Tag Archives: lesson

Drawing Together

10 May

While I was in the maternity leave substitute position, there was a day that I had no white paper for the students to draw on.  I had my wonderful TA Hiba go get some butcher paper for the class to draw on.  We moved the tables and taped it to the floor.  I set markers and crayons both out for them to draw with.  It was a sight to see.

The students were so quiet at first as they settled into the place they chose around the paper.



The quiet did not last long as the students began attempting to write and draw many things.  Some of which had to do with out PYP Unit if Inquiry “How the World Works.”

This picture shows one student writing letters.  You can also see the picture that Hiba drew of a flower, per the request of many students.



It was amazing to see the growth they had all made that would have been missed if I had given them something specific to draw.  This activity tops a coloring page any day!



Caring for Living Things

6 Mar

We are currently doing a unit of inquiry called Sharing the Planet.  We have been talking about the difference between living and nonliving things as well as what living things need to grow and live.

I wanted my students to be able to see a living thing, specifically a plant, grow, so we are taking care of lentils.  I bought regular unsplit lentils at the store.


They had to first soak overnight in water so they would absorb as much water as needed.  Each student was able to put a handful in our tub of water.

Soaking the Lentils


We linked this to literacy by talking about the letter B for bean.  They glued the leftover lentils to a letter B.

B for Bean

The next day, once our beans were good and soaked, each student put a spoonful in their own cup so they could have their own beans to take care of and watch grow.

Individual cups

After only one night of being in the cups they have grown already!  Can you see the little sprouts?

Day 2 in cups

Having their own cup really worked well today when they each got to hold their cup and touch their beans and no fighting went on.  Each student gave his or her own cup a small spoonful of water.  It is amazing how careful they are around the beans while they are playing.  They didn’t want to hurt them 🙂

Fostering Creativity

2 Mar

Long time no post.  I have been settling into my longterm sub postion and learning how IB works.  With this overwhelming task of learning PYP in in such a short time posting has taken a backseat.

We have been having fun in Pre-K and using our creative minds.  I recently came across a large cardboard box just sitting in our staff room.  No one was using it so I snagged it for my classroom.  I wrote in my lesson plans for my students draw pictures of what they wanted to create with the box.  It just so happened that on that same day we went to the library and the librarian picked out the book Not A Box by Antoinette Portis to read to my students.  It worked out fantastic!  After the library we went back to the class and the students each drew their picture of what they wanted to create  with the box.  Being 3 years old sometimes we don’t understand what they have intended to draw, so my TA and I went around and recorded what each student had drawn.  Here are a couple images of their drawings.

Big Shark

Big Shark





I decided to create a house for the library that could also act as a puppet show stage.  This was inspired by something I found on SheKnows Parenting.  I put it together and the students decorated it with paint and glitter.  They had quite a bit of fun.





It got a little messy…



The next day I placed it in the library section of our room as a place for them to read.  It was a popular area all day!



Who knows how long this little house will last, but I know they will enjoy their reading time while it is there!

Exploring the Earth

1 Dec

My mentor teacher, Tammy, and I have discovered Google Earth!  We have had a lot of fun with it.  Tammy has a friend, J, who travels for work.  When he is on a trip, the class calls him and says “Hey J, where you at today?”  We then pull up Google Earth to show the students how far away it is and where he has gone.  The first time we called him we didn’t have Google Earth so it was really hard for them to understand how far away he actually was.  Most of my students have never left our home town so it is even more difficult to imagine the distance.

Once we figure out where he is we take a screen shot and open Skitch.  We open that image in Skitch and type on the picture so we can keep track of all the places he has gone and when he went there.
As you can see the students have been just as engrossed as we have been.

The students have also been learning about writing letters.  Our first letter was to ask the principal if we could do a service project.  We also wrote J a letter to ask him if he would send us post cards as he takes his trips.  We have received two so far.

We created a wall to keep track of the people we have been writing to.

The students have been so geared up about letters that we created a classroom post office.

They each have their own mail box.  We use this mostly during Response To Intervention time.  The students have to opportunity to write letters and check their mail boxes.

The students have been able to write to people within the building, locally, and in other states.  They have also been able to Skype with people in another country.  They are learning about so many parts of the world with the help of an iPad and a little snail mail.

iPad Stories

29 Nov

During our writing time over the past couple of weeks, we have been working on iPad stories.  There were two apps that we used.  The first was Sock Puppets.  This app was fun to play with because it changes your voice to make it higher or lower.  The disadvantage was that you could only record for 30 seconds.  The other app was PuppetPals HD.  This allowed the students to record for a longer amount of time.  This one also had a fairy tale theme.  You have to pay to get the other themes.

I introduced the stories by writing one as a class.  I introduced Sock Puppets first.  We picked our characters, scene, and any props we wanted.  After we chose those we stopped and made a plan.  I had my students make their plans in their draft books.  I told them they could write, draw, make a list, etc.  It was difficult not to make anyone upset by not using their ideas, so I tried to allow as many students as possible give their input.  Once we had our plan I drew names to see who would get to record their voice.  They loved this and were so excited every time I brought the iPad out.

I introduced PuppetPals on the second day.  We used the same process so they understood they had to have a plan.  They did not seem to prefer one over the other.  They just loved them both!
Since I only have three iPads in my room I had them work in pairs and only three pairs could go each day.

Here are two of my students working on a story together.

After our writing workshop time the three pairs would share their story with the class.  There was a lot of giggling!

Here is one example of a story my students wrote.