Sunday, July 31, 2011

More free printables

Here are some more printables.  I am providing these because the people who make them are very talented.  If any are repeats, I apologize.

Mr. Printable- kind of says it all.  games, letter cards, number cards, worksheets for older kids

Preschool printables- theme oriented colored printables

2 Teaching Mommies- large theme unit printables including holidays, seasons, about me, community

Our Little Monkeys- neat themes outdoors, pilots, bakers, tools, cars, cat in hat, April showers

File folder games

Literacy printables- make your own worksheets- I will use them for these=letter cards, make your own dominoes, follow me games

Pocket Full of Posies- numbers, letter tracing, size sorting, others

Tools for Educators- make your own dice, game boards, dominoes, Bingo games, vocabulary (even for other languages)

Tired, need sleep- build a letter, other letter related stuff, and math printables

Friday, July 29, 2011

Stick name puzzle

I'm sure you've seen these stick puzzles floating around.  They are cute, 3D, and easy to make.  This is another version using the child's name as the puzzle.

First step is to tape the sticks (fat sticks work better) together using the same number of sticks as number of letters in the child's name.
Write child's name or put stickers to spell child's name on sticks.

Glue picture on stick.  You can add modge podge.  Then cut the pieces apart.  You can then put the pieces in a baggy labeled with the child's name.

Literacy Center- Letter Work

     I was attempting to show all the literacy center ideas as on post, but it has become a very large and long post.  Therefor I am going to show you one center at a time.

Some things to remember about centers.
     Centers need to be ever changing.  Repetition is good.  Kids learn exactly how to use the materials, but if you use the same materials day after day, week after week, month after month, the children will get bored and become a  behavior problem.
     Centers should be mostly independent.  This way you as the teacher can facilitate, solve behavior problems, have small groups, and perform assessment.
     Centers may seem like play to children, but they should be organized and purposeful.

Letter Work provides children with multiple opportunities to play with letters.
    
Connect Game- you will need plastic link toys (fine motor) and a set of upper case letters and lower case letters.  Children then match the upper to lower case letter.  You could use flash cards and punch a hole in each one or  use one of these resources for letter cards.  These could be put into a basket and pulled out on the table during center time.


here is letters with some pictures that represent the letter


Upper case and lower case letters with corresponding pictures.
blog pictures 042

fish and eggs in color or black and white


Letter exploration




Chicka tree directions
Chicka Chicka tree uses magnetic letters.

letter drawers with beginging letter items- I have lots of these with words also.  They are easy to make.  Just collect little toys.  Put them in a drawer with a card with the letter it begins with or the word.


simple and colorful letters made from pipe cleaners


geo board letter mats

finding the alphabet game

making cute magnetic letters

magnetic stone letters

Fabric magnet letters

more cute DIY letters

rag quilt letters

I like how she used words to make a letter sound matching game here.

Here are neat color printable worksheets that could be addapted for centers.



Here is a cute way to practice writing letters

I love this teachers centers- here are a few upper case and lower case sorting printables

Here is a letter sound cut and paste along with other ideas.


These are just a few ideas for a center that exposes children to letters.  Do you have any neat ideas you would like to share?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

edible crayons

     I have been waiting forever to make these but just couldn't figure out when and for whom.  This is where I saw the idea for edible crayons.  I had problems printing the wrappers, so I wasted a lot of paper.  Use your print preview to find the page to print if you are having trouble too.  The color words did not print out.  They still look cute.  I decided I will make them for all the teachers at my daughters new school.  There are a lot of teachers, so I decided to make a bunch for everyone instead of individual ones.  I thought you might like to see them before school starts, so you can decide if you want to try them.
These are what Teaching Heart Mom's looked like.
I am doing a few things different because ingredients are just harder to find here.  I am using pretzel rods and breaking them in half instead of twisty pretzels.  I also could not find already colored candies.  So, I bought a huge block of white vanilla candy, and I'll put food coloring in it.  I'm sure the colored ones will have much brighter.  

