Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Preschool Express visits the Farmer's Market!

  As Autumn begins, we start our unit on Farm.  The children learn about what animals live and are raised on farms, what food is grown on farms, and how the food gets from the farm to us.  In addition to a trip to a real farm, we like to bring the farm to them in the classroom, as much as we can.  To do this, we turn our dramatic play center into a Farmer's Market.  

  We turned our puppet stand into a Farmer's Market Stand - we painted a poster board red and blue stripes, trimmed the edges to scallop it and put it on top of the puppet stand as an awning.  We added a pretend cash register, a "for sale" list, and to encourage writing, a clipboard and pencils.  We put pictures of healthy foods on the front.

  We used play food in baskets to display what was for sale.  We turned our train depot (from the beginning of the year) into the front of a farmhouse.  

  We turned the back of two shelves into a pumpkin patch, as part of the market.  The children painted two different size pumpkins for our patch.  

  Another shelf was turned into a duck pond.  We covered the shelf with light blue bulletin board paper, and used blue paint to give it texture.  Green fringed bulletin board paper was used to create grass at the edge of the pond.  The children painted their ducks, then applied yellow tissue paper for "feathers". Craft feathers could also be used.  The book read to go along with this project was One Duck Stuck by Phyllis Root.


  We also decorated with real pumpkins, a scarecrow and some apples.

    In my next blog post, I will share how we brought the Farm to other centers in our classroom.  I hope this inspires you to enhance your unit on Farm when you teach about it. 


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Welcome Aboard the Preschool Express!

Happy New School Year!

Gosh, it's already the 2015-2016 school year, and I haven't even blogged about all the fun things we did last year!  I guess it's time to catch up!  

Last school year, our theme for the year was "Welcome Aboard the Preschool Express". We used the theme for the entire year.  At the beginning of the school year, I made a train engine and five train cars.  Our class can have up to 20 children in it, so the plan was to display the work of four students per train car.  As the year evolved, our ideas did too, so we started changing out the train cars depending on our current unit.  I will show how we changed out the train in other posts.  These are the train cars as I was in the process of making them: 

The train cars were made using bulletin board/butcher paper, glitter, glue, tape and laminated bordered papers for windows.  We used the same materials for the engine.  This is our train engine while it was being made:

Inside our dramatic play center, on the side of our loft, our student teacher created a train depot.  We changed it out as well during the school year.  

Our student teacher also took an idea I found on Pinterest to make this "where we are" board.  She cut out the pieces using her Cricut machine.  It said "Mrs. Crystal's Class Is"  and then had choices for where we might be.  Where ever we were, the train car would be parked at the train station.  The board hung outside our classroom door so anyone who came to see us would know where to find us.  

A picture of our train engine after we hung it in the hallway for our beginning of the year display:

We used the train theme in other ways as well.  Every morning when the children come into the classroom, they have to find their name and put it in a basket.  For this theme, we labeled the basket "Passenger Check In".  They used "Tickets" from Trend Enterprises Their first day of preschool pictures were taken in front of the train engine and in front of our train depot.  They had passports to hold because they were all about to start their journeys on the Preschool Express.  

I will post again soon showing how we continued to carry our train theme through the whole year in case someone would like to do a train theme too.