Tot Preschool Week 26: All About Numbers

Welcome to the world of numbers! This week, the kids and I explored the world of numbers in various ways. We worked on number recognition, formation, counting, practiced skip counting, play fun math games, and so much more. Jack, Lyanna, and James worked so hard this week with this concept, but they also worked on their handwriting skills, letter recognition, basic reading skills, and fine motor skills. Here is what Week 26 looked like for us:

Special Note: You may notice that our classroom is starting to look a little bare. We are currently in the process of packing up our home and moving! We’ll have to get a bit more creative over the next few months as we juggle our move and our school days. 

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” Chicka Chicka 123 ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Box With Dry Erase Boards ( We’ll be starting the alphabet over again next week, so this week is all about free choice! The kids get to select a random letter magnet out of our mystery box. This random letter will be the letter that they get to practice writing. I try to incorporate some type of letter formation review each day and this is a fun way for us to change up this time and keep it fresh for the kids. )

3. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

4. Daily ASL ( ” Walk “, ” Sit”, ” Hot ” , and ” Cold ” )

Concept Activity:

Missing Numbers Number Line ( The kids and I have been working with number lines for quite some time now, but I thought this activity would be a great way to open our days all about numbers. Together, the kids and I figure out what numbers are missing from our number lines. I make some “mistakes” in my number writing and try to get them to direct me to the correct answer and formations. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. ” How Many Cubes ?”  Measuring Activity ( We dipped into the world of measuring this morning with this fun and interactive measuring activity! Using unifex cubes, the kids took turns being measured by their friends. Once they were complete, we counted how many cubes each person was, and then compared these numbers after logging them into our activity chart.

Once we were done measuring ourselves, each child picked one item from around our room to measure next. Together, we measured each item using our cubes and then compared these measurements as well.

We determined that James was the biggest ( tallest ) item we measured today, while our giraffe figurine was the smallest ( shortest )!

3. Free Exploration ( During our ” Free Exploration ” time today, the kids and I played different math games that we have in our classroom. We also played games that weren’t math related, but turned them into an opportunity for us to incorporate numbers into them. We counted pieces, searched for numbers, and talked about biggest and smallest numbers. We are taking full advantage of this theme this week to keep numbers on our minds! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft:

Growing Caterpillars ( To end our first day of exploring numbers, the kids used their thumbprints and an ink pad to create these slowly growing caterpillar pictures. Using colored price stickers, I created the templates for this activity by adding ten stickers with cute bug faces!

One by one, each caterpillar grew as we worked our way down our sheet of paper. This project is incredibly simple, but it gives the kids a fun way to practice counting, while also being hands on and creative in the process. )

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” 10 Black Dots ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Box With Dry Erase Boards

3. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

4. Daily ASL ( Review Day ! )

Concept Activity:

Missing Numbers Number Line 

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Center: My Numbers Books ( We’ll be working on these number books throughout this week. I created these books for the kids as a keepsake for them to take home after our week of numbers! Each page features a number for them to practice writing, put in a tens frame, and create a picture with that number of items. )

3. Counting to 10 Counters  ( During our Centers time today, Jack and Lyanna created their very own pony bead counters! These counters can be used for simple counting practice, but they also double as a way for the kids to practice basic addition and subtraction.

Using a thick piece of scrapbooking paper, pipe cleaners, pony beads, and a hole puncher, we created the counters in less than 5 minutes! First, you want to cut your piece of paper to be small enough to easily hold in your hands. Next, use your hole puncher to make two holes at opposite ends of your paper. Place 10 beads on your pipe cleaner and then thread the pipe cleaner through your holes. We twisted our pipe cleaners together on the back of our paper to get them to stay together.

Once our counters were complete and put together, we used dice to give us numbers to work with. We first rolled the dice to determine how many beads we wanted to slide over to the other end of our pipe cleaners. We then counted the remaining beads to determine how much more we would need to get to 10. This is a great activity to get kids hands on in their learning and working with numbers. They get a chance to see all of the various ways they can get to 10 using these counters. )

4. 10’s Frame Apple Trees ( Jack and Lyanna have used these tens frames sheets for a while now and they actually love to use them over and over again. We originally printed these off over the summer from Life Over C’s. You can get this free printable here! These sheets are originally intended to be used a playdough mats, but we also use our with counting chips. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made for today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft:

Free Play 

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Rose ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Box With Dry Erase Boards ( Each morning, I am always so proud of the kids’ progress and how amazing they are. They try, each and every morning, to write their letters to the best of their abilities. Without fail, each and every morning, I see their determination to be better than they were yesterday and how proud they are of themselves with their final result. The pride themselves on holding up their best work and don’t hesitate to erase and try again. SO proud of these guys ! )

3.Short E Pocket Chart Activity

4. Daily ASL ( Today, we worked on ” short “, ” tall “, ” small “, and ” big “. )

Concept Activity:

Math Towers ( To start another day in the world of numbers, the kids and I used unifex cubes to build number towers. I gave them each a number of cubes to gather and they then created their tower with that amount of cubes. We talked about which tower ( number ) was the biggest and what tower ( number ) was the smallest. This simple activity is a wonderful way to create a visual of value. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Heart Edition Math Mats ( Since today is Valentine’s Day, our Centers time today featured this heart themed math game. I created this mat for the kids by simply drawing a heart, dividing it into 2 halves, and creating a template for our equation.

We took turns placing chips are either side of our heart, totaling our chips, and writing these numbers into our equation. These kids are 3 years old and already working with equations! We’ve been trying to get a little addition practice each week with simple games and activities that exposes us to the vocabulary and process of this concept. The excitement of using our dry erase markers doesn’t hurt either 🙂 . )

3. Writing Center: Valentine’s Day Cards ( Well, it IS Valentine’s Day! How could we not do cards ?! )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft:

I Love You To Pieces Heart Activity ( To end our Valentine’s Day, we put together these cute pictures for our families. I wrote out the templates for this activity and then used red and pink construction paper and glue sticks to fill in our hearts.

We tore up our construction paper into small pieces for us to use in our hearts. Since our focus is on numbers this week, we couldn’t help but sneak in a little counting throughout these craft. The kids counted their pieces as they added them to their papers. What a cute keepsake! )

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” 5 Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Box With Dry Erase Boards

3. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

4. Daily ASL ( Review Day! )

Concept Activity:

Numbers Ice Cream Cones ( For this activity, I first created 10 circles on a piece of paper. Each circle is to represent a different number and a scoop of ice cream for our number ice cream cones. After writing the numbers, 1 to 10, on each circle, the kids then colored each scoop of ice cream. Once this portion was complete, we cut out our circles and began to glue them, in order, on top of our cone. We assembled our number cones on a piece of construction paper. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center: My Numbers Books ( We completed our numbers books today! Our books feature numbers 1 to 10. For each page, the kids wrote the number, displayed it in a 10s frame, and then drew that amount of any given item. For example, our #5 page features the number 5, 5 in a tens frame, and 5 apples. I created these books for the kids to complete using plain white paper, construction paper, and markers. If creating your own books isn’t your thing, here is a link to a number book from A Kinder Teacher Life that you can easily print off! )

3. Roll It, Write It Mats ( Our Roll It, Write It mats are one of our favorite number work activities! Jack and Lyanna have been working with these mats for months and are always exciting to play with them. I found these mats from Teachers Pay Teachers and you can click here to get yours. I laminated ours so that we could continue to use them over and over again.

This time, we used one of our new dice sets that feature the numbers, rather than dice. Normally, the kids use a regular set of dice to play this game, as the first block asks them to draw the dots that they see. We changed up this aspect a little today just to make it new and fresh for our numbers week. )

4. Playdough Play ( Here we are getting in a little fine motor skills practice, while also using our giant tub of playdough and tools! )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft:

Dot Markers Tens Frames ( Our day ended with the kids wanting to use the dot markers. I created these tens frame sheets for them to complete before we had free choice with our markers. Jack and Lyanna decided how many dots they wanted in each of their frames and then, we wrote that number beside each frame. A simple project like this allows for a quick practice with tens frames, but also with counting and number formation. )

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Diamond
Storytime: ” 123 Peas ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Box With Dry Erase Boards

3. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

4. Daily ASL ( Today, we continued our ASL journey by working with ” please “, ” sorry “, ” stop “, and ” share “. )

Concept Activity:

Number Sticker Mats ( Using stickers, markers, and plain white paper, the kids and I created this simple, yet fun, math activity. First, I drew 5 circles, varying in size. The kids determined how many stickers they wanted in each circle. They then counted how many stickers in each circle and wrote that amount. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Dice Game ( This dice set is amazing! We bought this set a few months ago and we have used pieces from it almost daily. The dice from this set are versatile and we have enjoyed using them! For example, one of the die features numbers 1 to 3, which is perfect for us in this age group and skill level. This set comes with a bag from storage and easy travel, as well as a playing mat for a game. Today, the kids and used this mat to work with counting. )

3. Playdough Play

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made for today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft:

Free Choice Friday  !

And that concludes another week in our classroom! As usually, Jack, Lyanna, and James worked incredibly hard this week and are so proud of their progress. We had lots of fun working with numbers, but also loved enjoying each other’s company during our play time. James is a wonderful addition to our classroom and we just love having him around to learn and play with! Next week, the kids and I will be exploring amphibians and reptiles. Wish me luck! 🙂

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 25: All Around The World ( Part 3 )

This week is our 3rd and final week of our ” All Around The World ” unit. The kids and I have traveled to and explored different countries, while also continuing to work on letter formation, counting to 100, sounding out words, being independent readers, and so much more! If you missed Part 2 of our ” All Around The World ” unit, click here to catch up. This week, as we complete our 3rd week in this unit, we also welcome a new friend to our classroom. Our new friend James will now being joining us a few days a week! Here is the full layout of Week 25:

Welcome James ! 

Letter of the Day: Yy
Shape of the Week: Heart
Storytime: ” ABC Rainforest ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards ( We are almost through the alphabet again this week. Next week, we will start all over again with a different activity to focus on correct letter formation, letter sounds, and our Letterland characters. For today, the kids continued their focus on writing our letter of the day on their personal dry erase boards. )

3. Write The Room ( For our ” Write The Room ” time today, the kids hunted for their letter of the day, Yy, and 3 other, random letters. They first practice writing each letter over the guiding lines. Next, the kids go around the room and hunt for each letter. Once they find one of the letters, they take a moment to write this letter on their own. )

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity ( We always start this activity with me modeling how to sound out each word. The kids then take a turn at sounded out each word on their own or with the help of their friends. These 3 are truly on their way to becoming early readers ! )

5. Daily ASL ( Jack, Lyanna, and I have been learning various signs over the past several months. Since James is new to our class, we’ve decided to start reviewing all of our previously learned signs in order to get him where we are. This will be a great review for us to make sure that we are signing these commands, words, and questions in the right way. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Today we travel to Brazil! )

2. Brazil Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Brazil Video For Kids

Centers:

1. Reading ( For our ” Independent Reading ” time, the kids select a book from our book bins to read on their own or with a friend. )

2. Art Center: Toucan Coloring Sheet ( We talked a lot this morning about the Amazon Rainforest that is located in Brazil. The kids and I talked about all of the different animals and insects that can be found in this environment. One of the animals we found particularly interesting and beautiful was the toucan! Here is where you can find your own toucan coloring sheets. )

3. Butterfly Counting Math Game ( For this math activity, we gathered our plastic butterfly counters, dice, and a dry erase marker. Using our dry erase table, the kids would take turns rolling the dice to find out how many butterflies they needed to put on the table. Once they had their butterflies, they would then use their dry erase marker to write the amount underneath their pile of butterflies.

The next person would get their turn to do the same. Together, we then counted how many total butterflies were present on our table. The third person would then write this number on the table as well.

We have slowly been working on building our basic understanding of addition and subtraction concepts. Activities like this help break down these concepts and give the kids a very hands on experience with math. Using counters, like these butterflies, also make this activity interesting and fun! )

4. Science Center: Observational Drawing of the Rainforest ( The kids and I searched online for various images of the rainforest. We found tons of photos of waterfalls, giant trees, colorful animals and insects, as well as plenty of picture of the Amazon River.

The kids looked through tons of photos and then, together, decided on which photo they wanted to use for our Observation Drawing activity. Once a picture was selected, we took our new lap desks and set them up in front of the laptop.

The kids and I then took a few moments to talk about what elements and colors we saw in this photograph. We talked about the water, what animals live in and around it, what animals were probably hanging out in the trees, what bugs they thought could be found in their area of the rainforest, and so on.

