Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wonderful Winter Activities and a FREEBIE!

Winter can sometimes drag on, but I try to capitalize on the wonderment that snow and ice hold for most little ones.  Here are a few of our wonderful winter activities that also sneak in learning fun!
After reading "Snowballs" by Lois Elhert, each little one decided what type of snowman he or she wanted to make.  They then chose from a whole host of collage materials to help create their masterpiece. Sometimes preschoolers get caught up in wanting to add as much stuff as they can without planning out their project, and that approach is perfectly fine.  After all, it's the process and not the product that is important.  But, before I let them loose on their snowman, I tried to talk through what I would be looking for if I were making a snowman.  For instance, what would I use for eyes?  Do I want my snowman to have arms or hair?  If so, I need to find something those items?  I let them come up to the table that held the collage materials as many times as they wanted to exchange, to get more things, or to get different materials to use.  They absolutely loved the activity and could have spent hours and hours creating.  Some of my little friends did exactly as I expected and loaded their snowman up, but many thought out and planned what they wanted to use and where.  I thought I had more pictures to share, and I promise I will post them later.  However, I did want to share what I have now.
I am absolutely in love with this snow baby!  Check out the face, the hair, and he even made a heart by cutting up straws.  I wish I could keep this masterpiece, but if I were the parents I would want this at home with me.  :)
Here are more snowmen on my door.  I am bummed the picture is blurry, but you might be able to make out a snow boy, snow dog, snow cat, and a snow mom, along with the snow baby.  L.O.V.E.
If you would like the snowman body pattern, click HERE  Clipart is courtesy of Creative Clips.
To add a fine motor element to this fun snowball activity, tongs were used to pick up white pompoms that represented snowballs.
Two students at a time each had a pail and tongs.  The rest of us counted to 30, which helped with our rote counting to 30 (a kindergarten objective for first quarter).  While we counted, the two students used their tongs to pick up one snowball at a time to put in their pail.  The objective was to get as many snowballs as possible.
When we stopped counting, each little learner dumped out their snowballs, lined them up, and then counted them.
Lining them up and making sure to touch each one while saying the number helped them with one to one correspondence.  
 Young learners often rush through the counting process.  This helped them slow down enough to count each object.
After each learner counted their snowballs, the pair had to choose which sign represented their numbers correctly.  I made sure to use the correct terminology of "greater than", "less than", or "equal" to expose them to this concept.
The next day in my small groups, we completed this cut and glue student sheet to reinforce what they learned the day before.
 Who knew so much could be learned with snowballs? ;)
 I filled our sensory table with Insta-Snow and added cups, bowls, spoons, and arctic animals.  This is the most requested activity in the room!  They love playing in the snow.  Little do they know how great pouring, dumping, and scooping are for their motor development.  Plus, there is the added benefit of working on language skills, social development, and intellectual development by fostering imaginative play.  :)
We have also done some super fun painting with ice.  Also a great fine motor, creative activity!
Besides the book "Snowballs", we have been reading LOTS of other snow themed books.  We did this student comprehension sheet after reading "Snowmen at Night".  It's from this pack.
It's available HERE.
The other pack used in this post is available HERE.
If you want to find more ideas and read about other bloggers' week, be sure to check out Doodle Bugs Teaching and Five for Friday.
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Groundhog Day!

It's hard to believe that January is already half over and it's time to look ahead to February activities.  This year has flown by!  Groundhog Day is a favorite "holiday" of my little learners.  After reading, learning, and talking about groundhogs and Groundhog Day,  we watch Phil being pulled out of his burrow to tell us if there will be six more weeks of winter or if spring is on the way.  I can usually find a video on YouTube or the news stations.  Since Groundhog Day is on a Thursday this year, I made additional activities to go along with our fun.  I plan on using them the week of Groundhog Day.  Here are some of the activities we will be doing in my room.  They are from my newest pack and is available on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Groundhog Day Activities
·      Groundhog Color Matching Activity: Students match the groundhogs by color.  To add more of a challenge, use the color sight words.  Use with coordinating color cups and pom-poms and have the groundhogs “hide in the matching burrow.  A black and white ink saving option is also available.
·      Groundhog Colors Student Sheet:  Two versions are available, depending on the level of your learner.
·      Groundhog, Groundhog, What Color Do You See? Emergent reader that focuses on color words in the same repetitive text as Brown Bear.  Two versions are available.
·      Groundhog Shadow File Folder Game:  Students match the groundhogs to the correct shadows.  Can also be used as a cookie sheet activity instead.
·      Groundhog Shape Shadow Match Memory Game: Students match pairs of groundhogs by shape and shadow in a memory type game.  The cards can also be used in a pocket chart.  Print on cardstock, laminate, and cut apart.
·      Groundhog Shape Match Student Sheet:  Students cut and glue the matching shape on this take home sheet.
·      “Will Phil See His Shadow?” Graphing Activity:  Two versions are available.  One with the word Phil and one with Groundhog.  Class Chart pieces are included, as well as individual student graphing sheet.
·      Groundhog Ten Frame Cards:  Students match numbers 0-10 with ten frame cards.
·      Where is the Groundhog? Positional Word Activity:  Practice positional words “on, under, between, above, below, and next to” with this fun cut and glue the groundhog activity.  Choose from color or black and white.
·      Groundhog Day Emergent Reader: A simple reader to explain Groundhog Day to little learners.
·      Groundhog Crown:  Pattern and pictures for students to make their own headband/crown announcing whether the groundhog saw its shadow or not.
·      Groundhog Alphabet Recognition Game:  Upper and lowercase groundhog cards are provided, along with groundhog cards to play in a pocket chart.   Students who name the letters correctly or name a word that has the letter in it will check to see if there is a groundhog hiding behind the card.  Students can trade the cards in for a reward of your choice!

This pack is 50% off through the 19th of January.  You can find my pack HERE.  Or click on the picture below to take you to my store.
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)

Saturday, January 14, 2017

How to Introduce Number Bonds in Preschool + a FREEBIE!

One of the best things about working in an elementary building is being able to see just what the older grades are doing first hand.  Last year I was introduced to the concept of number bonds, so I wanted to integrate them into my pre-k math curriculum.  These number bond activities are part of my larger Snow Day! Winter Themed Math and Literacy Activities.
I wanted to give you a glimpse of how I used them.  Target Dollar Spot had some mini snowman erasers that I had picked up some time back, but you could use floral beads or any kind of small counter or manipulative.
We looked at the numbers in each snowball and started off by putting the number of snowmen from the first snowball into the snow globe.
Then we added the number from the second snowball into the snow globe.  Some immediately understood that those two numbers in the snowballs added together to make the larger number in the snows globe. 
Some were not quite at that step developmentally and needed to physically count the snowmen in the snowballs and then move them over to the snow globe.  I then wrote the total in the snow globe to make that last connection.
I have taken some of my number bonds from my pack to let you download them for free.  You can find them HERE.  I would love some feedback to let me know how you liked using them in your classroom.  Enjoy!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Snowmen at Night!

I just finished my Snowmen at Night Pack and wanted to share what is included:
There are lots of retelling options in this pack.  There are comprehension questions, vocabulary cards, yes/no questions and rhyming pages.  Snowmen at Night is a favorite read-a-loud and this pack utilizes student interest to help with language skills.  You can check it out HERE!  It will be 50% off through the weekend.  :) 
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)