Thursday, October 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Literacy centers with 3 Developmental Learning Levels!

I love teaching Preschool and PreK...but it is so difficult to find developmentally appropriate activities that my class will enjoy and really learn from.  On top of that,  early childhood students have a broad range of abilities...so very often I have to find ways to scale activities up for kids who need a challenge, and make an activity easier for my 3-4 year olds who are just beginning to learn letters and how to grip a marker or crayon.  It can be a real challenge.

I have put a lot of my lesson plans on my TPT store...and they have awesome activities...some for more advanced learners, and some really basic skills.  They are great, and I am very proud of my work.  However, I have wanted to create a curriculum for literacy and math within each theme that has 3 levels of center activities for writing, letter identification, beginning sounds, rhyming, and vocabulary.  I finished the first in what I hope becomes a 30-34 week curriculum of leveled Literacy activities!!!  I will also be completing the same kind of resources for Math this week.

I am so excited about it!  I will be repeating some centers throughout the year, but no product will ever be exactly the same.  I will also vary activities between themes, so the kids never get bored, but can build confidence and so that teachers will always have something fresh and be able to track progress easily.  Also...the joy of watching kids return to a task with more confidence is priceless!

I am happy to present a sample of what you will find in Thanksgiving Literacy Centers: 3 Levels of Learning for Preschool, PreK & K!

Writing...

Tracing Lines
Correct Formation
Trace and Erase
Trace and Write












Letter Identification...

Upper & Lowercase Letter Sort
Upper to Lowercase Letter Match
Lowercase Letter Clip
Rhyming...

Find the Rhyme & Match It!
Is it a Rhyme?

What Rhymes With...?

Beginning Sounds...


Letter Sound & Match
Beginning Sounds 2-Part Puzzles
Beginning Sounds 5-Part Puzzles
Vocabulary...
Thanksgiving Vocabulary Match
What Belongs to Me?
Vocabulary Sort

Noun & Verb Sort


Games...

Help the Friends get to the Feast
Alphabet Board Game
Alphabet Grid Draw & Cover




Your class will LOVE these centers! There is so much to do and so much to learn! Each Center cluster has the 3 levels explained in detail so you can choose what is right for your students!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Halloween is coming!

Halloween is coming!  You can feel it in the air...the energy of the classroom is always HIGH!  Things are getting spooky in Mrs. Lee's classroom and the fun doesn't stop!  I want to share some of my favorite bits of Halloween in my classroom.  Hopefully it will inspire you to celebrate in a big way!

My Alphabet wall is constantly changing.  My kiddos know to watch for changes and they LOVE the new pictures for our themes.  I put up my Halloween Alphabet the first week of October and then I just wait to see how long it takes the kids to notice.  It never takes long!  The kids will refer to the pictures as they color, they will find 'their letter' and talk about the pictures.  It is a marvelous learning tool...and I don't have to do a thing!
Halloween Alphabet!
I add more decorations as the month goes on.  I made a darling set of posters and pocket chart words to increase our Halloween vocabulary.  Again...the pictures do the work.  The kids absolutely love them.  They spark conversation and questions everyday!


One of our favorite math games during the season is called "Ghosts and Goblins". It is a fantastic way to teach so many concepts...counting, more, less, equal or the same, and fact families.  It is so simple you won't believe it!  All you need are some white beans, a green marker and a black sharpie.  color one side of the bean green and add a grouchy face with the sharpie, and make a ghost face on the other white side of the bean and draw a ghost face.  I make several sets of 10 and put each set of ten in a Halloween cup.  The kids work with a partner and toss the beans out of the cup.  We then count how many ghosts we see and how many Goblins we see.  from there you can ask...which is more?  Which is less?  etc.  The kids have so much fun, they have no idea they are doing math!













The Dramatic Play area in my classroom transforms from a fall forest and Harvest Festival into a Costume shop.  I leave up the trees we painted for our forest...I'll blog about THAT in a day or two...AMAZING...I add witches, bats, and ghosts, then our Costume shop signs and props.  The kids can't stop trying on costumes and pretending to Trick-or-Treat in the forest and around the classroom.  I love it!

What would Halloween be without the art projects and the crafts?  I'll sign off with some of my past favorites, but I'm always trying new things!  There are so many ways to bring Math and Literacy into the Art Center during Halloween...Not to mention Science too!
W is for Witch!

Go Away Big Green Monster!
Literacy Craft to go
with book of the same name by
Ed Emberly
Handprint Ghosts with tracing "BOO!"



All of these projects, Dramatic Play sets, Alphabet,  Word Wall Cards and Centers can be found in my TPT Store in the products listed below.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Fall, Fall, Beautiful Fall!

 It all starts with the Fall bookshelf!  There are so many great Fall-centric books for young children.  I love to mix some nonfiction with fiction each day as we explore our changing Fall world.  We can see  the trees changing daily, but what do the animals do to get ready for Winter's arrival?  Fall is a very busy time in the natural world!  Here's a peek into my Fall bookshelf...maybe you will find one you don't already have!

It's time for Fall Festival Fun in our dramatic play area! I have a Fall Harvest Festival Dramatic Play Set available in my TPT store to help create just the right Fall feeling and inspiration!


