Thursday, May 26, 2016

Little Adventures Preschool Graduation 2016

We were so excited about graduation today.  Today is a very special day.  Today we celebrate YOUR children's life and times in preschool!
It's hard for many of you to believe that the time has come for your children...your babies, to be beginning kindergarten, isn't it?  Some of these wonderful children started coming for tot school 4 years ago when they were itty bitty.  I remember kids who would cry and cry, not wanting to be left behind, but quickly finding their way to the sandbox or another fun activity as moms gave their children space to be without them.
The beginning of the school year, whether four years ago or only ten months ago, was a time of building trust with the children...and with you.  It was a time of building relationships together and creating a team with one shared goal: Providing your children with what they needed to develop and grow as preschoolers.  
That trust was built, relationships and a team created.  Language was developed to describe ourselves as learners, readers, bucket fillers, muscle builders, writers, artists, friends and hard workers.  We intentionally tackled challenging concepts and learned how to be successful as a member of a group, a friend and a learner.  We moved through the year - as a team - growing and learning and building a foundation your children will take with them to Kindergarten.
And now, it is very hard for ME to believe your children are leaving me!  You have entrusted the most important thing in your lives to me - your child.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate that trust!  Thank you for sharing your children with me.  Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your family during this time.
I will miss your children more than you know.  But, I will smile through the goodbye tears because I am so grateful to have been a part of their lives and your family during this time.
It's time to say good-bye.
Our class has come to an end.
I've made more cherished memories
And many more friends.

I've watched your children learn and grow
And change from day to day.
I hope that all the things we've done 
Have helped in some small way.

So it's with happy memories
I send them out the door,
With great hope and expectations
For what next year holds in store.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Last Day of Preschool!

We had a great last day of preschool.  We started by writing about our favorite memories of preschool and then sharing them with the class.  After that we practiced for our graduation performance - that will be super cute!
 We enjoyed some time outside and came in when the wind got too yucky.  What a great group of kids!  They've grown so much!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ladybug Release

We had an awesome day of school today.  After our standard reading groups we made bug jars in preparation for catching ladybugs later in the day.  Then we worked on our performances for graduation next week.  They are going to be so much fun!  These kids are a handful of giggles and laughter.  It won't be Broadway, but it will be a preschool performance that makes everyone smile.
 We were able to head outside in the warmer weather (thank goodness) and do our ladybug release.  The local garden store has buckets of 1500 ladybugs for gardens - a perfect experience for kids.  We dumped them out onto the grass, caught some in our bug jars and then got comfortable holding them and letting them climb all over, boy were they tickley! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

I Ain't Gonna Paint No More

 Towards the end of the school year it is so much fun to add a variety of activities that will have lasting memories for the kids.  I think these kids will always remember the day they got to body paint themselves in school :).  We started off our day as usual reading and having story time, even writing in our journals.  Then we read "I Ain't Gonna Paint No More" which I love and the kids seem to love as well.  It goes along to the tune "It Ain't Gonna Rain No More".  It's the story of a naughty little boy who gets his paints taken away and then proceeds to sneak them back and paint all over his body.  It's a fantastic read that encourages rhyming and has great opportunities for conversations about behavior.
 After reading the story we headed upstairs and set up our painting zone.  A big blanket that can easily be tossed into the washing machine is a super plus for this activity.
 Everyone paired up to share a tray of watercolors and we got down to business painting all possible exposed skin.  This type of body art always produces the opportunity for kids to practice art with their non dominant hand, which I love!  They get such a kick out of the different ways they can paint their eyebrows or designs on their legs.  They even talk about their "new nail polish".  The conversations are so silly about how they're "bleeding green blood" or they need to go to the doctor to get stitches for all the spots all over their legs.  It is a super fun and memorable activity.
 Usually I like to have access to the hose to wash kids down after this activity.  Today, however, the weather was poor and we were stuck inside.  Bring on the Costco pack of babywipes :).  A little tip: add water from the faucet to the pack of baby wipes before handing them out.  The extra moisture goes a long way in the initial removal of the paint.  Though the paint washes off fairly well, do expect for skin to be stained a bit for a couple of days - try not to schedule any family photos right after this one!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wrapping Up the Preschool Year

