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Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
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Graphics by: MareeTrueLove.
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year
Small Group Math Activities in Pre-K

Small Group Math Activities in Pre-K

                                                If you are new to The Resourceful Apple...
Let me introduce myself!

I am a pre-k teacher in a Florida public school.  We have a FREE, voluntary program open to four and five year olds. I have taught both full and half day programs depending on the funding.  Being a public pre-k, we are given a scope and sequence to follow. This means the order of standards are preset in all academic areas.

Small group is the perfect time to work on standards. We have five rotations that include math, literacy, technology, exploration and listening and library. Each small group rotation lasts from 8-10 minutes.My para and I rotate teaching math and literacy each day.This post contains affiliate links to support this blog.

Bubble gum tens frames and bottle cap counters from Pre-K Math Unit 1:  Counting to 10 are a must have as they can be used year round for a variety of activities. 

Apple counting with red pom poms add novelty to the concept of counting from Pre-K Math Unit 1:  Counting to 10.  Bottle cap apple templates are also included.  Numeral cards can ne added for differentiation for those students who have mastered counting to ten.

One to one correspondence can be introduced using recycled marker caps and Colored Pom Poms. I introduce this activity during small group and then move it over to our sensory table during centers.
Fine motor muscles along with hang/eye coordination also benefit from this activity.

The Dollar Tree always has fun seasonal ice cube trays and mini erasers.  Novelty is key and this concept can be changed during any time of the year with new seasonal materials so your students will be excited and think it is a new activity!

Identifying numerals is often goes along with counting during small group time.  Numeral cards (taped on cups) and beans are easy to set up and add fine motor practice as well.

Lakeshore Peg Number Boards are great for little fingers as children identify the number and then count that many pegs as they put them in the holes.  It is self checking and for those who are learning to identify numerals, they can count the peg holes first in order to identify the numeral!  Early Literacy and Math Skillsprovide tens frames up to 20 and again contain the templates for farm animal bottle caps.  These are a good resource for when you start comparing numbers with greater and less than.  In addition, the tens frames come blank as shown and a second set comes with matching animals in the tens frame to work on one to one correspondence.  

Tangrams and Tangram Mats are an ideal activity as children explores shapes. Vocabulary such as turn and flip can also be introduced in context while children play.  

Kinetic Sand and Shape Cookie Cutters are a favorite and can be changed out with numbers, shapes and seasonal cookie cutters.  It also provides a sensory activity with very little mess!

Fall Table Scatter and Light Table  along with a clear transparency provided a new activity for the light table after we worked on patterning during the week and after the children were allowed to play independently with the table scatter on the light table.  We introduced the concept of patter unit (pre-k standard) during our math small group and then left it at the light table during centers.

Candy Corn and Pumpkins are not only a manipulative, but a delicious treat and incentive to follow along during small group math!  This can be done throughout the year with candy, goldfish crackers, or even fruit during our unit on nutrition!

Seriation is a new standard in pre-k and involved ordering objects by size.  Snap Cubes were given I  a bowl and students were asked to snap together like colors and then put the towers in order from smallest to largest. This took modeling for some and others saw the pattern right away!  To foster independence, child received a bowl where the towers were different from their other friends.  For example, one student had two yellow cubes and the other had two red cubes.  

We also sorted our Frog Street Press Frog Counters by small, medium and large frogs.  This activity also lent itself to sorting bear counters on another day that week.  

We introduced the balance during small group math so the students could hypothesize and problem solve which pumpkin or gourd was the heaviest and which was the lightest.  One they understood how it worked, this was moved to the science center for exploration during the week.

We then added teddy bear counters so the students could compare the size and weight of the bears.  
Yes, sometimes they just dumped them in, but that was a teachable moment and we soon realized
that having a teacher sit with them to follow up to guide the conversations was key.

Larger graphs where students use actual objects are great to make in small group and then discuss during circle time.  We leave them up for a few weeks and refer to them as the situation arises.  You can grab FREE Graph Titles for bulletin boards and read more about class graphs  HERE.

After we have worked on several class graphs, children are given the opportunity to make an individual graph.  Using concrete objects is key as most four year old children are not able to  think abstractly.

I use Lakeshore Magnetic Numbers and Counters  as I provide each child with a cookie sheet, addition problem and a bowl of magnetic counters to work out an addition problem.  This activity comes after a great deal of modeling and guided practice.  

For those students who are ready, dry erase boards, Expo markers and seasonal erasers or manipulatives and used during small group math.  We work with a variety of erasers and create word problems to help tell the story that goes along with the number sentence.  

10 Little Rubber Ducks Books is our go to book when introducing ordinal numbers.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears is read to introduce the concept of sorting by size,  We provide an opportunity for children to act out the story with props and then compare the bowls, chairs and beds.  A sorting  activity in Pre-K Math Unit 2: Sorting unit is a great way for me to assess the children.

