What a great day of review today! We had lots of fun in preschool doing many art projects and practicing concepts we've already learned. We made do-a-dot turkeys as everyone arrived. Painted with shaving cream all over the table and danced to get our wiggles out.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
We had a very interesting day in school. It seemed that I spent most of the time running around helping kids with their individual 3 year old type needs and didn't spend enough time teaching. Nonetheless we had a great day talking about Animals in Winter. We talked about how the weather is changing and now it's cold outside. We talked about all the animals that live outside and not in our warm houses. What do they do during the winter? They either hibernate, migrate, or adapt! We had lots of fun playing with the animal toys and our blanket den, reading "The Mitten" and acting out the explosion out of the mitten, and drawing winter animals in our notebooks. We even added a little glitter snow!
This afternoon we had a lot of fun breaking into reading groups and working on our puzzles. At this moment I'm able to work with all kids in 2 groups making management and engagement much easier. The first group were rock stars right off the bat. They were working on blending an initial consonant and vowel a or i. We really focused on reading it the first time by blending the first sound into the second. Another way to phrase that is to "not stop the first sound until your mouth is making the second sound." It seemed to click. I'm trying to get them to jump from sounding them out separately to sounding them out as a chunk, which will help them in their future reading.
We combined art and math today since reading went so long. Today we decided we were a jewelry shop designing necklaces. Our customers wanted all different types of necklaces but they wanted them all to be in patterns. We played around with adding a third color so we could do ABCABC patterns and all the variations that come with that. They did as many patterned necklaces on their pages as they could before their parents arrived for them. I thought they did quite well and it was tons of fun!
Monday, November 17, 2014
In preschool this morning we introduced the letter P with a "Play Ball!" theme. We had tons of fun playing with different types of sports balls and talking about our favorite sport to play. We used the foot print words under contact paper to play our reading ball game. Everyone got a ball at the beginning, read the letter or word of each step they would step on and then shot a basket at the end. They seemed to love it. We talked about P the Pelican popping popcorn from the Amazing Action Alphabet and glued popcorn onto the activity page.
This afternoon we had some fantastic reading lessons. We practiced our nonsense words and sounds to warm up and then dove into some hard core reading. We worked on the strategies readers should use when they get to a word they don't know. There are 8 strategies in my February Dr. Seuss Preschool pack that we covered. We'll continue referencing them as we're reading more difficult text. We also talked about giving a 5 finger retell (1. Characters 2. Setting 3. Beginning 4. Middle 5. End).
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
This morning we had such a blast with the Scarecrows theme. We started the day with decorating our own flippy floppy scarecrow hats. Then we read and sang songs about scarecrows. We practiced reading with the letter L and had so much fun making dancing scarecrows.
Monday, November 10, 2014
We had a fantastic lesson about Thanksgiving today. We made a giant list of the things we are thankful for. I was so proud of them for listing things like: family, books, friends, hugs, houses, someone even said "life". What a fantastic group of kids! We learned the letter L the Lizard and practiced making the /l/ sound. It's such a tricky sound to make! We continued working on "Guess My Secret Rule", this time with the silverware drawer. The idea of the game is much like the Sesame Street game "One of these things is not like the others". There are 3 items that match and one that is different. The children are to identify which is different and why (such as it is bigger than the rest, it's a different color, it's a fork not a spoon). The game is actually REALLY hard and we're struggling with understanding the concept. So... please pull out your own silverware draw, line up 4 objects (3 the same and 1 different) and ask your child which one is different and why. Play it every day!
Preschool B had a blast talking about snow. It was fun to read all sorts of books about snow and discuss the weather and then see that it was starting to snow outside! We worked hard in our reading groups mastering the letter F and working on the Moffatt Girls Ready2Read program. We moved to ABB patterns in math and they picked up the concept right away!
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
NOTE: This theme is meant as an introduction to Native Americans and Pilgrims. I have intentionally used the word Indian to introduce the letter I. Indian, however, is not an accurate description of Native Americans. For more information please see this link. There are also many different tribes of Native Americans that have very different traditions. Though the Pilgrims were in contact with the Wampanoag, this theme introduces ideas from many different tribes.
In the afternoon we started our day out with the corn (it was out already and cleaning it up after didn't seem so daunting to me with such great helpers). They LOVED playing with the corn. It was "popcorn" and "ice cream" and "for sale". The creativity was awesome! We had our regular reading lessons working within our small reading groups to master the skills appropriate.
We had great fun this morning as everyone came in they colored their I headband from the Moffatt Girls. We added feathers behind the I for a headdress and a Pilgrim style hat on the back side so they could decide what side to have in front. We listened to Native American Round Dance music while we made our headbands and while we read stories about the Pilgrims and Indians. Next we moved into reading. We practiced the letter Ii on the SMARTboard and each child took a turn tracing the letters while we all said, "/i/"!
I took a video of our reading lesson this morning. Because of the blog restrictions I had to split it into 3 videos (a total of 15 minutes in length). It may be helpful to watch through them to see how we do our shared reading lesson together. The way I read through books (even one-on-one with beginning readers) is to sound out each word and then go back and fluently reread the sentence. I'd highly encourage you to do this at home. The beginning reader books that we use throughout the whole year come from The Amazing Action Alphabet.
Monday, November 3, 2014
What a great day of learning! In our morning class we talked all about Insects and the letter I. We learned the sight words "I" and "my" and did some great hand print art from the Amazing Action Alphabet Activity Book. We spent lots of time in small groups today really working on learning our letters and sounds and blending the letters to make words. Remember to reference the blending video found here to help you with reading at home. We also got to pull out the rhythm sticks to start our month long study of rhythm in music. Boy did we love that!
Our afternoon class started off with a bang reading, "Pete the Cat, Play Ball!" It's impressive how many of these kids (3 and 4 year olds) can read SO MUCH of this book already by themselves. We learned the sight word "ball" and the letter p today. Continue your work at home reading the mini readers every day and add to it the Pete the Cat book. Remember to read the big words and encourage them to read the highlighted words that they've been working on (we highlight the appropriate words with highlighter tape in class).