Education · PreK class

Night sky- bats, owls and spiders

This week, we learned a bit more about nocturnal animals. We read stories about bats and owls. We used spiders in some of our learning activities… just cause!

Our must do stations this week were:

writing table- name practice. The children had to rainbow write their name, but I put plastic canvas sheets under to add a textural element. As with all coloring activities in my classroom, they needed to use the same number of crayons as their age (ie a 4 year old needs to use 4 crayons, a 5 year old 5 crayons).

math station- number practice. The children were given a paper bag that held their supplies. In the bag, they had 4 spider webs, the number cards 5, 6, 7, and 8, and some spiders. The children had to designate each web to represent one of the numbers and then put the spiders on the web to match the number. This learning activity is number sense, number recognition, and counting all rolled into one fun lesson.

art station- spider webs. We attached yarn to spider rings. The children then dipped the yarn into yellow or orange paint. They then pulled the yarn across the paper to paint the webs. The children were then given corks dipped in black paint to paint spiders. They added googly eyes and drew legs with a black marker.

teacher table- printing. We have begun printing practice. We started the E and F. We will go through all the capital letters and then move onto the lowercase. They have done a great job working on E and F. Next week we will do H and L.

We watched the YouTube read aloud of the book Stellaluna today. The children really enjoy this change from me reading the book, and I find that I can engage them in longer stories when I use this medium.  After, we created a table of bat and bird attributes. The children did a great job telling me not only the attributes articulating the similarities and differences. Our graph this week will be would you rather be a bat or a bird.

Tomorrow we will do our STEM project which will be to create a bat, owl or spider outline using marshmallows and toothpicks. I found a really cool paper airplane style STEM where you have the children draw a bat face and body in the middle of a piece of paper. Then they have to fold the paper to make a bat. Then you can test them out to see which flies the best. I know my class and we aren’t ready for this, but I will keep it in the back of my mind for another time.

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Education · PreK class

Space and the night sky

This week we are learning about day and night.

The children completed a spill and spell activity with space words. In a zip lock bag, the children had a picture of a space word that has the word at the top, the word cut up into individual letters and letter cubes. They needed to read the word, at this age that means telling me what is on the picture. Then they needed to spill out the letter cards and put them in order to match the word on the picture card. After that, they had to put the letter cubes in order to spell the word again. (To do this activity with older children, do not put the word on the picture card and then have them write the word on a recording sheet.)

For art this week, they were given a black sheet of paper. I put large sheets of Styrofoam on the table. The children put the black paper on top of the Styrofoam and then used a pencil to poke holes into the paper. We then held the paper over a flashlight and could look at the constellation that they created. (For older children I would have them connect the dots to make an actual picture and then write about the story behind their constellation.)

We created a chart about the different things that you can do and see during the day and the night. It was interesting to see that many of the children said you only see lightning during the night time. Many children assume that once it gets dark out it is night time even if the the darkness is caused by a storm. One child did mention that you needed to turn on lights to see at night time.

We also used a flashlight to see why it changes between day and night.

We also touched on nocturnal animals to go with our poem this week. We will talk about this a bit more next week when we talk about bats.

Day and Night

They’re active at night.

They sleep while we play

They hunt in the dark.

They hide during the day.

Who are they?

Nocturnal Animals.

 

 

Education · PreK class

Night Sky and Camping (preK)

As I stated in my post about October the other day, we are learning about the night sky in my preK class. This week we are discussing the topic of camping. I figured that since we had just set up the tent and it is the main focus of the room this week we’d roll with that topic.

Some of the learning opportunities we have with camping:

We are doing a read the room activity. Each child gets a clipboard, crayon box and pencil. Around the room I posted pictures of camping items with the word listed below the picture.  These same words are listed on their recording sheet. The children need to match the word on the wall to the one on their sheet and then draw a picture to show what the word says. This is an activity we will do a lot this year. The words I used this time were: tent, campfire, lantern, sleeping bag, s’mores, grill. So far the children are doing a great job with this learning activity. (I will be tweaking this a bit and then posting it in my TPT store)

The second activity we are working on is using pattern blocks to re-create camping pictures. I printed out camping pictures and the children then take a box with pattern blocks and create their own replica of the camping item. Pictures include: tent, camper, lantern, marshmallow, star, moon, campfire, sleeping bag and cooler.  Today one little girl spent quite a bit of time there and completed all 9 pictures (they only have to do 2). It is really cool to see how they interpret creating the illustrations with the blocks.

Today we used our imaginations and our 5 senses to go camping. We created a list of items you will see, hear, taste, touch and smell while camping. Other than a few children wanting to make pasta and one who continued to insist she would see a tiger, they did a great job.

Later this week we will complete a STEM project. This time the children will be given an index card, pipe cleaners, tooth picks, marshmallows, and tape. They will be allowed to use scissors and other scrap papers from the scrap bin. Each child will have the same supplies. They will work independently on this STEM project. I will spread the children around the room so that they can use their own creative juices. This one should be fun.

Education · PreK class

Changes: Fall and Apples

Can you believe that this is the last Monday in September? And, the first Monday in fall? This week in school we are finishing up our unit on changes. We are looking at the changing seasons and learning about apples.

