Hip Hip Hooray! It’s almost the 100th day!

Yippee!  We are quickly approaching the 100th day of school!  This is such a fun day for my students :).  I thought that I would post some ideas of things that we’ve done in the past and some wonderful ideas that other teachers have been sharing on their blogs.

I send home the note below with a ziploc bag.

Here is a copy of a paper that I have sent home in the past to help students with creating groups of 10:  make sets of 10.  I have to tell you, it’s very interesting what kids bring in to school!  In years past I’ve ordered products from the Really Good Stuff Catalog with my colleagues.  They sell these great stickers that you can place on the bags.  Just click on the picture below to be taken to their site.

We’ve also made 100th day crowns from The Virtual Vine.  Here is a picture of one of my students wearing the crown (I altered the picture to protect the identity of my former student):

You can download a copy of the crown here.

Here are some other wonderful ideas:

Fun in First Grade has some fantastic ideas like this on their blog. Click the picture to be taken there.

Mrs. Larremore posted a wonderful unit full of pictures and printables on her blog.  Check out her version of the 100th day ladybug, I think that my students just might have to make these this year!  Too cute!

Chalk Talk’s 100th Day Unit Ideas

Kinderblogger also as some fantastic ideas and printables for the 100th day of school on her blog.  Check out her 100th Day Book, what a great addition this will be to our station activities next week :).

I’m also re-posting some 100th day printables  from this posting here.

I’ll try to post some pictures later of what we ended up doing for the 100th day of school.  Have fun celebrating everyone!


New Apple Ideas…

Hello everyone!  We just finished doing an apple unit in my class (which was so much fun :)).  So I’d thought that I would share some of the activities that we completed with all of you.  By the way–don’t you just love fall?  I just love this season!  It’s so much fun to teach my little ones about apples and pumpkins.

Okay, I guess that is enough of a tangent, so on to the apple ideas!

  • We sequenced the numbers 1-10 that were written on small apple die-cuts and learned the poem 10 Red Apples.  Here is a copy of the poem:  Ten Red Apples Poem

This is a picture of the Ten Red Apples Poem project that we completed.

  • We’ve also been learning a lot about sorting.  We completed this apple tree project where students sorted their mini apple die-cuts by color:

This is a picture of the apple sorting activity we completed. I used a large tree die-cut for the top and cut brown construction paper into long rectangles to make the trunk of the tree.

You can get the paper we used for sorting here:  september jazzy journal for apple tree project

  • Of course we had to do apple stamping and tasting!  We had a lot of fun with this.  Here is a picture of our apple stamping project:

This is the apple stamping prints we did in class. We added clear glitter to the tops so the paint would really stand out. The yarn represents what color apple the student liked the best.

  • We also completed a glyph project with the apples.  Here are the pictures:

Students water colored the color of the apple that they liked the best.

This is the poster we completed to analyze our data.

Here is the glyph if you are interested:  Apple Glyph

  • We didn’t have time to make this snack this year, but I did make it last year and I loved it! I got the recipe from Making Learning Fun:  Apple Tree Snack.

Here is a picture:

This is a picture of the apple tree snack, which is yummy goodness!

  • We’ve also been playing Where’s the Worm Number ID game that I printed from Kindergarten Kindergarten’s blog.  You can see her post here.

Here is a picture of the # ID game from Kindergarten Kindergarten

I’ve also found some great new ideas on the internet.  I’ll post these links later in the week.  Have fun teaching your apple units with your little ones!


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!


Author Studies

This summer is going by so quickly!  As I sit and think about next year, there is one thing that I VERY excited about doing …it is an author study every month!  When I previously taught first grade we would do an author study every month, which I absolutely loved.  I would have a bulletin board in our classroom library featuring a monthly author and we would learn about the author, read and compare the stories and complete various projects related to the books.  I would absolutely love it when my little readers would go to the library weekly and request books written by specific authors like Tomie dePaola, Kevin Henkes and Jan Brett.

So as I’m compiling all of my resources, I thought that I would share some of the WONDERFUL resources that I’m finding on the internet with all of you as well.  Just click on the links to go to the pages with the information.

  1. Lesson ideas for using author studies to promote literacy within the classroom.
  2. Kindergarten Author Study Ideas
  3. Pro Teacher Author Study discussion

I would love to hear if any of you complete author studies within your classrooms.  Also, come back and check in the fall for other author study posts.


