Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The uncommon calendar

The debate over preschoolers and calendar time is a heated one in the early childhood profession. Traditional calendar time in many preschool classrooms consist of 3 and 4 year olds  reciting the days of the week and months of the year from memory but with no meaningful learning involved.

 I believe calendar time executed with intentional planning  is as important as small group and center time within the course of  a preschool day.  In my classroom we use a deconstructed calendar which consist of a large magnetic oil pan and three 10 frames (since some months have 30 or 31 days).

A deconstructed calendar is a traditional calendar broken into small purposeful parts. It can consist of a number line, 10 frames, or any other way the teacher chooses to illustrate  number knowledge.

Each morning during circle time we add a magnetic circle to the ten frame and then use magnetic numbers to build the number to represent quantity

The month labels are interchangeable, I try to include a symbol next to the month for symbol/word association. The month label is small because it is not the focus of our learning but we do incorporate it because the months are relevant to our school year and our lives (vacations, seasons, birthdays, etc.)

A few intentional math skills we work on during calendar time include:
       1 to 1 correspondence
       Counting objects
       Number recognition
       Concepts of quantity
       How numbers and counting apply to the world around us
       Sets of 10

I am so glad we took cues from our children to reconstruct calendar time to meet the needs of our classroom!

Live to Learn



Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Alphabet Mitten Math Game

Transitions (going from one scheduled activity to another) is the best time for me to sneak some fun learning with my preschool children. We go over letters (name/sound), shapes, colors, rhyming, patterns and just about everything during transitions. I use intentional planning for transition activities, which means it's usually fun for the children but most of the activities are designed to assist me with documenting and recording skills.
Since the holiday break we have increased our focus on letter names and sounds, so I created this simple alphabet game which can be played several ways.
 Alphabet Mitten Game.
Advanced Level
The teacher pass out the mittens letter side only, the teacher then holds up three picture mittens and says " If your letter is the beginning letter in one of these pictures stand up" once the letters and the pictures have been matched then those children can be dismissed from circle to the next activity.

Intermediate Level
   Alphabet Match - Each child has one mitten. The child with the letter mitten says "I have the letter (insert letter name) who has a picture that begins with the letter (inset sound). Both children are dismissed from the circle to the next activity.
Beginning Level
Give out mitten pairs to two children sitting next to each other. Have the pair stand and everyone sings 
"This is the letter (insert letter name), B
the letter (insert name), B
the letter (insert name), B
(insert picture name), Ball begins with B

You can find this game in my TPT Store, click the link and have fun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winter Happenings

The countdown for warmer weather has started for me, but until then I would like to share some of the things we've been up to in January!

First there was a mini unit on bears and hibernation....after reading the book Bear Snores On I created several opportunities within the classroom for the kiddos to bring the book to "life".

Art - Cooperative Project
Final product!

Fine motor- tearing/cutting/gluing white paper for snow

Large motor - painting making bear tracks

Used rolling pin and bubble wrap to make textured bear face

Sensory Table

colored noodles, natural wood pieces,small bears, scoop, faux rocks,
Dramatic Play
Their favorite place... tent covered with brown fitted sheet

                      Check out this new counting product in my  TPT Store
Use for number recognition, one to one correspondence, understanding relationship between numbers and quantity (K.CC.B.4), Count to answer how many (K.CC.B.5),  and writing number 1-20 (K.CC.A.3)

Lots of fun and smiles!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fresh start, new school year

This school year is off to a great start! With a new room arrangement and a new group of children I couldn't be more excited.
Found this at Hobby Lobby
 I decided to go with black and white polka dot curtains and boarder in housekeeping, I found  the material while shopping at IKEA and I followed the directions on Pinterest - how to make no sew curtains.

Changed our center signs to make them fancy by adding a simple boarder.! It's the small things that count!
Enlarged the block area to accommodate 4 busy bodies

And now we are already to go!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Using the environment as the "third" teacher

The big question I often wonder about when using a prescribed box curriculum is how can I stay true to what's developmentally appropriate  for my preschool children while meeting system "standards"?  One way I've found to do this is to extend the curriculum beyond the walls of the classroom. Recently we took a field trip to  Latta Plantation Reserve  and simply walked the 2 miles of nature trails with no agenda but to get some fresh air before our horse back riding adventure.
 We allowed the children to freely explore the nature preserve (the third teacher in this case), the kids initiated conversations about sea shells and why were they on the sand around the lake,

Which animals live near and in the lake? What happens if you throw a rock into the lake, will it sink or float?  How deep is the lake? 
 How do we know if we are going the right way?

What animal made these tracks?
                                                       And which animals live underground?

Of course I documented everything :) to be used as supplemental material for our LAST unit of this school year! 
Let nature be your third teacher and the children be your guide

Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a great book to use for discussions about  the days of the week, healthy vs. unhealthy foods, and life cycles (butterflies). 
This past week we commemorated the 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by creating a rhyming caterpillar inside of our classroom (pics below)

So proud of our Pre-kinders for independently creating and writing  rhyming pairs 

Great Work!! If I do say so my self!

I also added a teacher made VHCP counting book to the math/manipulative center. 
The purpose of this activity is to count with understanding and connect number words /symbols to the objects they represent. 
Common Core objective K.CC.B.4
Check out my TPT page to get a copy!!!

Until next time,

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Green Everything

Yesterday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day in such a great way!!! The kids came running into the classroom because they saw the door decorations from the hall (simple but effective)!
They soon realized that someone (Mr. Leprechaun) turned the water in the sensory table, the hand soap and the milk green!

He even hid shamrocks all over the room! He was so intentional!! :)hehe - pictures were on 10 shamrocks and the other 10 shamrocks contained the beginning letter (sound). Great matching activity!

for a craft activity he left gold noodles for stringing!

Wow, and even after all of his generosity :) we found the pot of GOLD! 
Hugs and Kisses to Mr. L on a job well done!!