Reading and comparing fairy tales was part of our scope and sequence.  You can compare any books, have the students illustrate their favorite store and then graph the results.

You can read more about how I run  small group time HERE

Make sure to pin this post for easy reference for planning small group math activities!

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Mrs. Wathen
Making Meaningful Family Connections

Making Meaningful Family Connections

Making meaningful family connections is such an important part of teaching, 
but can often be put on the back burner 
due to the increasing workload put on teachers.

One of the reasons I LOVE teaching pre-k is the connection with the families during drop off and pick up. Parents love to hear a little snippet about their child's day! It might be where they played, what they learned or something sweet that they said or did.  And yes, sometimes we need to let a parent know that their child had a difficult day, but we are sure tomorrow will be much better! Always leaving on a positive note makes the parent know you are all in for their child!

We send a monthly newsletter as part of our school initiative to keep parents in the know. This year, I decided to send a weekly "Peek at My Week" which is a half page weekly newsletter that quickly lets parent know what we are learning, important dates and a brief note from the teacher.  I have had several parents share that they LOVE this as they are able to connect to the classroom and SUPPORT the learning that is going on.  I have made  a 52 EDITABLE Weekly Newsletter Templates pack that is available on Teachers Pay Teachers to make it that much easier to connect with families!
Hosting events is a fun way to connect with families on a more personal level.  Our school hosts Family Math and Literacy nights, a Fall Festival and The Pro-Kids Show which promotes social skills in a FUN and ENGAGING way.  In pre-k, we offer a 3 day science time though a grant with our local Orlando Science Center as well as our VPK Spring Fling which includes an egg hunt with HUNDREDS of eggs and rotating stations outside.   


Pre-Kinders LOVE to sing! We have worked hard this year leaning a new song, poem or nursery rhyme each week.  The teacher in me not only adores when they sing, but appreciates all the pre-reading skills they are learning through this! You can find the monthly poems with rebus pictures HERE.  My kids love to interact with the large charts and "play teacher" during the week.

On Fridays, they get a small copy of the poem to put in their poetry journal and practice "reading" and illustrating it.  The REAL MAGIC happens once a month when they take their poetry journals home and SHARE their favorite songs, rhymes and illustrations with their families. The parents OFTEN share how much their children LOVE these songs!
Sharing pictures of their kids is definitely a go-to way to connect with families.  In this digital age, it makes it that much easier to share a little piece of their child's day with them.  There are apps like CLASS DOJO where the parents can sign up for texts from the teachers.  You can send pictures through Class Dojo. You can read more about what Class Dojo has to offer over at A Primary Owl.
One of the easiest way to build connections is by making someone feel appreciated.  Thank You notes are the PERFECT way to show parents you are part of a TEAM!  When I receive a gift, I try to write a personal note to each family.  However, families do TONS of things to help out the classroom every month.  In order to stay on top of it, I print out THANK YOU NOTES with messages already included that I use in a moment's notice.  Parents TRULY appreciate this!
So those are my top 5 ways to build meaningful relationships with parents.
You can use the image below to pin this for future reference!
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Mrs. Wathen
Classroom Helpers Made Easy

Classroom Helpers Made Easy

Note: This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Classroom helpers tend to be a hot topic 
in early childhood classrooms during back to school!
Is there a job chart to match your classroom decor?
Should you have a job for each child in the classroom each day?
How are you going to keep track of it all?

I am here to tell you throw away the job chart!
If you struggle to keep track of all twenty jobs on any given day,

Let me introduce you to... My Little Helper.
Its as simple as TYPE your children's name (YES, it is EDITABLE!),
print on Astrobrights colored paper, 
cut out squares and add them to your  Monthly Calendar Pocket Chart!

My Little Helper does it all!     
He/she is the line leader, calendar helper, Go Noodle song picker 
and just about any other job you can think of!
the door holder.  

So what is one to do?
The door holder is always the second child in line.
When the class line passes, that door holder stays at the END of the line. 
And then the child that is NOW second in line is the next door holder.  

Each month My Little Helper changes to a seasonal helper that compliment 
our monthly Monthly Calendar for the Year with Pattern Cards
 like My Little Snowman or My Little Starfish. 

My students love when the month changes and the new calendar goes up! 
They see immediately when its their turn and  
they are just as excited for their friend's turn each day.

As My Little Helper leads the calendar, we take off the Little Helper tag 
and the child gets to wear it for the day and then bring it home.  
You can tape it right to the child's shirt or slide it in a badge holder necklace.
Some of my sweet friends have even dressed up for their BIG day! 

I have made these editable and am excited to share these with you.
You can head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download 
 September's  My Little Superstar under the preview of the whole pack HERE.
Be sure to click FOLLOW ME on TpT 
 to receive updates on new and coming activities!
My Little Helper AND Monthly Calendar Cards are on SALE through JUNE!

Feel free to use the image below to pin this to your favorite Pinterest board!

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Mrs. Wathen

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