Our names in watercolor

A child’s name is very special and this simple watercolor activity turned out to be a fun and colorful way for our students to focus on the letters in their name…

Watercolor Names by Teach Preschool

To prepare for this activity, I printed each child’s name on a large piece of white paper with hot glue. The table was set up with liquid watercolor, small paint brushes, and the children’s names…

Watercolor Names by Teach Preschool

We spent a few minutes talking about our names and then feeling our names on the paper. Then each child was invited to find their own name in the stack of papers and then explore the watercolor painting process on their own…

Watercolor Names by Teach Preschool

In my mind, I thought the children would paint around the lines or fill in the white spaces of the paper but most of the children chose to paint directly on their names – almost as if they were tracing their names…

Watercolor Names by Teach Preschool

The liquid watercolor tends to roll right off of the hot glue and drip down into the paper leaving the children’s names standing out in the middle of all those beautiful paint colors…

Watercolor Names by Teach Preschool

Each child’s name was transformed into a dazzling piece of artwork…

Watercolor Names by Teach Preschool

Watercolor Names by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

The value of name recognition in preschool by Teach Preschool

Digging up our names by Teach Preschool

Easy cheesy name puzzle by Toddler Approved

Balancing bubbles in preschool

As mentioned in the previous post, we have been exploring two words:  “level” and “balance.” To expand on our exploration of level and balance, the children tried their hand at balancing bubbles…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Each child filled up a clear plastic tube with water making sure that the water level was almost at the very top of the tube. Then they added a lid to the tube to keep the water sealed inside…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Because the tubes were not filled all the way to the very top, a small pocket of air was left in the tube which created a bubble in each child’s tube.  The more air that was left inside, the bigger the bubble (air pocket) but the goal was to have a little bubble so we needed to try leave the smallest amount of air inside  the tube as possible…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Once the children had filled their tubes with water and put the lid on tight, then each held their tube sideways and tried to  get the bubble that was inside the tube to balance in the middle by tilting the tube from side to side…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Getting the bubble to balance in the middle was a challenge for our students. The task required using gentle and slight tilting movements, a steady hand, and keeping a close eye on the bubble…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Not only was this an interesting exercise for the kids to explore, but the process gave us the opportunity to reinforce lots of scientific and engineering terms such as tilt, balance, level, middle, side, top, bottom, air, water, bubbles, air pocket, and steady. The process also promoted the use of eye-hand coordination and fine motor control in a rather unique way…

Balancing bubbles by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

 

Links to Grow On

Fun with Colorful Bubble Science by Teach Preschool

B is for Bbbbbb Bubble by Teach Preschool

Science for Kids: Hanger Balance by Kids Activity Blog

Exploring balance in preschool

This week, we brought out the levels and have been exploring balance in preschool…

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

We began our study on balance by reading the book Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh.  Ellen Stoll Walsh is one of our favorite authors and this is another great book by her!  She writes fun and simple stories that explore basic concepts such as counting, color mixing, and in this case balance…

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

In this book, two little mice and all of their friends play around with balance.  The two mice begin by creating a teeter totter.  When their friends decide to join them, the mice get a lesson in weight and balance…

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

After reading our story, I brought out a level.  We passed around the level and talked about how a level works.  I showed them how the bubble in the center of the level can show us if  something is balanced or unbalanced, like the mice on the teeter totter in our story.   Then we closely examined the bubble in the middle of our level…

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

Then the children set off to play with the levels and explore balance on their own.  At one table, the children found two different types of blocks, along with levels.  These blocks were a bit more challenging to stack and balance than traditional blocks.  The wooden cubes were found at a craft store.  These cubes came with a variety of sizes altogether in a large bag.  The other set of blocks are made of bamboo and were actually wind chimes purchased from the Dollar Store.  We simply cut the strings off that held them together.  They became a great addition to our block area!  Along with the blocks, we set out levels that were also found at the Dollar Store…

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

We also set out long cardboard strips that the children could use as a platform to set their level on, to see if their creations were balanced…

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

The children had an amazing time exploring these different materials.  They enjoyed stacking their blocks as high as they could to see if they would remain balanced or if they would fall down…

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

Exploring balance in preschool by Teach Preschool

Adding levels to our non-traditional blocks was  a unique way for our children to explore balance!