The kids had a blast taking leaves off trees and pretending to be at the pumpkin patch!  It is a fantastic way to celebrate Fall and lead into the Halloween Season!  Just wait until you see what we did to make it even better!  (Coming this week)

One of my favorite Fall art Project is what I like to call "Squishy Paint Leaves". It really is a wonderful way to bring Fall and all of it's colors into your classroom!  We start with a large leaf cut from white or manilla construction paper.  Then, with dollar some squeeze bottles, we squirt red, orange, yellow, and purple (I use mostly fluorescents except for red) I tell my kiddos that we need house at least 2 colors...but they always opt for all 4!  Next, we cover your paint-squirted leaves with plastic wrap and then manipulate to cover the paper leaf and been the colors.  The reveal is the best part...The kids peel the plastic and are awestruck by the results...it's magical!  When the leaves are dry, I display them out in our hallway mimicking leaves blowing in the wind...it is BEAUTIFUL!


Fall means leaves, but it also means learning.  I love to begin some 'seek and find' letter activities around this time of year with my PreK kids.  They know quite a few of their letters by now, but I like to assess and find out where they really in letter identification.  I have a center that I call 'Mark the Letter' just for this purpose.  I have a printable with alphabet letters in either uppercase, lowercase, or a mix...I choose which level I think the kids are capable of doing.  I also have some nice Fall alphabet flash cards in both upper and lowercase that we use for a 'draw' pile.  The kids use daubers to mark the letters as the cards are drawn and placed face up on the table.  We talk about words that have the beginning sound of the letters as they come up.  It is fun, engaging, and all the kids cancel successful. Flashcards and printable are available in my All bout Fall Literacy Centers and All About Fall 5-Day Complete Lesson Plans Available in my TPT store.



More Fall yet to come!  Have a great week, and HappyFall!











Saturday, October 14, 2017

Apples Week!


Last week was our Apples week!  We did a lot of fun activities and learned so much about how apples grow and are harvested.  We began the week making glitter apples to put on out bulletin board in the hall.  The kids loved this simple activity which required nothing but die-cut apples, glitter and glue sticks.  They made as many as they wanted and enjoyed every minute of it!

Next came our "apple basket" name activity.  Every student had a 'basket' (a paper sack with a handle and their name printed clearly on the front) Uppercase apples were in one 'orchard', and the lowercase apples were spread face-up on our rug.  A visit to the uppercase orchard started the hunt for their names.  After they 'picked' their uppercase apple and put it in their basket, we moved to the rest of their name!  They were so excited that they could find their letters, and that they got to keep the apples with the letters of their name.  My hope is that some of them will take it home and work on spelling and recognizing their own names as well as learning the letters in their names...it is a fantastic activity!
   
With our sensory bin, filled with tiny apples, and apple pie smell,  our dramatic play apple orchard, apple tasting station, and all of our apple math and literacy connections...we never ran out of engaging activities, and we never stopped learning!
Our apple sensory bin made with oatmeal,
cinnamon sticks, tiny apples, tweezers and
magnifying glasses for a fun exploration!

We used apples cut 2 ways to make our apple stamping pictures!
Puffy paint apples!  Learning about the parts an apple!

Paper plate apple cores! Just add paint,
stems and leaves!
Making our names in apples!

The seasons of an apple tree
Ten Apples Up on Top comes to life!  
Ten Red Apples activity to go with
 Pat Hutchins AWESOME book!
Feed Johnny his apples! Counting game
Play-doh apple tree counting mats
Ollie's Orchard dramatic play...a HUGE hit!

Our Bulletin board in all its glory with the glitter apples from the beginning of the week and the puffy paint apples from later that week when we learned about the parts an apple. 
What a fun week of learning!  We used all of our senses and had a wonderful time!

I have so many awesome Apples products in my TPT store!  You will find all the activities pictured here and so much more!

Apples! Complete Classroom Bundle
Apples Word Wall Cards
Apples Alphabet
Apple Orchard Dramatic Play Set
All About Apples 5-Day Lesson Plan for Preschool, PreK, K & Homeschool












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Thursday, October 12, 2017

We're Going on a Leaf Hunt!

Fall is in full splendor around here!  Each year I love to watch the fascination kids have with this vibrant season!  Today we read a book about finding leaves, then we took bags outside to gather leaves for a project we will do tomorrow.

The kids loved being out in the sunshine, discovering the reds, golds, and purples of the season.  There was a moment when the biggest, most magical gust of wind came and sent leaves sailing all around us.  It was delightful to watch the reaction!

When we came back to the classroom (after our leaf hunt AND music class) we made some amazing Fall "triangle trees'.  It was a nice tie-in to our leaf hunt and a quick center for a busy day!

Happy Fall!





 If you have the time, check out my TPT Store...I have so many fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate center ideas, and complete lesson plans to make your job easier and a lot more fun!

Here's a few links to some Fall favorites...
All About Pumpkins Math Centers for Preschool, PreK, K & Homeschool
All About Fall Complete Lesson Plans for Preschool, PreK, K & Homeschool
Fall Fun Lesson Plan Bundle