Here are our beautiful observational drawings! Observational drawings are such a powerful and wonderful activity to do with kids. This activity gets kids to really look at an item and focus on all of the details. It also gets their brains thinking about what an item is for, what or who has been there, how something works, and so much more. Observational drawings get children, and even adults, to think on a different level and past the obvious! )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entry for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Jaguar Paper Plate Mask ( To end our day about Brazil, we made these super simple jaguar masks! To create these masks, all you need is thing paper plates, scissors, and orange and black crayons or markers. First, using a pencil, I traced a jaguars face in the center of each mask and added to circles to where the eye holes needed to be.

 

 

 

 

 

Next, the kids used orange crayons to color their masks and add their black spots. One they were finished with creating their beautiful features, we then cut out their jaguar faces from the paper plates. You could add a piece of yarn to your own masks, if desired, by using a hole punched on both side edges of your mask. )

Letter of the Day: Zz
Shape of the Week: Heart
Storytime: ” Olga of Norway ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards ( Today we reached the letter Z ! Tomorrow, we will be starting a three day, random letter review to complete this week’s unit. The kids will get to select what letter we use for this part of our Letterland time. Next week, we will have a mystery letter week where the kids will pull random letters from a mystery box to work on! )

3. Write The Room

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( Review Day! )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Today our travels bring us to Norway! )

2. Norway Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Norway Video For Kids ( This video gives the kids an insight into the providences of Norway and what these areas contribute to their country. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Viking Ships ( We talked a little about the Vikings this morning during our introduction to Norway. The Vikings were a group of warrior soldiers that often traveled all around the world in their longships.  The kids created their very own longships today during our Art Center time. I drew out these simple ship pieces myself, but here is a coloring viking ship coloring sheet you could use for your activity.

Once Jack and Lyanna were finished coloring decorating their ship pieces and shields, we cut out these pieces and glued them to a piece of construction paper.)

3. Puzzles

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( These are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Northern Lights  ( How beautiful did these turn out ?! To create these wonderful pieces of art, the kids used watercolor paper and crayons to first color their night time skies. Once these were completed, we simply glued on a few black mountain pieces. Not only did these turn out perfectly, but they were super simple for the kids to create! )

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Heart
Storytime: ” Dragon Dance ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( Roll, Watch, and Listen )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Today, for our last journey, we travel to China! )

2. China Discussion with Globe and Chart

3.China Video For Kids ( If your children love panda bears, this is a must watch! This video is from the National Geographic series that follows different children around as they travel to various places across the globe. For this video about China, these two children are visiting a panda sanctuary in China. They learn all about pandas and even get to feed them! The kids loved watching this short video and thought the last few scenes were very interesting, funny, and gross, all at the same time. I won’t ruin the surprise for you, but let’s just say that the caretakers of these pandas don’t like to waste! 🙂 )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Science Center: Observational Drawings of the Great Wall of China ( The kids and I viewed different images of the Great Wall of China. We talked about what we saw in the pictures, the things we noticed about the wall and it’s surroundings, the colors, and so on.

Jack, Lyanna, and James agreed on one of the images from our search to use for their observational drawings. Using crayons and a piece of paper, they each drew their own interpretation of the picture of the Great Wall. )

3. Art Center: Panda Headbands

4. Puzzles 

5. Free Exploration ( Don’t mind Lyanna. She just discovered there was a monkey hiding in her rows of bears that she had been working hard to create. Oh, the problems of a 3 year old 🙂 . )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here is our journal entry for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Chinese Lanterns ( To end our day in China, we made Chinese Lanterns! To create these lanterns for yourself or your own class, here is a link to an amazing tutorial! They are super simple to make and there are plenty of ways to alter the tutorial to suite the skill level of your kids. )

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Heart
Storytime: ” The Skin We Live In ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards ( Since we have come to the end of our Alphabet, the kids are spending a few days getting to select which letter they would like to work on. )

3. Write The Room

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( Review Day ! )

Concept Activity:

1. All Around The World Culmination Discussion ( We have finally reached the the end of our ” All Around The World ” unit! Today is our culmination day, where we will be talking about our adventures and all of the things we have learned. We open our unit today with a discussion about all the things the kids remember learning throughout these past few weeks. Here is our chart we put together about what we have learned: )

2. Celebration / All Around The World Children’s Song Video

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center: All Around The World Culmination Books ( To end our unit, the kids and I created these books about our journey. In these books, the kids complete sentences about their favorite country they learned about and draw an accompanying picture. I created these books myself for the kids. I did so because I wanted them to be catered to our learning experience. )

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( These are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Exploration ( After 3 weeks of exploring, our culmination day ended with simple free play! No projects to do, letters to write, videos to watch, or structured activities. Just free play in our classroom! )

We’ve been working hard these past few weeks on this unit, so we used our time today for play! While we did have a few basic, school related items to work on, the majority of our day was spent having fun, playing games, and have our art center open to whatever the kids wanted.

Letter of the Day: All
Shape of the Week: Heart
Storytime: Free Choice

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards ( Here are the letters the kids decided they wanted to work on during our short time in the classroom today. )

3. Write The Room

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( Stand, Jump, and Dance ! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Free Choice  ( The rest of our day is free choice for the kids. We opened up our art center to give them another choice during our day! )

3. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Exploration

Our ” All Around The World ” unit is now complete ! Jack, Lyanna, and James have worked so hard these past 3 weeks and they definitely learned a lot about the world around them. Next week will be all about NUMBERS! We will be exploring the world of numbers in various ways including number formation, recognition, counting, skip counting, measuring, and so much more! We will also be continuing our handwriting lessons, journal entries, focusing on building our fine motor skills, and engaging in educational games and activities. See you next week!

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 24: All Around The World ( Part 2 )

Welcome back for Part 2 of our ” All Around The World ” unit. Last week, we traveled to and learned all about Italy, Ireland, Australia, and Egypt, as well as learn about our home state of North Carolina. If you missed that post and would like to catch up, click here! This week is all about France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and England. As we continue through our world travels, we will also be continuing our hard work at learning how to sound out words, letter formation, strengthening our understanding of addition and subtraction with numbers 1 to 10. This week starts off with a wonderful milestone already as Monday will be our 100th day of school ! Here is the full layout of our week:

Letter of the Day: Tt
Shape of the Week: Rectangle
Storytime: ” Everybody Bonjours ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards ( We continue our single letter writing review this week. The kids guide and instruct me on how to form our letter of the day. They then take their own dry erase boards and write this letter for themselves. )

3. Write The Room ( This week, our Write The Room activity will focus on the kids going on a letter scavenger hunt around the classroom. The letters they will be tasked to find consist of our letter of the day, as well as 3 other random letters. Jack and Lyanna enjoy this part of our day and love working together to find their letters to write. They help each other if they get stuck, so this writing practice has also turned into a social lesson on working together! )

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity ( The kids and I continue working on sounding out words this week. Today we start working with short e words! )

5. Daily ASL ( Lyanna, Jack, and I reviewed signs from previous weeks during our ASL time today. We also learned the signs for two new words, ” Airplane ” and ” Bed “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Our ” All Around The World ” unit has brought us to France! )

2. France Discussion with Globe and Chart ( To begin exploring France, the kids and I found France on our globe and compared it’s locations to the other countries we discussed last week. )

3. France Video For Kids ( This video is from the same series as the video we watched for Italy. The series follows two children around a given country, as they explore an aspect or location in that country. )

4. Let’s Learn French Video For Kids ( This video is adorable ! )

Centers:

1. Reading 

2. Science Center: Observational Drawings Eiffel Tower ( The kids took a moment in our crazy and busy schedule to do this observational drawings of the Eiffel Tower. We saw this monument earlier in our video, so we took some time to take about the tower and then pulled up a picture to have the kids use as a reference. )

3. Build and Investigate: The Eiffel Tower ( Now that we have had plenty of time to view the Eiffel Tower, the kids and I set out to recreate this monument using our classroom blocks.

It was fun building our Eiffel Tower, but I think the kids enjoyed the destruction more! )

4. Puzzles

5. Free Exploration

6. Days of School Links Chain ( Today is our 100th day of school! Lyanna and Jack have been building and adding to our chain as we have been making our way through our school year. We have been adding 10 links to our chain every 10 days. We’ve used this activity to continue our hard work with counting by single digits and by tens. )

7. 100 Days of School Celebration ( As a special treat for our 100th day of school, the kids enjoyed some tasty treats in celebration. What a delicious way to reflect on all of our hard work! )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

France Flag Artwork ( To end our day of learning about France, Lyanna and Jack created the flag of France. Much like our flag project for Italy, we took strips of blue and red paper, cut them up into squares, and glued these pieces onto our flag template. Not only does a project like this help us learn what the flag of France looks like, but it also gives a chance to get scissor practice in and focus on building our fine motor skills. )

Letter of the Day: Uu
Shape of the Week: Rectangle
Storytime: ” Hansel and Gretel ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

Here is a picture of Lyanna helping Jack to write one of his letters. Lyanna finished before Jack, who was still on the hunt for his last letter and then needed some help writing that letter. The helpfulness and kindness that these two show to each other makes my heart so happy!

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity ( The kids are currently loving this activity. They enjoy pointing to and sounding out each letter present and are excited to hear their word come together. This quick pocket chart activity has been part of our routine for several weeks now and I’ve noticed the kids start to take this process and skill out to other parts of our days. While we walk around doing Write The Room, I hear both of them making the letter sounds that they see and attempting to sound out and read various words. I think these guys are on their way to becoming early readers for sure! )

5. Daily ASL ( Review Day! )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Today we travel to Germany! )

2. Germany Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Hansel and Gratel Story Video ( Earlier in our day, the kids and I read the shortened version of the fairy tale  ” Hansel and Gretel “. During this Concept time, we watched an extended version of this story using this video. This video is perfect for this age group and it features the ABC song at the end, using the characters from the story. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Build and Investigate: Gingerbread Houses ( In the story of Hansel and Gretel, the children stumble upon a tasty looking, candy covered house that belongs to an evil witch. Using this story detail, the kids created their own candy houses! As we built our candy covered homes, we talked about the story of Hansel and Gretel and the various facts about Germany we had learned and discussed earlier in the day. We also counted the various pieces of candy as we put them in place and talked about the shapes, colors, and details we saw.

Look at these beautiful creations! Making your own candy houses is quite simple. All you need is a box of graham crackers, a can of cake icing, a large Ziploc bag, and whatever candies you’d like to use. We placed all of the cake icing into a Ziploc bag and made that into a make shift piping bag. Once your graham crackers are broken into the size you’d like for your house, use the piping bag of icing to attach these graham cracker pieces to one another. Once we created our houses, we put them in the refrigerator for a few hours to let the icing set and become hard. Next, we then used the icing as icing for our candy pieces. Once that step was done, we returned our candy covered houses to the refrigerator to let everything become hard again. )

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Germany Coloring Sheets ( To end our day, we printed off and colored these coloring sheets. This little boy reminds us of Hansel from our story! You can find this coloring sheet here. )

Another lovely smile in our classroom! Roslin joins us throughout our lessons and activities during the day. The kids love her company and she loves to hear all of our songs and silliness! During our Reading time, Jack and Lyanna enjoy reading to her and telling her all about the pictures in their books.

Letter of the Day: Vv
Shape of the Week: Rectangle
Storytime: ” I Live In Tokyo ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for ” Bike ” and ” Boat “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Today we travel to Japan! )

2. Japan Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Japan Video For Kids ( This was a very interesting video for the kids. We got to see what it’s like to be a kid in Japan! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Tissue Paper Japan Flag ( Using construction paper, red tissue paper, and a glue stick, the kids created the flag of Japan. )

3. Chopsticks Math Game ( What a fun way to practice counting, focus on our fine motor skills, AND learn how to use chopsticks like they use in Japan! Using our bug figurines, the kids rolled dice to determine the amount of bugs they needed to put in the container. The challenge here was that they could only use their ” chopsticks ” to pick up their bugs! )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Japanese Carp Kites ( Koinobori ) ( To end our day in Japan, we learned about Children’s Day. This is a holiday celebrated in Japan, much like Mother’s and Father’s day. During this celebration, koinobori ( carp streamers ) are created and used as decorations.

