Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fall Bulletin Board Evolving...

Yesterday I added the squishy paint leaves down the hall, and changed my bulletin board trees to Fall colors.
 The leaves look fantastic!  They are curled like real leaves, and what a gorgeous pop of color!  The kids were so excited to see their work down the hallway.  We dyed coffee filters on Tuesday with liquid watercolor in orange, red, yellow, and magenta.  They are so beautiful!  We cut leaf shapes out of the dyed filters-making sure to write names on the leaves...then we used the leftover scraps to make leaf 'piles' at the bottom of each tree for a real authentic Fall look!   I cut clear contact paper in wavy strip and stuck the scraps to the contact paper to make it easier to add the 'piles' to the bulletin board-it lookes great!

Today we will be adding something special to the Fall board...I wonder what it will be?

Happy Fall Y'all!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It's FALL!

This week my class is focusing on Fall.  Fall in Utah is so beautiful!  We can see the mountain trees change color long before the trees in the valley begin to change.  The kids have been watching this phenomenon for a few weeks now, and they are eager to learn and experience more!

We started our week with one of my favorite activities...Squishy Paint Leaves!  This process of manipulating and mixing color is so much fun, and the kids are awed by the results!

We begin with a large, plain white leaf cut from 12 x 18 construction paper.  I put red, orange, yellow, and purple flourescent paint into 'mustard and ketchup' squeeze bottles from the dollar store, and use a roll of platic wrap to cover the paint.  It is a fast activity,  so I choose one or two kids at a time in small group centers to do this activity.

I tell the kids that they need to choose at least 2 colors, but most of them choose every color!  I will squeeze the paint in a dramatic swirly motion on their leaves...I have tried letting the kids do this step with really horrible results! (they are 3-5 after all!)

The tough part is not touching the paint until the platic wrap is covering the surface...
 Then I let the kids start to manipulate the paint over the plastic wrap.  I love to watch as they feel the coolness and texture of the paint and then turn their hands over to see no paint on them!  They are always so surprised!  I will instruct the kids to try to cover all the 'white part' of the leaf as they squish the paint around.  Next comes the big reveal!  I love to watch their faces as they see the beautiful leaf they have created...

You can see the vibrancy of the leaves on our drying rack in this photo!  They are amazing!  They will curl as they dry, and I actually love that part...they look more like real fall leaves!  The finished product is quite wonderful and I will put them in my hallway to look like giant fall leaves blowing in the wind!

I'll show the final display results in my next post.

The best part about all of this fall fun, is the awesome way it all blends into Halloween!  I try to limit Halloween activities in the beginning of October to keep the kids as calm as I can...but there's no way to hold off something so much fun for very long!  I have BIG plans for my hallway bulletin boards this season!  Thsese leaves are only the beginning!

This is just ONE of the awesome activities in my All About Fall 5-Day Unit Lesson Plan for Preschool, Pre-K, K, and Homeschool! in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Follow the link below for This lesson plan and so much more from Teach PreK!

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

'Ollie's Orchard' Apple Unit Dramatic Play

We love to make our dramatic play center
fun and extra special!  For our All About Apples unit we turned our dramatic play area into an orchard complete with trees for apple picking!

Cash resgister and order forms
The kids have loved this center!  They pick apples, take orders, sort, count, and play!  One of the best things we noticed is that they are taking the knowledge that they have acquired through our books and discussions and applying it to their play.  They are using all of their new apple vocabulary words, and talking about the lifecycle of apples and apple trees.  We love to see our creative curriculum at work!
Trees and bunting signs.

Bags, apples, aprons and baskets

Trees with apples attached with velcro

 The signs-including the bunting signs-for our Apple Orchard dramatic play set can be found in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, along other awesome sets to make your dramatic play the best center in your classroom!

Apple Orchard Dramatic Play Set

Apple Picking FUN!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

All About Apples!

Yesterday we kicked off All About Apples week.  The kids are excited and ready to learn!  We talked about the parts of an apple yesterday and we made apple cores from paper plates to extend our learning and make it fun!

We also went 'apple picking' for our names.  We made little baskets out of brown paper sacks cut down with fancy scissors.  We added a handle, and wrote the kids names in bold on the front of their baskets.  They then went 'apple picking' for the letters in their names-which were written on die cut apples in colors of red, green, and yellow.  This was such a great and simple activity!  The kids were so happy that they could find their letters and that they got to keep their apples!  So each student went home with a little apple "name kit"!  I will do this activity again! (maybe a pumpkin patch?)

We rounded the day out with play-doh mats with tenframes and apple trees.  This brought in counting, one to one correspondence, we introduced tenframes and number sense concepts, and...fine motor skills!  The best part was the fact that the kids had fun and therefore they were engaged!

You can find all of these fun activities in my 'All About Apples' lesson plans in my Teachers Pay Teachers store!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Community Helpers in Preschool and Pre-K! So much FUN!

This week we began our unit "All About Community Helpers"!  The kids absolutely LOVE learning about Community Helpers.  We had an Emergency center in our dramatic play area where the kids could be a doctor, a nurse, or a firefighter.  The way they let their imaginations run wild was a marvel to see!


There is no doubt about it!

One of our favorite activities was making traffic lights!  We talked about each color of a traffic light and what it represents, then we put it all together with glitter to look like it was illuminated, tied some string to the top and hung them in the hallway.  It looks FANTASTIC!

We also made simple firefighter hats by painting paper plates, cutting a hole for a good fit and a 3-D effect.  We added a badge...and just waited for them to dry overnight.  The kids wore their hats outside to play and as they left the classroom at the end of the day.  It was so easy and so much fun!

In my "All About Community Helpers" lesson plan in my Teachers Pay Teachers store, I have those activities, plus a week's worth of math and literacy too!  One of the favorites is the "Putting out the Fires" math game shown below.  We made it more fun and engaging by allowing the kids to wear firefighter hats while playing!

We're on to Apples this coming week...I'm trying some new things!  I hope the Apple activities are as much fun as our Community Helper centers have been!

All About Community Helpers 5-Day Lesson Plan for Preschool, Pre-K, and Homeschool