Monday, December 13, 2010

Make their name very important

Children learn the letters very naturally and if you make their name important they will learn the letters of their name.  They will also learn the letters of their friend's name.  Make it something fun.

I let the children choose what they were gonna use to glue on their first letter.  They loved it.

Friday, June 11, 2010

sorting by different attributes

For one of our summer school activities we used small circles to sort shapes.  We sorted by size, by color and by shape.  The children has fun and learned to sort by different attributes.   They were really into the activity.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

arranging the blocks

Trace the blocks on construction paper and place the tracing on the shelf of the block center, you will never have to worry about a messy block center again.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Using math partners

My summer school students need extra math help and what is more cost effective and fun then to get into partners.  I just let them choose their parnters and then gave them little hooking cubes.  They then looked at the numbers and with their partner they figured out how many cubes went with the number.

This can be done at home with the children that need extra math help
and it does not have to be done with blocks but with almost anything.  Love it!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

so so busy

I have been so busy with end of year procedures at school that I have not been able to post.  I will probably start again with new ideas next week.  I will be working summer school and that is full of fun and new ideas.   Thanks!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Let's all go to the market

You can either draw or get pictures from the computer to make this 4 food group posters.  I use them to accompany  greg and steve Volume 5 song from their CD called "Let's all go to the market"  The children love it and they learn about good food. 

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

word wall

Word walls are very important and I have my word wall as interactive and changing every week. 
I actually have 2 word walls, one that I add to and one that is the above.  I place sight words and words of the letter of the week. 
I use those words to build vocabulary, and build phonological awareness. I have them rhyme with those words, count the cyllables and make sentences.  It works great.  Everyone should try it.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Mother's day angels

This little activity is easy to make.  My friend, who is a Prek teacher in the same school that I am in, made this for mother's day.  They are paper bags, tha tshe stuffed and spray painted with a light pink color.  She then got some foam balls and spary painted them goldish. 
She attached the foam balls on the paper bag with hot glue gun.  She then added the wings and hair and a gold halo. 
She then attached the poem that is pictures above.

Great idea!!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

classroom daily news

We do this every day in the same format.  By the end of the year the children learn to read all those words.  They also learn numbers, punctuation, capitalization and individual letters. 
The number on the top is the number of days in school and they also learn how to date something and the months and days.
They love doing this and remind me to do this everyday.  By the end I get volunteers to write it for me.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Label, Label, Label

It is a great thing to label everything in the classroom, the children begin to associate the item with the word.  It helps then learn that not only the item has a name but that name can be expressed in writing.

Since my classroom in a dual language classroom, we label everything in English and Spanish. Blue is English and red is Spanish.  The children know this and know why the two colors.
This is a great thing for a person's house as well.  If you have little ones, try labeling different things areound the house and your children will pick up the reading of those labels.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mother's day poem for handprints

These are just some poems you can use for mother's day for a hand print.  There is one in Spanish in case you need one in Spanish.

I usually do this every year with a little something else.  The moms out there love them and they are simple to do.

Monday, April 26, 2010

ocean flannel board

If you can invest in a beautiful flannel board for a certain unit, you should.  They are beautiful and useful.  You should hear all the ocean vocabulary that comes out of the children's mouth when they are using the flannel board.

I have never believed in saving things just for lessons and then putting them away.  I let the children touch it, experience it and talk about it.  You will be surprised at this.  Flannel boards are not that expensive either. 

The vocabulary is worth it.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Making your Kitchen center something other than a kitchen

We have started our ocean theme and we transformed our little dramatic kitchen area in to an aquarium for our ocean unit.  I placed the fish they made on the ceiling so they could be hanging. 

I also put blue butcher paper to represent the water.  I also put little ocean animals on the paper and even on the blinds.

I also placed ocean books in the basket of books assigned to the dramatic play area.

This helps build vocabulary in a fun way.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Making the Library Center the place to be

If you are having trouble getting the children to get into the library/book center.  Try adding some really cool books.  Also place a canopy.  The one pictured is bought from an online place, but you can make your own with material that hangs from wooden rods. 

They are easy to make with just some screws and some material and hot glue gun.
Also have a comfy chair or a bean bag chair.  Try to put stuffed animals that the children can read to and have a little area carpet.

I love the posters I placed on my library center which are authors of children's books.

Make it fun!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mother's day idea

This is just an idea for a mother's day acitivity.  What I do is make a paper frame around the poem and then glue all the items listed on the frame.  The children love giving this during a morning Mother's day breakfast where the children sing songs to the moms and give them the frame.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ocean Theme

As I start an ocean theme, I thought I would share some things I do to prepare.  I let the children explore sea shells.  They can sort them, feel them, touch them, smell them, compare them as so much more.

I also have pictures of all sorts of ocean animals.  They love learning about all kids of ocean animals and what they look like and what they do in the ocean.  You can always find pictures in the internet and print them and post them around the room or in the science center.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

How do you organize centers???

