So, I plunged in to our church's vacation bible school and had the experience of being a preschool "guide." Our church did stations, so in essence, I became a sheep herder/songstress/bathroom escort, etc. for 12 little ones. I dug deep for songs and games that would be appropriate for 3-4 year olds (five little monkeys....bed and alligator/crocodile versions were a hit!). It was quite the experience! Let's just say there were days I came home and took a nap! Fortunately, it was from 9-12 each day.
I think I'll stick with my second graders, but it HAS given me more confidence to one day explore first grade....but not yet.
Our theme this year was ocean-based and I wanted to share some really cute ideas we did this week!
One of the stations was "creative snacks." There were two that really stood out that I want to somehow build into an ocean theme in my room. The first was "sushi." Take a large marshmallow and place a gummy fish (in this case, the fish were sliced in half) on it...top or side. Then, take a fruit strip (like a Fruit Rollup) and wrap it around the marshmallow. It was a hit with the kids!
The second was a clam/oyster. Take two vanilla wafer cookies. We used pink icing (vanilla with red food coloring) on one side of the cookie and placed a mini-marshmallow in the front (the pearl). Then, place the other vanilla wafer on top, so that it rests the back on the icing of the bottom cookie and the front on the marshmallow (open mouth). Add mini chocolate chips to the top as eyes. It was adorable!
The other, simple yet a bit hit with the kids (maybe it was the sprinkles). Blue icing (vanilla with blue food coloring) on graham crackers. Add graham goldfish and sprinkles (coral reef).
I really wish I had taken my camera with me! I hope my descriptions were enough....at some point, I may make these with my kids again this summer and post pictures on here or Pinterest (or both!). There were some cute crafts as well, but I'll save that for another post.
I recently came across an idea that's probably old, but it was new to me! I have done math centers and small group math for years (and trust me, the Investigations series we use does not gear well towards small groups, but I force it anyway...I can't stand teaching whole group math when I know I've lost half my little learners 5 minutes into the lesson!). I was delighted when I came across the concept of "BUILD." It's a great way to organize my centers, rather than putting out a themed basket with the previous and current units.
BUILD stands for:
Learning About Numbers
Adventures In Teaching has a great description of this, and First Grade Frog Blog actually has a sample of her centers. It's become another summer project (do we EVER give ourselves a break from teaching? Nope, probably not!). I'm building an EXCEL sheet to organize my Investigations games as well as math centers I've found and/or created for at least the first unit of the series. I'll be sure to post it as soon as it's finished! So, if you're looking for a way to organize your centers, this is a GREAT way to do it! Be sure to check the blogs mentioned above...they were a big help!
Stay cool...we reached triple digits today :( I'm hoping this current heat wave won't last long! It's making those 90 degree days seem better and better!