Friday, March 29, 2013

Spring Games!

Aren't these chicks ADORABLE?!! They came in a pack of six from Dollar Tree.  Students can identify and/or count and fill the chick eggs with the correct number of beads. I have about 20 felt flower buckets that were recently bought at Goodwill! I have seen some translucent carrot shaped eggs..vegetable/garden unit game? I might have to go back for those!
Here is an ABC upper/lower case match game..there were 24 eggs in the pack from Dollar Tree.
I made this folder game a few years ago and it has held up quite nicely (despite one beakless bird!) It's a traditional roll'em, count'em path game.  
Perfect rainy day or math center game for April!  I have a total of four mats...1-4 students can play this game each with a mat...OR two people can play on one mat (object would be just to fill up the whole mat together).  
again...TARGET DOLLAR AISLE!  : )  These are perfect game piece holders for our upcoming Hungry Caterpillar unit! 
Paper pads and bulletin board cut-outs to make into more spring vocab..purchased from Apple Tree!
A teacher friend of mine introduced me to "Smellies!"  A student reward, a smear of smell good chap stick on their hand, that is inexpensive and last a long time!  The kids love it!  Chap stick is reminding me of something one of my students replied back to me when I asked her to put away her own chap stick.."But Mrs. M, I'm just gonna keep it in my pocket, so it's close, 'cause I might need it to chap my lips later."  : )

Construction Unit Part II

I bought a printable tool unit off of came with many vocab cards, games, and activities..well worth the purchase!  You can purchase it for $4 from:
Wouldn't  the new Disney movie "Wreck it Raph" go so perfectly with a construction theme?! I see a Wreck it Ralph/Fix it Felix sensory bin or math game in the future! 
Construction vocab in all the centers...

Here is one of the games from the printable pack I purchased...fits perfectly in my Target dollar bin mini pocket chart! 
My construction unit flows into transportation and community helpers...These truck math mats are from another printable pack called "On the Road and in the Air." Click this link to purchase:  
This pack also comes with word wall cards, flannel board stories, and a fantastic community helpers bingo game!
This is from the same pack also... For this math game, students choose how many people to ride in their airplane, train, or boat, count, and write the number.. I laminated my mats but you could also use plastic sleeve protectors.

Fairy tales Part II

Here is some photos of our "Princess and the Pea" art that I promised to post. Students chose what (and how many) mattresses (leftover scrapbook paper!) to use.  A pom pom was glued on for the pea..snoozing princess or princes were drawn at the top..and then students wrote the number of mattresses used. My assistant drew the cute sign!

Click the link below to view more fairy tale fun from our classroom:

What would YOU do with Jack's beans?  We read a few different versions of "Jack and the Beanstalk." Students ounted jellybeans..sorted jellybeans...planted bean seeds..and students drew on paper leaves what they would buy with Jack's beans...we now have  a gigantic towering "beanstalk" in our science center!

During our feelings unit, within our Fairy tale theme, we read and acted out the nursery rhyme, "Humpty Dumpty."  Students had to state kind words or describe actions that could make a friend feel better. I wrote down students' thoughts on our  Humpty throughout the week and the students mended back the pieces with band-aids...who knew band-aids could be such a hit!? The original idea for this project came from:

We read a few different versions of Princess and the of our projects was this Pucker Up! graph... There were many giggles during this math activity! The original idea for this graph came from:

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Michaels dollar bins!

I thought these cute animal masks would be perfect for story retelling for our upcoming zoo unit!   I picked them up in the dollar bins at Michaels craft store this week. I'm thinking of going back for a couple cool would it be for some interactive addition and subtraction problems?! ..OR sing-a-longs..wish they had monkeys for "swinging from the tree/jumpin' on the bed."

Here are a few poems/songs I have found for zoo animals:

Five Big Elephants
Five big elephants - oh, what a sight,

Swinging their trunks from left to right!
Four are followers, and one is the king.
They all walk around in the circus ring!

The Zoo 
At the zoo we saw a bear 

He had long, dark fuzzy hair 
  pretend to walk etc. like a bear

We saw a lion in a cage. 

