Monday, May 18, 2015

Last Day of Preschool

Today was the last day of preschool and boy did we have fun!  We played puzzles and practiced graphing, we played outside in the sandbox and the playhouse, sang our songs to be ready for graduation and enjoyed the cool weather.
 What a great group of kids!
 The afternoon kids were building shelters out of tree branches, potions out of leaves and dirt and had a "baby" log they were carrying around and "stealing" from each other.  It was such fun dramatic play!
 We also finished up our assessments and played with puzzles, read stories, worked on graphing and counting to 100.
We had a fun day and I loved sharing our growth with the parents at the end of the day.  Thank you for sharing your kids with me this year!  I love them all!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday's Review and Assessments

I really love this time of year when we get to play and work more one-on-one together.  I LOVE seeing the data of how much these guys have learned!  Over the weekend we had a VERY wet and heavy snowfall (9 inches on Mother's Day!).  Due to that we lost an aspen tree in the back yard.  After seeing how much fun my kids had playing on it we decided to leave it for a while before cutting it up.  It makes the perfect half seesaw just a foot or two off the ground.  There are additional scrapes on kiddos today from their attempts to "climb" it and bounce on it, but boy did they have fun!
 We had the opportunity to release ladybugs in our afternoon class.  Some of the kids really loved playing with them for a bit before they flew off.  Others kept their distance. :).  I shared one of my favorite stories with the kids today: "Click, Clack, Moo Cows that Type".  It is such a fun book and we enjoyed reading it together.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Review and Spring Assessments and Goal Setting

I love this time of year.  I get to take the opportunity to work with each child individually and jot down notes about what they've learned throughout the year.  It is so awesome to see how much they've grown physically and educationally.  We read and play games.  We do a couple assignments that help me take notes about pencil grip and cutting skills.
 Best of all, we compile a folder of all the information with examples of work.  I am getting so excited to show these off to parents next Monday.  It's a wealth of information about what they've worked on and is a great starting point for writing goals for the future.  What a great spring!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

Today was such a busy fun day.  We had tons of fun making our surprises for Mother's Day.  If you're a mom and don't want a sneak peak you shouldn't read any further until after you've opened your gift.

We started the day in story time reading stories about moms and talking about how our moms are different from each other and perfect for each of us.  We talked about all the things they do for us and how grateful we are to them.  Then we headed to the table to make them some special art.  It was a painting fun mess and they turned out SO cute!
 We also worked on our letter Q activity page from the Amazing Action Alphabet and after our art work was done we wrapped our presents for our moms.  It's fun to use tape and wrapping paper in preschool :).  We also chatted about numerals 0-9 in math time.
 This afternoon was so much fun.  We reviewed the sounds of /ch/ and /th/ and introduced /sh/.  I love the Moffatt Girls Digraph Word Work!  Simple pages to work on a variety of skills.  We talked more about digraphs as well as long vowels and reading strategies in our guided reading groups.
 Math was hilarious today.  I don't even have any pictures.  I start the lesson about basic addition and they look at me like I'm crazy.  One kiddo pipes up: "5+5=10 and 10+10=20."  Well, needless to say my 1+1=2 basic intro wasn't quite on the right level so math was over and we'll hop into more interesting math on Monday.  Boy these kids get smart fast!  We also made lovely painting art for our Mother's Day gifts.  Don't scroll down if you don't want to see it :).
And the completed Mother's Day project:
"You are my sunshine"

Monday, May 4, 2015

Quilts, /TH/, and Greater Than/Less Than Alligators

Today was a super awesome day.  It was chalk full of learning and was very energizing.  We learned all about quilts and the letter Q in our morning class.  We read our Q/counting book from the Amazing Action Alphabet and read a book called "A Boy and His Quilt".  I love reading that story because it walks through quilt making from a child's perspective.  I grew up around quilts though my boys have never had that experience I feel like sharing this book helps them a little.  We then made a class quilt with quilt squares that we each colored.
 We worked on what the number zero is and means during math.  We practiced counting numerals on our TouchMath number strips as well.  We also did a shared reading of one of my favorite books, "Rhyming Dust Bunnies".  It is such a fun book and most of the words that I wanted the kids to try and read for me are bold and in red print so it was easy to point them out. Be sure to read it at home and have them read all the parts that they can!
This afternoon we reviewed what /ch/ says and talked about /th/.  Did you know /th/ has a spoken sound (like in "the") and a quiet sound (like in "think")?  Learning to try the two different sounds to determine what the word is can be a bit tricky, but since we already know the word "the" we're already half way there!
 Our guided reading groups explored long vowels and what to do when /ck/ appears in words.  We had a super awesome math lesson where the "alligator wants to eat the biggest number" was explained to start using the signs for greater than and less than.
We had an awesome day of learning!  Keep up the hard work!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I love school outside!

We had a fantastic time outside today.  I love doing school outside and am so glad the weather finally cooperated.  With the new setup of the backyard (new patio and walkway with some new storage furniture pieces) all the kids are completely independent at getting out the toys and tools they want and putting them away.  Yay!  They had tons of fun playing in the sandbox, climbing the climbing wall and "feeding" the horse dandelions. 
 We worked on our letter Z and reading the Amazing Action Alphabet mini reader book.  We're doing excellent at blending those sounds together.  I love that they are self correcting their b's and d's and making their best efforts to read with me!
 This afternoon we had a super awesome lesson about digraphs.  We learned the digraph /ch/ today because it was prominent in our baggy book story.  It is so fun to start teaching slightly more advanced phonics and see the world of reading open up more and more to them.  I love that we had our lesson and then they were able to take their work pages and find a place in the yard to work.  The variety of work spaces was fun.  Who knew 3 girls could fit on that little yellow bench?
 Along with super reading (we practiced using all of our reading strategies) we also worked on counting to 100 by ones and by tens.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Zoo and Guided Reading

This morning we had so much fun learning the letter Z with our Zoo theme.  We had the blow up zoo animals and the animal masks out for some run play.  We read a book called ZooBorns that was super cute, and there were plenty of words that we could read.  Our Amazing Action Alphabet mini book for the letter Z was a fun one to read about a monkey named Liz.
 We practiced our handwriting in our Amazing Action Alphabet handwriting book and even did stamps of zoo animals for art time.  Today we learned the numeral 9 and worked on all the numerals by having our zoo animals jump on the mats the correct number of times.
This afternoon we had an AMAZING guided reading lesson with the whole group based on a book about zoo animals.  We talked about more reading strategies and what we can do when the words are tricky.  We discussed punctuation and practiced using periods, question marks and exclamation marks.  Then we read our books to ourselves utilizing the strategies as we got stuck.  We also worked on a decodable reader and our Ready2Read phonics and sight words sets.  All the kids were super on task and so much fun to read with today that we didn't get to math.  We did, however get writing and art into our reading lessons, so I call it a win!  Great work kiddos!