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on:

Exploring weight and size with scales in preschool by Teach Preschool

Preschool at home: marbles and golf tee game by Pink and Green Mama

Homemade balance beam by In Lieu of Preschool

By | April 27th, 2013|Categories: Children's Books, Science and Nature|Tags: , , , |8 Comments

The secret recipe for inviting children to take care of books in the preschool classroom

In my class book shelf you will find my favorite, most prized collection of books on display and available for the children to read on their own. To help my students take care of our books, I follow a secret recipe . Just like each ingredient in a recipe is important in cooking, each approach that I use is equally important in order to build student success in taking care of our books.

Secret Recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

1. Gathering your ingredients

A good cook knows that the quality of ingredients can make a difference in the outcome of their recipe. This is also true when it comes to building a collection of books for your classroom. Choosing quality read-aloud children’s picture books make a big difference when it comes to helping children love and care for the books in your classroom.

Secret Recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

2. Getting to know your ingredients

A good cook wants to really know the ingredients they are using before starting to cook with them. In the classroom, young children also need to know what is inside of each book before it is added to your collection of books on the shelf. In my classroom, we take the time to read, discuss, investigate, and really get to know each book before it is placed on our shelf for the children to read on their own…

Secret Recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

3. Exploring your ingredients

A good cook knows that part of cooking success is exploring the different aspects of ingredients so they know more about the role each ingredient plays in a recipe. In the classroom, preschoolers need opportunity to explore the contents and ideas of a book in order to build meaningful connections to the story.  For every book I read to the children, I look for ways to extend the ideas or content of the book into our reading experience and through playful opportunities in our classroom centers…

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

4. Adding your ingredients

A good cook doesn’t dump all of their ingredients into the bowl at one time. Instead, a good cook prepares each ingredient then slowly stirs and mixes each ingredient into the bowl.  The same holds true when it comes to providing a great selection of books for your shelf. After reading each of our books together and exploring the ideas of the books in our centers we then add the books to our shelf for the children to read on their own. We gradually build our collection of books so that each book is a book that the children really know, love, appreciate, and can relate to…

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

5. Cooking your ingredients

A good cook knows that you can’t cook your recipe in an oven or on top of the stove at just any old temperature and for any old length of time.  Time and temperature must be carefully thought through and adjusted based on the type of recipe and the desired results.  The same holds true in the classroom. You must have a plan for how your students will read the books on their own and where they will read the books and even when they will read the books. You need to share and model your plan with the children so that they will understand what is expected of them and how they can integrate the books you provide into their experiences throughout the day…

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

6. Testing the recipe

A good cook knows that a recipe must be tried and tested and that there are always those times when something will go wrong.  Rather than putting all the ingredients away and out of reach to never try again, a good cook will make adjustments and find solutions so the recipe will find success. In our classroom, the children know that if a page in the book should happen to rip that we should fix it right away. We might need to tape up a tear in the book or wipe off a little dirt. We will remind the children to wash and dry sticky hands before handling a book when necessary. Because our children have such a deep appreciation for each book in our classroom, they work hard to be smart about how they are treating our books and they demonstrate a good understanding of how we all need to work together to take care of our books…

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

7. Tasting the recipe

A good cook knows that in the end, the best test for any recipe is actually tasting the recipe. In our classroom, we spend about five or ten minutes of each day “tasting our recipe” as a class. While the children are reading the books together, Mrs. Courtney and I are able to observe the children and find out which books the children  are showing the greatest interest in, which books they have lost interest in, and how we can continue to foster a good taste for reading in our classroom…

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

8. Sharing the recipe

A good cook loves to share the recipe with others. As the children in our classroom have grown familiar with our books, they are now spending more time reading to each other.

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

9. A recipe for success

When a good cook finally has a recipe that is well loved by himself and the people he shares it with he will want to keep that recipe and use it over and over again.  As I observe my students modeling the reading experience for each other and taking time to enjoy the reading experience with each other, I don’t worry about whether our books will be taken care of. I know that as long as my students are continuously building their understanding, appreciation and love for the books in our classroom, they will naturally want to take care of the books for me…

Secret recipe for helping preschoolers take care of books by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow on

More than Just a Bag of Books by Ignite Learning with Conscious Discipline LLC

Bright and beautiful water bottle flower painting in preschool

I introduced my students to water bottle painting which is an oldie but goldie way to paint fun, bright and beautiful flowers in preschool!

