Working on the Three Little Pigs

Working on the Three Little Pigs

Hello and happy Saturday. If you’re anything like me, you’re probably already planning your lessons for after the break, and looking for cool ideas of things you can do in your classroom. Personally, I’m a sucker for themes, so I like to pick one and work around it for some time, whether it’s a week or a month or something in between. Recently with my Kinder babes we worked on The Three Little Pigs, and I want to share what we did with you. Let’s get started, shall we?

We started out with a math activity, so I played the song Ten Little Piggies and we practiced counting from one to ten and then backwards. I then told my boys to draw ten pigs (I gave them each a sheet of pink paper), and they glued them to a large piece of paper, so we had all of our piggies in the same poster.

I told my students the story of the Three Little Pigs, and using the pictures, we arranged

 

the events of the story in chronological order. I took the images from this blog. I did it as a retelling activity, so I showed my boys each picture, asked them what was going on and then had them tell me where they’d locate it. We came up with this poster.

I placed both posters on our English board, as well as these images of the pigs, and the material each used to build their house. That way we practiced vocabulary. I don’t know where I got the images from, but you can get a finger puppet worksheet at Education.com.

 

 

 

 

 

I also added a section with the three pigs and the wolf, and this would come in handy later on, you’ll see why.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On another class, we worked on characters, so I made teams of four, and each student had to decorate either a pig or the wolf. Then, each group made a mini poster with their characters. You can get those finger puppets here.

 

 

 

The class when we did the Hidden Object activity was probably my boys’ favorite. I gave each this worksheet by Tim van de Vall, and I also displayed it on the smart TV. I had one of those hand pointers, so I encouraged the boys to use it to indicate where each object was. They then looked in their own page and circled each object.

 

 

 

If you know me, you know I’m a lover of centers, so of course they were part of our unit.

I teamed up my boys, and gave each team one type of material for them to “build” a house. Team one had cards.

 

 

 

 

Team two had sticks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And team 3 had building blocks.

Each team had ten minutes to try and build their house before they had to switch.

That was it for the Three Little Pigs, at least for now. What are other activities on this topic that could work with K? Let me know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Monstrous Way of Teaching Body Parts

A Monstrous Way of Teaching Body Parts

Hello and happy Saturday. A while ago I shared this post with you in which I shared how I taught body parts to my Kindergarten boys. This new school year I decided that I could teach some of the vocabulary to my Pre-K boys while reinforcing vocabulary on attributes of shape, size, and color. In today’s post, I’ll share what I put together. Let’s get started, shall we?

Okay, so I feel like I first need to clarify that I am an ESL teacher, so that’s why I teach vocabulary to my students in such an explicit way, though I’m pretty sure this activities will work just fine for native English speakers.

I introduced the main body parts using songs, so obviously Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes was a total must. The reason why I like using this song is that it also focuses on parts of the face, which is a topic we explored later on in the week.

Midway through our mini-unit, I decided to do a Hokey Pokey contest, though it was different from the one I’d previously done with my Kindergarten boys. In this one, the places were arranged in a circle, and I called each boy to the center to dance and sing a part of the song, moving a specific body part.

Before we move on to the actual core of this post and the mini-unit, I want to introduce you to Open Shut Them, a song about opposites that I played to my students as a warm up on Monday and they absolutely adored and started to spontaneously singing while doing other stuff. It’s not really about body parts, but it’s a cool warm-up song.

To focus on the parts of the face, review attributes of color, shape, and size, I introduced my pre-k boys to Go Away, Big Green Monster! by Ed Emberley. If you have the book, read it to your students, but if you don’t, you can display the video. I displayed the video on the classroom’s TV, and paused each time a new part of the face was introduced. I also progressively drew my own monster on the board as different parts and colors were mentioned.

This was probably the first time I formally talked about colors with my boys, but they easily learned the names of most of the ones in the book.

I gave each student a handout to color the monster’s face, which you can find at Ed

Emberley’s page. We did some directed coloring, using the video as a guide. This also was a good complement to a following-instructions lesson I’d done the previous week.

 

 

 

Here are the finished monsters. Luckily, all the boys followed instructions in terms of what color to use for each part (except for some red teeth, but I let it slide).

I cut each monster and glued it to a colored paper. I used yellow and red so that I could differentiate between my two pre-k classes.

Now, this is an idea I’ve worked on for a few weeks, but I’ll finally be able to implement it. I wanted to show it to you in action, but that would’ve meant waiting a full week to write this post.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you’ve already seen this post of me working on the Build-a-Monster centers you can find at  Somewhat Simple  while watching a vlog from Pocketful of Primary.

 

I thought, what a better way to review body parts and integrate our monsters theme than having the boys build their own monsters?

I divided them by body parts so that you could see them in the picture, and made some labels to use at the moment of the class.

My idea is to do a whole-group activity first, having each boy draw a part from a bag and sort it into different cups (which will have the yellow labels I made), and then once the parts are sort them, have the cups on my table for students to pick parts and create their monster, in pairs or small groups.

