Friday, September 14, 2012

Let's Get This Year Started!

Well, it has been an interesting two weeks to say the least.  First, I find out that I only have 6 students in my class this year.  SIX!  Then, one doesn't actually bother to show up and one is not potty-trained (a must to be in my class).  Hmmmm . . . . now I am down to 4!  Luckily another student was moved into my class so now I am up to the big number 5.  SERIOUSLY!?!?  I had more than this during the "stomach-bug epidemic of Spring 2005!  I'm still adjusting to the small number and hoping that we will have a few more students join us during the year.  Seriously, it was a great first week.  I didn't have any criers and only a few bathroom issues, so all in all, things are going well.  One of the popular centers in my class is the "Dress-up" box.  To be honest, I'm not sure where half of the things in there came from and frankly, my students don't care.  They just love to rummage through it and pick out their "outfit of the day".  One of my new students absolutely loves to wear an old crochet vest (I think it is from my closet from the 1980's - don't judge!).  She pairs it with a different hat each day and sits down with a book.  I think she is adorable!

We really don't focus on our alphabet of our themes until after Labor Day so let me share with you our first real week of school.  We call it "All About Me" and we talk about the color RED, the number 1 and circles.  Our busy week started with a fun activity to help us learn our names.  I wrote everyone's name on a large piece of black construction paper.

Next, everyone added little pieces of torn (or cut) tissue paper to each of the letters of their name.

I loved watching each child as they carefully picked out "their favorite colors".  I think they all did a great job.

We also talked about the letter "A" by making our very own apple trees!  We all decided to make our apple trees BIG, maybe a bit too big because they didn't fit onto our paper, but we didn't mind.

The "apples" on our trees are actually our fingerprints.  I let the children use their fingers to stamp a piece of paper and then I punched them out with my handy-dandy little circle punch.  It was fun to watch everyone add their "apples" to their trees and talk about how we made them.

Our next "A" activity got a little bit out of hand, but then again, the best things usually do!  I cut out some very large letter "A"s and laid them in an old cardboard box (a tiny piece of double stick tape helps hold it down).
We talked about some very pretty acorns that came from my yard.  (A little hint - put the acorns in a plastic bag and sit them in your freezer for 24 hours.  This will kill any unwanted pest that may be living and eating inside the acorns.  Thanks to my friend Tiffany for that hint.).
 Next, we added the acorns to some RED paint.

Here comes the messy part!  We dumped the acorns into the box with our letter "A" and shook, shook, shook!

The end results were very pretty.  I think I added a little too much paint so most of the "A"s were covered.  But, they all had a very nice texture from the acorns.  COOOOOLLLLLL!

No "All About Me" week would be complete without making our little "ME" dolls.  Everyone had such a fun time dressing up their people.

We used some old material for the girls dresses and some left-over scrapbooking paper for the boys.  If you look closely you will notice the some of the boy's pants looks like blue jeans.  Oh, one more very important thing . . . the hair was cut by the students themselves!  Pretty good job, don't you think???????

A really fun "A" word is alligator.  We made our own alligators out of our handprints!

The children added their own grass at the bottom with some wonderful dot paint and the sun is their palm print.

Our Friday has become a little more hectic because we have added a Spanish class first thing in the morning.  This week we kept things a little calm by doing a little name art project.  We used little foam stick-on letters and wrote our names.  Next, we added our fingerprints (or in some cases, our handprints) to add some colors.

Towards the end of last year I added our "Password of the Day".
(This is a little misleading because right now we keep the same password all week).  The children will tell me our password whenever we leave or enter our room.  I also have been wearing it around my neck.  I made a necklace out of our name badge and now I ask the children what they word is all during the day.  We are keeping our words very simple.  For the next few weeks we will be using a color for our word.  I love to see everyone's faces when I say "congratulations, you just read a word!   THEY GET SO EXCITED!

Next week is "C" week and we will be talking about our pets.  Thanks for visiting and I hope you check with us again soon.


  1. Cute ideas! I teach 3 year olds at a Presbyterian church preschool. I love it, but I would also love a smaller class. I have the teensiest tiniest room and have 10 love bugs in it. It can get a little crazy in there sometimes.
    Thanks for posting, I look forward to the next post.

  2. Love the password idea!!!! :)

  3. I appreciate your ideas so much! I teach developmentally delayed preschoolers and am able to use everything you have! Plus, your commentaries regarding parent participation and enthusiasm are right on! Thank you!

  4. I love this site, it has a lot of great ideas. When I am stuck for ideas I know where to go. So many ideas that can be used for different small group fun. Keep up the great work.

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