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!