what a week! in the midst of the last days of school and mother’s day prep, we turned our classroom into a zoo (quite fitting, actually!).
children were invited to bring pretend animals from home. this was a favorite of the day. we did show and tell at the first circle time (instead of at the end of the day). we graphed each one on an all-school graph and made a masking tape cage for each type on the floor of the classroom.
this graph is incomplete…we had to move on to another piece of paper and the fish column went off the top!
we had blue water, blocks, and a few big rocks in the tub table. plastic animals were allowed to come swim all week.
i found cheap plastic animals that worked well for making cages so friends could take home their own part of the zoo.
there were some zoos without walls…
some with open gates…
and some had animals that were so wild, the cage bars couldn’t stay up.
preschool families and friends have been collecting milk lids for us.
since it is m week we’ve been sorting by color. we’ve noticed that in the tens of milk lids there are, there is only one brown lid. come on, let’s drink some chocolate milk!
the next phase of this activity is arranging them into words, letter groups, abc order, etc. for some of our kids we explored spacing between letters. learning that when there is a “finger space” between letters that means they are different words. sometimes it was fun to do that on purpose. like a joke. hee hee hee.
we noticed how many letters can become other letters simply by turning them.
kevin can become keviz and can easily become kevin again! more funny stuff.
keep bringing those milk lids…we have more projects in mind!
i dabble in the handwriting without tears curriculum. mostly i am fascinated by the desire to make letter writing easily successful for children. one thing we do that is handwriting-withou- tears-ish is give craft sticks or wide gross grain ribbon strips to form the letters. here we have a 5 stick capital E:
my kids were glad to help drink 26 bottles of gatorade and vitamin water so i could have wider-mouth bottles.
the preschoolers help me fill bottles with rice and then i hide something inside correlated to a letter. i tape the lid on with colored duct tape and write the letter on the lid.
so far there is one little apple hidden in the A bottle
a plastic baby, a bird and a button hidden in the B bottle
plastic cows hidden in the C bottle
dice hidden in the D bottle
an egg and an elephant hidden in the E bottle
i’m thinking feathers in the F bottle, blades of grass in the G bottle, horses in the H bottle, ivy in the I bottle, jacks in the J bottle…on and on.
a little guy told me today that the A bottle was his favorite thing at preschool. wow.
i did this for micah’s birthday once with a dinosaur theme. at preschool we use this for any letter of the alphabet since we can hide anything in the ice (except maybe u or x things…ideas, anyone?)! appleseeds, counter bears, coins, dinosaurs, elephants, fake flower petals, green things, horses, jewels, keys, lace, money, nuts, o ring shapes, paper clips, quills, red things, snakes, turtles, valentines (plastic hearts), white things, yellow things, zoo animals.
but i like to use it during i week since that’s kind of a tricky letter to find things for.
ahead of time the teacher fills containers of any kind with water, then drops in some objects that won’t break when hit, then freezes.
preschoolers are offered tools for excavating the treasures…wooden blocks work the best in my experience.
take this as an opportunity to discuss the wonder that our eyes will blink or squint to protect themselves. encourage this against the flying ice. : )
and if it is warm outside, take it all out! when i week falls in a cooler month, we wear our mittens and break the ice chunks on art trays.