Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Must-Read Monday...on Wednesday!

One of the blogs I am following introduced me to a new linky and a new blog from Teaching Maddeness.

I'm a few days late, but since I just discovered it, I think I can be excused!!!  The thing I LOVE about this idea is that I get the opportunity to hear about books I may not have ever heard of, or get new ideas of activities I can do for some of my favorite books.  Some books are also great to read just for the fun of it!

Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, is one of the books I read this week, and is simply a book you can read for good, clean F-U-N!  Yes, I said fun...and we have plenty of it in preschool.  The kids could not stop laughing!  Doreen Cronin is also the author of these favorite children's books:

To go along with the story Diary of a Worm, and the theme we've been discussing about the signs of Spring (rain, rainbows, insects, and caterpillars, clouds, wind, etc.), my kids made worms at the Art Center this week.  We talked about what colors worms are and what color the grass is.  Then, I told them they could make their worms and the grass whatever color they wanted.

I believe art projects turn out WAY more creative this way, and I'm not a fan of cookie cutter art where everyone's product looks exactly the same.  (The grass was made with forks dipped in to paint to create the individual blades of grass.)

To get more ideas for read aloud and activities you can do with your class, visit Teaching Maddeness to check out the linky!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Spring is Here!!!

It's been a while...a few months actually...but I'm back to blogging.  We've been doing some exciting things in preschool, and with all of the breaks, snow days (we had somewhere around 14 this year! yikes!) and evaluations going on around here, I have realized the school year is almost over.  Our little tykes have 5 weeks left of school and then they will be moving on to the Big School!

To get on to business and F-U-N, it's time for: 

{ONE} Our class went on a nature walk this week to see if we could find all of the signs of Spring.  Children noticed baby trees and flowers popping up out of the ground, the buds on the trees and bushes, the sun and clouds in the sky, they heard the birds chirping, and felt the wind blowing.  

During our walk, we collected branches, sticks, pine cones, seeds, rocks, and wood chips to put into our discovery tub.  Then today, I added bugs to the tub for the kids to explore when they get back to school as a surprise!  

{TWO} Last week, when we came back from Spring Break, we did a writing piece with the kiddos.  We asked the children to think about something they did over Spring Break, and they were actually excited to write about it!  I couldn't wait to hear their stories!!!  This one says, "I'm playing with my sister with Barbies!"

Since this is preschool, I encourage them to say their sentence to me and I write it down on a sticky note to type up later.  We say each word and I say something like, "What do you hear at the beginning of 'sister?'"  Then, I ask, "What else do you hear when you say the word 'sister?'"  Often, they write down the first sound and last sound in the word.  I am thrilled they feel confident enough to write letters should have seen their writing a month ago!

{THREE} The last few weeks, we've been talking about rain and rainbows.  This week, the children painted stripes of the colors of the rainbow on a sponge and then painted sponge paint rainbows!  We had to get the sponge started so they could see the colors, but they turned out pretty cool...even the ones that were a little more free form.  That's what preschool's all about!

{FOUR} To continue with the rainbow theme, at small groups, we talked about the 10 second rule.  The kids picked out a strip of paper from each color of the rainbow, then put some glue at each end and then made an arch on a large piece of construction paper.  Then, they layered the strips to make a process based rainbow!  

The 10 second rule was to have them count to 10 when holding the strips down to make sure the strips stayed glued on...we encouraged them to count aloud, so they also practiced counting at the same time!

{FIVE} I've been doing this for a few years now, and love it every time I do it.  I tell the kids we're going to paint a handprint rainbow, and that they get to pick which color they would like to get their hand painted (or they can pass if they want).  Some children were more involved than others, but all of them loved the rainbow when it was finished!

The clouds above the rainbow were done with puffy paint.  We put glue, shaving cream, and white and black paint into a bowl for the kids to mix together and paint with their hands!  The kids that like shaving cream, but usually don't like to paint LOVED this activity!

I enjoy participating in the Doodle Bugs Five for Friday linky party because I get to find new blogs, and see what other teachers are doing in their classrooms.  So, go ahead and hop on over to visit and take a look!