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

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