Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Oh, Christmas Tree!

In the spirit of decorating for Christmas, I chose Christmas trees as our theme this week.  I figured a lot of families decorate after Thanksgiving, and the mention of Christmas trees got my preschoolers really excited!

First, we read The Biggest Christmas Tree Ever by Steven Kroll.

Image Detail

Then, I gave my kiddos a precut and prepunched Christmas tree for them to decorate with squares of construction paper!  Here's how they turned out...

The template I used for the trees is from DLTK.  Click on the link to take you right to the free template.  Instead of construction paper, you could use tissue paper!  Another idea is to add a star to the top of the tree.  A lot of my students asked about having a star... (I'll have to remember that for next year).  And you could add a hole-punch and string at the top to turn the craft into a paper ornament.  Tomorrow and Friday my classes will be making a "Christmas Hearts Pattern Tree"  from Tunstalls Teaching Tidbits.  This link will take you to her blog- not to the craft!  Come back tomorrow to see pictures, but in the meantime, be sure to check out Reagan's blog and her Christmas Art Projects Pack on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Here's another tree activity that we did today for morning work... students had to sequence the pictures.  This is from a Mailbox magazine.  If you're ever curious of which month and edition any of the pages come from let me know and I can add that.

Happy Tree Decorating!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Old Lady Activity

I am FINALLY getting around to posting our I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie activity...

After reading the story, I had students color the old lady and the story pieces (compliments of Lil' Country here for the link).  I put all of the story pieces in a ziplock bag and attached it behind the old lady.  I'm not sure the source of the old lady printable.  I got it from a teacher that I subbed for.  I loved that one of my students colored the old lady's face green... I think I'd be feeling pretty green too if I ate everything that she did!  haha!

Before Thanksgiving, we also completed "Feather Count" from Julie Lee's Happy Thanksgiving Unit.

Today, we began Christmas tree activities!  Tomorrow I'll post the hole-punched Christmas trees that we decorated!

Monday, November 21, 2011

I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

LOVE this story.  However, when I read this story to my 4 year old preschool class, I have to say that I felt conflicted about whether or not to read the line "Perhaps she'll die."  Ultimately, I made the decision to skip it, but I'm still wondering if I made the right choice.  My decision boiled down to me not being sure how to  include it... read it and address it, or read it and ignore it unless one of my 4s said something about it...  What do you do about this line of text?

Our "old lady" activities coming soon after I get through conferences tomorrow!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Paper Plate Turkeys

Today's morning work, a number dot-to-dot, courtesy of

One of our center activities:  (ordering the turkeys from smallest to biggest)

And finally, today's craft:  Paper-plate turkeys...

I found this idea at Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade.  This was the first time we used markers this year in preschool, so the kids just loved doing this turkey project.  Didn't they do a great job with the faces?!  I showed them first and was very impressed at how well they did following my directions!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Meet the Sight Words

Does anyone else use these DVDs in their classroom?

I use the Meet the Sight Word movies by Preschool Prep EVERYDAY with my preschoolers (during snack time...keeps 'em quieter, AND why not make snack time educational..., and I also play them at the end of the day while we're packing up...again... it keeps the class quieter and gives them a little more practice with the sight words).  They.are.amazing!  The kids LOVE them!  And I LOVE them. 

I bought Meet the Sight Words 1 first to try out, and I have to say... at first I thought to myself, man, what a waste of money because the movie says the words over and over, and it just kind of seemed corny, but nonetheless, I decided to try it out with my preschoolers, and I couldn't have been more wrong.  Not a waste of money at all!  I am so impressed by how many of these words my THREE and FOUR year old classes have picked up from these movies.  I now own Meet the Sight Words 1, 2, and 3.

I hope to get a contracted job teaching Kindergarten, and if/when I do, I will play these for my Kindergarten students during their snack time and at the end of the day as well.  If you teach preschool or Kindergarten, I HIGHLY recommend these sight word DVDs.  Your class will love them and learn from them!  

Meet the Numbers, Meet the Letters, Meet the Digraphs, and more are also available and on my list of things to purchase!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Terrific Turkeys

Today with my 3-year old class, we made these terrific turkeys from Krissy Miner at Kindergarten Monkey Business:

Krissy has the patterns available as a free download on her blog HERE.
I'll be doing this darling craft with my 4-year old class tomorrow!

