Sunday, September 25, 2011

All About Me and Apples!

Okay so this trying to post at least once a week thing isn't working out so well!  I don't know how some of you do it, but between school, planning, my own kids and their million activities, laundry, cooking, cleaning(yeahright) and everything else I just can't seem to find the time to post as much as I would like!  I still try to check my reading list everyday to blog stalk all of you and steal your awesome ideas!  Anyways.... We have been sooo busy at preschool these past two weeks!  And did I mention how much I LOVE MY CLASS!!  Seriously, they are just the sweetest group of little smarties EVER!!!  I just love them all so much!

Okay, so the week before last we focused on All About Me and Our Families.  We discussed how we all are different, but each one special.

We graphed the color of our eyes and then discussed the results.  They cut out the circles for the eyeballs and HELLO- awesome cutting skills!!!!  Yay!

Here is an interactive writing predictable chart that we did.  We focused on the letter Ii this week-look at those letter Is!!!  Yay!


 Here we measured how tall we were and then compared the results.  This picture was taken before we finished all the kids-we started this one day and then finished the next.  I guess I forgot to take another picture-oops!  We lined up from tallest to shortest, and then shortest to tallest.  For some reason they thought this whole thing was hilarious! Silly kids!


We talked about the people that make up our family and then did this Who Lives in My House glyph.  I got this idea on Pinterest and it was sooo fun!  The kids did an awesome job!  Not only did it cover knowledge of who makes up their family, but also color recognition, as well as counting!


Here is the key that we used for our glyph.  I made a really small version and glued it to the back of each of their houses, so the parents could read the glyph.

We sorted letter in our name and letters not in our name.

And of course since we focused on the letter I, we had to paint the letter I with ice cubes!  Every week, during small group time, one of the groups completes a letter for their alphabet book.  The groups rotate throughout the week, so everyone goes to each activity.  I keep the letter art, cut out and mount onto colored cardstock, and then assemble into a book and then they take them home at the end of the year.  We do all kinds of process art for these letters and the books really turn out awesome and fun!  One of my favorite projects of the year!

Sooooo then last week, we focused on Apples!!!

We started our week with a KWL chart and filled out the K and W.  I totally did not get a picture of this, but i was really amazed at all of the stuff they already knew!  Smarties!

Here, after discussing the parts of the apple and talking about seeds, we did a Seed Snip.  I gave them a strip of black paper and they had to snip snip snip to make seeds for their apple.  Again, I am AMAZED at the scissor skills this group has so early in the year!

We did a fine motor/following directions/ paper tearing activity.  This is one of my favorite apple activities that we do-I have done it every year!  I LOVE how the apples all turn out so different! 

Of course we read Ten Apples Up On Top!!!  We focused on AB pattern and they did it!!!  I will leave these hanging thru next week and then assemble into a classbook!  They LOVE classbooks!

This was one of our small group activities.  I am lucky enough to have one aide and a Foster Grandparent that comes to my room everyday, so we have three groups during small group time.  Two groups of 4 and one of three.  Sometimes I group them by skill level, and other times random.  This group was making AB apple pattern hats.  They picked two colors and then went to town with AB pattern on a sentence strip.  Then i just stapled into a hat.  We make TONS of hats throughout the year.  They LOVE making hats!

Here is the group working with Foster Grandma.  This is a game that I got out of a Mailbox magazine  few years ago.  They each have a sorting mat, take turns picking an apple card out of the bag, and then sort onto the mat.  When all cards are gone, they count how many of each color they have.  They love it!

This was the last group, and they were doing their letter art for their alphabet book.  And since we were focusing on letter A and apples, they did apple prints, of course!  Again, I will save these, cut out the letter, mount on colored cardstock and assemble into a book after we are finished with all of the letters.

And finally, here is a picture of my Family Projects Board.  Each month, I send home a Family Project to make the home/school connection.  Since we focused on All About Me in the month of September, I sent an All About Me project.  I found this on Pinterest,  except the original was for 1st or 2nd grade so I modified it for Prek.  I actually have added two more that were returned since I took this picture, so I have 9  of 11 families that completed the first Family Project and let me just say THAT IS AWESOME!!!  The kids REALLY love looking at this board, with the projects that they worked on with their families! 

