From perusing Pinterest, if the dated “history” of Thanksgiving isn’t being endorsed in lower elementary, then the dated symbols of turkeys and cornucopias, are used in teaching materials. *roll eyes*
One of my goals is to next year be able to provide complete units for purchase, still with some free printables- and Thanksgiving will be my 1st.
We are a small rural area, and the Klamath Tribe still has a presence here in their ancestral lands. The youth last year petitioned City Council to REMOVE Columbus Day.
When I taught preschoolers none of them even believed they had a turkey for dinner, and while we do have wild turkeys out in our brush areas, it is unlikely they have even seen a live turkey. Let’s keep learning relevant.
That being said, there IS a role for technology in preschool, for example: Turkeys on YouTube. I also encouraged them to ask ?’s and looked it up immediately to promote a phone as a learning tool value.
I love my country, and it’s history, but our education system needs to reflect a different aspect of Thanksgiving- until student brains develop critical thinking. For example, Where the Pilgrims landed as opposed to where we live, or the Mayflower vs modern boats, or different kinds of corn, or my favorite, Thankfulness and what/who makes a family.
I created this game to provide a positive activity during class transition times for a 3.5 yo student who had challenging behavior. This student really enjoyed playing the game.
1. Supplies? dabber,die & printout.(when we played, I forgot the dabber and he used a pen to mark off the dinosaur. You can use a crayon, pencil, chalk, for less cleanup.)
Game relies on action by the players, not the game master. So adult can be cleaning in same room, for example, and “talk” child through the directions. Older children can easily help younger children.
2. Simple format, children can match even if they can’t count.
3. Children who can count will work on their skills to recognize amount # without counting dots.
Besides math skills, it involves using the brain to run the critical thinking motor, deciding same and different.
Below is an example of the game directions, each pack includes themed game page, directions page.
Each pack is set up to download individually by desired theme, to save time and paper, for those who don’t need all FOUR PACKS. I use lots of free printables and spend so much time scrolling through a pack, to print the pages I want, so I believe this is the most user friendly setup.
p.s. legal disclaimer, children playing game need adult supervision -game is not responsible for children.
I have moved from my own PreK daycare to a non profit preschool. One of our “friends” is very active and expressive emotionally. I made this game to use during a transition or “at need” time. OR in morning when energy is at highest after bus ride.
It allows my friend to throw a soft dice and hopefully this will transfer into the classroom to “think and throw my dice”. Which is safe and won’t hurt other friends or teachers. Additionally, if my friend is practicing getting his dice to throw instead of other things, my hope is to practice “stop and think” – where eventually we can work to reach out with other help then throwing.
I may use this game format in future for small group activity.
Below is a direct download of a T and I worksheet that can be done with dabbers. I is one color, and T is the other color- dab a color for Dot I and Dot T on the upper right hand corner.
I find that after both letters have had an initial introduction, students have better success remembering letters after practicing differentiation between similar letters. It encourages critical thinking skills, instead of only memorization.
Pour a bunch of different beans into $ store cloth “baskets”. Added tongs. Added each number of object as indicated on card. 1 glass bead-2 pipecleaner shamrocks- 3 puffs, and so forth. This is a St Patrick theme bin, but I have used these cards for different themes. Or no theme, its a great fill in activity.
I came up with this unit out of a desire to show that language is symbols, just as our alphabet is symbols for sounds-so is hieroglyphics. My goal was to demonstrate the “concept” of the alphabet, as well as incorporate lots of art/engineering and diversity.
Kids love mummies! THAT was the interest “hook”!
We did these over the course of a month, one or two activities a week. I introduced the unit with a scooby doo mummy caper library dvd.
We also built pyramids with Jenga blocks, egg carton cups,sugar cubes (i don’t recommend because they kept eating haha) and a 3d paper pyramid from a template.
Pyramid building and later days these cups became a favorite as they expanded into castle building.
There is a link to an easy pharoah headdress to print and color which the boys enjoyed making and other activities we did not do. There are lots of choices to personalize for students. There is also a complete alphabet pack of hieroglyphic cards included.
Sharing an experience, unaffiliated with MathGeekMama.com .
At my daycare, I work with my preschooler’s older Brother. He is entering 2nd grade this year. I have some elementary school training, including a paraprofessional certificate. However not since Common Core was introduced.