I love this time of year in our reading groups.  After kids finish warm up reading their text at the sofa they come and read to me.  When other kids are done at the same time they get to listen in on the story being read aloud.  It is so fun to have them hear different stories and support each other by listening politely.  We spent our day as usual in reading, writing, math and playing.  I'm wrapping up the end of the year assessments and didn't get nearly enough photos of the kids today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Preschool in May is so much fun.  We have fun playing, reading and being together.  The weather is warmer (most of the time) and we get to be outside.  Lessons start wrapping up and we get to enjoy each other's company and relax.  Everything becomes organized with end of year assessments and goal setting for the summer.  We get to have oodles of fun!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

May Preschool: Using Tape and Building Responsibilities

What a super fun day in preschool today!  We enjoyed reading all of the different books for our reading lessons and then doing a special read aloud story time with "Giraffes Can't Dance".  I've read the story to them before, but was able to get my hands on a copy for each of them so we read it together today.  It is such a cute story and we talked about how what we do can affect another person or animals feeling and we should always try to be respectful and nice.  We also had a ton of fun wrapping our Mother's Day presents.  I LOVE letting preschoolers use tape.  It's a relatively tricky thing to do and they LOVE to use it (in bulk amounts even) to wrap their own presents.  Today was the first day of one-on-one assessments where I sit with kids individually to compile a folder of everything they learned in preschool for the end of the year.  While I work one-on-one with kids the others get to enjoy playing outside.  These kids have really bonded and play so well together!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Helping build hard working kids!

Spring has finally sprung!  We're in a great rhythm with our reading, writing and math lessons and we get to spend some wonderful time outside learning and growing!  Today we talking about being a person who cares for other people and things.  We can show that we care by helping, listening, and being a friend.  We can show that we care to people, animals, and even things by being respectful to them.  The kids all had tons of stories of helping their mom unload the dishwasher or their dad do yard work.  Helping and doing chores around the house helps build hard working kids, so keep up the good work at home!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Preschool B April 28

With gloomy weather we had a slow start to preschool today.  It felt like we were all a little sluggish, so after our reading time we turned up the music and turned on the dance moves. We had so much fun that working through our subtraction lesson and writing in our journals was a snap and we had extra time to play (something I know these kids miss from their tot school play all day days).  Heading into May we'll have more opportunity for play as we talk about sharing the planet along with peace and conflict resolution.  Just one month of school left before summer break, can you believe how much we have learned already?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We had so much fun today reading, writing and talking about pigs.  Hehe :) Yes, pigs.  We talked all about subtraction within 5 using pigs as our characters.  

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Preschool Learning 4-21

What an awesome day of school!  I love it when we start fresh on a new set of reading books with kids and they are super excited about them.  Two groups started fairy tale and folk tale stories today and it was so fun to read with them.  As we read we're talking about the title, author, characters, setting and we do a book summary at the end.  They are really getting great at responding to the books!

After story time we spent time writing in our journals and sharing our work with the class.  The rest of the day was spent focusing on addition within 5.  We're still working on all the ways to make 5 and the language that goes along with addition.  It was a super day of learning!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Brain Pain - The Real Struggle of Learning

We broke our brains!  We revisited how it is hard to learn new things and when your muscles are tired that is when they are growing.  The same it true for your brain when you get tired and something is hard that is when your brain is growing the most.  Needless to say - the rest of the class was spent talking about how everyone had a broken brain.  They were ultimately showing off that they had learned so much in school today :).
 We had such a fun time talking about rhyming words today with a book called Mouse Makes Words.  If you read it at home be sure to encourage your kiddo to make more rhymes with each word family than what are just listed in the book.  Rhyming words is a very important skill to have as we master language and reading.  I added a couple of pictures of our movement time today.  Movement pictures are the hardest to share because you can't see the "work" the kids are doing.  We were "napping" at the beginning of the 5 Little Monkeys song and then we were jumping up and down for the rest of the song.
We continued working on addition within 5 in our math time today.  We're starting to fully grasp the idea of two addends making a whole number, yay!  They were certainly hard workers all day long, growing their brains!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Pete the Cat - A lesson for Reading and Math in Preschool