Okay this post was REALLLLLY long!  I guess that's what I get for waiting two whole weeks to post.  We are just so busy!!!  Next week we are continuing our study of apples and will even be making applesauce!!!  I just love smelling that stuff cook all day long!  Hope everyone is having as much fun this year as I am!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Chicka Chicka Baby!!!

 Okay so it's Monday and I'm just now posting about LAST week!  My weekend just flew by WAY to fast-full of football, football, and MORE football!  A house full of boys means lots of football!  Anyways, last week we read everyone's favorite alphabet book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom".  My little sweeties LOVED IT!  All day long they kept saying "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom"   After we read the story the first time, I busted out our very own Chicka Boom Boom Tree!

 I was so excited to use this!  It was one of my fabulous Dollar Tree finds- inflatable palm tree!  I just used velcro to attach foam letters.  I took the letters off of the tree and stuck them to my feltboard, then , I used these super cool plush letters from Lakeshore (which I just have to say were purchased from a garage sale for $2-omg!!!) and just held up a letter and called on a kiddo to come up and find the letter on the feltboard and add it to the Chicka Tree!!!

These letters from Lakeshore are AWESOME!!!

 Oh man they LOVED THIS!  They wanted to keep doing it over and over, so of course I left it out for Centers! 

This week we also mae our own Chicka Trees with our name and then counted the letters and wrote the numbers- I had a few that could totally write the numbers on their own!!!! YAY!!! :)  

We  also decorated the first letter of our names and then I atttached their photo and then put them up on our Chicka bulletin board outside our door.

 We cut apart our names and then glued them back together and then counted the letters in our name and graphed them.

 We ended our week with a coconut exploration!  Okay, I like coconutty things, but I had never tried a real coconut before and I just have to say EWWWW!!!  We explored the coconut using our five senses and then it was time open it up and taste it- I poked a hole in the "eye" just fine and drained out the milk.  It did not taste good!  It was gross and the kids faces were priceless when they tasted it!  Then came the hard part, actually cracking it open to get to the white stuff!  Oh my I couldn't get it open!  I finally resorted to putting it on the floor and smashing it a few times with a hammer and it finally popped open!  The kids thought this was the funniest thing EVER!  The white stuff was not much better than the milk! 

We had so much fun!  Wow we had such a busy week!  I am totally LOVING my class this year!  Such a sweet group of kids!  Oh I almost forgot! We took some paint and markers outside and what did we do?!?

 We painted and colored the fence!!!  They loved it!!  And the best part is it washes off in the rain and we can start all over!  I LOVE MY JOB!!!! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We made it!

Okay the first week back has come and gone and I have to say it was the BEST FIRST WEEK EVER!  Seriously, my class is awesome!  No criers, no clingers, no accidents!  WOW!  I am very lucky that all of my kids are returning preschoolers-they were all in a 3 year old classroom last year, so they kinda have the whole school thing down.  They all came in ready to go!!!  We had a great week!  We mostly focused on the normal first-week-back stuff-rules, procedures,introducing a few centers.  We read The Kissing Hand of course.  We talked about and charted First Day Feelings and made kissing hand hand prints.  We talked about and charted things we can do at preschool and then they drew a picture and dictated.  We talked about ways that we can be Safe, Respectful, and Responsible at school and added those sentences to our Pedro PBIS board.  We played Beach Ball Buddies and Friend Bingo to help learn our friends' names. Whew we were really busy!  We totally had a blast and I am soooo excited for the rest of the year with my sweet little SuperStars!!!!  (okay I know that things can change in the blink of an eye, especially in Prek, but I gotta luv it while it's good!)

Soooo, here are a few pictures-actually I didn't get very many- I guess we were just sooooo busy I forgot to grab the camera!!  But I did manage to get a few.  (I promise I will get better with my camera-this is something I always have to remind myself with.  I usually put my fabulous associate, Tammy, in charge of the picture taking-she better get right on that-HA!)

This is our PBIS board.  The little snail is our schoolwide PBIS mascot.  His name is Pedro.  We talked about what being Respectful, Responsible and Safe at school meant and then we charted them.  I then transferred to sentence strips and added to out board.  We will review these EVERY DAY!!!