Math Geek Mama doesn’t target Common Core, but she DOES target how to teach math. From preschool through elementary grades. So after reading and applying some of her instruction, my student’s execution of all the common core steps IMPROVED.
If you want some beneficial points to improve teaching math in home school, or how to help your child improve his public school math, check out Math Geek Mama.
We are all busy and can only afford enough time for a few subscriptions. Math Geek Mama is definitely a worthwhile resource to follow, beyond free printables.
I made this pack to go with the book “the house that Jack built”
With these fun anti worksheets, I introduced the ideas of story structure-charachters and setting. Also, how to write your own version of a story based on another story.
There’s a lot of learning with this pack, but it’s conceptual introduction as a literacy unit while the children have fun with story details.
I did different pieces of this pack/unit at different times. I read the book a few times, leaving a week or so between. Sometimes the children said, “the house that Jack built” after each page. We did all the pack activities as well as a block building activity, over the course of a month.
Below are photo examples, and at the end will be a table of contents and the direct download.
P.S. The unit is versatile, use some or all pieces, integrate your own style, interpration and its easy to differentiate/mixed groups.
Above: these pieces are the only prep involved (cutting)
SO I confess, the draw your favorite character was my fav ha!
My preschoolers adore reward and star charts! They color, mark or place stickers on the stars and are very proud doing it!
So, I created this to reward for when emotions are expressed properly. This occurs during free play. A star can also be counted after completing an emotion activity, or identifying emotions, anything about emotions, really.
The star chart participation enables children to recognize and self identify emotions internally, “get in touch with feelings”.
In the pack are 10 unicorn feeling cards, 3 different star charts, and 2 different page “Good Mood” posters (example below).
( NOTE: I only use this tool ONCE for whole alphabet. When I use it again, it is for numbers. Because this is alphabet review, and they have 75% letter recognition, the content (letters) is familiar enough they can explore the number bond tool. Any repetition of using the bond for letters, may build an expectation of that’s the purpose.
I tested each of the 3 step process with my preschoolers. The skill range combined= some Kindergarten skill standards mastered – some preschool standards not mastered.
I have after school kids that I give homework support to. The first grader met all standards in Kindergarten, but fell behind Common Core math standards in the second half of first grade.
The 2nd grader had met all standards until the second half of second grade, then fell behind in Common Core math.
These students only needed more time to internalize the processes/steps they were taught. There’s so much packed into a short time-there really isn’t time for common core tools (like the number bond) to become second nature.
Construct Alphabet Letter I : Uppercase/Lowercase Trace/ I is for Iguana
I came up with Letter Bonds, to build my preschoolers familiarity with the number bond structure that is used, so that by the time they get to Kindergarten, the tool is so familiar, using it is automatic.
My theory is that the number bond format is about constructing and deconstructing, it doesn’t matter WHAT DATA is put into the areas. For example, my first grade student KNEW how to solve the problem, but he didn’t remember to draw his frame right-or his bonds right because he was in a hurry.
IF the number bond is a common tool that my preschoolers get introduced to it in preschool, then practice it with numbers later, they will just KNOW.
***NOTE: Again, I will only use this tool ONCE for whole alphabet. When I use it again, it will be for numbers. But because this is alphabet review, and they know 75% of their letter recognition, the content (letters) is familiar enough they can enjoy the number bond tool. Any repetition of using the bond for letters, would possibly build a student expectation that this is what its ALWAYS used for.
Perhaps 3 months after we finish with the pack, I will introduce simple 0+1 addition using the number bond. That practice with manipulatives and writing will include repetitive explanation of the Number Bond.
There are 3 packs to direct download separately. The packs are made to teach sequentially. Each direct download link, will be under each page example IMAGE.
I changed the format for the Letter Roll A Flower, and the result is a HUGE increase in the FUN FACTOR. We tested it out and it was reported “that is a good game!” Anyways I made a few variations for others, because as long as pinners keep pinning, I will keep making. There is a preview of all of the pages at the end of the post. If your children play this game, see if you observe the following increase in skills below, that I have.