Nonsense words are so much fun with preschool kids.  They love the silliness with each word.  We have started our reading warm up with a list of nonsense words the last couple of days.  These CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words help kids to blend sounds together and improve their fluency.  We worked through our regular reading lessons afterwards and then had a group-reading at story time.  We read the book "Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons".  It's a fun whimsical book and it introduces the idea of subtraction - perfect for our lessons today.
 After reading the book together we headed off to write in our journals about it.  It wasn't hard to write a lot since they loved the story so much.  I was so proud of them and they loved sharing their work with their classmates.
After writing we reviewed the addition (plus) sign, equal sign, and the vocabulary that goes with basic addition.  We're working on the concept of equal meaning the same - so both sides of the equal sign have to have the same quantity.  We're using big vocabulary like "equation" and "number sentence" and talking about addition problems as story problems. We have made great strides with this building block in our math education!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Art Galore in Preschool

We had such a fun day in preschool today.  Just as a !!!!WARNING!!!! if you are a parent and are super fond of surprises you'll want to skip this post as it's a spoiler alert for art gifts that will be coming your way later in the year.  They just turned out so super cute that I had to share the pictures of our work today.

We had a full day of preschool today and the kids were SUPER excited about it.  After our unprecedented 6 missed days of school due to snow we scheduled a full day starting right after breakfast and running through our regular school time.  It was wonderful to have the extra time to play and create that usually makes us run out of time so quickly.  Plus the kids were really excited about having snack and lunch together. 
 After we did our reading lessons as usual in the school room we headed to the kitchen to get messy.  We did a handprint painting craft that will become our Mother's Day gift in May.  I love how the kids can really make it their own and be in charge of adding the extra details at this age.  In the past I've added the extra pieces for them after they've done their handprints or footprints.  Now they are big enough to make it entirely on their own and they show so much character.  They turned out so cute!  After doing our directed art activity they were given the opportunity to paint whatever they would like on a large piece of paper.  I believe that painting is an activity that should be done more often and find myself sad that we run out of time and don't get to paint as often as I'd like.
 After some wiggle time outside while I changed the scene at the table from one project to another we got started on our second art project of the day.  I was slightly nervous having never used water color crayons on canvas with preschoolers before and I wasn't sure how it would turn out.  Their art pieces turned out phenomenal!  They were given a canvas with a "Wild Thing" outline on it.  We worked together coloring in one section of the image at a time. These kids have grown so much from their toddler scribbles years ago to making designs on their Wild Things today. After coloring the whole image we pulled out the watercolor brushes and water.  Once again I directed each step of the way.  We talked about the importance of rinsing your brush, not using too much water but using enough to turn the crayons into paint.  It was a wonderful experience and the colors turned out so bright, they really came to life!  These projects will be part of our "Where the Wild Things Are" graduation celebration at the end of May.
 After lunch (super fun!) and some time to play outside again we headed downstairs for writing and math.  Kids were encouraged to write about their favorite part of the school day so far.  Many of them wrote about painting and many of them wrote about playing outside.
 The very basic addition within 5 lesson today was super crucial but we may have been rather brain dead by this point in the day, so I think I'll revisit it on Thursday.  We talked about how the little "t" (+) is called the "plus" or "addition" sign and that means that we are putting two groups together.  We also talked about how the equal sign means that the numbers or objects on one side have to be exactly the same as the numbers or objects on the other side.  We used blocks with our work pages to try and solidify the concepts of putting 1 block on a 2 block and it's the same size as a 3 block.  We'll keep working on this on Thursday :).

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Addition to 5 in Preschool

Today there was so much learning happening!  We enjoyed reading from the classroom library after warming up with our guided reading books and then we headed outside to work on our book reports.  
We spent the majority of the day engaged in our math lesson about number bonds (also known as fact families).  We're working on numbers up to 5 and started very basic addition today.  We played with little farm animal counters and multiple small white boards as different ways to set up addition problems.  I am so bummed I didn't get any good pictures of that activity - it was so hands on that I didn't seem to stop for a moment to document it.  After playing with all the counters we completed a fun under the sea addition to 5 booklet.  Kids learned the word "equation" and when they read the book to you at home please ask them to read you the equation on each page.  Utilizing the true vocabulary helps them understand from the beginning what they're working with.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Happy April!