     Next I went to making a box to hold all the crayons I would make.  I used a cereal box.  Cut it in have, then cut the top down the sides so I could fold them in.  Glue gun worked best.  Then you need to cut it in the middle on 3 sides, so it will fold back.  It was starting to rip, so I reinforced it with some book tape.  I will put a sheet of wax paper on the inside to protect the food.



I tried to cover it with paper like a present and then glue.  Well that didn't work out so well.  The glue soaked through too much.  I then tried card stock, cutting it the sizes of each side.  That worked much better, but if I was going to do multiples, I would try using contact paper or those sticky book covers that come in many colors.

I wanted to use scrap booking stickers to spell Crayola, but couldn't find the size and color I wanted, so I just used my good old Crayola markers to write it. Then, I used the extra lines from the wrappers I printed out wrong as decoration and some scrap booking line stickers to add some color.

If you want to make individuals, like for all the kids in your child's class, I would recommend finding a print out and putting it on card stock.  I found lots when I was looking.


I wrote this poem to put on the back of the box.

Welcome back to a new school year.
Time to rush but have no fear.
Plan, set up, and decorate.
The kids will be ready on the first school date.


Though it may get a bit stressful for you,
Try to remember DO NOT eat the glue.
Before you know it, the year will be gone.
So go ahead and taste a crayon.



Here are some other crayon related activities, incase you are giving them to your class.
colored crayon box templateI might be trying these too.

Here is another adorable back to school gift.  A list of ingredients here.
clip art and stuff

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My book writing

     One of my hobbies, since college has been writing.  I started writing about my family, but once I discovered the world of children's books, I have always wanted to write one.  I have written a few, but when I tried to get it published, it was just a lot more work than you can imagine.  So, now I just write.  One day, maybe, I will find the time to branch out and try the published way.

     Here is some of the book I have been working on.  It was inspired by a few of my favorite books by Alyssa Capucilli and illustrated by Ted Arnold.  Inside a Zoo in the City and Inside a House that is Haunted.  They kind of copy the House that Jack Built idea.  Alyssa Capucilli also wrote some popular books about Biscuit.  I did not know that.  I also saw some other Scholastic books that I have used in my classroom.  Here is her website.

     Please let me know what you think.  I was trying to get all the things we do during our school day into rhyme and rhythm.  If you have read these books before you know they are very repetitive, so if you want to read the whole story just skip down to where it says last page.

This Is the School That I Go To

This is the door where I say good bye                       To my mom and my dad and sister, too.
                                  Outside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall                    with pictures and signs all along the wall.
                                   Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things.            Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
                                   Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug,             then tells us to sit down on the rug.
                                  Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend            with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
                                   Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look,                so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
                                  Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to my table where I color and write.                      My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
                                    Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to the table where I color and write.  My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
The lunchroom is where we eat and drink.                     Mom packed a fun lunch for me, I think.
                                              Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to the table where I color and write.  My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
The lunchroom is where we eat and drink.  Mom packed a fun lunch for me, I think.
There's lots to do when we play outside.                  But, my favorite is to slide on the slide.
                                    Outside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to the table where I color and write.  My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
The lunchroom is where we eat and drink.  Mom packed a fun lunch for me, I think.
There's lots to do when we play outside.  But, my favorite is to slide on the slide.
We paint and build and read some more.                   Here counting and singing is never a bore.
                                         Inside the school that I go to

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to the table where I color and write.  My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
The lunchroom is where we eat and drink.  Mom packed a fun lunch for me, I think.
There's lots to do when we play outside.  But, my favorite is to slide on the slide.
We paint and build and read some more.  Here counting and singing is never a bore.
Clean up, put things where they were before.                      It's time for us to line up at the door.
                                             Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to the table where I color and write.  My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
The lunchroom is where we eat and drink.  Mom packed a fun lunch for me, I think.
There's lots to do when we play outside.  But, my favorite is to slide on the slide.
We paint and build and read some more.  Here counting and singing is never a bore.
Clean up, put things where they were before. It's time for us to line up at the door.
Where we hold our bags and stand still and straight.           Get everything you need 'cause it's getting late.
                                                  Inside the school that I go to.

