Pre-K Five for Friday: 5 Ideas from My Week!

I am joining the Five for Friday party this week sponsored by Doodle Bugs Teaching.  

After you check out the 5 ideas or "happenings" from my week, you may want to link up and see what other Pre-K - Grade One(ish) teachers have been up to!

Here's my five!

 We began practicing one of our songs for our preschool graduation ceremony.  It's a long one, but so awesome that we decided we'd go for it and just practice it like crazy.

The song is "What I Am" by Will i am.
I'll post the You Tube video below, but in case it doesn't show through this link, you can just click {here} to get to it. 

 We took our class to the water park!  
Everyone wore red pinnies so that they were easy to spot amongst the other kids.
  Some kids delighted in drenching themselves, others were quite happy to just get their feet wet.   
Here's the park before our troops descended!

We played the game, "Alphabet Soup."  

To play this game, set up chairs in a circle - one for each student.
Each child gets a letter and then sits on a chair.  The teacher calls out a letter (i.e., "a") and holds it up.  

All the children who have that letter must quickly stand up and switch chairs with someone else who has that letter.  

When the teacher says "Alphabet Soup!" ALL students must stand up and find a new chair.  

Lots of fun and a great way to practice letters!

 Our students practiced recognizing and ordering numbers by using the flower props below.  

I found the piece of wood on the beach last year and then drilled holes in it that would be just big enough to hold a popsicle stick securely.

I battled my cat all week who loves to bother me while I'm working on my computer.    
She's actually lying on my hand right now as I'm trying to type.  
And of course she's meowing at regular intervals.  Ah, pets!
Enjoy your weekend!

Click {here} or the image below if you'd like to see what others have been up to this week.

10 Things I Plan to do this Summer

I've linked up with Deanna Jump's post,
Top 10 Things I Plan to do this Summer!

Here's my Top 10 list:

1.  Get on my bike and find some new places to explore! 
When I lived in the mountains, I used to enjoy doing somewhat freaky trail rides.  I no longer ride along cliffs and beside bears (lol), but I do enjoy going on little country rides with my kids.  And of course we always make a point of stopping at a coffee shop or corner store along the way! 
Here we are at a corner store last summer.  I'm posing by my daughter's bike in a seriously mismatched outfit.   Yes, one of those "don't care what I wear" summer days.  Gotta love 'em!

2.  Sleep in a tent with my kids.  And I suspect the tent will be set up in our backyard.  Yes, over the years we've gotten a little lazy about doing the whole "pack the car to the gills" camping trips.  A stay at home camping trip definitely has its perks! 

3.  Take lots of trips to the beach with my dog, Sammy. There's nothing my dog loves more than running in circles in the sand. And rolling in the sand.  And digging in the sand. He comes home a dirty mess, but it's fun to see him get so excited!

4.  Eat outside and barbeque as often as possible!  Or rather, have my husband barbeque as often as possible.  I have yet to figure out how to start the barbeque.

5.  Do some painting!  I paint part-time to help supplement my teaching income.  My first order for the summer is a giant 5' x 5' painting of a west coast ocean landscape. Here's a sample of a west coast painting I did earlier.  


6.  Sleep in, sleep in, sleep in.  I'm surprised I'm actually listing this one at number 6.  It should perhaps be in the #1 position.  There's nothing more sweet than getting up when your body wants to get up!  No alarm clocks!!!  No hitting the snooze button repeatedly!  Ah....I can hardly wait!

7.  Enjoy a "balanced lifestyle!"  And figure out how I can maintain it ALL year.  I always make time for work.  What I want to learn is how to add in more time for exercise (but only the kind that I truly enjoy!), yoga, meditating, FUN with family and friends... A balanced lifestyle!  Anyone have any tips on how to achieve this?  :)

8.  Occasionally sit in a chair in a sunny spot on my patio AND DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!   Ahhh...can you imagine?

9. Let some of my flowers die and let my lawn go dormant. This summer I vow not to run around with my sprinkler, hose, and watering can.  I'll miss having a nice green lawn, but it will come back in the fall!  

10.  Work.  Yes, it's summer vacation, but I'll still be busy painting, creating TPT products for my shop, and doing a variety of teaching related jobs and training.  (BUT, I'll be keeping in mind #7 - I'll be enjoying a balanced lifestyle!)