“The world is changing but kids stay the same” Dr. Jean
Increased Skills I’ve observed with my students as a result of playing this game weekly:
Subitizing– I don’t have to count dots to know how much it is (this is Kindergarten Prep for Common Core)
Number recognition. We learned 1-5, next is 6-10. Fives are a huge component for Common Core and for money. My strategy for teaching numbers is: First I introduce two consequetive numbers. We work on one the first week in different activities, but we review daily the other number. Then I reintroduce the next number and we focus on that number that week. The next week only play games using numbers one through five. The final week we return to both numbers. Repeat. I tried this because when I learn, I learn what things are by what they are NOT, I simply need comparison to learn so I can catorgorize data. Since using this approach, its been effective. I didn’t research, I just tried it one day and observed results.
Counting and remembering the number I counted when I return to the paper. CRITICAL THINKING/PROBLEM SOLVING (to aid memory, I frequently have students yell out the number when they first read the die.)
Number Recognition, Letter Recognition. (looking up and finding letters increases recognition more then tracing, because they are so focused on the mechanics of tracing , they forget the letter they are doing).
Finally, I think most important. USING TOOLS, METHOD, PROBLEM SOLVING. I provided after school support for a first grader, who was falling behind with Common Core. He knew the answer but he was not showing his steps properly, and he also needed short cuts. The game introduces this math method. For example, one preschooler used his dice row, to figure out what petal to color when he didn’t recognize or retain the number 6. He retained the dot pattern, he counted along the die line (it was not memorized yet) and found his number. They learned how to solve to get the answer using their “math tools” when they can’t remember the answer.
Personal: I am to this day poor with math. I am 52 and we were taught by memorization. I have a bit of photographic memory, this did NOT help me with Algebra. My goal with this game is to provide an activity that builds problem solving skills, using math “tools” (like the ten frame) unconciously. In this way, a learner does not have to have a “natural math aptitude””, because they can use problem solving and critical thinking to solve the problem, whether its Common Core or something else.
BELOW IS THE PACK PREVIEW. (pack includes instructions, not shown)
BELOW THE PACK PREVIEW IS THE FRUIT, AND BELOW THE FRUIT IS THE DIRECT DOWNLOAD LINK.
My students loved coloring in stars with a sheet that had 50 stars to fill in for reading 50 books. They could see their progress and would count the stars daily. We currently recognize 85% of our letters 100% of the time, so we are moving onto sounds because we have made the mental correlation and understand how print WORKS.
This is for a student to color in the letter that she can recognize AND says the letter sound. HOWEVER, it can be used for letter recognition also.
I made it because its always great to show the students how much they have ALREADY learned, and they each get to track and celebrate their own success with this sheet.
Whether you share the above stories with children, or other summer stories, PLEASE keep diversity in mind. If you live in a rural area like we do, in a low diverse area, read a book that contains something totally DIFFERENT like “One Hot Summer Day”. If you live in a city, read something that contains a totally different world. Read a “similar” book that contains the world you live in, AND a book that is the OPPOSITE of what you live in. Not only does this encourage imagination, critical thinking, but it opens a DOOR. As Dr. Jean says, “The World Changes but Children Don’t”.
Counting and Identification of Common Birds, my students really began paying attention to birds once I started pointing them out! There are 4 to find, Robins, Bluebirds, Crows (or blackbirds, whichever you see locally, remember blackbirds have a YELLOW eye though), AND the “I SPY” bird, which is a pretend bird haha.
The direct download link is below the Robin Photo, chirp!
We are mastering letter recognition and targeting sounds. Recognition they know Aa 100%, B 75%, b 25%, C I just introduced because it is one of the easier letters. After we go through the entire alphabet in sequence by three’s, I will target pairs. d and b. e and c-to aid the students forming e correctly by contrasting. p and b, and so forth.
Today we played the first time and it is a challenge for the students which is what I wanted. They really have to follow the steps , slow down, focus and think.
Pack Includes: Instructions, page with Key, (shown above) page without Key, Key Page, and Page with a no color key so colors can be personalized.
I don’t think anyone reads the blurbs but I wanted to explain WHY ha ha.
My 1st and 2nd grader are struggling with common core. The 2nd grader JUST started struggling. My observation is simply the material is not given enough time to sink in. The students are doing the steps without understanding the WHY, or dynamics. I’m NOT anti-common core, I’m anti rushing through material to meet standards.
