Five little monsters went to preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on August 27, 2011

in Children's Books, Five Little Monsters Went to School, Monsters

In case you are one of my parents reading this – don’t worry, this title isn’t about your children. We read the book titled, “Five Little Monsters Went to School (Learn to Read, Read to Learn)” by Rozanne Lanczak Williams. This little book is a good way to spark a discussion on rules in the classroom….

We followed up the book with a variety of monster activities. We counted felt monsters together in circle time and then I set the monsters out on one of the tables so the children could add felt faces and googly eyeballs to the felt monsters…

We painted monsters too using plastic sponges dipped in paint…

Each of the children painted with the sponges any way they wished and then they added googly eyes on top of the wet paint to finish off their monster paintings…

And in our outdoor classroom, we made some googly-eyed play dough monsters…

As for talking about rules, we didn’t do any type of formal discussion on rules. The children need a bit more time to learn about their environment and then we can talk more about rules. Right now, they are so engaged in exploring the new environment that they are naturally respecting the environment so I am going to put off a discussion on rules until I see they are ready for more formal boundaries.

 

 

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1 Cat August 27, 2011 at 11:59 pm

oh goodness how perfect is this?? I simply must track down this book because my kids ARE my monsters, lol
love this! thanks so much

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 28, 2011 at 12:09 am

You can click on the title of the book in my post and find it at Amazon or it is available through other online stores:)

3 Laura@art4littlehands August 28, 2011 at 12:25 am

My kindergartner is not excited or unexcited about school. I am actually worried he doesn’t really get he is going to be away from me all day long. I have tried to explain it and his nonchalant okay makes me wonder. I was just thinking tonight that we need to get some books about going to school and read them in the next few weeks before school starts. This one looks fabulous and I love the art you did with it.

4 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 28, 2011 at 12:31 am

Hmm, how interesting Laura – some books about school just might encourage him talk a little bit more about going back to school with you. Have you taken him to visit the school or his teacher yet?

5 Solana August 28, 2011 at 12:51 am

This is my first year starting the year off as a lead teacher. We started two weeks ago and I have not done any formal activities with the children. My goal for the first two weeks were to get the children to have fun and learn through child/adult interaction what is available in the classroom. I have been focusing more on safety of the classroom such as walking in the class and how to use the scissors or putting the caps back on the markers.

6 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 28, 2011 at 1:45 am

That is exactly what I am doing Solana! The children need time to know their environment first!

7 Heather August 29, 2011 at 2:14 pm

Can you talk more about your timing in introducing formal rules? I always thought the “classroom rule discussion” was supposed to happen pretty early on… I guess I thought that the rule discussion sort of organically stemmed from the children exploring and learning about their new environment. Can you describe how you judge when they are “ready for more formal boundaries?”

8 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm

I will write more on this topic Heather but for you let me say a few things… I think if we focus on the “hard” or “formal” rules too quickly, we make children lose their sense of confidence or they can actually begin to not like school and view school as frustrating and act out in ways that you are actually trying to prevent. I feel my class will be ready by next week to explore rules together more formally but it has taken them all last week just to learn about the classroom and try things out. They were not ready to keep track of boundaries and rules and making them focus on this was only going to get them confused. Instead – I gently redirect them as needed or address certain issues as we played rather than making a formal sit down and discuss all the dos and don’ts. I will invite the kids next week to start telling me what they think we should do in our classroom. I want to see what matters to them and by observing them this week, I am now able to see where the red flags might be so I can teach them what my expectations are. Rules are more about giving boundaries within their understanding of the expectations they are being taught – does this make sense? I hope so.

9 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 29, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Oh and a few more things I thought of …
It also depends on the age group – with fours and fives – they are more rule oriented so I might start with rules a little earlier but for threes, they are not so rule oriented so they need more time. Quite honestly, my class is still trying to remember each other’s names and where things are and they are so excited about everything that we just have focused on building trust and relationships and an understanding of the classroom. When they get to the point that the newness starts to wane and they need something more – I will begin to sit down with them and discuss rules of our classroom. It may be a week or a few days or it may be something we talk about as a part of our curriculum down the road. It all depends on what these children show me they need to play positively and respectfully.

10 Heather August 30, 2011 at 9:36 am

It does! Thank you so much for your reply!

11 pitsina August 28, 2011 at 4:20 am

I do the same girls!!!
Kids need to take their time …..I give more free time to play with new friends and feel safe .

PITSINA /Greece
http://pitsina-crafts.blogspot.com/

12 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 28, 2011 at 9:51 am

Yes they do!

13 KM August 28, 2011 at 8:41 am

Fabulous, fun and fantastic! We are going to explore “monsters” as it gets closer to hallowen… These activities will be so fun to incoperate! Thank you!!!

14 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. August 28, 2011 at 9:52 am

I can’t wait to see your photos Katherine:)

15 Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas August 28, 2011 at 10:31 am

so FUN Deborah! I love the monster activities – perfect for the first few days of school but really can be enjoyed anytime. My girls love using wiggly eyes and pipe cleaners when working with play dough so we routinely have playdough creatures in our home.

I like the easy Monster pictures – simple & fun and if they had some crayons or markers they could add even more details. I will be “borrowing” this one for sure.

Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase – I so enjoy seeing your students at play/work!

Bern

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