Bright and Beautiful Water Bottle Flower Painting by Teach Preschool

We sorted through our plastic bottles to decide which bottle would leave the best paint print for the children and decided our round Aqua Pod water bottles were perfect for the job. It is amazing how many different things we have been able to use these bottles for…

Bright and Beautiful Water Bottle Flower Painting by Teach Preschool

We also set out plastic forks for the children to make prints. Plastic forks make super cool prints for grass, leaves, or even flower petals…

Bright and Beautiful Water Bottle Flower Painting by Teach Preschool

Each of our students chose their own path for water bottle and fork printing. Some of the children really liked printing with the fork while others focused more time on printing with the bottles…

Bright and Beautiful Water Bottle Flower Painting by Teach Preschool

One little one even came up with the idea of making sun rays with her plastic fork…

Bright and Beautiful Water Bottle Flower Painting by Teach Preschool

Every flower painting turned out unique and beautiful…

Bright and Beautiful Water Bottle Flower Painting by Teach Preschool

These paintings were just the thing we needed to add a little springtime to our walls!

Bright and Beautiful Water Bottle Flower Painting by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Water bottle Collages in Prek (colorful fine motor fun)

Caterpillar Printing in Preschool (fork and cup printing)

Spring Art Tulip Painting (fork printing)

Flower painting at the easel

I have shared this idea as an easel starter but my class did such an amazing job exploring this process at the easel that I just can’t help but share our latest experience with flower painting at the easel…

Flower Painting at the Easel by Teach Preschool

Currently, we have our easel set up for painting in our outdoor classroom. We are constantly putting out different materials at the easel for the children to explore but I must tell you that the number one favorite for my students this year is just having available several colors of paint and paint brushes…

Flower Painting at the Easel by Teach Preschool

To follow my student’s lead, I have been making sure we keep different colors of paint and brushes at the easel but today, I also added a set of white paper cupcake holders and a bottle of glue. I showed the children how they can glue the paper cups to their paper so they would know to look for the paper cups if they were interested in giving this a try…

Flower Painting at the Easel by Teach Preschool

This was a popular easel painting experience. Each of the children chose how they would like to integrate the paper cups into their painting. Some of the children wanted their paper cups to be glued completely flat on the paper while others only glued the bottoms of the paper cups to the paper and left a more 3D look…

Flower Painting at the Easel by Teach Preschool

Almost every child chose to paint inside the paper cups in one way or another. Some of the children painted over their paper cups until the cups were completely flat and some gently painted inside to keep the paper cups from going flat…

Flower Painting at the Easel by Teach Preschool

In the end, we had all kinds of bright and beautiful easel painting results…

Flower Painting at the Easel by Teach Preschool

As a side note: It wasn’t until this little one started painting that I realized I hadn’t set out green paint in the easel today but I did set out yellow and blue paint. This little one quickly figured out how to make her own green painted stems by mixing the two colors on the easel. I thought that was super cool and brilliant!

Flower Painting at the Easel by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Cupcake flowers on the easel (easel starter)

Springtime Easel Starters (seeds)

14 Fun Flower Activities for Preschoolers

By | April 23rd, 2013|Categories: Easel, Painting|Tags: , , , , , |5 Comments

Ten tips for keeping a journal in preschool

There are many ways to approach the experience of keeping a journal in preschool. As you read about our journals, I hope you will be inspired to take what we do and run off in a direction that works best for your students. For today, I am just going to give you a little sneak peak at our journals and ten simple tips I use for keeping a journal…

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #1: Choose your method for keeping a journal

In our classroom, we use a blank book for our journals. I buy two sets each school year. The pages of the first blank book are usually filled up by the end of December and we begin with a new blank book in January.  I have seen folks use pocket folders with clasps in the center to hold paper, file folders with holes punched in the center, or spiral bound notebooks. Whatever your choice is, keep in mind how your journals will do over the long term (a matter of several months) and how well the children will be able to manage their journals during that time…

