Preschoolers love hearing “You’ve Got Mail!”

This is a really cool red, pocket quilt made and given to me by one of my assistant teachers back in 1990.

When I am teaching, I like to do a week on The Post Office in my classroom and I hang the quilt down low so the children can reach it. I also place it near the writing center. I then place a name tag on each pocket, including my own name, so the children can give each other mail.

I often put little notes in the pockets too and I get tons of mail on a daily basis. Everything from little scraps of paper, little cutouts, little notes, and little pictures with hearts:)

I usually hang the quilt up close to February and leave it up through Valentine’s day. Some years we deliver our Valentine cards to the pockets and other years I let the children make Valentine bags instead. And when the month is over, I can easily fold it up and put it away. This keeps the novelty from wearing off.

What can children learn?

Name recognition: One of the greatest learning experiences is name recognition. Children are learning to recognize their own name as well as the names of their classmates.

Name writing: The children will often go over to the name tags and then back to the table working diligently to write each other’s name on their notes or envelopes. The children want to draw and write so they can put something in a pocket.

Motor Skills: The children also love to fold their notes. They have to if they want them to fit in those pockets. Keep in mind, I find many little notes on the floor throughout the day and try to help sort it out, but most of the time it was the writer who just enjoyed the experience and the receiver doesn’t always know when the note never made it to their pocket.

Social/Emotional: Getting mail can give a big boost to one’s self-esteem and feelings of acceptance in the classroom. If I see someone is lacking in mail, I encourage the children to write them a note and the children love to do it. They like making their friends feel good and they love giving and getting mail.

For Younger Children
You could put pictures along with their name on each pocket so they will be able to identify their own pocket. The youngest child loves stuffing things in pockets:)

By | January 17th, 2010|Categories: Around the Classroom|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

The value of tape in the preschool classroom

My fellow bloggers have provided beautiful examples and illustrations of the value of tape. I encourage you to read each of their posts on this topic but here are a few highlights.
The magic of tape by Teach Preschool
Teacher Tom shares his “tape machine” and the beautiful tape sculpture that was created on his classroom door.  As two students tried to stretch a long length of tape across the floor, the tape kept sticking to the floor and Teacher Tom observed, “They were performing these experiments simultaneously, both making similar discoveries. Neither seemed frustrated, just deeply engaged in the process of problem-solving.”
Preschool Daze also shared pictures of their classroom tape ball. Another beautiful illustration of children being given the opportunity to explore, create, and work together.Brick by Brick shares awesome illustrations of how the tape was used in the block center to create roads and in the art center to create pictures and books.
Adding tape to the magnetic board | Teach Preschool

Key Points

Allowing preschoolers to freely play and manipulate tape can lead to new learning and developmental growth.

Fine motor skills are strengthened as the children work to pull, tear, stick, and manipulate the tape.

Eye-hand coordination is promoted as the children try to keep the tape from sticking to the wrong surface to soon and as they work to apply the tape successfully to the surface they have chosen.

Critical thinking skills are being challenged as children try to decide how they will be able to keep the tape from falling to the ground or stick to itself when they tear off a long strip.

Mathematical thinking is challenged as the children determine what length of tape is needed to accomplish their goal or as they create various shapes on the floor or on paper.

Creative skills are fostered as the children use the tape to make a giant tape ball or use the tape to create a picture or book.

Social Skills are promoted as children communicate, collaborate, and cooperate together to make a tape creation or keep the tape from sticking incorrectly or even when someone needs help tearing a piece of tape off of the role.
Cutting off their own tape

Make a tape donation box!

You might be thinking, I just can’t afford to let my students use up all the tape – it simply isn’t in the budget. In that case, make a tape donation box. More than likely your preschool parents have tape they don’t need collecting dust somewhere around the house or in the garage.

Set out a decorated shoebox in a prominent place and label it as your “Tape Box” Tell parents that if they happen to have tape they can donate, just drop it in the box. Any type of tape will do – colored tape, masking tape, clear tape, painter’s tape, and so on. Parents are often happy to donate simple items for the classroom and tape is an easy request.

Perhaps if you feel like you have a constant and plentyful supply of tape, you will feel more relaxed about letting your preschoolers use the tape as often as they like.
Available on Amazon

By | January 4th, 2010|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , |0 Comments