STEAM · story · writing

Five senses poetry

This week we will talk about the five senses. The five senses are your child’s main way to explore the world and the science of life!

Did you see my live stream on Friday, Sept 25? (part one and part two… sorry technical issues!) I introduced the topic of the five senses with popcorn with my son Colby! Listen to the story I Hear a Pickle (and Smell, See, Touch and Taste it too!) by Rachel Isadora. Talk to your child about the five senses. Here is a poem to learn about the five senses too.

My sense are a part of me

A nose to smell and eyes to see

Ears to hear and hands to touch

A tongue to taste good foods and such

My senses are a part of me

Working in harmony

If you have a Mr. Potato Head, this is a great time to use this too… have your child add the attributes that show the different senses as you explore how we use the senses.

Now let’s explore one thing with our sense and write a 5 sense poem of our own! Have your child pick something he/she loves: a food, a location, an experience, a season, a holiday or whatever they choose. Just like at the end of the book above when they describe the pickle with all your senses you will do the same thing! You can either just type out a template OR have your child create a something and add the poem to the picture. I cut out an apple and wrote a poem about apples.

A trip to the apple orchard inspired that poem!

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math · teaching thoughts

Five!

This week we will be exploring our five senses! So, I decide to focus on the number five for Math Monday. Share this song with your kiddo The Number 5 song by BubblePopBox

2 sets of 5

Have your child collect five objects. Ok, now go get five different objects. Let’s compare the sets. Many children will not recognize that the two sets have the same number of objects if the items are of different sizes. This is called conservation of number. The understanding that numbers are constant and equal the number of objects in a set. Many times when children are presented with 5 markers and 5 Cheerios they perceive that the set of markers is greater because it takes up more space.

To help your child develop conservation of number AND work on one-to-one correspondence, match up the objects. In my case, I set the markers in a line and then put a Cheerio at the end of each marker. Now each marker has a Cheerio and each Cheerio has a marker, they match one to one! Five markers is the same quantity as five Cheerios.

Practice writing the numerals 1-5 and match one set of objects with the numerals, one more practice and connection between the number, number word and numeral!

If your child is still struggling with this concept… don’t worry it takes practice and time. So get two more sets of 5, or if your child is struggling to count out five objects correctly drop down to 3 and build up from there. These skills that we as adults take for granted, are skills that need to be fostered in young children.

If your child is strong in these skill… here’s another five skill to work on, tally counting! Here is another song for you The Tally Mark Song. Practice correctly drawing tallys. Trust me… your child will want to draw five straight lines down and still cross it out and see it as five. It takes practice. 1, 2, 3, 4, shut the door with 5 is how I teach my students to remember that 5 is the slanted line.

Hope you and your child have fun with the number 5!

art · topic

Let’s Draw Fall

Today is a good day for some drawing fun. Want to follow along with a direct drawing?

Draw a fall tree with Art for Kids Hub

Draw a fall folding surprise with Art for Kids Hub— this one is a bit for challenging

Draw an acorn with Draw so Cute

Or… here are some of my own thoughts and inspirations for drawing… my biggest suggestion… say “Let’s draw a fall picture. What do you think you want to draw?” “Ok, what materials should we get out?

phonemic awareness · story · topic

The Forever Tree

As we continue to learn about trees, I wanted to find a story that talked about how what we can give trees and what trees can give us. I could have shared The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, but I figured I did not need to share this as it is such a traditional and well loved story.

Instead, I decided to share The Forever Tree by Donna Lucas and Teressa Surratt. In this story, humans and animals love the tree. A grandpa hung a swing on the tree for his granddaughter and the people and the animals used the the tree in harmony. In the spring the tree did not come back, it was ill. The animals worked with the humans to fix the tree. They created a treehouse for all to use and see. The tree was not the same, but it still was filled with love. — this story is based on a true story that took place in Wisconsin, USA

Take some time to today to appreciate the trees around you. What can you do to help the trees?

Today lets work on a phonemic awareness activity. Phonemic awareness is the understanding of how sounds work in words. It is done without looking at the letters, but focusing on the auditory composition of words.