I have centers organized in a unique way.  First I take all the children's picture.  Then I make a little card with their picture and their name and laminate it. This is their ticket to go to centers.
  I place Library card pockets on the shelf where the centers are.  Lets say that I have a puzzle center and I only want 4 children to go to that center at a time.  Then I place 4 card pockets as shown in the picture.  The children place their "ticket" in the pocket.  When the pockets are full the centers are full.  If a fifth child wants to go to that center there are no more pockets for him so he must choose another center. 

This works so so well for center organization.  Studies show that when a child gets to choose their own center it is better, this way they choose the center but there is also a limit.  They learn to take turns and make choices.  It really works.

BTW--on the picture you can see some shoes, yes they are my feet with crocs on.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

using felt board for patterns

I have little felt shapes that I have in centers.  They love using them to make patterns.  The actual felt board, I made from a cardboard box side and some felt I bought at a fabric store.  This works great cause it is inexpensive and you can use it for so much.
I love my felt board

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

what to do with empty pringle containers

I wanted to teach the students about constellations and what they look like and that they are made of stars.

So i took the empty pringle containers and used push pins to copy constellations I found in books and on the internet. 

They also had a great time finding out that the pringle containers are attracted to magnets.  This is a great activity cause it is very inexpensive and easy to make.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

seed sort

I like to place several kids of seeds in my science center. You can get them sometimes on sale at Wal-Mart or Lowes.  Then  I mix them up in a little bowl.  They then have to sort them and if you can have a picture of the seeds with what grows, they can match the seed with the the plant.

They love it and it is a great way to introduce seeds and what can grow out of seeds.

You can then read them a book called: The Surprise Garden by Zoe Hall.  This book is about children that sort out seeds, then they plant the seeds and it's a surprise garden because they don't know what will grow.  At the end they have a salad with what grows and they love it.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Planting seeds

I love reading the children some books about planting seeds, like The Seed Song, by Judy Saksie.  We then get some beans or flower seeds and plant them in cups, usually clear.

I love the clear cups because the children can see the roots.  In the picture they are styrofoam because that is all we had at the time.  Use what you have, I always say.   The children get very excited to see their plant grow.

I love putting the plants on the window sill. That really gets them the sun they need.  The children love this activity.  So many things they can learn with this simple activity.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Changing up your dramatic play area

In my classroom, we have a little pretend kitchen area.  I like to change it up so that the children build other kids of vocabulary.  I make it into a restaurant by adding menus from different places where I can get to go menus.

I also add in a notebook with pencils and a large calculator for a cash register.  It is even better if you have a pretend cash register.  They love writing down orders and adding up what you owe.

You also can tell that the children love to write on the notebook.  This really builds up their vocabulary  I like changing the dramatic area as restaurants, doctor's office, dentist office,  airports or anything that we are using as a theme.  It really works.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


The students use plenty of manipulatives before doing this project.  We use different colored counters and roll the dice.  Then what ever comes out they add up.

Then I made copies of animals.  One color for the purple die and one for the orange.  Then I took a small group of children and had them add with these paper manipulatives.

They have so much fun adding and counting.  This also lets me know if they know how to add.  It is a really fun activity for them.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

buggy science center

When we have a creepy crawlies theme in the classroom, I make sure to have lots of fun things in the science center.

I provide books, hand lenses, and little insect models.  I also place lots of pictures with the name of the insects on the wall.

The children love looking at the insects.  I also try to have an ant farm for the children to experience. 

Later I will add plastic spiders and then they could have a game of sorting the insects and spiders.

You would be amazed at how much a student can learn about insects.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Fire safety game

Someone wanted a social studies lesson and I suggested this game.  I found different items from a book and I colored and cut it.  Then I laminated it and made it into a game.

After talking about fire safety and reading books about firefighters, the children play this game as a whole group.  Then you place it in centers for them to play on their own.  They really love it and it is a way to get some fire safety games into the centers.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Print rich environment

Remember to always have a print rich environment.  In my science center I always have words that go with the theme and also books that go with the theme.  I also have a class journal and pencils in the science center where the children can add their observations.

I do the same with the math center.  I keep a math class journal and lots of math books.   They then go in and add their own notes in there for all to see. 

This is a way to get them to write and to know that writing has meaning. 

More discovery bottles

We have these also with popcorn and water.  You can make one with just popcorn and little items.  There is one pictured of beads and a block.  And the last one is a magnetic one.

If you have nothing else you can put paper clips and I attach a magnetic want to the bottle and the children like to see the magnet move the items inside.
I also like to use things attracted to magnets that things that don't.  Then they learn about what items magnets attract.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More samples of Discovery Bottles

These discovery bottles are so easy and so inexpensive to make.  The first one has colored sand and little things for a mini-scavenger hunt.  The second one is a sort of a lava lamp with colored water and oil.

I just love making these bottles and it is a great way to recycle bottles.