Friday, September 25, 2015

Five For Friday: Busy Week!

Here is what we have been up to this week!

Over the weekend I shared about some of the things that Alex and I like to do at home to build number sense. All you need is a couple of basic materials and then have lots of fun! You can check out some of our activities and can't live without materials here.

I also worked on a beginning letter sound sort for him. Its perfect for Pre K through Kindergarten to help them hear beginning sounds! I wanted to make sure it was useful all year long, so I also added long and short vowel sorts, and word cards so that the ones who are ready can start using their decoding skills to match the words and the pictures! You can find more information here!

In writing this week we talked about adding sensory details to our writing. So I split the kids into groups and they had to feel an object in a bag and first describe it without looking at it. Then I let them look at it and add more descriptions. We then came back together as a group, looked at the different descriptions and i gave each group a different bag and they had to match the object to the list of discriptions! It was fun. I did notice that a lot of kids went back and added more detailed descriptions while we were revising so I thought that was a plus! :)

This week we studied Michelangelo in history so that 3rd-5th graders got to experience what it was like to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel! They found unique ways to make it work, but all commented on how tiring it was! I have been able to see the Sistine Chapel in person and I am so amazed by its beauty! The set up and clean up were quite involved, but the kids had a blast!

To celebrate the ending of our first set of novels we had a fair with with our kids at a family's farm. We had elements from our three books, Because of Winn Dixie, Charlotte's Web, and Maniac Magee, present. The petting farm gave them a taste of Charlotte's Web's fair, Lots of food goodies from Winn Dixie's party at the end of the book, and a cobbler's know, pizza, and games from Maniac Magee... What we didn't anticipate is that true to the ending of Winn Dixie, our plans for a day of fun would be thrown for a loop by rain!! It slowed down at the start of our hay ride, but by the end the rain picked up and we were DRENCHED! Of course a lot of our plans changed, but the kids had a great time and made lots of memories! Since we did it on a non school day for us, parents and other siblings came along, so Alex and Liam got to come along too! They loved every minute and were troopers through the rain too!

Even though it rained I have to say I love the cooler fall weather that is rolling in! Can't wait for lots of fall activities to start!
Hope you all had a great week too!
Be sure to check out Kacey's Five for Friday Linky!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Preschool: Number Fun!

This summer I made some schedule cards to give us a sense of routine at home. Over the next couple months I will highlight some of the activities we do when Alex decides to put up that card! ;)

We will start with Numbers because that seems to be Alex's favorite and I enjoy it too!
I had lots of number sense activities that I had bought/created throughout my years teaching and so I was able to bring them home and I put them in a big tub. Whenever Alex chooses numbers we pull out the tub and go from there! 
Here are some fun things to add to your number tub!

Foam Numbers

Foam numbers are great for building numbers! We use them for lots of different things. Here he would roll dice, count the amount, and then build the number! 

Unifix or Connecting Cubes

We also spread the numbers out like a number line and Alex builds the number on top! Connecting cubes are also fun to build with! :) Eventually I do want to get some base ten blocks, but for now these are great!

Counters and Dice

These are two tools we can't live without! Alex loves to play dice games where all we do is roll, count, and collect. I got a fun tub of dice from Target that included all sorts of numbers, colors, and letter dice. Its fun to combine different dice together. Here he would roll a number dice and a color dice and then count out that many of the color. 
We also like to takes turns rolling a die and see who can get to 20 bears the fastest. 
With dice and counters the possibilities are endless!

Pentaminos/Attribute Blocks/Tangrams

These were all fabulous yard sale finds! Building spacial thinking is so important, not to mention the problem solving skills that kids develop when they learn to try again to figure out how all the pieces fit! We do a lot of these together and I am glad he enjoys it because I love this sort of thing! :)

We talk a lot about shapes when he pulls certain ones out to start building the pictures!
Check online for pictures and shapes cards to laminate and cut out! I found a bunch of freebies that I used at school before I found this set!

Ten Frame Mats

I love ten frames! I think it helps train kids to keep their work organized in a fun and easy way. There are lots of great ten frame activities out there. Alex is already getting the visual of "how many more" to a five or ten and its easy to count the empty squares!


This was born more out of necessity because Alex was constantly asking "How many more days until..." Now he looks at the calendar and can tell that its too more days until Saturday, etc! He loves to add the new date each day, tell me the date, and ask what day of the week it is. He has occasionally come up to me and told me it was a "new day" because of something fun he is anticipating, so of course we have those conversations about how putting up a new date doesn't mean its a new day!! Target occasionally has the little pocket charts, and I had picked up a couple before, and they are perfect for the calendar!

I also sneak in a lot of number talk through the games we play, but I will save that for another post! :) What are some of your favorite numbers activities to do with kids?

Friday, September 11, 2015

Five For Friday

I've been on a little hiatus the last couple weeks, mostly because we have been out of town a lot with family. There has been lots of times I have wanted to write, but it is hard to find the time! But I really do want to get back into the swing of it, so this is a good place to start. 

This post is from a while back, but we had such a sweet beginning to our writing workshop and it has only gotten better! The kids love to write! Click on the picture for a link to the post!

I have one bulletin board in my room to use! It's kind of crazy, but I'm trying to use it as our reference board to help keep track of what we are learning. 

At home we also enjoy some preschool fun! Alex always likes to choose the numbers tub, so we go through it and I make up some games to help us practice counting! :) I plan on writing a full post about some fun numbers activities soon! Target had a fun container of all kinds of dice that I used at school last year, but it has been perfect for activities at home too!

Labor day weekend was spent with my family! We all gathered in Georgia at my parents house to have one last hurrah before we said goodbye to my sister and her family! They flew to the other side of the world to minister to the people there! I am so thankful that we live in the age of iPhones and iMessages because we have been able to stay in contact so easily once she got there! I can't imagine what it was like when my parents took us to Japan when I was two and long distance calls were so expensive! These are all the grandkids minus 2! They didn't have enough swings! :)

This had been on my to do list for a while, but I finally made Alex and Liam a calendar yesterday! I wanted to make one that could fit in the little Target pocket charts! I had seen some calendar pieces at target, but they didn't have all the pieces left! I'm hoping this helps Alex figure out the days of the week a little better and helps cut down on some of the "how many days until..." I need to finish up a could of things but will eventually add it to my TPT store! ;)

Well, there is lots more to share, but hopefully I will start to get into a better routine of posting. The busyness of traveling is slowing down and I am finally caught up on laundry! ;) Be sure to check out what all the other teachers are up to at Kacey's Five for Friday link up!