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #2: Choose where you will keep your journals

We keep our journals in a clear file holder on the wall. The children can get them out on their own and put them away on their own. We talk about this at the beginning of the school year and remind the children not to put their journals in their cubbies but to keep them in our journal holder so we will have them all throughout the school year…

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #3: Choose your writing tool for your journals

We use good quality Crayola crayons in our journals for several reasons…

  • One reason is that good quality crayons are bright, colorful, and easier for preschool age children to work with. With colored pencils, for example, the drawings seem to be too light to see clearly. This is due to still building fine motor strength and control.
  • A second reason is that crayons are less messy than using something like markers. Markers will bleed through the paper or smear and in time, this can make for one messy looking journal which does not do a very good job of inviting the children to do their best work. 
  • A third reason is because crayons tend to keep the children focused on the drawing or writing process rather than on exploring a tool. With pencils, for example, our students want to explore the erasing more than the writing or they can easily get distracted by wanting to sharpen their pencils.

So we save the markers, pencils, and other writing tools for the other writing experiences in our classroom and stick with the crayons for our journals…

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #4: Consider how often your students will write or draw in their journal

In my classroom, we have journal time once a week but I am considering changing that next year. I think next year we will stick with the once a week for the first half of the year so I can make sure the children have a good grasp on how to use and care for and write or draw in our journals. Then for the second half of our school year, I would like to leave the journal experience open to the children to explore anytime they would like…

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #5: Give your students guidance on your journal process 

At the beginning of the school year, I walk my students through the process of opening the cover of their journal, then go page by page until they come to the first page that is still left blank before they begin adding something new.

  • Finding the next new page helps the children to use their journals in an organized fashion.
  • Finding the next new page helps us (the teachers or parents) to go back through the timeline of their journal entries.
  • Starting at the beginning and finding the next new page emulates the reading and story telling process for the kids. 

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #6: Decide whether or not you will write in the children’s journals

After the children complete a new journal entry, they know to bring their journal over to where ever Mrs. Courtney and I are and then they are invited to “Tell us their story.”

  • Sometimes the children will tell us long and elaborate stories and when this happens, we listen to their story then write the “condensed” version using as many of their words as we can. We do not add our own words to the story or modify their story – we just condense it.
  • If the children just tell us a simple title or make a simple statement, then we write that down exactly as we were told – even if their story doesn’t seem to go with their drawing.  
  • We almost always add a quick date below each journal entry for the parents to see the timeline on journal entries when the journals go home.

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #7: Know the stages of drawing

At the beginning of our school year, it isn’t unusual for some of our students to choose one color of crayon and quickly scribble one large blob (for lack of a better word) on their paper then say “I’m done!” We don’t correct this but rather still have the children come and tell us their story.  Even though it may look like a blob to me, it may very well be a meaningful picture to the child and scribbling anything is definitely an important part of the beginning stages of writing. As the year progresses and the children seem ready, we begin applying different techniques to slow the children down and to get them to focus on drawing something more specific in their journals. We try different techniques as needed…

  • Using more than one color. We might tell the children they can draw anything they want but must use at least three different color of crayons in their drawing.
  • Drawing cubes are an excellent way to get children exploring different type of drawing techniques and symbols and stories in their journals
  • Journal prompts (as shown below) work well for our older students.
  • Drawing Prompts (also shown below) work well for most of our students.

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #8: Using journal prompts

A journal prompt can be in the form of a children’s book you have read, a unit your are exploring, a trip you have taken, the weather you are experiencing, a specific word you are highlighting, and the list goes on. There are several ways to give a journal prompt..

  • Prompting from a recent experience: We might mention to the children something like, “You all spent lots of time building a snowman today – perhaps you would like to share something about snowmen in your journals today.”
  • Prompting from a well loved children’s book: We might say something like, “In our book, the children planted a seed and it grew big and tall – perhaps you could draw a story about a seed too.”
  • Prompting from a specific word: We might say, “What is one word you heard us talk about a lot today?” As the children choose a word, we will invite them to consider drawing a picture about that word in their journal and then writing the word in their journal too.

