Friday, April 18, 2014

A Fluttering Five for Friday

Well Spring Break came and went, I spent a week in Ocean Shores with bronchitis, and this week I was back in the classroom. It feels good to finally be posting again. Most of my spare tine recently has been devoted to writing lesson plans and creating classroom materials. Spring break came at the best time because I desperately needed some quality planning time to sort out the rest of the year. Unfortunately the school I am at is in their first year so a lot of the curriculum is a bit mish-mashed the pacing guides are vague and/or don't exists. This has made it all the harder for me to determine what lessons/topics have been taught or not. But I digress… 

Back to the point of this post! I am joining in Doodle Bug for Five for Friday to once again start sharing with all of you!

This week our class started our unit on Eric Carle. His books are perfect for spring time and he is one of my personal favorite children’s author and illustrator. Along with our spring time theme in the classroom, our sensory table and dramatic play areas got complete make overs. By the time I took over the classroom, I could tell that the students were sick of water in the sensory table. Even new toys in the table were no longer enticing to them. Not to mention, I was not a huge fan of the slippery floor I was always mopping up.

This week, the kids got to get a little messy with dirt and bugs in our sensory table. The Dollar Tree just came out with their spring time items and had some perfect giant magnifying classes and bug collection items. The dirty floor at the end of each day was well worth the fun my preschoolers had. 

In our dramatic play area, the kiddos had fun working and shopping at our Dragonfly Flower Shop. Thanks to the Dollar Tree and the Target dollar section, they had plenty of flowers, seeds, gardening tools, gloves, flower pots, watering cans, and vases to play with. They also got to dress up in sun hats, aprons (Dollar Tree score!) and rain boots. 

It was also a huge hit with both the morning and afternoon groups. I was pleasantly surprised by how appropriate they were as well since some of them weren’t sure what a flower shop was. They were all about making flower arrangements and growing gardens. My sensory kiddos also loved this faux wheatgrass I picked up at Ikea ages ago. 

At the end of our literacy time this week, we worked on a new sequencing activity I created for my kiddos. It was the first time they’d had an activity like this (or so I am told by my paras) and they did amazing! I had previously noticed that as a group, they struggle with retelling stories, even very families ones. Four days of sequencing must have done the trick because they were retelling The Very Hungry Caterpillar like pros. This ended up being one of the random activities that got even our stubborn and resistant little ones to engage. 

  More Eric Carle themed fun with dot makers and patterns: 

 (BTW, all the items I have shown here were created by me. You can get a packet of all these items and more HERE)

  I also have to share that we had an amazing coincidence of timing this week. To start our week, we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle and started our talk about the butterfly life cycle. Just after reading the book, one of my kiddos exploded with excitement pointing in the corner of the room and yelling butterfly. Turns out the butterfly home in the corner of the room had a living, flying butterfly in it. The funny thing was that I new about the cage but had previously determined there was nothing living in there. Turns out there was a chrysalis hiding in there all along as the little butterfly decided to wait to make a perfectly timed entrance! So the following day we held a butterfly releasing ceremony and now the kids are hooked on caterpillars and butterflies!

I am so excited to be starting a new music curriculum next week with my kiddos! Our school received a generous donation from First Note Music Program. They have create an awesome music curriculum for pre-k students to help get music back in the classroom and get students interested in music at a young age. The program includes 30 lessons, each one with five components and is taught through short engaging videos. The best part is that you don’t have to be a great musician to use it in the classroom because the videos basically run themselves. They are each between 2-5 minutes long so they don’t take a ton of time. Each week also includes a multicultural lesson that introduces students to people and instruments from around the worlds. If you are interested in checking it out you can go here to try part of the first two lessons free.

I will be doing even more updates on the program as I get started incorporating it into my class so make sure to check back!


  1. You're a busy girl, and it's clear you are absolutely loving your new position! That's wonderful, Kayla. I'm so charmed by your little ones....keep sharing what you're doing and charming us with pics of those cute little kiddos. : )

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  2. I have never thought about putting dirt in the sensory table, such a great idea. My little ones would love it.

    Kinder Princess