Today you can teach your child the game “Oddball Out” (or pick a different name if you don’t like that one…) With this game, you will say three words that have something in common.

Start with focusing on beginning sounds such as:

  • clock, man, kite
  • fish, phone, mouse
  • drink, lunch, lady

Once that is mastered, moved onto rimes

  • cat, hat, man
  • book, read, look
  • bill, tap, clap

You then could try out ending sounds:

  • pen, fan, tag
  • rap, rug, tip
  • drum, tank, black

Do not feel like you have to master any or all of these skills in one try. Listening to and recognizing the phonemic differences is a developmental skill. Children who have stronger phonemic awareness become stronger readers… start working with your child on his/her oral understanding of how letter and sounds work… it will pay off!

math · STEAM

Fall Measurement

Time to get outside and do a bit of measuring! I went around my yard and collected a variety of items.

I will show you a few different PreK/kindergarten skills on measurement with these items.

First I took all the leaves and compared the length of the leaves and then put them in order from largest to smallest. Encourage the use of terms such as longest, shortest, longer, shorter, compared to, equal to.

Then I used acorns to measure the items. You want to try to find acorns that are about the same size or you can print out paper acorns such as the ones in the kit I will tell you about at the bottom of this post.

This is an opportunity to work on measuring expectations.

Making sure you start at the edge of the item (top, bottom or side depending on how you are measuring).

Try to get to the exact opposite edge in a straight line.

All the items should be touching without any gaps, or as much as possible… the acorns were rolling every time I tried to take a picture.

You could also take a ruler or yard stick outside and practice standard measurements too!

Non-Standard Measurement for Fall

Looking for more measurement? Want to do some measurement inside? The Non-Standard Measurement for Fall kit can be used for measure the room (put the pictures around the room even better around your house) and have your child find the pictures and then measure them. You can use the long recording sheet with real or paper acorns. The half sheet can be used with any standard or non-standard measuring tool. I try to keep my kit prices affordable and worthwhile for both teachers and parents who may choose to purchase the kit. Thank you for supporting all my efforts at this time!

art · STEAM · story

First Day of Fall Tree

Today is the official first day of autumn! So… let’s do a fun art project. A torn paper tree. But first. Read the book Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins. This book has beautiful photographs of various trees and their leaves in the autumn.

Why torn paper? Fine motor skills!! Children need to strengthen the muscles in their hands and especially their thumb, index and middle fingers to hold a pencil. But, they are also working on their wrist and forearm at the same time. All these muscles work together while writing, cutting and coloring. Check out these preschool fine motor milestones and red flags.

Materials needed:

  • large sheet for background
  • brown for the tree
  • red, yellow, orange, green — I usually give a 1/4 sheet of each of these colors
  • glue/glue stick

Note I did not say scissors! If you have scissors around they will use the scissors, soooo do not have them out at all! Show your child how to slowly tear the paper holding it with a pincer grip with both hands. Once they see that if you do it slowly and holding the paper closer to where you want to tear they will start to see the control they have over the tears. This is a great side by side project as they will watch how you tear and manipulate the paper!

Now encourage your child to make a fall tree. Remember there is no right way to do this project… there is just your child’s way, and that is ok! If they get stuck, go for a walk and find trees that are starting to change colors or google fall tree images.

story · topic

Last day of Summer?

Tomorrow is the start of fall. Often times we talk about it being a season based on the feel of the weather not the actual calendar date. I can remember many discussions I had in class where a child told me it was fall before the autumnal equinox because “But, my mom said it was fall because I’m back in school” or “But the leaves are changing colors” or “But I had to wear pants today”. Then I share the date the season actually begins and the reaction is pretty much WHAT?!?

So, today is the official last day of summer. The autumnal equinox this year is September 22 at 9:30am. That is the start of fall! (Look for some small changes to my blog at that time!)

Listen to the informational text A Tree for All Seasons by Robin Bernard and learn about how a maple tree changes through the seasons.

