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!
Monday, March 20, 2017
Spring is in the air #Kinderfriends bloghop
Wouldn't it be nice if there was an activity that would bring out the very best in your students? Something that would get them excited about learning, behaving better, engaged in a writing activity, and eager to revisit their learning? While we're wishing for so much, we might as well make it age appropriate, and good for their physical well-being. And free, free is always good! Let's aim for the moon!
So what free miracle activity is healthy for our bodies and minds, age appropriate, and exciting too? It's really pretty simple - the simplest actually: fresh air and nature. This spring, I hope you can find a way to take your learning outside, to observe whatever plants and animals are available to you, and to incorporate them into your teaching and learning.
Step 1: Before they can concentrate and focus, our students need a chance to run, to stretch their bodies, and let loose. Remember in the olden days, we had a thing called recess? Students took a break from sitting and focusing on adult directed activities, and ran around outside. By the time they were done they were hot, sweaty, thirsty, and ready to sit down and focus again.
Step 2: Slow down and pay attention to the things around you. Kids are inherently good at this. Junior scientists from birth, they naturally observe and investigate the world. I like to make notebooks, pencils and magnifying glasses available during our outside time, it still amazes me how often students choose to draw and write about what they see. Stop and look with them - you won't be disappointed (although disgusted and freaked out are definitely possible).
Dig for worms, watch roly pollies, and compare slugs and snails.
I know for many of you, the reality is that you have to justify this kind of learning, to have paper and pencil grade-able tasks to show that learning is happening, and that you have a limited time to cover approximately 75,103 required skills. Well, I know it's just a bandaid on a gaping wound, but I've created a free printable for your students to document what they're learning as you do hands on fun learning activities.
There are 4 pages, each with room for a drawing (or photo) of the activity, and room for students to write about the experience. You can use the same printable over and again, and collect the pages in a bradded pocket chart to make individual writing books that will show the growth in students' drawing and writing over the course of the year. Best of all, students LOVE to read their own books, or those of their friends - so they'll be motivated to both write and read about the activities you set up for them. Field trip? Write about it! Cool bug on the playground? Write about it! Lost a tooth? Got new shoes? Did that exciting thing that you just have to tell your teacher all about? Write about it!
Yes, eventually you'll have to go back inside, but you'll all be invigorated, a bit hot, sweaty and thirsty, and maybe even ready to sit down and focus again. To help you be ready for those times, I've put all of my spring resources on sale for 20% off through 3/23/17. Here are just a few of them, including one more forever freebie!
Just search #KinderFriends on TpT to find discounted resources just right for spring!
Thank you for stopping by! Now hop on over to my friend Pamela at Pocketful of Centers, to find even more spring ideas, inspiration and freebies!