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