Friday, February 24, 2012

Changes, Changes- A book of building and a craft too

Changes, Changes is a book by Pat Hutchins
C 0689711379

This book has no words and I was amazed at how it kept all the children's interest.  We predicted what the people would build next.  At the end of the story we recalled all the different things that were built.  They did great with it.  Some even asked to read it again.  Since we share all our books from Creative Curriculum with another class, we had to give the book up for the day.

I decided to let the children make their own structures like in the book.

Like the book states, plans change.
My lesson plan shows the intent of the activity below.
First, we worked together to watercolor paint a large piece of paper.  I then cut out shapes from the paper, and I added some other paper scraps from other cutting projects.  Next the kids were asked to glue some shapes down to make something.  I recorded what they made on each page along with their name.
We turned it into a book we will keep in our library.  Now, the kids can read our story.

Well, 3 year olds who have never been aloud to use glue independently changed the activity to meet their own goals.  Oh well.  It is the process. 

I still think the idea of creating our own book from our art work is a great idea, but it will have to wait on another art project and more experience with art materials.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Painting with make up sponges

     I bought these triangular make up sponges to make the DIY dot painters like Teach Preschool has done.  But, they were not big enough to fit the containers I was going to use.  Oh well.  We just used them to paint with instead.  My kids get a lot of watercolors with paint brushes.  They need a new medium to keep them interested in painting.

Some kids used only one color.

Some kids used many colors to make patterns.

Some kids used many colors and layered they paper with so much paint it made the neatest textured painting.

Some kids used the sponges on the skinny side and others used the fat side.

I have found that painting with the strangest things make the neatest looking product and provide the best process oriented artwork.
If you want to learn more about process versus product artwork, you can visit this previous post.

Monday, February 20, 2012


Building, Buildings, and more Building
     I have been excited to start this theme of buildings, since I have 13 boys.

     I took pictures of the familiar sites around town, then printed them big enough to fit on our cardboard blocks.  How's that for environmental print.  Some pictures I made big enough to cut in half or forths to encourage children to build the buildings and not just build to knock down. Add some helmets, tools, and vehicles and you have a construction zone the kids will want to visit.
One little boy carried this fire station around all during center time because his dad works there.  So make multiples if you want to encourage sharing.

     My classroom is lacking car, trucks, or anything with wheels.  This will not do, so I made vehicles the same way I made the building blocks.  Luckily, there was some construction vehicles right outside my house this week.  Target and Dollar tree supplied me with the other vehicles with wheels for $1 each. 

     I asked each child "What type of building do you live in?"  Just a little hint.  Don't right your name up on the chart first or you will have everyone living in the same type of building that you do.  Luckily in Head Start, we do home visits, so my aide knew which type of building they all lived in.  So, now back to describing different types of buildings.  It would have been better if I had real pictures of buildings.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A great Dollar tree find

I love going to the Dollar Tree before going anywhere else to find supplies for school.

Here is one I found this weekend.

Bendaroos, also called stikki wikkis, can be used to make things or used as a more educational activities.

You can use them to have children trace their names.  They stick to most hard surfaces.

Let the kids outline shapes.  Slip a drawn shape in a page protector.

I have used them with my Handwriting Without Tears letter cards to let them form numbers.

One Little girl made a pattern on the blocks that were also on the table.

I've seen these used on big books to circle sight words or letters the class is working on.  Just try to find a creative way to use them.  It's great when you can find them at such a great price.

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Three Little Pig Building

The Three Little Pigs

We read The Three Little Pigs story by .  It is a little long for three year olds but if you get the kids to chant along, you'll keep their attention.
There are lots of versions of this story out there.  These 2 came with the Creative Curriculum.

The True Story of The Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka is about the nice wolf who comes to borrow a cup of sugar and sneezes to start a horrible misunderstanding

The Three Little Javelinas  is a Mexican version where the bad coyote chases the pigs.  It is a very long story.
The Three Little Javelinas/Los Tres Pequenos Jabalies: Bilingual (Multilingual Edition)
If your looking for the best read aloud, look for a book with some of these qualities.

a positive attitude-
many versions have the pigs being eaten, which can be scary for young children and the idea that the mom would make her kids leave their home might cause some questions.
Rhyme and repetition-
children will chant along with a story that rhymes and repeats, which means they will be more interested in the story and have a better understanding of the story
Simple and short story line-
If the story line is long and complicated, the kids will zone out

just make up your own story using puppets or props.

Greg &Steve have a Three Little Pig Blues on Playing Favorites album

As a response we told how we would build our own houses.  I made this cute little pig tri-fold book, added a nose, eyes, and curly tail to the outside cover. 
Sorry the pics are a little dark.
Then the children added their picture to the page that described how they would build their own house.  I'm using pictures with these 3 year olds to get them use to making a decision, something they have not been accustomed to in the classroom. Then will add their names to the picture, then take the picture away.  This will help them recognize and use their names more often.

You can retell the story on this cute flip down book.

Fold large paper in half lengthwise.  Then cut only the top fold down so the paper is in thirds.  Then cut the top into a roof into triangles.  Decorate.

Open the flaps to tell the story in writing.

I found this playdo set on clearance at walmart.  It's not as involved as the picture looks, but the kids enjoyed making the pigs.
Play Doh - The Story of the Three Little Pigs

We also have this cute felt board set thanks to Preschool Printables.
If you want more information about how to make your own felt board pieces check out this previous post
If you want to make your own felt boards Teach Preschool

We used straws, sticks, and foam bricks to build houses on the sticky table.  Thanks to Teach Preschool for the inspiration.
Even the most hyper kids spent lots of time on this one.
It is just clear contact paper taped to our sensory table sticky side up.  I drew a house frame on paper and slipped it under the contact paper.
I have always done a sticky board on my easel.
But this way on the table was fun and could be done on a large area.