I am so excited that it is April!  It's finally warm enough that we get to do a little bit of school outside.  The weather today was super silly though.  It was cloudy and then sunny and then super windy.  We put the umbrella up and down and up again.  We were able to work on our book reports and our math lesson outside before coming in for writing and story time.
 Now that it is April we are working on a new math unit: Counting, Adding, and Subtracting within 5.  It doesn't seem like much, but the very basic number bonds/fact families are so important to understand that we spend a whole month talking about the numbers up to 5 before moving up to 10.  Today we had some free play time with our stack-able cuisenaire rods.  They have different colored blocks that represent different quantities (units are white, sets of two are a pink/red) and the sets of multiple numbers don't break apart.  After some free play, tower and rocket building, we attempted to make equal size rods from different blocks.  If we had a yellow 5 block we could make an equal size block with a 2 and a 3 block, or 5 units, or a 4 and a 1 block, etc.
When we headed inside we wrote about how crazy the weather was during our class today and then shared our work with each other.  We also had a super fun story time, a dance break, and then a little free play with the blocks at the end of the day.  It was a great kick off to April!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Finishing up our Writing and Comparing Numbers Unit

We went entirely backwards from our usual schedule today with the hope of finishing our comparing numbers unit for the end of the month.  We were successful, yay!  We worked through comparing numbers up to 20 with the terms "greater than" "less than" and "equal to".  I still use lots of words to make sure the vocabulary is sticking.  For example, I say something like, "Which is greater, 13 or 15?  Which number is the biggest number?"  Remember that in preschool we're aiming for an introduction to topics, not mastery.  They have years to master this stuff.
In our story time we read "Alice the Fairy" and I was so excited that one of the kids piped up immediately and said that Alice looks like David!  This was exciting because David Shannon is the author and illustrator of both books and I was able to share how the author can write lots of different things.  We discussed all the parts of the book (cover with title and author, title page) and did a full retell of the story as a group when we were done.  They then got to write and draw about their favorite part.  Just a peek into what that was: for the most part preschoolers LOVE when she turns her bathwater into strawberry Jello.  We then finished up our day with some guided reading lessons and book reports.  It was super successful!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Writing for Reading and Retelling

Today was a snow make up day in preschool.  We had fun with so many different activities in our reading lessons.  We reviewed reading books from yesterday, read new books, and completed new book report forms (everyone is doing book reports now - yay).  The book reports we do vary in requirements.  Today we wrote a sentence about our favorite part of the book and then drew a picture from the story.  After our individual reading lessons we had story time.  Today's story was Caps For Sale.  The kids did a fantastic job making connections and sharing their guesses for what was going to happen in the story.  They had so many great ideas.  We then turned to our journals to write about the story.  I encouraged them to draw and write about their favorite part but left it open for kids to write about any aspect of the story that was interesting to them.  They were so focused and so excited to share their writing with the whole class.  We continued talking about greater than and less than in math today.  We used a page that had two flowers and a different number of seeds in the middle of each flower.  We counted the seeds and talked about which flower had a greater number or the least number of seeds and colored it accordingly. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Purposeful Writing in Preschool

We had a fantastic afternoon in preschool today.  We worked through our reading, danced like crazy, reminded our brains how to draw numerals, and had the opportunity for some truly purposeful writing.
 Last week we missed two days of preschool because of the blizzard that hit Colorado.  Today was our first day back and when reminded of the storm everyone had a story to tell.  I was super excited to see how they could tell their stories in their journals.  We worked together at times to stretch words and think of how to write our ideas in a sentence.  Then afterwards we got to share with the whole group (the sharing time is so important for kids!).
 I was super impressed with everyone's effort to write and draw their memories, I just had to share them all!  When there is writing that has enough focus (assign a topic) and has tons of excitement behind it everyone is successful in putting their thoughts on paper.  Some writers are writing multiple sentences, others are writing one clear sentence, others have lots of ideas and bounce around a bit writing their thoughts in letters, and others have fantastic stories to tell the group verbally.  Everyone did such a fantastic job, I couldn't be prouder of them!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Preschool in the Spring

Today we explored numbers that are greater than 12, less than 12 and equal to 12.  This was our first step in comparing numbers up to 20 with the greater than, less than, and equal to symbols. As we work on writing and comparing numbers for the rest of the month we'll be using this vocabulary as well as the written symbols.

