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Saturday, December 12, 2015

I is for Igloo

Don't limit yourself to gingerbread houses this year. Try making an igloo with your kids this season. For more specific instructions, click here. We used these exact instructions except we used Styrofoam cups that I cut short instead of cupcakes. 
A great book that goes with this activity is Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett. 

Friday, December 11, 2015

C is for Cookie

C is for cookie, that's good enough for me!

Here are some of the fun things we did during letter C week with cookies.

We read this awesome book:

We listened to this awesome song:

We made some sugar cookies

We did this amazing sharing cookies activity. Click here for more details about it.

C is for Sharing Cookies

 When I was teaching elementary school, we did  a math lesson about dividing cookies. I loved it and really wanted to figure out a way to make it work for preschool. After a couple of tries, I am happy to say we have achieved awesomeness! 

It all starts with this book:

In the book, the kids start with 12 cookies and two kids to share them. Then the doorbell rings and they have to share with more. Then it happens again, and again. 

So we read the book and talked about what it means to share things equally or divide them. Then we went over to the preschool table and each child got 12 cookie cereal pieces and 6 people. 

I asked the kids to take out one person and tell me how many cookies they would get by putting all the cookies on the person. We wrote down on our paper that we would get 12 cookies.

We took them off, then took out 2 people and shared the cookies between the two people.

It might take some practice to help the kids pass out the cookies one at a time to all the people. We took them off and then we did it sharing with 3 people.

Next it was 4 people.
Last it was 6 people.

As we were going, the kids wrote down how many cookies each person would get in each group. I used the worksheet below for the older class. For the younger class, the numbers were already on the paper in a tracing font for the kids to trace. 

Of course we ended with the kids eating all the cookies! It was a lot of fun and really rewarding to have finally figured out how to make this lesson work. 

To download our cookie sharing sheet for older kids click here.
To download our cookie sharing sheet for younger kids click here.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

C is for Cloud

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Math Christmas Trees

Who knew that Christmas was a perfect time to work on math skills? Here are some fun projects we will be working on this month.

The first is math sequencing short to long. Cut patterned papers in varying lengths. Glue a star to the top and let the kids glue the strips from shortest to longest, centered under the star. End with a brown square for the trunk.

The second is practicing counting, number recognition, and one to one correspondence.

One to one correspondence is understanding that when we are counting things, we count one time for each object there is that we are counting. To work on this, I make sure that the kids are touching the things that they are counting, whether it is dots on a number card or objects. I also make sure they count out loud until I feel like they are more accurate with their counting skills. Sometimes kids will count faster than their finger touches things so that they count higher than the number of objects. Or on the opposite, they might touch things faster than they count. We spend a lot of time trying to make sure our finger and our voice are going at the same speed so that we count each thing one time.

This project works on identifying numbers on a dice and one to one correspondence because each circle gets one "ornament."

To play the game, have your kids roll a 10 sided die and add that many pom poms to their Christmas tree until their tree is full.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Team Work

Team work can be a challenging concept for preschoolers. They want to be independent. They want to do things their way. They don't want to share. 
We actively work on being a team in class. We clean up as a group and talk about how we are being a team and working together. If someone spills something, I will ask other kids to help them pick it up to encourage caring for each other. If one of the kids is having a hard time with something, I might ask one of the other kids to help them when it's appropriate. 

At the beginning of the year, I like to do a lesson about working together. In the past we have made a picture together or talked about how we all have things we are good at. Each year we use the book, The Crayon Box That Talked because it is great book about working together. 

This year, we did some activities together as a group. The kids did a giant puzzle together.

Then we went outside and did some parachute games where the kids worked together to make the parachute move in certain ways or make the balls bounce in certain ways. We talked about the importance of listening and doing things as a group. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thanksgiving Apple Turkey Snacks

Here's What You Need:
mini Peeps (we used chocolate)
peanut butter

Here's What You Do:
1. Attach the craisins to the peeps with peanut butter
2. Attach the peeps to the apples with peanut butter
3. Use toothpicks to put gumdrops like feathers on the apples. 

Thanksgiving Turkey Hats

Here's What You Need:
brown construction paper
yellow beaks
red wattles
googly eyes

Here's What You Do:
1. Make a head band with the brown constuction paper.
2. Let the kids color the band.
3. Tape the feathers to the inside of the band.
4. Assemble the face with the beak, wattle, and eyes.
5. Glue the face to the front of the band.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

A is for ant

Put those opposable thumbs to use to make these adorable ant As. Make sure each ant has 3 body parts and 6 legs. 

Friday, November 6, 2015

Z is for Zoo

 This was one of my most favorite activities that we did all year. Each child was zoo keeper for a day and got a chance to learn how to take care of their animals. Each zookeeper got an official badge.
I made cages for the animals using boxes, spray paint and elastic. (I got the original idea from teachingmama. I'll link it below.) The funniest part was that I learned I am not a street tagger at heart. After spray painting all those boxes, my pointer finger was sore for days! I guess I'm going to have to build up some callouses if I ever consider street art as my choose profession. :)

Originally I stapled the elastic to the box, but we had to do some cage repairs throughout the day, so I think I will try a different strategy this year. The elastic kept slipping out of the bottom of the staples where they bend in. Maybe brads or something that the elastic can't slip through will work better. 

The kids started by labeling their animal cages so that people visiting the zoo would know which animal they were looking at. 
Each child got a chance to check the health of their animal.

Then they made sure the animals had everything they need: food, water, and a comfy place to sleep. The kids filled cups with "water." Drew pictures of food for the animals and cut out a fuzzy blanket for them to use. 
We used the free printable from Teaching Mama and the kids loved having a check list to make sure they were doing everything they could to ensure the happiness of their animals. 

All in all, it was a huge success and something we will keep doing for many years to come.