We first colored our carp template. I drew our template for the kids, but you can find one here for your own use. Once we were done creating our carps, we cut them out and taped them around a cardboard roll. Next, we wrapped popsicle sticks with colorful washi tape and attached a piece of clear fish wire to the our sticks. Finally, we attached the other end of our fish wire to our carps. This project was very simple to put together and the kids were VERY pleased with their streamers! )

Letter of the Day: Ww
Shape of the Week: Rectangle
Storytime: ” Off We Go To Mexico ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( Review Day! )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( We’re back to our area of the world today as we explore and learn all about Mexico ! )

2. Mexico Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. National Geographic Mexico Video For Kids ( In this video, the kids and I learned all about the pyramid at Chitzen Itza! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Maracas and Mexico Coloring Sheet ( We’ve talked a lot today about mariachi bands and what types of instruments are often seen in these bands. We then created our very own maracas! To create these instruments, we used plastic eggs, plastic forks, washi tape, and pony beads. We first added a handful of beads to our eggs and secured them shut. Next, we used the two forks to hold our egg and then taped everything in place.

The other project we did during our Art Center were these awesome Dia de Muertos coloring sheets. We printed these coloring sheets off of Crayolas website for free. Click here to get your own copy! )

3. Puzzles 

4. Playdough Play

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Mexican Suns ( These beautiful pieces of art were so simple to create and the kids LOVED them! We used a circle piece of aluminum foil for the center of our sun to give them a different and unique element. We glued these foil pieces to the center of our paper and then used our crayons to draw on the faces.

Next, we used different pieces of construction paper to add the other elements of our suns. These turned out so perfect! )

Letter of the Day: Xx
Shape of the Week: Rectangle
Storytime: ” London Bus ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short E Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for ” Car ” and ” Book “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( We heading across the pond today to explore England! )

2. England Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. England Video For Kids 

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Science Center: Observational Drawings of Big Ben 

3. Art Center: London Bus Craft  ( When we learn about all of these different countries, we talked about MANY things, one of which is how these countries are similar and different from our own. Today, while we learned all about England, we learned about how their transportation is bit different from our own. The kids and I learned all about their public transportation vehicles, the double-decker bus!

To create these buses, we used various pieces of construction paper and glue. To make your own double-decker buses, you will need one large piece of red paper cut into the shape of a bus. Next , you will need 1 white rectangle ( window ), 6 black rectangles ( windows ), and 2 circles ( wheels ) to create the elements of your bus. We used glue sticks to attach our pieces to the large red piece. )

4. Fill The Shapes ( Taking a break from our concept, the kids played with our geometric solids kits. Using pom poms, the kids filled different geometric shapes to explore the volume of each shape. We practiced counting and identifying the different 2-D and 3-D shapes we were working with. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Poppy Flower Stamping ( To wrap up our day in England, we created these BEAUTIFUL poppy flower pieces! These turned out so amazing that we actually framed Lyanna’s piece in our home!

You can use a stamp of any kind to create the base of these flowers, but we used our red dot markers. We stamped on pieces of watercolor paper as to not make a huge mess if the paint happened to bleed through. Once our red spots were dry, the kids went back over their artwork and added a black circle to the center of each flower. To complete these pieces, Jack and Lyanna then took a green crayon to add the green stem to each flower. )

This week has been another busy and fun filled adventure for the kids and I! Next week will be our last week for this unit as we explore Brazil, China, and Norway. We will take a much needed relaxation and free play day once our unit has been completed. Next week also brings another new adventure for us as we welcome a new friend, James! James will begin joining us for our adventures and we are so excited to have a new friend to learn and play with :).

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 23: All Around The World ( Part 1 )

Take a trip with us! This week, the kids and I “traveled” the world and learned about a few different countries, as well as our own state, North Carolina! We grabbed our passports and took off to 4 different countries to learn about their culture, their people, foods, and more. As we traveled around the world, we also continued to work on our basic math skills, handwriting, and phonics. Here is what our ” Around The World Part 1 ” week looked like:

 

Letter of the Day: Oo
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” The Colors of Us ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song ( If this is your first time here, the kids always start their day by watching this video. Letterland is a unique, phonics-based approach to teaching reading, writing and spelling to 3-8 year olds. This video displays each letter of the alphabet with its matching Letterland character, sound, and hand gesture. The program can be a bit expensive for the average homeschooling family, so for now, we are only using the resources that are available online and some extra materials I kept from my time teaching. I fully credit this program with helping Jack and Lyanna learn their letter sounds! )

2. Letter Oo Review With Dry Erase Boards ( For this portion our Letterland time, the kids use their own dry erase boards to write the letter of the day. They first direct me on how to form each letter. They tell me where to start and how each letter, lower and uppercase, should be formed. This short activity gives us a chance to review our letter formation each day. Plus, the best way to learn something is to try to teach it, right? The kids love “teaching” me and this is also a great way for them to learn how to use kind words in order to help someone. )

3. Write The Room ( This quick activity has been a part of our classroom routine for several months now and the kids love it! Using their clipboards, a piece of paper, and a pencil, the kids walk around the room and hunt for letters to write. Some times they are free to write whatever letters they choose, while other times I write letters on their papers for them to find. Today was a mixture of both. Write The Room is an activity that allows the kids to work on their handwriting, while not being expected to sit at a desk or table. )

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity ( We continued our work with Short A words today. The kids have been learning how to sound out short words less past few weeks and they are doing amazing with the process. First, I present one word to the them at a time. We go letter by letter and identify each sound in a given word. We then blend these sounds together and ta-da, we’re reading the word! This is an activity that I still have to be pretty hands on with, but they are getting the process of breaking down a word and trying their best to sound in out for themselves. This activity may seem advanced for 3 year olds, but it’s all in what your end goal is. Our goal here is just to expose the kids to this process and give them the experience and tools they will one day need to do this on their own. Once we have gone over each of our three words together, each of the kids try their hand at point to the letters, stating each sound they see, and sounding the word out for themselves. If they get stuck, they have their buddy there to help them along the way. )

5. Daily ASL ( The kids and I have been working on learning American Sign Language for several months now. There are NUMEROUS benefits to kids learning sign language! From strengthening their small hand muscles ( fine motor skills ) to exercising their brains and memory, learning sign language is a powerful tool that every parent and educator should take advantage of. We will be focusing on these three sign cards this week. These are a bit more challenging than what we are previously been exposed to, so we’ll be using all of our ASL time this week to master these signs. If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of sign language, click here for a great article about these benefits and resources for you to take advantage of.  )

Concept Activity:

1. United States Discussion with Globe ( To begin our ” All Around The World ” unit, we first pulled out our classroom globe and talked about this amazing tool. What is a globe? What does it show us? Where do we live? After this brief introduction, we then moved on to talking about where the United States was and which part of this country we live in.

Next, the kids and I pulled out our ” Exploring The USA ” large board book and took a look at the features of our country. This unit presents the kids with an opportunity to learn about the various cultures, people, and places of our world, but it also gives us a chance to introduce, learn about, and use maps for the first time! We took this time to study these large maps of our country and identify where we live. )

2. United States of America and Capitals Video for Kids ( This video features a song about the states and capitals of the USA. While I don’t expect the kids to magically learn their states and capitals from watching this video, I thought it would be a fun and interesting way for them to see and hear the many states in our country. I kept the kids on their toes by asking them to look out for their own state of North Carolina and point out when they saw it come up. )

Centers:

1. Reading ( If this is your first time reading about our curriculum, this portion of our day is full of activities based on and around the different subject areas. We also use our Centers time to incorporate our theme of the week. We begin each Centers time with an Independent Reading corner. Using the books in our book baskets, the kids look at and “read” to themselves or each other.

This reading time has been essential to helping Lyanna and Jack learn how to use a book, identify aspects of a book, and gain the ability to learn and explore on their own. Even though they are unable to read the words, they both understand that you start from the cover page and work your to the end, the pictures SHOW what the words are SAYING, and can identify the parts of a book, such as cover, title page, etc. )

2. Passports ( If we are going to be traveling around the world, we obviously need our passports! I found several templates online for printing off and creating your passports, but I decided to create our own versions for our unit. If you aren’t interested in making your own, here is a link to an amazing ( and FREE! ) passport template that I would highly recommend!

Since we aren’t leaving the states today, the kids and I worked to assemble our passports, fill out our personal information, and attach our pictures that we took last week. Each page of our passports feature a small version of each country we will be visiting. As we begin each day, we will add a little stamp to our page. How fun! )

3. Reading: All About North Carolina ( We are learning all about the USA today, as well as our home state of North Carolina. Over the summer, I found this book in the Hot Buy section at Target for $1 ! If you shop at Target and are an educator of any kind, I would highly recommend checking out this section. They have tons of classroom supplies, materials and resources, as well as all kinds of knick knacks for organization for the classroom! We ALWAYS stock up on their educational materials from this section because of the amazing deals.

This book has a small section about our state that we read over and discussed together. As you can see, we also got to view and talk about the awesome state map for NC as well! )

4. North Carolina Video for Kids

5. Art Center: United States Coloring Sheet ( Here is a link to another version of this coloring sheet. )

6. Free Exploration ( At the end our Centers time, the kids enjoy ” Free Exploration “. This time is reserved for the kids to be kids! They can choose whatever toy, book, or game they want and spend this time playing together, or on their own. This is preschool after all and play is a powerful and necessary aspect for this age group. We usually spend about 30 to 45 minutes playing, but some days allow for us to have more time to explore our classroom. I try to keep an eye on how the kids are playing and if we need a change-up.

There are times where Lyanna and Jack aren’t interested in playing on their own and what me to play with them as well. During these times, we pull out a game to play together, select a few books to read, do a little workout, explore items in our Science Center, or have a dance party. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. Our journaling time is something that we all look forward to during our day. I try to change-up what we are doing in our journals each day, but there is always a writing element. This is yet another opportunity for the kids to get practice in handwriting and letter formation. It is also another opportunity for them to be creative and draw or color something related to our learning for the day. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

1. Wright Brothers Video  ( We learned a little about the Wright brothers earlier in the day during our video about North Carolina. We used our End of the Day time to learn a bit more about these people and their achievements. This video focuses on their life and journey to having the first successful flight in Kitty Hawk. If you are interested in watching this video with your kids, please note that the Wright brothers had a sad childhood ( their mother dies, dropping out of school, etc. ) and you may want to skip the first portion of the video as we did. )

2. Popsicle Airplanes ( Since we were talking about the Wright brothers, it only made sense for us to create our very own airplanes! These airplanes are simply to put together and the kids were able to decorate and design them however they wished. To create one of these planes for yourself, you will need:

2 Large Popsicle Sticks
1 Clothespin
1 Medium Popsicle Stick
1 Small Popsicle Stick ( whole or broken in half )
1 Pony Bead ( color of your choosing )
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
Markers, Crayons, or Stickers ( to decorate )

First, color and design each part of your plane. Next, attach the two large popsicle sticks to the clothespin. Attach the medium popsicle stick to the other end of the clothespin and the small popsicle to the front of the clothespin. Finally add the pony bead to the front of the small popsicle stick. )

Letter of the Day: Pp
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” Wombat Stew ”

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Pp Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room ( Each day brings a new ” Letter of the Day “. Our Write The Room time this week will be spent having the kids hunt for the letters of the day and a few of their own choice. Today, we are hunting for Monday’s letter of the day and today’s letter, the letter Pp. )

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( And we’re off! Today we are exploring Australia. We started our journey by first getting our passports stamped. )

2. Australia Discussion with Globe and Chart ( Next on our journey, we found Australia on our globe, reviewed a map of what this country looks like, and viewed some beautiful pictures online. )

3. Australia Video for Kids ( Much like our video from yesterday, the kids enjoyed this video about the states of Australia. From this video, we learned that Australia is made up of 6 states. )

Centers:

1.  Reading

2. Writing Center: My Itsy Bitsy Australia Book ( We found these adorable mini books from Kid Zone. com and you can click here to get your own free printable book. 

Lyanna and Jack first colored each of their pages. As they worked, we talk about the video we watched, what we learned from our reading about Australia, what we saw in the photos, and so on. I like to get the kids to chat about what we are learning as we are working and exploring. Reviewing a concept is necessary when learning, but it doesn’t have to be a sit down and chat set up. I like to just talk with the kids and have casual conversations. I feel that this strategy eliminates any anxiety or pressure the kids may feel when you ask ” What did you learn? “. )

3. Puzzles

4. Put Them In The Ocean Math Game ( Since Australia is home to the Great Barrier Reef, we played this fun, ocean themed math game. To create this game, we simply used a blue piece of construction paper and added a few green strips of paper, ocean themed figurines, and dice. 

