Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Just Playing?" : Building A Wall




Welcome to the 2nd installment in our "Just Playing?" series! You are invited to view the photos and really think about what you see going on here and be sure to share your thoughts, observations and reflections in the comments. Sure, the children are playing, but they are also learning! 

The students in these photos are building a wall with blocks.



They are lining them up. 




When someone accidentally bumps the blocks and they fall like dominoes, the children rebuild, this time placing the blocks closer together.




Last week's post, "Just Playing?": Cooking With Meatballs, featured children "cooking" on the playground with sand and gumballs from our Sweet Gum tree.




 I have a short video clip that explains a little more about what they were making:


video


The children explained that they were making a saute' with sand, meatballs, rocks and ants---and the ants were their helpers!



We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

just playing

This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!
Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:

If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

"Just Playing?" Blog Hop: Cooking With Meatballs

Welcome to our first "Just Playing?" weekly blog hop!







These children are "cooking" on our playground with gumballs from our Sweet Gum tree. The children call them "meatballs". Our playground is constantly filled with the sights and sounds of children cooking (too bad we can't smell it, too)! What do you think they are making here?



We may be "just playing", but....
What are the children doing here?
What do you see?
What learning is taking place?
What skills are being practiced/developed?

  just playing  
This post is part of the "Just Playing?" Blog Hop!
Thank you for remembering that young children do not "just play." Young children play. They develop through play. They learn through play. They experiment through play. They grow through play. A child's work is play. Play is important!
Please take a moment to reflect upon the photos and questions above. I would love for you to share your observations in a comment. I'd also like to invite you to "hop" on over to all of the other bloggers who are sharing photos of children learning through play this week:




If you are looking for more of our “Just Playing?” posts and resources from around the globe, please visit our Pinterest Board.
Are you a blogger? Would you like to join the JUST PLAYING? blog hop community?
You can join the hop via our Facebook Group: Just Playing?


I'd love for you to share your thoughts in the comments and please visit the other blogs in the "Just Playing" Blog Hop!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Valentine Songs, Fingerplays and Feltboard Poems



Feltboard lightbulb moment: 
I use my feltboard quite a bit. We use it to act out fingerplays and tell stories. I have several in my class, and they are always in use! The other day, I needed to use one during small group and they were all in use. One of the kids had moved the heart shapes that were on the board over to a carpet square before using the board. I couldn't find an available board but realized the carpet square worked great! It provided just the right amount of traction for the felt! We used it and I think we'll probably use it often! 

Often what starts out as a fingerplay ends up being used on the feltboard or dramatized by my students. They love to have "parts" and frequently I'll have to do a single fingerplay several times so everyone can have a turn! Today, I'm sharing some of the Valentine's Day fingerplays we do in class.

Please note: most of these are poems and fingerplays that I have been doing for years. I may have gotten them in teacher magazines, online or from other teachers. The authors, if known, were lost along the way. If you are the author of one of these, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due! 

Five Little Hearts
Five little hearts, all in a row
The first one said, "I love you so."
The second one said, "Will you be my Valentine?"
The third one said, "I will, will you be mine?"
The fourth one said, "I'll always be your friend."
The fifth one said, "We'll all be friends until the very end."


Five Little Valentines Waiting At The Store
Five little valentines waiting at the store.
_________ bought one and then there were four.
Four little Valentines shaped like a "V."
_________ bought one and then there were three.
Three little Valentines said "I love you."
_________ bought one then there were two.
Two little Valentines, this was so much fun
_________ bought one and then there was one.
One little Valentine sitting on the shelf.
I felt so sorry for it, so I bought it for myself! 

Five Pretty Valentines
Five pretty valentines with lace galore,
I gave one to__________,
And then there were four.
Four pretty valentines so lovely to see,
I gave one to __________,
And then there were three.
Three pretty valentines, made for each of you
I gave one to ___________,
And then there were two.
Two pretty valentines having so much fun,
I gave one to____________,
And then there was one.
One little valentine
waiting for a special someone
I gave it to____________,
And then there were none.

Five Little Valentines
One little valentine said, "I love you!"
_________ made another; then there were two
Two little valentines, one for you and me;
_________made another; then there were three.
Three little valentines said, "We need more."
_________ made another; then there were four
Four little valentines, one more to arrive;
_________ made another; then there were five.
Five little valentines, all ready to say:
"Please, be my valentine on this happy day!"

Five Little Valentines Having A Race
Five little valentines were having a race.
The first little valentine was frilly with lace.
The second little valentine had a funny face.
The third little valentine said, "I love you!"
The fourth little valentine said, "I do, too!"
The fifth little valentine was sly as a fox.
He ran the fastest to your valentine box.

