Friday, December 16, 2011

Polar Express

Earlier this week, I read The Polar Express to both my 3 year old class and my 4 year old class.  Afterwards, we made these Polar Express trains from Deanna Jump's Polar Express Unit:

When I purchased this unit from Deanna, I didn't know it had this train craft.  It was an unexpected but hoped for treasure that I knew was PERFECT for my class to do as a follow-up to the book!  Unfortunately, I didn't have gray construction paper for the front of the train, so we used black which blends in with the background paper, but I still love how they turned out. (Click HERE for a link to Deanna's TPT store).

To guide my students in making this craft, I made a template for them by running the construction paper through the copier (quick and easy).  I outlined this one with white crayon so it would show up in the picture better.

I was worried that my sweeties would have trouble positioning the pieces right on the paper without having a guide, and I wanted to make sure they had enough room to do some painting.  After giving them their template to guide them, I passed out the pieces for them to glue on.  They did a great job putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

For morning work, we completed a Mailbox page that I thought fit with our Polar Express theme:
"Tickets to Ride" (I took this picture before the students arrived, so this one isn't done yet)

Every Friday, I send an Optional Homework assignment in each kiddo's folder.  It makes me happy every Monday morning when I see completed homework in their folders that they've brought back in to show me.  I decided to make homework optional because, let's face it, these kids are only 3 or 4.  A lot of the kids have stay-at home moms that are sending their kids to preschool to be enriched.  They don't HAVE to send their kid to preschool, so I work hard to make my preschool program very educational, and I like to send these optional assignments home to give these parents tools to use at home.  I'm lucky that many of my preschoolers get worked with at home.  I think this is GREAT, and I am happy to provide them with resources for extra practice on things we do at preschool.  Below was the optional homework I sent today:

As you can see, I write Optional Homework on the paper so that parents are aware that it's not mandatory.

Thanks for looking!  Have a wonderful weekend!  I'll still be teaching through next Thursday, so be sure to come back soon to see the Grinch and Santa activities I have planned for next week!


  1. Your Polar Express Trains are ADORABLE! What a fun craft! I just pinned it.

  2. Thank you!!! All the credit goes to Deanna Jump who created this fun idea! We really enjoyed it : )

  3. I have given you the Liebster blog award! Head over to my blog to check it out!! :)

    Creating & Teaching

  4. Very cute train! We will make that a MUST DO next year. Thank you for sharing! I am your newest follower! I would love for you to come check me out! I have LOTS and LOTS of *freebies*!

  5. I just found your blog and am so glad that I did! I teach a K/1 combo this year, but am hoping to be teaching a transistional kinder next year with four year olds. I love your idea of turning the train into a puzzle with the back piece to make it easier for your kiddos to put together! Brilliant!
    An Open Door

  6. Hi Camille! I'm so glad you found my blog! Thanks for the compliment! It warms my heart when people like my ideas : )