Sunday, January 22, 2012

Penguin math day -preschool style

This is last years plans... here is part 2, this years materials. 

It wasn't the letter P, but it was a math day and I had some penguin math I wanted to do so I went with that. It was really the letter L and the craft was the letter L with leaf stickers. We had so much fun that no one minded that I went with my own theme. Who wants to do leaves in January?

I read this book, 365 Penguins but did some editing as the math got a little hard and some paraphrasing as the moral got uber environmental.  I kept it friendly and fun and left out the part about illegally smuggling penguins because of melting icecaps.  Other than that, it worked.  It was funny and I'll use it again.

I left the poster that I used with these numbered penguins at school so it didn't get in the picture. It was just a poster board with a 5x4 grid and velrco pieces which these pieces stuck.  The penguin cards are from (I think) 1+1+1=1 but I took some liberties with them to get them to count to 20.  I couldn't find the link to these, but found these others, which might have worked even better for me.

It looked like the one I used here with Chrismtas pieces.   I had all the pieces on to start.  Then we made some observations about the numbers, the direction they went, how we started the next line on the left side, how both 10 and 20 as well as 5 and 15 were on end spots, etc.  The kids didn't notice the colored pattern on the penguins, but we did do some work with patterning with the Christmas set.  Then I took them all down and passed them out.  I had the kids reassemble the chart in order without direction (much anyway) from me. They did great,  they love doing hard math work on their own!  Finally, with two or three numbers at a time I replaced the number card with their pictures.  Then, the child whose picture was in place of a number had to tell what number was missing.  Using their pictures allowed me to choose who would have to name what number.  I'm sneaky like that.

Then we worked on a class book.  This was probably everyone's favorite part of the day.  The first five pages talk about specific penguins and their height.  All of my penguin clipart and measurements came from the seaworld penguin website

The rest of the pages read "______is _____ then the ______ penguin."  I had five paper penguins drawn to scale and taped on the wall.  The kids chose one to stand in front of and we completed a page for them. 

Here's my Lou (he comes over after class and helps me clean up- and enjoys a snack).  His page would read, Lou is taller than the king penguin."  or,  Lou is the same size as the emperor penguin."  Then, I glued each child's picture to their page and laminated them.  That laminator might just be the most used piece of equipment at my house!

Here's another friend, just to show some of the other penguins.  (Our leader mom had some things on the counter I should have moved for the pictures.  We don't usually have pop sitting out- but we do have to live with those sponge painted walls!)

We also went carpet iceskating on wax paper. They loved it. I don't have a picture of my class doing it, but here's Bee and Lou wax paper skating at our house last year. 

I played the song "Hang on Little Tomato" by Pink Martini and the kids have been requesting it since.  I enjoy listening to it also, so I oblige.  It's instrumental all except for the last few lines.  I am not sure what the words are really about but I've listened a few times to make sure it was appropriate and I think it's fine.

We also played this fun game with paper fish with numbers and a hungry toy penguin with a little frying pan.  I laid out 2-4 fish with different numbers and had them choose the fish with the largest number.  They placed it in the frying pan and the penguin cooked it up.  There were lots of cooking sound effects and chef talk from the prnguin. This worked out well since I was able to choose larger numbers for some kids or smaller numbers with fewer choices for the kids who needed it.  Just like any classroom, we have kids all over the place academically.  The fish shapes are just googled clipart. 

I had this 'roll a penguin' just in case we needed it.  It's a freebie from Rowdie in First Grade.  We did find a few minutes at the end of the day for it.  I blew up a larger penguin on the copier so that I would have one to do as well.  I also programed our dice with numeral so we had to match it with the dots on the page.

We have a class that really can't handle too much unstructured time without guidance.  A handful of our boys seem to be having the 'testosterone surge' that Dr. James Dobson describes in Bringing up Boys.  There is this little pocket of time in the day when we come back from playing on the playground or from the gym if it's cold and then parents come to pick up.  There's 5 minutes there and then parents come to pick up in about a 10 minute window.  The kids need to be on task, but something that they can leave easily from.  I like playing a game that they can take with them and finish at home if their parents come in the first wave.

The sensory box has been the least favorite this year.  The cotton ball don't seem to be as fun for pouring and stirring.  I will go back to beans and things. 

The craft for the day was not penguin related since I did this on my own, but there are so many great penguin crafts out there.  Pinterest has too many to even choose a favorite!

 Edited to add:  I just came across this book at the library and I'll use it in the future.  It has great photos inside.  It's Penguins 123 by Kevin Schafer.

Again, here's part 2.

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