The kids took turns rolling the dice. The number that turned up is the amount of ocean figurines they added to our ocean mat. Once each of the kids got a turn adding figurines to the mat, when then worked backwards! They would then roll to determine how many figurines they needed to take OFF the mat. And then we continued to go back and forth.

This game is an exercise in counting, but it also presents addition and subtraction concepts to the kids without them even knowing! )

5. Free Exploration 

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Design Your Own Boomerang ( Ever wondered what you could do with the back cardboard from old notebooks? Here is a simple project idea for the kids! We have tons of this thin cardboard left over from our notebooks, so we were eager to finally use some it.

Using our cardboard, I drew an outline of a boomerang on two separate pieces and added a very simple design. The kids used markers and crayons to design and decorate their own boomerangs. Once they were done creating, I cut their boomerangs out and we tried our hand at using them! )

Letter of the Day: Qq
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” Strega Nona ” ( Click here for a Read-A-Loud of this amazing story )

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Qq Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room ( Our Write The Room time today was spent hunting for the letters Oo, Pp, and Qq, as well as one letter of their choosing. )

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity ( The kids have truly taken to this activity. They each love getting a turn at sounding out the words and trying their hand at reading these words on their own. )

5. Daily ASL ( We continue working on the signs for ” I love you” , ” What is wrong? “, and ” How do you feel? “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( We continue our ” All Around The World ” journey today in Italy ! )

2. Italy Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Italy Video For Kids ( This video series is amazing for little ones learning about different countries! The series features two children traveling around the world and learning all about the countries they are visiting. For this episode, the kids are in Italy learning about and touring the Leaning Tower of Pisa. )

Centers:

1. Reading ( One of my favorite parts of our days <3 . )

2. Science Center: Observational Drawings of the Leaning Tower of Pisa ( Observational drawings are an activity that we implement in our classroom quite often. They are a great way to get kids to really look at something and study the many details and aspects of an object.

Drawing is a method of researching, investigating, developing and communicating ideas. We use this method to be creative, focus on fine motor skills, and study any given subject area. Today, we explore and study the Leaning Tower of Pisa. )

3. Little Chefs: Pizzelles ( We got in the kitchen today and make some delicious Italian cookies: Pizzelles! These yummy treats were easy to make and the kids love cooking in the kitchen. 

To make your own Pizzelles, you will need:

A Pizzelle Maker
2 Cups of Flour
3 Eggs
1 Tsp of Vanilla Extract or Anise Extract ( Lemon is delicious as well! )
1 Stick of Unsalted Butter
1 Cup of Sugar
1 tsp of Salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl using a mixer. Heat up your Pizzelle maker and drop small portions into both side of the maker. Be sure to read your instructions for your Pizzelle maker to determine exactly how long to cook them for. These yummy treats were a perfect end to the first half of our day! )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Construction Paper Pizzas ( To end our tour of Italy, the kids completed this writing prompt and craft project. Using glue sticks, the kids attached their desired toppings to their pizzas.

Once their pizzas were complete, we talked about what they enjoyed on the pizzas they actually eat. I wrote their answers in the space below for the kids. As we progress throughout our first school year, the kids will be given this writing task. )

Letter of the Day: Rr
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” Tim O’Toole and The Wee Folk ”

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Rr Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( We continue working on the signs for ” I love you” , ” What is wrong? “, and ” How do you feel? “. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Today, we travel to Ireland ! )

2. Ireland Discussion with Globe and Chart  

3.Tour of Ireland with a Drone ( This video of Ireland is fantastic! The footage is from a drone, so it shows the beautiful landscape of Ireland. I would highly recommend giving this video a view! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Flag of Ireland Creations and Irish Knots Coloring Sheets ( Using square pieces of orange and green construction paper, the kids creating their own flags of Ireland.

I created the outline for this project and then the kids got to work added the colors using their glue sticks. To create the colored squares for this project, I cut strips of construction paper. Jack and Lyanna then got in some scissors practice by cutting these strips into squares for us to use.

The second project we did in our Art Center today was this Irish Knot coloring sheet. There are plenty of sheets like this you can find online to print off, but I just created these on my own for the kids to color. )

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Shamrock Dot Marker Paintings ( These beautiful pieces of art were so easy to create and the kids loved creating them!

To create these shamrock pictures, all you need is a shamrock cut out, dot markers or stamps, and a plain sheet of white paper. We attached the shamrock cut out to the center of the piece of paper using a small piece of tape in the center. The kids used our green dot markers to stamp around and all over the cut out. When they were finished, we removed the cut out to reveal a beautiful, uncolored shamrock. )

Letter of the Day: Ss
Shape of the Week: Oval
Storytime: ” The Little Hippo ”

Letterland: 

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Ss Review With Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

5. Daily ASL ( We finished off our week with a bit more practice with these three signs. )

Concept Activity:

1. Passport Stamps ( Our final destination this week is Egypt! )

2. Egypt Discussion with Globe and Chart

3. Egypt Video for Kids 

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Science Center: Pyramid Building and Investigation With Sugar Cubes and Colored Water ( Our Science Center was open today for some building, investigating, exploring, and playing! Using sugar cubes, the kids constructed their very own pyramids. We counted how many cubes we used, compared Jack’s amount of cubes to Lyanna’s, and used our magnifying glasses to get a closer look at our pyramids. 

Next, the kids used our drops to color their pyramids using colored water. Finally, we watched as our pyramids started to collapse and erode from the use of our water. )

3. Writing Center: Sandwriting ( Since Egypt is full of sand, it was only natural that we had fun with it! Using our sand and a tray, along with our alphabet cards, the kids set out and practiced their letter formation using their fingers. ) 

4. Free Exploration

5.  Our Weekly Word Wall ( As we work our way through a unit every week, the kids select certain words to add to our word wall. These are the words Lyanna and Jack selected for our word wall this week. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Science Center: Mummy Excavation ( The kids LOVE these excavation projects and have been begging to do more since our ” Dinosaurs ” week. We bought these mummy sets from Target’s Hot Buy section, but you can make your own sets and they are incredibly easy! You can find the supplies and steps here.

The kids use their tools, a play hammer, and some water to dig out their special treasures. Once we unearth our ancient artifacts, the kids then use their science brushes to wash off any remaining dirt. )

Part 1 of our ” All Around The World ” unit was so much fun and the kids really learned a lot about other countries, as well as their own home state. Next week, the kids and I will be learning about France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, and England. We are all looking forward to another wonderful week exploring different countries! Monday will also be a big day for us as it is our 100th day of school. We’ll be taking a break from our school work and exploring so we can have a special treat to celebrate!

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 21: Healthy Self ( Part 1 )

Today we started our two week ” Healthy Self  ” unit. We will be talking all about the different ways we can keep ourselves healthy. We will be exploring healthy foods, the importance of going to our doctor, talking about our feelings, getting our bodies moving, and more. Throughout our 21st week together, the kids and I will also be perfecting our writing skills, counting to 100, continuing to learn how to sound out words, and, of course, having tons of fun! Here is how Part 1 of our “Healthy Self” unit turned out:

Letter of the Day: Ee
Shape of the Week: Triangle
Storytime: ” My Amazing Body ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Ee Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards

3. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

4. Write The Room

5. Daily ASL ( We started back with learning new signs today during our ASL time period. Since we’ll be talking about feelings later in the unit, we decided to start learning the signs for our different emotions and feelings. Today, we learned the signs for angry and funny. )

Concept Activity:

1. Intro To Theme With Discussion and Chart ” What Does It Means To Be Healthy ? ” ( We opened our unit today with a discussion about what the word healthy means to the kids. After some crazy answers, an honest explanation, and plenty of good food choices, the kids and I created this chart together based on what we discussed. )

2. All of Me Poem Anchor Chart ( After our introduction discussion, I presented this poem to the kids as we moved our bodies and practiced our reading skills. We’ve been introducing more and more poetry in our lessons and the kids are starting to recognize rhyming words! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Body Outlines and Labeling Activity  ( This was such a fun project for the kids and I ! First, I traced each kid’s outline on wrapping paper. Yes, wrapping paper! It was the largest paper we have and since the the holidays are over, we won’t be needing our large supply of it anytime soon. After the outline were complete, we taped up our piece of paper in the hallways so that we would have plenty of room to work. We colored our outlines, giving ourselves clothes and facial features, and then labeled the parts of our bodies. To label our pictures, we used blank address labels and just wrote in the parts of body, one at a time. ) 

If you are creating a unit around the human body, this project is one I would recommend trying. It was easy to put together, but the kids also truly enjoyed the process. It’s not everyday I let them “color on the walls”. )

3. Simon Says “ Move Your Body “  ( Since we’ve all been stuck inside for the past week with all the freezing temperatures, we LOVED getting up and moving our bodies for this game! This game is a sneaky way of getting kids to be active, but it was also helpful in going over each component of our bodies. It’s great when you can cover a concept in a fun and silly way! ) 

4. Free Exploration

Number and Letter Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. In case it is hard to see, the picture in the middle shows our letter of the day ( Ee ). Using white circle stickers, the kids ” Erased ” the E. We’ve been trying to change up our journal activities and find different and cool ideas for our entries. If you have any good ideas, we’d love to hear that!  )

Free Play / Craft Time:

My Shape Body Diagram ( To end our first day in the Healthy Self unit, we created our bodies using shape cut outs ! We glued these shapes into their correct placements, even though they tried pretty hard to convince me that their head circle belonged anywhere else than on top of their rectangular shoulders 🙂 .

After we completed our bodies in shapes, Lyanna and Jack added some personal touches to their creations. How cute! )

Letter of the Day: Ff
Shape of the Week: Triangle
Storytime: ” Germs Make Me Sick “ 

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Ff Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards

3. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

4. Write The Room ( For our Write The Room portion of our morning, I sent the kids on a scavenger hunt. On their sheets of paper, I wrote all of the letters we have been working on recently. I then tasked Jack and Lyanna to hunt for each letter and then “check it off” their list by writing each letter. This was a fun way to change up our usual activities. Even the slightest change can make an activity new and interesting again! )

5. Daily ASL ( Tuesday and Thursday are our review day for the ASL signs we’ve learned so far. During our review, we go through the stack of cards we have a pull random ones to practice. We also play games where we say what sign the other person is signing or try to use our signs in conversations, rather than words. )

Concept Activity:

What Does A Doctor Do ? / What Does A Dentist Do ?  ( We are focusing on Doctors and Dentists today for our Healthy Self unit. We opened our day with a discussion about these two community helpers and what it is that they to help keep us healthy. A few months ago, during our Community Helpers unit, we discussed these two professions in length. To help us remember, the kids and I engaged in a discussion about what we remembered from that unit. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Roll and Cover Playdough Teeth  Game ( I made this Dentist math mat for us to use for this activity, but you can find a free printable for your game here. For this math activity, you will need the math mat, a set of dice, and white playdough. I would also recommend laminating your math mat so that you can use it more than once.

The kids took turns rolling the dice, matching their number to a numbered tooth, and adding a playdough tooth to the mat. This game is great for little ones as it is incredibly simple to play, reviews number recognition, fine motor skills, and, the best part, there isn’t a winner or loser! )

3. Dramatic Play: Doctor’s Office

4. Building On 10s Links Chain ( We’ve been continuing to keep track of our numbers of days in school with our links chain. This has been a great way to focus counting by 10s. Every 10 days, the kids and I add 10 more links to our chain and add a little marker on each 10s place. The chain has become a lovely decoration in our classroom that Lyanna and Jack like to pull down and practice counting together. We’re so close to 100! )

5. Free Exploration

Number and Letter Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

What’s In My Doctor’s Bag ( For our End of the Day craft, the kids put together their own doctor’s bag. First, I drew out a picture of a few different items that are used by doctors. Originally, I had found a template just like this online, however the print off was horrible, so I just decided to draw my own for the kids. Using construction paper, I assembly a ” doctor’s bag ” for each of the kids.

First, we colored our doctor’s items and then glued this sheet into our doctor’s bag. )

Letter of the Day: Gg
Shape of the Week: Triangle
Storytime: ” Fire Drill ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Gg Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards

3. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

4. Write The Room

5. Daily ASL ( We learned the signs for ” Happy ” and ” Sad ” today during our ASL time. )

Concept Activity:

Fire Safety Video and Discussion Chart ( During our Community Helpers week a few months ago, the kids and I learned all about fire safety and firefighters. Today, we reviewed all of the important fire safety tips we’ve learned and talked about why this safety tips are part of keeping ourselves healthy and well. We also watched our fire safety video. We watched this video during our Community Helpers week and I would highly recommend it ! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Firefighter Roll It, Write It, Add It Game ( This was our first adventure into addition! To create this game,  I simply created our fire mat using yellow and red construction paper. Using this mat, dice, and a dry erase marker, as well as our dry erase table, the kids got to work on beginning their journey into addition. 

