Thursday, November 29, 2012


We started the week with a definition of Transportation: Things that go and take you from one place to another.

We then made a list of types of transportation.

The next day, we read the book: The Big Book of Things that Go.  This gave us even more ideas to put on our list.  We then added to our list.

The next day we Sorted the list into Land (green marker with grass lines), Water (dark blue waves), and Air (light blue clouds).  

The students also did a sort as their morning table time from  It was called the "land air sea sort."

Students also wrote their names with cars. I wrote their names in large yellow letters (to be the yellow lines on the road) and they had to drive their cars on the yellow lines.  When I was writing the letters I made sure to describe the ways in which I was making/forming the letters so they could work on correct letter formation.  

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Classroom Jobs

After my most recent training in Conscious Discipline, they told us we need to have a job for each individual child in the class.  It is to help them feel included, a part of the school, and like they make a difference.  I searched and searched for a job chart that had 20 jobs of which a 1/2 day 4k could actually use.  It was touch and and didn't find one I really liked, so I made my own.  I really like the choices and the responsibility it gives the kids.  I also gave them a lot of the jobs I find myself doing over and over but I shouldn't have to.

If you have any questions on what one is or would like one a little different, please let me know!

                               Free Jobs Printable

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pumpkins & Halloween

On Monday we did a haunted house math activity.  Students cut out the ghosts (it helps if you tell them to cut the whole border first then cut them apart).  They then count the dots in the windows and put the corresponding ghost on the window.

We watched how pumpkins grow with 2 videos:

We then practiced the life cycle of a pumpkin yoga to the above video.

Vines grow longer and longer and longer
Blossoms Bloom, they are yellow
Little pumpkins start
Big Pumpkins grow on the vine

On Halloween we did a variety of activities, the children able to choose where they wanted to go.  If they did not choose to go there or take time to go there, that was their choice, but then that was the only thing they were going to do.  Choices were:

Halloween Safety Book

Decorate a Pumpkin

Decorate a Cookie

Halloween Bingo

Reading Halloween/Fall Books

We also watched this Shapes/Halloween Video

Finally, students said what they were going to be for Halloween and we worked together as a class to write some of the sound we heard.


Monday we made turkeys that students matched the number on the feathers to the dots on the turkey.  To make this project, I found a turkey body template online.  I printed the template and put dots in the same formation in which a student would find them on a dice randomly around the turkey.  I then cut strips of paper that looked to be the "logical size" of a feather on this size turkey. They ended up being approx. 1"x 6.5".  I then put them in a pattern and wrote the numbers on the feathers corresponding with the turkey's numbers (it would then result in a pattern when the students did it correctly.  A way to self check as well as to make my check quick).  9, 1, 5, 3, 7, 8, 4, 6, 2, 10.  I memorized the pattern by the time I was done making 30 turkeys worth of feathers.  Students were given the turkey, and their pack of feathers and told to match the number with the dots.    If they needed help I did scaffold them to the process to help give them exposure to the number recognition, but also noted the students that did need more help than others.  Also, I found that some students found it easier to count with a pencil in hand to point to the small dots on their own.  We called this their counter tool. When some had their counter tool, I saw their efficiency and correct numbers increase.  

Tuesday we made a Thankerchief--a game of passing around a "thankerchief" and taking turns saying what we are thankful for.  This activity taught us things we are thankful for, worked on our speaking skills, following multi-step directions, and fine motor skills when decorating our "thankerchief." Students were given a white piece of fabric (we had a white sheet in our art closet my principal gave me permission to cut up.  I have also see the activity done where students can all bring in their own white piece of fabric.  We then decorated them however they thought was beautiful with the bingo dotters.  They then colored the poem.  I then applied the poem to a toilet paper tube wrapping the while thing in packing tape.  (I thought it would help with the grease and helping it last longer).  We practiced the game in school so students knew how and so they could take it home and teach their families with my Thankerchief I had made.  When all were dry, I put together and sent home with them.    

For the Thankerchief poem printable click here.

Wednesday, the morning class played Thanksgiving BINGO in our small group time.  We learned a variety of Thanksgiving vocabulary words as well as worked on our listening skills.  

Where Animals go in the Winter

We had a field trip planned to Mosquito Hill (New London, WI) in which we were going to be discussing what animals do in the winter.  We did this very theme in our room.