We discussed the different things that we could do at school and then did a predictable chart.  Then they drew a picture and dictated.  I actually saw something similar to this on Pinterest-HELLO I LOVE PINTEREST!!

This is my sensory table.  I decided to start with rice this year.  I just colored it, tossed in some magnetic letters and scoops and shovels.  I taped matching letters onto cookie sheets, and then attached the cookie sheets to the wall with good ol velcro-everything in my room has velcro-heehee!  I can change this out with numbers, lower case letters-anything.  The kids love it!

Okay I guess I didn't get many pictures at all.  Sorry!  Next week we are doing  Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!  Can't wait!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ready or Not!! Pictures!!!!

Oh my I get to meet my new little friends tomorrow!  I am super excited, as when I met them at home visits and screenings they all seemed really sweet and they were all so cute!  As you recall from my last post, my room was still a disaster zone, but now it's in much better shape.  I can't say it's completely all the way finished and everything is as I planned, but it's close, and I will finish everything up this week after school.  Most everything is ready, it's mostly just some organizing of my files and teacher materials that is left.  I am planning to have my lovely husband come and hang a shelf for me to stash my ever growing collection of books.  My room is super small and has basically no storage-just one really small closet that is packed to the max with stuff!  Being a preschool teacher, I have a TON of "stuff"- manipulatives, art materials, sensory stuff-just lots and lots of "stuff" and with such a small space it's challenging to find a place for it all!  I also am trying to find a better way to organize and store all of my small group stuff.  The best I can come up with is putting things into zip loc bags, labeling, and storing in plastic tubs/containers.  If any of you have a better system PLEASE let me know!  Anyways, here are some updated pictures of my room taken on Friday.  Ignore all the junk on the tables and other randomness, as that was all put away before I left so everything is nice and picked up and ready for my kids! Not sure how easy it will be to post after I have the kids, as everything is so busy, especially with all the after school activities my OWN kids are involved in, but I will try to post as often as I can, and of course I will continue to blog stock all of you guys!

This is my clanedar wall and the yellow board to the left is our classroom helpers.  I just rotate the stars everyday.  Since I have such a small class I am able to give everyone a job everyday.  One of the jobs is actually "vacation" so that person doesn't do anything, but they are still on the job chart.  I will add a few more things to our calendar routine as the year goes on.  I will add numbers 1-10 and we will count backwards with the rocket pointer  and blast off.  I will also add 10-100 and skip count.

This is to the left of the Calendar wall.  Our little ancient computer(-right behind the computer is the block center, which faces our large group/calendar area).  The crayon pocket chart is used for my small groups.  The rest of this wall is basically my behavior managment and solution wall.  We use PBIS and the little snail " Pedro" is our mascot for PBIS.  During the first week we will talk about ways to be Safe, Responsible, and Respectful, and I will add their sentences to the board.  Also we use "Super Friends", so the rainbow strip under the Pedro board is where they place their Super Friend each day if they ear one.  We give them a super friend when we see them being nice, helping others ect... and then we have a Super Friend Party at the end of each month if we reach our monthely goal.

This is looking towards the door.  The cubbies in the back houses some of our art supplies.There is my loittle closet, and on the other side of the door is our sensory table.

This is our writing center.  Lots of writing materials.  On the shelf behind the writing center is our Math center.  Lots of puzzles, gears, stringing beads, counters ect..  I guess I didn't get a picture of it, but the shelf is full of fun stuff!

This is looking at the writing center from the Large group area.  Also you can see some of the Library/Listening Center.  The pocket charts on the wall hold the kids names right now.  I usually leave the names in one and put words that goe with our theme or lesson in the other so they can use them in the writing center.  You can also see our Super Star board.  The roap hanging is where I hand student work to dry and also display.  I have another one of these on the other side of the room.

This is the Library/listening center and two bulletin boards where I display student work..  Also you can kind of see the science center.

This is the Science Center.  I start out with discovery bottles, microscope and scale and change it out with our themes and seasons.

This is a view towards my desk.  Notice my new pocket chart stand that my dad made me!!  LOVE IT!!!  behind the pocket chart stand is our House Keeping/Dramatic Play center.  It is really small and I only allow three kids to play at once.  I really wish it was larger, but with the size of my room that's how it has to be. :(  The pocket chart stand does not belong there-that's just where it was when I took the picure.  It does at the front of the room.

