Friday, September 19, 2014

Fun with Shapes...and a FREEBIE for you!

   Looks like I am becoming a Friday night blogger! While most teachers step away from anything related to the classroom on a Friday night, I just keep on going, as if Friday is just another day during the work week! But that's me... PreK on my mind 24/7 !
   Anyhow, we are just getting into the swing of things now. The munchkins have the routine down for the most part. (I just hate that I might have to switch it up a little in October due to good ole' testing stuff.)  The crying is over and done with, they are learning each other's names, playing well together and overall, adjusting very well to the preschool environment.
    It did not take long for the munchkins to follow along when I introduced learning centers this week. I am always prepared to have some kids who will have trouble with the transition and I was well prepared for it. But to my surprise, there weren't too many issues with it. I did get a few, "When can I play outside?" and "I wanna sing another song"  the first day I introduced the routine of Learning Center Time.
    It usually takes awhile to get little ones used to this part of the classroom routine simply because they are just not made to sit still for very long at this age! So I make sure we get some Music & Movement activity in right before we switch to Learning Center Time, and then some other type of Gross Motor activity afterwards too. This group loves to sing and dance, so I have to keep up with them! My Learning Center time has usually ranged from 30-40 minutes, depending on the activity and interest. I always make sure that my learning center activities, which are usually 3-4 different activities, are short (no longer than 10-12 minutes), fun and engaging so that the munchkins really want to participate. And this group of munchkins is turning out to be very eager to learn and play...and that makes this teacher very happy!
   This week, we wrapped up our Shape unit and began our Apple unit. I grabbed these very cute Shape Poems from Miss Kindergarten. They are short and catchy little poems that help kids remember the characteristics of each shape.
And I created a set of Shape Friends to go along with the poems. There are some great shape craftivities out there, but I am not ready to let the kids take on a lengthy craft project just yet! 
The poems and friends were a fun way to learn about shapes! 
As a special treat, you can download the templates for these cute little shape friends.
 CLICK HERE to grab your free copy!
(Just simple copy onto colored paper or just use the templates to trace onto colored paper)

    Our Math Center had a few fun activities throughout the week to help the kids learn shapes.
These great shape tracing sheets came from Teaching with Nancy's Bushel of Shapes packet.
Our Big Button Number Fun Game from Melissa & Doug and our Shape Sorting Game from Lakeshore. (not pictured) have been huge hits in the Math Center as well.
And the munchkins used their imagination to create different pictures with shapes.
Such creative artists I have, huh?
I think they have a good grasp on basic shapes now, so next up: 3D Shapes.
We will be getting to that very soon!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Learning Colors with Pete the Cat and ROY G. BIV!

    I am ending this week sick... blah!!  But that doesn't take away from the fact that we had a pretty awesome week!
   My trusty pal, Pete the Cat, has been a huge hit in my classroom and he helped me to review colors with the munchkins. We must have read (and listened to the cd) of Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes about 11 times this week... no joke! But, in the words of Pete, "It's all good!"
We created a graph of our favorite colors!
    Most of my munchkins can identify all of their colors, so I put added some ROY G. BIV fun, so they can learn the orders of the colors of the rainbow! I made my own shortened form of this cute Rainbow Hair poem from Welcome to Room 36!
    I was brave and brought out the scissors and glue sticks, which probably wasn't the best idea. This project took more time than I thought it would because they were very engaged and focused on cutting and gluing!  (And now I know who needs extra help.)
And they came out so very cute, don't you think?

Well, now back under the covers with a cup of tea and a book!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Come And Take A Peek Inside My Classroom!

    The school year is off to a GREAT start for me and I am hoping that the same is true for everyone! I don't mean to brag... but I have such a wonderful class this year! It could very well be that the reason for this is that I have 17 out of the 18 allotted spaces filled...because we all know how one child can change up a group dynamic really quickly and easily.
   But after just four days with my new preschool munchkins, I have ended each day with a smile. Yes, there are a few children who need that extra reminder or a small verbal reprimand, but it really isn't that bad. Compared to the class that I had the last time I was in a classroom...these kids are a dream! Let's hope that I am not speaking too soon!! I really don't see too much changing in the coming weeks though, as most of them follow directions, seem willing to do activities and are eager to see what things I bring out to the tables for them to work or play with. I am going to consider myself a little lucky this year.
   Anyhow, I realized that I never got around to sharing classroom pics!  (*gasp*)
  It is a small, cozy preschool classroom that, in my opinon, needs a little bit more of my own touch and probably some more furniture, as a few of my centers are going to have to be tabletop, rotating type centers. The fact that I only had about 4 days to get it all cleaned up and ready wasn't helpful in doing everything that I had in mind, but whatever. It is all a work in progress!
So, take a peek at my cozy classroom, decked out with a Jungle theme.
Circle Time Area
Our Schedule 
(with velcro on the back to switch up the schedule when needed)

View From The Back of the Room
 (Oh that lovely slide...wish it wasn't there but unfortunately, that is not my call...
due to the fact that this is a private preschool and some decisions are not mine to make.)
Truck & Block Center
Dramatic Play Center
Library & Critic's Corner
Art & Fine Motor Center
Math & Writing Center
So that's what my cozy little classroom looks like! 
It is a work in progress and I am sure I will change it up a few more times before next month!

