Thursday, April 3, 2014

PreK Week 30: St. Patrick

The week before spring break was also the week before Saint Patrick's Day, so our theme for that week was Ireland, leprechauns, rainbows, and everything Saint Patrick. 

On Monday the kids came into a big mess all over the classroom, with a nice note from the leprechauns telling us that they do NOT like cleaning up their messes. 

The kids had to clean up and sort the toys back in their spots, then they enjoyed writing a note back to the leprechauns. Each morning there was a new note waiting from our leprechaun friends telling about their home and life in Ireland, and each day the kids worked together to write a note back and practice signing their names.

On Monday the kids also shared a take-home project that they had been working on from http://blog.reallygoodstuff.com/?p=8901. I sent home each student with a large blank four leaf clover, and they had to decorate it with reasons they are lucky. Some of them used glitter, drawings, pictures, and cut-outs, and they were all adorable.

Some of the books we read included "Saint Patrick's Day," "The Lucky Leprechaun," "There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover," and "The Night Before St. Patrick's Day."

The kids put together this Paper Plate Leprechaun from http://www.busybeekidscrafts.com/Paper-Plate-Leprechaun.html by painting the plates, fringing the edges with scissors to make a beard, and adding a face. The finished it off with a hat, belt, and buckle. They made cute masks in pictures!


We also did a Rainbow Hat Project from http://www.couponsaregreat.net/crafty-tuesday-march-9th-rainbows-and-hats/. I changed the project a little by numbering the colored strips in order of how they appear on the rainbow so the students would have to practice recognizing, naming, and ordering numbers as well.


Fur our clover craft, we did Handprint Clovers from http://www.meetthedubiens.com/search/label/crafts?updated-max=2011-03-21T05%3A33%3A00-04%3A00&max-results=20. We painted the kids' hands, had them stamp a paper 4 times for 4 leaves, then add a stem with their finger. I added a cute little poem to the bottom, too.


On Wednesday we did a Fruit Loops Rainbow Color Sorting Activity from http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2009/02/frugal-friday.html, where the kids had to glue the fruit loops on the line of the rainbow that they belong based on their color. I was so excited to see that a box of fruit loops contains all the colors in the rainbow, except green and indigo, that made for a very convenient activity! It also really made the kids work on their fine motor skills. 



Finally on Thursday (the last day before spring break) the kids put together these cute Gold at the end of the Rainbow Treats from http://lifewiththedepews.blogspot.com/2012/03/st-patricks-day-treats.html?m=1, which they took home. 

We also played different games. 
On Monday, we played 'messy room,' where the kids were divided into two groups with a line of tape down the middle. The kids were given a bunch of beanbags, and they had one minute to throw as many beanbags as they could into the other tea,'s 'room'. At the end of one minute, whoever had the cleanest 'room' won.
On Tuesday, the kids did a four leaf clover hunt. The 'leprechauns' hid four leaf clovers all over the room, and when the kids found them they would have to tell a teacher where it was (behind the shelf/ in a book/ under the table, etc).
We also played a version of 'Mother May I', but instead of mother we played 'Leprechaun May I?'.

We all had a very relaxing and energizing spring break, and came back ready to take on the rest of the year!

Pre-K Week 31: Garden and Spring


Our first week after spring break was also the week after the first day of spring, so it was a perfect time to talk about the change of the season and flowers!  We focused on spring and gardening all week.  Our letter of the week was Ms. V, and Ms. V likes planting vegetables in the garden, so it all fit together nicely.

 

Some of the books we read included: “The Garden,” “My V Book,” “Clifford’s Spring Clean Up,” “The Seed Song,” “How Does Henry’s Garden Grow?” and “Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna”.

 

On Monday, after introducing spring and learning the poem, ‘Mary Mary,’ we played ‘ring around the rosie’ and did a Spring Mobile art project from the book “Art for All Seasons”.  The mobile was a cloud (which the kids cut out themselves) with different spring-themed die-cuts hanging from it.  I also had them add a spring poem to the cloud. 


