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Monday, January 19, 2015

L is for Lamb

Mary Had a Little Lamb is a poem that has a lot of letter l's in it. So, we used it to do letter identification during letter L week. We started by looking at the poem as a class and taking turns finding the letter l in the poem and highlighting them.

The kids then got their own copy of the poem and found the letters on their own. 

After they found all the letters, they made a hand print lamb at the bottom of their poem using their hand, googly eyes, and cotton balls. 

L is for Lion

Pictures are an important part of helping kids figure out how to "read" a story. Using wordless picture books can be a great way to help kids learn to use the pictures to tell that story. We read this beautiful Caldecott Medal award winner by Jerry Pinkney. It is the story of the Lion and the Mouse that doesn't use any words.

The first time we read it, we didn't talk, we just looked at the pictures. 

The second time we read the story, the kids told me the story in their own words as we looked through the pictures. 

Then we made our own lion pictures using our faces and construction paper strips. 

Check out more detailed instructions here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

L is for Listen

Here's a great kid favorite that is also a great learning tool to help explore the sense of hearing. 

Here's What You Do:
1. Choose 7-8 things that make noise. Some can be traditional noise makers like musical instruments, but also include some things that think outside the box. For example, a jar full of water or a stapler.  I have even saved a few baby toys to use for this center even though my babies aren't quite babies anymore. :( 

2. Take pictures of each thing individually. Print and cut out each picture. 

3. Put up a partition between two students. We like to use our "offices." They are two file folders taped together and stood up on end. 

4. Have one student make noise with one of the items and have the other student try to identify which picture is making the noise. Then have the kids trade places. 

It seems simple, but I have to say from experience that this is a favorite year after year.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

K is for King

We made Winter King crowns using jewels and snowflakes to go with our book, Winter King, Summer Queen. 

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J is for Jellyfish

Did you know that a group of jellyfish is called a smack? We learned that in the book we read during letter j week. I don't know why, but that makes me smile. A smack of jellyfish. :) It just sounds silly. 

We had a lot of fun singing a jellyfish song during letter J week.  I apologize to the parents if they had to listen to the jellyfish song constantly because I sure heard it a lot during class, even when it wasn't singing time. :) Have you ever sung the camp song A Tooty Ta?

It has become quite a favorite in our classroom with one slight change. Instead of singing "a tooty ta", we sing "a jellyfish" while making our fingers undulate like a jellyfish. Can I just interject for a second how much I love Dr. Jean? This is her preschool version of "A Tooty Ta". She makes a lot of fun preschool cds that are definitely worth a listen. We sing with her a lot in our class. 

Anyway, jellyfish . . .

We made these jellyfish like the ones we made here. This year, I spray painted them ahead of time instead of trying to paint on plastic with non-washable paints with preschoolers. Last time, I was so paranoid that the kids were going to get paint on their clothes, it took some of the fun out of the project. 

Each of the kids started with 3 different colors of ribbons and we worked on making an A, B, C pattern on our pieces of tape for the jellyfish tentacles. I was so excited and impressed with how well the kids made their patterns with very little help. It is so exciting to see their progress throughout the year. For a detailed instruction of how to make a jellyfish, please go here. 

J is for Jack and the Beanstalk

 If you have never had the pleasure of reading Jack and the Beanstalk by Steven Kellogg, you are missing out on one of literature's great treasures. Amazing pictures, great rhythm to the words and all around fun to read!This is my favorite retelling of this story. 

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After we read the story, we did a sequencing activity with pictures that tell the story. Then we made our own beanstalks while practicing matching lowercase and uppercase letters a- j. 

Making it is pretty simple, just a paper beanstalk, paper leaves with letters on them, and glue.