He was in an awful rage. 
  pretend to be a angry lion

We saw the big, long-necked giraffe, 

And the silly monkeys made us laugh 
   everybody laugh

But my favorite animal at the zoo 

Is the elephant--how about you?

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pretty pretend food...

Last summer I hooked on crafting with felt (featured on my other blog my mother in-law got hooked on amigurumi.. together we have created a quite a collection of different textured, yet realistic looking, pretend food for my pre-k kids! The possibilities are endless..I've seen everything from felt sushi to amigurumi tacos! Here are few photos of things we have made so far...she's also created some ice cream cones and I'm working on felt watermelon slices for "Beach Party Picnic" pretend center. I am slowly weeding out all the plastic pretend center foods and dishes and replacing with felt, amigurumi, and artificial foods (the kind you would decorate your kitchen with). Felt is great because you can create leaves to be opened up on corncobs or lines in a pumpkin..and students can feel the different textures. Artificial foods (although pricey!)like heads of cabbage, rubber grapes, fruits..etc.. are wonderful because they are SO realistic! I would love for my pretend center to be filled with as much realistic and real items as possible...real dishes, real tablecloths, real rugs,real plants... 

See previous posts on how to incorporate more "real" food items into dramatic play:

Harvest Farmer's  Market


Spring Farmer's Market

Finger play puppets

A sweet family friend had some mismatched gloves and asked if I could make a craft out of them and use them for my class ..and so here are two new finger play puppets for spring! for addition and one for subtraction!

Five Little Ladybugs
Five little ladybugs climbing up a door,
One flew away then there were four.
Four little ladybugs sitting on a tree,
One flew away and then there were three.
Three little ladybugs landed on a shoe,
One flew away and then there were two.
Two little ladybugs looking for some fun,
One flew away and then there was one.
One little ladybug sitting in the sun,
She flew away then there were none.

I found this fingerplay/song on for more ladybug poems and songs click here:

Five Little Bees
 One little bee blew and flew.
He met a friend, and that made two.
Two little bees, busy as could be—
Along came another and that made three.
Three little bees, wanted one more,
Found one soon and that made four.
Four little bees, going to the hive.
Spied their little brother, and that made five.
Five little bees working every hour—
Buzz away, bees, and find another flower.

This fingerplay/poem is from:

Friday, March 15, 2013

felt cottage DONE!

I started this little felt cottage during our gingerbread man unit hoping I would finish it in time.. well here it is, spring break, and I finally pieced it all together!  It honestly wasn't that hard..just time consuming.. I drew out a paper template for the front, back, roof, sides, and base. Then, I cut all the brown felt pieces and stitched on the details!  I'm going to use it in books center or blocks center next year for 3 bears, Little Red Riding Hood, or Gingerbread Man!

Shopping finds!

I bought these CUUUTE felt monster puppets half price at Michaels craft store today..5 bucks total for all!   I'm going to use them next year to go along with the book "Glad Monster, Sad Monster" Here is a cute fingerplay I found to go with these puppets:

If I were a happy monster, I'd go ha, ha, ha!
If I were a sad monster, I'd go boo, hoo, hoo.
If I were a mad monster, I'd go stomp, stomp, stomp!
If I were a scared monster, I'd go AAHH! AAHH! AAHH!
But I'm just me, you see, so I'll go (sound or action child's choice)

Here is a link some monster feelings activities my class did a few week ago:

Also, along with mirrors and self portraits, I thought it would be fun to show the video clip: "Monster in the Mirror" from Sesame Street next year on the Smartboard! 

I picked up these tubs at Dollar Tree today... The blue one is big enough for a new sub tub..hmmm..maybe with some yellow and white polka dot ribbon?! ..and I already have green, pink, blue mini tubs..but this was the first time I've seen the bright orange! 
more finger lights!!! (found at Cracker Barrel in the 50% off section!) These are awesome for the reading center for students to "search" for letters...also can be used in ABC or Math for "tracing" letters and numbers! ..could go well with a robot unit! 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

new teacher bag!

