Friday, June 18, 2010

If you give a Pre K a Pancake Documentation

We read the story ‘IF YOU GIVE A PIG A PANCAKE’ and the kids loved it so much that we read it every day for a week!! We began to wonder…..

What would happen if you gave a Pre K a pancake??

We decided to write a story about it and document our findings on the bulletin board outside our classroom, for the whole school community to see. This is our story;

If you give a Pre K a Pancake

First we would have to make a baker hat. Once we had our baker hats we would need a bowl and spoon!

The bowl and spoon would remind us that we would need pancake batter and water.

When we stirred the batter we would get mucky hands! We would want to lick our fingers.

Licking our fingers would remind us how yummy maple syrup would be with our pancakes!

We would ask for extra syrup and have a PANCAKE PARTY!

Integrating Family Around The Classroom

Family involvement in the Pre Kindergarten program is an important element. Sharing a responsiblity for the growth and development of the child is an objective that this program strives for. Letting parents and students know the significance of family in the learning of the child is key to fostering good relationships and a sense of shared value. I begin the school year with home visits. This allows me to meet the families in their homes and begin the year by fostering a level of trust between home and school.  I take a family picture that I then take back to school and frame.  When the child begins school on the first day, they are walking into a classroom that they feel they are apart of.  They have developed a relationship with me and they can see by walking into the room, that apart of it is theirs.  There is a whole section of the classroom that is devoted to family with their family pictures displayed.  Next school year I will set up a digital picture frame and after every family day, field trip, or parent activity, I will down load pictures on to the frame.  This will allow the students to view these family experiences on a regular basis, instilling in them the value we hold in their families.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photo Story 3

I just went to a workshop that introduced me to photo story 3. This is a Microsoft program that you can download for FREE! It is very user friendly, and the website gives you great ideas for activities you can do with this program.
During the workshop we were able to insert images of our students work, select music, add our voice, and type print to create a fun story that we could put on disc for parents and students.
Some of the teachers in the workshop were going to use this program to put together a Father's Day disc with a collection of pictures, and the student's voice giving sweet messages to Dad.
There was also an example of a grade one class who wrote and illustrated stories, then transfered the stories to photo story 3. They were able to record their voice reading the story and put it on disc.
I plan on using this program to create a digital portfolio for my students. I can insert photos and student work using their voices and music! Oh the possibilities! I have attached the website that offers the free download and great ideas! Enjoy!

Photo Story 3

Computers and Care Partners

Our school computer lab has the kid pix computer program. It is a fantastic program for beginner computer users.  It teaches the students how to effectively use the mouse and also be creative with drawing, writing, and designing.  For students Pre kindergarten age, they have fun stamping pictures on to the screen, writing their name, and using the different colored pencils to draw what they want. There is also a great user friendly booklet with a variety of activities and lesson plans for all ages in the primary grades.

I wanted to introduce my students to this program but it is difficult to introduce a program like this to 16 students ages 3 and 4.  I decided to ask their grade 5 care partners to join us in the computer lab and show us the ropes. The grade 5 students are very familiar with this program and were very eager to teach the Pre Kindergartens what they know.  The kids LOVED it!! Both big and small!! Together they came up with such creative works that they were able to print out and take home to show their families. The students were so proud, and I was surprised at how quickly the Pre Ks caught on to everything.  Their care partners were incredibly patient and helpful.  I just wish I would have tried this earlier in the year... next year I guess!

Friday, June 11, 2010

I Pods in Pre K

My students love music! We sing, dance, and play instruments on a regular basis. I love finding different multicultural CDs  that expose the students to the diverse ethnic musical opportunities.  We have a set of multicultural instruments that allow the kids to explore the different sounds, beats, and rythmns the music can provide.
I currently have a CD player and a bundle of cds in a case by the player. It works ok, but I have this great idea to purchase an i pod and player for the classroom.  I think it would be wonderful to take advantage of what itunes  has to offer with the wide selection of musical genres. I think it would great to be organized by playlist and to so easily choose the music you needed for the occasion.
It would be a taylor made music program that specifically meets the needs of our classroom.

I would love feedback by anyone who currently uses an i pod in their classroom instead of the standard cd and tape player.

Monday, June 7, 2010

We see the light in Building!

I few weeks ago I posted a blog about the light table we have in the classroom. I have placed it in a central area of the room, and the students are having a blast with it. We have finished exploring x rays and now it is set up for the love of building! I have set out light reflecting blocks and bases, as well as translucent magnetic tiles. The students have exceeded my expectations of creativity and exploration. They have explored color, light, and structure. They love the magnetic tiles so much that we will move on to explore magnetism during this next week using various magnets and settings. Oh, the fun never ends!!

