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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Color Zoo

In class we read a fun book by Lois Elhert called Color Zoo. The author makes fun animals using simple shapes for their various face features. As you turn the pages, it takes a large shape away to reveal a new animal.

We made our own color zoo in class using a variety of shapes in a variety of sizes. We talked about what animals we see in zoos and how we can make their eyes, ears, noses, and mouths using shapes. Next time, I think we will look at pictures of the animals that they want to make and talk about what shape would be best for each feature. We would talk more about how animals with pointy ears, would use pointy shapes to make the ears, etc.

Very Talented

We have had an epidemic of talented toes in our classroom lately. The kids have all started picking up things that they drop with their toes instead of bending down to pick it up. (I wonder where they got that idea from? If you didn't know, I am 8 months pregnant.) It is so funny to watch and some of them have gotten quite good at it. It is so fun to be around such life, loving kids!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

D is for Drums

We explored sound this week in preschool.
I have a collection of various different instruments that the kids got to try out and play.
We watched a short segment from Blues Clues: The Musical. Ray Charles teaches Steve about notes, rhythm, and tempo. Then we tried using our voices and instruments to make different notes, rhythms, and tempos.
We explored soft verses loud sounds by trying to put different objects into easter eggs and shaking them. We recorded which objects made loud sounds and which objects made soft sounds.

But most importantly . . . we made our own drums! (Thank you so much to Hudson's mom for donating the cans for us to use!)

We had our own drum line.

And you can't have drums without a parade!

Here's how you make it:

You Need:
Aluminum cans with lids (like coffee cans or instant breakfast cans)
Construction paper
Rubber bands
White glue & glue sticks
Flat push pins
Twine (optional)

What you do:
1. Cover the lid with white glue and press it onto the felt. After it has dried, cut a circle around the lid about 2 inches bigger than the lid.
2. Cut the construction paper to fit around the can. Tape pieces together as necessary.
3. Cut a strip of felt about 3/4 inch wide to cover the rubber band you will use later.
4. Decorate your construction paper and let dry completely if you have used glue.
5. Use glue stick to put glue all around your can and press the paper onto the can. Use a bit of tape to hold it on if necessary.
6. Put on the felt lid and secure it with a rubber band around the top of the can. Pull the felt tight under the rubber band. Glue the felt strip over the rubber band to hide it. Put the pushpin at the end of the felt strip to hold it in place.
7. (If wanted) Use a hammer and nail to nail two holes in the side of the drum. String the twine through the holes to make a band that goes around your neck.

For drum sticks, we used un-sharpened pencils, but you could make your own with dowels and rolled foam or yard covered foam balls.


As noted in our post about apples, we discussed healthy foods and what foods are good for our body. As an extension of that discussion we did this quick and easy project. (In my opinion, any time you have an excuse to outline the kids' bodies and do something with coloring, cutting or gluing, you are going to have a great activity. There is something especially fun about working on something that is life size.)What you Need:
butcher paper (we used the rolls from IKEA)
cut outs of various types of foods

What we did:
1. We traced one of the student's body onto the paper and I outlined it in black to give it more definition.
2. Each child got a few food cards that they had to decide whether they were healthy foods or not. If they were healthy, they taped them up on the body. (We want to put healthy foods into our body.) If they weren't healthy foods, we put them to the side. I explained that it is okay to eat those foods sometimes if you only have a little bit of them.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy!

C is for Cookie . . .

". . .that's good enough for me!"

You can't have a letter C day without this song!

Art & Math: We made Cute Caterpillar Chains. To enhance the project, the kids made patterns with their chains to work on their math skills.
You need:
8 - 12 1 x 10 inch strips
1 - 2 x 10 inch strip
googly eyes
2 small strips for antennea (Curl the strips with a pair of scissors)

Math: Sharing Chocolate Chip Cookies
This is one of my favorite activities!
It is adaptable for preschool to 3rd grade. In our setting it teaches sharing things equally and counting.
We read The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins. It is a book about a brother and sister who have 12 cookies to share, but more and more neighbors keep coming so they have to share with more people.

You need:
Cookie Crisp Cereal
12 small individual pictures of a child or 12 "friends" to share with per child - You could easily use those counting bears instead of pictures. I used a picture like this:
Each student started with 2 people and 12 "cookies" (the cereal). They shared their 12 "cookies" evenly between the 2 people and counted how many cookies each person got. We then added 2 more people so there were 4. They shared the 12 cookies with the four people and counted how many each person got. You can then repeat the process sharing with 6 and 12 people.

Snack: C shaped Cookies!

