Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Science Journals

Before our first science experiment, I have the children decorate the front of their science journals. We will be using these to record our observations during science time.

Supplies: Composition book, hot glue gun, paper glue, buttons, ribbons, markers, paper, and any other recycled materials

Process: Have the children pick out their paper and guide them to tear it down so that it will fit the cover of the composition book. Let the children glue it to the front cover. Glue another piece of paper to the top of that. Have the children place the items they want onto the cover of the book. Take the hot glue gun to the book and hot glue it into place. Using hot glue will make sure that the items won't fall off later.

Teach Well: Try not to move the items to where you may want to put them. Remember to let the child express themselves how they wish in art.

Good Night Gorilla!

Read Good Night Gorilla, watch Scholastic's video, and go on your own walk through the zoo!

Supplies: Stuffed animals that you may find at the zoo, clipart keys, a 3x5 index card for each animal, & markers

Process: Use clipart of a key and make several and cut them out. Color each index a different color. Color a 3x5 index card to match each colored key. Then place your stuffed animals around the room an index card at its side. Hand out enough keys to the children so that everyone has an even amount. Take a walk around the room and together find an animal to let out of "its cage." Match the key with the colored index card and have the child with that colored key "unlock" the animal. Let the child carry the stuffed animal around as you go walking through the "zoo."

Teach Well: Keep the animals and keys out at center time. You will be surprised how the children act out the story. Add blankets and pillows to the center so they can pretend to be the zoo keeper and zoo keeper's wife.

Creation Inspiration

When choosing Bible curriculum, I have my favorite company that I love to use. Group Publishing is hands-on, out of the box, fun, experiencal, and I have taught Sunday School with it for four years. But, I had never used it at home because it didn't seem very economical to purchase curriculum for home use. But, I couldn't find anything that could compare and stumbled onto Group's digital downloads.

I needed enough activities for several weeks on Creation. Group's Hands-On Bible curriculum is doing Creation for their fall quarter. So I purchased the first three weeks and had enough at-home activities to teach for a month!

Teach Well: Using digital downloads is a great idea for any teacher wanting some inspiration and out-of-the-box ideas to make your Bible time unique.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Learning Spanish: Colors

I think it is important for my son to learn another language. I didn't learn a second language until high school. It wasn't easy for me either. I think if I was introduced to the language early I could of caught on faster. In the school that I taught at, there was a Spanish teacher that would come into our class and teach. I am beginning to teach my son the same lessons that she taught.

I thought I would share with you some sites that I found helpful and fun to teach colors in Spanish. Using technology is great for teaching a foriegn language. I am learning right along with my son since I have only graduated Preschool Spanish. ;)

Here is a great game to help with learning the names of the colors. Here is a video to help too.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Welcome to School Winners!

Winners for our giveaways were randomly picked and are listed below!

Westwillow Designs Alphabet poster goes to -

Nick and Jessica Gray said...

What a great idea hanging this in a room. By looking at this everyday, Korissa can see the ABC"S daily and eventually pick it up. Gonna have to make one of those! Awesome Idea thanks!

Goodnight Gorilla wooden set from Mama Kopp Shop goes to -

The Ericksons said...

These wooden characters are so cute. Plus, love Good Night Gorilla!

A felt set or fingerplay glove from StressLESS Teaching Resources goes to - 

Jennifer said...

Felt boards are so much fun. We have one, and don't use it enough.

If you won, email me with your name, what item you won, and mailing address to davenjen@wbcable.net. Thank you again to our sponsors!

Friday, September 11, 2009

StressLESS Teaching Resources Giveaway!

If you are returning for our week long celebration welcome back! If this is your first time check out this post, and this one for another chance to win!
Today's giveaway comes from StressLESS Teaching Resources, a great Etsy store for teachers! I love this felt board set that goes with the book Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell. We are going to be reading this book this month. I love how interactive the book can be in a classroom setting. How much more interactive will it be with this felt board set?!

Give each child in the class a character (if your class is larger read the story again) and when you get to their animal have them come up and place it on the felt board. Leave this set out after reading the story so that the children can do the story again during center time. Make sure to keep the book at the center so that the children can read it to themselves or a friend.

A little about Tanya and her Etsy store: My name is Tanya Winters and I am an Early Childhood Educator in Maryland. I hold a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education and a Master's of Science Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. I am a trained Reading Recovery Teacher and I have taught grades kindergarten and first. Moreover, I have functioned as a reading specialist--training teachers and instructing elementary aged students. I have also worked with students with special needs and have assisted in developing Individualized Educational Plans (IEP's). Currently, I am homeschooling my 3 children, Autumn(5), Caleb(3) and Aaron(1). In addition, I am newly an adjunct professor of early childhood education at a community college in my area. That's right, you've guessed it...I LOVE EDUCATION!!

In developing my teaching resources, I draw on the 18 years of experience that I have educating children. I utilize my skills as a highly qualified teacher to develop educational tools that are developmentally appropriate and excellently constructed. It is my goal that a mom experience NO STRESS while using my educational resources to homeschool her little ones.

To win a felt piece or fingerplay glove from StressLESS Teaching Resources leave a comment in this post. All the comments for each post will close September 15th, at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

Teach Well: Keep the book at the center so that the children can read it to themselves or a friend.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Good Night Gorilla!

Welcome to another day of giveaways! This month we will be reading Good Night Gorilla and doing a fun "walk through the zoo" activity to go right along with it. Wouldn't it be great to have this wooden set, from Mama Kopp Shop, to use in the classroom or at home when you walk through the zoo?
Comment on this post to try and win this beautiful wooden set! Comments close on September 15th, at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

Lorilee Kopp, the owner of Mama Kopp Shop, is a mother who stays home with her kids to ensure they have a unique educational experience. She says, "This is the love of my life, being home with my children. Next is my love to create. I love being part of heirloom toy making. I am very proud to be part of it and so proud to make things for families all over the world. I strive to tempt imagination in children as well as adults. It is important to me that each piece be made as perfect as can be. I use quality, natural materials. And hold close to my wooden art waldorf traditions. And if I can sneak in a little educational element I will." Visit her blog, Live n' Learn for those "live creatively and homeschool."

Teach Well: Tempt imagination in children.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Welcome In the School Year Celebration!

Today begins the week long celebration leading up to Teach Often's Beginning of the School Year Kick-Off! Join me all week for ideas for the month of September, great teaching product, and prizes. Who doesn't like prizes? ;) You have a chance to comment on each post for each prized listed. All the comments for each post will close September 15th, at midnight Pacific Standard Time.

Next week opens the door to new ideas and possibilities in the classroom. There will be great ideas to bookmark or write directly into your lesson plans for the next day! Aren't you excited? I know I am!

I teach thematically, and September's theme is The Zoo. We learn about our Zoo Phonics friends, letter recognition, colors, school safety, and learn how to use our classroom.

A modern way to displaying the alphabet is by using one of these posters, from Westwillow Designs, in your classroom or at home.

Sonya, once a teacher herself is now teaching her two children at home as a stay-at-home-mom. She designs beautiful pieces of art as her creative outlet. You can find more of her designs at her Etsy shop, Westwillow Designs.

You can add this poster to your classroom or child's decor by leaving a comment in this thread.


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