Ready, Set, Kindergarten!

Ready, Set, Kindergarten! — Dinosaurs

When I told the kids our theme this week there were many excited gasps. Dinosaurs are big with the preschool set!

I went over our items of the week (Color: Green; Shape: Diamond; Letter: C; Number: 20). The flash cards I got at the dollar store apparently don’t go up to 20 so I got the #20 card at This Reading Mama.

Then we started circle time:

Song: Days of the Week (to the tune of The Addams Family)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
There’s Sunday and there’s Monday,
There’s Tuesday and there’s Wednesday,
There’s Thursday and there’s Friday,
And then there’s Saturday.
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, (clap, clap)
Days of the week, days of the week, days of the week. (clap, clap)
Source: Ms. Brown’s Classroom

We looked at our calendar and discussed what day of the week it was, what month we were in, and what day of the month it was. Then we moved on to the weather:

Song: What’s the Weather? (to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine)
What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it sunny? Is it windy?
Is it rainy? Is it cold?

What’s the weather? What’s the weather?
What’s the weather like today?
Is it snowy? Is it cloudy?
Is it stormy? Is it hot?

We decided it was very cold and windy. Thank you polar vortex!

Then it was time for our theme discussion. I asked them if they had a favorite dinosaur and we discussed if dinosaurs were still around anymore and what the word “extinct” meant.

Next we read our books:

Non-Fiction Book: Dinosaurs! (New Edition) by Gail Gibbons

Gail Gibbons has the most perfect non-fiction books for preschoolers. They’re just the right amount of words, they’re large so everyone can see for a group read, and they’re appropriate for the age group. If she has a book about our theme it’s a safe bet I’ll be using it!

Fiction Book: Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems

A very funny take on the Goldilocks fairy tale. I was a little nervous about the amount of books we were reading this session but the kids were great listeners.

After we read our book I sat on the floor with the kids and we did a story retelling. I handed each child a square and we talked through the story. Each kid handed me their square when we got to their scene in the story. We lined them up in a row and when we were done we flipped over each card to see the numbers I’d written on the back. We got them lined up correctly, #1-10! I got the idea for the squares here and created mine in Canva with clip art I found on Google.

Then we talked about the letter of the week. We talked about the different sounds C makes (hard and soft) and some words that start with C.

Then I read our letter C book: Dog vs. Cat by Chris Gall.

When we finished this book, I reviewed the different stations I had set up.

Then we made salt dough fossils. The salt dough I made was REALLY sticky. I kept adding more flour at home but it never really firmed up properly. But I think the kids enjoyed getting gooey. I set out dinosaur toys so they could make footprints or “fossils.” I also put out cookie cutters if they wanted to cut out their dough in circles or shapes. I gave each kid a paper plate so they could take their salt dough home and dry it if they wished. I included instructions on how to do so in the session summary (below).

After they were done with salt dough they could make their letter C craft. I got the idea for our kitty cat here.

When they finished their alphabet craft the kids could make their way around our stations. (I made all the center signs on Canva.)

I got the letter instructions here and the number instructions from Teaching Mama. I filled the tray with sand we had leftover from a previous program and lined it with a laminated picture I got from Canva that I cut down to size:

I made green play-doh to match our color of the week. The letter and number mats came from Oriental Trading.

I borrowed the cow from my son. The corn and carrot came in a package of food from the dollar store. The alligator came in a package of reptiles from the dollar store. The crab came in a package of sea creatures from the dollar store. The cactus eraser came in an eraser pack from the dollar store. (Dollar Tree should really sponsor my [and every teacher/children’s librarian] blog!) The cat came from our Duplo bins at the library. We had the car at the library from a previous program. I created the tub labels in Canva.

This week I filled our sensory bin with sand and added trees from our library Lego bins. I bought the strainers and magnifying glasses at the dollar store. The library already owned the little plastic dinosaurs we used but TOOB dinosaur are available if you need to buy your own. And if you really want to splurge I’m a big fan of these dinosaur fossils from Oriental Trading!

I should have brought in beach toys to use because the strainers really didn’t strain the sand as nicely as I wanted them to. Live and learn (and test your sand strainers ahead of time!).

I found egg clipart on Google and inserted the numbers in Word. Then I printed out the eggs on card stock. The library owns a Lakeshore tub with various number and counter magnets. One of the counter shapes is dinosaurs so I knew I wanted to utilize them somehow for this program. Our tub appears to be discontinued but they offer this one which is similar. The library already owned the cookie tray. We use it for story time sometimes if we have magnetic objects for songs or rhymes. I got the idea for a dino counting game from Mrs. Plemons’ Kindergarten.

Our concept of the week was lacing and it was a tough one! I’m not sure any of them finished a dinosaur but they tried. The library already owned these lacing cards.

I thought the floor puzzle would be a hit but not one kid touched it! Maybe they didn’t notice it sitting there? We already owned this Melissa & Doug puzzle.

Our session summary:

I also handed out a letter/number of the week worksheet for them to color at home and practice their writing. I got the letter worksheet Easy Peasy Learners and the number worksheet from The Measured Mom. And lastly I sent home a dinosaur matching game that I found at Artsy Craftsy Mom for homework.

Next up: Valentine’s Day!

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