As a result I am trying to build as much common core methodology with my preschoolers, so they will only have to focus on the actual math work and not the procedures. I started at age 4, not knowing if they were ready but they have picked it right up.
Benefits: My take is any age can make these, kids and adults. I think my friend will like the one I made. So it’s practical too right? Like, you can hold stuff up on your fridge with it. It’s light, easy to transport or even mail to someone-if anyone other then me does this anymore. I’m estimating the cost at 2$ tops?
*ALSO- last year’s Mother’s Day craft was, egg carton flower bouquet’s, except we covered ours with glitter. THAT was a lot of prep, I really got sick of cutting all those egg cups out for sure! Then, I had to assist them with putting them together.
This requires adult supervision. I recommend, not using strong adhesive while children are in the room.
Kid friendly art paint
Wooden shapes- Get the flower shape which is not pictured here.
Stencil, or a tool to draw the middle with
Glitter glue pens
Skinny kid friendly paint brush
Supplies are all from Michael’s. My town is so small we don’t have a Target so its either Michael’s, the $ store, or Walmart. I don’t order from online b/c I don’t find the 2d format inspirational whatsoever.
PREP: The only prep is PLAN TIME for each step. Each step requires drying. I planned a day per step.
Realistically? They painted the flower one day, and we rushed the rest this afternoon.
ha. Literally an hour before pick up time as I dug through my recycled containers, to send it home in so it could DRY. (saved deli hot dog containers ha).
STEP ONE-ish. I drew the “petal” lines, with a Sharpie. I used the stencil for center circle.
( design subconciously inspired by Mary Engelbright, realized later).
***IF you get the flower shapes, you don’t have to draw lines at all, just draw the center circle.
Even the preschoolers could draw the lines if they had a photo/example to copy. If they draw them, they might not look like flower petals, AND you will need more time.
AFTER the paint has dried, help student to thumbprint the flower middle (center circle). We use a stamp pad because I have a student who doesn’t like paint on her finger, AND no mess.
AFTER, the thumbprint dried- I glued the magnet on the back.
AFTER, the glue has dried- student paints on glitter glue. I dispersed small amounts out of the glitter glue tubes JUST like I do with paint. That was a personal taste thing and a drying time issue thing.
However much YOU disperse, or if student uses tube etc, have student use a paintbrush at the very end because it will help smooth the globbs.
Again, I do allow – at other times- process art by using an entire bottle of glitter glue on a project if they want. They have to be able to explore and splurge with the medium before you can expect them to use it properly. What THIS craft is good for is learning sequencing, following directions, methodology, attention span, LISTENING.
Upper left is 4.5 year old, Upper Right is 6.5 year old, bottom center is mine because I hardly ever have time to craft ha. AND the kids really like it when I can sit down with them and make my own also.
Students might even be encouraged to outline the edges, especially if they have an example to look at. Later we are going to use this craft as part of our flower study.
(The color in real life isn’t poppy red, but these COULD be used for poppy day hu)
I made this game with the goal of giving my preschoolers confidence in drawing. How many of us have said, “I can’t draw.”? My experience as an artist/artisan is that we are all creative, if we have the right medium.
For example, I am mediocre at freehand drawing. However, upon moving to a small rural town in Oregon, I was exposed to textile mediums. In two years I learned to make beaded bags and moccassins.
Ten years later I bead very little due to bifocals, but I have learned to use OTHER mediums to make things.
The point is: If we believe we are creative, we will continue to try different mediums.
With Art and Music cut from the standard education system, it is up to us to provide these experiences for children.
One of my preschoolers is speech delayed, and is only gaining confidence to TRY now at 4.5 yo. Student loses interest quickly, is resistant to try new things, and will only color smaller images. I made the game with this student in mind, and sure enough when it came to draw one side of the mouth- “I don’t know how to do that”. I responded, “you can do it”, and the student did draw that curve. During the second portion of the mouth, I guided the hand when asked. Student appeared to gain confidence, even drawing on wall whiteboards for the first time this week.
