Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Penguins and piggies and pizza, oh my!

There are SOOOO many things that start with the letter P and are relevant to preschool kiddos, that we had a very busy week!  We started out by reading about penguins, both fiction and non-fiction, then made a cute penguin craft. These are parent penguins, keeping their chicks warm on their feet.  We displayed them all together, in a (reused styrofoam) rookery, just like real penguins.  We learned lots of great vocabulary including chicks, rookery and brood pouch.

One of our penguins books was Five Little Penguins Sliding On The Ice, by Steve Metzger.  We had fun acting it out!

For more penguin counting fun, check out this adorable Penguin poem on my blog, and available at my TeachersPayTeachers store.

It was also fun to practice being a penguin parent, carrying our "eggs" on our feet to keep them off the cold ice.  We decided daddy penguins definitely had an advantage, having a brood pouch to help keep their eggs on their feet!  Some of the kiddos pushed their "egg" up their pants leg, to make their own brood pouch!  I found the idea here.

One sunny morning we all took turns planting peas in the veggie garden.  It's quite barren out there now, but as spring approaches, peas will be one of the first plants to germinate.  As we planted we talked about what the seeds will need to help them grow: water, soil, and sunshine.  We pushed each seed into a small hole, and covered them with a little soil - they germinate in the dark, then grow up into the light.

On Wednesday, we made "pigs in a blanket" for lunch - yum!

Later in the day I had my kindergarteners plan out, write and illustrate an experience story about our cooking.  They were very proud to read it to their parents and their friends, and I saw some of their nicest handwriting!

We had a lot of choices for our hand print art this week!  I found Pete the Cat here,

the pirate here,
 this penguin here,
the peacock here,
the polar bear here,
and Pigeon here.  I love them all!

Of course, if we're talking about the letter P, we have to make pizza!  This year I let each child make their own pizza on an English muffin.  They spread the sauce, chose their toppings, and put their pizza together just the way they wanted it.  Look at all these tasty ingredients!

 Ready for the oven...
 Ready to eat!  Yum!  The kiddos not only gobbled up their pizza, but also ate salad and corn.

While some children were making their real pizzas with me, others made their P for pizza craft with Ms. Julie.  They added pepperoni, pineapple and peppers, all to fit with our letter P theme.  We made the lower case p for penguins earlier in the week, and each child chose 1, 2, 3, or 4 penguins to go on their pink or purple p.  In the next picture, you can see the graph they made, showing how many penguins each child chose.  When we graph we talk about number, more than, less than, equal, greatest or most, and fewest or least, all good math vocabulary to develop.

 Just for fun, we played Papa's Pizza Topple, a toy left over from when my own kiddos were little.  To be successful in this balancing game the children have to place their pieces gently, and pay attention to which part of the pizza is heaviest; leaning down, and lightest; sticking up.

We also did a lot of puzzles this week.  I've written an entire blog on that - please scroll down if you'd like to read it.  This giant Winnie the Pooh puzzle was difficult, but we had to do Pooh bear activities, as January 17th is A.A. Milne's birthday, and Winnie the Pooh Day.
We read Pooh bear books, and snuggled with stuffed animals and puppets...
 ...and played Pooh bear toys, including bingo and a matching game.  For lunch we had peanut butter and honey sandwiches (yum!), and lots of fresh veggies from Rabbit's garden: corn, cauliflower, carrots, tomato, spinach and peas.

Our last fun P activity this week was painting on HUGE paper.  This paper was padding in a package I received earlier in the week, and saved for painting on.  Who says art supplies have to be new?  The kiddos had a blast doing extra large paintings, and reused the paper in the process. 

We had a great week, with lots of fun learning activities.  Next week, letter Q.  Perhaps we'll even have a visit from HRH The Queen!

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