In wrapping up a few reading sets today I'm excited to move each group forward this week.  In the spring in preschool we begin to read stories that have more content, therefore we can work on comprehension of text.  We've spent a lot of time in the very beginning stages of reading (sounding out CVC words, learning about sight words, learning digraphs like /sh/ and /th/) and now we're ready to move into reading for meaning - a much more fun type of reading.  So, though it takes a long time to learn to read we are making progress and having fun!
I love how these little learners are continuing to progress in their writing.  They are thinking about the sounds in words they want to write and what letter they should put on the page to represent that sound.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Today in preschool we read a handful of St. Patrick's Day books.  Many of them were silly and about the fun things about the holiday.  One book was about St. Patrick and how he was a good person that helped people in Ireland.  We practiced our reading and wrote all about St. Patrick's Day in our journals.  Our St. Patrick's Day party included a super successful greater than/less than/equal to packet of St. Patrick's Day themed pictures.  There was cutting and gluing and coloring with green galore!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Greater Than Symbol and Writing Our Numbers

Sometimes I just don't have something super exciting to share about a particular lesson.  Today the kids were a delight to work with and they worked really hard in their reading lessons.  Keep practicing at home!
 This afternoon we re-watched the Number Gators video and utilized the song while we played with the large TouchMath Number Mats.  We used the number mats for a while with the printable of the alligator and then talked about how we won't always have the alligator eyes and teeth in the picture, but that the sign that looks like a "V" is the same thing.  As a whole group we played with the greater than and less than sign and two numbers.  Now we were able to rotate the sign rather than pick a completely different number gator.  After some practice with the whole group we made groups of 2 and each team was given two numbers and the greater-than symbol.  They had to put the symbol in the middle of the two numbers pointing the right direction and explain to the whole class what they did and why.  This activity was super effective and everyone was successful putting the sign the correct way.
 After playing with the number mats we moved into learning to write our numbers.  Much like the handwriting letters lessons we went through each number one at a time learning the strokes that the pencil should make.  We didn't have enough time to fully wrap up the lesson (though we did get from 0-9) so we'll start right where we left off on Thursday.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Number Gators, a Preschool Introduction to Greater Than and Less Than

We had a wonderful extra day of preschool today (still making up for so many snow days).  One of the things I love to do when teaching reading is to utilize highlighter tape.  Right now we are using it heavily to point out where long vowels are in words and where we need to use our strategy called "puzzle" to find parts of words we know or can already sound out (including digraphs like 'th' and word families like 'ing'). (See pg 25 of this free download for the reading strategies we use after we learn all the letter sounds.)
 Today was the introduction of our new math unit: Writing and Comparing Numbers.  We didn't do any writing of numbers today but had our fun preschool introduction to greater than and less than.  We learned the end of this Number Gators song and played with these free printables and our kitchen items to determine which alligator would eat which pile of food.  It was a great way to introduce greater than, less than, and equal to.  I also switch the words back and forth also using "bigger than", "smaller than" and "the same as" to scaffold the vocabulary learning.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

"That's a sentence! Awesome Job!"

I think the greatest line from a kid today was during writing time.  One child read to another what he had written in his journal.  The second child responded, "That's a sentence! Awesome Job!"  It was so cute and funny and awesome at the same time.  Kids can soak up so much information and then turn around and use it appropriately.
Today we spent a lot of time building two digit numbers on our decimal street mats.  We talked about how each numeral in the number represents the quantity of items in each house (ultimately: place value).  I think we've finally made the connection.  We can now read numbers like 53 as 5 tens and 3 units.  It will still require work and is a concept not expected to be mastered until kindergarten, but we have a great foundation in understanding place value.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Place Value Safari - We finished a game!

What great work today on our reading!  We zoomed right through our lessons, really in a groove of the routine and the new excitement over picking books from the library when lessons are finished.  These kids are making great progress and are challenging themselves!  We read "Giraffes Can't Dance" and then had a little dance break of our own.  The part all the kids were most excited for was playing Place Value Safari again.  It took us 40 minutes to complete the game and I was super impressed how ALL the kids (keep in mind they are 4 and 5 year olds) STAYED focused the ENTIRE time.  They were so excited to "win" by getting to 100.  They were paired up in teams and I got to see them encouraging each other and helping each other count units and make sure they had 10 to trade for a stick of ten.  They naturally had conversations about how many they had on their board, and how many other teams had.  They talked about how many more each team needed to trade for another stick of ten and how many more tens they needed to get to 100.  This natural talk is amazing for math development and structures itself nicely to all the different levels of understanding each child has.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Preschool 3-7-16

