Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dem Bones and a little Skeleton Dance

There are so many great ideas out there, it's hard to pick and choose sometimes. Little Wonders Preschool posted a picture on Facebook of the skeletons they made recently. It reminded me that I did this several years ago with my class and they really enjoyed it. I thought I'd make one today and put in my files so next year I would remember to put in into my lesson plans.

While I was finishing mine up, some of the friends came over and asked me if they could make one, too. I gave them a little skull and a pelvis like I had used from white paper and a handful of q-tips. I wasn't sure exactly what they would come up with, but I was curious to see what they would do with all the "loose parts"

I think they did a pretty good job!

We've also been singing along to to this fun song!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Learning About Fire Safety in Pre-K

Fire Safety is one of those units that I feel like we need to teach, but I think sometimes, because it's a "have to" unit, I feel like it gets a little stale. I tried to "heat things up" this year to put a little more excitement into my fire safety unit. 

Teach Preschool posted recently about making construction paper fire trucks in  "We Made Shapely Fire Trucks in Preschool". I remember years ago making a little paper fire truck craft, but I hadn't thought about it in a few years. Deborah's post made me want to try this cute activity again. We gave the kids some very basic shapes and let them see what they could come with. I think they did a wonderful job!

We practiced how to dial "9-1-1" in an emergency, "Stop, Drop, Cover and Roll" if our clothes are on fire and to "Get Low and Go" if there is smoke in the house. We have monthly fire drills, so we discussed the importance of doing a good job on the drills so that we will be fully prepared if ever there were a real emergency. We also talked about smoke detectors and creating a home evacuation plan with our families.

Even the teachers got into the act and had a little retraining on the use of fire extinguishers.

                                           Yep! That's Me!                            

We explored with red, orange and yellow paint in art center. We tried blow painting, but I think the paint was a little thick. Smear art painting was a lot of fun and produced some beautiful masterpieces.

We got out a few of our favorite fire safety themed toys and puzzles. 

The kids love dressing up as community helpers. And our little fire station proved to be pretty popular, too! Many, many traditional (and non-traditional ;) firehouse meals were prepared and served at our fire station.

I love this fire truck one of my little guys drew at the art table. "It's a fire truck going to put out the fire. These lines mean the light is too noisy!"

One of our favorite fire books is now on YouTube with the accompanying song. We listened to this many times on cd, but I also heard the kids singing as they worked in centers, "Fire truck! Fire truck! I want to ride on a fire truck!"

Hands down, I think the favorite was making our fire truck cookies as our culminating activity. They were just as fun to make as they were yummy to eat! 

Apparently, due to the Sept. 11 anniversary, our fire station is busier than usual with school tours, so we were unable to visit during Fire Safety Week. A few weeks late, but we are finally scheduled to go next week, so we're pretty excited! I'm sure there will be an upcoming post about that adventure! :)

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Leaf Man and Fall Fun

Living in the south, it never fails that temperatures and seasonal themes often are askew. We had a cold snap (from the 90's to the 60's / 70's) for a couple of days. Sure enough, the morning we started our fall unit, temps were back in the 90's and it is sunny! Go figure! We are experiencing a few of the seasonal changes, but they are just beginning, so we have to really look hard to observe the onset of autumn.

Two of my favorite fall books are Red Leaf, Yellow Leaf and The Leaf Man both by Lois Ehlert. We took a nature walk and collected leaves and acorns.

We took some of our leaves and put them in our science center. My friend Addi used prisms to observe the leaves, then compared how the leaves looked in our microscope. I think I've got a little scientist on my hands!

After reading The Leaf Man, we made a few of our own.

We used this booklet from Little Giraffes for our leaf explorations. In the first few pages,  we made  leaf rubbings, measured our leaves with unifix cubes and dropped our leaves  and counted how long it took for them to fall from to the ground.  We measured the area of  our leaves in pennies, and see how many pennies it takes to sink our leaf.

We used leaves in our play outside to make wonderful creations!

And painted a fall mural.

And finally, one of my favorite fall activities is to have the children trace and cut out their arm and hand on construction paper, then glue tissue paper leaves. No matter what the skill level, these always turn out so nice.

Happy Fall, Y'all!

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