Sunday, September 29, 2013

I heart Dollar Tree for Halloween!

Happy weekend friends!  I just have to say that I love Dollar Tree!  Here are some of my fabulous finds for Halloween:

This little game was used to reinforce numbers 1, 2, and 3.  It came with tiny dice that I will save for a St. Patrick's Day game in March.  I created my own dice with cubes and write numbers 1, 2, and 3 on them.  They really enjoyed the game and did great at taking turns and accepting loss, which is just as important to learn as numbers 1, 2, and 3.

I found these batty bat glasses and they are being used for a Literacy Station activity.  Students wear them and then go on a letter hunt.  Hunting for letters is so much more fun with bat glasses, right?

For the letter hunt, students chose a letter wand that I created from door hangers and stick-on foam letters.  thanks Dollar Tree!

I also found this crazy Candy corn puppet that will come out when we do Abby's Candy Corn Bandit at the end of October.

One last fabulous find were these ice trays that are shaped like pumpkins.  I plan on using them as ten frames.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Letter Dd Activities

This was our fifth week of school and I think I just might be figuring out this PreK thing again.  My class is adorable times 100, for sure, and they are such eager learners.

I was asked by a follower what activities I do to teach letters.  I won't lie, I have never been a fan of letter of the week, but I also have to follow guidelines set for PreK in our district.  Here is some of our fun from letter Dd week:

 To introduce Dd, we read this Alphatale book.  It's a great story about a detective dog who searches for donuts.  One of my favorite things about this book is we say "dun, dun, duuunnn!" when I point to my students.  After reading the story, I gave each of my students a magnifying glass and we searched the school for letter Dd and pictures that started with the /d/ sound.  I wasn't able to grab a picture of our hunt.  I was a little busy.

Since we were detective hunting for letter Dd, I thought it would be a great time to introduce our Mystery Box to learn what our story would be about.  After many clues and guesses, we discovered there were ducks and muck inside.

These became our retelling props for the week. (I have a retelling center for Social Learning Center time.)

I also included rubber ducks in our water table...

 ...and duck and dog puppets in the Puppet Center.  By the way, look at our fabulous letter printing on the Puppet Center!  It's only our fifth week! 

To help understand the formation of Dd, we used {my favorite!!!} Heidi Songs.  Her songs are soooo adorable and catchy!  My kids love to sing them as transition activities in the hallway, too.

After learning the Heidi Songs song for letter Dd, we all sang it while tracing a Dd with a rubber ducky.  I got the rubber duckies at Party City for super cheap.  Don't we all need a class set of rubber duckies?!?!

I am going to try to post activities for each letter that we study.  I hope it's helpful for my new PreK friends and for my Kinder peeps.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Number Boards

We started learning about what numbers are in Pre-K last week and I wanted to start in on number study this week.

I created some number boards for numbers 1-10 so that my little learners can be actively engaged in making representations of each number, forming the number, and counting the number.

There are pieces that are permanently attached to the board and pieces that can be removed with velcro so that I only had to make one board, but change out the pieces for the number we are working on.

You can purchase this in my store for only $3.  Click below to grab it.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Give me a break!

(Do y'all remember that song slogan?  Is it still the song for Kit Kats?)

If only a Kit Kat was the break I could have daily, but my dresses would get tight.  Sigh...

But our kiddos need breaks during the day to keep their minds going.  We all know that.  Brain research tells us, but so do our students when they begin looking like wiggle worms on the carpet.

I created this freebie to give my students breaks when needed. 
 To use this freebie, just leave the PDF open and allow student to click on a picture with the computer mouse.  Each icon is hyper linked to the dance on YouTube.

Click here to grab it!

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Each week I create a newsletter and a classroom happenings page for my families to know what's the buzz in our room.  They look like this:

I copy them front to back and send them home in their BEE folders each Monday.  I started this because I wanted my families to see all of the learning we do that can't be sent home.  This helps with attendance and helps explain what we do all day, since we don't bring home worksheets.

I always link them on my website for families to see as well.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

What a "cut up"!

I am loving my pre-k cuties, but it is sooooo hard to change grade levels.  People keep telling me, "You taught kinder, so you will be fine in pre-k!"  I agree that I may have a slightly better schema for 4 year olds than maybe a fifth grade teacher, but this is hard work! 

This isn't my first grade level change.  I taught pre-k from 2004 - 2008, then taught second grade from 2008 - 2011, moved to kinder for two years until 2013, and now I am back in pre-k.  It's never easy to change grade levels, but one thing that had been the most difficult is adjusting to the need for more time on fine motor practice.

We need a lot of help with scissor practice.  I glued google eyes onto ALL of my scissors so that my cuties would learn to hold them so the eyes were looking at them.  I am calling then "see me" scissors. 

Each day for the past two weeks, I have been incorporating a small fine motor practice/lesson and today we used our "see me" scissors to perform surgery on paper.  The goal was not to cut on any lines.  It was just to practice a correct grip on the scissors, while pretending we were surgeons.  (We used paper from the recycling bin.)

We will get there!  I was just so proud of their confidence in cutting after this activity.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Learning rules and taking a tour

Happy September!  Last week was our first week at school.  It was crazy and fun!  I was very proud of my pre-k kiddos for working hard and for establishing routine. 

We also worked hard on learning how to be respectful in our classroom.  Our Mrs. Potato Head rules really helped with that.

We repeat them each morning while adding the mentioned piece to Mrs. Potato's body.
(You can download these for FREE by clicking the picture above.)

We also learned about our school with my Rascally Raccoon's unit in my little store.

To start this unit, you have to read The Kissing Hand.  We read it on the first day of school and graphed how we felt at school.  

We checked on Chester throughout the week to see if he was feeling happier and even tried to cheer him up with hugs and kisses.

When we left for lunch last Friday, we left Chester on a pillow in the middle of our carpet to rest.  

While the cuties were at lunch, I dashed back to the classroom to deliver him to the principal, the final stop.  In his place, I laid his letter stating that he wasn't scared anymore to be at school and ran of to meet people.

My kids were SHOCKED when we returned to the classroom and he was gone.  They excitedly asked me to read the letter.  It was precious!

 This tour leads you around the school in any order you choose with fun, rhyming cards. 

Through the halls

At the library

With the counselor

To the nurse

With the principal

(By the way, it was hilarious when we got to each stop and the children were asked what was going on.  Their responses were priceless!)


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