Confidence in Drawing
Kindergarten Common Core familiarity
Following directionS/Critical thinking
This is a great version of roll and draw for students with shorter attention spans. Drawing the face helps with letter formation due to fine motor skill practice for whiskers and mouth parts. Students excercise critical thinking skills as they have to draw the parts separately and understand how the lines lead to, a mouth, for example. This is the same process of alphabet letter deconstruction.
Pack Includes: Pages pictured in this post, single large page key, instructions.
Below the rabbit face is the direct download link:
We play these every week so I am continually doing different ones and sharing here. I love Kawaii and bright colors so I try to play these with the students whenever I can. They are just FUN, and math and some kind of art form always seem to go together.
I am incorporating all things spring and bright colors into our environment and curriculum as we had freezing temps just last MARCH. Here, tulips spring up first, chasing the crocuses. Yay for tulips and crocuses!
Moving to high desert mountains in SE OR where it can get below 0 on occassion, many of us are VERY adept at reading the signs as we thirst for spring with fierce cabin fever.
Included in pack:
Worksheet with color key, worksheet without key, worksheet with blank key for color fill in, and KEY sheet.
They build a house that the wolf could not blow down. It was tested by waving a hand fan really hard. They had a blast with this! The hand fans I picked up for free from a Cellular One Stand at a street fair thing- I covered the words with sticky glitter paper from the $Tree.
Otter Loves Easter is about Otter making and sharing dyed egg after he scarfs all of the candy the Easter Bunny brought him. Woven within the story is counting differently sized items, finding eggs in the egg hunt.
Roll and Color the Egg game
I have observed my students number recognition increase since I included a roll and color game center once a week. I also have them write the number once a week. We are now working on recognizing number 6 dots, and numeral. The dots also help as a common core tool, and both of my students will be attending standard K.
The reason I make so many themes is it’s my #1 effective tool for these skills, and the different themes keep it a game. It is easy to extend our literacy activity with adapting to a book we are reading.
The Pack Includes:
Page with Colored Key and a Page with Blank key to add colors to,
Page without Key, Key page with colors and Key Page without colors.
My students love this game and playing it, has been highly effective for their number recognition. We use a large foam die from the $1 store. If they roll a number that has already been colored, the turn moves to the next player. The first one to have the egg color is the winner.
Pack Pages include: Color page with Key, Color page with blank key (to be filled in by teacher), Color page with no key, Key page with Colors, Key page without colors.
This book doesn’t have a truck, but it IS about an Easter Egg Hunt. Betty’s siblings try to help her find eggs, but when she realizes she tells them she wants to do it HERSELF. She only finds one egg, becomes upset, her parents console her, she tries again and finds two more eggs. She decides its better to find three eggs by herself then a whole bucketful with help! She’s also kind of an active smarty pants and her siblings have quite real responses. Very Relatable and the current favorite book we are reading.
My Egg Truck Craft, was inspired by the blue farm truck printable, from Gluedtomycraftsblog.com
If you want a NO prep , adorable Easter Egg Truck, check hers out! Click below, print, dab thumbprints!
This is a great activity for those who really can’t stand getting paint on their hands. My sensory sensitive toddler enjoys finger printing. It provides a personal record, without handprint mess. It also provides a less formal, result oriented art process.
Pages in Pack:
Easter Egg Truck Fingerprint Craft Pack Preview
The Direct Download Link will be after free printable links, UNDER the Bunny.
Here’s an Easter Truck Free Printable I printed out and placed in a $1 Store Frame. These make great gifts too! ( I used this to show students what we were making so they had an artsy idea- our mantra? “Does it need to be perfect?” NO!! 🙂
I can’t find the place I downloaded it from, from one of my numerous subscriptions, NOT on pinterest, NOT on google, NOT in my trash! I will add the link when I get the next email from my graphics subscriptions! SORRY but it gives you an idea of frugal fun! My town is SO small it doesn’t have a TARGET, (90 min away over the mountains), so I HAVE to be creative!
A Free Printable of a Pink Truck filled with Easter items and says “Easter Blessings”
The bunny finds an egg and wonders what is inside. A boy, an elephant, another bunny? A duckling hatches while the bunny is napping, and they become friends so “no one is alone again.”
I always introduce a unit with something that connects the imagination and emotion. After reading the book a couple of times, I introduce questions through questions, as the bunny guesses what is in the egg. “Do elephants lay eggs?” I keep this part low key and fun.
