Thursday, August 2, 2012

We Need Your Help!


Some fellow teachers and I have projects for school supplies posted on OO.com. We are in the runnings to have our projects fully funded. All we need is your help and it will only take a few seconds of your time. Please follow the link and Facebook "LIKE" each of the four projects on the page. THAT'S IT! Thanks so much in advance! If you have similar projects please leave your link as a comment and I will return all favors!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pool Noodles and Funnels - Dollar Tree Finds!

Pool Noodles and Funnels - Dollar Tree Finds!



I found these pool noodles at the Dollar Tree! I also picked up a pack of 3 funnels for $1! We added them to our water play bucket area. The children were able to transfer water from one bucket to the other. This required some team work and it was great to see them working together!

Later we put funnels on both ends of the noodles and used them as telephones. The noddles vibrate slightly when you talk into them providing a great senesory input for the users.


Kate from Fun in ECSE nominated me for the Liebster Blog Award!

This award is named for the German word "Liebster," which translates to "beloved" or "favorite", and is given to a "new, up and coming blogger."
Here are the rules:
1. Link back to the person who gave it to you.
2. Post the award to your blog.
3. Give the award to at least 5 bloggers with less than 200 followers.
4. Leave a comment on the 5 blogs to let them know that they have been offered this award

So here are people I am giving this award to.

+ Ms. Pasqua's Kinder http://mspasquakinder.blogspot.com


Saturday, July 21, 2012

End of the Summ-arrgghh Treasure


End of the Summ-arghhh Treasure Hunt




Summer school came to a close yesterday and we ended with a Pirate Party! Our SLP (speech and language pathologist) devised a treasure hunt for us. While we had a dance party, she came in and hid a bunch of pirate clues around the classroom and hid the pirate treasure in the kindergarten playground. The clues were simple enough for our 3-5 year olds to figure out (with supports).

Some of the clues were:

  • Where do we put the trash? -- trash can
  • I sail on the ocean. -- a big box we turned into a pirate ship
  • I go "flush!" -- the handrail behind the toilet
  • You can water the flowers with me -- watering can
  • You climb up on me and then go down. Weee! -- Slide
  • Look for a shovel and bucket in me-- sand box
It was awesome to be able to turn our fun party into a speech lesson as well. Inside of the treasure box were our party supplies. Balloons, pirate tattoos, face paint, Pirate's Booty, Ice Cream Cones, and an ice cream scoop (the ice cream was safe in the freezer!).

When we came back inside we had one heck of a preschool party! Complete with a Disney pirate themed CD that I just got on clearance at Party City for 50 cents!

Here are some images from our party! Enjoy!






Friday, July 20, 2012

Pirate Pipe Cleaners Counting - Download

Arrrggh!! Counting with Pirates!

We are working on counting, number sense, and 1-to-1 correspondence. What better way than with Pirate Pipe Cleaners!? I saw a post on Pintrest about taping number cards to pipecleaners and having the children string the corresponding # of beads onto the pipecleaner. I created our Pirate version with calendar pieces I found on http://www.makinglearningfun.com.



 I thought that the cards on Making Learning Fun were too big for my purposes, so I simply copied the image and pasted in on to a Word document and modified the size. Afterwards I laminated them and used white duct tape to tape each card to a pipecleaner. I decided to go with yellow and gold pipecleaners to represent "treasure". Instead of beads (which I did not transport with us to our summer school classroom) we used various sized buttons (which our SLP did bring to our summer school placement).


Sorry about the poor quality!
I also added dots to help the students count along, or check their work. Each card has the number of dots as the number listed.

Adaptations For Different Learning Needs

  • Some learners just worked on stringing beads to foster fine motor skills
  • Others who struggle with fine motor skills were asked to identify the numbers, or count the dots.
  • You could adapt this as a sequencing activity too.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pirate Ship Handprint

Summer school is winding down, and so is our Pirate theme. I will be sad to see the Pirate go. My students were not all that interested in elaborate pretend play. If they did engage in it last year, it was usually with lots of prompting, and limited story lines. Towards the end of the year our almost kindergartners started to pretend to be Pirates while on the playground. I decided to spend this summer with our Pirate theme in the hopes that this play would continue. Unfortunately, our almost kinders decided to do Kindergarten Prep summer programs, and left us :( (I am SO excited that they progressed enough to enter general ed, but sad to see them go!). Needless to say, I was worried the Pirate theme would fall flat without the big kids modeling. Boy was I wrong! I was amazed at how quickly they took to the idea of Pirates. We put a large cardboard box in the pretend play area, and I figured I would have to paint it and do a lot of coaching before my kids would see it as a Pirate Ship. Again, boy was I wrong! They saw the "boat" and knew just what to do! I hope these skills continue into the fall!

Today we made Pirate Ship Hand prints as a sensory project. Some of my students are very uncomfortable with messy textures and so we try to expose them to safe activities to desensitize them to these textures. Hand print art is a great way to do this, and the parents always enjoy it too.


Of course if a child has a very intense reaction to having his/her hand near the paint he/she is not forced into touching it. We try to have them become okay with simply having the paint near them, and then we will build on this over time. One of my students was very unhappy about the paint, and so we simply traced his hand with a brown crayon.

