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!

No photo description available.

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

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???