Let’s make a pattern!

Each week, I set up an invitation to explore some kind of math process at the math table. It can be anything from a pretend apple market to sorting buttons, to building with blocks. An invitation to explore math might be connected to a story we are reading while others might be connected to other topics the children and I have been discussing. Today’s invitation to make a simple pattern was connected to our recent exploration of circles…

Let's make a pattern!

I don’t know if you love bottle caps and lids as much as I do but I never, ever throw one away. I love the bright colors and the possible ways I can use them in my classroom for math, art, story telling, and more. I am such an avid lid collector that my whole family has become bottle cap and lid collectors too…

Let's make a pattern!

A couple of hints about collecting lids…

  1. Do run all bottle caps and lids through a dishwasher. I toss them in the silverware basket and wash them. I noticed if you wash them by hand or even rinse them, chances are you will miss some of the juice, milk, or other that hides in the rims of the lids and that shows up after time. A good hot dishwasher washing is a must do!
  2. Do use them for playing games, as counting tokens in your math center, for art in the art center, for play in the water table, and even for coins in a pretend store.  I like relating the classroom to everyday items the children have at home so there is a home/school connection.
  3. If you have students who want to put them in their mouths, then lids probably aren’t right for those students at this time without lots of monitoring from you.

Let's make a pattern!

At our math table, the children were invited to explore the process of making simple AB patterns with their lids. Some children were ready for more complex patterns while some needed to stick with a simple pattern. First the children lined up the lids into a pattern…

Let's make a pattern!

Then it was time to check over the pattern and see if any adjustments needed made…

Let's make a pattern!

If satisfied with their pattern, then it was time to draw their pattern…

Let's make a pattern!

As you can see, the children had LOTS of colorful lids to choose from…

Let's make a pattern!

After drawing their patterns, the children were invited to set the lids back in the center of the table and take their drawings home with them. Now the table was ready for someone else to stop by and take a turn!

Let's make a pattern!

Links to Grow On…

Creating with Lids in Preschool!

Learning with Lids in Preschool!

By | September 18th, 2016|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , |11 Comments

Creating with lids in preschool

Yesterday, I shared how we spent time learning with lids in preschool so if you missed that post, click on the link and head back over to get caught up! If you are all caught up, then you are ready to see how I expanded the learning with lids in my classroom by inviting the children to create with lids…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Painting with Lids

Lids come in lots of different sizes which make them a wonderful tool to use along with paint and paper…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

My students used the lids to print colorful circles on their paper…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Once again, as the children are creating with the lids, learning is happening. Whether the children are focused on design, color, or just the process of creating with lids through any kind of creative process, the children are making decisions about how to approach the process based on what is most interesting or meaningful to them…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

While painting, the children may prefer to fit the circle prints inside each other, connect the circles together, make a long line, or just explore the process to see what happens when they place each painted lid on their paper…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

The wonderful thing about creating with lids is that lids are just a tool that one can use to inspire creative expression….

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

And that expression can come in many different forms…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

And lead to all kinds of different results…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Gluing with lids

In my classroom, we do quite a bit of glue collages on pieces of cardboard. We use cardboard to give our artwork a sturdy canvas to work on and a cardboard canvas holds up to the heavy weight of glue better than construction paper…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Because we had so many different colors of lids, the lids were the perfect resource for creating a bright and colorful collage on our cardboard canvases…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Some of our students created a picture with the lids while others preferred to just enjoy the collaging aspect of creating with lids…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Most of the children placed their lids flat on the cardboard canvas while a few of the children decided to glue some of their lids standing up on their sides…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Every child was free to choose the colors, sizes, and number of lids they wished to add to their glue canvas…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Easel Painting with Lids

In my classroom, we also enjoy the process of using easel starters. Our easel starter today was, of course, a lid! I hot glued one lid on each piece of paper and made enough easel starters for each child to choose from plus a few extra. Some of my students preferred to paint on more than one lid easel starter paper…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

Each child made their own choice as to how they would like to integrate the lid into their easel painting…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

And just like the creative process should be, every child’s work was unique in approach and results…

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

These were a few ways that we explored creating with lids in our classroom. Tomorrow, I will share with you a little bit more about our exploration with lids. I know from reading the comments on my Facebook page that many of you have other creative ways to explore with lids and if you have something to share, please do leave your idea in the comments below!

