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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Couldn't put Humpty together again... we can!!

Each week we do a different nursery rhyme in our PreKindergarten classroom!  The other week we learned "Humpty Dumpty."  My kids really loved this nursery rhyme and we really had a lot of fun with it!  
So here's what we did...

Each day, we reviewed the rhyme on the easel with retelling cards from sparkle box
(Click the link to go to the site to print your copy!)

Notice the big handmade Humpty?  We use him later... it was important for him to be present each day, you'll see why in a few...

Next, in centers we did some directional art, and each student made their own Humpty Dumpty to take home (after we displayed them in the hall of course!)  
Here's how they turned out!

They were super easy to make and my kids really loved making predictions about which piece went to which part of their Humpty!  Here's how we did it...
We used the words from kizclub, which we also got different retelling pieces from, that are not pictured here.  I use this site all the time, even when I taught 2nd grade.  My kids love retelling and sequencing stories after they have read them.  I would usually put these pieces on magnets and let the kids use my file cabinet or my desk to retell their favorite story........ 
but for prek, we just used them in whole group, and some used them in centers.  

Now back to that Humpty I made for whole group... Remember him? Here he is!!

Well he was very helpful Monday through Thursday when we would review the rhyme, but for some reason, on Friday, only one piece of him was there??!!! There was a big problem in room A-11... Humpty Dumpty had a great fall Thursday night while we were gone!!  But the worse part was, we didn't have all the pieces to put him back together!!  Luckily, Friday is the only day we do NOT have specials in the morning, so we conveniently had some free time to go searching!  First, we did some brainstorming and each kid gave a prediction of where Humpty's parts could be... 

After we made our predictions, we took our chart with us, and we searched the school.  As we left each place, we either marked out or circled rather or not we found his pieces in that location.  The kids were so excited and they were so happy to find the pieces... in all our specials classes :) 

When we got back to the room, we laid all the pieces down and the kids matched patterns, and worked together to put him back together. 

There was only one problem left... How do we get him to stay together??  We brainstormed some more and the kids came up with great ideas such as: glue, staples, tape, bandaids, duct tape, brown tape, even bubble gum!  But overwhelmingly, the idea was to use bandaids, which worked out perfectly, as that is what I planned for anyway!  Each kid was able to come apply a bandaid on Humpty.  The other kids were so cute and helpful by directing each kid where they should apply the next bandage.  Where it was the most helpful to our Humpty!  My kids loved this activity, and the parents were even talking about it the next week!  We keep Humpty on our door on the inside, and the kids say bye to him at the end of the day.  I highly suggest this activity, it was a lot of fun, and didn't take much planning!!

Couldn't put Humpty together again??!!.... WE CAN!!! 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Those Are Some Fiiine, Fine Motor Skills You Have There....

I realized my huge blog neglect when I saw all my photos I needed to upload! So here we go! I noticed the majority of my photos were based on our fine motor activities we do in the mornings and during centers!  Hopefully someone can get some ideas!

During morning work my kiddos love to try to find different patterns to thread through metal loops.  The loops were super cheap at Wal-Mart and the wood was donated my by dad!  He actually did a little extra for me, by sanding and staining the wood, when I had only asked him to drill the holes for the hooks.  What a great daddy I have!! 
IMAG0380 by teachymarie

The kids loved making their names on large paper with balls of tissue paper!  I loved watching their little fingers try to figure out how to make those little balls, and to not use too many pieces of tissue paper.  The kids really learned a lot with this activity, and they definitely got a work out for their fine motor!  I wrote their names with marker and applied the liquid glue, while the kids picked through colored tissue paper squares. 

 Now, of course I had to do SOME fall stuff... really I did a lot, but this is the only one on this post. 
The kids had to tear orange construction paper and glue them to small paper plates.  I'd like to remind you that this is my first year working with the little.bity kiddos, so I was very surprised at how much of a fine motor work out this was for my students!  We have our super cute pumpkins in a 'patch' in the hall!