During the month of March we have 4 extra preschool days, one each week.  This helps us make up for time lost due to snow days.  I am so excited for the little extra push we'll get to achieve our next goals and push a little harder.  We spent the majority of our time working on our reading today.  After each child completed their lesson for the day they were able to take advantage of the library on their own for the first time.  It was so much fun to teach them how to look through a certain shelf of books, pick one that looks interesting, take it to the sofa to read or look through, and then return to the bookshelf in the correct spot to pick another book.  There was so much giggling as kids found books that were fun and entertaining to them. They talked among each other asking about words and characters in the stories they had picked up.  I hope to continue this activity each day after reading lessons to ensure every minute is used wisely and instill a love of books.  I then read to the kids "Rhyming Dust Bunnies".  Most kids have a copy at home from the last school year so they know the story well. If you haven't seen it before I HIGHLY recommend it.  It helps us work on our rhyming and is super silly.  We took a leap off of our read aloud and looked for very silly writing in our journals afterwards.  The kids were super excited to draw dust bunnies and write funny words.  They were funny to the 4 and 5 year olds and I'm certain adults wouldn't quite get the humor.  We had one student write "bode bode bode" (body, body, body) and she thought it was the most hilarious thing on the planet.  Another one had a full conversation with "Bob" (a dust bunny) and his writing represented the things Bob replied to him.  It was super fun and silly and encouraged much more writing than I see when I say "Write about whatever you'd like".
We're still working on tens and units so today I pulled out "Place Value Safari".  It's a board game that we aren't actually ready for the real rules to, but with a little modification we had fun and practiced trading in 10 units for a stick of ten.  We simply rolled a d6, took that many units, placed them on our 100 frame, and if we had reached a line of 10 units with what we rolled we exchanged 10 units for a stick of ten.  Super simple and could be easily replicated at home.  Though simple, the kids were fully engaged and we even went over our scheduled time together before I noticed that I had to go let the moms in.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Challenge: Grow Your Brain by Taking On New Challenges

Now that we know all 5 vowels we can start talking about how they work together.  Did you know that vowels are super heroes?  When they work together the second vowel (either right next to, or one letter away from, another vowel) can make the first vowel say its name rather than its short sound?  Then the super hero vowel that helped is too tired to say any more sounds.  Today we spent plenty of time reviewing our sight words and talking about CVCe words on the SmartBoard.  CVCe= Consonant, Vowel, Consonant, e.  Then we split into groups and learned about our new word family the -ake family, practiced our sight words, read stories, and wrote/drew book reports. With some extra work on trying to write long vowel words we then moved into place value talking about tens and units on Decimal Street.  It was a super busy day of learning!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Vowels are Super Heroes

I love my job.  Today in preschool we continued working on our reading lessons for each group.  It was appropriate for all kids to participate in a fun extension lesson about vowels.  Some kids have already learned them, some have had it introduced, and some hadn't heard the word vowels before.  We all did the same lesson together.  I talked about how there are 26 letters in the alphabet.  We sang the alphabet together.  Then I asked kids to hold up one hand.  Those 5 fingers represent 5 super hero letters called vowels.  They are super special letters.  In order to learn how to use them in words we have to remember which ones they are.  The vowels are A E I O U.  I wrote one letter on each of my finger nails.  Then, as I pointed to each finger, I sang the song: "A E I O U, I can learn my vowels too. A E I O U, it is fun for me and you!"  I let kids pick if they would like the vowels written on their fingernails as well or not.  Many chose to have them written on, then we sang the song over and over together.  Remembering that there are 5 super letters called vowels and what letters they are is the first step in mastering their unique uses in our reading. 
I love that after our reading so many of the kids decided to spend their writing time drawing their hand, the vowels and writing about learning the vowels today.  It was a great reinforcement lesson to hear them share their writing with the whole group!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

The best kind of movement break in preschool:
Today was spent on individual reading groups.  It is so fun to watch these kids learn and master new sight words and phonics concepts.  We added to our writing journals and spent the rest of the time talking about Decimal Street.  Today I really focused on how when we look at a number we need to "see" the "units house" and the "tens" house.  We're tying to make the connection between the written number and the base ten blocks.  Think of the number 16.  You know that if you were to make the number with base 10 blocks you'd have 6 units and 1 stick of ten.  That is what we're aiming for - we're not there yet, but we'll keep working on it until we can build numbers to 99!