In any case, we still leave the journal process open to what the children would prefer to draw. Sometimes the prompt is needed and preferred and other times, the children will have their own ideas of what interested them that day.

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Tip #9: Using Drawing Prompts

Drawing prompts are similar to the other journal prompts that were mentioned above but when giving a drawing prompt, I actually do a little art lesson on how to take basic shapes like circles or triangles or squares to create a familiar object. A drawing prompt is very helpful for children who need that little extra encouragement to try something new in their journal…

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

Remember, it is important to not take over the journal experience by structuring it too much to meet your own expectations. Use different techniques and prompts to help your students expand on their skills in drawing and story telling where needed but keep any approach or new technique in balance. While inviting new skills for writing and drawing don’t get so caught up on this that you begin to intrude on your students’ ability and opportunity to use their own ideas and imagination…

Tip #10: Encourage your students to tell each other their stories

At the beginning of the year, we only have the children share their journals with the teacher but I have found that towards the middle to end of the year, it is a good idea to invite the children to share their journals with each other. When they share with one another, it brings new value to the journal experience…

  • By sharing their most recent journal entry with each other, the children are gaining even more story telling practice.
  • Sharing their most recent journal entry also encourages the children to reflect on their own thoughts and drawings.
  • I noticed that when the children take the time to share with their peers, they also end up answering questions from their peers about their choices, drawings, or the story.
  • And the process of listening to others tell their stories and the chance to look at other drawings gives the children new inspiration for things they can do in their own journals.

Ten tips for Journals in Preschool by Teach Preschool

I am sure you have other experiences about keeping a journal that would be great for us to know or perhaps you have questions about something I have shared today. Feel free to leave a comment below and we will continue the discussion on journals in preschool.

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Word Wall Journals

More ideas for Journals can be found here on my Journal Pinterest Board!

By | April 22nd, 2013|Categories: Language Arts, Story Telling|Tags: , , , , |30 Comments

Supplementing the preschool curriculum with My Big World from Scholastic

I often get asked about lesson plans or curriculum that I use in my preschool classroom but I have been teaching for such a long time now that I don’t actually use a formal curriculum or write a lesson plan out. One thing I do use (and have used for years) to supplement my unwritten curriculum is Scholastic classroom magazines for kids.

Supplementing with Scholastic by Teach Preschool

Scholastic is always updating and improving their choices in classroom magazines and one of their latest publications is”My Big World with Clifford.” This edition of their classroom magazines is simply wonderful. Every issue is filled with simple text, big pictures, and easy to understand facts about real life and real things young children can relate to and talk about…

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

I love how every child gets to have their own copy of the classroom magazine to read in the classroom and to take home. In the classroom, we always read through the magazine together as a whole group. This particular issue talked about planting a bean and gave simple instructions on how you could plant your own bean in a cup. Every issue leads to something hands-on we can do (some I come up with and some are in the magazine) in the classroom as a followup to our large group reading experience…

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

When reading together as a large group, we use our Clifford magazine to notice the numbers on each page and the color coded boxes to help us stay together and promote discussion about what is happening in each picture…

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

On the last page of each of our magazines is usually some sort of writing exercise that extends the discussion we have been having in our large group. We always walk through the directions and the steps to how to complete the last page as a large group…

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

And then the children go off to complete the exercise on their own…

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

The publications of “My Big World with Clifford” comes in sets and Mrs. Courtney and I sort them out when they arrive in the mail. We introduce one set of the magazines to our students each week. We order enough sets so each of our students can have a set of their own…

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

And with each new magazine we read, we always extend our reading into our classroom experiences…

What will grow?

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

Look for Ladybugs

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

A Week of March Weather

Supplementing curriculum in the preschool classroom with Scholastics by Teach Preschool

Links to Grow On…

Scholastic “Our Big World” magazine

Scholastic News and Features (Check out the “Earth Day Everyday” Video)

Scholastic Printables

Disclosure: Scholastic sent me a few sets of “Our Big World with Clifford” magazine to use in my preschool classroom. How I use them and the activities we extend the reading are completely my own ideas. Although Scholastic sent me a few of these magazines, I do order my own sets each year as well. I think they are terrific!

