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, October 24, 2014

I like learning i

I'll start by admitting that the phrase "I like learning i" comes from one of the songs we've been listening to this week on youtube.com.  It's a Storybots song, and it is sooooo catchy - in fact, I woke up in the middle of the night with it going through my head a couple of nights ago! 

The children LOVE using our youtube.com playlists each morning, and learn so much by singing and dancing about learning concepts.  In addition to Storybots, I like to use a lot of HarryKindergarten and The Learning Station music videos.  Here's a link to this weeks' playlist.  By far the favorite song this week was Jack Hartman's Silly Pirate Song , especially the phrase, "Hey Dude, surf's up!" 

There aren't as many fun ways to learn about the letter Ii as there are for some letters, but we found some ways to learn and play all at once.  I've created an "ice cream" sensory play bin for the children, and it had lots of use this week.  In a shallow tub I put all the pompons I could find, several clean and empty ice cream boxes with their lids, some toy food ice creams and cones, empty containers from sprinkles, spoons and bowls.  The children scooped, poured, sorted, pretended, and worked on social skills like sharing and turn taking.  Stuffing small pompons in the tiny jars (from sprinkles) was the hit of the week - and worked on fine motor development, strengthening finger muscles in preparation for writing.  The children will tell you it was a fun way to play.

Our upper case I craft was decorated as an ice cream.  The children cut out their letters (more finger strengthening work as well as hand-eye coordination), then glued on cones, "ice cream" and sprinkles. 

 They looked delicious hanging on the wall, along with our "inchworm" lower case i crafts.

You won't be surprised to know that our ice cream taste test was also a happy and fun event for the children.  I bought 3 flavors of ice cream; chocolate, strawberry, and mint chocolate chip.  We were scientists, and predicted which flavor we would like the best, and graphed it (math and reading our names).

 The best part was definitely the tasting!  (I'm not talking about what the children liked now, I'm talking about Ms. Paula and Ms. Julie!  Yum!)  It was interesting to revisit the graph after we tasted, because several children discovered a new favorite flavor!

We also enjoyed playing instruments for the letter i.  I have an outside carpet that we put down, and the children play the instruments on the carpet, or have a marching band on the driveway.  Some of the boys got very excited about drumming this week, and spent hours of our outside play time using plastic bowling pins to drum on the tree trunks, the playground, and some empty crates.  They made a very satisfying sound, and the boys involved got some big body play out of the experience.

Our final letter i activity was to make an Itsy Bitsy Spider craft, to read an Isty Bitsy Spider book by Iza Trapani, and of course to do the finger play.  Have you met "The Great Big Hairy Spider?"  It's just like the itsy bitsy spider, but of course much louder, and with much bigger hand motions.  It's a hoot to see the kiddos act it out, and use their big, deep voices to say it!
The children decorate their "house" cut out, and we add a spider ring to a drinking straw "water spout".  (I think this idea originally came from Mailbox magazine.)

See, just like the Storybots sing, "I is incredible, I like learning Ii!"

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