Sunday, January 27, 2013

Western Round-Up

Happy Sunday!  Kim and I are getting ready to present thematic units to fellow teachers on Friday!  Wow!  Do I have a new appreciation for presenters.  I am amazed at how much work it is and what a blast it is!  The big thing is knowing when to stop..I think I could add new elements forever.  One of the units we are showcasing is our Western Round-Up where we collaborate with the other preschool teachers in our department.  We each take an element of a dude ranch and the kids travel from room to room dressed as cowboys and cowgirls and experience life on the range!  We have a rootin' tootin' good time!  Our unit spells out how we turn our rooms into thematic wonderlands and execute each element.
You can get our Western Round-Up Unit HERE!
Here is a preview of what you will get....
And what fun is it with no FREEBIE!!!
You can get our freebie here!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dinosaur Days

Dinosaur Days are coming up next month in our neck of the woods and we just finished an adorable thematic unit to help your kids go back in time.  You can turn your classroom into a prehistoric adventure!
We have a little freebie for you.  You can grab it HERE! or check out the whole unit HERE!!

Light Table

Last year I discovered a wonderful blog called and love all of her ideas...but I have 18 kids but that did not stop me...I put my husband to work this summer and he made me the most amazing light table....Well little did I know just how much my kids would love the "light center".  I have used many ideas from play at home mom, but it is fun to incorporate some of my own ideas....As we do the gingerbread unit, I decided to put a game I created on translucent paper and it was a huge hit....I am so happy that the kids love it so much and am grateful once again to this amazing blogging community for their incredible ideas...


Happy Friday!!  This week we chased the gingerbread man in our class!!  I know I say this all the time, but this is one of my favorite days!  I love to watch the kids face when the oven opens and the gingerbread is gone!!!
We begin, by reading a couple of different versions of the gingerbread man.  I personally love the Gingerbread baby by Jan Brett.  She is an amazing author!
We make the gingerbread man and put him in the oven.  We ask the moms to watch the oven while we go out to play.  When we come back, the gingerbread man smells soooo good.  We gather around the oven and when we open it, He is GONE!!!  And the adventure begins....We squeal and race all over campus looking for him.  We finally catch up to him in our reading buddies room!!  We then enjoy eating him...
BUT...I have to tell you all what happened next....We have writing workshop and I had my kids draw a picture of the gingerbread man and what part of the day they liked the best.  One of the kids looked at me and said, "What if my gingerbread man jumps off the page and runs away?"  Well, I could not let that go.  The next morning, I replaced plain paper for the ones they had all made. (they put things in their "mailbox" when they finish something).  I asked my most animated child to go and get her picture so we could show the librarian what we did.  WELL....when she pulled out a blank paper, she was FLOORED!!  It was precious!!!  I love this age and their sense of wonder!
Here are some fun pictures of our day...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Back to School!

Well we are back at school again!  The rooms need to be decluttered, Christmas put away, and it is time to kick the academics into gear!  I love the kids face when you first greet them!  You say, I missed you and they give you that cute little smile or the ones who have been shy with you all year fall into your arms and don't seem to want to let go!  Yes, it really is amazing being a teacher!  Hey, we get to teach today and play with kids all day, and change a life and influence the next generation with our love!!  I hope you all have an amazing week!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Let's Talk ipads!

I recently purchased a pocket projector from Brookstone and just got an Apple TV to go with it!  I love using my ipad in the classroom!! These apps and projectors also work with an itouch and iphone. With these "toys", my kids should have a blast!!
These are my current favorite apps:
Teach me Toddler (which is actually geared more towards 4 year olds)
Teach me Kindergarten
Letter of the day
Photo touch sight words
Magnetic Board
and the White Board

 Photo touch sight words, Teach me toddler, and kindergarten was free and then I added enough for each of my students.  It is great because you can change names any time you want to.  I do these apps one on one during center time.  You can see the students progress and what areas they struggle in.  My kids love playing this game.  I start all my kids out in toddler and then most of them will switch to kindergarten in January.  A word of caution is the kids can learn quickly how to "cheat".  That is why I watch them while they are beginning.  I usually use this time to cut things out while I watch.

Letter of the day I use as whole class instruction on the projector at the beginning of the week to introduce a new letter.

The Magnetic Board and White Board I use as whole class and one on one.  I love putting letters up and have the kids find the one I call with a pointer. (I like to move it around once they find it and have them chase it.)  One on one I use this as a 3 step approach.  I start with a file folder with letters and sight words the kids are working on.  Then they spell it with the white board and they spell it with the magnet board.  It is great tactile learning.  I learned this technique from my sister in law and have found many of my struggling students begin to excel after doing this with them for a few short weeks.

I have others I love, but would love to hear what works for some of you.....

sight words 

   letter of the day link

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone!!  Kim and I both took turns this last month being sick and nursing our families back to health.  There has been some wonderful things and very sad things in the month of December.  So I don't know about you, I am very excited for a new year!!!
This past month we created a great Christmas unit...we also created a parent packet for the parents to take home and work with their children over the break.  I can't wait to hear what the parents and kids thought.
I love trying new things out on the kids and seeing what works and what doesn't work.  My kids loved playing twister with the sight words and doing the alphabet match with a friend the best.
I hope you all had a wonderful New Years celebration!!  It is back to teaching on Monday....I can't wait to see the kids!
Our Christmas Extravaganza Unit can be viewed HERE!
We included a couple of freebies from the unit Here.