 Monday we made a Know, want to know, learned sheet.  It was cool to see how much the students knew!  They had some really good questions as well.  

Tuesday was our trip to Mosquito Hill.  We had a lot of fun. Pictures are posted on the class website. (cannot publish this link due to some students parents not consenting to the publication of their child's picture outside of our class site)

Wednesday, we finished filling out the KWL chart with the information we learned on the trip and looked to see if it answered our questions.  

We also made a goose that is going to fly in our class in V formation!  It was fun to stuff the paper bag and cut out the pieces and assemble it all.  

Pre-K Packs

I have recently discovered "Over the Big Moon."  It is an AMAZING blog.  They have these printable Pre-K packs that I am IN LOVE with.  I used them with my students and they are also in love.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciate, Over the Big Moon.  Please visit their blog!

Over the Big Moon Button png 1 Buttons
I have used these packs for our table top time (size order, sorting, cutting practice, writing practice). 
 The students know the procedure to line up on the orange x's on our classroom floor starting at my desk, get their work and supplies, do the activity, turn in the activity in "the high five basket" (Target dollar spot purchase: a paper box with hand prints on it) and supplies in the same bins I pulled them from, and then go find a quiet place to play.  
The procedure is a great way to teach routine, multi-step directions, as well as the actual skills of the project.  Once student turn in their work, I collect it.  For cutting and writing practice I simply take a look at and see that they are practicing theses skills.  
For some things such as the sorting, size order, etc. I open a spread sheet note how they did with something as simple as :),  :\,  :( for their understanding so I can see if it is something we still need to work on or soemthing we have mastered. This way, I know what they need more teaching on or something they have mastered.  I can then use this in my report card writing as well.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Fall Harvest, Food of Thanksgiving-Election

We started the first full week of November discovering the new pattern on our calendar (turkey, turkey, cornucopia).   We discussed what a cornucopia was, what is was used for, and why they used that instead of things we know about now.  It was a wonderful discussion with our class.

We started the week with making an Indian Corn Stalk.  Students cut out the small squares in the color's of their choice.  They then glued them on the corn stalk.  We then "got out our counting finger out" and counted the number of kernels of corn on our cob.  For now, we are simply working on our counting skills, one to one correspondance, and number identification so I wrote the number in yellow. I read the 'big number' and then told them the two numbers that made that up.  They then worked on writing those numbers and identified those individual numbers.  This also introduced some good vocabulary.

Tuesday was election day

We discussed that today is the day Mom's and Dad's vote for who they want to be the president.  **A little boy pipes up, "YEAH! You can vote for Bobama or what's that old guys name again?"***  We discussed what it means to vote: everyone picks their one favorite, put it on a ballot, puts that ballot in a box, a ballot box, and then they count those.  The one that got the most picks to be favorite wins to be president.  Finally, we discussed that we are not old enough to vote for real so we can do a pretend election.

We then got our turn to vote.  Students lined up at the polls, and waited their turn.  I had a "blind" set up so that their vote could be private.  They then took a marker and ballot from a pile, write "O" for Obama or "M" for Mitt Romney.  They then put that in the ballot box and we had the next voter come up.  We will tabulate the results the next day.  We developed many election vocabulary words today!

**I want to note***
We had no discussion on the candidates and what they stand for.  I just wanted them to work on the voting process, voting vocabulary, and some writing skills. **

At our circle time, we took the ballots out, read the vote, and tallied it on the board.  We then saw who our president we chose was and compared to who our projected president was.

We then made sensory acorns.  I found an acorn template and printed it out.  Students cut out the acorns.  Students painted the bottom with glue on a paint brush (I did water it down a bit).  They then sprinkled this area with coffee.    They then brushed the top of the acorn with the glue mixture and paintbrush and sprinkled it with oatmeal.  This project smelled good, looked good, and was fun to make!

We read a book, Thanksgiving Day, from Scholastic.  It discusses why we eat the food we do for Thanksgiving.  This opened up discussion again about the Cornucopia and the first Thanksgiving.  I highly recommend reading this book to young students to help them understand the "why" of what we do.

Next week we are talking about what animals do for the winter.  We are going on a field trip on this topic and will tie this into this book next week as well.