Friday, October 17, 2014

Five for Friday - It's Been Forever!

Hello, friends!

I realize that it has been literally forever since I posted (at least that's how I feel), and you have absolutely no idea what has been going on in my life.

And you're probably wondering how I'm liking preschool.

So, I'll start with my little diddy about preschool and then I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share my Five for Friday...with a twist because I want to share my fun lessons I've been doing!

Preschool is a blast! While I surely could not teach them for the rest of my life, I really truly do love the kiddos I am working with. With 23 students, I have pretty much double the amount of students as the rest of my classmates, but it allows me to learn so much. The other day, I told my mentor teacher that if anything, it's preparation for if I ever teach kindergarten! It's definitely good practice for my classroom management skills, which are something I need to work on in large group settings (my mentor teacher said I do awesome with small groups!).

So... now you're probably wondering what I've been doing with these kiddos. So, here it is!

My first ever center activity was based on physical movement. I called this activity "Walk the Line" and my little friends loved it! I really need to get better at taking pictures, but I'm technically not supposed to. However, I based this activity off of a Pinterest find, so here's the link. I combined the two activities together and first had them walk down each colored line and then had a separate line for the students to blow a ping pong ball down with a straw. I also had a few spots for them to wait their turn on, so that we could practice that. Overall, I thought the center turned out great!

Next, I planned another center activity. This activity was based on music, and the students absolutely loved it!  I swear I took a picture of this one the night before in my dorm bathroom, but I guess not. 

Hahaha. I guess I better explain that one better.

I made a rainbow xylophone with mason jars. Actually, I made two. The colors were different for each one, and I had the children tell me whether the sounds were the same or different when I hit the different jars and find a jar that was the same (or different) as the one I was playing. I also had them do the same with patterns if that was to easy for them.  They really enjoyed this center, too, and I think it went extremely well!

The only thing that really bothers me about these centers is the grade my professor gave me on them. Not my mentor teacher and not my supervisor, my professor. She has never seen me teach and most likely never will. I got a C on one and a B on the other... And she told me I have difficulty with classroom management. My mentor teacher just told me that with the small groups I really do awesome, so I don't understand where that came from. And then one of my classmates asked her how she gets our grades and she says she just guesses.... so there's that.

 Thanks to my supervisor, I actually have pictures of this one! This was my first full class lesson that I taught. It was a literacy lesson and I truly had so much fun with it. I used Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, a classic, I know. For my hook, I brought in a coconut and we talked about how they grow on the tree we were about to read about. SO FUN!

Each child had a letter from when they entered the room and found their carpet spot. My mentor teacher actually suggested doing this and it was a GREAT idea. Normally, they have number spots and her assistant teacher hands out number cards as the kiddos come in and they find their spot then return the card to her. However, the day I taught my lesson, I handed out letters and they matched them to letters I had put over the number spots. WONDERFUL.

I read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to the students, and during the second half of the book, they stood up when their letter was called out. They came up to the front of the carpet area and matched their letter to my letter chart and then we hung their letter on the coconut tree. I loved how interactive this lesson was, as they had already been sitting for a long time for our morning routines of singing the good morning song and reading our class message, as well as learning about the centers they would be doing later in the day {I can't share that picture because it has kiddos in it, but I actually made a chart with a coconut tree on it}.

Then, at one of the centers I had a pile of letters. They had to find the letters in their name and put them on the coconut tree. I didn't have them do the entire alphabet because  I wanted this assessment to align more with the preschool standards, but I'm sure there are many ways you could do this center. 

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of this one, either, but it's yet again another Pinterest find! I found it over at Nuttin' But Preschool! My professor, however, wanted me to align the wiggling more with the shapes, but I don't think she realizes I have 23 there's that. I did it anyways, and it was fine, but I would have liked my lesson better had I followed my original plan. Instead of just saying, "Oh no! A bird! Hide!" I also said "All the yellow squares need to come back to the wiggle worm hole!" The movement, again, was great for these kiddos and that's really something I'm learning with planning these lessons.

This weekend is fall break and I've been home since Wednesday night! Last night, my mom and I went shopping for a dress to wear to semi-formal in a few weeks. I found the most perfect, classy dress and I absolutely love it! I also really love that my date is one of my best friends and is totally willing to go along with anything I decide (what a change from past dates...)!

So, that's all for now. I'm working on 2 more centers and 2 more lesson plans to finish out the semester. I CANNOT believe we're already at midterms! I leave my preschoolers in a little over a month and I am dreading that day! My mentor teacher is absolutely amazing and I truly love this experience!