art · math · STEAM · teachers pay teacher

Monster Math!

This week is all about MONSTERS! This is such a fun topic for children as they can be both fun and scary. But we will focus on the fun side! Today’s story Monster Math by Anne Miranda… read by Anne Miranda! This is a story about a Monster’s birthday and how many monsters join the fun!

Shape Monster created by Adam Ray Daniels’ Cartoons for my TPT store kits

So … it’s time for a favorite activity and character: Shape Monster! Shape Monster Shape Monster munch, munch, munch? How about about a (color) (shape) for your lunch! This is a common kindergarten shape activity, but can so easily be adapted!

I’ll share with you a few ideas on how you can use the shape monster today.

Create simple shape monsters (or complex if you want). Put them onto bags or onto empty boxes to make the shape monster’s lunch bag/box. Label each monster with a shape. (circle monster, square monster, rectangle monster etc…). Have your child find items around they can put into the shape monster’s lunch bag.

Provide your child with construction paper, either already cut into shapes or have your child cut his/her own shapes. Use the shapes to create a monster out of shapes… a shape monster! Or if you do not have construction paper, they can just draw a monster out of shapes!

Want more shape monster fun? I have two kits in my store that use Shape Monster!

Show preview image 3

Shape Monster’s 2D lunch time mini book ($2)… Help shape monster find the shapes he wants to for lunch. Each page focuses on one shape and provides a color for each shape. And, Shape Monster himself describes the shapes attributes.

Shape Graphing with Shape Monster ($1)… This kit has your child(ren) sorting and graphing shapes. The kit includes four different graphing pages (spin and graph, color and graph, grab and graph and find and graph)

STEAM · topic · writing

Pumpkins Can, Have, Need, Are

Today we will think about pumpkins! Today’s story is Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli. I hope you enjoy this story!

Today for our activity we will create a chart of facts about pumpkins. First, I encourage you to watch Dissect a Pumpkin from SciShow Kids. Watch Jessi and Squeeks learn more about pumpkins.

After learning a a bit more about pumpkins, lets chart some of our knowledge! In this example I created a four box page to collect information on what pumpkins can, have, need and are. You could also limit this to two or three concepts. The purpose of charts like this is to begin writing informative sentences: Pumpkins can rot. Pumpkins have seeds. Pumpkins need space to grow. Pumpkins are fruits.

In my Teachers Pay Teachers store, you will find a collection of Can, Are, Have charts for fall. In this kit, Fall Graphic Organizers, you will also find circle maps, writing pages and venn diagrams. Topics covered: apples, pumpkins, spiders, bats and owls.

STEAM · story · topic

Pumpkin Life Cycle

Today we will focus on the life cycle of a pumpkin. Here are a few youtube links to help your child see this process.

It’s Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall— a family plants a pumpkin patch and watches it grow from seed to jack o’lantern.

How Do Pumpkins Grow by Inspired by Kinder— an easy reader about the life cycle of a pumpkin.

A Pumpkin Grows by Scholastic— great visuals of a pumpkin life cycle

Time Lapse of pumpkin growing: a pumpkin life, pumpkin time lapse (up close)

So now you have seen how a pumpkin grows! Let’s put it down on paper.

Typical steps stages focused on: seed, sprout, vine, flower/blossom, green pumpkin, orange pumpkin

I made a paper pumpkin and drew the life cycle on the pumpkin. You can do this or vary it many different ways…

Have your child make a pumpkin and print out the stages having your child glue them in order on the pumpkin

Draw/color the steps on green leaves and glue them onto a green piece of yarn to represent a pumpkin vine

Draw/color out the steps and place them on a long strip of paper such as a sentence strip

Draw/color each of the steps on small pumpkins and make a pumpkin patch

Or any other representation you want!

STEAM · story · topic

Five Senses and Mr. Apple Head?

Today is fun Friday and we will wrap up our five senses activities. But, I do encourage you to come back to some of these activities from time to time and remember to always explore with your senses! Here is another great story to listen to My Five Senses by Aliki

Image may contain: text that says 'see a hear 0 Smell touch taste'

Today we are going to take the idea of Mr. Potato Head and transform it into a different item. Colby and I did this with the popcorn box in my Facebook live last Friday. So… pick something you want to draw, a fruit, a vegetable, a toy… whatever and give it the five senses. Make sure you go back and review the senses and the body part that is associated with the sense.

Now if you want to get creative and let your kiddo have fun… let him/her add the five senses to an actual item, such as my apple man below! I bet they will love this activity. I used toothpicks, but you could easily use scotch tape. Have fun, get creative and enjoy the learning process!

No photo description available.
no apples were injured in this activity but he did make a tasty snack after!

