Thursday, August 30, 2012

Manners - Tot School Thursday

Tot school was so much fun this morning!  We talked all about manners and how special we are.  The kid immediately loved exploring the nesting cups, measuring cups, and drinking cups that were set out for them to play with.
 We also loved this big new ball that EMan got for his birthday last weekend.  It is certainly a hit!
 Art time was really interesting today.  All the kids who didn't come to our tot school summer session were very leery of putting on the paint smocks.  In fact, two kids ran from me when I held it up for them :) After the old tot school pros put them on and started playing with the stamp pads the other kids were willing to put on the smocks in order to play with the ink pads.
 We stamped with shape stamps...
 ...and made these adorable hand prints!
 Snack time was a lot of fun with cucumbers, tomatoes and peppers all from the garden.  Yum!
We made these "I am Special" bracelets and everyone loved them for about 10 minutes, then I was handed them one by one as the kids moved on to other things :)
Story time was so cute because everyone wanted to read a book.  I was handing out books left and right.  While I read a story they were all mimicking me, so fun!

The chalkboard was certainly in need of some drawing since the sprinklers had washed away all previous art work.  Look at those great lines!

We sang and read and traced the letter M today.  Mmmmmmm!
Lil'GuyJ loved stacking these cups all day long!
We had a great day of learning!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Preschool Manners

Preschool Manners was so much fun to teach today.  Our letter of the week continues to be letter M.  We started the day off by making these awesome headbands from the Moffatt Girls. They feature the letter M with 3 different initial m images (mouse, monkey, money).
 We read a few different manners books and the kids each held up a happy face sign if the character was doing something that made them feel happy or a sad face sign if they were doing something that made them feel sad.  Check out the manners preschool printable for these printables and more!
 I was so excited to introduce our first reading book to Preschool A today.  It is such an exciting day to show kids the very beginning steps of reading.  It is very important to point to every letter that you are sounding out.  It's also important to make the sound of the letter and not say the letter name when you are trying to read a word.  The M book from the Amazing Action Alphabet only has the letter M in it.  So we point to each M and say /m/.  It is a great slow start to some key skills of reading.  If you haven't checked out their beginning readers yet I'd highly recomend them.
 After reading the book in its super large version on the SmartBoard together each boy got their own reading book.  (Yes, we had only boys today.  One gal is out of town for the first 3 weeks of school, and the other was out sick today, insert sad face here.)
 These foam fingers are a great way to introduce pointing to each letter that you're reading.  Something about oversizing what you're doing makes it really stick out as an important skill to do each time you open a book.
 For art today we did the M the Moose artwork from the Amazing Action Alphabet.
 We also made a manners photography book.  JN and OB were so polite when they were done with their coloring that they had the opportunity to be the photographers for this activity.  The other three boys were the actors.  They had to act out different manners for our the book that we were making.  It turned out very cute.  There is a template in the Preschool Manners Pack.

 We learned the song and a few signs to "Magic Words" from Signing Time. Head on over to a preview of the video and have your child sing along to you.
 We worked on "Equal" means "The Same" in math today.  We are working on making equal sets of objects.  This photo shows a page from the Touch Math PreK curriculum.  The fingers showed how many objects someone wanted and we had to color in an equal set.
Our afternoon preschool is such a new format that I'm still getting used to it, but the kids are loving it.  We start our day planning which order we'll do things.  Today RS jumped right in and organized our day, she even remembered that snack has to come second to last.  CF wanted to make one change to the agenda and everyone agreed that it looked great.  They decided so quickly, it was great!  Our first order of buisness: Music.  They had decided that dancing and playing rhythm sticks would be the best for today.  Jam pack the next 5 minutes with motion galore! 
 We worked more on word families today.  We've been working on the word family -at since Monday last week.  Today I introduced the word family -an.  We can tap out the sounds and read already!  We've also worked on the first 5 sight words: a, I, and, the, see.
 We continue to use the Moffatt Girls Ready2Read level one to work on our word families and sight words.
 A couple of the kids in preschool B didn't get the chance to come last year and will be doing the Amazing Action Alphabet Begining Reader Books for the first half of the year.  They are picking up the idea of reading quickly and are reading quality books that are meeting their needs.
CJ and AT have gone through the whole Amazing Action Alphabet book series and are working more exclusively on books that feature our word families. Last week they were reading the Now I'm Reading Level 1 Book 1 and today we started reading book 2 of the Bob Books Set 1.  (We read book 1 as a review in our reading group time, but they read that last spring)  I got a couple of copies of the Bob books in the large size from Costco for a great deal, if you're planning on working with your child on reading at home I'd highly suggest to purchase them there.
 Matching words to their pictures from Ready2Read.
 Art today was watercolor painting.  We had EMan and AT's little sister join us during art time (EMan had just woken up from nap and little sister gets to hang at my house with mom during preschool time).  After painting we got out the markers to write about our drawings.  Earlier in the day we had a writing time where we talked about the lines on lined paper and how the capital letters reach the top and the lowercase letters just go between the middle line and the bottom line.  This concept transfered over to their art writing as I saw them start to explore the writing lines a little more purposefully.
 We talked about more, less and equal today in math.  We might need to touch on this a little bit more next week before we move on to ordinal numbers.
 We finally got to make and eat our carrot fries today!
 Since we had snack late (due to the baking time) we had about 5 minutes of extra time before pick up.  It wasn't worth pulling out another activity, so the train set came out for some exploration.  We had a lot of great learning time today and I look forward to watching these kids grow and learn this year!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Manners - Tuesday Tot School

