archive for the 'Creative Expression' category

Monthly Traceable Calendars

monthly traceable calendars

The new school year is upon us, and I am super excited to present our Monthly Traceable Calendars. At the beginning of each month, I have my pre-k students make a calendar. This is one of our favorite things to do. They get excited to take it home and display it on their refrigerators, and I get excited about all of the learning opportunities they hold. Doing a monthly calendar teaches the following skills:

– Fine motor (proper tripod grasp and tracing)
– Counting
– One-to-one correspondence
– Writing numbers
– Number recognition
– Writing left to right
– Writing top to bottom
– Ordinal concepts
– Critical thinking

At the beginning of each month, talk about the weeks ahead and any important events that will be occurring. Have your young learners trace the numbers. I recommend working with them individually or in small groups. At the start of the year, some children may struggle to complete their calendars due to the level of difficulty and/or a short attention span. And that’s okay. Growth will be obvious as the year progresses.

While working with children, stress the importance of a proper pencil grip and writing left to right and top to bottom. There is a black dot on each letter and number on the calendars. Encourage your preKers to get into the habit of placing their crayon or pencil on that starting point. This will help teach them proper formation.

Also included in this pack are 12 traceable calendars with some missing numbers. These are for students that are developmentally ready to recognize and write numerals. These should be introduced accordingly.

Once the calendar is complete, kids may glue them onto a large piece of construction paper decorate the topper. They may then place stickers on any significant dates (e.g., birthday, holiday. etc.).

downloadGet this 2017-2018 Monthly Traceable Calendar Pack.



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DIY Art Center Yarn Cans

diy art center yarn cans

I put together these cute yarn cans for my self-help art shelf. They are easy to make and keep the yarn contained and neat. I used plastic mason jars, but any plastic container with a lid will do. Simply fill the container with yarn, poke a hole in the lid, and pull a small amount of yarn through the hole. The children can then pull out the length of yarn they want, and cut with scissors (this may take some supervision with younger children). Finally, label the can with the corresponding color name of yarn.

MATERIALS USED:

– Yarn
– Plastic containers with lids
Our free color labels


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The Carrot Seed Carrot Craft

The children’s book The Carrot Seed is a simple classic that teaches perseverance, and the method of planting a seed and helping it grow. This delightful story, which was first published in 1945, has never been out of print. The Ruth Krauss’ straightforward text and Crockett Johnson’s clean illustrations work to create a timeless, victorious, and fulfilling story for readers of any generation.

A small boy plants a carrot seed. Unfortunately, everyone in the boy’s family is certain the seed will not grow.

“I’m afraid it won’t come up,” they each say.

However, the boy remains self-assured in the carrot seed’s potential and his own ability to care for it. Eventually, he is able to harvest a carrot that measures the size of his faith.

Now your young learners can have a huge carrot of their own that they can be proud of. Simply provide each child with a carrot (pre-K children should cut out their own), and a sheet of orange construction paper. Have the children tear the paper into small pieces. Then encourage them to glue the scraps onto the carrot until most of the white paper is covered. To complete the project, they will glue green strips of paper for the carrot top.

Materials Used:

– Green and orange construction paper
– Our triangle carrot template
– Glue
– Scissors


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Owl Babies Art Activities

My first year of teaching I discovered a wonderful book, Owl Babies, written by Martin Waddell, and beautifully illustrated by Patrick Benson.

Three baby owls awake one night to find their mother missing. “Where’s mommy?” they wonder. Exactly where mommy is makes a wonderful story. In subsequent years, I have read this book to all my classes for Mother’s Day, and have found that it never fails to capture the children’s imagination. After reading the book, the children love making their very own owls, painted with bubble wrap, to take home. I like to extend this curriculum later in the week. We often have a group discussion about owls, their habitats, and the fact that they are nocturnal animals. I then like to follow up with some feather painting.


OWLS – MATERIALS USED:

– Our owl template
– Construction paper
– Large googly eyes
– Feathers
– Paint
– Bubble wrap
– Glue

FEATHER PAINTING – MATERIALS USED:

– Stiff feathers
– Paint
– Construction paper



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