Saturday, February 27, 2010

Can of Worms Measuring Activity


I made these a few years ago and went to use them this year and couldn't find them. I've meant to make more all year so we could use them to do some fun measurement activities. I was very happily surprised to find them tucked away with my St. Patrick's Day stuff. I was so happy I found them that I wanted to share them.

Materials:
Green Ric Rac
Wiggle Eyes
Ruler
Cans for worms (frosting cans, baby food containers work great!)

Prepare 3 worms for each group. Cut Ric Rac into 3 lengths: 2 inches, 4 inches and 6 inches. Hot glue a wiggle eye on one side at the end of each worm. Make a set of three for each group or set of partners.


Divide the students into groups of four or sets of partners. Give each group a "can of worms", objects/manipulatives (pencils, crayons, books, Popsicle sticks, paper, etc.) to measure, record sheet for each student and a ruler. (I have a record sheet I've made for these activities, but can't figure out how to post it. Sorry:(


Shortest to Longest

Have students lay the worms out and arrange them in ascending order of shortest to longest. Now compare the worms to each other. How many short worms does it take to make a long worm? How many medium worms? Have students talk with their group about how the worms compare in length. Ask them to arrange all the items in ascending order of shortest to longest. (Example, pencil, pencils, crayons, books, Popsicle sticks, paper, unifix cubes, etc.).





Measuring with worms (Non-Standard unit of measurement)

Let students practice measuring items with worms and help them record their data on the record sheet. Students will start by using the shortest worm. They will determine the number of worms it takes to measure the length of a pencil, pencils, crayons, books, Popsicle sticks, paper, unifix cubes, etc.




After measuring each item with the short worm, measure each item with the medium worm. Continue until all items are measured and recorded and repeat with the longest worm.

Measuring in Inches

Help students begin by measuring each worm in inches. Record the measurements on the record
sheet. Students will measure the same items measured with the worms with a ruler to determine the items length in inches.

After the activities:

Discuss the measurements the students came up with using worms and rulers. Have each group pick a worm of their choosing. Have them measure a Popsicle stick with the worm. Have each group share their measurements with the class.

Ask each group to measure the Popsicle stick with the ruler. Point out that when each group chose their own nonstandard measurement tool the measures varied, but when measuring with a ruler, measures were consistent. Discuss why standard units of measurement are needed.

Ask the students about difficulties in measuring large objects with small forms of measurement. Brainstorm measuring tools that would make it easier to measure large objects.





Check out this great song from Deborah Stewart at
Little Fingers That Play:




And here are a couple of links to other worm activities from:


Preschool Daze   "i is for inch"
  A great measuring activity!

And this from:
Quirky Momma  "Learning to Measure with Gummy Worms"
Saturday, February 20, 2010

Writing Letters And Making New Friends



This has been a crazy month! Our plans have been topsy turvy all month because of rescheduled field trips, last minute trainings, winter break, additional unexpected furlough days and snow days! We promised to send postcards to a class in Florida and I thought it would fit in nicely with our letter writing and post office unit. Unfortunately, all these delays meant we didn't get the letter writing done as early as I wanted and we missed helping our friends who were learning about children from other areas. We decided to go ahead and write the letters, I didn't have the heart to tell the kids we missed the deadline. They were excited to send letters to other children they'd never met.

After we finished and I was going through some of the letters, I was so proud! I think they did a fantastic job! My friend, Teacher Tom, has done some awesome posts showcasing some of his students' storytelling. I thought my friends had worked so hard on their letter writing skills, that I would show off our letters! I'm proud that even though they were dictated, the friends tried to use appropriate structure for letter writing.




Tyler has really been practicing writing his name!
Dear Friends,
I'm making this postcard for you. I like to play with table toys at school. My favorite table toy is U-fix (unifix) cubes.
Your friend, Tyler





Francie is one of our resident artists. Her art is often detailed and sometimes anatomically correct!
Dear Friends,
I like to play in centers. My favorite center is the quiet center.
Your new friend, Francie





Anna loves to write and draw. she wanted to write her very own note (with no dictation)!

I Love you! Anna





This is Maya's card. Her best friend is Anna, so she writes Anna's name on EVERYTHING!
Dear Friends,
I would like to be your new friend. I like to go to art center and play with the matching game.
Your friend, Maya




Adam speaks four languages at home. He has just recently started writing the letters other than "A". We'll work on directionality soon, but for now, I'm impressed!