What are other monster-theme activities I could do with my pre-k boys? Let me know in the comments!

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

Prepping for Letter Work

Prepping for Letter Work

Hello and happy Saturday. I think I’ve told you before that I work with the Splash Into Pre-K books, and if you’re familiar with it, you know that as part of the daily activities there’s “letter work.” Now, what I did last year with my Pre-K students is work on the alphabet and have them construct words with the foam letters that are included in the resources Splash provides. There are two problems with these letters, in my opinion: 1) there are too few of them, considering I had eleven students per classroom; and 2) these letters have magnets on the back, so the boys have to be super careful when they handle them, and we all know that’s not the point of working with manipulatives.

The bags of letters were given to me by one of my teacher friends and I took them gladly, already planning all the things I could get to do with my boys this school year, having a ton of foam letters with no magnets on them. They were super dirty, after having been stored for over a year inside a closet, so as soon as I got home that day, I went on a cleaning mission.

I put them in a bowl full of water and dish soap, and immediately the water turned gray. After soaking them, and individually cleaning each letter and making sure the dust was gone and nothing else was coming out of them, I put them to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the clean letters, which I put to dry outside. They look way less opaque, almost brand new and ready to be used by my preschool babes.

I’ll write a post on letter work so that you can see these babes in action, but in the meantime, tell me whether you have foam letters like these and what you do with them in your classroom.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

 

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget: Task Cards

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget: Task Cards

Hello and happy Saturday. Today I’ll continue talking about how I created my magic box for math centers without spending any money. Let’s begin by incorporating something I talked about on my previous post, that is, snap cubes. I got the gorgeous task cards from One Beautiful Home, printed them black-and-white, and then colored them with markers. I glued them to colored paper so that they were sturdier and that was it. I didn’t laminate them because I didn’t feel like it. I’m rarely in the mood for laminating, but that forces my students to be extra careful with the materials I give them.

For building shapes, I have two sets of task cards. There are ones in which students have to make shapes using popsicle sticks and they have the model drawn for them. I got those from The STEM Laboratory, which is a great source of activities and printables. I did laminate these cards. See? It’s a matter of mood.

We then have these, more complex cards, which challenge students to build shapes out of other shapes. I got them from Susan Jones Teaching. Now, here I cheated a tiny bit because what I plan on using with these cards is  a set of plastic shapes that I found in storage.I didn’t buy them, so technically I’m still following the “no spending money” rule. As an alternative, though, id you don’t want to spend money on plastic shapes, you can make paper ones. I glued these to origami paper.

Let me know what you use in your classes and whether you have any strategies to save money while having great resources.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget

Math Centers for Teachers on a Budget

Hello and happy Saturday. A long while ago I posted a picture on Instagram showing one of the various methods I use to arrange materials when working on math centers. I then had the idea of writing and sharing with you what I’ve done with my centers without having to spend any money. Today I finally took the pictures of my materials and am ready to post. I’ll dedicate another entry to task cards because I don’t want to make this super long and boring.

Let me start by clarifying this: in Colombia, centers or small-group activities or whatever are not common. Most classrooms are not equipped for this kinds of class dynamics, and teachers aren’t always in charge of the majority of the subjects, as it happens in the U.S. What it means is that teachers like myself have to carry the materials and resources we use to the classrooms, so we have to look for ways to make this practical.

I’m a very eco-friendly teacher, and I’m also obsessed with online shopping, so I always have a box or two, which I use for storing my teaching stuff at home (remind me of posting about my supplies closet one day) or at school. I like that the boxes are open at the top because that makes it easy for me to grab what I need. They are also a great size because all of my math centers stuff fits but it’s not big or uncomfortable to carry.

Now let’s look at the inside of the box. I know I said I got everything for free, but I sort of cheated with the snap cubes because they were already in the storage closet when I started working at school. In the post on task cards I’ll talk in depth about what I do with these cubes. You can click here  to buy them at Amazon.

There’s also this cup filled with paper shapes. I colored and laminated some triangles I used for a STEAM activity in the past, the other paper shapes are blank and haven’t been laminated. I’m keeping those for a day when I don’t like what I planned, to have students color them and them make a drawing out of them. We also used these shapes in the past to make a shapes pizza. Let’s go back to the cup, though. On my birthday my best friend gave it to me. It was filled with candy, which I ate immediately. I kept this cup because it had a lid, which meant I knew I could use it to store something. And  I did!

Finally we have this cute counting activity I did when I was introducing numbers from 1 to 10. This is a freebie I got from Totschooling.net , which I adore because we got to do a lesson around If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I laminated the jars and the cookies to make the materials reusable. The idea is for students to cover the cookies with golden stickers (“chips”) according to the number of dots, and then to match the cookie to the number in the jar. I made two sets so that each student can get at least one cookie.

There you go, these are some of my resources for math centers, which I got for free. As you can see, I’m more of a hands-on teacher, and I like to make things rather than buy them. I think by doing so, I’m doing the earth and my pocket a favor.

Happy teaching!

Love, Miss Camila