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

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