What are your plans for the summer?  
Share your comments below and/or link up to Deanna's Top 10 List HERE! 

Like to Garden? Take a Peek at these Great Center Time Activities Idea for Spring!

I think a big part of what makes spring special (for ME, anyway!) is seeing all the flowers come to life.

  The world goes from gray, gray, gray to a canvas filled with pinks and purples and yellows...!
Everywhere you look - colour and new life.
  And of course there's finally some SUN to go along "with"!

This weekend I was out in my own garden getting my raspberry beds weeded.  
I DO NOT like weeding, but I do love raspberries so I do the work!  

I like to celebrate this time of year in my classroom by planting some real flowers with the kids, as well as bringing in some fun spring flower games and activities.

This year one of our popular activities has been playing

The students get to make flower arrangements, wrap them in tissue paper OR place them in a plastic vase, add note cards, take phone calls, and "deliver" the flowers to the customers.  

They can also keep the shop organized by placing flowers into vases labelled with the correct flower names.

  The flower shop is a busy place!
For those customers who want a specific arrangement,  bouquets can be ordered using an erasable marker on one of four unique order forms.  

Shopkeeper:  "Would you like roses? 
Here's your order form.  Just circle the number and colour of roses you would like, and I'll have that order ready right away!"

Here is the collection of flowers, labels, and order forms I created to set up our classroom flower shop.
  (I also created a series of note cards to add to the bouquets.  You can see those in the third image in this post.) 
To set up the flower shop, I just added green popsicle sticks to the back of the flower images to create "stems," attached the flower labels to some plastic "vases" (icing containers work great!) and I was ready for business.

Once I posted my "OPEN" sign,  the customers started rolling in!

To encourage the children to practise counting and number recognition, I also created the 2-person game below to go with this flower theme.  

Players place the flower images on the garden mat and roll the die to see which flower they should pick up.  

 In preschool, we use this game to practise number recognition (both in terms of recognizing the number on the "dotted" die, as well as reading the numeral on the flower), but this game can also be made more challenging for  Kindergarten students.

  Older students can use two dies and then choose the flower that matches the sum of their roll. 

Players finish the game by counting the flowers to see who "picked" the most! 

Our class also loves to do mini-books.  
You can see the mini-book that I created for this unit at the top of the collage below. 
Other activities in this unit include a colour by number page, a 3D art project, and a fun circle time song and activity.  

This Flower Shop Unit is a total of 43 pages of fun and I'm currently offering it for $4.95 in my shop.

Keep your kids engaged with this seasonal unit and save yourself some valuable TIME as you deal with all the details of wrapping up the school year.    

If you'd like to scoop up this unit today
click {here}!

Afraid to Incorporate Instruments into your Center Time Activities? Try this idea!

Like many preschools, we have a big box of instruments in our collection of toys and resources.

The kids love to "make music" and we often pull out our class set of rhythm sticks and shakers for directed use at circle time. 

But what about letting the kids play instruments at center time?  On their own?
  Do we frequently encourage that?  
Hmmm....not so much!  
Quite frankly, the noise of free-for-all preschool music can be a little hard to take!

But we do put out instruments for free play time on occasion.  
The kids love having some freedom to play their own thing and as hardy preschool teachers we are willing to put up with a bit of extra noise to support their learning. :)

Like this week, for instance.
We created a music station with glasses filled with coloured water at varying levels. 
For mallets we set out a variety of items that we had on hand - real wooden mallets, rhythm sticks, and even the odd pencil or two.  

The sets of glasses were each labelled from #1 - 4 so that in addition to random tapping, the children could try to play a song that we had included at the center.  
 I worked out a rendition of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on the jars beforehand and then recorded the song using the numbers on the jars.
 My final version of the song looked something like this :

3     2    1    2   333
222    333
3212    333 
 22   3  2 1

The preschoolers had the option of trying to play this song as well as playing their own random music.  

To encourage the children to record their own original songs using numbers, I laid out white boards and erasable markers.   
It was great to see how this simple activity encouraged even the children who don't like writing to eagerly sit down to record a series of numbers.

They didn't know they were getting practice holding a pen, they didn't know they were learning how to write a "4," or that they were going to basically "read" their writing later...

