Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Yesterday we introduced the Ipods to our group of preschoolers. They were a huge hit. Right away we had a waiting list to last all of Center Time. Some of their favorite apps to play were Monkey Preschool Lunchbox, Matching Zoo, Shape Builder, Word World, Wood Puzzle, and the First Words Apps. The children easily picked up on how to choose their game. The touch screen was easy for little hands to maneuver. We will be be exploring a few apps on our own for a few days. Later this week we will have our first lesson using Letter Tracer to learn how to make the letter Aa.
This week we are studying apples before we go visit our local apple orchard. We read Apples, Apples, Apples and Apple Farmer Annie. In the Dramatic Play area we set up our own apple stand. The fake apples were purchased from our local Hobby Lobby, the visuals were printed from makinglearningfun.com, reusable bags donated from the local Wal-mart, and we use fake money and junk mail credit cards as currency. The roles the children are assigning themselves are the cashier, shoppers, and the order taker. In the Math Center we are counting seeds. The seeds are medium black pom poms. Children pick up the "seeds" with tweezers and add the correct amount that corresponds to the apple's numeral. We are focusing on the numbers 0-4 while building our muscles we use to write and cut with. In the water table we are "bobbing" for apples with fish nets and small plastic apples bought from Wal-mart. Children must scoop up the apples with the nets and place them in the measuring cup hanging on the table. At the Discovery Center children are tasting Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples and choosing which one we like best. They love to find their friends names to see which one they liked. When our graph is finished we will see which one had the most and least votes for apple we liked best. We are making orchards in art using our arm for the trunks, our palms for the tree top and our fingers for the apples. The children are loving these activities and are becoming excited about our future trip.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Friday finished up our first week together. On Wednesday I introduced the activboard to my students. We play the game "Who Took the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?" We moved cookies with our names attached from the cookie jar to a plate. The kids LOVED it. All their parents and I heard for two days was the chanting of little voices singing "**** took the cookies, who me, and couldn't be. This morning I read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It is one of my favorite read alongs at circle time. After reading it together a couple of times we played through the story on the Activboard. At center time I left the flipchart open for free play and the following was captured
Monday, August 23, 2010
Today was the first day with all 20 kids this year. My assistant and I decided to spend the day playing and getting to know these precious souls before we hit the ground running with our curriculum. It was a decision I do not regret. I had a wonderful time exploring, pretending, and just generally being a kid again. We built a castle using the life size lego blocks wearing our paper crowns. We spied for the dragon using our paper towel holder telescope and slayed it with our pointer swords when he knocked down our castle. Our story was repeated several times so everyone could wear the towel to be the dragon. We built a zoo to contain all the runaway animals that wandered along the road rug in the block center. Housekeeping turned in the doctor's office where we took our babies to get their school shots. But the best use of our imagination was when we went outside and turned our 8x8 sandbox into the beach. I enjoyed playing with my kids today. I observed more language, reading, and math skills during our time together than any paper assessment would have told me. I think the "play all day" approach is one I should stop and take more often.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Like most tech junkies I know I could not wait to get my hands on my new iPad. In fact, I spent most of the weekend playing with my new toy. I have wondered just what can you do with it besides use it as a big
iPod touch. While I was spending hours trolling through the app store I found several apps I would like to try out with my students. One in particular, Bean Jar Kids HD, is a great app to help us keep focus on obtaining a goal. The kids get to add a jelly bean to the jar each time an objective is met and when the required number of beans are in the jar it cheers. You can also remove the jelly beans as well. The program allows up to four different jars labeled with words as well as a picture for non-readers. I am planning on using this with my class as our compliment jar as well as with a couple of students who need visual reinforcement to accomplish their goals.
This is my very first blog post. Blogging is something I never imagined I would be doing. I have always kept a short blog for parents on what we do in the classroom but have never considered sharing my ideas with the world outside the four walls of my classroom. I hope this is a good experience.