ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: Feature Yourself Friday: Meet Vanessa

Friday, October 1, 2010

Feature Yourself Friday: Meet Vanessa

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I'm Vanessa Levin from Pre-K Pages and I'm excited to be included in Feature Yourself Friday! My passion is creating developmentally appropriate activities for young children with an emphasis on fun, hands-on learning. My journey in early childhood education has spanned two continents, three states, and more than 18 years. In 2001, I created a website called Pre-K Pages for the parents of the students in my classroom. Over the years, it has evolved into a teacher resource website and blog featuring information on topics such as literacy, math, themes and much more.

Since it's now officially fall I thought I would highlight a few of my favorite fall ideas for you here.

pumpkin letter matching mat
This one is simple to make but loads of fun for little ones. Cut a piece of orange construction paper into the shape of a pumpkin and trace magnetic letters on the shape with a pen. The objective is for the child to visually discriminate or match the magnetic letters to the correct outline. Being able to identify the differences and similarities between letters is an important part of the early literacy process.

trick-or-treat alphabet game
This game is called "Trick-or-Treat". First, cut out twenty-seven pumpkin shapes and write one letter on each shape with a black marker. You can choose to use upper or lowercase letters depending on your child's ability level. Write the phrase "Trick-or-Treat” on one shape and place all shapes in a Trick-or-Treat container. If you have a small group of children seat them in a circle and play Halloween music as they pass the container around the circle. When the music stops the child who is holding the container closes his eyes, takes a shape out of the container, and identifies the letter. If a child selects the “Trick-or-Treat” card all the children get to say “Trick-or-Treat” loudly and the child who selected the card puts their cards back in the container. Keep playing until all children have had a turn or all shapes are gone. If you are playing this game with only one child you can participate in the game with your child to add suspense and excitement.

fire counting party plates
Don't forget that October is national Fire Prevention Month. This activity is a sure hit with all little boys! It requires some fire truck party plates, a black marker, and little firefighter figures from the dollar store. Write one number on each party plate with the black marker. Depending on the age and ability level of your child you can use as few as 3 plates or as many as 10, just make sure you have enough firefighter figures. The objective of this activity is for the child to recognize the written numerals and place the correct amount of firefighter figures on each plate.

If you enjoyed these ideas you can find more fun activities for teaching and learning with young children on my website, Pre-K Pages. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.


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