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Friday, September 22, 2017

Week 2: Color Wheels & Rhyming

During week two we really focused on colors. I am impressed with the kids, they did an awesome job. To explore colors, we made a color wheel with primary and secondary colors using play-dough. Each child started with a small amount of red, yellow, and blue. We put those colors on the wheel and then explored what would happen if we started mixing colors. The kids made predictions and then we tried it out to see if they were right. 

If you are interested in doing a play-dough color wheel yourself, feel free to use this free printable. 
Color wheel free printable 

In addition to colors, I introduced rhyming to the class. Rhyming is a great way to encourage word and sound awareness. We do a lot of rhyming during carpet time and singing time. Introducing this concept early in the year helps bring more awareness to the kids when we work on these concepts every day.
I found this amazing rhyming printable from Karen at Prekinders and was excited to use it with the kids. They cut out and matched rhyming pictures together as an introduction to rhyming.  

Rhyming match game from PreKinders

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

First Week! Practice Makes Perfect

We had such a fun first week back at school. I am really excited for this year because these kids are not only adorable, but they are so much fun to work with. I have already been impressed with their ability to listen and apply what we are talking about to what they are doing. They are amazing at receiving feedback in a constructive way. And I must say that these 3 year olds seem to be naturals at using scissors! I had some of them cutting on lines today and they could actually do it! Hubba wha? (Can you name the Mo Willems books that came from? Hint: it involves a duck and a chick. ;) ) For those of you who have worked with kids learning how to use scissors, you know that this is not a normal second time using scissors experience! Pretty dang awesome. Here are some fun pictures of the kids working together using a puzzle and a parachute. 
In our first week of school we spent the first day getting into a routine and discussing what it means to have good manners at preschool. The second day we talked about what it means to work together. We each got a few pieces of an extra big puzzle that we worked on together to complete. We also played some parachute games together which takes listening and team work to make the game work. 
Three year olds are notoriously self centered. When they start school it is a big shift for them that there are other students and the teacher who they have to consider. Sometimes we don't want to share, but it is something that we do at preschool. Sometimes someone takes something that we were using and we have to learn to use our words to ask for it back without hitting or yelling. Sometimes the teacher asks us to come work at the table when we really want to keep playing blocks. All these situations and many more make preschool a pretty complex place to be. My job is to help them learn how to navigate those complex situations so they can learn good manners and team work while they are at school. 
My favorite skill for teaching this is practice. "Try again" are the two most important words you can use to help your children learn good manners. You will often hear these words in our house and in my classroom. Forget to say please? "Try again." If a child whines or back talks, "try again." If a kid does a chore or an assignment lazily, "try again." If they talk meanly to others, we "try again." If we make a mistake we practice doing it differently through role play or sometimes redoing an assignment. My amazing husband has helped me understand that the classroom and the home are the best places to make mistakes because mistakes are how we learn and grow. He has a sign in his classroom that says. "Whoever does the work, does the learning." So my goal is that we will work hard on having good manners, understanding how to follow directions, and learning skills that will help us be our most awesome selves so we can do all the learning!