Friday, October 14, 2016

Fall, Farm, and Fun!

Lord Almighty, I have no idea where the past two months have gone, but it's time to play catch up with this blog post!  I am going to start with the most recent and work backwards this time.

1.  Today we went on a field trip to a little farmstead, which was oh, so, fun!!!
As you can tell, it was a successful day.  :)

2.  We recently began our fall theme, starting with leaves.  However, we took a slight detour this week to learn about fire safety.
We practiced calling 911, in case of an emergency.  Fingers crossed that none of the littles go home and actually call 911, although that has been known to happen!  {I did put a disclaimer in my newsletter about exactly that :) }
 We also practiced 'get low and go' this week.  The sweet peas colored and cut out flames,
 colored 'smoke' with white crayons on black paper,
and then glued on the flames.
 Everybody then took turns crawling under the smoke and flames to reach safety!
We also practiced 'stop, drop, and roll', just in case our clothes ever caught fire.
(I tried to get some pics of us rolling, but everyone rolled too darn fast and my pictures were blurry!!!

3.  I mentioned we started learning about fall....these are a few things we have been doing.
We raked leaves, which is an oh, so good, crossing the mid-line activity!
We read 'There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves' and sequenced the story.
And, we used liquid watercolor and droppers to make these beautiful fall leaves!
I made this sign for our door.  If you would like a copy for yourself click HERE or on the sign below.
Clipart is courtesy of Krista Wallden and font is courtesy of Hello Literacy and KG Fonts.

4.  In September, we finished up our apple theme with these activities.
We made 'apple pies' by cutting brown circles out of construction paper, tearing light tan construction paper into small pieces to resemble apples and gluing them on the pie crust.  We then squeezed glue over the top and sprinkled cinnamon and apple pie spices on the glue.  They smelled amazing, plus made such a cute door display after reading the book 'The Apple Pie Tree'.
We had an apple fun day and one of our activities was playing baseball with apples.  
 After reading 'Ten Apples Up On Top', everyone took turns stacking blocks that had apple stickers on them.
 We also stacked the apple blocks on top of our heads!
We used apples to measure all sorts of objects around the classroom.
We even measured ourselves and recorded the results.
To get some counting and one to one correspondence in, we made these apple five frame books with apple stickers.

5.  I have also been busy finishing up some retelling packs that I will be using this fall.  The first one is for the book 'The Napping House', which is one of my favorites to read around Thanksgiving.  What better time to take a nap after gorging on Thanksgiving dinner?!?!
The second one goes with the book 'Where the Wild Things Are'.  One of my favorites to read in October!
Well, that's my last few weeks in a nutshell.  You can check out more blogs on Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday linky party.
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day :)

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Science Center Blog Hop!

I am participating in Pre-K Partner's Learning Centers Blog Hop.  This time we are exploring the science center.  I love, love, love teaching science to my preschoolers.  To see the wonderment and amazement on their faces is priceless.  It's almost magical in their eyes!
In my classroom, I have an area that houses a light table and two water/sensory tables.
All are portable, so if needed they can be easily moved to the center of the room when we are doing a large group activity.

 In addition to the larger items, I have really been trying to invest in STEM activities.
For example....
This magnetic ramp set is one of the favorite center time activities.  It is also one of my favorite items to observe my learners trying to figure out exactly what needs to be done to get wheels to roll down the ramps and drop into the tray below.  There is lots of predicting, observing, adjusting going on!  Plus, the joy on their faces once they figure it out is just priceless!
Speaking of joy, magnets are some of the most inexpensive and amazing items to have in your science center!  Again, we see hypothesizing, predicting, and observing going on.
This little guy was sorting magnetic vs. non-magnetic items when he came up with the theory that magnetic items were usually metal.  Pretty smart for a four year old!
I have lots of 'toy' tubs available for students to build items such as vehicles,
 and bridges.
I also have Magna Tiles (another favorite item).
And, Magna Tiles on the light table...
even cooler!
Teaching science to preschoolers is a natural thing.  So many things we do every day involve science.  For instance, while learning colors I will introduce color mixing two primary colors.  We observe the weather every day during circle time and recess.  Children are naturally curious and want to explore the world around them.  Early childhood science involves the process of inquiry—theorizing, hands- on investigation, and discussion.
A must in my science center/classroom would be the following:

  • magnets
  • magnifying glasses
  • sink or float items
  • food coloring or liquid paint, along with a clear pitcher or jar to observe color mixing
  • magnetic and non-magnetic items
  • items from the world around us, such as: rocks, shells, sticks, leaves, nests, plants/flowers, etc
  • pipettes
  • coffee filters
  • ice cube trays
  • paint
  • construction paper
  • paper to record results of experiments or journals
  • blocks/cars to build ramps
  • sensory table/tub materials like, oatmeal, sand, beans
  • measuring cups
Items that are not necessary, but nice to have would include:
  • water/sensory table
  • light table
  • Magna Tiles
  • STEM materials available through stores like Lakeshore

With encouragement from the teacher, children discover and explore the world around them.  It is the teachers role's to provide hands on activities where children are engaged in the process of inquiry, theorizing, hands- on investigation, and discussion.