Parts of a Plant and Plant Life Cycle

So the last couple of weeks we have been learning about the plant life cycle.  My student teacher, Megan, has really come up with some great lessons for the students.  For the first week of this unit, students learned about the parts of a plant and the life cycle of a seed.

They got to come up and match the parts of a plant to a poster:

Then students made their own construction paper flowers during stations that day.  We used green construction paper for the stem and leaves, various colors for the flowers and brown yarn for the roots.  Here is a picture of the completed project:

In case you are interested here are the words for students to cut out:  Parts of a flower words

We also sang about the parts of a flower and did the hand motions to, “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”.   Here is the song that we made up to learn the parts of a plant:

Parts of a Plant Song

Tune:  Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

Flower, Stem, Leaves and Roots

Leaves and Roots

Flower, Stem, Leaves and Roots,

Leaves and Roots

The motions for the song were the following:  flower–the head, stem–pointing to stomach, leaves–squiggly arms, and roots–feet.  I hope that this makes sense!  The kids all loved this song and it was a simple way to teach the parts of a plant.

The next day, we learned about the life cycle of a plant.  Students planted seeds earlier in the week and read Eric Carle’s book The Tiny Seed.

Megan also made a fabulous chart to accompany the life cycle of a seed.  The clip art is from Carson Dellosa.

Students made their own charts of the life cycle of a seed.  The seeds were sunflower seeds.  A cotton ball represented a cloud.  Students dipped a sponge into brown paint to create dirt.  Next, students dipped their fingerprints in blue paint to create rain.  The sun and flower were clip art and students cut and glue these onto their papers.  Here is a picture of the finished project:

I’ll keep posting all of the fun activities that we are doing within the classroom.  My student teacher, Megan, has done an amazing job with her garden theme.


Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth day and I thought that I would share with all of you what we did in our preschool class today.  My student teacher, Megan, did an excellent planning for today’s festivities.

First, we read Lois Ehlert’s book, In My World.

This book was perfect for preschoolers because it has simple text and adjectives describe each picture before naming the object.  This book is perfect for developing vocabulary.

Next, students used blue and green tissue paper to decorate the ‘world’.  Here is a picture:

Students used watered down glue to glue tissue paper to represent water and land on their papers.

Here is a link to the clip art that we used for this project:  Earth Clip Art from ABC Teach.

Here is a picture of the finished project:

Next, students completed the recyling counting page.  We used number stamps for these as well.  This page was from The Learning Page.  If you have never heard of the learning page, then I highly recommend signing up for their website.  It is a free resource, but membership is required.

Here are some other great ideas and printables to celebrate Earth Day in your classrooms:

  1. Earth Day Game from DJ Inkers
  2. Earth Day Writing from DJ Inkers
  3. Earth Day Maze from DJ Inkers
  4. Another Cute Recycling Game from DJ Inkers
  5. Another Great Writing Activity from DJ Inkers
  6. Step By Step Childcare’s Earth Day Theme

Feel free to share your ideas for Earth Day in the comment section.  I’d love to hear what you are doing in your classrooms 🙂


Letter Journals

This school year we have been working on a weekly project for our letter of the week.  It is basically a letter book and we glue various die-cuts to the pages to correspond with the sound that we are learning.  I originally got this idea from one of my colleagues during summer school, and put my little spin on it (thanks Becky :)).

I’m planning on sending this book home at the end of the year so students can share it with their parents.  Here are some pictures of the book below:

This is the cover, and I decorated it with colorful letter die-cuts and laminated it for durability.

Here is an example of the inside pages

Even if you don’t have access to die-cuts, there are many different ways that you could use this letter book.  Students could cut out pictures of items from magazines or the newspaper and glue them to the corresponding letter pages.  Also, they could simply cut out or stamp various letters on the pages as well.  Lakeshore learning also sells some great materials that would be really great to use with these letter books (what can I say, I love Lakeshore’s products :)).

I can’t find a picture to post, but these letter sound rubber stamps would be great too:  Lakeshore Learning Letter Sound Rubber Stamps.

For more great journal ideas check out this wonderful book:

This book retails as an e-book for $15.99

Happy journaling to you!


Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall…

So I realize that I’m a little behind on my bloggin (once again)!  However, I wanted to share a few ideas for the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty that we did at the end of  March.  This was the perfect time to complete these activities since we were already learning about eggs that week. 

So we read and sang the Humpty Dumpty song from Frog Street press.  This is part of their Sing and Read Theme collection. 

We also sequenced the story with pictures.

Then we made and stuffed some Humpty Dumpty’s.  I think that they turned out quite cute!  What do you think?