Then they made their own “Bunny in an Egg”.
When introducing activity, discuss and identify ovals and circles. (math)
Spring Craft for PreK Kindergarten Art
Spring Craft for PreK Kindergarten Art
Using fine motor skills with crayons and scissors.
Spring Craft for PreK Kindergarten Art Egg Mobile
Spring Craft for PreK Kindergarten Art with The Golden Egg Book by Margaret Wise Brown
Egg Mobile by CuppieCake & Jojo! Very proud and the mobile’s look cu-uuute when hung!
After coloring, cutting and gluing, each child holds their project. I use a hole punch for the top and bottom of the egg and attach string.
The craft doesn’t HAVE to be a mobile. The egg can be glued onto construction paper with the “hanging” decorations applied wherever student wants to glue it.
Pages in Pack:
Egg Template, Bunny Templates (3 choices), Floral graphics to decorate (6 types). AND Instructions (not shown).
These are my favorite books about earth day. Thank You Earth is full of photographs with poetic text to accompany each. The Earth and I, I love Asch’s art and the emotional story of Earth being a friend. I love the earth is a whimsical journey of how to help the earth, but great for short attention spans.
The Earth Day Craft is a no prep extension of any of these books:
Color the Earth and Decorations that are going to be used.
Cut out the Earth and Decorations that are going to be used.
Glue the Earth and Decorations onto a piece of paper.
Use Chalk for stars.
Included in the Pack:
-Large B/W Earth with Recycle Symbol
-Earth helper Decorations
-Extra Earth Decorations
-I Spy Page
-Critical thinking, what doesn’t belong? This is open ended, student only needs to have a reason for her group base. For example, she can choose by shape; odd one out is the square/heart. OR she can choose by color; odd one out is the black and white. OR choose by symbol; odd one out is earth.
-The final page is to choose what is good/bad for the Earth.
SUPPLIES: Glue stick, poms, circle stickers, coloring tools
Heart Shamrock Number Recognition
Child identifies shape and colors hearts.
Child glues heart on matching heart in a clockwise direction, verbally stating identified number.
If unable to identify number, child repeats after adult states the number, while gluing the matching leaf on.
After heart leaves are applied:
Child glues the number of poms by color, indicated on each heart leaf.
Example: 1 red pom is glued on #1.
Child glues poms on heart leaves in a clockwise direction, and verbally states leaf number as identified.
If unable to identify number, child repeats after adult states the number. Adult asks, “how many poms do you need?” Child answers with number, Adult states, “1 pom for #1” and so forth.
Heart Shamrock number recognition
Heart Shamrock number recognition
Heart Flower Number Recognition
Child places stickers on matching flower petal in a clockwise direction, verbally stating identified number. I directed verbally the number to find in order 1-5, instead, number stickers for number matches.
If unable to identify number, child repeats after adult states the number, while gluing the matching sticker on.
After placing stickers on, teacher or student numbers each petal.
We are focusing less on our standard letter and number of the month and MORE on critical thinking the 1st three days of this week that starts spring break.
I have observed my preschoolers learn alphabet letters more by recognizing what they aren’t, then what they are.
We are also using hearts to build shamrocks, and puzzles for these days. I will post about these, as I find the teaching method applied effective and providing hands on experience and problem solving for my students.
free printable unicorn and rainbow pack book.
free printable unicorn and rainbow pack book
Tried and True Rainbow Books!
The first is interactive, and the rabbit segueways into Easter. The second segueways nicely into spring blooming and planting.
Yard dirt or local dirt to fill up container at least half way
Biodegradable items: Use the Compost Stew book , it has lots of choices.
1- We took turns filling up the jar about 1/4 full, with our dirt.
2- Capt. D. put in the soft fresh pear pieces.
3-JoJo added used coffee grounds.
4- Capt. D. added a snip of my hair.
5- JoJo added dryer lint.
6- The boys finished by spooning the rest of the dirt into the jar and sealing the lid.
What we knew: We didn’t know anything about composting.
What we wanted to know: What exactly is composting anyway?
What we learned: How easy it is to make a compost stew and what we can throw in there.
Watch and see what happens: A week later we are still checking daily to see if the things we put in have become one with the dirt.