Again another picture of my fabulous pocket chart stand.  The poem in the pocket chart is one that I found on Pinterest. So stinkin cute!

Here is my desk/teacher area.  As I said, it's not totally finished-notice the piles of stuff.  I have even more books that I need to find a home so I am going to have my husband come and hang up a shelf on one of the walls by me desk.  Also my file cabinet is a disaster, so hope to get that better organized soon also.

Can you see my desk? lol it's piled up in this picture, but I did manage to clean it all off before I left on Friday.  The beach ball is for Beach Balll Buddies.  The kids LOVED this last year so I decided to do it again.  I taped on pictures of all the kids, as well as myself, my associate, and other important people at school.  We will sit in a circle, find someone on the ball, say their name and roll the ball to them.  We repeat over and over and soon everyone knows everyones name!  They asked to play it all year, even tho they knew each other after the first week!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Needs to take a Chill Pill

Okay, so the last time I posted was the first day I was able to get back into my room and it was in shambles.  And here we are two weeks later and not much has changed.   Okay I guess it looks a little better, but I think I have really just shifted things from pile to pile and shuffled stuff around.   It's not that I haven't been working my booty off, because I have, I've just been doing things that you can't see.  Since I teach Prek I have to do a little thing called Home Visits.  Which means I have to personally go to each and everyone of my little darlings homes and, well, visit, and have the parents fill out tons of paperwork.  Which means I have to schedule these visits first, which sometimes means leaving message after message, dropping notes in the mail, and even visiting their home to set a up a time for a Home Visit.  In a perfect world this could easily happen in a few days, but as we all know we don't live in a perfect world so it doesn't take a few days.  It took two weeks to be exact.  And since I teach Prek, we also do a little thing called Screenings, which means I have to schedule all those appointments for Screenings.   And when do I set up those appointments for screenings?  If you said at their Home Visit then you are correct. Soooooooooo, I am officially finished with my Home Visits, Screening Day was today and my room is still a complete disaster.  And did I mention I am exhausted?  And that I we have Prof. Development scheduled for tomorrow and two days next week?  AND SCHOOL STARTS A WEEK FROM THIS MONDAY?????  And I am scared to open the closet door in my classroom because there is so much junk stuffed in there and I am afraid that things will come flying at my head?  And i haven't even started to think about writing any lesson plans, or getting things ready for orientation night??? And I can't find my camera, as it is lost somewhere in my classroom under one of those random piles of junk!   Can you tell that I am starting to get stressed????   You know things are getting craaazaaay when your 5 year old tell you that you need to take a chill pill. lol   So my plans for tomorrow are professional development meetings all morning, and then  digging thru piles until I at least find my camera, as my own kids start school Monday and my baby starts kindergarten and I have to have that camera!  And then maybe I can take a chill pill!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Distaster Zone!!!

So today was my first day back to my classroom and HELLO!!!  I kinda knew I would be walking into a disaster zone, as we are required to stack everything up so they can clean the floors but wow, what a mess,  I guess that's what I get since my butt was out of that door the minute school was out last year!  Anyways, after the initial shock of seeing the disaster zone (and the discovery of a bunch of dead flies all over) I jumped right in and got BIZZY!!!  I worked my booty off ALL day and now I'm just beat!  Thank goodness my wonderful husband is cooking supper :)  Here are some pictures I took of the disaster zone.  Notice how teeny tiny my room is!  When I first moved into this room I was like, how the heck is this gonna work, but then after realizing I would only be allowed to have 11 students due to the small space I was like maybe this will work out just fine!  Especially since all the other prek rooms in my building have 17 students each!  HeeHee!  I have had to be very creative with the layout of my space, but in the end it all works out!  Oh and I was so ready to get the heck outta there today, I totally forgot to take after pictures of all my hard work!  I will be going back tomorrow so I will post then!  Yay for getting ready for Back to School!!!

Disaster Zone!!!!

Here is a bunch of stuff all piled up-What a mess!

Things starting to look a little better,  Still a long way to go!

Even better (at least this little area is looking better, kind of!  This is how it looked when I left to eat lunch.  I went back and did some more but forgot to take pictures.  I will go back tomorrow and hopefully get most everything in order, then I can start on the walls!  Yay!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pinterest baby!!