For our learning activity, I worked with the kids on making flower patters with fake flowers.  They absolutely loved this activity, and I was amazed at how many ways a child could play with a fake flower.  I drew different patterns on index cards, then had the kids copy and complete them.

On Monday, the kids also had fun in the art center by painting their own community garden on a big piece of butcher paper hung on the wall.  By the end, it didn’t look like a garden as much as a piece of smeary, intellectual artwork, but they had a blast with the different colors!

On Tuesday, the kids met Ms. V and danced to her song, then they made their own Vegetable Vests by gluing magazine pictures of vegetables onto a vest cut from a paper grocery bag. 

On Wednesday we focused on seeds.  We read “The Seed Song,” which is one of the books from the Letter People Curriculum.  For our learning activity, the kids put together a seed collage by decorating the letter V with different seeds. We also had them cut out the picture of the plant that the seeds are from and glue them next to the seeds so that they could compare and contrast. 

On Thursday I brought in all different kinds of vegetables for the kids to try.  Of course, some wouldn’t even touch them, but other ones actually tried every one!!  I also had found vegetable stickers that everyone got for trying one.  We then made a chart of our favorite vegetables and everyone signed their name.


We also planted Hair Plants from http://rainbowswithinreach.blogspot.com/2013/04/springtime-science-with-seeds.html?_szp=447639, where we glued the kids’ faces on plastic cups and planted seeds.  When (IF!) the plants grow, it will look like the kids have crazy hair!!

Finally, on Friday, we focused on sunflowers.  After reading “Wild Wild Sunflower Child Anna” in the morning, we made Paper Plate Sunflowers from “Creative Crafts for Clever Children”.

One of my favorite things that we did all week was a play story that I made up to do with the kids for movement. After we did it the first time, I had to do it again and again every day because the kids loved it so much.

There are different ‘parts’ that students can play in this story: 1 gardener, 1-2 rainmakers, 1-2 thunder makers, 1-2 sunshines, the rest plants. This is how the story went:

 

There was once a gardener (student wearing a farmer’s hat – everyone greet student: “Hi Farmer ___!”) who wanted to grow a big, beautiful garden full of big, beautiful flowers.  To do this, he first had to put his seeds in the ground (students curl up in a ball on the floor) and cover them with dirt (put a blanket over the kids and take off… the kids love this part!).  The gardener waited and waited for the seeds to grow.  While he was waiting, it rained (a student at front shakes a rain stick), it thundered (student at front bangs drum), and the sun shone (student at front rings bell).  One day, the gardener went back to check on the seeds, and they had grown into sprouts (students get on knees).  Still, the gardener knew he had to wait.  It rained (rain sticks), it thundered (drum), and the sun shone (bell).  One day, the gardener went back to check on the sprouts, and they had turned into big, beautiful flowers (pass out dance ribbons in different colors, naming the colors as you pass them out… ‘there was a blue flower, a red flower… etc’).  The gardener loved watching his beautiful flowers in the garden.  (This is the part where all the students become flowers with their dance ribbons and they move them back and forth according to the story).  He loved watching them sway back and forth in the breeze.  Sometimes, it would be a very windy day and they would move back and forth really fast.  Some days the flowers drooped down to the floor, and some days they stood up tall.  Some days the flowers drooped to the left, and other days they drooped to the right.  He loved seeing them shower in the rain (teacher shakes rain sticks over students, students pretend to shower), and soak up the sun (teacher shakes bell over students and has them soak up sun).  The gardener loved his flowers so much that at the end of spring, he picked them all for his wife and put them in a vase on the table (collect dance ribbons).

 

Oh, I almost forgot, I had so much fun making this giant flower from grace designs (http://rosalindgracedesigns.blogspot.ca/2012/03/giant-paper-flowers.html) for our bulletin board!!