ABC and 123: A Learning Collaborative: September 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

Feature Yourself Friday: Meet Wendy

I absolutely adore children's books and illustrations! I have a BFA from Ringling School of Art as well as a law degree from the University of Florida. In 2004 I decided to use my art degree and I wrote, illustrated and self-published Little Lilly's Polka Dot World, which is about a fictional character, Little Lilly, who lives in a world filled with polka dots.

The book was placed in Barnes & Noble as well as Books-A-Million. Fast forward a few years later to 2011. I have now developed a fun interactive website for children. It has animation, learning tools, games, activities and a narrated version of the book. The kids seem to love it!! It got a great review by Teachers First where it was recommended for use in the K-1 classrooms as well as at home.

The goal for me is to develop ideas that can be translated into values-based education and entertainment.   I also have a blog which is located at
Please visit!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Using Leaves to Teach Simple Math Concepts

Kinderdi assembled a fall leaf math center.

The Preschool Toolbox suggests a simple idea for using fall leaves to practice one to one correspondence.

Homeschool Parent gathered four links for fall themed math activities.
Mrs. Kilburn's Kiddos has an amazing list of fall books and lesson suggestions including printables to put together this leaf sorting activity.

Use a maple leaf to teach the concept of symmetry.

Practice bar graphing using fall leaves.

The Busy Teacher Cafe mentions measuring leaves to practice using a ruler.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Show and Tell #69

Treasure for Teachers explained a game for practicing spelling words.

Our Creative Day shared a lovely autumn landscape art lesson.

Beneath the Rowan Tree put together a great tutorial for making natural lip balm and personalized labels.

It's your turn!
abc button

Please remember these rules:

~Post an Ah-Ha moment, an experiment, learning game, field trip, whatever you're currently working on, your child's fridge worthy artwork, handmade gifts, or anything holiday related.

~Direct link to your post, not your home page.

~Include a link back to us or our link button in your post.

~If you come back and your link is missing, double check to make sure you've followed the directions!

~Most importantly, please try to visit and comment on at least three links. Spread the comment love and make someone's day!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Movement and Music--in Scotland!!

Today we will be learning about the music and movement in the Scotland!

Hi, this is Jedda from This Little Project.  One of the things that I love about being a musician and a dancer is that it brings me full circle in what I am learning about. It's one thing to read about a place in a book. But if you really want to get to know a people you've got to listen to their music and language and watch (and try!) the movements of their people's dance. That's where you will find a true reflection of a people's traditions and culture.

Since I can't share my personal library with you, I'll be sharing some links online. Some come from youtube, which can be a great resource. Please be cautious and supervise your students/children when they view them.

I have performed Scottish dance in the ghillies before and it is a fun and physical dance.  Check out the links and then try the activities below to learn and experience a little bit of Scotland!

outline map Scotland

These are Scottish Highland dancers in some traditional costume.  Many times, the hands are held in the "stag" hand position while they are in the air.  This resembles the stag antlers of a deer.  It looks like this:

Photo by Stephen's House of Photography

Listen to "Scotland the Brave," the National Anthem of Scotland: 

 Edinburgh Castle with military band:  

 Loch Lomond is a song about a beautiful place in Scotland:

Dancing isn't just for girls.  Watch this Male Highland Sword Dance (begins at :45)

1- Color the Scotland flag and sing along with the National Anthem above.

Flag of Scotland -thumbnail

2- Can you pretend you are a bagpipe player?  Try dressing up and pretending to play the bagpipe while you listen to the song above.  

{coloring page source}

3- Listen to the beat of the music and try to march along with it like those in the band.

4- Try to dance with your hands making a "stag" antler shape like the dancers in the photo and movie above.  Does it seem easy to do?  Do you think these dancers and musicians practice a lot?

Thanks for joining in with me today for some great music and movement! 
I hope that you enjoyed traveling around the world-in the comfort of your own home-to learn about cultures as well as the joy of music and movement and dance with your children and students!

 If you would like more ideas on what you can do to learn and share music with kids, come visit my blog, This Little Project. The first Monday of the month is always about music, or search "Music" for past posts at This Little Project.

If you missed the past countries in this Music and Movement series, here are the links for the other countries we have explored together: MexicoChinaIreland USA, and France

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thematic Teaching: Apples

Teaching Two has several great suggestions for using Apples as a prompt in writing and craft activities.

The Party Dress has some clever ideas for apple shaped goodies.
2 Teaching Mommies put together a roll and fill apple tree math idea as well as apple themed ABC flashcards.
Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten had quite an apple investigation adventure.  This post is full of great inquiry activities.

Frogs, Bees & Under the Seas has an Apple Fun unit available for purchase in her teaching store.

I Can Teach My Child is using apples to show simple graphing concepts for preschool age children.

The Decorated Cookie brings marshmallow new meaning after s'more season by making them in to adorable apples.

