want students to have a growth mindset. Which means we want them to react positively to challenges and believe that they can learn and grow when something is hard. If you're interested in learning more about it, here's the screen cast I did. 

The first part is reviewing fixed and growth theory. The second part is the application - what we can do to foster growth theory. It's about 10 min long total. It gets a little technical, but it's a fascinating subject and can really apply to adults as well. It was a lot of fun to learn about these concepts (not so much fun listening to myself talk), but I am excited to use them in my classroom!

Part 1
Part 2