Creating with Lids by Teach Preschool

In the mean time, be sure to also check out how we explored life skills by making Lid Soup

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

And how we used Lots of Lids to make this rather unique Bottle Cap Matching Game!

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

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By | June 5th, 2014|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , , |8 Comments

Learning with lids in preschool

I love to collect bottle caps and lids of all colors and sizes to use in my classroom. Bottle caps and lids make a wonderful resource for art, math, games, and more! The children and I collected tons of lids over the past two years but because I was always in a hurry, I would toss them in a baggie or in a shoe box or in a jar and over time, they were never kept in one place. I finally took the time to gather up most of my bags and boxes and jars of lids and put them into one large plastic jar so we could explore lots of lids in my preschool classroom…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

To be honest, this jar still didn’t hold all of the lids I have collected but by the time I filled the jar, I decided I would save the rest of the lids for a new adventure in learning with lids next year. For this year-end activity, I invited my students to begin our exploration by digging through all the lids and sort most of them by color…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Critical Thinking Skills and Decision-Making

Sorting lids by color may seem like a simple math process but for us it was a terrific opportunity to review color words and to use our critical thinking and decision-making skills. The children often had to stop and consider whether a lid had more red or more white and which color of paper it would fit best. The children also had to let me know if they came across a color that we didn’t have a piece of paper out to match like gray, purple, or pink…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Comparing and Contrasting

As the children sorted lids, they would stop and talk about what type of container a lid might have come from or they might talk about the size of a lid. Throughout their discussions, they were comparing and contrasting lids…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Numerical Thinking

Along the way, the children were naturally noticing which color of lids we had the most or least of. They were estimating which colors of lids would need to be stacked up higher because there were going to be far more of those lids than the other lids. The children noticed if there was one lid on the orange paper versus ten lids on the green. Mathematical thinking happens naturally as the children work on processes such as this…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Patience and Perseverance

Sorting all those lids took time too which required lots of patience and perseverance. The children were free to come and go all throughout the day but they knew that by the end of the day, every lid needed to be sorted so our sorting project would be complete…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Cooperation

Sorting lids also required the children to work cooperatively as they found the process went much smoother if everyone worked together to make sure the lids were sorted onto the right color of paper by the end of our day…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Spacial Awareness

By the time most of the lids were sorted on each piece of paper, the children had to do some rearranging and stacking of the lids to help them fit on the paper. We could have easily taken out a second sheet of the same color of paper, but the children were able to make the adjustments and challenging of making the lids fit onto a single sheet of paper per color of lid…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Teamwork

Teamwork is all about working together to accomplish a goal. This process was all about teamwork. By the end of our day, the team had to step it up a bit and finish our goal of sorting every single lid and they did a remarkable job!

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Attitude

One of the things I look for when considering if I think children are ready for kindergarten is that can-do attitude and the joyful willingness to jump in and participate with others to accomplish a goal. At any time, one of the children could have said that this process was boring or that they didn’t want to participate but these kids showed each other and me how they have a can-do attitude! …

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

Time Management and Self-Regulation

As you can see in some of the photos, there were other processes going on throughout the classroom that included the use of our lids. In the process of sorting lids throughout the day, the children were also exploring those other processes. They were free to manage their own time and regulate how to spend their time. I certainly could have set up the lid sorting process with no other choices so the kids wouldn’t have anything else to do but sort lids but part of the experience in my classroom is to always give the children opportunities to regulate and manage their own choices and time as they get things done that is on the agenda for that day…

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

I will be sharing more on how we continued the process of learning with lids because we definitely had lots of lids to explore!

Learning with Lids by Teach Preschool

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Building life skills with lid soup!

