Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Literacy centers- Library/ Reading

You are suppose to have like 14 books per child available to children each day in order to promote good reading.  And, the books need to be rotated often.  I don't nearly have that  many available, but I like to try to get as many books out as possible.  That doesn't mean you need to have 14 of the same book or that they need to be good quality books. 

So how do you collect enough books?  I have found books at garage sales, scholastic $1 books and freebies, Dollar Tree, and thrift stores.  Books in your library don't have to be the same as read alouds.  Board books, old books, black and white books, or any kind of book will work.  Don't forget to provide inexpensive paperback copies of your favorite read alouds and provide multiple copies of the children's favorites.  Make sure you put out books that are from the different genres and different reading levels.  You can also have class or child made books available.

Are you new to children's books or need new ideas for books. If you need help finding good quality books check here.

No Time for Flash Cards has many posts on good children's books.

Teach Preschool has an amazing collection of books, click on a book and it will take you to the website for ideas to go with the book.
Here  you'll find some neat books with activities to go with them.  It is geared towards younger kids.

How do you organize all those books?  You could organize them library style by the Author's name. I find this very difficult to find books since I can't always remember the author's name.  I organize my books by the subject it best fits with.  Ex.  apples, ABC books, or dinosaur books

How do you train kids to use the library or reading center?  We know what we want the library center to look like.  Quiet children reading a book attentively.  That probably wont happen.  Practice talking in a quiet voice.  Teach children they can read the words, the pictures, or the story.  This will keep them from saying "I don't know how to read."  I like to teach how to respect the books.  They don't belong on the floor.  They shouldn't be ripped or colored on.  Some kids have never had books before, so they just don't know how to use them.

How do you assess the reading center?  In order to rationalize the simple joy of reading to some people, providing an assessment every once in a while helps ease their minds.

Provide a simple sheet that has children write the title and author of a book they read and space to draw a picture about the story or line to write their favorite part.

Live, Love and Laugh has a free printable to go with ABC books

Provide a project to make a connection with the book.

Just remember, in order to learn to read, children need to find reading enjoyable.  So, make it fun, give them plenty of opportunities to read, and provide lots to read.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fingerplay Friday- trick or treating

I have just one more for Halloween to share.  Do you have a favorite Halloween or pumpkin fingerplay or poem you would like to share?

Trick or Treating (are you sleeping)

Trick or treating, trick or treating
bring a light
make it bright
check out all your candy
make sure it's fine and dandy
let's be safe
let's be safe

Sunday, October 9, 2011


There is a lot of debate about celebrating a holiday with such a scary background.  Or celebrating holidays, using candy, or using scary things in the classroom.  With my experience, I have learned or have acquired the following feelings about the topic. 
     Halloween can be scary.  Children need to learn how to deal with scary things.  My own child asked to do activities about scary things, I think to help her cope with the new fear of monsters in her room.  If we present scary things as not so scary and how to deal with the fear, Halloween can be a helpful learning experience.
     You must respect the traditions and beliefs of the families in your class.  If you are limited for whatever the reason, you can still find lots of fall related activities.  Pumpkins, bats, spiders, skeletons, and scare crows are not related to Halloween alone.  There are a great number of things you can do with out ever relating it to Halloween.
     In regards to candy and parties.  Any time you disrupt your normal schedule, children will seem to be going crazy.  My "parties" are a normal day, with the exception of snack which a parent brings in.  I may use food in an activity, but there is a goal.  There are a number of healthy treats out there now that are not candy.  Pretzels and fruit snacks are just as fun to sort, graph and, make patterns with.

If you chose to have some Halloween fun here are some ideas.

Halloween Poems or finger plays
5 Little Pumpkins
Here is a cute printable to go along with the poem.

Here is a cute story to tell the kids that turns a paper into a jack-o-lantern.

Here is a cute ghost story.  Atleast I think so, but when I tried it with kindergarteners, they weren't interested.  Maybe just for preschoolers.

Halloween games
     Spell Ghost

Here are some cute monster activities.

Matching colors ghost file folder game

Pumpkin decorating- stickers, paint, or like Teach preschool does it, with playdo and magnets and cans.

