Friday, March 30, 2012

Velcro Ideas and Other Curriculum Ideas!!

Velcro is one of those amazing classroom tools that has so many uses!!  Check out these creative ways that our Pine Village teachers use VELCRO in their classrooms!

Denise in Kendall Square created this "waterfall" using her easel, plastic cups, a big plastic bin, velcro and of course, AGUA!!  

She put three horizontal strips of black velcro across the easel, and added cups with holes on the SIDES of the cups near the bottom.  The water is added to the big plastic bin, and the children need to move the velcro cups in a way to make the water go from one cup to the next.  The children use the pitcher to create the waterfall effect by pouring it into the top cups.  SO NEAT!!!

In the SOUTH END, the teachers each have a "Quien Vino Hoy" board with the names of the children.  As part of their circle time routine, the kids have to add their name to the velcro board!!  

They change out the nametags to reflect the season or theme!!  

They also use the children's LAST NAMES!!

Claudia in NEEDHAM created this Tic Tac Toe board using "paz y amor" instead of "x's and o's".  The children would play over and over again to try to get THREE IN A ROW!!  She had it hanging on the door as a vertical game for the children to play!  This can be adapted to ANY THEME!!  Try it for your Artists's and Authors Unit!!

Newton teachers use this "Parejas y Trios" board with velcro to make daily partners for the kids.  This helps to break up the cliques, and to encourage the children to play with all the kids in the class.  Whoever your daily partner is, that's the person you sit next to, walk down the hall with and line up with.  


Here's a name writing activity to do with velcro and letters!!  

Teresa and Fiorella in JP started this "Pequenos Ayudantes" board to assign JOBS to the class.  Velcro is used to place the hands to the Job Board.  


Kids LOVE being able to add and remove the velcro pieces to help them understand the sequence of their day.  This chart was made using the Boardmaker program, but you can easily get images from Google Images.  

Additional Curriculum Ideas for the Week!!


Sometimes we start the year off with great intentions to have the children write in JOURNALS everyday, and they end up turning into scrap paper!  Here's a creative way that the Pre-K teachers, Claudia and Katie started implementing to create a structure to their journaling. They taught the kids to draw on the paper in a sequence, and they put a DATE STAMP on the page so it goes in order.  Dating the children's work is SO IMPORTANT in order to be able to assess the progress of the child over time.

On this particular day, the kids were learning about dinosaurs.  They practiced writing the word "Pterodactyl" with both upper case and lower case letters.  

They then were asked to draw their own interpretation of the dinosaur.  They were able to use invented spelling to write a story about the dinosaur if they wanted to.  The kids then made dinosaur puppets!  So fun!

Eliana in Porter Square uses a colander to collect the FRUTAS so it can easily be washed before cutting it for more Friendship Fruit!!  Love it!!!


Here are a few sensory tables ideas that I saw this month.  We want to make sure to change the table at least once a week to stimulate interest and to keep those hands busy!!!

Cynthia in Kendall Square put out tubes and circles from the recycling center.

Wendy in the South End had "grass", magnifying glasses and baskets and bugs to explore!

Teresa in JP had silk rose petals, cars and cups to play with!

Math Bug Sorting

Savannah in Needham had this math sorting game out for the kids to sort by color or by bug type!!  


Marissa in Needham always puts photographs of the children in the process of their activities!

She also puts a little sign to explain the GOAL of the activity for the parents to see and learn!  You can easily take these down and place in the children's portfolios too!!  


After reading a story with the class, have them review the PERSONAJES, EL LUGAR y LA SECUENCIA to learn about LAS PARTES DE UN CUENTO like the Pre-K class in Newton did here!

Denise in Kendall Square created this Math Idea using "bananas" and monkeys to count and add!  The children use a dry erase marker on the equations to write down the answer!!

This can be made with just about any theme!!!!


Christie in Kendall Square was working alone today, so in order to keep her daily white board up to date without leaving the children, she simply removed it from the wall, brought it into the classroom to write the daily news, and then put it back on the wall!!  

Tattle Tale Monster

Denise and Alejandra in Kendall Square were encountering lots of tattling on their friends in the class.  So they taught them this three step process:
  1.)  You tell your friend  that you don't like what they are doing and you ask them to stop. 
2.) Then the second time if they keep bothering you, you ignore them or walk away.  
3.)  After you have tried those other steps, THEN you can come tell a teacher.  Of course if it's something that's dangerous or hurting somebody else, then they can immediately tell a teacher.  Furthermore, at any point in this process, they taught the kids to write down their "tattles" at their writing center and then add it to the monster's mouth!


