Friday, July 24, 2015


The theme for the third week of July was "The Zoo". The children are having so much fun in our "summer camp" this year!

This week we read: The Perfect Tail by Mie Araki
                                        Splat the Cat and the Cool School Trip by Rob Scotton
                                        A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
                                        Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire
                                        Curious George Feeds the Animals by Margret & HA Rey

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 "Find the Clothespin". I found this game on KindergartenSmorgasboard, and I thought it just sounded so fun! While the children are not peeking, I hide a clothespin one myself, on a child or somewhere close around us. When they look for it, they can't yell out where it is, they put their finger on their nose! They have so much fun searching.

We played "Crocodile Snap". I found the idea for this game last year and adapted it to be my own. I turned a box into a crocodile with bulletin and construction paper, then filled it with little cards that have a letter, number or shape on them. The children have to reach into the crocodile's mouth (while he's sleeping of course), pull out a card and name what's there. Also hidden in the belly of the crocodile though are SNAP cards (the crocodile wakes up and SNAPS his mouth shut!). Once we pull three SNAP cards, the game is over!

We played "1,2,3" which we have played before and is definitely a fan favorite! We stand in a circle and each child says 1,2 or 3 consecutive numbers starting with 1 up to 9. So for example: "1,2,3" "4" "5,6" "7,8,9" and the next child who would have to say 10 sits down and is out of the round. Then it starts back at one. My class really loves this one, and usually if we play it in the morning, I will hear them in centers or at their lunch tables playing their own facilitated versions of the game.

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!

The special activities this week were a blast. Bubble day is quickly turning into a favorite. This week we tried to make the biggest bubbles possible. It was so neat to see the Eureka moment when the children discovered that blowing gently created larger results. 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 dish soap from the Dollar Tree and water! 

Exercise is very important, so I thought it would be fun to have some kind of special exercise activity. This week, we did Yoga! Cosmic Kids Yoga on Youtube has great videos that the children love.

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!

Since we are the oldest in the school, our class take over the little school garden. We spent time weeding it. Most of our sprouts did not make it.. so I purchased a few flowers and small vegetable plants to plant. Fingers crossed!

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 Monsters Inc.

Our question of the week was "What is your favorite animal at the zoo?"

For our theme "Zoo",  we talked about animals at the zoo! I made this zoo game with a large piece of construction paper. Add some small zoo animal figurines, a dice and some excited kids and we get a super fun time!

We sang "We're Going to the Zoo" to the tune of farmer in the dell.
(C) 2001 - 2011 Jean Warren

On Pinterest I found this great zoo flap book that the children created!

I made pages of a few different habitats and three animals that live in each one. As small groups, the children worked together to correctly put the animals in their homes. The kids felt like the Kratt Brothers while they were doing this. Our class LOVES their show!

Using shapes cut out from different colors of construction paper, the children created their own zoo animal. I adapted this from this monster activity that I found on Pinterest. I love that it is a project that really is all about the process, and the kids were so happy with their finished products!

The children wrote in their journals about what they see at the zoo.

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.

For our third week of the  study "Buildings" we focused on the people that build buildings and how they do. The children made a class book filled with illustrations of Construction Sites.

My assistant teacher brought in a toolbox for the children to explore tools. They felt them, picked them up and asked questions about them.

The class had a discussion of who the different people were that built various parts of our classroom; plumber, electrician, general contractor.

I emptied out my sensory table and added unifix cubes and pieces of construction paper. The children worked in small groups to build different height buildings and create a Unifix city.

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