Friday, May 16, 2014

Five for Friday and a FREEBIE!!!

I officially started counting down the days left until the end of the school year...last week!!!  Seven days to go with the kids (They don't come to school on Friday)!  Then a week of home visits, and another week of paperwork and packing up my classroom, and the school year will be over!

I keep telling myself that I need to give as much energy and excitement to the happenings going on in our classroom as I did at the beginning of the year, but every day this gets harder and harder to do...

{One}  Last week, for one of our small groups, we taught the kids how to make a flower.  We discussed what shapes flowers can be in, and then let them have at it.  Then, we cut out the shape of their flower (as you can see, they're all different) and glued them onto a stem that we cut based on how tall they are.  We are going to glue something on the back that says "  This is how tall your child was in preschool 2013-2014" and take these to their families when we go on home visits.  Rather than do a Mother's Day gift - since we're not in school for Father's Day - this is their end of the year gift for their family.

We added the flowers to our bulletin board to make a backdrop for families to take pictures on the last day of school, as we are inviting them in that afternoon for a slide show and memory book project.

{Two}  This week, we read Dinosaurs Love Underpants and I planned a few activities that went along with the dinosaur theme, which the boys in my classroom absolutely LOVED!  I saved this unit for the end of the year because it is one of my favorites and I wanted to have some engaging activities that still kept the children interested in school.  The story gets them laughing every time, and I couldn't help but laugh too!  

I created this Dinosaur Number Match 1-10 activity specifically for this unit, which you can pick up FREE on TpT.  

The kids counted the number of dinosaurs, found the clothespin with the number written on it, and clipped it to the correct number on the card.  If you download the activity, please rate it and follow me on TpT.  I'm a fairly new seller, and would really appreciate the support!

{Three}  We have toy dinosaurs that have been in our classroom all year, and the kids love to play with them, especially the boys.  For this art activity, the kids dipped the dinosaur's feet into paint and walked or stomped a trail on the paper.  I had kids that never go over to the art table try this activity several times!

{Four}  Why read this story if we weren't going to decorate our own pair of underpants?  I found this Underpants Writing Activity on TpT last year when I taught kindergarten, and it's still FREE!  It's also easy to adjust to any grade level.  We just painted them with watercolor, and I wrote down what their favorite part of the story was, so we could hang our underpants out in the hall for everyone to see!!!  The kids got a good laugh out of that one!

{Five}  The last few weeks, we've been making cosmic suncatchers, which I found on the blog Babble Dabble Do.  We quickly found out it takes approximately 3-4 days for them to dry, so you either need to do them several at a time over a few weeks (we only had 5 lids) or ask for donations before doing this activity.  Also, 2-3 drops of food coloring is plenty!  The color does spread while the glue is drying, so you don't need much, but they turned out pretty cosmic, I would say.

Hop on over to Farley at Doodle Bugs Teaching to check out all of the other blogs participating in Five for Friday.  Thanks for reading!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Five for Friday

This week has been a bit of a whirlwind.  We're starting to wind down the school year, and we only have 2 1/2 weeks left of school...YIKES!!!  The last week of school technically doesn't count because it's full of field trips, fun activities ('cause we don't do them the rest of the school year, haha) and the last day, families are invited to come in for the afternoon.  I have a slideshow planned, along with an activity for families to do together with the children, and plan to pass out certificates so parents can take pictures.

Now it's time for Five for Friday with Doodle Bugs Teaching, and I can't believe the week has come and gone already!

{One} Science in preschool is all about investigating the world around us...right down to the little details we tend to forget we learned about when we were young children.  Since we've been talking about rainbows, we decided to do a color experiment.  First we talked about the color of plain water, then added food coloring (red, blue, yellow) to three cups of water.  The other three cups were left empty.  Then, we took paper towel and put it between all of the cups to let the colored water absorb into the paper towel to go into the empty cups.  When the water goes into the empty cups, they make new colors (purple, orange, green)!  We quickly found out this is a S-L-O-W process... we decided to revisit this later.  This is what it looked like the following day.  It took about 3 days for the water to evenly distribute through the cups, but was a great experiment to discuss and make predictions.

{Two}  I set the experiment off to the side on the counter and then made up new cups of colored water for the children to mix together to find out what colors they could make.  They really enjoyed mixing the colors, and even asked questions like "I wonder what would happen if we mixed purple and yellow?"  For the sake of this experiment we did not mix those colors, but I put this activity out at a center for them to explore the following week to discover the answer for themselves.

{Three}  One of my favorite centers in the classroom is the Listening Center (this is what we use our computers for).  I read the story Froggy Builds a Treehouse by Jonathon London a few weeks ago when we were learning about frogs.  I always read the story first because I believe it's important for children to hear how good readers sound, to see the expressions on my face as I am reading, and to get them interested in wanting to listen to the story before I put it in this center.

{Four}  This was probably my favorite art project we have done all year!  We had leftover strips of paper from when we made our rainbows, so we used it to make caterpillars.  The kids used the 10 second gluing rule to hold down the strips, then added eyes, and used plastic forks (straight ones work the best) to make the grass.  We talked about what color caterpillars can be, and what color grass is...then I told them they could make their art whatever color they wanted.  I LOVE how they turned out!!!

{Five}  The preschool teacher across the hall was playing this video, and I couldn't resist playing this for my own kids and dancing along with them.  They love the minions from Despicable Me, and we tried to dance like the characters in the movie while we were singing along with the song.  This makes a great brain break for any age to get them up and moving!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Currently May

Wow, was I busy this weekend!  So busy I forgot that April is no longer here, and we're already 4 days into May!  Before I know it, the end of the school year will have come and gone...

It's time for Currently May with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade.  With the end of the year approaching, the school year is starting to wind down but there is so much left to do and my mind has not stopped thinking for one single second since Spring Break!!!

{Listening} It's Sunday, so of course I'm washing clothes.  I'm more of a weekend warrior when it comes to cleaning because I spend so much time at school doing it throughout the week, I lose my motivation by the time I get home.  Plus, I loved to listen to the soothing repetition of the washing machine as a back drop for my thoughts...

{Loving}  This morning, it was cloudy and pouring down rain!  Blah!  Now, the sky looks like a perfect rainbow, there's not a cloud in sight, and the wind calmed down to a gentle breeze.  This is what Spring feels like...and we sure haven't glimpsed much of it yet this year!

{Thinking}  I am venturing into some new hobbies this year.  I plan to get into blogging more, as well as decorating in a new theme for my classroom design.  If you haven't discovered Schoolgirl Style yet, I love almost all of her designs, so it's going to be hard to pick just one!  I think I'm going to go with something between the Turquoise, Black, & Gray theme and the Rainbow Chalkboard theme.  Click on the pictures below to see how Melanie used these designs!

I love the silhouettes of the kids above the windows along with the banners.  They are just so whimsical!  This would be fun to do with other themes in mind as well, like a bug theme or bird and owl theme.  

{Wanting}  This leads me into what I want.  I'm already thinking about a new design for next year.  Something a little cleaner than what I currently have - a jungle theme - that would still be fun but simple and sophisticated is what I'm going for.  So, my goal is to decide on a design so I can start SHOPPING!!!

{Needing}  I, much like everyone else, am in much need of a vacation!  This August, my family and I will be staying in a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee for an entire week.  I have never been on a vacation for that long, and look forward to a retreat to get me relaxed and ready for the next school year!

{Surprise}  Kinder-Craze is one of the new blogs I discovered from Schoolgirl Style because she made over her classroom with the Rainbow Chalkboard design!  

Hop on over to her blog and check out how she organized her new classroom library!