This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to the table where I color and write.  My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
The lunchroom is where we eat and drink.  Mom packed a fun lunch for me, I think.
There's lots to do when we play outside.  But, my favorite is to slide on the slide.
We paint and build and read some more.  Here counting and singing is never a bore.
Clean up, put things where they were before.  It's time for us to line up at the door.
Where we hold our bags and stand still and straight. Get everything you need 'cause it's getting late.
I learned many things but today is done                               But, I'll come back tomorrow to have more fun.
                                     Inside the school that I go to.

LAST PAGE
This is the door where I say good bye, to my mom and my dad and sister, too.
that opens to the hallway so long and tall, with pictures and signs all along the wall.
that leads to the classroom with so many things. Where I'll hang up the book bag I bring.
Where my teacher waits with a smile and a hug, then tells us to sit down on the rug.
Eyes focus, hands still, ears listening, legs bend, with my bottom flat, I'll sit next to my friend.
Next, our spot on the rug is where we look, so we can choose jobs and listen to a book.
Then to the table where I color and write.  My picture will hang on the fridge tonight.
The lunchroom is where we eat and drink.  Mom packed a fun lunch for me, I think.
There's lots to do when we play outside.  But, my favorite is to slide on the slide.
We paint and build and read some more.  Here counting and singing is never a bore.
 Clean up, put things where they were before. It's time for us to line up at the door.
Where we hold our bags and stand still and straight. Get everything you need 'cause it's getting late.
I learned many things but today is done.  But I'll come back tomorrow to have more fun.
We walk down the hallway, that leads to the door, that opens to my mom and dad and sister too.
                                       Outside the school that I go to.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Creative useful storage seats

These are one of the cutest things I have ever seen.  I want them for my house.  It would be so easy to store toys inside, and it is still a seat for a little one.


storage and seat
Everyone that has made them says they are sturdy and have lasted through at least 1 full school year.  I guess it is a great time to buy these crates too.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Free Printables

Since I'm still hoping to find a job soon, I thought I would organize some more of my favorites.  All these sites offer free printables.  I would be willing to share any of mine, but I'm not sure how to put them on here.  So if you want something just let me know and I'll email it to you.

classroom printables from prekinders
 cute center signs and a neat sub folder

prekinder also has lots of other printables by theme, by subject, music
this was my favorite



has preschool themed activities all included in one folder.  She offers colored games, puzzles, letter cards, little books, playdo letter and word mats


Tot Packs from 1+1+1=1 are suppose to be for toddlers but are easily adaptable.

Even more fun stuff from 1+1+1=1

And another preschool pack site is home school creations

mini book for letters and other stuff.  You can even make a custom book for your child.

making learning fun has printables to go with all kinds of books like bingo dots pages, magnet letters, and recipe cards

the site is a little overwhelming but you will find something you like.  Just type a word in the search box or use tabs at the top.
Labels, signs, picture cards, a special ed section
writing templates like wanted posters, menus, newspapers, passports, and more.

our worldwide classroom has some cute Christmas, St. Patrick's Day, and language arts activities

for discovery bottles and other cute printables

kizclub has black and white and colored printables.  Letters, story props, and themes.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Dotters

     Deborah at Teach Preschool made some dot dabbers (also called bingo dots) for her school.  I have always loved these and bought a colored set of washable ones at the local teacher store.  They are very expensive, and when one child tries to use it like a paint brush, the little sponge comes off.  They have non washable ones at the Dollar Tree, but that can get you into some trouble.  I have seen refillable ones at the teacher store but never bought them.  Deborah says they didn't work out the way she wanted, so she made her own. You can see them here.
     As I was looking through my cabinet, I saw this bottle of formula which I am not using because I am breast feeding.  They are the premade ready to use by just putting on the nipple. I'm not sure if they sell them like this or if they just give them away at the hospital.  But they looked perfect.  And many people use formula, and if you know someone that works at the hospital, I think this is what they use.
          The lid already has a hole in it so you can just put the sponge in it and screw it shut.
     The opening is a little bigger than a regular dotter.  I used a scrub sponge which let too much paint out, so I will be looking for the make up sponges Deborah used.
      My daughter still liked using it even though it was really watery and came out too fast.  The good thing is this way the sponge doesn't break off.  Even if it did, you just replace it and don't have to buy new ones.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Process Vs. Product

