Visit our "Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012 Sale" available at both of our online stores.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
New Year: Curriculum Essentials for Math, Literacy & More: Featuring Clocks Calendar and New Year's Fun
Celebrate the new year the academic way. Check out our new thematic unit today. All scripted lessons are linked to common core standards.
Posted by Kathy Crane at 3:16 PM
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Constructive Design at the Art Center is more than just a finished project. This important component of the early years is a powerful learning tool. What things can be accomplished there? Well here are but a few:
- Develops fine motor skills
- Builds oral language skills
- Allows practice with geometry and practice analyzing, comparing, creating and composing shapes
- Builds visual imaging and cognition
- Strengthens spatial reasoning skills
- Fosters creativity
- Builds concentration and focusing skills
- Fosters intrinsic rewards
- Allows for problem solving
- Builds ability to take risks
- Develops an imagination
- Allows for stories to extend and flow
- Empowers play and storytelling
- And on and on..
The following photos are our latest design projects. These are not glyphs. Although I am not totally opposed to glyphs, I feel that it truly limits the constructive design possibilities. These projects are created by the child’s own imagination, looking at illustrations, studying finished products, watching other student’s creations in development, and/or looking at real photographs.
Posted by Kathy Crane at 6:39 PM
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
For years I have taught young learners the joys of written expression. I have developed a technique that is a "magic bullet" of sorts when it comes to writing. With this technique, a simple line is used to materialize each word. This technique is based on the theories of Vygotsky and Elkoin. It helps children learn to plan their writing and visualize words and sentences. This approach has been field-tested in my classroom and that of colleagues, and has shown amazing results.
Visit my TPT store to check out “Writing to Read in the Early Years.” For only $3.00 you get a proven method for early writing success.
Soon you will enjoy hearing the stories of students such as Mark. “I like sex. I love sex. I am so glad that I am sex! 5 was boring."
Posted by Kathy Crane at 10:13 PM
Monday, December 12, 2011
The Bear's Great Adventure!
A Christmas Play in 4 Acts.
After a lot of hard work by eager 5 and 6 year olds, our program turned out to be a great success. My colleague and I have been doing this program for 15 years (30 productions), and yes, it has never been the same twice. We never know who is going to have a meltdown caused by severe stage fright (Santa Claus this year), who is going to scream the words at the top of his/her voice, who will find the world is his/her stage, or who will cry endlessly because they cannot see mama (even thought she is on the front row). But we do know that this is a play that delights and brings joy to the kids and parents alike. For the first time ever we are sharing the script to this play on our TPT store. We include with it many tips and hints for success.
One thing that we really like about the play is that 3 of the acts are non-Christmas. Consequently it is friendly for students of all religions. It is the story of 4 little Bears who take a winter walk and have an adventure along the way. Act 1: The Woods; Act 2: Mother Goose Land; Act 3: Winter Wonderland; Act 4: The North Pole.
Posted by Kathy Crane at 8:10 PM
Friday, December 2, 2011
It is time for our December Freebie!
This game will have your "Little Elves" dancing as they quickly learn or review alphabet letters.
Click on the picture to be directed to the free download!
Also enjoy 15% off this weekend at our TPT store.
Posted by Kathy Crane at 8:50 AM
Thursday, December 1, 2011
The Drama Center is a great way to build vocabulary and increase reading comprehension. This week we have finished our bear unit with the fable “The Three Bears!” (It is amazing how many students have never heard this story-- All the more reason to do it)
After reading two versions of the book and doing a compare and contrast activity, we made a story map. Using this map, we developed our story element wall using cooperative efforts! The children were very proud, especially the group that made Goldilocks. They made her so large because she was such a big problem in the story.
Next, we used the elements of the story to design the 3 Bear Cottage in our playhouse. It is finally put together. Tomorrow will be the first day of play in the center. I will add those pictures later.
The students will reconstruct the sequence of the story, retell the story, use the vocabulary in the story, and more as they learn in a child’s authentic way--play!
My playhouse changes into something new about every three weeks, the children love it! In fact, last year I received a great thank you from a student that had moved across the country following his kindergarten year. The letter was very touching as he listed the things he would never forget about kindergarten. Yes, you guessed it, the playhouse changing into new things was number 1 (He even listed them all).
There has been a trend to throw out the dramatic play in kindergarten. Please do not give in! The house is critical to a child’s development and a great place to practice academic, social, emotion, verbal, and cognitive skills.
Posted by Kathy Crane at 10:47 PM