Here are some links to some other great Humpty Dumpty ideas on the web!

  1. Humpty Dumpty Visual Aids from Sparkle Box.  These would be great for making your own big book to read aloud to students.  You can go to this site here.
  2. Home School Share has this great idea for a Humpty Dumpty Lapbook with lots of links to free materials:  Humpty Dumpty Lapbook Resources
  3. Story Time Stand Outs also has some great literature activities here:  Humpty Dumpty Resources
  4. You have to check out this fabulous thematic unit from the Virtual Vine:  Humpty Dumpty Thematic Unit
  5. Making Learning Fun also has a TON of wonderful ideas and printables.  This is definitely worth checking out:  Humpty Dumpty Ideas

Little Quack’s New Friend…

We just recently had Open House at school and we created an entire bulletin board with a friendship theme inspired by the book Little Quack’s New Friend by Laureen Thompson.

In this story Little Quack, who is a duck, makes an expected friend with Little Ribbit, who is a frog.  I love this book, because it teaches students that although we may be different (i.e. frogs and ducks), we are still all the same (i.e. they both like to play). We brainstorm and discuss things that we like to do with our friends and also talk about things that we like to play.

So–after we read this story in class, we made paper plate ducks and frogs.  For the paper plate ducks, we painted a larger paper plate yellow.  Then cut out feet and bills out of orange construction paper, and then eyes from black construction paper.  We also cut out a smaller yellow circle from yellow construction paper for the head.  Here is a picture of the finished project:

For the paper plate frogs, we painted outsides of two small desert plates green.  Once that dries, paint the inside of one of the plates red.  This will later be the inside of the mouth for the frog.  I have a pattern for the frog legs, from the Mailbox’s April Art book for Preschool and Kindergarten.  I copied this pattern onto green construction paper.  Students cut out the arms and legs and then fold them accordion style.  Next, students glue the arms and legs to one of the green round plates (I tell students that this is going to be the frog’s tummy).  With the plate that has the red inside, fold this in half and glue to the ‘tummy’.  Finally, glue white cotton balls to the top of the head for the eyes and add black construction paper circles to eyes as well.  Here is a picture of the finished project:

I love the way these turn out!  So cute!

After the frogs and ducks were all finished, then we painted and decorated paper dolls to represent the students.  I love this project!  The students always get so excited!   First, we paint an outlined shape of a person with paint that matches the student’s skin color.    After these are dry, then we can add the clothing.  I have a pattern for the jeans and t-shirts, and I copy these onto construction paper.  Students then pick what color they want and cut them out and then glue them to their people patterns.  Finally, we just add the finishing touches, such as eyes and yarn for the hair.  Here is a picture:

Finally, I asked students to tell me about their friends and I gave them the following prompt, “My friend is ____.  We like to play ___ together.”  I later typed their responses and added them to the bottom of the board.  Here is an example:

And now, I won’t keep you in suspense–here is a picture of the complete bulletin board!

I hope that some of my ideas have inspired you!  Feel free to let me know of any other great read-alouds that have a friendship theme that would be appropriate for preschool aged students.

Graphing Ideas…

During my recent trip to Lakeshore Learning earlier this summer I purchased a Question of the Day chart set to use in my classroom, which I am so excited to use! Here is a picture below:

This kit retails for $49.95 from Lakeshore Learning.

This kit retails for $49.95 from Lakeshore Learning.

So this has me thinking about graphing ideas that can be used in the preschool or kindergarten classroom. So, I thought that I would share with you some great resources that I have found.

  • Jessica Meacham has an entire page devoted to graphing ideas, she also includes many great printables to create your own charts and she also lists literature links as well.  Just click here to see her go to her site.
  • Jennifer’s Kinderpond website also has a page with daily graphing questions with printables, many of these have been specifically created to accompany Jessica Meacham’s graphing ideas.  Click here to go this page.
  • CanTeach has a page with questions that can be used for graphing questions right here.
  • Kelly’s Kindergarten also has graphing ideas on her Calendar page.  She also has some great documents to download as well.  Click here to go to her site.
  • Here are some graphing ideas to use with literature:  Carol Hurst’s Children Literature Site
  • ABC Teach has these great printables to use for many graphing activities:  ABC Teach Graphing Printables
  • Check out this link here to find some great graphing lesson ideas to use with kindergarten students.
  • Teaching Heart also has an entire page devoted to graphing here.  There are a ton of great pictures and lesson ideas here!

Have fun creating graphs with your students this year, the possibilities are endless!