Tuesday, September 27, 2011

alligator soup

One of the core words in my life is "balance."  I'm extremely fond of living in the middle between the extremes, using a bit of each perspective to create my own recipe for life.  Our preschool program has developed out of this philosophy.  
When I began working at our school I was introduced to ABeka's preschool curriculum.  It is a curriculum for Christian schools (written way back when) that our school has used for many years.  In my opinion, the program in its purest form is very structured and way too intense for preschool and  it definitely does not fit the current trend for play-based learning.  As much as I dislike the intensity, I've chosen to keep the curriculum.  This gives our students some continuity when they move on in our school (our Kindergarten and other grades use parts of the curriculum also).    Over the years, I've let the curriculum become the base of our program and  I've mixed in other ingredients to go with it - balancing between a "structured school" and "play" environment.   

Some things to know about how I structure my class activities:
  • I use Abeka's curriculum for parts of my activites
  • My class is a mix of 3's & 4's - I try to offer activities for various developmental levels as well as activities that can be adjusted based on skill level
  • We are a "letter of the week" program - not that the rest of the alphabet gets left out of the mix - but it gives us a focus for each week.  Our 3's focus on 2 letters for 2 weeks and and then have a review week
  • We have monthly themes - which gives us even more to do : )  Sometimes it is a bit much so I choose to focus on what my students are interested in or what I'm excited about teaching
That being said, here are some of the activities we did for week 3 (focus letter "Aa"):

Sensory Table, Alphabet Soup: foam alphabet letters, beans, spoons, and bowls (inspired by playinghouseinmaryland.blogspot.com)

Alligator Eggs: large plastic eggs (always a winner!), laminated baby alligator cut-outs, other pics that begin with "A", metallic gift filler (from dollar store)

 Alligator Count: alligator magnets (clip art copied on card-stock, cut out, attach magnet on back), number magnets

 Alligator "A's" (inspired by notimeforflashcards.com) they turned out so cute! (For projects that require glue I put white glue in a paint container, add a little water, and have students apply with a paint brush)

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