Every teacher will say "It's the process not the product."  So why do we have such cute art projects? They go with the theme.  They help with following directions.  The parents like them.  Okay, but what about the child?(It hit me when we saw a real jelly fish at the beach, and it looks nothing like the streamer ones we always make during our ocean theme) 

Shaving cream

rainbow fish
I have been torn many times over the art project in my own classroom.
So my decision was to offer a project bu not force the child to do it.  I provided many other types of activities that would attract children and focus on learning skills through play.  Then the parents complained they didn't have anything to put on the fridge.

markers on coffee filter then spray with water

butterfly

So I have tried to come up with ways to give the child the process but also give the parent a product.

String printing
ice cream cone

Using materials you would like children to experience, you can make anything that goes along with your theme.
Be creative and allow the children to experience the process without worrying about how their product doesn't look like yours.

So how do you use the process for children to make a product for parents?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Beachfront Learning

     For our vacation, we stayed at a beach here in Texas.  In the past we have visited a beach in Florida, so we were anxious to compare the Golf beach to the ocean.  It became a learning adventure.  Well, any vacation can be a learning adventure if you encourage talking. 

First, we traveled across a Ferry.  New vocabulary.  And saw some familiar animals.

And some new yet scary animals.  This is a jellyfish.  Nothing like our craft jellyfish, huh?

We found some plants.

We dug (digged) holes, buried treasure, and dug again.


All the while we used very descriptive words, like bumpy, smooth, muddy, etc.


We made marks and found marks for treasure.  X marks the spot.


Found and made prints.  This was her hands, but she was imitating the bird footprints we saw.

Building castles.  Okay we did not build this one.


Writing names in the sand.


Making shadows.


Comparing seashells we found.  They were a little different than ones we found in Florida.

The amount of vocabulary that comes from an experience like this is amazing.  During our trip we touched on every subject you might learn about in school.  Such as compare and contrast, the science of waves, the sun, and animals, cause and effect relationships, letters, shapes, colors.   




Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cutting straws for fine motor

     One of the activities I do at the beginning of the year for introducing scissors and gaining fine motor control is cutting drinking straws.  They are very easy to hold while using scissors.  Children also can't use both hands on the scissors.  We found these colorful striped straws at the Dollar Tree.  I usually put lots of straws in a big tub with 2 or 3 pairs of scissor.  You could give each child a bag to cut the straws into, but I just asked the kids to pick up any straws on the floor.  It was part of the fun.  This time, I gave my daughter an empty baby wipe container to try to contain the mess.  The cut straws tend to fly when cut.   After all the straws are cut, you can have the kids string them for more fine motor practice.

Water table colors

Yes, this is a baby bathtub.  We don't have room for a water table so this works for now.
My daughter had notice, while helping wash dishes, that her cups tinted the water the color of the cup.  And, when you put 2 colored cups together they make another color.
We had lots of colored water balloons left over from a failed experiment earlier.  So, we put them in the water table to try and mix colors with these child sippy cups. 
First, she just liked matching the balloons to the same color cup.
Then some color mixing.  Some showed only a little color change.

Others, showed a real noticeable change.
Then, to the pouring and spraying with a spray bottle.
She liked the way spray sounded on the balloon.



Well, we are off to the beach for a short vacation.  See you when we return with some beach creativity.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Rice on a pan

Some of you have probably heard of sand on a pan.  This is colored rice on a pan.
This supports fine motor skills by encouraging children to use their pointer finger to make shapes, letters, or numbers.  It is a very tactile activity.  My daughter loved the way it felt on her fingers.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Parent Involvement

How do you involve parents in your class?