Five Valentines 
Five cheerful valentines from the corner store
I gave one to ____________; now I have four.
Four cheerful valentines, pretty cards to see
I gave one to ____________; now I have three.
Three cheerful valentines with flowers pink and blue
I gave one to ____________; now I have two.
Two cheerful valentines-my story's almost done.
I gave one to ______________; now I have one.
One cheerful valentine-one and only one 
I gave it to _______________; now I have none.


FIVE BIG VALENTINES
Five big valentines from the corner drug store;
I mailed one to __________,  then there were four
four big valentines, so lovely to see;
I mailed one to __________, then there were three
Three big valentines, red, shiny, and new;
I mailed one to __________, then there were two
Two big valentines, the best is yet to come;
I mailed one to __________, then there was just one
One big valentine, the story’s almost done;
I mailed one to __________, now there are none.

Will you be my Valentine? 
While the group sits in a circle, one child walks around the inside of the circle while the rest of the group sing the song. He picks a special friend to dance with. At the end the friend that gets picked chooses a new friend to start until everyone has had a turn to have a partner.
(tune: London Bridges)
Who will be my Valentine, Valentine, Valentine? 
Who will be my Valentine, 
On Valentine's Day? 
__________ will be your Valentine, Valentine, Valentine. 
__________ will be your Valentine, 
On Valentine's Day!

Do You Know My Valentine? 
(tune: The Muffin Man)
Do you know my Valentine,
My valentine, my valentine?
Do you know my Valentine?
His/her name is _____________.




I love to read your comments!!! Be sure to leave your thoughts below!

Valentine Card Mailboxes



Every year, I ask each family to work together to create a "mailbox" to hold all their Valentine cards. Our families are really creative and have a great time working together. The kids can't wait to bring them and share with the class how they made them!












I love to read your comments!!! Be sure to leave your thoughts below!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Preschool Valentine and Heart Activities and Art



I know that technically yesterday was Valentine's Day, but many in our part of the US have been without power and out of school due to fierce winter storms. Our holiday celebrations have been postponed until later next week. We've decided to go ahead with them, since the kids were so excited and will be really let down if we have to miss them altogether. Since I know many place will be doing the same, I thought I'd go ahead and share the posts I'd originally planned to post about Valentine's Day before we lost power. 

We take advantage of seasonal materials when they come out--especially at the dollar store. I stocked up on heart shaped jewels, Valentine erasers, doilies, Valentine's cards, Conversation Heart candies and Valentine puzzles to put in the various centers in our class. 




The kids love playing with the erasers and jewels that I put in our math center. We do patterning counting matching and a wide variety of games with them. 




I drew a tic tac toe board on a few paper hearts and taught the kids how to play tic tac toe. It's easy to forget that with our digital age many children have never been exposed to it before. It'a a fun little game that is short enough to keep their interest, and can really hone those critical thinking skills!





We use Conversation heart candies in a variety of ways---we graph them, count the letters in them, sort by color, use them in science experiments and even paint with them! One of the ways we've used them this week is by using our magnifying glasses and doing letter hunts with them! The children have been busily writing their conversations from the hearts, comparing who has certain letters and finding letters from their names!





In our art center, we added some heart shaped paper and children free painted and practiced some new techniques, pressing the sides of the heart together to make symmetrical art.




Some kids just enjoyed drawing hearts and cutting them out with fancy scissors.




I bent some of our toilet paper tubes slightly to make heart shapes to dip in paint and stamp with. Some of them started stamping but ended up painting with the stamps as brushes.





Our one year old class made these cute hand and footprint cards for parents. So cute!




Of course we read lots of fun books about Valentine's Day! Here are some of our favorites:




I've added a new tab to the to of the page for books by theme. I'll be adding to this list as I go through the year! 

little illuminations: Books by Theme

If you are interested in more of our Valentine's activities, here are the links to some of my previous posts about our Valentine activities!

Valentine Bulletin Boards 2014




Valentine Fun in Pre-K




Valentine's Day Afterglow




Love Bugs




Our Valentine's Day Fun 2011




Conversation Hearts in The Class




Love Bugs 2011




Valentine's Box




Valentine's Day Fun




plus, look for the last 2 posts in later this week--one on Valentine Boxes and one about Valentine's Day fingerplays and flannelboards!

Be sure to check out my Valentine's Day board on Pinterest!





I love to read your comments!!! Be sure to leave your thoughts below!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Valentine's Day Bulletin Boards 2014


I get TONS of emails and comments about all of my bulletin board posts, so I wanted to share some of my bulletin boards (and some from other classes, as well) for Valentine's Day!

Head Over Heels for You




Pre-K Valentine Tree




Catch The Love Bug



Sweet Treats


Sealed With A Kiss






Sending Love




Sweethearts Candy





We Love Our Class



Jump Rope 4 Heart





Fun Window Decorations


Love Bugs



Bee Mine




Hanging Hearts


I love to read your comments!!! Share your thoughts about this post below!

Thanks for stopping by!

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