2011 has been an exciting year! We had our son Ethan who is growing so quickly! We did some more work to our house and will continue to work on it in 2012. My husband started his new job and we have had the opportunity to reconnect with friends! I also began bloggin this year. It has been fun and exciting! Break has been restful and fun. Unfortunately, also very busy. I have not had the opportunity to make lots of new activities, but I plan on making some this up coming week. I still have off! Yay! One more week to spend with my little one! One activity I did create was matching letters to form a word. We will be doing this activity as a whole group and then we will do it in centers. This activity will teach my students how to match and learn some letters if they are ready (some just need to work on matching!) and I will also show the students how to read from left to right. Another skill that many do not know. I am lucky if they hold the book the correct way right now! Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012! I will continue to post some new books and such using either Scrappin' Doodles or KPM Doodles. So some activities will be coming soon! :)

This past week was fun and busy at school. We finished up our presents for the parents and had our party on Wednesday. I took some pictures of the fun things that we do in December.
We sing Raffi's Must Be Santa and act it out. Picture clues are used to help the kids know the actions.

We did a counting activity using the small ornaments at Target. The counting mats are from http://prekinders.com/christmas-theme/.

The kids love this poem and acting it out.

I used foam glitter trees also from Target for the 5 trees poem.

We made santas and stockings. There are 2 stockings laced together.

The other ECSE class made these fun reindeer.
Heading back to work was definitely more challenging than I anticipated! Trying to balance work,spending as much time with Ethan and just getting ready for the holidays has made the last few weeks insanely busy and exhausting! It has been good to see my little ones at school though! I did miss them and missed being at work some. We made a parent gift today. We decorated frosting lids. I cut a hole at the top and put some string through to be able to hang it and I am currently uploading my kids pictures and will put that on the other side of the frosting lid. I will add a picture of the completed ornament tomorrow. I need to get the pics developed. I also created a playdough mat that we will be using at the holiday party this coming Wednesday. We are also going to be making some reindeer chow at the party. I will have to make some adjustments to it as I need to watch out for peanut allergies. I am definitely looking forward to break beginning at the end of next week!

While cleaning the house I was about to recycle the formula container, but then realized this container would be great for sorting and fine motor practice. Since I currently only have one I thought you could cut a slit in the lid and put buttons or coins in the slit for fine motor practice. You could also add pictures for sorting coins or buttons by size. I will have to begin to collect the empty formula containers.
This year I amlooking forward to the holidays more than I have any other year because it will be Ethan's first turkey day and Christmas. I start back to work this coming Monday. I am looking forward to seeing my little ones, but will be super sad to be leaving Ethan at my parents (but at least my parents are able to watch him in December!). With the holidays approaching I have created another few whole group activities or if you children are able to work independently these activities can be used for that too.
This particular activity can be done a few different ways. The children can be given a set of numbers 1-10 and you place the fish on the penguin and the students will have to hold up the appropriate number or you can provide one student at a time with a number and they can place that many fish on the penguin. Another variation, which I will be doing with my morning class is that each child will be given one colored fish.I will call a color and the child with that particular color will come up and put the fish on the penguin.

I will be adding a couple of whole or small group snowman activities soon when I can get the pieces completed. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!!
Today I went and visited school and I must say I am 1.not ready to go back and 2. nervous about all that I have to do- getting my room back in order, completing report cards for conferences, and getting my kids in order! Also, getting through parent teacher conferences and scheduling child studies. So much to do and will have very limited time when I return to get all of these things completed. For now I just need to remember to focus on Ethan and spending my last full week with him. Anyways, before my little one was born I had made some whole group games to be played while I was gone and for when I return.

Turkey Game. The morning kids will be asked to pick a colored feather and attach it to the turkey. I will be adding velcro to hold the feathers in place. On the back of the feathers are letters that will be done with my afternoon class. So this is very versatile.

ABC Feathers-
Colored Feathers-
Penguin Counting Mats
Well, we have a new addition to our family! Ethan Matthew. He was born on October 17th, 2011 at 7:55pm. He weighed 5 lbs 14 oz and was 20 inches long. He is our pride and joy. Since I am on maternity leave until Nov. 28th I have made some things to do with my little ones that will be good for winter and the holidays.

Ordering Reindeer

I did get this idea from another blog, which I do not know right off hand but will find out.

Where is the Snowflake
Penguin Fish Counting
The counting mats are inspired from prekinders.com.
My little ones need lots of practice with positional words!
I will upload a picture of the penguins we create once we do this activity, but this goes at the bottom of the penguins. The kids create their own penguin, pull out a number card and put that many fish stickers on their penguin.

Holiday AB Patterns
Complete the ab pattern.

Where's the Marshmallow

A number game.

