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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Thinky Linky Thursday

Sunday, September 30, 2012

TEACH Awards September

Here are the much-anticipated TEACH Awards for September. Haha, actually I haven't done them since June, so I guess most people probably forgot about it. The winners can feel free to grab the featured button from my right sidebar. Congrats!

If you wish to pin anything you find on this post, please click on the link to go to the actual blog that originally posted it and then pin. These are NOT my ideas, so please don't link your pins back to this page. Thanks!








G-Gross (and fine) Motor
Gross Motor

Fine Motor

Thanks everyone who was featured for sharing all your wonderful ideas!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Share Day! (Webbing Activity)

Last Friday, we had the children bring in a favorite toy to share with the class. Here is the web we made showing the child's name (whited out), the toy they brought and some things they said about it. This is a good way to document things the children say and to see what they know about a topic as well as where there interests lie. Any given branch of the web could lead out to a completely new web in itself. It's important to hear what the children have to say and see where it takes you in your study.
Happy webbing!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Who Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar?

Who stole the cookies from the cookie jar? Well, we never found out, but we did get a good chance to practice all our friends' names with this activity. It's an interactive chart that goes with the book below. Also, you can see the cookies I made with each child's name on it.

Hope you find out who's been stealing YOUR cookies!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thinky Linky Thursday

Here is the most clicked link from last week:

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Puzzle Piece Names

Another one of our small groups for "All About Me." We had the children spell their names with these puzzle alphabet stickers identifying each letter as they go. We had their name strips with each child's name pre-written on it for them to look at to help them find the letters.  Some of the younger children just wanted to stick random letters everywhere, so we let them do their thing. When they are more ready for this activity, we will try again.

Then we had them count how many letters in their name. As an extension of this, you can have the children graph how many letters their names have and compare whose name has more or less. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: How to Create a Blog

Hi Everyone! It's Misty from Think, Wonder, & Teach and Honey Bunch Blog Design! One of the questions I am emailed the most often about is how to create a blog.

Blogging has been one of the best professional development and reflection tools I have ever encountered. A lot of others agree and that is why each day more and more teachers are turning to blogging. The post below will help get you started. If you have any questions, let me know! I am just an email away!

I have heard from several people that they would like to start their own blog but have no idea where to begin. I believe that Blogger is the easiest to use and so have included a video below to get you started.

Now that you have your blog set up, we need to add items to your sidebar. Here is the steps to add a gadget to your sidebar, there are many different ones to choose from.

1. Log into blogger
2. In the drop down box select layout (it's before the view blog button)
3. Once the layout page is open, select add gadget button in your sidebar.
4. In the gadgets pop-up window, scroll down until you see the gadget you want.
5. Click on the blue + sign
6. Click on save

Once you have the gadget you can then click and drag it to the position you want. After doing so, click the orange save arrangement button at the top of your screen.

The gadgets that you will want to have on your blog include:
2. Labels
3. Search Box
4. Follow by Email

The following gadgets populate automatically:
1. About Me
2. Blog Archive

There are many gadgets to choose from so feel free to use whatever you feel best. These are simply our suggestions.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Fun with Wiggle Eyes

My students LOVE wiggle eyes. As you can see, they clearly love gluing them to popsicle sticks along with pompoms. They were making these at such a fast rate the other day, we didn't get to write their names on all of these and so I decided to use them to make a board to post in the classroom. They are so cute!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Follow-Up on Pinwheels for Peace

For those of you who loved the Pinwheels for Peace Tutorial on September 11 by Barbara from The Corner on Character, click here to see a follow up of what her school did for International Day of Peace on September 21. 

That is all. Have a wonderful week!

Brushing Teeth Activity

As a part of our "All About Me" study, we did a small group where the kids brushed the fake teeth with a real toothbrush making sure they were brushing all areas of the teeth. We asked the kids "Why do you brush your teeth? and documented their answers on the chart below.

We also talked about cavities and how brushing is important to get the plaque off our teeth after we eat food. The kids enjoyed this activity and had some entertaining answers to the question!

Friday, September 21, 2012

5 Tips for Introducing Word Wall Words

Ok, so it's only the 3rd week of school and my students are already getting bored with the word wall. So I decided to come up with some more creative ways to introduce the words. We have to have at least 3 words a week which I think is a lot for preschool, but if you keep at least some of your words very basic (especially since we have a lot of dual language learners in our class), then it can be done.

1. Put the word card with picture in a mystery box. You can give hints and try to get the kids to guess the word or just have someone come up and draw one out and say what it is.
Variation: Use the same mystery box, only put real objects or items in that go along with the word.

2. Pass the word around the circle (musical chairs style) until the music stops and whoever is holding it must identify the word (by looking at the picture) and then place it on the word wall. Also, this gives every student a chance to look closely at the picture before putting it on the wall where it may seldom be looked at again by some children.

3. Play the loud/soft game. Have the children repeat the word loudly at first, then keep repeating it while getting quieter until you can no longer hear them. You can also do it with fast/slow or other variations, just make sure not to do it so much that the word ends up getting distorted and they are not really sure of the correct pronunciation.

4. Sing a song. For example: (Tune of: Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush) This is the word we put on the wall, put on the wall, put on the wall. This is the word we put on the wall. The word is ______. 
Another version could be a chant or clapping how many syllables in the word.

5. Choose a child whose name begins with the same letter as the word to put the word on the wall. To make it a little more challenging, say the word emphasizing the beginning sound and ask whose name begins with the same sound? Or if no one's name begins with that letter, whoever thinks of another word that begins with the same letter first gets to put the word up.

