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.