Saturday, September 17, 2016

Apple Activities!

Apples were our focus this week. 
There are so many things to do with this theme.  It's definitely one of my favorites!  
To highlight our week, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five for Friday linky.
Let's take a peek at our week!
For some fine motor work, little hands strung apple flavored cereal to make a delicious editable  necklace.
Of course, we had to taste test apples.  To engage our senses, little ones smelled each type of apple before they took a bite.
Then, they crunched away!
Since we are learning about graphs, it was the perfect opportunity to see which apple was the class favorite.  The learners colored the apple to represent the one they liked best.
And, the winner was.......
One of our sensory tubs was filled with oatmeal, cinnamon sticks, mini pie pans, bowls, cups, and utensils.  Pouring and dumping is SO fun, plus helps with fine motor development.
The second sensory table was filled with mini pie tins, small apples, felt, pompoms, and lots of different types of tools to pick to the apples and pompoms, such as scissor spoons, tongs, bug catcher type tongs, etc.  This table is close to the kitchen area, so my littles went to town making and baking lots of apple goodies.
 We also made apple pies with some play dough for additional fun and fine motor work!

 We used a salad spinner to paint apples for our apple tree.  I read about this idea on Teaching Two and Three Year Olds.  Sheryl always has fun ideas and this one was a hit!
 Little ones squeezed paint onto a cut out apple.  We put the lid on the spinner and then pulled the string {another fine motor workout!}
When we peeked inside, we saw beautiful works of art like this!
Here's a look at our apples on a tree.  I love how they all turn out so different!
Another must do art project is of course painting with apples.  This was a huge hit!
 I have found my students are needing a lot of fine motor work this year to strengthen the muscles in their hands.  Tearing construction paper strips to make these apples was just the ticket!
I am loving this bulletin board!
  Last weekend was the MIZZOU home opener and I was lucky enough to attend the game with these lovely ladies!  I firmly believe that taking the time to have fun helps me be a better teacher.  Good family and friends is just what the doctor ordered....kind of like "an apple a day"  :)
 Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Math and Manipulatives Centers!

 I am so excited to talk about the math/manipulatives center in a pre-k classroom.  Math is one of my favorite subjects to teach.  It's so rewarding when a student makes the connection with numbers, counting, and one to one correspondence.  After that, it all seems to click!
I am blessed to have so many great math tools in my class.  I don't put everything out at the same time.  Instead, I focus on different learning objectives and narrow the math manipulatives down.  I also make a lot of items to use with my themes.
 This is my whiteboard/magnet board divider in my room {which I love and highly recommend if your budget allows} and an example of something I use that I made.  I back the pieces with magnetic tape.
This is another example of an easy thing to use in your math center.  There are different types of ice cube trays and muffin tins, along with pompoms to practice one to one correspondence.  As a bonus, add tweezers, tongs, etc. to strengthen fine motor development.
On my shelves near my circle time area, I have different counters and counting games that I can easily pull out during group time.  These things are also available during centers to allow my little learners to practice playing games that require counting.
I have several 10 frame activities that I use throughout the year.  I usually introduce 10 frames after first quarter and then hit the concept heavy in the spring.
These are referred to as toy tubs in my class.  Often my students will pull these out after arrival, while some are eating breakfast, during rest time when some students are sleeping, and during centers, if they choose.
Here are a few of the items up close.
I also have several color sorting activities for my sweet ones that still need practice in that area.
These counting tubes are a  class favorite!
 I also have puzzles that work on math concepts.
Another absolute favorite item are these Magna Tiles!
I love that not only do they build with them, but they are also learning things like if you put two triangles together you can make a square!
Speaking of shapes, I love my attribute blocks and these 3D shapes.  I use them more in the spring to help prepare my pre-kinders for kindergarten.
According to the The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) "high-quality, challenging, and accessible mathematics education for 3- to 6-year-old children is a vital foundation for future mathematics learning".  They go on to state that Mathematics helps children make sense of their world outside of school and helps them construct a solid foundation for success in school.
There are SO many amazing books with math concepts.  We are doing an apple theme right now, so we just read Ten Apples Up on Top and Ten Red Apples, but you can find books specifically written to teach math skills.
This set of math books is from Lakeshore, but there are many, many great titles you can find for just about any theme.
The role of the teacher in pre-k is to enhance a child's natural interest in math by providing hands on manipulatives, along with enough time to for students to engage and explore through play.

I hope you have enjoyed getting a peek at my math/manipulatives centers in my classroom!

Now it's time to check out Pre-K Partner's blog and learn about her math centers!

Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Back to School + a Name Tag Freebie!

One of my newest packs is quickly becoming one of my favorites!  We have been using several activities from it since the beginning of the school year and I plan on using many throughout the year.
We colored these headbands to make and wear home on the first day of school.
We have practiced using liquid glue.  To make it a bit more fun, I added some liquid paint.  You can also use food coloring.
Here, we are using pompoms and various tools to sort by color and work on fine motor development. These littles love this activity!
We used bingo dot markers, clipboards
and "i-pads" to practice recognizing our abc's.
I have my students sing the abc song to the tune of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" (the Pathways way of teaching the ABC's) to point out each letter until the correct one is identified.
 This following directions game is perfect for group time.
It lets me see who has difficulty following one and two-step directions.  Plus, it helps us work on things like social skills, such as eye contact and listening to and following directions.
Now for the freebie!
I am linking up with Traci from The Bender Bunch for SPED-tacular Sunday Freebies.  Be sure to check her blog out for more fabulous freebies!  
I had my little ones make these the first day of school, while everyone was just arriving at school.  It kept them occupied while I helped with the unpacking of backpacks process.  
If you would like to download an editable name tag click HERE!
{Yippee! I am so excited that I finally learned how to make editable PowerPoints.  I should have learned that a long time ago!}
I used these yarn tipped laces from Lakeshore for the necklace and Pony beads for stringing.
I have more activities to share, but haven't gotten to them all yet,

I hope your school year has gotten off to a wonderful start!
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day :)