The second week of Tuesday Tot School was a success.  It was awfully quiet since two of our Lil'Gals weren't able to come, but we certainly had a whole lot of fun!  We started off the day by playing with shape stamps and ink pads.

 Our theme was manners.  Download the tot pack about manners here. We pulled out the baby dolls to practice our manners with them.  Watching the kids play with the dolls was interesting.  We named parts of the face and put on and off diapers galore!
 We did a super cute hand print craft in their journals.  You'll get a copy of the poem in the printable, and for those of you with kids in my group you'll get to have their journals at the end of the year as a documentation of their growth and learning.
 I love how Lil'GalE was so intrigued by the ink pad.  She had mastered the stamps, but hadn't realized that she could put her hands in it.  Once we did the hand prints she was excited to keep making more hand prints.
 The sandbox is always a hit in tot school.  I believe they were collectively making a sand cake :)
 We continued our discussion of volume and we loved playing with the maracas!

 Some first handwriting practice! (also known as scribbling)
 Snack time was tomatoes and steamed zucchini. 
 We ended the day by reading stories about manners and playing with the tot packs.  We sang songs and explored setting the table and using our manners sign language.  It was a lot of fun!

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Am Special

Today started a delightful second week of school. Our theme was "I Am Special".  Be sure to scroll down for pictures of our afternoon class about teamwork as well.

After singing our welcome song and reading a book about how special we are we made a class apple tree.  Each person got an apple to write their name on and something about why they are special.  We had answers from, "I am special because I like to read books and play in the sand." to "I am special because I make my mom and dad happy and I make them laugh."  They were super great answers!  I'll leave the tree up for a few weeks and then send apples home.  Click on the picture for a larger size so you can read the answers.
We learned our first letter today.  The letter of the week is M.  We read the story about M the Moose and listened to the song.  Next, I passed out magnifying glasses so all the little detectives in our room could find the letter M.  Here are a few finds: 

 I love having a SMARTBoard in my classroom.  I know it isn't feasible for everyone to have one, which is why all my lesson plans are printables.  We were able to trace the letter M digitally with our fingers or the with a tennis ball.  It was a great first lesson about tracing versus scribbling.

 Art today was a look at how special everyone is.  We traced our names and made fingerprints and hand prints.
We took our artwork back downstairs to use the magnifying glasses to check out our fingerprints and compare them to our neighbors fingerprints.  Everyone has different fingerprints!

 Math was exciting as we talked about the quantity of 3.  I used an Ikea toy basket and some beanbags and each person got a chance to throw the correct number of beanbags into the baskets. 
 Music time was all about volume.  We played some stop and go dancing and sang songs really loudly and very quietly.  Kids also had their first chance to explore hand bells.

Preschool B was super quiet today since two of our kids couldn't make it.   We started the day by coloring our watches from The Moffatt Girls.  Today's sight word of the day is "see".  Our topic of the day was Teamwork.  We talked about what a team is and how a team helps each other. 
 We reinforced the letter M and the letter B.
 We continue improving our reading skills by pointing at the words we're reading and tapping out the sounds with our fingers.
 We're also reading books with the sight words we've been working on.
 Today we had a mini writing lesson about how to hold a writing tool and how to trace.
 For music today the kids decided that they wanted to play all of the instruments!

 Art was a bundle of fun exploration.  I have a bunch of art cards that we lay out and together we pick what we'd like to use during art time.  Today we ended up with scissors, glue, foam paper, construction paper, Do-A-Dot markers, glitter and play-dough.

 For snack time we decided to hold off on carrot fries (the gal who requested them last week was gone today).  Instead we made pink lemonade and had raw carrots.

Math time was all about equal quantities and I left my camera upstairs so I didn't get any pictures of it :(.  It was a great day of school!  If you're following along at home please drop me a line in the comments section and let me know your thoughts!