To play this game, each of the kids would roll the dice to find the number of pom poms they needed to add to our fire math mat. We then took out these pom poms and broke them apart based on the number each of the kids rolled. First, we counted how many we had total and then we created an equation on our dry erase table. Both of the kids did AMAZING with this breakdown and really seemed to grasp the basics of addition. We’ll continue to work more with our numbers and building up our math skills. )

3. Fire Paint Write It Activity ( For the activity, we poured a little red and yellow paint into a large freezer bag. Using our alphabet flashcards, the kids took turns practicing letter formations. ) 

TIP: If you are trying out this activity, it works better if you tape the bag to the surface you are working on!

4. 100 First Words Work Books ( During one of our many Target trips these past few weeks, I found these awesome First Words books. In Target’s “Hot Buy” section, which is usually located right at the entrance, they’ve started stocking up on  classroom supplies. This is where I found these super cute books! They had 5 different versions, all with different themes, that I snatched up for the kids.

Today, we started with the ” 100 First Words ” book. On each page, the kids are look at pictures, can “read” the labels, color a few pictures, and fill in the blank spots with the accompanying stickers. We’ve incorporated these work pages into our centers time just as a fun “reading” activity. )

5. Free Exploration

Number and Letter Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

911 Phone Coloring Sheet with Dot Markers ( For our End of the Day craft, we completed these 911 Phone Sheets. Using our Dot Markers, the kids dialed 911 on their phones. I created these phone templates myself, but here is a link to a free phone template for you to use. )

Letter of the Day: Hh
Shape of the Week: Triangle
Storytime: ” Move Your Body ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Hh Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards

3. Short A Pocket Chart Activity

4. Write The Room

5. Daily ASL ( Review Day ! )

Concept Activity:

Why Exercise Discussion ( Today is all about exercise! We’ve been talking about the different ways we keep our bodies healthy, so today has been dedicated to being active. We opened our day with a small discussion about why you should move your body and then different ways we can do that. )

Animal Exercise Video ( The kids and I completed these adorable workout video together. The video shows a group of kids do body movements like different animals and then it shows a small clip of the animals we are imitating. This was a fantastic feature of the video as the kids are currently loving animal videos! Check out our moves ! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Physical Activity Cards ( To keep our bodies moving, the kids and I created these activity cards. Using these cards, we created our own workout routine! We pulled a card and did the workout written on the card. This simple activity got our bodies up and moving, but it also was another way for the kids to be exposed to reading! ) 

3. Balance Beam ( Another way that we kept our bodies going was this super simple and fun activity. Using colorful tape, we created a “balance beam” on our classroom floor. We challenged each other to walk on our beam and keep our balance. Lyanna and Jack found this activity fun and were so giddy! ) 

4. First 100 Words Books ( As we complete each page, I have been giving the kids the task of writing one word they see on their page. I think its a great way for the kids to get more practice with their handwriting, but to all expose them to write more than just individual letters or their names. )

5. Free Exploration

Number and Letter Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Dance Party ( We ended our day with a fun dance party! )

Letter of the Day: Ii
Shape of the Week: Triangle
Storytime: ” Free Choice ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Ii Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards

3. Write The Room

4. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for “Sad” and ” Scared”. We will be taking all of next week as a review week for our ASL routine. )

Concept Activity:

” What Have We Learned This Week ” Discussion ( To end our first week of our ” Healthy Self” unit, we used this time to talk about all the things we’ve learned and talked about this week. )

Centers:

1. Reading ( Jack and Lyanna have been working very hard these past two weeks learning the process of sounding out words. Now, during our Independent Reading time, I hear them both trying to sound out words! They aren’t quite there yet, but it’s amazing to see them trying to transfer those skills over into this reading time! ) 

2. Go Fish! ( Since it’s Friday, the kids and I had some fun together and played Go Fish! We bought this sea creature themed Go Fish deck for $1 at Target. ) 

3. Puzzles

4. Roll It, Write It ! 

5. Free Exploration

Number and Letter Work:

Journaling ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. For the past 2 weeks, one of our journal entry pages each day have stated ” I am ________ “. I have been creating these pages for the kids so that they can start to learn these words. Repetition is key when learning how to read. The more the kids see these words, or phrases, the more likely they are to remember them and be able to read them on their own. The kids have started pointing out these two words in the books that we read and it makes my heart so happy when they point them out! They are so proud of themselves.  )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Play

And that ends our “Healthy Self Unit Part 1” ! The kids and I had lots of fun this week exploring the different ways we can take care of ourselves. Lyanna and Jack continue to work hard in every aspect of our day. Their writing improves with each passing day and their number recognition amazes me! We will continue our Healthy Self unit Part 2 next week, as well as reviewing our letters, numbers 1 to 100, working on our basic addition skills, and playing a few new games. See you next week!

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 20: Dinosaurs

Welcome back! Our winter break is over and it’s time to get back to work! We are ready to be back our routines and returning to our classroom together. The theme for our 20th week together: Dinosaurs ! We thought that this theme would be a fun way to get back into our schedule and learning after the holiday break. This week, we’ll be learning all about dinosaurs, completing a Dino-themed handwriting book, counting to 100, and so much more! During this second half of our preschool year, we will also be building up our reading skills by learning how to sound out words! Here is a layout of our week:

 

Happy New Year ! 

 

Letter of the Day: Aa
Shape of the Week: Star
Storytime: ” That’s Not My Dinosaur ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Aa Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards ( We started back from our break with a reboot of our ” Letter of the Day ” writing focus. We’ll be reviewing a different letter each day until we get through the alphabet again! We start our alphabet journey today with the letter Aa . )

3. Sound It Out / Short A Words ( And so we begin! The first part of our preschool year was spent learning reading order and the sound each letter makes. We are combining those skills and beginning to learn how to sound out words! We start with short a words. Today, Lyanna and I started with jab, lab, and cab.

First, we put our letter cards up in our pocket chart and reviewed what sounds each letter makes on their own. Next, we focused on one word at a time and slowly blended the letter sounds together, steadily increasing our speed until we were saying the full word. We are very excited to see how the kids do with this new concept over the next few months! )

4. Write The Room ( Lyanna was very excited to get back to this activity today! We started back by quickly finding 5 different letters to write and were sure to write both the lower and uppercase versions of each of the letters. )

5. Daily ASL ( Since we are just getting back from a long winter break, we’ll be spending this week reviewing our ASL signs. We felt it would be beneficial to start back slow and spend our time going over the signs we have already learned, while also slowly getting back in our routines. )

Concept Activity:

Intro to Theme / Dinosaur Video  ( Lyanna and I watched this cute dinosaur video together. This is video is a cartoon and angled specifically towards young children who want to learn about different kinds of dinosaurs. The entire video is about 30 minutes long, so we only watched about 10 minutes and got on with the rest of our busy day. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Dino Sticker Creations ( We love sticker projects! The use of stickers in an art project, especially for this age group, is great for getting their fingers moving and strengthening those hand muscles. The simple act of peeling a sticker off of a sheet can be quite difficult for little ones. We’ve been working on this skills for awhile and the kids are really doing great. Today, we drew our background first, adding trees, a pond, and some grass, and then added our dinosaur stickers. )

TIP: Stickers can be quite expensive, especially if you are looking for a specific theme. We are always on the look out for cheap stickers and we just stock them in our supplies until the time comes to use them. If you shop at Target, there “Hot Buys” sections are amazing for finding cheap stickers! Be sure to stop by the next time you are in the store and scan their selections. Another place to buy stickers is at Michael’s Arts and Crafts. They have an AMAZING sticker selection, but they can be a bit expensive. Be sure to get the Michael’s app to always have a coupon on hand. Also, select Michael’s will often have ” grab bags ” near their customer service register. These bags are full of random items that you buy for a set amount ($ 5 ), sight unseen. After the holidays, these bags are sometimes FULL of sticker books. Last Halloween, I bought 2 bags FULL of Halloween sticker books. When I say FULL, I mean that we got 50 stickers books of 8 different kinds of Halloween themed stickers. We’re stocked for life!

3. Writing Center: Dino Handwriting Books ( In our Writing Center this week, we’ll be working on our handwriting. We got lucky and found these dinosaur themed handwriting books…. FOR FREE ! You can get your own books here. I will warn you that there are several pages missing from this download, but hey, it was free 🙂 .)

4. Roll It, Write It ( Just to brush up on our math skills and get our brains focused again, we played one of our favorite games today. Roll It, Write It is pretty easy for the kids and it allows them to break a number down into several different ways. You roll dice to get your number and then write this number in 4 different ways. You can find this free printable here. We printed off a few copies and then laminated them so that we could use them over and over again. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are our journal entries for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Play ( Since Jack isn’t back from his break with his family, we decided to save our fun afternoon projects for when he returns ! Lyanna and I ( and Baby Roslin, too! ) took this time to play with some of our new toys and spend some quiet time with each other 🙂 . )

Letter of the Day: Bb
Shape of the Week: Star
Storytime: ” Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Bb Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards

3. Sound It Out / Short A ( Here are the short a words we worked on today! First, we put our letter cards up in our pocket chart and reviewed what sounds each letter makes on their own. Next, we focused on one word at a time and slowly blended the letter sounds together, steadily increasing our speed until we were saying the full word. )

4. Write The Room

5. Daily ASL ( Review For The Week )

Concept Activity:

I’m A Paleontologist Anchor Chart and Discussion

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Dinosaur Coloring Sheets ( For this Art Center activity, I drew my own dinosaurs for the kids to color. Printer ink is expensive! Here is a link to a bunch of free dinosaur coloring sheets for you to print off if you decide you don’t have the time! 🙂 )

3. Science Center: Dino Dig Fossil Extraction ( We have been waiting for this project ALL winter break! In our Science Center today, we continued our discussion about paleontologists and what they do. The kids and I stepped into that role and excavating our own dinosaur fossils !

We bought these excavating kits from Target last summer and have been just waiting for the right time to use them. At the time, Target was selling these awesome kits for $1 ! Now, they are packaged a little better and are priced at $3, which is still a good price for the amount of fun we had. Jack and Lyanna hammered, scrapped, and brushed their way through the plaster and eventually got to their awesome dino fossil! If you can’t find any of these kits or just want to make your own version, here is a link to a wonderful blog post about how to do just that! All you need is cornstarch, water, a plastic figurine of your choice, and a container for everything to harden in. )

4. Writing Center: Dino Handwriting Books

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Kid-Asaurous Hand Print Art ( Jack came back today ( yayy! ) so we were ready to do our End of the Day crafts! For today, we created these super cute hand print dinosaurs. To create these pieces, we first cut out a dinosaur outline that gave us a flat back to use for our hand prints. We then glued these outline to a piece of paper, painted our fingers green, and then stamped our hands twice. This gave our dinosaurs their spikes! Finally, we added our dinosaurs’ names to our pieces of art. How cute are these!? )

 

 

SNOW DAY !

Our schedule has been a bit crazy this week, given the holiday and then some lovely snow, so our activities and projects for Thursday were added to our Friday schedule. 

Letter of the Day: Cc and Dd
Shape of the Week: Star
Storytime: ” Rumble With The Dinosaurs ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Letter Cc and Dd Review with Writing On Dry Erase Boards

3. Sound It Out / Short A ( This has been a fun, yet challenging new activity we started this week. We’re still feeling this one out, but I have confidence in these two kiddos! )

4. Write The Room

5. Daily ASL ( Review For The Week )

Concept Activity:

1. ” If I could meet a dinosaur, I would …. ” Writing and Drawing Prompt ( These are my favorite kinds of projects to do with kids. They give you a glimpse into their imagination and silliness. Writing prompts like these are a great set up for children to feel independent and free when they are completing a task. Their work is going in the direction THEY want it to and that can empower a child to feel in control of their academic success. Not to mention how adorable these answers are! )

Jack would watch Paw Patrol with his dinosaur friend, while Lyanna would make her Dinosaur some toast.

2. Dino Footprint Investigation ( Using a dinosaur footprint cut out, the kids and I engaged in an investigation. We talked about and described the footprint using our descriptive words. We also counting the toes, measured the footprint with unifex cubes, and did a few observational drawings. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Playdough Fossils

3. What’s Missing Number Line Activity ( We reserve time each day to incorporate a math game or two into our busy schedules. We try to make this time fun for the kids, while also giving them another opportunity to improve their writing abilities AND focus on numbers.