Here you'll find a memory game, tic tac toe, and paper dress up dolls along with many other cute stuff

Acorn Pumpkin Halloween Decorations
These are so cute.  You could use them for counters or sorting and graphing.

Why not make a Jack-O-Lantern wipe off board like No Time for Flashcards.  This will work great with those new wipe off crayons I found on clearance for $1.50.

Here is a cute counting activity

I like the cute pumpkin book the kids can make.  It talks about feelings, and the kids draw the faces.  Halloween is a great time to talk about feelings.

I made a big book called Jack-O-Happy, similar to the one above.

Halloween snacks
     ghost toast
     spider cookies
     Here is a cute pumpkin pie type recipe.  Pumpkin can be a strong flavor and some kids don't like it, but what about orange pudding.  And I love the simple jack-o-lantern cups.
     Here is another cute snack or dinner.

Halloween crafts
     tube monster

Here are some cute hand monsters.

Here are some tubes made into mummys.
Foot ghost

Here are some other cute crafts.

5 Little Ghosts  or pumpkins sitting on the fence- cut rectangles so kids can make a fence, then let kids stamp pumpkins using cookie cutters on the fence.  They have to count to 5.

Torn paper pumpkins- kids ripe paper using fine motor skills, then glue them on paper to form a pumpkin

Halloween books

One of my favorites.  I copied the pages then laminated them to make a sequencing game.

Easy reader and counter.
Other books not pictured
The Stubborn Pumpkin

Halloween activities
     Reenact the Stubborn Pumpkin with Halloween characters.  We did this every year as a play for our families.  The kids love it.  I used hats I found on clearance or made.  I have a pumpkin, farmer, ghost, scary lady (Frankenstein's bride hair), monster, bat, cat, witch, spider, scare crow, and a skeleton, but you could use anything.  After Halloween, costumes can be cheap so think about it for next year.

Pounding the pumpkin- Use golf tees (I've seen colored ones in the Halloween section) to hammer into pumpkin, don't forget the goggles for safety. Good for hand/ eye coordination.  And the kids love it.  They use lots of language describing the smell and feel of the pumpkin.

Here you'll find a neat book about bones and how to use your own body to show where your bones are.

Here you'll find a cute printable book.

If you are in charge of planning a party, you'll find some ideas here

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Cute pumpkin and easy for little fingers

I really like these mini cardboard tube apples that can be turned into pumpkins

If you do the 5 Little Pumpkins poem, here is a freebie you could make into a book or flannel board.

number order printable

This is a book to reinforce shapes.

Pumpkin lifecycle

Here is a cute way to recycle while making pumpkins

visit confessions of a homeschooler  for some pumpkin printables.

Here is Fran's patterns for fall.  I love her stuff and when it's free it's even better. and I like her pumpkin seed counting book.

Here are some cute pumpkin activities involving words, letters, and numbers.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fingerplay Friday


5 Little Pumpkins
5 Litlle pumkins growing on a vine.
1st one said, "Don't I look fine?"
2nd one said, "I'll be in a pie."
3rd one said, "I'll be a lantern by & by."
4th one said, "I will too."
But the 5th little pumpkin just said, "Boo!"

5 Little Ghosts
5 little ghosts on Halloween night
1st one said, "I think it's almost 8."
2nd one said, " I'm going out to howl."
3rd one said, "I'm going out to prowl."
4th one said, "The moon is far too bright."
5th one said, " Let's fly, It's Halloween night."

5 Little Witches
5 little witches on a Halloween night.
Made a very, very spooky sight.
The first witch danced on her tippy tiptoes.
The second witch tumbled and bumped her nose.
The tird witch flew high up in the air.
The fourth witch combed her fuzzy hair.
The fifth witch  sang a Halloween song.
Five witches played the whole night long!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another Great Giveaway

For those of you who love Teach Preschool as much as I do, you will love Deborah's music.  My daughter will sit with me on the computer for a very long time just listening to her songs.  So here is a chance to win her CD.

Go to
The Amazing Mess

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Giveaways are great!

I wish I had the funds and resources to give neat things away.  So, since I can't here is where you can go to win this bookshelf from Guidecraft.

Mommy PR has the entry form.