I needed something with WHEELS! Our school hallways are LOOONG and to the parking lot is an even longer trip.. I'm always lugging around stacks of library books, craft supplies, my planning materials, other whoozits and my purse and lunch!  I found this bag on wheels (scrapbook tote) a while ago at Hobby Lobby..I waited around for the 40 percent off coupon and purchased it yesterday!  I went to two stores to find the zebra print.. it also comes in basic black and leopard print.  The inside panel with pockets can detach by way of velcro... AND it also has a padded pocket on the side perfect for my tablet!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Ocean unit coming soon!

It's spring break! Hooray!!!! ...and I am in beach weather mood..despite the rainy/cloudy/40 degree weather outside! As I was planning for our upcoming units, I came across these photos from last year of our ocean unit... I am so EXCITED for our upcoming units and I am so happy to have time off to prepare!  I teach at a school that is on a continuous learning calendar. We have a shorter summer break, two weeks off in winter, fall/spring breaks, and intersession weeks.  SO..since I am not teaching intersession AND it's spring break..I have three full weeks ahead of me and so much I want to do! Here is my spring break bucket list:

-Prepare for hungry caterpillar/gardening unit and hungry caterpillar party

-Prepare for ocean/zoo units, buy more plastic tubs/totes!! 

-Dig out the millions of mason jars left over from my wedding for students to create these ADORABLE Mother's Day vases 

-hit the thrift stores and garage sales for more abc center activities  dress up clothes, and need 2 more arms for mr.potato head set!

-figure out if adding "Duncan Hines Frosting Creations" to play dough really works to make it smell good

-start collecting items for next year sensory and fine motor tubs

-finish drilling in the locks and hooks on my fine motor construction wooden board (goes with our construction unit)

...and things other than school.. 

-VACUUM MY HOUSE!! long overdue

-clean out my car and make it smell new again!

-open up my kitchen aid ice cream maker (2 yrs.still in the box) and USE it!

-try my pinned pinterest recipes and delete the ones that flop :)

-rotate the winter/spring clothes in my closet..that could take all day!

-go see Oliver! at the performing arts center

-go see the new Sandra Bullock movie 

..and last but not least..

This very cool table was in our science center last held informational books about shells..and books about crazy ocean animals/creatures... shark jaws and teeth...our playground nature collecting jars..driftwood...and shells with sorting baskets 
I used a beach ball for questioning in group times.. I plan on using the beach ball also for sight words this year!
I grabbed the sound spa off my night stand and it instantly became an activity in and with itself!  I posted a mini ocean word wall above it.. this sound spa also had the rain forest/rain/jungle sounds on it so I used it in the zoo pretend center later on.. Now it permanently sits in our science center..the heart beat sound is also awesome for when we are learning about doctors within our community helper unit!
How I do not miss my old pretend center furniture!  (I was able to order new furniture this year!) For our pretend center students had beach picnics, served ice cream, and wore sunglasses/visors/pretend sunscreen/hawaiian shirts!  During one of our whole group math activities we counted coconuts/added coconuts on our Chicka Chicka tree...and read Chicka Chicka 123 story.  We also compared our favorite ice creams and completed a cute graph pictured on the left. 
This was an ABC go fish center activity...the letters are mini ocean wave stickers!
These poem posters ideas are from

Students went on a "Red Fish, Blue Fish" hunt after reading the Dr. Suess book... we did a counting activity with swedish fish! ..and we did a chicka chicka abc/counting page!
Grid games are so useful yet so easy to put together! I found this one online..but have made quite a few since last year to go with themes.  
We measured these funky creatures with nonstandard units of meaurement..this year I think I will use them to post vocab on!

We experimented with pastels and "smudging" in creating our school of fish!
Sand art!!!
A roll and cover number game to go along with my class' beloved "There Was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Shell" book!
This is a math center game that doubled as go fish and a memory game! The "pond" or "ocean" is made from felt...
Ocean vocab in writing center..I tried to incorporate different ocean vocab in each of the centers...
Our trip to the aquarium..which was A-MAZING!! SO COOL!!

Looking forward to what adventures we will encounter for this year's ocean unit!