We also completed a Mailbox worksheet for practice distinguishing between real and make-believe. 

Some of my "turkeys" had trouble deciding whether or not a turkey could stand on a log, but they decided that turkeys must be able to do that since they CANNOT bake a pie, dress up, or hold silverware.

As a center activity, we read and colored My Turkey from Julie Lee's Happy Thanksgiving unit, available on Teachers Pay Teachers:

I always circle or highlight the color words ahead of time to help my 3s and 4s with the reading.  We've done a lot of similar activities, and they are really good at using their "Eagle Eye."  They also know to touch the words as they say them!

Another center activity we did was this "Turkey Treats" page from Mailbox:

Students had to listen and follow directions to put each picture in the right spot.  This activity also gave my kiddos practice with scissors.  I usually give them the pieces they need in a strip, and then they only have to cut each piece off of the strip, if that makes sense.  Soon, I'll start letting them do more of their own cutting, but for now, this works really well for us. 

More turkey creations coming up later this week!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Tissue Paper Turkeys

Today, my kiddos made these colorful tissue paper turkeys...

Here's a close-up of one:

Not all of my preschoolers got into this some turkeys were a little less colorful...

...but... it is what it is... and if I had to choose between 100% effort into a craftivity or 100% effort into a math or reading activity, I'd go with the math and reading anyday!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Last week, our learning theme was scarecrows.  After reading The Scarecrow's Hat, we made scarecrows.

                                                       The Scarecrow's Hat

This idea came from Life in First Grade. She also had another more involved scarecrow that we did after reading The Silly ScarecrowProduct Details
Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures.  This week, our theme will be turkeys!

Life in First Grade Giveaway!

One of my favorite blogs,, is having a giveway in honor of reaching 1,000 followers!  Visit Leslie Ann's blog, Life in First Grade, for instructions on how to enter her giveway! 

Friday, November 4, 2011

More Leaves!

Before cutting them out...

After... (excuse my shadow on the wall in the picture)

We made these fall leaves after reading the story Let It Fall.  This idea and leaf template come from Preschool Playbook.  To make our leaves, we first painted with yellow.  Next, we used red.  This was a great craft to reinforce that yellow and red make orange.  Next week, our learning theme will be scarecrows. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Leaves, Leaves, Leaves!

We read the story The Leaves on the Trees then made this cute fall craft with fingerpaint and toilet paper rolls.  I found this idea and free pattern at All Kids Network:

I loved this craft because it gave our gluesticks a break!  We go through a ton!  Although I mostly post the crafts that we do, our day is also comprised of many learning activities.  Here is our daily schedule:
9:00-9:10        Morning Work (typically a paper from Mailbox's Teacher Helper)
9:10-9:30        Calendar Activities
9:30-10:00      Center Rotations (Math, Reading, Table Toys)
10:00-10:30    Read Aloud and Craft
10:30-10:45    Bathroom/Snack and Sight word movies
10:45-11:00    Classroom Library
11:00-11:25    Play Time
11:25-11:35    Fundations:  Letters and Letter Sounds
11:35-11:45    Math:  Counting, Coins, Shapes
11:45-12:00    Pack-up/Sight Word movies
12:00               Dismissal

More leaf activities to come!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Mummies

On Monday, Halloween day, I read Where's My Mummy?, then we created the following mummies from Deanna Jump's Where's-my-Mummy-literature-unit.  Her unit, available on Teachers Pay Teachers, has the dimensions for creating the mummy craft.  Instead of having my kiddos turn squares into circles as the directions call for, I took the dimensions and made patterns that I traced and cut out ahead of time.  Although it gives the artwork more personality to have the kids cut the corners and round out the points, I knew this would be a difficult task for my preschoolers.  Nonetheless, each mummy is slightly different and mummy-rific!

I also had my class sequence the ghosts (from A Place Called Kindergarten) during center time:

Today, despite the snow we had over the weekend, we began a "Leaves" theme.  I was tempted to do a snow activity, but I stuck to my original plan and read The Leaves on the Trees.  We then fingerpainted fall trees.  Pictures coming soon!