Saturday, March 17, 2012

Stamping Circles

At the beginning of the year, I ask parents to send in items like paper towel rolls, old magazines, milk lids and more. We go through most of the supplies fairly quickly, but we get SO MANY paper towel rolls. I don't really want to ask the parents to stop donating, because we do use them. But I can only store so many boxes of paper towel rolls. So when I came across the idea on pinterest to use them to stamp circles, I jumped on it!

It is such an easy activity with zero prep! The kids loved stamping with the paper towel rolls. The rolls are big and fit easily in their hands. The artwork turned out very nicely! :)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sequencing with Rainbows

I have become a pinterest fanatic! It seems like everything I've done in my classroom since Christmas has been an idea from pinterest. So it is nice to know that I can still come up with an original idea! We keep portfolio's of our student's work to show their abilities and  progress. For this activity, I was wanting to show the child's progress on sequencing. Last year, the students put strips of paper in order, according to length, to create a xylophone. But our preschool is a two year program, so I wanted to come up with a new artifact to put in the student's portfolio. We were already learning about St. Patrick's day last week, so it seemed natural to incorporate an activity on rainbows. The students put strips of paper in order according to size, to make a rainbow. After they glued on the strips of paper, they used a cotton ball and white paint to make clouds on the sides of the rainbow. Next year, I plan on using brown strips of paper to create a flower pot! :)

Sequencing with Rainbows

Sequencing with a Xylophone

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Three Little Pigs

We read The Three Little Pigs this week in class. This was our third week of fairy tales and we focused on books with threes. Goldilocks and the Three BearsThe Three Little Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Little Pigs. I chose The Three Little Pigs for our repeated reading, because it is repetitive and the kids love chiming in with this book. I made felt pieces to go along with the story. They were surprisingly cheap and easy to make. I plan on making more of my own felt sets in the future.

I did realize that I forgot to put eyebrows on two of the little pigs . . . after I'd taken this picture. I free handed all the drawings (and I'm not very gifted in the drawing department) so the pigs are twice the size of the wolf. I guess I should call my story The Three Big Pigs and the Little Bad Wolf.

I brought out the felt pieces on Wednesday. (The third day we read the book.) By this time, the kids had the story pretty well memorized. We used the pieces first as a large group, then I left them out in the library center for the students to use independently during choice time. While modeling how to use the felt board, I told the story from memory. I emphasized that I didn't tell the story word for word. I just told what I remembered from the story. Felt boards are a great way to encourage students to retell stories. 

I bought a number of fairy tales on for our unit. All of them were the Brighter Child Keepsake Story versions. I was really impressed with how well they made the stories age appropriate. The stories are shorter than most versions I've seen, which keep the attention of my students, but still include all the important parts of the story. The stories also include very rich vocabulary. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Truffula Tree Pens

My pens are always disappearing! I buy a new package of pens, and my pen holder is nice and full for . . . oh about 2 weeks and then they are gone! I'm always scrounging around for pens. They end up everywhere in my classroom except for back in my pen holder. I find them everywhere, on my desk, in my desk, on shelves, on the easel, in my storage closet and on and on and on. They also walk out of my classroom in the hands of parents, other teachers, my students, support staff, and who knows who else. Therefore, I decided to get crafty and decorate my pens. All the Lorax ideas on Pinterest inspired me to turn my pens into Truffula trees. I combined many different ideas and arrived at the final product!

The Truffula trees are very easy to make!

To make Truffula tree pens, you'll need:
chenille stems
large pom poms
hot glue gun

1. Choose two chenille stems. Wrap them around the pen.

2. When the chenille stems are wrapped all the way around the pen, bend back the ends and add hot glue, then carefully push the stems back down onto the pen. This will hold the chenille stems in place and prevent them from sliding. Then bend back and glue the other ends of the chenille stems.

3. Add a generous amount of hot glue to the end of the pen.

4. Press the large pom pom onto the hot glue. It will move when you write with it, but should be held firmly in place.

5. Repeat process to create your forest of Truffula trees.