What you'll do:
  • This is a 2 day process. On the first day cut a white piece of paper into two "hot dog" pieces
  • Day 1: Give the children a variety of "ocean" colors and "sunset" water color paints. (we used liquid watercolors and a variety of brush sizes). Have the children paint one of the papers in the ocean colors and the other in the sun.
  • Let the papers dry over night and then glue the strips together.
  • Day 2: Pour brown paint into a paper plate and place students hand in.
  • Have the children open their hand wide (you may need to model this)
  • Press down.
  • Glue sails on the middle fingers
If I were to do this again, I would replace one of the "sails" with a pirate flag, but even without it the kids understood that it was a Pirate Ship or boat.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

New Layout!

I updated my blog's layout last night and love it! I was able to get it all done with the support of Shabby Blogs FREE tutorials and freebies. If you are looking for something new they have a ton of cute stuff for use.

Thanks for stopping by :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pirate Ship Snack and Picture Directions Download

Pirate Ship Snack

We included our Pirate theme in snack time this week by building Pirate ships out of food!

What you'll need:
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Orange Slices
  • American cheese
  • Picture Directions

You can find the picture directions over at Making learning Fun!



Pirate Treasure Sorting and Worksheet Download

Pirate Treasure Color Sorting

After our Pirate iSpy Bottle activity we had left over jewels that would not fit down the bottle neck. My kids loved playing with them, so we incoporated them into an activity that worked on color word recognition. Each paper plate was labeled with the color word and the kids had to move around the table to place the jewels they picked on up the correct plate.

Some our learners were simply working on matching, rather than reading the words so the picture shows the words written in the corresponding color of each color word. You could make this harder by writing the color in Black. This activity could be made easier if you limited the number of colors you were using at once.

As a follow up activity I printed a worksheet I downloaded from the creators of Over the Moon. The children have to read the color word and color the pirate ship with the correct color.


To make the worksheet harder make copies in black and white.

Pirate iSpy Bottles: Free Download


Pirate iSpy Bottles
ARRGgghh! We incorporated our PIRATE theme into a sensory activity this week. The kids started out with an empty 8oz water bottle and used a shovel + a funnel to pour sand into it. Once they had sand they were free to add whatever "pirate's treasure" they desired. We had mini sea shells, glitter, buttons, pearls, various beads, and a variety of rhinestone shapes/sizes. In addition I lamenated mini paper pirate flags (download the pirate flags here), and pirate stickers.

After they were satisfied with their treasure we hot glued the bottle cap back on. The kids tied on a shiny piece of scrap fabric around the bottle's neck and their Pirate iSpy Bottle was complete!

In order to invite the children into this activity, I covered the table with a table cloth (easier to clean up the sand later) and a full sized pirate flag (found it on Amazon.com for less than $5!)


Encourage the students to lay the bottles on their side a roll it around. The different pieces of treasure they included will be revealed. This activity can easily be turned into a speech lesson if you have the children label and talk about the different things they find in their bottles.

Pirate Ship Jell-o Cups: Free Download


I found this cute idea on Pinterest and knew it would be a success with my little friends. They not only enjoyed making their "ocean cups", but loved eating them too!

What you need:
  • 2 boxes of Jell-o (this will probably make more than you need - depending on your class size- but ensures that everyone gets a turn mixing)
    • follow directions on the packet
  • I let all of the kids have a turn pouring in some water, and mixing. (highlight how the color of the Jell-o changes as it gets wet)
  • Have the kids use soup laddels to pour Jell-O into their cup
  • Let set over night and add orange slices to each cup.
  • Add a pirate flag toothpick (you can look for them in party supply stores. I made my own. Download the pirate flags here)
  • Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sensory Play - Water Beads


We had this AWESOME light table dontated to use from Donorschoose.org. (We are so lucky!) The light table is a sensory activity, perfect for students with sensory integration issues. One of our favorite things to play with on the light table are water beads (another sensory based play material).

Ten (10) Bag of Crystal Soil Water Beads (10 Colors)

Be sure not to waste your money on fancy water beads. I found this 10 pack of water beads on Amazon.com for $1.69! Of course I bought several sets. The process of hydrating the tiny water beads is also an exciting activity for little people.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Penguin Couting

Penguin Counting


If your students are anything like mine, they love goldfish crackers. The use of the crackers has not only made this counting game fun, but also highly motivating. This counting game will help your students recognize numbers (we do 1-20, but you could use any numbers you wanted), as well as works on 1:1 correspondence.

 First you need to print out a picture of a penguin (we made these from construction paper, but you could easily just use clip art). Make sure to laminate them before giving them to the kids.

We give the kids a choice of which numbered penguins they want to use. We allow them to keep all the goldfish they use for counting, and eat them after they are finished working (the kids quickly realize that the higher the numbers the pick, the more crackers they get).P

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Free Download: Penguin Matching Center

Download HERE


Use this template to creat a matching center of your desire. Simply cut out an extra set of fish and have the children place them over the grey fish outline. We are using it to match number words with their numeral counterpart. You could use it for anything you wish, alphabet recognition, sight words, etc.

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