Thanksgiving Placemats!

We have been busy all week preparing for our Harvest Feast on Friday afternoon with my students.  One of the things that we made today was a Thanksgiving place mat.  This directional art activity turns out so cute!  I forgot my phone today, so I wasn’t able to take pictures, but fortunately I did take a picture  from last year!  Click the picture below to download the dimensions and directions for this project!  I hope that you little kiddos have fun making this project!

Penguins, Polar Animals and some other fun activities!

We’ve been learning about penguins and polar animals the last couple of weeks at school. First, we talked about penguins and I introduced some new vocabulary.  I’ve really been trying to focus upon increasing the overall vocabulary of my students, so I made some of these cards here:

January vocabulary

Each day I introduced a fact about penguins to my students.  By the end of the week, they helped me fill out a cloze activity about the facts that we learned.  Students also helped me to make a large penguin that we used to write our facts on.  Here is a picture:

My students also did a cut and paste penguin activity, then they measured their penguins with unifix cubes when they were all done.  They recorded their responses on a sheet of paper.  Just in case you are wondering, I often use highlighter for my students to trace the words.  Most of my kiddos are not able to independently write, and this was suggested at a handwriting workshop that I attended earlier in the fall.

I got the penguin measurement idea from Mrs. Larremore’s Chalk Talk blog and changed it to fit this project.  If you would like a copy, then you can download it here:  penguin measurement.

By the way, Mrs. Larremore also posted a compilation of  penguin ideas here.  The top picture on page 13 of her unit features a picture from the handprint poem page for the month of January!  Whoop!  I was sooooo happy to see that!  So, I’m posting the January poem page for you to print if you want to make this project too:  January hand print poem page.

I know that I’m starting to sound like a Chalk Talk groupie, but April Larremore seriously posts some great ideas!  She also posted about the book, Mama Do You Love Me? here.

We made some construction paper Eskimos too, that turned out adorable!

Then we added writing similar to April Larremore’s post.  You can get a copy of the papers that we used for writing and review the sight words here:

Mama Do you Love Me project part 1

Mama Do you Love Me project part 2

We also finished the Eskimo sight word page from Heidi Songs.  My students had so much fun singing the songs as they colored!  By the way–have I mentioned how much I LOVE Heidi Songs!  If you don’t own any of her sight word CD’s or DVD’s, then buy some!  They are fantastic!  I can’t wait to buy more to use with my students!  Any way, if you want to download the Eskimo sight word page, then you can find it at the bottom of her blog post here.

Well, that’s all that I have for now, but I hope that you found some useful ideas for use with your little kiddos!  Also, don’t forget to check out the Penguin page here for lots of links and ideas to use with your winter units:  Penguin Thematic Unit.



Ocean Theme Ideas and Links

I thought that I would share some of the activities that we completed this summer in my special education preschool classroom.  This summer the theme was Ocean.  The students had a blast learning about various ocean animals, and I also integrated basic skills such as letters, counting, shape recognition and color recognition into this theme.  Below is a compilation of activities, ideas and links to share with you.  Enjoy!

C is for Crab:

  • We made paper plate crabs (see picture below) and reviewed the color red.

  • We completed the Letter C worksheet from First-School.  Students used crayons to practice rainbow writing the upper and lower case letters, then they colored, cut and glued the objects that started with the letter c their papers.  You can find the worksheet here.
  • We also read the Crab poem from the poem book “Commotion in the Ocean”

  • We also later read Eric Carle’s book, “A House for Hermit Crab” and discussed how our crabs and the Hermit crab were the same (they both have claws, etc).

J is for Jellyfish:

  • Students traced the letter J and talked about things that begin with the letter J.  We used this worksheet, that you can find here for the letter J.
  • Students water colored paper plates and then we later added tissue paper strips to make the tentacles for our jellyfish.

S is for Seahorse:

  • We watercolored sea horse clip-art that I found from The Mailbox’s Ocean Themed book.

This book retails for $7.00 from The Mailbox and is full of great ideas.

  • Students colored seahorses and rainbow traced the letter s.  We used this worksheet from Lee Hansen.
  • We also read Eric Carle’s book Mr. Seahorse. We talked about how daddy seahorses are special.

T is for Turtle:

  • We painted paper plates green and had green construction paper shapes for students to glue to make the body parts.  We used the following shapes–large circle for the head, large triangle for the tail and 4 small rectangles for the legs.  After students painted their plates their were asked to identify shapes and glue them to their plates (i.e. “find the circle and glue this to the top of your plate”).  We also used a lot of positional words during this activity (i.e. on top of, bottom, side, etc).
  • We completed this letter T tracing activity.
  • We also completed a variety of activities that day related to the color green.

