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Friday, November 30, 2012

Don't Throw Your Junk in My Backyard

As this week was the week we talked about the letter J, we did a lot of things with that letter.  One of the things that we did was to learn a new song:  "Don't Throw Your Junk in my Backyard" (because "junk" starts with J). While I  know that this song has been recorded by different people (including Greg and Steve), I first remember reading about it in this great book:
Before the Basics: Creating Conversations With Children
The song goes like this, to the tune of  "The Wheels on the Bus":

Don't throw your junk in my backyard, my backyard, my backyard.
Don't throw your junk in my backyard, my backyard's full.

After we sang the song a few times and talked about the word "junk", I had everyone who wanted to come up with something that they wouldn't want in their backyard, and we sang it with their suggestions in it.

They all thought this was great, so today I wrote the song onto sentence strips and put it in a pocket chart.

(Unfortunately, I left a phrase out and also added a very strange period in there, but you get the idea:)

Then during Center time I invited the Little People to color a picture of something they didn't want in their backyard and told them that I would write the words for them.  

We got a wide variety of things that we didn't want in our backyard:

After centers, we got back together and  and sang the songs with everyone's suggestion in it.  (Even the verse that ended up as "Don't throw your dead dog in my backyard", because it's just that kind of silly song.)

The Little People loved it, and I thought it was a great way to making language meaningful (and silly) for them.

I'll be interested to see if they want to draw and label more "junk" for this chart next week...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey Handprints

Over the Thanksgiving break I worked on putting together some of the Little People's memory book pages.  Every year we put together this book as an end-of-the-year gift, with one page dedicated to each month of the school year.  I wish I could say that I get done with each month's pages soon after that month is over, but it's not always the case.  However, I am doing better this year than normal - considering that I'm working on November pages before November is even over.

We try to make one hand print art project for each month.  This last month was handprint turkeys.  However, to enable the Little People to still be creative with their turkeys, I like to let them draw the eyes, beak and feet themselves.

I always think they're so charming when they're done:

I like to think of them as hand print turkeys with a little extra personality.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Five Little Snowmen Interactive Pocket Chart

Next week we're talking about "Seasons and Weather" with the Little People.   This is a unit that I usually do in January, but we ended up with an "extra" week between Thanksgiving and Fall, so in went Seasons and Weather.

When I first started teaching in California, I went about introducing winter to my students as I always had.  Which means cold, snow, snowmen, etc.  However, one day I began to worry that this was teaching the wrong idea to these California Little People, since it basically never snows here, and it's rarely really cold.  (My California friends beg to differ with me, but after years of living in really cold places, this weather is quite mild by comparison.)

However, I then learned that children living where I live experience snow by going "to to the snow" in the nearby mountains, where they frolic and play (the Eskimo way), and then they come back down to the flatland and go on about their business in their 60 degree winter.

After I learned this, I didn't worry about talking about snowy things, although we do spend a good amount of time talking about how winter really is here where we live.

All that to say that we will do this poem soon in our classroom.  Even if they rarely see snowmen, it's good to know that they still exist - and they melt in the sun.  It's almost like a science lesson for them:

This printable poem can be found as this set:

These sets are for sale in my Teachers Notebook and my Teachers Pay Teachers shop - and yes, right now they're on sale!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Gingerbread Printables

One of the new items in my Teacher Stores is my Gingerbread Printables.  There are several fun items in this set which center around two basic Gingerbread Themes:

One is a Gingerbread House Building Theme.  Decorating Gingerbread houses is one of our favorite holiday activities.  So, along that theme I wrote up my favorite way of making easy "gingerbread" houses for a class to decorate:

I also included a "Have Your Ever Made a Gingerbread House" graphing printable for printing out and making this graph with a class:

To prepare for this graph and to promote language at home about this subject, I made up a Take-Home 
paper for students to fill in for their parents:

For after the decorating activity, I made up a paper for students to draw pictures of their building experiences and either journal about it, or dictate their experiences to a teacher:

In our class we also like to taste real gingerbread, and we graph who likes that and who does not:

For after the graph, there is a "Graph Data Recording Sheet", where older students can record the results of the graph, draw faces to go with the recorded numbers, and indicate where they might be on the graph:

Finally, there is a take-home paper for the students to show their parents about the day's tasting experience.  I feel like any way I can promote language experiences with my students at home is valuable, and I hope these pages will do just that.

 So stop by the stores at Teacher's Notebook and Teachers Pay Teachers and see the fun Gingerbread Items, and remember they are on sale through Tuesday!

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Sale in the Teacher Stores

Well, it seems that every store and website all around me is having a sale, so I decided to get in the spirit and join in. You can find all of the items in my stores on sale for five days - Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Teacher's Notebook, and Monday and Tuesday at Teacher's Pay Teachers.

Cyber Monday
I've been busy putting some new and fun items on the store shelves, and I'll tell you about the first of those tomorrow morning.  

So, I hope you stop by the stores, and Happy Shopping!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Tasting Cranberry Sauce in Preschool

Are you buying any cranberry sauce this week for your Thanksgiving dinner?  I have to admit that this is something that I usually would leave off my list if I were in charge of the Thanksgiving shopping.  My only associations with cranberry sauce are the ones of the molded, gelatinous cylindrical shape that you wiggle out of the can.

However, I decided that the Little People should taste cranberry sauce this year to see if they would like it.  Admittedly, part of the reason was that I had already made this printable that is part of the Thanksgiving Activity Pack in my Teachers Stores:

I got the printable ready, so I was halfway there.  I then ran across this jar of sauce during our last trip to Trader Joe's, so I went ahead and purchased it for the tasting.

We decided that we wouldn't just serve the sauce without anything else, so we served it on Ritz crackers.  Which, now that I think about it, might have influenced the voting a little bit.

Here is the chart pre-voting:

Here is the chart after voting:

I certainly was surprised at the results.  But then again, I tasted the sauce myself and thought it was pretty good.  So I brought it home and we're saving it for Thursday.

Would they have voted differently if it were the traditional wibble-wobble can-shaped mass?  I don't know.  I just know that in this case, the Little People have spoken, and the result is:

Thumbs up for cranberry sauce.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Christmas Items in the Teacher Stores

 New in the teacher stores....

 In the pack you will get the pdf files to print:

Two 11"x 17" patterning cards for completing ABAB and ABCABC patterns:

Decorated Christmas Tree Math/Playdough Mats in both 11" x 17" and 8.5" x 11" sizes:

"Naked" Christmas Tree Math/Playdough Mats in both 11" x 17" and 8.5" x 11" sizes:

Decorated Gingerbread House Math/Playdough Mats in both 11" x 17" and 8.5" x 11" sizes:

"Naked" Gingerbread House Math/Playdough Mats in both 11" x 17" and 8.5" x 11" sizes:

 Three 11" x 17" Cookie Sheet Math Mat with Cookies (just waiting for "decorations"):

 Two 11" x 17" Cookie Sheet Math Mat without Cookies:

 Nineteen 4.25"x 5.5" Christmas Vocabulary Cards:

Ten 4.25" x 5.5" Christmas "Clothespin Counting" Cards:

Printable "Five Little Christmas Trees" Pocket Chart:

Hot Chocolate Math Grid Game with Instructions and Marshmallow Cards:

Sugar Cookie Math Grid Game with Instructions and  Candy Cards:

It's a lot of fun files for just $8.00.  You can find it here and here.  Thanks for looking!