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About Me
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Mrs. Ben (Bendixsen)


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Friday, September 26, 2014

Chicka, Chicka ABC

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Chicka Chicka Boom Large Group:
Each student gets to pick a card with a letter on it.We are going to read the book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and as we read their letter, they get to come and tape it on our coconut tree. After we read the book, we have a fast, fun song version of the book that we dance to.

Apple, Apple, A, A, A Large Group:
We have a book with pictures and music based on the song in this music video (called, "Do You Know These Letter Sounds?"):

We love it because it teaches letter recognition and sounds through music and the students love listening and signing to it with us. During our large group, we will sing this song with our picture book of letters and then sing it again with each student's name (example: Cleone, Cleone, C, C, C) using the letter cards.

If you would like a copy of these letter cards, here is the link (Link to Full Size Alphabet). They are on 8x11.5 paper but you can print four to a page if you would like them smaller. I also uploaded the shapes we used a couple weeks ago if you would like a copy of those as well (Link to Shapes from the week of September 8-11).

Small Group Literacy Activity

Friday, September 19, 2014

How Does Your Engine Run and Let it Go

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How Does Your Engine Run: This large group is based on a therapy program that helps children learn how to regulate their bodies. We have a chart with color coded areas for high (fast), medium, and low (slow). Students will get to put pictures on each one and choose something for us to practice doing as a class at that speed (e.g. patting knees). We talk about where the speed is good for (e.g. fast on the playground or park, medium at small group or when eating, slow when it's bedtime) and will use the verbiage to generalize the behavior across multiple settings to help students regulate themselves.

Tigger moves fast & crazy, Pooh moves medium and Eyeore moves slow.

Let it Go: We did this large group last year and students LOVED it. It's developed around our curriculum but highly based on student's interests. I didn't think we'd do it again since the movie came out last year and it may not be as exciting. That being said, we have been listening to a preschool station on Pandora during worktime and every time a Frozen song comes on, especially "Let it Go", many of the students have gotten super excited so we are doing it again. We will watch a short clip of this video:

Then we will pass out instruments and let the student's play along to it with us. We'll move our instruments high, low, in the, fast, slow and 'just right'. Afterwards we will get out the scarfs and let them dance and sing to the video (the one we watched today):

If there's still extra time, we will probably dance to a few more songs, encouraging singing and making a variety of dance patterns.

Bubble Wrap Painting
Wiki Stick People Gone Angry Bird Style

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Shape Monster

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"Shape Monster, Shape Monster, How about a Circle for your lunch?"
During large group, we ask each student what they want the shape monster to eat. We put in the shapes as they say their names, giving a visual model as needed. Then each student is given a shape to hold. We then chant "Shape Monster, Shape Monster, Munch, Munch Munch! How about a ________ for your lunch?" As we say the names of each shape, the students holding it come up and put the shape in the monster's mouth.

"Circle, Circle, What do you See?"
"... I see a blue rectangle looking at me." For this large group, we chant a version of Bill Martin's Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? story. We stop at the end of the verse and the students get to look around the room and see if they can spy that shape. If you would like a copy of these shapes or more information on this group, it's on Melissa's blog (our SLP last year): Click here for the Shape Story.

If you wonder how we decide what to do for small and large group activities, first we look at what the students need based on our curriculum (called the Key Developmental Indicators (KDIs)). Then we decide an activity that teaches these KDIs based on what their interests are then make sure it's planned out to meet the structure of the curriculum (adult-facilitated and guided but room for student growth and discovery at multiple levels). For example, the small group 'playdough tracks'. The KDI is 'Classification' which is under the area of Science & Technology. Many of the student's have loved playing in the playdough and discovered that it was fun to make prints in it with different objects, especially cars during worktime. During small group, they can continue doing this but there will be an adult labeling, encouraging and even helping them 'graph' the different types of tracks they see (big, small, same, different, bumpy etc.).

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Germs and Statues

We read books at snack everyday, however this is a favorite we'll
be doing activities with at small group this week.
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This up coming week we have some fun activities!

Germs Large Group: We will be taking about washing our hands. We do a lot of it in preschool and so we want everyone to know why and how. We'll open up with when we wash our hands and why. We'll sing the song If Your Hands are Dirty and You Know It. (to the tune of If Your Happy and You Know It). We'll spread some germs (glitter) by shaking each other's hands and then sing "Tops and Bottoms" (to the tune of Are You Sleeping") while practicing with 'magic soap' (foam hand sanitizer) and then we'll wash and dry them at the sink. While we wait for everyone to sit back down we'll sing If Your Hands are Dirty and You Know It and let the students pick times to wash their hands.

If Your Hands are Dirty and You Know It:

If your hands are dirty and you know it,
Wash your hands!
If your hands are dirty and you know it,
Wash your hands!
If your hands are dirty and you know it,
Then there are lots and lots of germs,
If your hands are dirty and you know it,
Wash your hands!

If you sneeze on your hands,
Wash your hands!
If you sneeze on your hands,
Wash your hands!
If you sneeze on your hands,
Then there are lots and lots of germs,
If you sneeze on your hands,
Wash your hands!

Tops and Bottoms:
Tops and Bottoms, tops and bottoms
In-between, in between.
All around our hands, all around our hands,
Makes them clean, makes them clean.

Statues Large Group: This a favorite of past students and is great not only for motor-control but for creativity, following directions including stopping and going. We have some fun pictures of statues from around the world including animals to give us some ideas. Then we dance to a few different songs where the music freezes for a few seconds. Each student gets a chance to decide what we should freeze like as a class and we throw in some 'free style' as well.

Milk Star Shooters Small Group: We did this activity a couple of times last year because the students loved it so much and it was a great science experiment. 

The ingredients include milk, food coloring and dish detergent. When the grease-cutting soap hits the milk, it causes it to shoot out, even more visible to the eye when food coloring is added. For those not familiar with it, here is a video of one of the student's doing it: 

Here is the 'extender' activity since the experiment doesn't last too long. Blowing bubbles is not only fun for experimenting but great for developing stronger oral-motor skills.