We created a chart with things that occur during the four seasons. Then, as one of their “must do” centers the children are illustrating their own chart of the seasons. I was impressed with the details they were able to tell me about the four seasons. Summer was the one they had the hardest time listing different things other than it is hot.

We will read other stories about the season of fall and talk more about the changes we can observe based on the seasonal changes.

Today we started a STEM project. Did you ever wonder what is the best way to prevent apples from browning? We cut up an apple into 8 slices. We left two as the control slices. Then, we dipped 2 slices in water, 2 in vinegar and 2 in Sprite. We left them to sit about 5 min and then put them onto a plate. We will observe the changes over the week.

On Tuesday, we will taste test apples to see which apple color we like best (red, yellow or green). We will also begin our graph on how we like to eat apples (whole apple, apple juice, apple pie, applesauce or apple slices)

On Wednesday, it is Johnny Appleseed day. We will learn about Johnny Appleseed and make applesauce. I think I’ll bring in my instapot to speed up the process a bit since I only have the children from 9:15-12:15, I usually do this in my crock pot.

On Thursday, I will tell the story about the star inside the apple.  We will also learn about the parts of the apple and how it grows.

We are also working on writing out names, recognizing numerals, one-to-one correspondence to 5 and ordering numerals.

I can’t believe that we are moving onto our next month and our next theme on Monday. Life moves fast

Education · PreK class

Changes and color mixing

This week we are learning about color mixing in school. We are doing a walking water color experiment and colored ice cubes mix. The children will color on coffee filters with markers and then wet the filters to let the colors bleed together. We are also doing rainbow writing with their names and sorting pom poms by color.

Water walk color experiment: You fill cups with water (I used 9 cups) set the cups in sets of three. Put color into the outside cups and leave the middle cup with just water. Then put paper towel “bridges” between the cups. The water will begin to wick up from the colored water cup into the plain water cup. Then the two colors will mix together. This took a LOT more food coloring than I expected. I ended up having to put food coloring right at the top of the “bridge” to get it to mix. But in the end, it worked and the children got to see yellow and blue make green, red and blue make purple, and red and yellow make orange.

Colored ice melt: Fill and ice cube tray with water. Add a few drops of food coloring to the sections to color the ice red, blue and yellow. Once frozen, you can put the ice into clear cups and then let the ice melt together. As it melts you should see the colors begin to mix. When we do this I will also add a cup that has red, yellow and blue so they can see it mix together into brown.

Coffee filter color mixing. This is a process based art activity. The children draw on coffee filters with markers. Then you have them use pippets to drop water onto the filter a few drops at a time. The marker colors will then begin to bleed and blend. Often times you will also see the colors separate. This is really cool when the black starts to separate into other colors.

Rainbow writing is a great way to help children master writing words. You write a word in one color, pencil or black works best. Then you have the children choose 3 or more crayons. The children have to write on top of the word you wrote with each of the three crayons, layering each on top of the last color. The more you write it the more colorful it becomes, and writing in layers of crayon helps build up the “feel” of the paper. (I often had my first graders use this method to practice spelling words)

Our poem this week is very simple and the children are already mastering it. I wrote it out on chart paper writing each line in the color word at the beginning. I then added quick illustrations to help them remember the last word. The children then had to illustrate their copy of the poem for their poetry journal.

Colors

Orange is a carrot.

Yellow is a pear.

Green is the grass.

Brown is a bear.

Purple is a plum.

Blue is the sky.

Black is a witch’s hat.

Red is cherry pie.

Education · PreK class

Changes and Names (school post)

Each month I will pick a different over all theme for the month. Then each week we will look at a different aspect within that theme.

For the month of September, our first month of school, I choose the theme of changes. Oh and let me tell you we are having some major changes. Some of my students have never been in any type of school setting before.  Others have, but it was not very structured and they were pretty much allowed to do what they wanted to do. That won’t work for me. While I know this is Pre-K and they need time to play, I’m pretty much known for developing a great structure and routine to my classroom day. We will get there!

For this first week, we are focusing on our names. I expected this to be a quick fun week knowing that I’d need to work on switching some children from writing their names all in capital letters over to writing their names with just one capital and the rest lowercase. I was shocked to see how many of my students did not even recognize their name in print, nevermind be able to write it. A few the struggle was the fact that they knew how to read their nickname, but I didn’t know that they were called by a nickname when I labeled everything in the classroom. Oh well, they will at least learn to read their given name.

Our poem this week is called Everybody Has a Name. We are working on learning this poem using echo reading. Having worked with K students so long and never having to actually teach this skill, I was surprised at how many children did not know how to just repeat what I said. It is getting better, but I still have some looking at me like I just read the line in a foreign language. Again… it’s week 1 and I know thing will get better as the year progresses.

Our 3 must do stations this were were covering their name with colored squares (these are being hung in the classroom), drawing a self portrait for our class-book, and illustrating the poem. Each week we will take a children’s book and rework it into a class book. This time around we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. We are rewriting it as Friend, Friend Who Do You See?.

Everybody Has a Name

By Jean Warren

Everybody has a name
Some are different
Some the same

Some are short
Some are long
All are right
None are wrong

My name is___________
It’s special to me
It’s exactly who
I want to be