STEAM · story

From Acorns to Oak Trees and Magic Bag Math

Image may contain: text that says 'Y DAY IN PRE K acorns to oak trees'

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!

STEAM · topic · writing

Life cycle of an apple

The life cycle of an apple takes us through all four seasons. This is a great learning opportunity to discuss life cycles, the four seasons and so much more!

Videos to check out:

Apple Life Cycle— This one is done in CGI

Life Cycle of an Apple Tree— this one has a fun song to learn and sing along

Life Cycle of an Apple— this one is kids telling kids

Flower to Fruits— this is a time lapse going from the apple flower to picking the apple off the tree.

Today we are going to work on a four square of this life cycle. I will show you two variations: In the top photo you will see I showed how a seed grows into a tree. The bottom shows how an apple grows on the branches.

The important part of this activity is the process of the growth. Have your child explain how the apple tree/apple grows. If your child is comfortable in their writing process, encourage your child to write labels or sentences to go with the pictures. The important item is the explanation… “Tell me the process” “Why did you draw this in this block?” “What do you think the next step will be?”

Do you follow me on Facebook yet? (link in sidebar… or just search @mydayinprekblog) Last Friday I did a live stream on apples! I will be back live on Friday, September 18th (2pm EDT) to read From Acorn to Oak Tree and have some more learning fun with my pre-k and kindergarten friends…. or anyone who wants to visit!

Also… follow me on Instagram @mydayinprekblog

STEAM · teaching thoughts

Lego Name Fun

Children love doing activities with their names. Check out other name activities (name writing, name flower pot, and name art for a few). When you work with your child on his/her name, I strongly encouraging you to have your child write his/her name with the first letter as a capital and the rest lowercase. This will be one of the first things your child’s kindergarten teacher will work on, so why not teach him/her that way to begin with?

Today we will have some Lego fun, who doesn’t love Lego blocks? Well, we don’t like to step on them, but they are a fun learning and building toy.

I decided to play with my blog name for a change! I also made my sons’ names too (oops! I made Blake’s “a” backwards… see even teachers make mistakes).

Here is what I want you to do…. “Let’s have some fun with Lego blocks today” Now… let your child do whatever he/she wants to do first. Trust me, if you let the children play with the manipulative before giving him/her a direction it will work out a lot better.

“I have a challenge for you! Can you build your name out of Lego?” That’s it! Do not suggest more, do not model, do not tell your child how to do it.

If your child is not confident in writing his/her own name, then write the name on a sheet of paper or tape it on the surface they are building on, and again… say nothing else.

You will probably be surprised at their solution to this problem. Give him/her time to problem solve BEFORE you jump in and help. If the struggle is real, then sit down and say… hmm what if I make my name like this? And start working on your own name, or a sibling/pet name. Do not work on your child’s name… that is you doing the work/problem solving not your child.

Some letters are going to be a LOT easier than others. Trust me I struggled on Blake’s capital B!

You might notice that I used three different methods to build the letters. In the “My Day,” I stood the Lego up the way you stand up dominoes. In the “In Pre-K” I just laid the Lego flat on the table. For the boys’ names, I stacked them up. Colby’s name could stand, but I didn’t finish the process of linking the blocks for Blake’s name.

These are NOT the only ways this can be done. Please, please, please… let your child explore with the concept. There is no right or wrong way. This is how STEAM projects work in early childhood… they are engineering, building, constructing and problem solving… they need to do this!! It should be fun, they are learning through play. (:

art · STEAM

Make Pete!

Let’s end the week with a fun and simple craft project. Read or watch a Pete the Cat story, and then get ready to make Pete.

Materials:

  • blue sheet of construction paper
  • scissors (child size Friskar scissors are the best, in my opinion, for children)
  • paper to mount your Pete
  • markers or crayons
  • glue/glue stick
  • any other paper to embellish Pete’s clothes

I will share with you two ways to have introduce this activity to your child

Image may contain: stripes

1– Provide templates of a rectangle (large and long/skinny), semi-circle, triangle. Explain to your child how to trace around the shapes so he/she can cut on the lines. Oops poor Pete is falling in my picture oh well!

No photo description available.

2– Provide a picture of Pete the Cat and have your child draw Pete him/herself on the blue paper and then cut it out.

Both Pre-K and Kindergarten children are capable of both of these steps independently! Allowing and encouraging your child to work independently will build not only the skill, but also your child’s confidence. In school, we will help a child hold scissors correctly, demonstrate how to rotate paper while cutting and provide encouragement… that’s it. They can do it. It might not be perfect, but it will be their work!

My students love having some... - Teaching Little Minds - Preschool and  Kindergarten | Facebook