     Parent involvement is a major factor in school success: and no I don't mean homework.  Head Starts have a parent involvement requirement.  Since it is so important, how do we encourage parents to get more involved in their young child's education?  Many parents work and don't have the free time to come visit the classroom like they may want.  Here are a few ideas.

Make Parents Feel Welcome!
     I have heard of many teachers who do not want parents to come in because their children do not act the same when they are around.  So, they shut their doors and have parents only come in on certain days and times.  How would that make you feel?  Instead, you could have activities planned ahead that parents can sit down and do with children throughout the day.  I have a parent helper folder that parents can choose a game or activity.
Parent Folder
     We have plays or programs that parents are invited to throughout the year.  Mother's day breakfast and  father's day fun will bring parents in.  Make sure you plan these activities during more convenient times, such as when kids first come in or the last 20 minutes of the day.  If parents work it is easier to get off early or come in a little later than get off in the middle of the day.
     One teacher had a guest reader in her room every Friday.  The family member could choose a book and read it to the class.  And, the child got to share their family member- proud child= proud parent

Make Parents Feel Useful!
     Ask parents about their talents, occupations, and gifts.  I put this question on my information sheet I ask parents to fill out about their child at the beginning of the year.
Use them- Is that parent a doctor or nurse, we have donations of syringes (without the needles), gloves, booties, hats, even pretend blood specimens.

         This mom worked at a local medical school. She brought med students and actuallolds can say they saw or touched a real brain or a compared a healthy heart to an unhealthy heart?  12 of mine have and all the office staff.
     Do you have a parent who knows how to sew?   Since I dont- they can mend dress up cloths or make games like these fun cloth letters from Oh so happy together.
In a line
We even had one mom make costumes for a play we did.
Do you have a parent who builds or does woodworking?   I have recruited my dad to make puzzles, wooden gifts, or even little wooden cars.  You can check out his creative wood art at Scrolling Art by Belcher
What about the police officers, firefighters- my dad let me borrow his uniform to try on- its less frightening when the teacher or someones mom or dad tries on the uniform than a complete stranger.
Here he is in his uniform.
Make Parents Feel Involved!
     Even though parents can’t physically come in the classroom they can participate at home with take home activities.  I have a book bag. It has a book and a stuffed animal that is a character from the book.  Mostly supplied by Kohl’s Cares for Kids $5 books, they are hard back books and usually have a stuffed animal that goes with the book. Children get a turn to take home the book bag and read the book with their parents.
I have heard of some people who send home a stuffed animal with a journal. The child writes about the time he or she spends with the stuffed animal.
     I also have games I send home which deal with a specific skill. I have a label around the house bag. It has labels and tape included so the family can label all the things in the house. It helps with reading skills
I have a surprise box, you can see the my post on how this works.
     I have an art project about once a month, usually going along with holidays that gets sent home.  At Thanksgiving, children take home a turkey feather to decorate.  When they bring it back, we make it into a turkey. Each project turns out unique even when they start out with the same materials. At Christmas I send home a tree light shape and hang them up down the hallway.  In January 3 sizes of paper doilies are sent home to make a snowman.

Here are a few. Sorry this is a picture of a picture.

 February is a candy heart, Spring is Easter Egg for the basket, then a flower for the garden.

Make Parents Feel Important!
     Most schools have parent teacher conferences, make phone calls, and send home notes. Make sure you are keeping a majority of these experiences positive in order to keep the relationship positive. You have to be open to the needs of the parents by being a good listener.  Do all your parents speak English? Do they have young children at home preventing them from helping?  Are they just not sure what they should do?
Ask yourself why before you assume parents don't want to be involved.  You have their most precious item.  And, they have trusted in you, so trust that they want what is best for their child.

I would love to here what your ideas are for parent involvement.  Please leave a comment to share.