Have your child draw a picture to represent the changing seasons. I have shown two ways here: first show one tree through the season and the second shows one season per box. But, as I often say… just tell your child to draw a representation of the four seasons. They might pleasantly surprise you with their thinking!

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Want to practice reading about the seasons? I have a set of zine stories for sale in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click here to find this set.

STEAM · story

From Acorns to Oak Trees and Magic Bag Math

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Check out my Facebook live stream and learn some facts about acorns and oak trees.

Parents. I also share with you how introduce your child to word problems with magic bag math. With magic bag math, you use your invisible math bag to present your child with a math problem.

In my magic bag, I see 3 acorns. Five more acorns fall into my bag. How many acorns do I have now? Children can use manipulatives, illustrations, ten frames, or whatever math strategy works best to solve the problem.

The same strategy can be used with subtraction. I have 8 acorns in my bag, a squirrel eats 3 of them, how many do I have left?

It also works for missing addend problems I want to have 10 acorns, I have 3. How many more do I need. this problem would be written as 10= 3 + ___ or 3+ ___ = 10.

I also shared a STEM project that you can do and try to solve…. do acorns sink or float? Why? Wait.. they do both… why???

family activity · math · STEAM · topic

Apple Structures

Children love to be creative. They love to build and construct. And, if you give them something different, out of the ordinary as the building “blocks” of the structure… oh my!

So… give your child chopped up apples, toothpicks and tell them to build! That’s it. Give your child permission to build with their food… and when they are done, they get to have apple for a snack.

To the child they see… Cool! This is fun! But, to you the teacher/parent/caregiver… you see engineering!

Have your child there when you cut the apples. While you are working toss out terms such as cutting in half, quarters and even eights. Look I cut the apple in half, now if I cut this half in half I now have 4 pieces, that is quarters. How many pieces do you think I’ll have if I cut the quarters in half? Let’s see if you are right!

I cut each eighth into thirds… see all that math! Kitchen math is so important. Also, if your child is an older four and above, let them help you cut the apple. Even if it is hand over hand for a few chops, it is the start of self-help kitchen skills!

Ok… now take these apple chunks and make a structure. If it falls down, don’t solve it for them. “What do you think you could do to make it sturdier?” “Did you build a strong enough foundation? What do you need to add or take away?” What would happen if…

I typically build along side my students for a bit after they get started to see if they watch and ask questions. Do you think I should build high or wide? Why? Do you think it will fall over if I put this here? Why?

What do you predict will happen if we leave this structure up to show ______? How else can we show ______ your structure? Encourage your child to create an illustration of the structure.

Have fun… and enjoy this tasty STEAM project

family activity · math · STEAM · story · teachers pay teacher · topic

All Kinds of Apples!

More apple fun! Today let’s talk about apple products. Here is a short video showing how apple cider is pressed and another that shows how applesauce is made.

Time to graph! I have two suggestions for fun graphs. Favorite apple type (yum… time to taste test) or favorite apple product. Collecting information for a graph is the beginning of understanding data.

Create a graph for your child to use, I often make my graphs with a table in a word document. Having your child “help” while you create the sheet is a great way to incorporate a bit of technology too. (Or go old school and draw it out on a sheet of paper!) Choose the items you want to graph (types of apples: red delicious, golden delicious, granny smith etc) (types of apple product: applesauce, apple juice/cider, apple pie etc). Make sure to add a title to the graph.

Graphing is a great excuse to call grandparents or other family members. The more data points you have the better the graphing information you will collect. When making the graph provide on row for each member you will ask (in the graphs I made I would ask 5 people for the apple types and 8 people for the apple product).

Ok you made a graph… now what? Now you talk! Ask questions. “What can you tell me about the graph?” “Can you compare granny smith and red delicious?” Use terms such as more than, less than/fewer than, same as, least, most, compare.

Apple Zine Story

One more thing for today… since we talked about apple types and apple pie, check out another zine I made! (Directions to fold the zine can be found here) You can hop over to my Teacher Pay Teacher store and get two versions of this story free, or you can make your own!