Friday, December 5, 2014

I is for Insect

I grew up with all brothers and we had a huge "wild" hill down the back of our yard. We spent a lot of time down there and as a result, bugs don't bug me much. (Hehehehe I crack myself up.) Except flying cockroaches. Gah! ross! I didn't even know cockroaches could fly until we lived in Arizona for a while and I was non too excited when I found out. 
   Anyway, we discussed insects during letter I week. We mostly talked about how insects have 6 legs and if they don't have 6 legs, they are a different kind of bug. 
   I found this awesome bag of bugs at our local party store. I did not realize what a treasure trove party stores are for preschool teachers who are looking for random little things that box stores only sometimes stock. 
  Well our bugs found their way into my daughter's bug jar that we made her for her birthday one year. (She doesn't mind bugs either.) 
  The kids had fun taking turns pulling out different bugs and then we sorted them into insects and not insects by counting their legs. It was great math practice and a lot of fun.
  My favorite part? When we were done and the kids just got to play with the bugs. According to my 2 year old son, cockroaches say rawr. I think it's pretty fitting cause those things are not my favorite. 

Here's a sneak peak into our life. My husband, also a bug enthusiast, is a teacher. His go to classroom pet? A praying mantis. Usually he just tells his students to bring them in and they find him one. Have you ever seen a praying mantis hunt and eat? It's pretty primal and very cool. Put it on your bucket list, it's worth seeing. 

Apparently there is a type of mantis that flies. He really wants to find one. 

Okay, back to preschool. Here is a two day project we did for letter I week. We did the insect i when we talked about insects and the ice cream I when we talked about ice cream. (You can check out that post here.) The pipe cleaners were a little hard to deal with so next year, we are just going to do paper legs. 
  


I is for Ice Cream


We had a lot of fun, ice cream centered activities for letter I week. 

We did an ice cream, number recognition. 

Each child rolled a 10 sided dice and colored the corresponding number. Click here for a free printable. 
Click on the ice cream math pdf. You will need to sign up to download. The small grey download button with the blue arrow is the correct link. 

We sang an ice cream song with felt ice cream cones.
(To the tune of 5 little ducks) 5 little ice cream cones in an ice cream shop.
But no one wanted to by them with vanilla on the top. 
So one little ice cream cone took some time to think.
She mixed in some bubblegum and turned herself pink . . . 

Click here for the full tutorial and full lyrics to the song. 

We made capital I, ice cream art. 

Click here  to see the insect activities we did relating to the second half of this project. 

At the end of the day I was really wanting some ice cream so we decided to do an impromptu field trip to the ice cream shop for the next class. (It was really a frozen yogurt place, but we'll take it.) The lady was so nice when she found out we were from a preschool. She showed the kids the freezers and the machines in the back and explained how everything worked.
 

Monday, December 1, 2014

H is for . . .

 . . . hats!

. . .  hexagons!
It is no secret how much I love pattern blocks. Seriously. Coolest. Blocks. Ever. (Awesome Christmas gift for those of you who are stumped.)

Anyway, I was super excited when I found out a couple of years ago that they sell pattern block stickers on Amazon.
Product Details
We worked on making hexagon "cookies" with our pattern blocks and then converted the blocks to stickers so the kids could take their hexagons home. The kids used yellow hexagons, green triangles, blue diamonds, and red trapezoids in different combinations to make a hexagon.
  



Here's a free hexagon cookie pdf. Each hexagon matches the size of the yellow pattern block hexagons. 
When you click on the link, there are a lot of ads on the page. You want to click the small grey download button right beneath the box that says view document.  You will need to sign in to download the paper. You can sign up for a free 4shared account or use your social media outlet to download. Please leave a message below if you have any problems or questions. 

H is for Hide

 Letter H's infiltrated our classroom and hid all over the place hoping to join in the fun. We rounded up those H's and sorted them into capital and lower case letters.


Then the kids infiltrated my house and found their own places to hide for one awesome game of hide and seek. It's the one day a year where they get to check out the upstairs rooms. 



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Easy Fall Themed Center


Here is one of the centers we did last week to continue our work on the season of fall. Each bare tree has a number at the bottom and the kids are responsible for putting the same number of leaves on the branches. For example, the 6 tree would have 6 leaves. The 8 tree would have 8 leaves. Pretty simple and a great way to work on number recognition. 

 You will need to provide your students with a variety of bare trees with numbers below them and cut out leaves for them to put onto the tree. 

G is for Growing Grass

 We are so excited to have some new class members in our class. They aren't the smartest bunch in the class, but they are going to have some awesome hair in a couple of weeks!

Meet the Grass Heads


We planted these during letter G week and talked about how seeds grow. Since grass starts with G, we decided to plant some. To make it more fun, we added faces to our containers and the kids are having fun watching their hair grow. It's like the poor man's chia pet. ; )

This is what they look like after a week and a half. (Sorry for the poor quality picture. I think I might need to ask Santa for a new camera this Christmas. )

The cool thing about these guys (once their hair grows in) is you can practice those awesome scissors skills like we talked about before, here. The kids can cut their hair or style it. however they want. It's pretty fun! I'll keep you posted on how they are doing. 

 Making one is pretty easy too! 

  • Print out some cartoon faces. I printed some out from here. 
  • Glue them onto a clear cup. You want to use clear because then you can see the roots grow.
  • Add some dirt, a thick layer of grass seeds, then another layer of dirt. 
  • Water it about once a day and watch your grass heads grow their own hair!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Halloween



Every year I plan to post our holiday activities before the holiday so people can use them if they want. And every year, I get busy and it doesn't happen. Sorry everyone. To make up for it, I'll include a video of my cuties performing some Halloween stuff for their parents.


Here's one of the "healthy" halloween snacks we had when we made candy corn mosaics.

Candy corn fruit! It's made with pineapple, oranges, and whipped cream.

Here are some ghosts we made with real ghost fluff. ;)

 Here's our Frankenstein craft we made
after reading one of my favorite books, Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott. Here's a sample page from inside the book.  I'm telling you, it's awesome! The pictures are so much fun.

Here is a song we sung
video

I'm a mean old witch with a hat!
I ride on my broomstick with my cat!
My nose is pointy and my chin is too.
You better watch out or I might scare you . . . Boo!

and a poem we recited
video

5 Little Pumpkins
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate.
The first one said, "Oh my, it's getting late."
The second one said, "There are witches in the air."
The third one said, "But we don't care!"
The fourth one said, "Let's run and run and run."
The fifth one said, "We're ready for some fun!"
Then OOOhh went the wind, 
And out went the lights,
And the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.

Happy Halloween!