Toddler and Preschool Activities has submtited a lesson plan entitled, Apple Pickin' TimeIt is a toddler and preschool lesson that includes Bible Time, Theme, Letter Skills, Number Skills, Math, Shapes, Color, Art, Story Time, Music, Game Time, Snack, and suggested field trip ideas.  This lesson plan could be completed over the course of a week.

Mrs. Kilburns Kiddos has put together an apple themed math and literacy packet that is available for purchase through Teachers Paying Teachers.
Teacher Bits and Bobs has shared an Apple Picking Sentence Scramble game ideal for early elementary age children.

These apple lollipops from Meet the Dubiens look delicious.  By the way, be ready!  You are going to love everything on this site.

Blog She Wrote posted about their family fun with apple stamping.

Tara from Itty Bitty Bookworm guest posted an Apples Everywhere book and cooking activity.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Falling into Sensory Play

I love this time of the year here in Florida. We have the best of both worlds; cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon. I know it's confusing for fashion, but for a girl that does not like cold weather, it's my cake and pie, too!

It also causes a creative fever for teachers and so today my Taylor and I put on our sweaters and went exploring on our property for all things turning fall for a sensory box to add to my classroom. You can go cheap with these things and they keep kids exploring and engaged!

We started with a  cardboard box that held drinks and added rocks to the box.

Then we began to explore the back field where we began to find some things fallish. It's hard here at this time of the year, but we found what we needed.

It doesn't take long before our box is full and I have to stop myself from adding any more. If you are able to take your children on a nature walk to find all things fall, this is a great hands-on activity that teaches exploration, scientific thinking, classification and much more.

All in all my new sensory bin for the week didn't cost me a thing except a beautiful walk in the yard with my daughter, which I'm willing to pay.

Keep in mind that sensory play is one of the most extraordinary tools you can use in an early childhood classroom. It is calming, focus-effective and introduces or enhances spatial awareness for children.

The end result is beautiful and I can't wait to take it and share it with my little kiddos!

Until Next Time, Go Teach The Children!

Bilingual Wednesdays-Falling vocabulary

Fall is here and we can take advantage of this teachable moment to learn some fall related words in Spanish.

Are you ready? Get some stuff to talk about Fall, you can use pics of some like crow, squirrel and real props like dried leaves, corn, pumkin and acorns.

Let children talk about the pics, ask questions such as 
  • What's this?
  • Where did you find it?
  • What colour is this?
  • What animal is this?
Tell children they will learn the Spanish form of these words:

Squirrel / Ardilla
Leaf / Hoja
Acorn / Bellota
Crow / Cuervo
Corn / MaĆ­z
Pumpkin / Calabaza

Invite them to pick up one card and say the word in English and Spanish. Model first. 
Ask children to clap the word, stomp the word, cheers the word, whisper the word, dance the word...and then let them "write" the words using the tiles in the cards.

To prepare the letter tiles you just need to print, cut and laminate them.

Stay tuned! I will be adding more bilingual stuff for Fall.

You can download files in my blog. 

Happy Fall you all!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Show and Tell #68

Skip counting can sometimes be a tricky concept for students to catch on to.  My Homeschool Tale put together a useful skip count chart download helping your children.

Alison, from Oopsey Daisy, put together a great Roll a Jack O' Lantern game to practice body parts and counting skills.  She really did a lovely job creating and explaining the game!

Primary Junction explains all the pieces of a great lesson on teaching early readers to count syllables.

It's your turn!
abc button

Please remember these rules:

~Post an Ah-Ha moment, an experiment, learning game, field trip, whatever you're currently working on, your child's fridge worthy artwork, handmade gifts, or anything holiday related.

~Direct link to your post, not your home page.

~Include a link back to us or our link button in your post.

~If you come back and your link is missing, double check to make sure you've followed the directions!

~Most importantly, please try to visit and comment on at least three links. Spread the comment love and make someone's day!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Teaching with Ticia: phonemic awareness

One of the great ways to learn to read is through phonemic awareness.  Back when I was teaching I got to see several "master lessons" based on phonemic awareness.  One of their suggestions was taking rhymes and songs we all know and creating your own version.

I still remembered this lesson and started doing this with my kids.  Their favorite song to do this with is the old Raffi song "Down by the Bay."  They love to take turns making up the silliest rhymes they can come up with.

So, I've created a printable and this week we're going to be making our own version of "Down by the Bay," you know where my mother will say, "Have you ever seen a ghost making a boast?"
Down by the Bay Where the Watermelons Grow

Yes, it's very silly, and my kids love it.  I foresee this being a very popular book in our house.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monster Trucks: Thematic Learning for Preschoolers

Whimsical Ways uses monster trucks to make colorful paintings.

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten has put together a monster truck game to practice CVC (consonant/vowel/consonant) words.

Oh, My! Do I know a little guy who would love this amazing monster truck cake my JessiCakes.  Although the tire is probably as far as I would get before I gave up on the baking process.

1+1+1=1 has offered a free download of a monster truck preschool pack.