Color Snowflakes

Feed the Penguin
Brown Reindeer Brown Reindeer
Where's the Marshmallow ABC
This is all for now but there is more to come. Enjoy! :)
With Halloween approaching and my due date (Oct. 24th) I have been having the urge to be more crafty and make things. Maybe it is my nesting instict kicking in. Well, today I created a couple of sorting mats that need to be laminated for my kids to do that are Halloween related. My little ones in the morning need lots and lots of fine motor support this year so I have been creating some fine motor games as well.
Here is one of the sorting mats. I got the foam pieces from Michaels. I bagged 3 pieces of each of the 4 pictures to be sorted into separate baggies.
Here is the second sorting mat. For my little ones I will place a piece on the mat first to assist them, but for my older preschoolers I will try to have them sort the pieces completely independently.

The fine motor game I created today was four panera bread cups I covered in scrapbook paper and cut up the large straws into smaller pieces. Children place the straws or pom-poms or other manipulative into the container. This can be made into a more challenging activity by having someone hold the cup sideways and children insert the manipulative from the side (Thanks Ms. Nancy for the suggestion!).

Early next week I will post a couple of the other fine motor activities we will be doing this week. :)
As my second year teaching preschool special ed. I have made some changes to accomodate my students needs as much as possible. The behavior chart I created I have included a happy face so the students know what that they want to work their way up and the pictures of the thinking chair and what they could potentially miss for poor behavior is included.
I had the kids make their birthday crowns the second day of school. This is to help me remember when their birthdays are and also it is fun and personal to them.
I color-coded my classroom rules so as to differentiate each rule and there are pictures to code what they should be doing.

A picture schedule made on Boardmaker is another change I made. I pull each thing off as we accomplish it.

I am also making a schedule for one of my autistic students that contains real pictures that will be more personal to him. The laminator was down today so I am hoping to get that created tomorrow.
Lastly, I have created jobs for my afternoon class. Last year, I had a special helper and I will continue to do that daily, but this will be anice addition. I am introducing the jobs this week.
After a very crazy beginning of the week with bussing issues persisting (kids not being dropped off at the proper place or being placed on the correct bus). Also, with the morning class list changing way more than I can keep up with it! I have gone from 12 to 9 to 10 kids. What tomorrow's count will be who knows? Admist all this I am attempting to complete Brigance testing on my little ones that are new and get all of that data entered into the computer.
Well, I have created a new behavior chart inspired by others in my building and from other bloggers. I have included pictures of what they will miss at each spot as well. That is not pictured yet, but should be upon the next post.
Well, tomorrow I finally get to meet my kids! Yay! It is going to be a very interesting year as the morning class is mostly 2.5 years old, but I also have a couple of older 4's. We shall see how this goes. While trying to get prepared for my maternity leave I needed something for the first week of October which we will be talking about pumpkins.

Where is the Pumpkin

To make this all you need to construction paper and Velcro. I typed up the students names in comic sans (two per page-one at the top and one at the bottom) and printed off a copy. Run it through the copier and put it onto construction paper. I then laminated the page, cut out the letters at the bottom and attached Velcro on the back. Attach Velcro underneath and you have name matching task for your kiddos.

I am definitely eager and ready to go back! I have been in my room on and off for the last two weeks and this coming week we have preschool screeners and I will be finding out who will be in my morning class for this year!

Every year I feel like parents do not call to notify me, the office, or transportation of students being sick or not attending school. So I have created a blank magnet label that you put on a magnet and parents are able to keep so that they do not misplace our phone numbers.
Blank Magnet Labels

It is hard to believe that summer is just about over! I will be heading into the classroom tomorrow to begin getting some things set-up. I am extremely anxious this year as I am expecting in October and I want to make sure that everything is super organized and ready for when my sub comes! Wish me luck! From seeing all the other fun blogs going on I created my own ABC boxes as Kathryn did at kindergarten, kindergarten blog did. I found some small things from my barbie stuff that is still sitting in the basement. I will be using this during centers. Many of my students are in my classroom because of speech and language reasons so I will be discussing the objects with them and providing them with magnifying glasses to investigate the objects more closely.
I also created a couple of Halloween activities since I will be on maternity leave at that point. I created a "counting" bat. Students will draw a number and put that many clothespins on the bat. Originally the idea was for addition but I made it a little more simple. Also, I created a Miss Spider matching shapes. My students always need lots of practice on shape identification and matching, especially at the beginning of the year!
Counting Bat
Miss Spider Matching Shapes

After being inspired by all the other fun pre-K and Kindergarten blog sites with all there fun activities and ideas I have decided to begin my own blog. I have not seen a lot of sites for Early Childhood Special Ed. and many of the ideas from pre-K and K can be used but have to be simplified so I am hoping to share some of my simplifications and ideas in my ECSE classroom. :)
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