Here's an EXCELLENT way to let your staff know where you are going, and what you are up to each month!  Christina in Needham, has all of her tours, fechas especiales, training nights and "all things PVP" on this large dry-erase board calendar hung up in her office.  It works for Christina since it's always right there in writing for everyone to see.  She also likes that there's a spot on the bottom to write upcoming dates to add to the calendar as things come up! Furthermore, the information is sent in her weekly email to the staff, and also communicated to them in the staff meetings!  We never never communicate information too much!  

Espero que gozen todas las ideas!!


Friday, March 16, 2012

Afternoon Activities!

I spent one day in the South End school this week, and I was SO inspired by these awesome afternoon activities that I just had to share!!  Each day, the teachers prep an activity for the children to do at the table after nap. The teachers  have the activity on the table READY for the children to explore upon wake up time.   It's so great to keep them engaged from the time they wake up from their siesta, until the time they go home.  I hope you feel as inspired as I did!!


Preschool teacher, Claudia, had this AWESOME science/fine motor activity prepped for the kids!

In an ice cube tray, put water in just the OUTSIDE COLUMNS OF CUBES.
So in this picture, you see 7 columns of cubes.  She put clear water in columns 1, 2, 6 and 7. 

Add primary colors of food coloring to each cube with water. Red, Yellow and Blue.

Now your little scientists are going to get to work mixing the colors together in the empty cubes!

Have them use eye droppers from your science collection, or sanitized medicine droppers as well!
The children spent a very long time mixing the colors together and creating their own shades of the rainbow!

Then Maria Castro showed us that if you use the eye droppers with the colored water on printed words, it makes the words look MAGNIFIED!

It was like the words on the paper were growing!!  So cool!


Substitute teacher, Maria, had this AWESOME science/sensory table activity prepared!

In the morning, the children were using dry spaghetti with Styrofoam blocks in the sensory table.

I know that many of our sensory tables are RED boxes. So in the afternoon, Maria wanted to change that, by lining it with silver aluminum foil!

She then added polar bears, shaving cream and the styrofoam "icebergs".

Oh my did the kids love it!!  She get their hands right into it and felt like they were in the Arctic!

They were also able to draw letters in the shaving cream too!  Just imagine all of the possibilities that you could do with the aluminum foil in YOUR sensory table!  It would certainly change the background if you added water and food coloring, or pasta, or just about anything!!


Pre-K teacher, Wendi, had this art activity prepped on her table!

Wendi put out tissue paper, mosaic squares and collage paper out on the table, along with paper plates and glue.

Some children wanted to paint their hands with glue! She just wanted to explore the sensation and texture on her hand.  

They made their creations into turtles!!

I just had to share this video clip of one of the children singing the "En mis Botas" song as she did her art!

Toddler teachers, Lali, Karina and Lidiani, had this GREAT art activity out for their toddlers using recycled pizza boxes!!

They put out the pizza boxes with paint and a variety of materials. 

I loved that there were cookie cutters, rollers, scissors and all sorts of things for them to explore.

The toddlers spent at LEAST half an hour on this and had so much fun!!


It was really cool to see some of the Do It Yourself Ideas that I have been sending out this year IN ACTION in the schools!!!  Here are just a FEW of the samples I saw from this week!

Myrna in the SOUTH END made the magnetic popsicle sticks so that they could create various shapes on the table!  

All she did was hot glue the magnets to the ends of the sticks with OPPOSITE magnetic poles so they would repel or attract to one another.  The kids had a BLAST making different shapes and experimenting with the concepts of repel and attract.  Super math and science activity!

Lidiani in the SOUTH END spent part of her prep time making a large STICKY BOARD for the kids to explore.   She put out pipe cleaners on the board as inspiration for them to create whatever they wanted!
Savi in NEEDHAM used the black sticky paper and straws with her kids to do a math/counting activity!

Savi in NEEDHAM,  created a SHOE STORE DRAMATIC AREA to talk about patterns and pairs!

Savi in NEEDHAM also added a beach section to her dramatic area!

Marissa and Maria in NEEDHAM created a whole rainforest in the DRAMATIC AREA.

Fiorella and Teresa used blue Painters Tape to make their own "Sticky Board" for counting!

They just set up the tape on the table by turning the ends down, and sticky side up.

The kids were able to do all sorts of patterns...

And they even put the tape on a box top!  So  cool!!

The ideas are endless and I hope you are just as inspired as I was!  I look forward to visiting more schools next week!!