I purchased the translucent blocks and magnetic tiles through the Childscope Educational Materials Inc. magazine. You could view some of the great materials on line at

Friday, June 4, 2010

Representing What We See


A large part of Early Learning is the ability to transfer what we see around us into some form of physical representation. The children are given many opportunities through the year to recreate things they see in their world using different mediums, such as pencil/paper, acrylic and tempra paints, play clay and play dough.

We had many chances during the year to work on this concept with the children. We introduced various mediums, talked about what we saw and how we might go about transferring what we saw into a graphic representation. Topics such as colors, shapes, and textures were all discussed in terms of their value to the project. The caterpillar project was a great opportunity for the children to watch first hand, the process of two live caterpillars turning into butterflies. We took this opportunity to learn about the changes that took place and what our caterpillars look like. We transferred our observations to paint and paper using various colors and different shaped sponge rollers to represent just what we saw!

The most important lesson we learned through all of our projects was that each child has unique talents and gifts and each child was indeed a true artist! Putting a value on theirs individual works by displaying them for the school community to enjoy showed the children how important their learning is to everyone! We used our digital camera to take pictures of the process and then document the pictures on the bulletin board outside our classroom! To finish off the project, the children took pictures while we set the butterflies free!

Computers and Early learners

I have a student computer in my Pre K classroom and so often it sits in the back of the room untouched.  I do not want to use it just for the sake of using it. I want meaningful activities that provide concrete experiences.  I would like to do more research in this area to discover what age appropriate activities I can provide. I know that many of my students do not have access to computers at home, so it would be a new experience that allowed for a different approach to learning.
I came across this article that inspired me to research more ideas and integrate computer use by providing guidelines and things to consider when reasearching for 3 and 4 year olds. Next step is finding the activites...I will keep you posted!

Monday, May 31, 2010

The Simple Pleasures New Technology Findings Can Bring!

I love introducing a new concept or a simple new technology item to the classroom.  It is amazing as an educator to sit back and watch the wonder unfold. Children can be so easily engaged and curiously motivated to learn something new, and discover how things 'work' independently.
Sometimes the best way to accomplish this playful discovery is to just watch them explore and learn without disruption.  It is amazing how the child so often teaches the educator to sit back, enjoy, and appreciate the simple pleasures new technology findings can bring.
I found this video and it was a small but adorable reminder to do just that!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tumble Books

I don't know about you, but there was nothing more I loved, than to be read to as a child.  The same goes for the children in my class. We have had a lot of fun with some great author studies. I think that their favorite is Eric Carle so far.
Anyway, I found a neat website that allows you to choose a favorite story on line and have the author of the story read it to you.  There is nothing like a good Robert Munsch story read to you by the man himself! This is a great  activity to do on the smart board!

tumble books

Sunday, May 23, 2010

We Have Seen the Light

I have a light table in my classroom. When we had it delivered it was exciting for all! We found a place for it, plugged it in, and wow it did indeed light up.... then what?
This is where the meaningful integration of technology takes place! What could we do to really use this light table to our advantage? I wanted the children to be able to find meaning, explore and relate this activity back to their real worlds, their reality.
Many of the children in the class love animals. At center time, they want to role play animals and pets. One child is the pet owner and the other is the puppy.  They have to feed, walk, and take care of the pet. It was during this play that the "puppy" got hurt. They asked, 'where do we take the puppy if it is hurt?'
This started a whole new learning experience when I introduced the animal doctor or "the Veterinarian". They were flooded with questions about this new idea of an animal hospital. We found the answers and later that day, we read the story 'Franklin Goes to the Doctor'. In this story Franklin the turtle needs x rays for his cracked shell.  We talked about x rays and what they are. This is where the light came on! I was  able to get some x rays of a coworker's pet and we opened up shop in our classroom! We created a Veterinarian clinic using the light table to examine the x rays and the fun began! The students found any stuffed animal they could get their hands on and the checkups started!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Our Journey

 I have officially started my first blog and am excited about the prospects. It is interesting to me how one can go from being fearful of a new endeavor to incredibly excited about what this new endeavor has to offer. Since my initial decision to create a blog focusing on early childhood environments and how to effectively integrate meaningful technology, I have become flooded with ideas!
The first idea that comes to mind is incorporating digital cameras into a Pre Kindergarten program for the child to use. Thus the title 'our journey', because as I discover and explore the integration of technology, my students will discover along side me.  I have been using a digital camera for my own use since I began teaching Pre K. The response is always the same when I take a child's picture and that is, 'Can I see?'  The children are always so interested in the picture taking process, why not let them have a chance?
That is what I did! I let children take the camera outside to capture things of interest outside, and then bring the photos back inside to represent what they saw.
This will be an ongoing project that has just begun, but the children are fascinated, engaged, and creating their own learning journey.
They are recreating what they see in their photograph with many materials found in the classroom. They are painting dandelions and building apparatus. They are exploring color, texture, and shape.  As we continue with the project, I will continue to keep you posted!