Getting the most value out of a bookshelf in the preschool classroom

There are days that I wish I had more space in my indoor classroom. Don’t get me wrong, I am very proud of my indoor classroom. I love setting it up to be warm and inviting and I enjoy the challenge of turning small spaces into valuable spaces. Today I want to share with you a few ways I try to get the most value out of the bookshelves I have in my preschool classroom…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

I only have three stand-alone bookshelves in my indoor classroom. Each shelf was custom built (by my husband) to fit comfortably in my classroom. Before building my shelves, I did my homework. I measured how tall and wide I wanted each shelf to be. The measurements were based on the average height of a three and four year old and the amount of floor space I would have available…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

I think it is important that each shelf can stand up in the middle of a space without having to worry about it tipping over. My shelves are extremely sturdy and heavy to move around. They are sturdy enough for me to stand on them to change a light bulb or one of my students to climb on top of it without it tipping or breaking (although  my students do not climb on my shelves). Because my shelves are so sturdy, I can set them out in the middle of a floor to help divide my classroom into smaller, intentionally designed spaces (centers) for play…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

When painting my shelves, I painted the sides and backs with one coat of magnetic paint and a second coat of white paint on top. I think I should have used two coats of magnetic paint but I was in a hurry and only used one. I can place magnetic items on the sides or backs of the shelves for the children to explore but nothing too heavy or it will fall off . On this shelf are magnetic sentence strips with the children’s names on them – the rest of the names are spread out around the room on other shelves. The children can go and get their names and then put them back on the side of a shelf when not in use…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

On the back of every shelf, I also like to add something like a felt board, magnetic board, or anything else I can think of to make every part of the bookshelf a contributing part of our classroom environment…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

I label my shelves and baskets to some degree but not nearly as much as I possibly could. It all depends on how much time I have and how often I change things up. I use sentence strips for labeling and tape them in place with clear packing tape…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

I also use the tops of my shelves for different purposes. Sometimes, I set out different types of supplies the children can use on top of the shelves…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

And other times, I set out different types of tools for play on the tops of my shelves…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

Everyday, you will find someone exploring some type of play, science, math, or creative process on the top of our shelves…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

We also built small shelves for our walls to display books, artwork, or light table supplies. The shelves are low enough for the children to reach and they help us keep our floor shelves available for other types of activities…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

And we also use small baskets or file folder holders on our wall like the one shown below that holds our journals…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

Every shelf has a purpose it its design and the goal is to make sure that every shelf is designed to bring value to the classroom environment and the children’s experience…

More than just a bookshelf by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow on

A new bookshelf in my preschool classroom

Simple ideas for classroom set-up

Building bookshelves for the preschool classroom

Earth day discovery bottles

We made these beautiful Earth day discovery bottles (also called glitter globes) earlier in the school year but I saved the photos to share with you during our Earth day unit. And besides, as you know, it doesn’t have to be Earth day to celebrate the earth…

Earth Day Discovery Bottles by Teach Preschool

To make the Earth day discovery bottles (or glitter globes), we gathered:

  • One empty water bottle per child (A baby food jar would work too)
  • Silver glitter (fine glitter really works best)
  • Plastic yellow gems (stars)
  • Plastic blue beads (earth)
  • Small pitchers of water
  • Blue food color

The bottles we used are called Aqua Pod water bottles which you can view here too!

The children began by adding their own water to their bottles...

The children began by adding their own glitter to their bottles…

The children began by adding their own water to their bottles...

Then the children added one blue bead and one yellow star gem…

The children began by adding their own water to their bottles...

And next, the children added water to their bottles and a few drops of blue food color…

The children began by adding their own water to their bottles...

Once all the ingredients were added, the children added the lid to the bottle on top which the teachers hot glued in place later on…

Earth Day Discovery Bottle by Teach Preschool

Thank you to Mrs. Lois, one of our really cool grandmas, for planning this activity for us!

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

 ABC’s of Discovery Bottles by Teach Preschool

Earth Suncatcher Craft by Learn, Create, Love

Earth day Globes by Housing a Forest

By | April 19th, 2013|Categories: Discovery Bottles|Tags: , , |1 Comment