Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Elf Dramatic Play Station with Math and Writing Centers

Elf Dramatic Play Station with Math and Writing Centers

I'm all about dramatic play, and the elf station around the holidays is always one of my students favorite centers to play in! The best part is that it easily engages the students in writing through play, which is the best way to learn!

This packet is great for preschool teachers who want to teach through play BUT it is also great for Kindergarten teachers who want to add a little dramatic play to their academic based centers. Read on for ideas on setting up an Elf Station that fits your classroom set up and student needs. 

There are a lot of station ideas in this packet. I usually set up about three stations in the elf dramatic play center and use the other materials in small groups. 

Dramatic Play and Sensory Stations

Elf Call Center

Each station idea includes a printable sign to make setting up your dramatic play station easier!

This is always the "main" event in my elf station. Elf hats are a must for getting students in the imaginative mood! Bonus* They're cheap and easy to find! Ask you IT department for old phones or keyboards, you can also ask parents to donate old cell phones (just make sure to remove the batteries). Also, a strand of Christmas lights and a strand of sparkly garland go a long way in getting students engaged and making your station look more realistic. 

Students can practice writing their name and taking messages with the call station notes printable. Provide blank paper as well for students to write freely. 

Incorporate geography by hanging up a map (a printable one is included if you don't have one) add post-it flags for students to mark where children are calling from. 

Wrapping Station

Add cardboard boxes, wrapping paper, bags, gift tags, tape, etc. to this station. 

OR put wrapping paper in a sensory table for students to practice cutting or tearing. 

Hot Chocolate Station

A great sensory station for a sensory bin or a sensory table. Add hot chocolate (brown pom poms, sand, uncooked brown beans, or brown rice), white pom poms for marshmallows, mugs, ladles, and spoons. 

Elf Laundry

Let students hang elf clothes (print and laminate) on a clothes line using clothespins. This is great fine motor practice!

Elf Workshop

Set up a work bench with an assortment of small toys and play tools for students to "fix". 

Math and Writing Centers

Elf Math

Use in math centers or small groups.

Adding to 6

Students follow the instructions on the cards and place cookies on the cookie sheet. This is a great visual for students who are learning addition! Picture cards and numeral cards are included so you can differentiate based on your individual student needs. Make it more fun by using a read cookie sheet and adding magnets to the back of the cookies! Laminate the cards and let students use a dry erase marker to write in their answers. 

Matching Numerals to Quantity

Cards are for numbers 1-10. Students match the numeral to the corresponding quantity card. Can also be used to play memory or go fish. 

Writing Station

Word Wall

Includes lined or unlined stationary option. Choose the one best for your students. A pre-writing activity sheet can be laminated and students can use dry-erase markers to trace the shapes. 

Other Fun Activities

Pick up an Elf Station for you classroom here

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5 Red Candy Canes



Gingerbread Activity Pack

I realize it's October 5. But as teachers we must plan ahead. So enjoy sitting outside in the wonderful fall weather with your favorite pumpkin spice treat, while planning for the holidays!

Friday, September 30, 2016

I am a Scientist!

I am a Scientist Unit with Freebie!

A successful year learning science begins with a strong foundation. This is one of the key foundation lessons I teach every year. I begin with my Five Senses Unit, which you can find here.  It's a great engaging and introductory unit to use while your preschool or kindergarten students are learning how to be in school. The five senses unit naturally leads into I am a Scientist which teaches students that THEY are scientists and covers different attributes of being successful in science. This unit has 7 complete lessons with classroom visuals/posters and activities to support your students learning throughout. Here's an overview of what you'll find in this unit. Click here to pick up a copy for your classroom.

Introductory Lesson: I am a Scientist!

Poster to display in your classroom. Each lesson (except for the summary lesson) has a poster to add. 

Print it off as is and use as a word wall. Print off two copies, laminate each square individually, and use as a memory game in a science center. 

Each lesson provides a recommended lesson plan. Modify as needed to fit your classroom and students.

Nothing is more engaging to students then something they made themselves! Start off the unit by taking pictures of your students dressed like a scientist (or have them draw themselves as a scientist) and make a class book for your library!

Lesson 2: Scientists Observe

Lesson 3: Scientists Ask Questions

Lesson 4: Scientists Use Tools

Lesson 5: Scientists Record Information

Lesson 6: Scientists Take Action

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Nothing better then beautiful fall weather and a cup of coffee! Happy Fall! :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Color File Folder Games

Color File Folder Games

Here are four file folder games to teach your students or child about colors. Each game focuses on different skills; sorting, matching, spelling, & writing. These can be added to play centers, used in small groups, or sent home for parent involvement. 

I Can Write Color Words!

Kids LOVE using dry erase markers! Save paper with this engaging and colorful writing activity. Students practice tracing color words, when they're finished they can erase the marker and the game is ready for the next student. This teaches reading and fine motor skills. 

I Can Spell Color Words!

TRAINS! My 18 month old is currently obsessed with anything with wheels, and preschool children love them too. Engage your students with this fun theme and help them learn something at the same time. The letters are color coded by word, to help students know which train they go with. This game can be adapted depending on the level of your students. Add the included oval color words to the trains themselves and students can see how to spell the word. This teaches using a word wall, letter recognition, and spelling.

I Can Sort by Color!

Students sort the items onto corresponding color jar. Extend learning by having students count how many items are in each jar, or by playing I spy "I spy something yellow that a baby uses".

I Can Match Items by Color!

Cupcakes! Yummy! Students match the icing to the corresponding cupcake bottom. 

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Hope your school year is off to a great start!