Find the Leprechaun’s Gold Blog Hop

What do you find at the end of the Bloggy Rainbow?  A chance to win $100 in TpT GOLD!

Will you have the luck of the Irish?  We hope so!  The drawing will be March 17, 2013.

We have joined 15 FUN bloggy friends to offer you some great St. Patrick’s Day freebies and a chance to win a $100 TpT dollars.

Hop to all 15 blogs to grab your freebies and collect the coins hidden in each freebie.  Write down the words you find on the coins and unscramble the  mystery phrase that you will need to enter at your last stop (Christie’s blog – Mrs. Fultz’s Corner) to enter the rafflecopter  for the GOLD.

Click on the picture below to get our freebie gift to you and a
Now it’s time to hop on over to
Where there is Sugar and Spice  
and  GOLD so nice!

Click here for the rafflecopter

Thursday’s Quote

“I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” 
~Dr. Seuss~

Spring…ing into the ABC/Word Work Center

Come in and see our ABC/Word Work Center. 

Our center is filled with books and materials to promote students’ automatic recognition of the alphabet.  There are numerous opportunities to manipulate the letters, put the letters in correct sequence, see the letters within words and do picture/sound/word sorts.  Below are just a few of the activities we have this week.  The great thing is, we can keep the format and just change the word and picture cards to make a “new” activity.

We have placed a bookshelf to hold the materials needed for the center next to a table.  We also made a grid with colored electrical tape on the floor for students to sort picture or word cards.  This one has word cards for sorting syllables.  The  second picture is spelling the word.

Of course, we visited the dollar store AGAIN and found a vowel poster.  Instead of decorating the wall with it, we cut it apart and made another activity for the kids to play on the carpet.

We have these two activities especially for sequencing the alphabet.  These activities also require the students to sit on the floor, not the specified table.  This way we can get more kiddos at the center at the same time.

We attached twine to two legs of a cart and put clothes pins with the letters written on the pincher part.  Students select the pictures with the correct initial sound and pin them on the “clothes line” in alphabetical order.

The kids really love placing word cards in alphabetical order with this giant floor alphabet strip (3 sentence strips made by me and taped together )

What are some of your favorite,  FUN and meaningful activity ideas for your ABC/Word Work Center?

Today’s Quote…

“Why fit in when we were born to stand out?”
~Dr. Seuss~

Tuesday Quote…

“Teaching should be such that what is offered is perceived as a valuable gift and not as a hard duty.” 

~Albert Einstein~

Quote For The Day

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
~Dr. Seuss~

Quote for Saturday…

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”
~Dr. Seuss~

Today’s Quote…

“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.”
~Dr. Seuss~

Quote/Thought For the Day…

“I want a classroom that is about love, laughter and learning from each other. One that’s full of struggles, smiles and stories; The kind where collaboration and creativity are just part of learning. THAT kind of classroom!”

Spring…ing into Writing

“The desire to write grows with writing.”
~Desiderius Erasmus~

With Spring right around the corner, we decided to do a “makeover” on the writing center.

We know how important writing in the Early Childhood classroom is because research suggests:

  • Writing promotes children’s phonological awareness, letter knowledge and letter-sound knowledge.
  • Writing and emergent spelling promote reading vocabulary development.
  • Orally composing a message that an adult transcribes and trying to write their own messages may help children develop print awareness skills
  • Teachers can use their students’ spellings as evidence of phonological sensitivity and alphabet knowledge in order  to tailor instruction

(“Developing Preschool Children’s Writing. ” Stephanie L. Strachan, Neil K. Duke (Michigan State University); William H. Teale (University of Illinois)

We are trying to give the students opportunities to draw/write daily, to develop the concept that writing has a purpose and provide opportunities for self-expression.

So after school on Tuesday we got busy moving things around and gathering up all of our materials for the students to use in the writing center.  Below is a picture of the writing center with a bookshelf to hold the materials and a table close by so they can choose their materials and have a place to work.  Having the table also can act as a natural way to limit the number of students in the center, if we want to do that.  We put the bookshelf out in the room, away from the wall, to try to create a cozier area for working.  Hopefully there will be less distractions that way.

After we got the furniture rearranged we started putting the materials together.  We selected Spring as our thematic unit, so we bought a lot of Spring items from the dollar store.

  Some of the items include various “fancy” pencils, markers and pens (notice the bunny pen), play dough to make words, a bingo dauber to stamp over letters and words.  Other miscellaneous items from the dollar store include a stapler to make their own books, scotch tape, lacing cards for fine motor development, various types of paper, a dry erase board, glue, scissors and envelopes.  We made thematic word cards for the word wall and the writing center (get a copy below).  My First Word Book ($4.99 from Marshalls).  We think a book like this is so important because it allows the children to use a reference book while they are writing.  Don’t forget to add picture books about writing.

Some of the activity choices in the writing center include words (high frequency or thematic) written big on manilla paper with thick black marker for the kids to either rainbow write over with different colored markers or stamp over with the bingo dauber, clip boards with write the room forms (grab our forms for Spring below) and napkin books.  Napkin books are a great (cheap) way to make individual thematic journals.  Buy seasonal napkins at the dollar store.  Cut paper the same size or a little smaller than the closed napkin.  Open the napkin, place the paper between the two pieces of the napkin, close the napkin and staple two staples across the top.

Another fun writing activity is to make a thematic interest basket.  We put bunny ears in the basket so the kids could wear them as they write a story or list about the contents of the basket.  Include another copy of the thematic word cards in the basket.

A popular choice at this center is the “story” starters.  You can make enough copies of one prompt per week and have them available in the center if someone wants to choose this activity.  (You can download copies of our Spring story starters below.)

To give the kids some vocabulary and background knowledge, read a nonfiction book about Spring and make an anchor chart with some Spring words during whole group time.  This is also a good time to add a few thematic words to our word wall.

We hope we have given you some fun ideas to make Springing into Writing meaningful and FUN in your classroom.

    (Click on the pictures to get your free copies!