Tops or bottoms: which part of the vegetable plant do we eat?

posted in: Cognitive, Literacy, Science | 0

Spring is here!

During our unit on life cycles, Susan helped the kids make a wonderful connection to a book by asking questions and drawing a picture.

First, read the book: “Tops and Bottoms” by Janet Stevens.  Its about a lazy bear and a busy rabbit who trades half of every crop with the bear.  The bear gets to pick if he wants the “tops or bottoms” of each crop, and the rabbit sneakily choses the plants that will give him the best results.

After reading Susan asked the kids to name some of the vegetables that were shared in the book.  She drew a line to represent the soil level, and would then draw the vegetables as they named them.  We would then ask the children which part of the plant we eat.  It was fun to see them start to understand that sometimes we eat the roots, sometimes the stem, and sometimes the leaves or tops of the vegetable plants.

“Lorax” Sensory Rice Bin

posted in: Literacy, Sensory | 0

Susan, our head teacher, made a fun connection to “The Lorax” during our study of Dr. Suess.  The colored rice started out looking very “Cat in the Hat”-like, with the red and white stripes.  Of course that didn’t last long, but the kids still loved the red and white rice.  We included straws and pom-poms to make “Truffula Trees”.  Include small pom-poms for “seeds” to plant some more trees in the rice!

Be sure to read the book “The Lorax” before introducing the sensory bin.  It’s a great way to make a connection to literature and to jump start the kid’s imaginations!

Question of the day variation with rhyming

posted in: Cognitive, Literacy | 0

It’s fun to change things up in the regular routine at times-especially when it helps you teach an important skill or lesson!  Instead of doing a regular “yes,no” question, we drew pictures of random objects on the whiteboard.  We then had each child come up and erase a picture that rhymed with a word that we gave them.  Great literacy practice, as well as cognitive skills.  Most of the kids had to say the picture name with the word given to figure out if it rhymed.  So they tested out each word until they found the right one!

If You Give A…

posted in: Art/Creative, Literacy | 0

This is one of those great activities that connects multiple facets of learning.  Read one of Laura Numeroff’s books, such as “If you Give a Mouse a Cookie”.  Then let the class work together to create their own similar story!  We were learning about the letter “D” during this time, so we used “Dinosaurs”.  The kids took turns deciding what would happen next.  The teacher just needs to know how to get the story back to the original idea, in this case, something the dinosaur ate.  It wasn’t hard to do this, as when the story was sufficient in length, we just encouaged the kids to realize that after doing an activity, the dinosaur may have been hungry again…

Susan, the main teacher, wrote the story on a large poster, and hung it on the bulletin board.  Next to it was hung pictures the kids had made of dinosaurs.  Using a template, they colored in the dinosaur with dots (another “D” word!).  Those always turn out so nice, and the kids enjoyed it!  (We used Do-A-Dot-Art! Markers)

Ten Apples Up on Top!

Don’t you love that book, “Ten Apples Up on Top?”  The kids always get into it, and this is a great way to help them enjoy it even more, plus build some Gross Motor skills!

After reading the story, Take them to a room/space large enough that they can walk around as they try to balance “apples” on their own head!  (But your “apples” will be a bit easier to balance, as they will really be pieces of foam noodles used for swimming!)  Walk around the room with only one-then add another, and another!  See how many they can balance!

Clear as mud

posted in: Literacy, Science | 0

I love helping the children make connections in their minds about the things around them.  This book helps the child make connections with baths and soap to dirt and mud.  Ask the question:  “Why do you think the mud puddle didn’t like the soap?”  Have the children imagine in their mind what would be left after the mud puddle had all his dirt washed away? This is a fun story to read right after a rainy day, when there is a little mud outside.  As they play outside, their minds connect back to the story.

You could go one step further and try some science experiments with this story.  Off the top of my head, I’m thinking of the other day when I tried to help my preschool kids wash paints off their hands.  Water helped, but soap really took it off!  Perhaps a little oil mixed with glitter on their hands would also show this.  water won’t get rid of all the oil and glitter.  You need soap to do that.  Good intro into the importance of washing hands!

Introduce “Rhyming”

posted in: Literacy | 0

We had to read this book at least 10 times in our class!  They absolutely loved it!  It contains simple words to introduce rhyming, and it keeps kids entertained.  They especially love it when one of the dust bunnies doesn’t quite get the rhyming right…but wait until you realize why!

Starting with a book!

posted in: Art/Creative, Cognitive, Literacy | 0

The teacher I currently work with did an excellent lesson that included literacy skills, cognitive skills, and creative skills all in one.  First, read “The Mitten “by Jan Brett.  The next day read it again, but this time look for clues in the side bar pictures as to what will happen next. The following day read a different version of the story.   (We did one by Alvin Tresselt).  Compare and contrast the two stories using a Ven Diagram.  Finally, let the kids draw any 5 animals they want in their own mitten! So cute, the kids loved it, and it looks nice displayed on our wall!


Question of the Day

posted in: Cognitive, Literacy, Math | 0

The teacher I currently work with does a “question of the day” that I just love!  It brings up many areas of learning in literacy and math and critical thinking.

The question should contain letters you are currently working on, and it should be a “yes/no” question.

This example is for the letter “P”.

Circle how many P’s you can find.  Count them.  Answer the question is name sticks (name recognition) and talk about the results.  Which has more or less?  Yes or no?  Is there a tie?

Love it!