This is another activity my kids really love!  I can't remember where I got these from, but as soon as I find it I will edit this post and give you all the link! This activity originally had a set with numbers on the page.  The job was for each kid to make that number of pieces of food for the pet that was labeled on the mat.  Because my kiddos haven't yet learned to read all their numbers and to rote count, I just used the cover page of the set of pages, and my kids are just practicing making little balls of food for their pet.  You can see the top corner of the page still says "Sorting Mats 1-10".  My kids love feeding their pets!  They came with a set of Dog Food and a set of Cat Food.

 I really like this activity!!  My kids had to sort the colors of fruit loops to place on corresponding neon colored pipe cleaners.  The kids did a great job of not eating the fruit loops (we didn't let them eat the cereal they worked with because the same cereal was reused for each group, on the same pipe cleaners).  At the end of each group, we would give them a few clean pieces to munch on. 

My last activity for today's post is for peeling and sticking.  My kids really enjoy trying to peel and apply stickers, and this activity makes it even harder by making the sticker fit in the little circles.  I have multiple sets of this activity in many different shapes: stars, squares, rectangles, ovals and a circle, like shown below. 

I hope you all can use some of these activities, and if you know of anything for fine motor, please send me your posts/ideas and I will be sure to mention you and your wonderful help! 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Visitor!

Happy Monday everyone!!

Today as I finished bringing my kids to the bus, I come back to my room to discuss the day tomorrow with my aid, and we are greeted by a Monday Visitor!

Believe it or not, this precious pooch just walked into the school, uninvited like he owned the place!!  In the photo he has on a leash someone got from their truck, but he was tag-less and sadly, homeless!  Poor guy was so sleepy and sooo hungry!  I gave him some water and a small bowl of goldfish crackers.  I figured it was the healthiest snack in my room - for a dog at least! 

He knows how to "heel" and follows you when you call him.  On a leash he walks right by your side, and as you can see in this photo, he sits on command!  I can only imagine how upset his family must be with him not being home!  A teacher on my hall owns the local animal shelter (which closes at 2pm) so she took him home with her to clean him up and wait for a call from a frantic family.

Hopefully his family is found, so the poor guy can go back home... but until then he is definitely sleeping in a warm bed with a full belly tonight!

Happy Monday Ya'll!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Classroom Makeover HELP!!??

So, I had a typical Sunday... blog.stalking!  Shocking huh?  Well, today I found so many awesome, cute, AMAZING classrooms and now I'm torn about redesigning my classroom!  I always get those great compliments about how cute and bright my own classroom is, but now I feel like I'm underdressed in a fancy restaurant!  I don't want to spend all my money on the big redo, so I'm trying to be smart and find a smart way to work with what I've got, but to still change things around!  So I'm here for some advice!  Since this is my new classroom this year in PreK, some of the furniture that was bought for my room is in the standard "basic colors" of: red, blue, green, yellow.  For example, I have a storage unit that is similar to this one, with all my math manipulatives and center activities in them.
It is such a great storage unit and I love it, however, I do NOT love the standard colors.  I'm not even sure if I'm allowed to change the colors to the ones I want (by spray painting the tubs) because I definitely don't want to purchase a ton of new tubs to replace the brand new ones I was just given. Hmm...  Last year, in 2nd grade, my reading center was amazing and soooo cute!  Here's a teeny photo of part of my reading corner.  You can see the super cute baskets I got from really good stuff.  

Since I have so many of these cute baskets, I would love to incorporate them some how!!  I also have a "tropical.beach.chicka.chicka.boom.boom" themed classroom!  

So here's where it all get's tricky.... I am inspired by some of these other classrooms!  I really love the blue, green & black colors!  But I'm not sure that's possible with all my preK stuff??  Here's what I like...

I just really love how everything in the room matches, it all coordinates with each part of the classroom!  So what do you think?? How do I make my prek room, turn into one complete theme, without using standard plain colors!!???  If you know of cute DIY sites, let me know!