All they knew was that they were creating a song and as one boy eloquently stated, they were going to "rock out."

The beauty of learning through play!


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 you can subscribe to receive these posts straight into your e-mail box or by RSS feed.
  Just click on the Subscribe button on the right margin of this blog.

Thinking of Hosting a Mother's Day Tea Party for your class? Check out these photos!

Hosting a Mother's Day Tea Party has become one of our annual preschool traditions.  

As we all know, being a mom is hard work!  
Moms deserve a little celebrating and pampering!
And the kids always love having a special day with their moms at school.

Here's some photos of our event.  

On party day, the moms entered the room to see it decorated with activity stations and an eating area.
Of course, we used pink tablecloths!
We had fresh flowers on all the tables
lovingly picked from my garden...
and neighbour's garden. 

(I didn't have quite enough flowers in my own garden, so I had no choice but to "prune" some branches that were hanging over the fence into my yard.  
The things I do for preschool!)

So pretty though!
The children laid out napkins at each place setting and sprinkled sequins on the tables to make things look festive.

Here's the bulletin board we created for the big event.

We lit aromatherapy candles so the room smelled nice and played our Celtic Dreamland CD to help create a "spa-like atmosphere."

(Tee hee. As much as you can have a spa-like atmosphere at preschool!) 
(This CD is also awesome for playing on days when your class is a little "rambunctious."  It's so calming!)

We began the event with the moms sitting at the tables to watch the children perform their Mother's Day songs.
( CLICK HERE for song ideas)

  For drinks, we served iced tea so that the children could bring the drinks to the moms themselves.
All part of the pampering!

For the snack we had brownies and ice cream, which again the kids served to the moms.
(As you can imagine, this was a busy part of the party
so, sorry, there are no photos of this stage!)
After eating, moms and kids participated in the various STATIONS AND ACTIVITIES!

Here's our Massage Station.  
In case you're wondering, the feathers were for gently tickling mom's face!

Here's our Sniff and Guess Station.
Underneath the question marks, we had written what was inside each cup.
Cups included things like:
coffee beans, mustard, cinnamon, etc.

Here's one of our wipeable sheets to record how you were doing on the "test!"

This is our Nail Polish and Makeup Station.  
The moms were great sports, even letting their child apply eyeshadow to their face.

Ah...looks like this mom just had her makeover!
 Aren't moms awesome?

 Next we have our Feel and Guess Station.

Our Handprint Keepsake Activity...

  CLICK HERE if you'd like a FREE copy of this worksheet.

 Our Reading Station...

And a 2 Person Number Game.
  (I'll be featuring this one in an upcoming unit.)

We wrapped up the party with a group reading of the super cute book,
"My Mother is Weirdby Rachna Gilmore
And then we opened gifts.
(CLICK HERE to see my previous post on gifts)


This was a longer post than usual, 
but I didn't want to leave anything out.  

Hope this helps if you are planning your own
Mother's Day Tea Party 
and wanted some more ideas.

To all you moms out there, 

I hope you take some time to recharge and pamper yourself  on your special day!

If you don't want to miss any ideas and freebies from Teach Easy Resources,
 you can subscribe to receive these posts straight into your e-mail box or by RSS feed.
  Just click on the Subscribe button on the right margin of this blog.

Need a Lift? These "Kids are Cute" Images are Sure to Make You Smile!

My co-teacher and I keep meaning to write down all the funny things our preschoolers say.

When one of our students says something particularly funny, it seems like it would be so easy to jot down the remark on a piece of paper. 

We want to remember it and share it with the parents.  
It would only take a moment to write it down... 

Yes, it seems easy!   
I'm just not sure why we can't remember to do it! :)

But luckily, others are more organized!

They even take photos!

Just take a look at some of the cute images below. 
I'll bet they'll make you smile!

The little guy who wrote the note below seems to have a flair for the dramatic.

For the following card,  the children were asked to draw a picture of something their mom enjoys doing.  
 I'm sure the mom was a combo of amused and mortified.  

Perhaps a little grumpy today?

Yes, kids are cute, alright!

If you don't want to miss any ideas and freebies from Teach Easy Resources Blog,
 you can subscribe to receive these posts straight into your e-mail box or by RSS feed.
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