Dear New Friends,
I like to make new friends. I like to play with toys.
Your friend, Adam




Ethan's self protrait--so the new friends would know what he looked like!
Dear Friends,
I like to play with friends at school. What do you like to play at school?
Your Friend,
Ethan



Ben was so excited about this project! he usually only writes the "e" in his name, but formed some new letters just for this letter!
Dear Friends,
I love You! Ben





Diya writes everyone's name at least once a day! She told me, "I know you have to write who it's from, so i wrote "from" on my card!" She has also perfected her "hearts and wanted to show them off.
Dear Friends,
I like to go to art center everyday.
Love, Diya





Antwan's writing is really coming along. He came to me already reading and has been practicing his writing skills. Notice upper and lower case letters in his name! (He also knew that you should put "those lines" (comma) between "love" and "Antwan". He decided to add two, to make it even better!)
Dear Friends,
We are happy we can go outside. we will play in the sun and ride our bikes outside. what do you like to play outside? I like to play in the sandbox.
Your Friend,
Antwan
Love,,Antwan




Lexi drew all her friends AND the pig she really doesn't have, but would like to!


Dear Friends,
I like to play with friends
Love, Lexi



Lanie's pretty flower and name.
Dear Friends,
My name is Lanie
Love, Lanie




Max's self portrait. There was only enough room for an "M" and an "A" when he wrote his name!
Dear Friends,
Hello! My name is Max. I am 5. My favorite part of school is getting to see my teachers. sometimes I am tired and like to have naptime.
Sincerely,
Max



Matteo's art and dictation---He's crazy about Superman, so most of his figures are dressed in blue with a red cape!


Dear Friends,
I like to play soccer with my friends. what do you like to play?
Your Friend, Matteo




Asher has been practicing his hearts, as well. In Pre-K, often directionality is not important to the children as they form letters and shapes.
Dear Friends,
I like to play outside on the playground.
Your Friend, Asher



Kendall has been drawing hearts on EVERYTHING this month!

Dear Friends,
I like to play with new friends.
Your Friend,Kendall




Charlie is just learning to grasp the writing instruments. He is really making progress with his name!

Dear Friends,
What color do you like? we go to school in Georgia. I lkie to play with Legos. what do you like to play?
Your Friend, Charlie




Courtney has been working on her name, too!
Dear Friends,
I live in Georgia. I like to play.
Courtney



Joey drew our school so the new friends could recognize it if ever they visited!

Dear Friends,
I live in Georgia. I like to play games and I like to play with my friends.
Your Friend, Joey


I think my little friends have done an amazing job! I can really tell how their work as matured since the beginning of the year.

WRITE ON, Friends!!!!
Friday, February 19, 2010

Mr. Scruffy Take Home Literacy Kit




Well, Mr. Scruffy returned today from his adventures with one of our kids. Mr. Scruffy is our class mascot and he travels to students' homes via our one of our take home kits. When I wrote the post about my take home kits, Mr. Scruffy was MIA. Mr. Scruffy has all kinds of adventures--he's traveled far and wide. After having Mr. Scruffy for the weekend, parents jot down a few highlights of their time with him. Mr. Scruffy is one of our most popular kits!


Mr. Scruffy Take Home Literacy Kit


Mr. Scruffy making friends at a student's home.

Mr. Scruffy on the swing at a local playground on one of his "weekend journeys"!



Mr. Scruffy eating out with one of our Pre-K families!



A Visit From The Tooth Fairy !


A few weeks ago, we had a special visitor come to our school. This special visitor is one that usually children don't get the opportunity to meet, THE TOOTH FAIRY! Now, our Tooth Fairy is not just any old ordinary Tooth Fairy. Our Tooth Fairy comes to our school and teaches our students about proper oral care in a fun, but gentle way. The kids had an awesome time brushing giant teeth on Nemo with a giant toothbrush and pretending to be "teeth" while the Tooth Fairy used a scarf to "floss" them!



We were supposed to have our field trip earlier this month, but our trip got postponed. Dr. Perry very generously rescheduled us. Friday, we visited Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. What an office! We were scheduled to go on a morning with no patients, so we had the full staff to show us around. What an awesome experience for the kids. We split the kids into two groups and half got to do the tour first and half got to experience the waiting room first, just like when they visit the dentist. What a treat! A puzzle area, reading area and play area, along with a gameroom filled with a bank of child appropriate video games!



The group that visited the dentist each got to sit in the chair while the Dental Hygienist practiced everything that would happen during a real visit. The Dental Hygienist used each child's finger as the "tooth" for the practice run. The children got to examine and operate all the tools and instruments. Are you surprised that the water squirter was a favorite?


I was especially tickled that as the hygienists worked, none of the kids realized that the "Tooth Fairy" was sitting there right in front of them! A few of them even told her about the visit she had paid us as the "Tooth Fairy"!



At the end of our visit, each child spun the prize wheel and got to get a prize from Dr. Perry's special toy to remember their visit. The children were sent home with little backpacks filled with toothbrushes, pencils and dental health coloring pages.


I can't say enough about Dr. Perry and all the ladies at Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry. They were all so awesome! If you have a child in the Augusta area, please check out Dr. Perry and Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry.

THANK YOU SOUTHERN SMILES for making this the end of a very memorable unit on dental health!

Thanks for stopping by!

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