This simple activity is a favorite for Lyanna and Jack, as it gives them another chance to write on the big dry erase board! I simply draw 3 number lines at one time and label with a few missing numbers. The kids take turns at identifying the missing numbers and writing them where they belong. )

4. Science Center: Dinosaur Observational Drawings ( For our Science Center activity today, I presented the kids with a tray full of dinosaur examples. These examples were used as visuals for the kids to complete their dinosaur observational drawings.

Observational drawings are a fun way to change up the studying of a topic or concept, especially given our current topic. This activity allowed the kids to look over lots of different types of dinosaurs and note the various differences, and similarities, in them. They begin to ask questions that open the door for conversations and independent learning, thinking, and problem solving. ” What are these spiking things for on this dinosaur’s back ? “, ” How does this dinosaur protect itself ? ” , and ” Why does this one have a long next? “.

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals. We had a few pages to catch up on after missing yesterday.  )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Dinosaur Fossil Sugar Cookies ( To end our amazing dinosaur week, the kids and I made a batch of Fossil Sugar Cookies. If you are looking for a cool, simple, and fun project to do with your kids, this is it ! We made our own dough, but you could certainly buy a package of pre-made sugar cookie dough to make it even easier for you. Using our dinosaur figurines and fossil set, the kids made impressions on to our blank cookies. These turned out amazing and they tasted great too! )

 

Our Word Wall for our Dinosaur Week: 

We made it through our first week back! It can be hard to get back into your schedule and routine after the holidays, but we did it and we did it right. Jack and Lyanna came back ready to learn, excited to see one another, and jumped right in to our fun themed week! We’re a little rusty in some areas, but aren’t we all? We will begin another fun unit next week as we explore our bodies and learn how to keep it healthy. Our ” Healthy Self ” unit will be a 2 week adventure into understanding why it’s important to visit our doctor, take care of our teeth, what foods we should eat, and more. We will also be continuing our journey into reading and writing, while also starting to learn some basic math skills such as more or less, addition, and subtraction! See you next week 🙂

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 17: Changing of Seasons ( Winter Unit )

We couldn’t have planned a better week to start this unit! While it still isn’t winter just yet, we are definitely experiencing some winter weather. Last Friday, we spent half of our day watching it snow outside and this week we are feeling those colder temperatures for sure! We have learned all about what the winter season brings us, what changes we see in the weather, in the clothes that we wear, the holidays we celebrate, and so much more. Here is what our week has looked like:

Letter of the Day: ALL
Shape of the Day: Diamond
Storytime: ” Snowy Day ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Write The Letter ( For our letter work this morning, the kids and I randomly selected letter cards for us to write. Jack and Lyanna always love a chance to write on our dry erase board and that excitement transfers over to being excited about improving their handwriting! )

3. Daily ASL ( We will be taking a full week off the week of Christmas, so for these next 2 weeks we won’t be learning any new signs. Rather, we will be using this time to review the huge stack of sign cards that we have already learned these past few months. )

Concept Activity:

Introduction to Winter Weather / Discussion with Anchor Chart ( Winter week has begun! We opened this new unit with a discussion about the season we are currently in, fall, and what we know about this season. We then talked about the upcoming season we will soon be experiencing, winter! The kids and I talked about what we know about winter and what things we weren’t quite sure about.

As we discussed winter, we created this chart together. Later, I turned this dry erase chart into a permanent anchor chart for our classroom. We will be adding this new anchor chart to our wall display, along with our fall anchor chart. After our winter season discussion, Jack, Lyanna, and I noted the similarities and differences between fall and winter. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Seasons Matching Game ( This is a game that we used several weeks ago in our ” Changing of Seasons: Fall Unit “. The kids match each of the pictures to what season the think it belongs with. We found this seasons matching game here from Tot Schooling. )

3. Counting Snowballs Game ( This is a super simple project you can easily create yourself! Nothing to print off or laminate. All you need is a pack of white pom poms, blue construction paper, a sharpie, and a pair of scissors. I cut 10 different cards out from the blue construction paper and wrote numbers 1 to 10 on them. We shuffled the cards and we were ready to go! )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are the entries we made today in our journals! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Melted Snowman ( To end our first day of our winter unit, Jack and Lyanna created these super simple melted snowmen! Using a white crayon on blue construction paper, the kids “drew” their melted snowman. Next, we added our snowman’s eyes, carrot nose, and charcoal buttons. )

Letter of the Day: ALL
Shape of the Day: Diamond
Storytime: ” The Mitten  ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Write The Letter

3. Daily ASL ( We will be taking a full week off the week of Christmas, so for these next 2 weeks we won’t be learning any new signs. Rather, we will be using this time to review the huge stack of sign cards that we have already learned these past few months. )

Concept Activity:

Seasons Video ( For our Concept Activity, we watched this short video all about the seasons. This video shows each of the seasons with beautiful visuals and shows several things associated with each season. It shows what the weather looks like, what activities we enjoy during each season, and so on. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Art Center: Winter Collaboration Piece ( This was a fun collaboration activity the kids worked on today during centers. It was incredibly easy to put together and they really enjoyed working together to create this masterpiece.

We lined our table with a long piece of paper and gathered winter themed art supplies. We used various shades of blue crayons, snowflake confetti, jewels in blues and silver, and glitter glue pens.

This project turned out to be a very beautiful representation of the winter season and we are currently enjoying it in our classroom! )

3. Write The Room

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are our journal entries for the day. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Choice Art Center ( Using some of our leftover supplies from the collaboration piece we did earlier, the kids created yet another winter themed piece of artwork. )

Letter of the Day: ALL
Shape of the Day: Diamond
Storytime: ” There Was An Old Lady That Swallowed A Bell ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Write The Letter

3. Daily ASL ( We will be taking a full week off the week of Christmas, so for these next 2 weeks we won’t be learning any new signs. Rather, we will be using this time to review the huge stack of sign cards that we have already learned these past few months. )

Concept Activity:

Winter Sentences ( For our Concept Activity today, the kids and I worked on these winter sentences together. Our sentence prompt was ” I see the … “. Using the item cards, featured above the this sentence prompt, the kids created their own sentences to “read”. We do activities like this to help lay the foundation for their future reading skills and to show them how words come together to form full sentences. We found these winter themed sentence strips on our favorite blog for free printables, The Measured Mom. You can grab these for yourself here. They are available in color, but I chose to print in black and white to save on colored ink.

Lyanna and Jack LOVE our pocket chart sentences activities, but they enjoy them even more when they are in charge of creating them for themselves! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Counting Snowballs Game

3. Scissor Practice

4. Art Center: Gingerbread Coloring Sheets

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Exploration ( We used our end of the day time for free play today. We have so many fun games and activities in our classroom, I like to let the kids explore these items and have a say in how they spend their time. With all of the structured, planned out time we have throughout our days, I think it’s incredibly important for them to have time to just be 3 year olds and find what items they enjoy. )

Letter of the Day: ALL
Shape of the Day: Diamond
Storytime: ” Snowmen At Night  ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Write The Letter

3. Daily ASL ( We will be taking a full week off the week of Christmas, so for these next 2 weeks we won’t be learning any new signs. Rather, we will be using this time to review the huge stack of sign cards that we have already learned these past few months. )

Concept Activity:

Winter Sentences ( We worked on our winter sentences again today, but with a different sentence prompt. Our sentence prompt for today was ” I see a ….. in the winter. ” )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Writing Center: Seasons Book / Winter Pages ( In Writing today, the kids and I pulled out their seasons books and starting working on our winter pages. We started these books during our fall unit and will continue to work on them throughout our seasons units until the end of our preschool year in June.

We found these blank books from Target and the kids will be using these empty books more during the second half of our school year together. )

3. Counting Snowballs Game

4. Write The Room

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are the journals entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Exploration

Letter of the Day: ALL
Shape of the Day: Diamond
Storytime: ” The First Day of Winter  ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. Write The Letter

3. Daily ASL ( We will be taking a full week off the week of Christmas, so for these next 2 weeks we won’t be learning any new signs. Rather, we will be using this time to review the huge stack of sign cards that we have already learned these past few months. )

Concept Activity:

Snowflakes, Snowflakes Winter Poem ( For our Concept Activity today, we read and talked about this lovely winter themed poem. We haven’t talked too much about poems or rhyming words so far, so today was more of a slow introduction into those elements. We’ll see more poetry during our second half of our school year and we will then talk more about this concept in more depth. For now, we simply enjoyed this snowflake poem and took turns pointing to the words. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Counting Snowballs Game

3. Writing Center: Seasons Book / Winter Pages ( In our Writing Center today, we finished up our winter pages for our seasons book. )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journals ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Look at those names! These two have worked incredibly hard to learn how to write and spell their names, so I thought we’d show off these skills today for our journals!

Free Play / Craft Time:

Free Exploration

Our winter week has concluded and so has our first part of our school year. Next week we will be taking a break from the curriculum and simply enjoying our time together. We’ll be viewing a few holiday movies, singing and dancing to some Christmas music, baking cookies, creating some holiday cards, and more! We’ll be taking the week of Christmas to be with our families and then we will return for our second half of our school year. When we return, we will be enjoying a fun ” Dinosaur Week ” and getting right back to work. The kids will be learning how to count to 100 by 1’s and we will also begin learning how to sound out words with our letter sound knowledge.

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 16: Leaves and Trees

This week we will be focusing on leaves and trees! We will be learning all about the life cycle of trees, naming each part of a tree, and exploring the textures of these parts. We will also be continuing our counting journey by building on our links chain, counting to and beyond the number 70, and perfecting our ability to count by 10s to 100! We will also be reviewing letters A through Z, playing fun games with one another, enjoying some good books, and spending lots of time being 3 year olds!

Letter Of The Day: Aa to Ee
Shape Of The Week:  Rectangle
Storytime: ” The Lorax “ 

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. What Starts With … ( For our Letterland activity this week we engaged in writing our letters, lower and uppercase, as well as brainstorming what words start with their sound. )

3. Daily ASL ( We continued our ASL journey this week by reviewing the signs we have been learning, using, and incorporating into our daily routines and discussions. We will be learning new signs tomorrow! )

Concept Activity:

Introduction with Discussion and Anchor Chart ( This week is all about ” Leaves and Trees “. For our concept activity today, we opened by discussing what we know about leaves and trees, what we hope to learn, and quickly laying out a few star activities that we will be doing this week. We created this chart together that will be displayed in our room throughout the week. Together, we labeled parts of the trees and talked about what these parts looked like. Later, during our outside time, we inspected one of the trees in our yard and talked about what each of these parts felt like. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Tens Frame Apple Tree ( One of our favorite games! )

3. Seek A Boo ( Lyanna and I LOVE this game, so we decided to share it with Jack and have some fun on this busy Monday. This game, Seek A Boo, is a large version of a memory game for kids. I love it because it gets kids up and moving around. Our classroom isn’t that big, so we removed some of the pieces to fit our space. Jack and Lyanna loved it! )

4. Write The Room

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Free Exploration

2. Tree Bark Rubbings ( We have done Leaf Rubbings a few times, so I thought this will be a cool change up. For this activity we talked about the parts of the tree and practiced using our descriptive words. We then positioned our paper around the bark of our tree and used crayons to create our rubbings. Aren’t these cool ?! )

3. Walk ( The weather was absolutely beautiful today and since we are expecting snow on Friday….. we thought we should get out and about before the weather wouldn’t let us! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Q-Tip Stamping ( For this activity, we grouped a handful of Q-Tips together by using a rubber band. I drew an outline of a tree for the kids on a piece of large painting paper. The kids then used their Q-Tip stamps and various shades of green paint to add the foliage to our tree outline. These turned out so beautiful and the kids were very proud of their creations! )

Letter Of The Day: Ff to Jj
Shape Of The Week:  Rectangle
Storytime: ” Tell Me, Tree ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. What Starts With …

3. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for “red” and “white”. To practice our color signs, we’ve have been using them when describing certain items. For example, when we talk during lunch, we try to talk about the different things we see on our plate and sign the colors that we are seeing. This is just a way for us to practice our signs, strengthen our hands and muscles, relate to real life situations, and cement our ASL knowledge. )

Concept Activity:

The Life Cycle of a Tree Video and Discussion ( We will be talking about the life cycle of a tree today, so we opened our day with this video and a discussion about each part of the life cycle. This video features a little boy describing the life cycle and that seemed to really connect with the kids. They kept asking about this boy! They wanted to know how he knew so much about trees, could we make a video like him, and who this kid was. It was hilarious! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Puzzles

3. Number Line

5. Science Center ( In our Science Center we engaged in Observational Drawings of the trees we can see outside of our window! The kids used markers to draw the tree that is in our front yard. This tree is one that we have been slowly watching over the past few months. Each morning we look out of our classroom window to see how this tree has changed. We’ve see the leaves turn beautiful colors and now we are in the process of watching all of these leaves fall to the ground.