I also read I love the Earth by Todd Parr, and Thank you Earth which is a photograph book with one sentence of a poem on each page, during the two weeks we did these experiments. I read the other two books out loud, during our regular daily reading time. These books aren’t considered science books, but if we emotionally connect with nature, nature IS biology. Which is science. We live in the mountains, but one of the things the boys asked me today is to go and see how the canal microsystem has changed.
The books we read: The Earth and I by Frank Asch and Compost Stew By Mary McKenna Siddals
Biodegradable and Non Biodegradable Materials: any type of paper, plastic, metal, cardboard
Jars with lids, water to fill the jars
Sticky notes and a pen for labeling jars
We chose: bottle plastic, grocery bag plastic, an old cardboard book cover and bond paper to put into our jars of water.
What we know: We read the books and talked about where trash goes. We talked about what happens if our Landfill got full with trash, where would we put another one? We decided WE didn’t’ want a landfill next to where WE live.
What we wanted to know: Do things go away (dissolve/biodegrade) once they are buried in a landfill.
The prediction was that all of our materials would dissolve.
The boys- (4yo and 6yo), filled two jars apiece up with water. Then cut up a few pieces of their items to put in their jars.
We checked our covered specimens every day, a week later the cardboard and paper showed signs of dissolving. The book cover turned the water a bit green. After a week the plastic had not changed at all. We were ALL surprised that the bond paper was only soft, not dissolved yet.
What we learned: We talked about our observations, and that plastic stays in landfills. We also talked realized that plastic won’t dissolve in the ocean, either. That’s why we recycle our plastic, and even our paper. Otherwise, where will all the garbage go?
Finally, we watched a 3 min. video about the Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, which shows the result of what can happen to trash if not disposed of properly. No verbal narration, but the words can be read outloud if desired.
Again, a great fill in activity that I save for schedule changes, especially. Or a supplemental activity. I started making my own because any of the I Spy printables I found had so many objects, it was cumbersome and took forever. I tested them on my advanced 4yo preschooler and while he completed it, most preschoolers would have been bored. There are far more effective ways to teach counting! Mainly I use it as a different way to reinforce number formation (recognition). Enough jabbering, direct download below the leprechaun..wheeee
P.S. If you want the critical thinking part of “I Spy”, Highlights magazine offers a great series for critical thinking, including their infamous “hidden pictures”, for free in weekly email subscription.
I like to use this page as a fill in activity for those unplanned moments. Especially helpful when the kids spend most of the time indoors. After counting and putting in number, we can even talk about same and different, what’s your favorite item, etc. Make sure to orchestrate discussion so preschoolers understand what the objects are, and are called, for vocabulary. I don’t have a worksheet emphasis in my curriculum, but its an important skill to know how the physical world transfers to paper. I consider it a life building skill instead of a learning skill, because the adult world is full of paperwork! Enough jabber, the direct download link is below the leprechaun.
I like to use these worksheets for fill in activities. They are great for critical thinking. I put mine in protective sheets so the worksheet can be used again. If I don’t want to re-use, the students will either circle the different one, OR use a bingo dabber.
I will also talk about WHAT exactly is the same, and WHAT is different? We talk about same, similar, and different daily with books and other objects, I weave it into the entire day. This helps them categorize, helps with critical thinking, asking questions, and the sorting process of a kind. Understanding and identifying helps them make sense of print. I consider it part of literacy.
Of course, these can be used for math too, they like to count EVERYTHING. How many total? How many the same? How many are different? Figuring out less obvious categories also is critical thinking. I endeavor to teach more about THINKING then memorizing.
Enough jabber jabber, under the leprechaun is the link!
Use this for a no prep intro, review or practice of pattern production. I DIY laminate with clear contact paper and use for a go-to fill activity. If manipulatives are desired, have child place them on the correct hat.
Skills practiced: STEM, and knowing patterns are highly recommended for Kindergarten.
If child is a beginner with scissors, first cut worksheet into 4 vertical long rows. Shaped Pieces are easier because there isn’t a whole bunch of paper to coordinate while trying to practice the physical mechanics of cutting.
If a child is adept at cutting this sheet remains whole for practice.
This sheet can be used for pre-write line tracing to practice letter formation as well.