Thursday, May 3, 2012


We had an abbreviated preschool routine this morning due to my 3rd grader's class putting on a skit. I appreciate the flexibility my student's families have shown that allows me to attend my own children's school functions. Many thanks!
A. is the child who would NOT look at me.  LOL  He  doesn't like my camera.  I called the child next to him because that usually works but not this time.  Only J. responded.  And then it got worse because all of his classmates were trying to get him to look at me.  LOL
 I was impressed though, A. pretty much was at this microphone the whole time...he had a lot to memorize!  He didn't practice at home either.  He was mouthing everyone's lines and everyone's songs in addition to his own.  However, when it came for him to sing he was too quiet to hear, everyone drowned him out, even at the mic.  Ha!  Was so sweet though, when a classmate came up that was shorter than him and had to stand on his tiptoes to talk into the mic I saw A. head over and then hesitate and then must have decided it was okay and went and adjusted the mic for his classmate.  That just made my day.  Might have something to do with the idea that he's the second shortest in his class!  :-)  Was feeling empathy!

Okay, onto our day....
We've done this before using various wooden animal shapes.  You can see that post here.   I find that the children LOVE to "spell".  This week I wanted to use various types of birds.  The spelling mats printable has an owl, bird, duck, chick, penguin, pelican, turkey, and flamingo.
There are several different variations that can be done.  Today, my younger preschoolers match lowercase to lowercase letters, like "pelican".  My older student sounded out the words, putting the letter tiles on the mat as she thought they would be and then checked her work with the lowercase mat like "flamingo".  In the afternoon, she went back to it again and matched lowercase letters to uppercase letter mats, like "bird".  I also have matched uppercase to uppercase letters and had them practice letter formation by copying the word.
Mr. T. loves this type of "work" also.  However, with his age, it works better to only do one at a time.  Having 5 birds/mats and their letters tend to cause problems...and heaven help us if he accidentally bumps his mats and the tiles come out of their space.  :-)  I couldn't find my little containers I usually use for this type of activity so I made simple pouches out of a folded index card and scotch tape.

Feel free to download a copy of the bird spelling mats for your own personal use.  They were created to be used with 1 inch letter tiles such as these from Amazon.  I believe mine were from Wal-mart's teaching section at the beginning of a school year, quite a few years ago.  However, if you do not have letter manipulatives, you are more than welcome to print the pages twice and cut the letters apart for one of them.  Another option is to create your own letter tiles by cutting 1"x1" squares from construction paper or use foam squares to write the letters on.

Turkey PreWriting Lines
I wanted to slip in at least one turkey activity because this time of year is when we actually see the turkeys.  :-)  Not so much at Thanksgiving time.  I simply printed a turkey pattern and used pencil to lightly draw the prewriting lines.  They traced over with marker (to make it darker) prior to cutting and gluing onto a piece of construction paper.

Bird Seed Collage 
I love to provide bottles of liquid glue for the children to experiment with making various types of lines.  Squeezing the glue bottle is a great hand strengthener and it's always a favorite.  Often we do colored sand on a black background.  Today I provided a piece of cereal box cardboard and bird seed.

One More/One Less  
This is a lovely printable!  The children roll the dice and cover the number that is one more (or one less) than what's on their dice.  We do quite a bit of exploration with a number line so this was another way to incorporate it. The number line we used can be found here.  It was the number line I used with our Spring Missing Numbers activity.   My younger preschooler used the One More side and my older preschool student used the One Less side.  T., the toddler just rolled the dice and put the foam squares on random numbers.  :-) 
Fly the Birds!
I think I put my own letters on the inside of the birds as they look like the font I use vs. the font she normally uses.  I had the children help me put the bird houses on the wall in alphabetical order and then I hid the birds around our room.  They went on a search and "flew their birds" to the corresponding birdhouse.  It was just a quick review before the end of the school year.  Letter recognition and upper-lower case letter matching seems to be pretty well mastered here. 

This was one of the books we read today...great book!  Very informative!
I mentioned I'd share what our wax paper blot butterflies ended up looking like.  Here they are:
You can read about the process we used here.
Sight Word Writing
I had more baking soda than salt in my cupboards and so we used baking soda.  I think I'll use the salt next time...but it worked okay.  She really enjoyed this.  I poured a layer of powdered tempera paint at the bottom of the dish and covered completely with baking soda.  As she wrote her sight words, the red would start to appear.  She went back to this tray to draw and write in multiple times throughout the afternoon.
It really didn't get messy until T. got to it.  :-)  I ended up giving him a pencil to write with because it was a writing tray vs. sensory and it was getting ALL OVER as he dug his hands in it.  Normally I wouldn't care but this was powdered tempera paint and it was all over him, the desk and the floor.  So yes, messy for toddlers, nice for preschoolers.  :-)  However, it cleaned up relatively well so I'd do it again! 
The Dolch Sight Word Cards that we used with this activity can be found here.


  1. Thanks! I sure enjoy your posts!

  2. That is really sweet that he adjusted the mic for his classmate!

    The tempera paint sensory writing looks neat!