While the kids drew this tree, we also talked about what parts of the tree we saw and what these parts feel like. We also talked about what colors we were seeing and how different our tree looks from the summer time. )

6. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Free Exploration

2. Walk

Free Play / Craft Time:

Life Cycle Tree ( For our End of the Day project, we created these cute tree diagrams to help us remember what we learned about the life cycle of a tree. )

Letter Of The Day: Kk to Oo
Shape Of The Week:  Rectangle
Storytime: ” The Wish Tree ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. What Starts With …

3. Daily ASL ( Review Day ! )

Concept Activity:

Seasons Charts ( We have a few seasons charts around our classroom, including one on our Morning Meeting board that we view each day. For today’s Concept Activity, the kids and I toured the classroom and found these charts. We stopped to talk about what we noticed about each chart and then added the 4 characteristics for the winter tree pictured on the left. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Write The Room

3. Tens Frame Apple Tree

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today )

Outside Play: 

Inside Recess ( Since the weather has started to get colder, and we are now joined by a newborn, we aren’t able to go outside for playtime. We’ve moved our playtime to inside. We’ll be doing body movements ( dancing ), playing games that require us to be up and about, and other activities that give us a break from the days work AND gets our bodies moving! )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Seasonal Tree Book ( For our End of the Day craft today, the kids and I put together these tree books. The kids colored the pages and we talked about what trees look like during each of the seasons. Once we were done coloring our pages, I cut the trees out for the kids and stapled them together. We found these ” Changing Seasons Tree ” books from A Little Pinch of Perfect. You can click here to be taken to this free printable.

Activities like these books have numerous benefits for children. They allow kids to be creative and express themselves, but they also provide an opportunity for children to use their knowledge of concept and create a piece of art that reflects that knowledge. These projects also give us a chance to talk about the things we have learned, which is a great way to help cement that knowledge in a fun way. For young children like Jack and Lyanna, these activities are essential to helping them retain the information we talk about, but they also need these opportunities to improve their fine motor skills and discover their creative abilities! )

Letter Of The Day:  Pp to Tt
Shape Of The Week:  Rectangle
Storytime: ” The Giving Tree ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. What Starts With ….

3. Daily ASL ( Today we learned the signs for ” Yellow ” and ” Orange “. )

4. Word Wall ( As we work our way each week through our units, we pull different words that we use often or that have significant meaning to our topic. We write these words on sticky notes and place them on our door. At the end of the week, we take down our sticky notes and write these words on our word wall. We point to these words when we say them, see them in our books, or are reviewing during our “wrap up” time at the end of the day. This is an activity I do with the kids to help get them familiar with reading concepts and sounding out words. )

Concept Activity:

Pocket Chart Sentences with Matching Game ( We created these sentences together on the computer and printed them off for this activity. The kids told me what the sentences should say and I typed them up for them, so these sentences are all from them! I drew the pictures for us to use to match to each of our sentences.

Once we had all of our parts, the kids put them in the pocket chart and matched our pictures to it’s correct sentences. I did this activity this way because I wanted Jack and Lyanna to be hands on and have a say in their learning activities. We’ll have to do this again in the future! )

Centers:

1. Reading ( With Roslin joining us during the day, the kids have gladly incorporated her into our routines. They now love reading to her during our independent reading time! How sweet 🙂 . )

2. Puzzles

3. Write The Room

4. Link Chain ( Yesterday was our 70th day of school! Every 10 days, the kids and I add another 10 links to our chain. This is a visual for us for how long we have been learning together, but it also is a fun way for us to practice counting by 1’s and 10’s! )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Free Play / Craft Time: 

Observational Drawings ( We ended our day today in our Science Center. We gathered all of our books from our classroom libraries and hunted for any and every tree we could find in these books. This was such a fun activity for the kids and they have requested to do more Science Centers like this one! )

Letter Of The Day: Uu to Zz
Shape Of The Week:  Rectangle
Storytime: ” Chicka Chicka Boom Boom ” and Free Choice

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Sounds Song

2. What Starts With …

3. Daily ASL ( Review Day! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Write The Room

3. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

WE MADE IT! Our first week with just the four of us is completed and in the books! I will admit that while I have taken care of children in various ways for the past 10 years, it’s a completely different dynamic when the children are YOURS and you have a curriculum you are trying to follow. Each day started with a crying baby, a full list of things to do, and a panic attack. We made it through our week and got everything done that we set out to do. Jack and Lyanna have been incredible helpers and we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish all that we have without their helpfulness! Next week we will be explore the winter season and preparing for the holiday break.

Brittany XOXO

Tot Preschool Week 13: Our Five Senses

Week 13 of our Preschool Program was all about ” Our Five Senses “. This week, the kids and I continued to focus on our writing and counting skills, while also learning about our 5 senses. If you are looking for an easy concept, or theme, to incorporate into your own preschool setting, this is it! This concept can be incorporated into EVERY SINGLE ACTIVITY the kids and I do together. From preparing lunch to cleaning up our trash after a scissor practice session, this theme allows for little ones to stop and recognize their actions, become in-tune with their bodies and surroundings, and really explore this concept on their own. This week was cut short as our baby decided that she was going to arrive a little early!  Meet Roslin Elyse:

We will start back our curriculum blogs on Week 16 ” Leaves and Trees “. Here is what our shortened week together looked like:

Letter Of The Day: Aa – Ee
Shape Of The Week: Oval
Storytime: ” My 5 Senses ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Aa – Ee Letter Review / Find The Letter ( This week, we will be reviewing a set of letters each day. We will be starting with Aa and working our way through the alphabet as our week progresses. As usual, I write each letter with the help and guidance of the kids and then they take turns in writing these letters themselves. During this time, we are also talking about the sound each letter makes and what words we can think of that start with each letter.

Along with our Dry Erase Board portion of this activity, we also took a few minutes to hunt down these 5 letters around our room. During our Letterland portion of our day, the kids usually have a “Read The Room” time where they walk around and find specific letters. To save a little time this week, we’ve decided to combine this activity with our letter review time. )

3. Daily ASL ( Since we were fortunate enough to have 3 day weekend, we thought it would be best to open this week with a review day. Rather than introducing a new sign, the kids and I flipped the tables. They each presented me with a sign and I had to tell THEM what the sign signifies. They, of course, loved this change up! Tomorrow we will be introducing our last 2 clothing item signs and, providing our week doesn’t include the arrival of a new baby, we will be starting our signs for colors! )

Concept Activity:

My 5 Senses Discussion with Anchor Chart ( We introduced ” Our 5 Senses ” this morning during our Concept Activity time. Since our shape of the week is an Oval, we created Mr. Oval here to help create a visual for the kids. We also used and read the book ” My 5 Senses ” by Aliki to help us introduce this new concept.)

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Rainbow Card Number Match Up ( Jack and Lyanna worked together to complete 10 rainbows during this ” Rainbow Match Up ” game. )

3. My 5 Sense Match Up Game ( To help familiarize these two with our 5 senses, we found this simple game online from Lakeshore Learning. You can get this free printable here. As always, we printed off our game, laminated it for longevity, and cut our pieces out. Lyanna and Jack then worked together to match each piece with it’s main sense. )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Finger Painting ( Finger painting is a great way to explore the senses while also have lots of fun, minus the TASTING portion of course! 🙂 )

2. Sensory Bin: Cinnamon and Oatmeal Sensory Bin ( Our Sensory Bin today is all about SMELLING ! Our bin has been created using real oatmeal that has been mixed with bit of ground cinnamon, fake apples, and real cinnamon sticks! For once, the kids smelled fantastic after Outside Time today. )

3. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time: 

Binoculars ( To end our day, the kids and I created a set of binoculars ( Seeing ) together. First, I had the kids color a piece of paper using any media they wanted. They decided to color with our highlighters and set out to create a mini masterpiece. We then used these pictures to wrap two pieces of rolled cardboard ( toilet paper rolls ).

After these two pieces have been tape together, we then added a string to help keep them handy and hang around the neck. )

Letter Of The Day: Ff – Jj
Shape Of The Day: Oval
Storytime: ” Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Ff – Jj Letter Review / Find The Letter ( We continued our way through the alphabet this morning and reviewed letters Ff to Jj. Just like yesterday morning, the kids quickly hunted for each of our letters around our room before we moved on to our ASL time. )

3. Daily ASL ( During our ASL time today, the kids and I learned our last two signs for pieces of clothing from our ASL box set. We learned the signs for ” socks ” and ” shoes “, both of which are much needed and used during these new cooler temperature. We have been getting a lot of use and practice with our clothing signs these past two weeks now that we need to dress ourselves in warmer clothing. We are definitely benefited from these real world experiences! )

Concept Activity:

Popping Popcorn Hands On Activity ( In helping to make real, hands on connects with our concept this week, the kids and I had a little fun in the kitchen this morning! If you are looking for a fun and simple project to bring home the concept of the 5 senses, this is THE PERFECT activity to try! All we did was pop a bag of popcorn in the microwave and discuss what happened!

We went through all 5 of our senses and talked about what each was showing and telling us. We talked about what we heard while the popcorn was in the microwave, what we smelled when we opened the bag, what we saw in the bowl, what we tasted when we tried our popcorn, and what we felt as we held each piece. This one was a big hit with Jack and Lyanna and we weren’t even done with the popcorn just yet, this was only Part 1 ! )

Centers:

1. Writing Center: My 5 Senses and Popcorn!  Investigation Books ( We grabbed a small bowl of popcorn and brought it back to our classroom. We needed it to help us write our Popcorn Investigation Books.

We found these super cute, and free, popcorn book printable from I Heart Crafty Things. The kids snacked on the popcorn as we completed each page together. This was also a great way for us to use and review our descriptive words!

After we were done with each page, and our bowl of popcorn, we cut out our pages and stapled everything together. )

2. Reading ( Our Independent Reading Time has become one of our ( my 🙂 ) favorite times each day during centers. The kids usually start out independently “reading” and then slowly come together to read with/ to one another. )

3. Mystery Letters / Independent Writing ( This was an activity that we did each day last week during our Letterland time. Since the kids enjoyed it so much and took it over completely on their own last week, I decided to make this one of our centers for today. )

4. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are our journal entries for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Scissor Practice ( As requested…. )

2. Playdough Creations ( We pulled out the playdough today as a fun activity to do while also discussing our senses. We talked about the smell of the playdough, the lovely blue color we were seeing, what it felt like between our fingers, and so on. As stated earlier, this concept is such an easy one to incorporate into any activity and there are endless opportunities to point out the use of any 5 of our senses. )

3. Sensory Bin: Apple and Cinnamon Sensory Bin

4. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time: 

Hand Prints ( We got a wonderful set of hand prints ( Touch ) from each of the kids today for our End of the Day craft. As I painted their hands, we talked about what they were feeling on their fingers and hands, as well as what they were seeing, hearing, and smelling. We were very clear about NOT tasting the paint! )

 

Letter Of The Day: Kk – Oo
Shape Of The Day: Oval
Storytime: ” I Feel A Foot ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Kk – Oo Letter Review / Find The Letter

3. Daily ASL ( Review Day! Tomorrow we will begin to learn the signs for several different colors. How very exciting! )

Concept Activity:

I Can … Pocket Chart Activity ( For our Concept Activity this morning, the kids and I engaged in this pocket chart activity. This activity is essentially child-led and the kids really enjoyed selecting their answers and discussing each photo card. First, I read them the first sentence, ” I can hear “, and then we began to look at our options above. I asked ” Which of these cards shows you something that you can HEAR ? “. We have been talking about our 5 senses, what they are, and so on, but we have also been talking about how we don’t ALWAYS use all 5 at one time. We have also discussed that while we COULD use all 5, sometimes it’s not smart to do so or safe. For example, you can definitely see and hear a bee. You COULD also taste and touch it, but do you REALLY want to? 🙂

We worked through each of our cards together and talked about the other senses we could use for each card. We also discussed what senses we didn’t need to use and what senses we used the most. You can see our results above !  )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. My 5 Senses Picture ( During our Centers time today, the kids completed these ” self-portraits ” by added all of the features needed for using their 5 senses. )

3. Pattern Strips with Counting Bears ( We haven’t used any of our pattern strips in a few weeks, so we brought them out today as a fun activity for the kids to engage in together. )

4. Number Work: Building Our Link Chain ( Yesterday was our 60th day in school, so we just had to build up our link chain to 60! )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: I Spy Bottle Creation and Play ( Before our outside time today, we searched through all of our supplies in our classroom to find little bits and pieces to incorporate into our ” I Spy ” bottles. We found stick pens, buttons, erasers, jewels, tiny wood ladybugs, and so on. Using an empty water bottle, rice, and all of our tiny pieces, we created a wonderful visual game for us to enjoy over and over again.  )

2. Sensory Bin: Cinnamon and Apple Sensory Bin

3. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time: 

Homemade Trail Mix ( To end our day, the kids and I created a tasty trail mix. While we put together our mix, we used our senses to talk about describe the items we were using. Yummy! )

 

 

Our next few weeks will be a bit slower than we have become accustomed to. We will be taking it easy and focusing on unstructured play while we all adjust to a new little one in our home and incorporated into our routines. Next week we will be taking the week to play and for Thanksgiving. The week after that, we will be slowly getting back to our schedule and learning about the various modes of transportation!

