Friday, July 17, 2015

DInosaurs!

The theme for the second week of July was "Dinosaurs". The children are having so much fun in our "summer camp" this year!
 
This week we read: Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
                                        Curious George's Dinosaur Discovery by Margret and HA Reys
                                        The Dinosaur Who Lived in My Backyard by B.G. Hennessy
                                        Detective Dinosaur by James Skofield
                                       The Smallest Stegosaurus by Lynn Sweat

The older children that join my class for Summer Camp do not nap during rest time. They have time in the gym in a small group while my class does. To keep them working on their skills, I make them  packet to bridge their grades.

The games that we played this week at morning meeting were so fun!
We played "Alphabet Catch" with a beanbag. We toss the beanbag around the circle and the kids have to say the next letter in the alphabet. If they drop it, we have to start back at the letter "A". This game helps us work on our communication, because the children have to let the person know that they are going to toss it to them!

We played "I have, who has?" which I originally saw being played in a Montessori class. It's so cool to see the children take over the game and help their friends follow along. Over the past year, I made a few different ones to add to my colors, shapes and Alphabet. I love having the different options now because it keeps the game feeling new and fresh!

We played "Number Ball" with a beanbag. We toss the beanbag around the circle and the kids have to say the next number. We stand in a circle and toss the beanbag across to friends and try to beat our record!

"Pop!" is a really fun game, and definitely a favorite. We stand in a circle and each child says one number as we go around. But each round there is a pop number. Instead of saying that number, you POP! the person that would be next, out. We work very hard on having good sportsmanship, and the kids have fun even if they're out because they know they get to play again in the next round!

"Pass the Vader" is a fun game. It's just like Hot Potato, except we do it with a small stuffed Darth Vader that children gave me this past Valentine's Day. Love it!

The special activities this week were a blast. Exercise is very important, so I thought it would be fun to have some kind of special exercise activity. This week, we brought out the BIG parachute and had fun playing different games. The most challenging, but most fun was trying to turn the parachute into a cave!

Since we are the oldest in the school, our class take over the little school garden. We spent time weeding it and planted all the things we had sprouted in the classroom during our Going Green week.

Every Wednesday my class has sprinkler day. This is always a fan favorite. The children wear their bathing suits and water shoes, run around in a sprinkler outside, and play in a water sensory table. It really helps beat the summer heat!

I LOVE having a movie day in the summer. It gives the kids a chance to relax, wind down and just enjoy themselves. Plus we have snacks and make it feel like the movie theater... who doesn't like going to the movie theater? This week we watched Toy Story.

Bubble day is quickly turning into a favorite. This week we brought out pipe cleaners to make our own wands, and tried to make different shaped bubbles. I created a bubble station with a plastic drink dispenser from Five Below and plastic cups that we rinse and reuse. For the bubble solution, I simply used Dawn dishsoap from the Dollar Tree and water! The children on the whole became very frustrated with me, because they started to suspect that I knew all along that the bubbles would always be circles. =]

Our question of the week was "If you were a dinosaur, would you be an herbivore or a carnivore?" This was a fun question, because it not only reinforced facts about how dinosaurs could be classified, but it also made them think about their favorite foods.

For our theme "Dinosaurs",  we talked about... dinosaurs! In the sensory table, we excavated dinosaurs! I added sand, small rocks and blue glass marbles along with some dinosaur figurines and paint brushes. I saw a really cool way to bring it up a notch. Freezing dinosaurs in water balloons! I t was super easy to do, and the children were fascinated when I added them to the table.

I have a dinosaur match game, check it out here, that I love because it not only has cards with dinosaurs but also has things like claw, horn and footprint. My class loves a good game of memory anytime, and these are nice because the cards are thick and sturdy, not easily bent.

We sang "Big Ol' Dinosaur" to the tune of If You're Happy and You Know It. I found it here.
Oh, I wish I was big ol' dinosaur. Stomp. Stomp.
Oh, I wish I was a big ol' dinosaur. Stomp. Stomp.
Oh, I'd roam day and night, and ROAR with all my might.
Oh, I wish I was a big ol' dinosaur! Stomp. Stomp.

I cut out different small dinosaurs and the children made "rubbings" by placing them under their paper and using crayons.

Using salt dough (I used this recipe) we made dinosaur fossils!! These were so fun to make. I made the salt dough and turned it into small balls. The kids flattened it out a bit and pressed in the dinosaur figurine of their choice. I baked them for like 4 hours at 250 degrees so that they would keep their light color. I sent them home that day and the kids loved them!

I drew pictures of some dinosaurs for the kids to color and cut out. Some of them kept the dinosaurs the same and some mixed them up. It all turned out so cool and they were each so happy with their creations.

The children wrote in their journals about if they like, or do not like, dinosaurs.

In the summer I have elementary children that join my class. While my pre-k students write in their journals, the older children work on a reading response page based on the book that we read at morning meeting.

I made a little board game with construction paper and we used small dinosaur figurines as the playing pieces. I honestly can't remember where I found this game last year, I think it was on Pinterest.

For our second week of the  study "Buildings". This week we focused on the buildings around our school. Since our school is on a busy road, and there are no buildings very close to use, we focused on our own. To start off, we made a map of the school on the white board, working together to remember things to draw on it. then the children made their own.

We compared pictures of our school to different schools. First the children looked at four pictures, and chose two to compare.

As a large group we made a map of our classroom. Then on their own they drew a classroom map.

We compared pictures of different classrooms. I found 4 pictures for the children to look at, and they picked two to compare.

We looked at some road maps, and the children made map art. With markers they drew roads first, and then added buildings. I cut out building shapes from dollar store sponges for the children to use.

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