Back to School Giveaway Winner Announced!

The winner of my Back to School Giveaway is Cherie Mae Ong!!! 

Congrats! I will be contacting you soon! 
Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Back to School Giveaway!

   Hi !  Today was my first day back in the classroom and it was Meet & Greet Day! I had the advantage of meeting most of my students in early August during Pre-K Screenings and today I had a chance to meet & talk to the parents a little more and engage in some fun with a few books and songs, with the munchkins.    After just spending a half hour with them, I was able to get a very small taste of what is in store for this year... We have some shy ones and some outgoing ones... and yes, we may even have one who is going to keep us on our toes! There is always one every year, right? But it was a great day!
  But now for even more excitement: 
I have a Back to School Giveaway for you! 
   Any teacher who knows about Teachers Pay Teachers probably loves it! I know I do...I don't have much in my store to share or sell but there are tons of great resources out there for all any and all grade levels!  So needless to say, part of my Back to School Giveaway includes a TPT Gift Certificate for $25!

   And just because I started off this school year with my favorite cool cat-Pete-who was a HUGE hit today with my munchkins, I am also giving away a Pete the Cat Super Cool Reading Collection!
The stories are from the "I Can Read" series and include: Pete the Cat: Play Ball!Pete the Cat: Pete's Big LunchPete the Cat: Pete at the BeachPete the Cat: A Pet for Pete, and 
Pete the Cat: Too Cool for School.
Enter Today!
Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Crafty Tuesday...DIY Mini Chalkboard

   Ok, so I haven't done a Crafty Tuesday post in awhile, but my craftiness has absolutely not been abandoned!
   Chalkboard paint is the new craft craze these days and I was eager to create something. The only materials that I found for a writing center (in my teacher stash and materials in the center) were white boards. What ever happened to chalkboards? So there was my little project: I made mini chalkboards for my preschool classroom!
    Very simple and quick to make! 
    I just grabbed 2 mini clip board & paper sets at the Dollar Tree and picked up some chalkboard paint at Michaels. (I love that these 2 stores are two doors down from each other in the same plaza! Makes shopping easy, but sometimes not so great on my pocket!)
    Anyhow, each clipboard needed two coats of paint and I waited at least an hour between each coat.
And within 3 hours time, I had some cute little mini chalkboards- and paper pads--that are going to 
go into my Writing Center!! 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Crazy over Pizza!

    There is no question about it in this house- my little munchkin LOVES pizza! And the funny thing is, about less than a year ago, this was far from the truth, as she wanted nothing to do with pizza...and I thought that was the weirdest thing ever. What preschooler does not like pizza? But sometime before her 5th birthday, the love for pizza finally emerged! Now I have to be careful when I ask her what she would like to eat...because nine times out of ten, the answer will be pizza. (That is, if the answer is not chicken nuggets, yogurt or a Nutella sandwich!)
   So we did some learning with a fun little pizza theme. She learned quite a few sight words during the last school year and I have continued to reinforce them all summer long.
   With Kindergarten right around the corner, sight word review was on the to-do list and so we reviewed sight words with a fun activity idea that came from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas. All that is needed is some construction paper, glue markers and some paper plates. I colored the paper plates to look like pizza slices and wrote different sight words from the Pre-Primer Dolch Sight Word list onto the "ingredients" (broccoli, pepperoni and sausage)
She read each sight word and if she read it correctly, she glued it onto a slice of pizza.
She made three of these little pizzas... enough for everyone!

     And everyone has heard of the book " The Little Red Hen", right?  Well, I was shocked when I found out that there is now a book called, "The Little Red Hen Makes a Pizza" I was shocked b/c many years ago in a teacher training workshop, my group and I were asked to modernize an old folk tale as part of a Reader's Theatre activity, and this was the exact twist we put in our modern version of The Littlle Red Hen. Interesting.... I could have had a published book right now...who knew?
     Anyway, we read this book and then made a pizza! Well, actually, we made mini pizzas, using flatbread, pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and my favorite topping: Pepperoni
She put hers together like a pro!  Just cheese, please! 
All ready to go into the oven!!