Tag Archives: journals

bargins

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What teacher does just love a dollar store?!  I have found such great finds in our local Dollar Tree – from art supplies to toys to storage baskets!  I also find a lot of my playhouse clothes and great books in local thrift stores and Goodwill’s – great items and low prices!  I would love to hear if any of you out there have found great items at a dollar or thrift store and how you use them!  Sometimes I find great items but don’t buy them because I can’t quite figure out what I would use them for. Either that or I leave them because I don’t have any place to store them when they aren’t in my classroom!  I have officially run out of storage in my home and classroom!  😦

My most recent find was a ladybug and worm that start out small but grow when you put them in water.  So, I put them in clear plastic containers so we could observe how they change.  The children are getting a kick out of watching them grow!  The good thing is the package says if you take them out again they will shrink back to their original size and then they can be reused – this is great to hear because now for an investment of $2 I can use these year after year until they stop working!  Awesome!

Next week I think we’ll walk around the grounds of our building (lets hope Ms. Lezze-Faire says yes) in search of insects to observe…I’m sure the children will get a kick out of that!  Not quite as cool a walk around the neighborhood would be but at this point I’ll take what can get!  The children have been drawing bugs in their journals lately…lots of ladybugs and butterflies.  They even draw the very hungry caterpillar – a green body with a red head – very cool!

I’ve put plastic bugs in the oatmeal table and I die-cut leaves and wrote numbers on them and we’ve used them as counting mats with our bug counters.  I’ve also added large bug stuffed animals that I found around the school to our Jungle (read: playhouse area).  Furthermore, I’ve been reading books about insects and stories that have insects as the main character.  All I need to do is find an art project for next week and I’ll be set….so I’m off to search the web for something good!

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Journals

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So this is my first year having my students do journals.  I’ve heard of it but have never actually seen it done in a preschool class.  I knew right away that these journals weren’t the typical “have the child write about something and draw a quick picture.”  I wanted to try it.  I made my journals from plain white copy paper – they color with crayons, and write in pen or pencil.  What we started doing at the beginning of the year was have them draw a picture – anything they wanted – and then they would tell one of us what it was and we would write it down for them.  We also had them write their name – or at least try to write their name – everyday in their journal.  This went well.

After a couple months of this routine, we started to sound out the words as we wrote what they had written.  We would say the letter we were writing and the sound it made.  We did this until Christmas break.  In January, we had them take the pen from us and we walked them through sounding out and writing the words for themselves.  It’s been going well since then.  I would love to see them do this for themselves (at least the ones who I think are ready) but they just don’t feel confident doing that without one of us sitting right there with them.  But it would be nice to see them try to write words on their own – hopefully they will soon.

Anyway, I got to wondering how many other preschool teachers journal in their classroom?  What does it entail?  What’s the process?  I’d like to hear what other teachers do and what has (or has not) worked in your class…feel free to leave comments because I am very interested!  🙂  I’m always open to learning new ideas!