Okay so I am TOTALLY addicted to Pinterest!  And so is everyone else!  How can you not be?  Michelle from Michelles's Math in the Middle is having a Pinterest Linky Party so Pinterest it up!!!  I don't know about all of you but HELLO- I LOVE Pinterest!!  What better way to keep track of all the awesomeness that you find on the web!  LOVE IT!!

Here is a link to my Pinterest!  Check it out!!  

And don't forget to link up!

Monday, July 18, 2011

New Pocket Chart Stand!!

Okay, the pocket chart stand that I have had in my room is old.  And junky. And ugly. And junky.  Did I mention JUNKY!!!!!  So of course I wanted a new one and of course my school isn't going to get me one with all the budget cuts.  So what's a girl to do?  Search the net for "How to make a pocket chart stand", and then recruit my newly retired elementary school principal Dad, (who is BORED out of his mind, and I think becoming willing to do ANYTHING to get away from all the projects my mother has planned for him!) of course!!!!

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the PVC pocket chart stands that you can make.  I found the directions here, at down and you will find it).  My Dad, the wiz that he iz (heehee) whipped up this puppy in about 20 minutes!   AND the best part is it only cost $10-YEAH BABY!!!!  It still needs painted and I'm thinking red!  That will come on another day, as we are in the middle of a flipping heat wave and it's like 115 degrees outside and I hate to sweat!

Anyways, I  CANNOT wait to take this bad boy to my room and toss my old JUNKY one out!!!

THANKS DAD!!!!!!! :)

Here it is!!!  I'm going to paint it red!  THANKS DAD!! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Yes, I love me some Target!

Okay so my Target FINALLY has some of the teacher stuff in the Dollar Spot!  FINALLY!  Last weekend I went, after seeing some of you all with fabulous finds and my Target still had the July 4th stuff. I asked the kid (he just happened to be my parents ex-nextdoor neighbors kid) that was rearranging things when the teacher stuff would be in and he said next week.  Soooooo of course I went first thing Monday and as promised TEACHER STUFF!!!!  So of course I had to get some things!  Notice I said SOME things, as my husband was with me and he hates it when I spend money on my classroom, even though I have explained to him a trillion times that I have to spend my own money if I want things and he better just get used to it!  So, instead of getting everything I wanted, I had to settle for SOME of the things I wanted, and the rest I will hopefully get later (planning to go tomorrow WITHOUT my man- I need to go get toothpaste or something-haha).  Anyways, I hope that they will still have some of the things I want.  I don't think they have put everything out yet, as I have noticed a few things that others have purchased that my Target did not have yet. They also still had a ton of shelves still filled with summer stuff that was now 50% off so I hoping when that crap gets sold down they will bust out some more goods!  Okay let's get on with it!

Here it is!

I got some shiny letter stickers, some crayon shaped bulletin board thingys, stamp pads for the writing center, number stampers,  alphabet matching puzzle, some star boarders, and of course a sticky pad, which I'm pretty sure I don't REALLY need, because I'm sure I have a billion of these already, but I am a total sucker for sticky notes!  Oh also I got some room word labels.   Everything is from Target except the orange star boarder and the room labels. I bought those at Dollar Tree earlier this summer.  And I forgot about the book holders and the plastic tub.  Last year I bought two of the shallow tubs and I used them for small groups-except I had three small groups so I HAD to get another! Also last year I bought 5 of the book holders -that was all they had left- and I LOVED them, so I decided I totally needed to get a few more of those.  And I am hoping they still have some left when I go to Target tomorrow. To get toothpaste, of course.

This is an apple 100 chart. I have a 100 pocket chart that I have used in the past but this was just so cute and I figured I could use it for something even if I decide not to use it for 100 day.  This was not in the Dollar Spot at my Target. It was back by the office supplies on an end-cap. Also it was not $1, but was $2.50.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Hello Blog!!!

Hi!  It's my first blog entry EVER!  Go me!  So, since I'm always reading everybody else's blog, searching for fun ideas for my classroom, I decided to jump right in and start my own!   I don't know about everyone else, but YAY for all the neat ideas and what an awesome way to share! So blog on everyone!