Saturday, March 10, 2012

more February fun

I realize February is a thing of the past (where does the time go???), but here are some other activities we did while learning about friends, Valentines, and more.

Sensory Fun, Pom-Poms, Tongs, and Muffin Tins:
This is a great activity for all sorts of learning.  At this center I observed:
Dramatic Play:  Lots of pretend baking going on!  The students used the tray under our sensory table for the "oven".
Math: Sorting by color, counting, and one-to-one correspondence
Fine-Motor practice: using the tongs to pick up the pom-poms and place them in the muffin tins
Social Skills: I had three muffin tins (play is limited to 3 students at a time) but one was different (the stars/hearts mold) which led to the students negotiating sharing options.

Math, Mailboxes, Hearts, and Numbers:
(inspired by a post at Teach Preschool): 
On this table I placed mailboxes, small plastic hearts, and magnetic numbers.  The mailboxes and plastic hearts were Target finds (the hearts are table decor, to put in flower arrangements, etc.) 

I would set the center up in the morning with the numbers on the mail boxes and my older students would start by putting the correct amount of hearts in the boxes. 

 By the time my younger students got to this center there was lots of dumping, pouring, sorting, taking lids on and off, etc. 

Later in the week I added construction paper hearts to sort the small plastic hearts onto. 

Magnetic Valentine Bears 
(A Target or $ Store find... I don't remember ):  I've been using my magnetic easel as a one student activity place.  I put it in a place in the room away from the other centers so students can work solo.  It's nice to have a place in the classroom for students to disengage from group play when needed.  It's also a good place to redirect a kiddo who might be having trouble getting along with friends.

Fine Motor, Weaving/Tying:  
Um, ya - I was inspired (again) by Teach Preschool, but this was a center did not work as planned.  Instead of weaving the strings through the dish drainer mat (found at the $ store) my students tied up our table!  This table actually belongs to our Children's Ministry Dpt. at our church - it's a hippo (I think) - and has "eyes"  and "nostrils" on the top with holes through the middle.  It's also slatted so the strings pulled through the spaces in the boards quite nicely.   There was lots of looping and tying fun so I let it happen until it got out of control.  We will definitely have to try weaving again (on a different kind of table - ha!)
Group Game, Heart Alphabet Match:
I'm always on the hunt for ways to play games with preschoolers in a group setting.  This game I came up with on the fly.   
Here's how to play:

*Grab a set of matching cards (I used these alphabet cards I made from dye cut hearts and stickers).
*Students sit, or lay on tummies,  in a circle (I just figured out that laying on tummies is great for keeping bodies from lunging forward into the circle to point or grab).
*The teacher lays  the cards one at a time, face up, in the middle of the circle.  
*The students watch carefully for a match to come up.  If a match is spotted, they say the name of the letter, the first one to say the name gets the match.
*Students collect matches until all the cards are gone!

Note: I helped out students who were not as fast at recognition as others, if someone had a lot of matches we shared our answers and matches with someone who didn't have many.  The goal of games in preschool should not be to win, but to encourage participation and success for the whole group.

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