Brittany XOXO

 

Tot Preschool Week 12: The Weather

Week 12 of our Preschool Program has been all about the weather! This week we explored and discussed the different weather that we experience each day and throughout the seasons. We expanded our vocabulary, learned about different weather patterns, engaged in cool science activities, and created some wonderful weather themed art pieces. This week was full of learning and new discoveries, but we also continued our  work on our writing skills, counting abilities, and hand and eye coordination. Here is a day by day layout of what our week of weather looked like:

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Little Cloud ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game ( We, once again, changed up our Letterland writing portion of our morning. In order to engage the kids each week and keep things fresh, I try to change up how we do this portion of our Letterland time every single week! This week, the kids will be pulling a mystery letter magnet out of our mystery box.

This will then be the letter that they must write, all on their own, on our dry erase board! We did a test run of this game last week and the kids really seemed to enjoy it. Today, they were even more excited to get busy with their letter writing! )

3. Read The Room ( For our Read The Room activity this week, the kids will be on the hunt for one of the letters that they had to write during our Mystery Letter Game. I have also tasked them with finding our shape of the day, the triangle ! )

4. Daily ASL ( Our ASL time on this Monday was spent as a review time for all of the signs that we have been working on. Tomorrow we will pick back up and learn two new signs. )

Concept Activity:

What Is Weather? Discussion with Anchor Chart ( Our theme this week is all about the weather! We opened this discussion up today by asking about what the kids already know about the weather and having them name a few conditions that they have experienced.

Next, we created this anchor chart together based on our answers and few new pieces of information. We were lucky enough to be experiencing fog this morning, so it was a great discussion starter for us! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Weather Memory Game ( Since the kids seem to be loving the memory games, I just had to find a weather themed one for them for this week! I wasn’t able to find a free version of a memory game, so I decided just to make my own. I found this set of weather cards that were pretty simple and FREE :). Like several times before, I turned these cards into a memory game by simply printing out two copies and laminating them.

As we were playing the game, I actually came to love my selection of cards even more. Each of the cards has a picture and the name of this weather condition. I hadn’t thought about it before, but this was actually a great way to be exposing the kids to text and this week’s sight words. Each time they flip over the card, they automatically identify the weather condition, but it was an added bonus to watch them try to sound out the word on each card! )

3. Teddy Bear Grab ( We haven’t played this game in months and our teddy bears were getting a bit lonely. For this game, you simply need teddy bear counters, dice, and a bucket for each player.

The kids took turns rolling the dice. The dice would then tell them how many teddy bears they needed in their buckets. Once they had that amount, the kids would dump out their buckets and count again to ensure they were correct in their counting. We played this game a lot when we were still working on numbers 1 to 10, but its’s a bit more complicated now that I am tasking them with counting past 10 🙂 . )

4. Write The Room

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Sunny Day Fork Painting ( For this simple project, all you need is paper to paint on, a plastic fork and cup, yellow paint, and a Sharpie. Simply draw a circle on your paper and let your child use the fork as their paintbrush to create these beautiful rays of sunshine!

Once the paint dries, draw a happy little face in the center of your sun to finish off this painting project! )

2. Playdough Letter Play ( We worked with our playdough a bit today during our Outside Time. Jack and and Lyanna are both able to identify and form all of their letters of the alphabet, but a review activity never hurts, especially when they are other skills being refined in the process. This activity is a great way to help them focus on their fine motor skills without them even realizing it! They are working their hand muscles to pull apart, roll, and set their pieces of playdough in place. )

3. Free Exploration ( The weather forecast is looking like this might be our last day of sunshine and warmer temps for a while. This prompted the kids and I to take advantage of this beautiful day and start our free time with a nice long walk around the neighborhood. )

Free Play / Craft Time:

Rainy Day ( What do you do on a rainy day? You may watch TV, or play some indoor games, or you may just stare out your window and watch the rain come down. Today we created this viewpoint! First, using a piece of plain white paper, the kids painted a rainy day using blue paint.

After Jack and Lyanna were all done painting, the finally step was to add our window panels to create our inside view of this rainy day! )

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Snow Day ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game

3. Read The Room

4. Daily ASL ( We continued our ASL adventures today by learning another two signs for different pieces of clothing. We learned the signs for “shirt” and “pants”. As usually, we also took some of this time to do a review of the different signs we have learned over the past 12 weeks. )

Concept Activity:

Describe The Weather Pocket Chart Activity ( For our concept activity this morning, the kids and I talked about what different weather condition looked and felt like. We also discussed what clothing we would need to wear during certain conditions and how these items were necessary in order to keep us healthy and safe. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Counting By 10’s With Link Chain ( You may have seen this activity in Kindergarten classrooms before, but we are changing it up a bit to fit our skill level. Since we have been working so hard on learning how to count by 10s and truly understanding what this means, the kids and I will be engaging in this activity over the next few weeks. We are using our links to create visual representations of numbers. To start this long chain of links, we began at 1 and counted our way to 30. We stopped and noted each 10s that we counted and marked it with a piece of paper.

We will be continuing this chain of links until we get to 100! )

3. Writing Center: My Weather Book ( In our Writing Center today, Jack and Lyanna started their weather books! We found this free printable from Scholastic and have been super excited to finally get to do this with the kids! Each page features a sentence for the kids to complete, as well as space for them to create and draw a matching picture.

We started these books today and was able to complete the first 3 pages. We are hoping to complete these awesome books tomorrow and put them together for our reading pleasure! 🙂 )

4. Number Work ( For our number work today, Jack and Lyanna took turns completing our number line. This quick number activity gets both of the kids excited and focused, but it also provides an opportunity for them to practice writing their numbers, letter recognition, and number order. )

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Letter Matching Sheet and Scissor Practice (  To start our Outside time, the kids completed these Letter Matching Sheet that I created for them. These sheets have become so easy for the two of them and we are so excited to be done with them! We still need work and practice on writing our letters, but letter recognition is a concept we have mastered !

After the kids we done with their letter sheets, they were free to work on their scissor skills. Getting practice in with scissors doesn’t have to be chore and it certainly doesn’t require printing off any kind of worksheets. All you need to help your little ones refine this skill is a pair of training scissors and any sort of paper. We like to use scrap construction paper or old coloring sheets. Today, I used some old pieces of construction paper and drew a few lines for the kids to try and follow.

The kids are improving each and every time we practice and today they did an amazing job with trying to stay on the lines. They were very proud of the themselves! )

2. Doodle Bug Books: What’s The Weather? ( Since we are talking all about weather this week, I thought it would be fun for the kids to do an observational drawing of what our current weather conditions looked like. This was a great way to build up and refine the descriptive speech we have been working on, but it was also a wonderful opportunity for the kids to communicate what type of weather they were seeing.

We brought our chairs out to the front of our home and sat for a while to think of what we wanted to draw and what we wanted to say. These observational drawing tasks have really helped these two open up to actually drawing SOMETHING versus just scribbling on their papers! )

3. Free Exploration

Free Play / Craft Time:

Paper Plate Suns ( This seemed like the best project to do today as we are missing our sunshine! We are experiencing a gloomy, rainy, and cold day, so the kids and I created these suns using orange and yellow tissue paper and paper plates.

The last finally touch to our paper plate suns were the googly eyes. Originally we had not planned on these feature, but Lyanna and Jack insisted their sun’s needed eyes! )

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Rain, Rain, Go Away ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game ( We continued our Mystery Letter Game during Letterland today. The kids love selecting their mystery letter and getting the chance to write it all on their own! I, of course, am right there to help if needed, like this morning with lowercase M. To my surprise, the kids have seemed to manage all on their own for this activity, especially now that they know what is expected of them. They are in complete control of this game, their Letterland lesson, and their success! )

3. Read The Room

4. Daily ASL ( Review Day ! )

Concept Activity:

Match Up Weather Cards ( For our Concept Activity today, the kids recreated our pocket chart match ups from yesterday. I wanted to see how much they remembered from our discussion yesterday, but I also wanted to hear them describe the weather, what it looks and feels like, what they need to wear, and why. I wanted to hear this all in their own words. Jack and Lyanna worked together to match up each of the flash cards with the weather names and conditions cards. )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Weather Memory Game ( Game from Monday 🙂  )

3. Write The Room

4. Writing Center: My Weather Book ( We managed to complete our weather books this morning AND assemble them! The kids were very proud of themselves and quickly exchanged books to “read” the others. We’ll be keeping these great reads in our book boxes for the remainder of the week! 🙂 )

5. Free Exploration ( This week, Jack and Lyanna seem to have rekindled their love for our city blocks and all the new cars we recently found. They used their Free Exploration time today to play with these city blocks and animals, re-read the large ” Outer Space ” board book from yesterday, and to put together a few of our floor puzzles. )

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries the kids made for today! )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Weather Coloring Sheets and Scissor Practice ( The kids were given these cute coloring sheets today in our Art Center to complete. The kids have also requested for us to keep the scissors outside in our Art supplies so that we can continue to have scissor practice each day! I think that’s a wonderful idea 🙂 . )

2. Science Center: Mason Jar Rain Cloud Experiment ( We opened our Science Center today for us to create and observe this super simple visual. To create these rain clouds, we gathered a large cup of water in a clear glass, blue food dye, and shaving cream. We created the “cloud ” on top of the water cup and then slowly added the food dye around the cloud.

Very slowly, the dye seeped through the cloud and create a “rain storm ” ! Jack and Lyanna were very impressed with our visual! )

3. Free Exploration

Letter Of The Day: All Letters Reviewed
Shape of the Day: Triangle
Storytime: ” Can You Say What’s The Weather Today? ”

Letterland:

1. Alphabet Actions and Sounds Song

2. Mystery Letter Game

3. Read The Room

Concept Activity:

Weather Video ( We ended our week with the short, but cute, weather song and video! )

4. Daily ASL ( Review Day! )

Centers:

1. Reading

2. Puzzles ( Since it is Friday, the kids were given the chance to choose what activities we did during our center time today! These two have been loving our puzzles lately 🙂 ! )

3. Counting By 10’s With Link Chain ( We added a few more sections to our link chain today. We counted all the way to 50, both by 10s and by 1s. Jack and Lyanna are very proud of themselves and the chain we are created and displaying in our classroom. )

4. Write The Room

5. Free Exploration

Letter and Number Work:

Journaling ( Here are the journal entries we made for today. )

Outside Play:

1. Art Center: Weather Coloring Sheets and Scissors Practice ( We completed our weather coloring sheets today during our outside time, as well as get in some more scissor time. )

2. Free Exploration ( During Free Exploration, Jack and Lyanna created their own sensory bin to play in. The selected our base ( the black beans ) and what other items were going to be in our bin. They selected dinosaurs, cups, toothbrushes, and more ! )

 

COFLH Closed For The Holiday 🙂 

 

Our week has been full of exploration, discoveries, hands on learning, and lots of fun. We did quite a few projects this week to combat the dreary weather and the kids had lots of fun being creative. The next few week are a little up in the air as we are expecting the arrival of Baby #2 any day now. In the event we don’t welcome our newest addition next week, Jack and Lyanna will continue with our regularly planned our week of learning all about our 5 Senses!

Brittany XOXO