A is for Apple

Our first official letter of the day day was the letter A. We did all things apples!

Math: I made a sheet with 5 apples on it. Each apple had a corresponding 1 - 5 number next it. The students identified which number was which and glued that many "seeds" onto each apple. We used beans because I didn't have seeds, but we easily could have used the seeds from our apple smile snacks that we made later if I had thought ahead.

Art: We read the book Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert and talked about healthy eating habits. We looked at pictures of different foods and decided whether they were healthy or unhealthy. We used those pictures later for another activity. Next, we made our own "healthy" apple trees using finger paints. (Sorry for the lack of pictures with the kids, but it's hard without a camera!)
For this project you need:
- green, red, and brown paint
- construction paper

1. Paint the side of your hand and part of your arm brown and stamp it on the paper to make a trunk.
2. Use your pointer finger to dab or paint green on the top of the trunk for leaves.
3. Use your pinky finger to lightly dab small dots of red for apples.

(idea from http://www.dltk-kids.com - This is a great resource of activities for different subjects, ages, group sizes, and abilities)

Snack: We made apple smiles for snack using apple slices, peanut butter, and mini marshmallows.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Teeth Brushing Song

Here is a song we learned for tooth day.

Tooth Brushing Song

(Sing this tooth song to the tune of “Do Your Ears Hang Low”)

Are your teeth clean and white?
Do you brush them left and right?
Do you brush them in the morning?
Do you brush them every night?
Do you brush them up and down?
Do you brush them round and round?
Are your teeth clean and white?

Thursday, September 23, 2010


When I was teaching third grade, I was the health specialist for all of the third grade classes. Twice a week I got to teach them great stuff about how our body works and what we can do to keep our minds and body healthy. We got to do a lot of cool stuff like look at the effects of smoking on a real pig's lung and study what the inside of our body looks like. I guess I have never really lost that passion because I already want to incorporate some of those things into our curriculum.

We had a tooth day in class. We talked about our teeth, counted them, and discussed how to take care of them. We talked about tooth brushes and toothpaste. If it weren't the day after labor day, I would have called a local dentist to get some free goody bags full of great stuff for our teeth or you could take a field trip to the office. After we talked about teeth, we "brushed" a paper tooth to practice how long to brush and how we need to brush the whole tooth. Each child got a brush to use and I made a toothpaste/glue mixture. I would say it was 1/4 toothpaste and 3/4 glue. They brushed their tooth and when it dried it looked like it had toothpaste on it and it had that great minty scent.

Here is the outline I used for the paper teeth. You can re-size it to fit your needs.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

This book is one of my all time favorites and is a must have for every home and school library! There are so many fun activities that you can do with this book, it is just amazing! We decided that we were going to make our names climb the coconut tree.

After reading and discussing the book, the kids each got a baggie full of letters. They picked out the letters of their name and glued them up the trunk of their coconut tree in order. After they glued on their names, they added leaves to the top. For three year olds, I would suggest letting them find the letters and glue them on in any order.

Playdough Fun

There wasn't anything too fancy about this activity: play dough and cookie cutters. The kids were having so much fun, that I snapped a few pictures just because they are so darn cute.

Hudson's face is cracking me up. Play dough cutting is hard work!

I was so proud of Skylar, she did her whole name with very little help.

Pasta Rainbows

This was a two part lesson that was a lot of fun. I got the idea for the lesson and the recipe for dying pasta from a great preschool in Utah. She is amazing, feel free to check out her site for more details about how to do the project (click here).

Day One: We broke in our new aprons by dying pasta together. They came in very handy because one of the bags started to leak when we started to shake it. We reviewed colors, talked about following recipes, and which primary colors mixed together to make secondary colors. Then we danced our hearts out to The Freeze by Greg and Steve while we shook our bags and mixed the pasta. (We All Live Together-Vol. 2 is an amazingly fun CD to own!)

Day Two: We used templates under wax paper to make rainbows using the pasta we had previously dyed.

Here's the final product! The kids did so well and made such great artwork.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Hi parents! I wanted to give a quick update. I haven't been able to post anything for a while because I left my camera at my family's house over labor day weekend. I finally got it back this weekend, so be prepared for quite a few posts over the next couple of days to cover what we have done in the last two weeks. It's been a lot of fun!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Funny Story

So, I have been calling around trying to get emails and check phone numbers again because I "lost" the list we made at back to school night. I found it today! My 6 year old thought it was scratch paper and painted pictures on the back of it to send to her friend in the mail . I sure am glad I checked the envelope before I sent it off. Thanks for doing it all again anyway!