Here are some other great ocean theme pages to check out:

The Virtual Vine’s Ocean Theme

Pre-Kinder’s Ocean Unit

I’ll keep posting ideas as I load the pictures to my computer from summer school.  Thanks for looking!


Another Version of a Handprint Art Book/Calendar

The other night I was at a friend’s house for dinner and she was showing all of us the book that her son made in preschool.  It is a handprint calendar, and I of course had asked if I could take some pictures of the project for future reference.  I took the pictures with my phone, so they aren’t the best quality.  Also, I changed the cover to protect the identity of her child.  Anyway,  I thought that I would share them with all of you.

Have fun making your own handprint books and please feel free to share your ideas and photos!  I’d love to see them!


Handprint Art Books

I’ve seen the hand print calendars that people often do for parent Christmas gifts, but to be honest with you, I found that project to be a little overwhelming.  So–I put my little spin on it and created hand print art books for the year.  I have to say that these are simply adorable! 

Here are some pictures:

August handprint which is a crayon box. Paint the middle of the hand yellow and the outsides green. Paint the fingers various colors. After the paint dries, add the word 'Crayons' to the yellow portion.

September hand print. Paint the palm red, but do not paint the fingers. Next paint the index finger brown for the stem. Use the other index finger to paint green to make a leaf.

October hand print which is a ghost. Paint the entire hand white and then dip the tip of the index finger in black paint to make eyes and a nose.

November hand print which is a turkey. The palm and thumb is painted brown and the fingers are painted various colors to create feathers. I added the other features with Sharpie markers after the paint dried.

December hand print which is Santa. Paint 1/2 of the palm pink and the other half red. Paint the thumb red as well. Paint all other fingers white to make the beard. After you have student stamp this part, then dip their index finger in white paint to make a 'pom-pom' at the end of Santa's hat. I added the facial features with markers after the paint dried.

January hand print which is a penguin. Paint the fingertips and haf of the hand black. Paint the center of the palm white and the thumb and fingers black. I used white reinforcer labels

February art. Paint both hands red and overlap to create a heart.

March handprint art. Paint the top of the palm pink. Next paint the bottom of the palm and thumb green. Paint the fingers orange to be the leprechaun's beard. Iadded the details with markers after the paint dried.

I will add some more photos later as we continue to finish our books before the end of the school year. 

Here are some links with ideas and printables if you decide to do a similar project:

  1. ABC 123 Kindergarten’s Handprint Calendar Page
  2. Katie’s Nesting Spot Handprint Calendar Ideas  this blog post is where I truly got the idea to complete this project!  Here ideas are too cute, and I love the poems that she has with her handprints as well.
  3. Handprint Calendar Printable from Mrs. Bainbridge  this link also has great poems to accompany each monthly handprint.
  4. Handprint and Footprint Art Blog  this entire blog is devoted to these projects.  There are lots of cute ideas!

Feel free to share your ideas too!  I’d love to hear them :).

Open House 2009…

Oh my goodness! I have had the busiest week ever! Our school held their Open House on Wednesday night. It was so much fun to see all of my little ones show their parents and families around our classroom. They proudly showed their families all of their artwork that was displayed. Here are some pictures of our classroom this year.

Parent Gifts…

It’s that time of the year again…I’m searching for various ideas for my students to make their parent gifts! I thought that I would compile some of the ideas that I am finding for you on the internet. There are lots of adorable ideas!

Check out this picture of an adorable popsicle stick reindeer ornament:

This ornament is also a very cute idea. You use popsicle sticks to form a snowflake. This picture and ideas is from

Here are some super cute ornament ideas from Mrs. Ingram’s Kindergarten Class: Mrs. Ingram’s Kindergarten Ornaments

Who could forget the handprint projects!  These are too cute.   Here is a link to a plaster of paris handprint plaque:  Handprint Plaque Directions.

Here is another link to some ideas to make with students for parent gifts:  Gift Project Ideas

Last year we did create handprint snowmen ornaments similar to this picture from Little Giraffes’ website.

Here is a link to the page where you can find the directions:

Nora Flanagan’s Christmas Ideas

Here is a link to where you can print the cute little tags from Nora Flanagan:  Snowman Ornament Tag with Poem

Nora Flanagan also has a fabulous handprint calendar idea here:  Handprint Calendar Gift.

Here is another page dedicated to the handprint calendar ideas: 

ABC 123 Kindergarten’s Handprint Calendar Ideas

I just found out that Kelly’s Kindergarten also has an entire page dedicated to this as well.  Here is the link:  Xmas Crafts for Kindergartners