Some ideas to keep the children interested in the words on the word wall after they have been put up.
1. Do a search for a certain letter and have the children find it with a pointer.
2. Use magnifying glasses to look closely at the words and say each letter.
3. Give the children a small paper frame (just big enough to fit a letter inside) and have them frame a certain letter.
4. Have a word of the day and whenever anyone is caught saying that word, they must go to the word wall and point to the word and spell it.
5. Bean bag toss using bean bags with letters on them. If you get the bag in, you have to find a word that begins with that letter on the wall or for a variation, pass the bean bag back and forth to a partner and the first person to drop it has to find a word that begins with that letter on the word wall. 

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thinky Linky Thursday

First of all, I would like to apologize for not posting the linky last week for Thinky Linky Thursday. But we are back and better than ever, so link away!!!

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sign In/Out Chart

Here is what we came up with this year to sign kids in and out. It has their names in the center on labels and then their names are also on the clothes pins. So when the come to school, we move them from the left (home) side to the right (school) side. Then if a child goes out of the room with a teacher, nurse, etc., the teacher takes the child's name pin with them and replaces it with the "teacher" pin. That way if someone walks into the room, they can see exactly where all the children are at any given time. I also added the school buses for bus children. The front side is AM children and PM are on the back. The chart just flips over when a new session begins.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Pinwheels for Peace

Pinwheels for Peace by Barbara Gruener

We'll be celebrating International Day of Peace on September 21st; what will be different about that day for you and your little peacemakers?

At Westwood-Bales, the art teacher, music teacher, and counselor (that's me!) are working in concert to create a visual representation of this International event with our Pinwheels For Peace project. Click {here} for the Pinwheel template.


Students in our art rotation will each decorate a piece of pinwheel paper to show how they're peacemakers. Our older artists will learn about squaring off, cutting and folding; the younger sprouts may need help with the cutting once they've finished their pictures. Parent volunteers will do the pinning to the pencil. Sharpen the pencils for easier entrance into the ground. Students can use a straw and a brad if they parade around with them inside instead of planting them outside.

Students in our music rotation will be learning a song about peace (with some Hebrew along with some sign language) that they will be singing and signing while our art students plant their pinwheels in the shape of a peace sign out in front of our school. 

My job these two weeks is to talk with the students about being peacemakers. What does a peacemaker look like? Sound like? Feel like? Act like? Hope for? Do? Why would we want to be peacemakers? And is world peace even possible? Basically I get to prepare them for the celebration and I can't wait!
Are you ready for some Whirled Peace?
Click {here} for a video tutorial.

Thank you, Cachey Mama, for inviting me to share this idea with your readers. For more character-infusion ideas, please come by The Corner on Character.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thinky Linky Thursday

Featured from last week with the most clicks:

Congrats, get your button on my right sidebar. Thanks to everyone for linking up and don't forget to click on some links to vote for them!

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big News!!!!!

I wanted you all to know, I haven't been purposely neglecting my blog. I really do have a good excuse. We just found out I am pregnant!!! So, I can check that off my summer bucket list :) I am due April 5, 2013. I have been extremely tired. Also, I haven't had much material as the kids haven't started back to school yet, but I have been busy setting up and going to training.

Anyways, I would like to thank all my guest bloggers for your wonderful posts as they have been pretty much solely keeping my blog afloat for the past few weeks. I promise I will try my best to get some new content put up as soon as possible. In the meanwhile, I hope all of your back-to-schools are going great!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tutorial Tuesday: Pretend Play

Pretend play is such an essential part of childhood. My 2.5 year old has a grand imagination and loves pretending. Aiden enjoys making caves from blankets. Any time things go over his head (power lines, trees, bridges, etc), he sees them as tunnels waiting to be explored. Lately, he has been playing under the dining room table saying it is a tunnel. I decided to set up a little invitation for pretend play. How to Set Up a Pretend Play Invitation 
 Our table has drop sides that make for a natural tunnel. I hung a blanket to the front and back creating a cave. 
  cave entrance
Inside the cave, I placed several of his stuffed animals.  
 The animals were going to have a party in the cave, and they needed some supplies. I added some foam letters to a toy pan for some alphabet soup. I placed the soup on some torn pieces of orange paper that represented fire. alphabet soup 
 To a bowl of cheerios, I added some magnet letters and a spoon. The letters on top spell Aiden's name. alphabet cereal 
 A stack of plates and a few plastic discs completed the setup.  
 When Aiden awoke from his nap, he saw the blankets covering the table. Curious, he looked at me. I told him he could go in the cave and see what was there. He crawled in and saw the party that awaited. He made some noises of excitement and began to play. "I'm going to eat some cheerios," he said. "My animals want some, too." He passed out the plates and gave them each some cheerios. He pulled the letters out of the cheerios and named them each. "A - I - D - E - N that spells Aiden!" He gave the animals magnet letters and foam letters to eat along with their cheerios. Not only was he practicing letter recognition, he was also working on fine motor skills by serving the animals. As he talked to the animals during his pretend play, he was working on language skills. Pretend play is a wonderful venue for practicing a number of different skills. It's all up to your imagination. Thanks for letting me share our fun with you! Would you like to see more ideas for toddlers/preschoolers from me? Here are a few of my favorites. What Can you Learn from a Cardboard Tube? 20 Ideas for Practicing Measuring Outdoor Sound Hunt Inspired by Mr. Brown Can Moo. Can You?
Trisha is a stay at home mom to her 2-year old son, Aiden. She writes about their adventures at Inspiration Laboratories, a blog dedicated to encouraging learning through creativity and play. Trisha is an educator with a passion for science literacy. It is never too early to start encouraging science learning (or any kind of learning for that matter). Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.