Thursday, December 1, 2011

G is for Goats!

There are so many versions of classic stories! I sent my husband on a search for the book The Three Billy Goats Gruff and the books that we could find at the library...well, I didn't really care for the version or I didn't care for the illustrations.  So today I decided to once again "listen" to the story vs. reading a book.  A very simple, "pleasant", version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff can be found at  I did add this site to my favorites as it sees to have a good selection of stories!  With the The Gingerbread Man I added my sequencing cards.  Today, we just listened (while I "acted it out" a little...brought a few giggles) and at the end of the story I asked, "What do YOU think the troll looked like?".  Tee hee!  I'd love to do that with a whole class.  I'm sure there would be some great variations of a troll!  Would make a great display or class book.  Here is K.'s troll!

Retelling the story!
Very simple-wooden blocks, felt, stick puppets of the goats and a troll. 
Another picture to show it's simplicity.

Sink and Float
She knew right off what we were doing today, even though we hadn't truly done a sink and float activity this year yet.  :-)  Then, of course, there was time for free exploration.  Water is always a favorite.  There is just something about it that no child tires of it.   And you can vary it by adding color, bubbles, temperature and the tools can definitely vary.  Great sensory/science experience.    I was going to do a science booklet to go along with this book but there was already enough coloring and cutting planned today so decided to skip it.  So, instead, just simple drew two pictures- sink and float- water line on both.  Boat on one and an object down in the water on the other.  She predicted whether they would sink or float, tested, and then "recorded" by placing object in the correct column.

Rhyming with Goat and Troll
Mailbox Publication
Always trying to slip in rhyming as frequently as possible.  We slipped in the use of the sight word "the" since that word seems tricky for her yet.  Also used this time to label with "kid spelling".  Note that she wrote each sound she actually heard.  PERFECT!

G is for Goat by  Patricia Polacco
Alphabet book regarding goats.  We read this book and used it along with the goats tree map.

Goats Tree Map
This is one of the eight thinking maps that are being used frequently in our schools.  When they begin a "new" tool, I like to introduce it at the preschool level as then it's familiar (the brain connections are already starting to be created) and more easily to learn about and take the tool to the next level when they enter Kindergarten.  This particular thinking map I used to help create a visual on how to write a simple sentence.  Note the colors used.  Green at the top (where we start the sentence), red at the bottom (the end of the sentence).    I actually had a box for her to write the sentence in at the bottom of the sentence and then we cut apart the words and glued them to the paper she'd do her illustration on.  This reinforces spacing between words.  Side note about a tree map:  they work great with science/informational books, use to see what information they have retained!

When I think Kindergarten writing I think...
* Able to print in a way that's readable/legible.
*  Using beginning and ending sounds and some middle sounds when sounding out and spelling a word (some children may already be using more conventional spellings).
*  Correct use of sight words in their sentence(s).
* Basic punctuation.
* Spaces between words.
*  Illustration goes along with the sentence.  May or may not have much detail in either sentence or picture at the kindergarten level (our school's writing program is doing a lot with details in illustrations and sentences).

As a preschool goal is to work toward the above goals.  I usually save the sounding out/spelling for activities where they are doing "free writing", such as journals, or labeling pictures and so on.  With an activity like this tree map, I like to do it "copywork" style because then I can point out conventional rules.  With K., we've been doing quite a bit with learning that letters together make words (CVC practice), words together make sentences and there are spaces separating each word in a sentence.  She's doing great!

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