I am an avid saver of all kinds of lids. I love the colors, the shapes, the sizes and the many, many things you can do with them in the preschool classroom. For a little waterplay fun, the children whipped up some lid soup…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

There wasn’t much to prepare here. Just add water and lids and some tools for play and you have lid soup…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

And no real need for any guidance or instructions. The kids instinctively know how to make their own lid soup as soon as they see the water table all set up for play…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

Oh, and don’t be surprised if your students add other ingredients to your lid soup. My students decided to add a few dinosaurs to their soup. I am not sure if the dinosaurs are actually part of the soup or if they just stopped by to take a swim in the water table…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

You see, the goal of this process isn’t to define for the children what I think should be fun but rather to give the children tools for play so that they can then apply their own ideas based on what they think is fun…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

Whether a child is stacking and balancing lids in a cup, pouring water from a ladle, or giving a dinosaur a bath these types of play are fostering new skills which can also be used in real life situations such as pouring a cup of juice in a cup or scooping up their own snack…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

And as the children play, they are also focusing, concentrating, communicating, collaborating, and building life skills…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

So if you haven’t had lid soup yet, start saving up those lids (or have the kids help you do it) and then step back and observe the kinds of play, learning, and development that is happening as the children play…

Lid Soup by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to Grow On

Lots of Lids by Teach Preschool

Patterning with Partners and Lids by Teach Preschool

More things you can do with lids on Pinterest!

By | October 9th, 2013|Categories: Sensory Play|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

Lots of lids

Offering a variety of bottles and lots of lids proves to be a challenging invitation for children to solve this puzzle…

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

Deborah created a unique set-up for this activity by taping several bottles together to form two sets of “bottle and lid puzzles.” She taped together one long line of bottles and one round set of bottles…

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

By taping the bottles together, we avoided having the bottles being tipped over or falling to the floor so the children could enjoy a more stable work environment…

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

The children worked patiently at trying to match up the lids to the appropriate bottles. A few children really examined the lids to determine which one might fit. Not every lid on the table fit a bottle. This was purposely designed so the children would have to think about which lid might fit a bottle and which lids didn’t fit any bottle at all…

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

It was a test of trial and error. Some children figured out the small lids would fall right through the openings of larger bottles. They were easily retrieved by tipping the bottles upside down. It didn’t take long before the children were using their skills of discrimination to determine which lid would fit which bottle and then testing their choice to see if they were right…

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

This puzzling activity provides children with the opportunity to increase their fine motor skills, while also challenging their their hand-eye coordination…

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

If you are looking for a way to reuse all of those plastic bottles and lids you’ve been saving, then I would encourage you to give this activity a try…

Lots of lids by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on: 

M is for milk lid by Preschool Daze

Plastic lid ladybugs by Crafts by Amanda

Lid Soup with a Two Year Old by Teach Preschool

 

 

Patterning with partners and lids

Patterning is not a new concept for our children.  It is a process that we have been exploring throughout the school year, so our children were very familiar with the process of patterning before we introduced this activity.  However, patterning with partners is a relatively new process for our current students…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

For this patterning activity, we used many, many plastic lids of various colors and sizes.  We invited the children to sit at the tables and whoever they happened to be sitting next to became their partner in this patterning process.  We gave each pair of children a long sentence strip.  Any long strip of paper will work.  Just be sure it is long enough to make a nice sized pattern, because once the children get the hang of patterning, they will want to keep on going as long as possible…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

Deborah encouraged the children to listen and work cooperatively with their partners to create their patterns.  The children began this process excitedly by quickly lining up lids to fill their sentence strips.  Many of the partners truly had beautiful rows of lids, but no real patterns just yet…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

Deborah and I then began going around the room, working with each set of partners.  We would tell them, “I see you have a very colorful row of lids here.  Do you think we can make a pattern out of it?”  We would then start at the beginning of their row and address the first two lids.  We would point out the colors of those first two lids and say, “I see you have an orange lid and then a red lid.  What color should come next?”  In working with each pair of children, we were encouraging them to take their time to better understand the concept…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

There were moments when our young partners found the process frustrating,  Deborah and I showed the partners how to ask their partner which lid could come next.  We also showed them how they could share their space on the sentence strip or they could create separate rows.  Soon they were all working together to create patterns out of their lids…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

When children work cooperatively, they help to shape each other’s understanding…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

A simple activity like patterning with lids becomes more meaningful because the children are working with their friends toward a common goal.  The results are a thing of beauty…

Patterning with partners by Teach Preschool

Available on Amazon

Links to grow on: 

Post-it note patterns by Little Preschool on the Prairie

Patterns with shapes and colors by Crayon Freckles

Making apple patterns in preschool by Teach Preschool

 

By | February 3rd, 2013|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , , |4 Comments

DIY play dough magnets for the magnetic board

I keep my hot glue gun handy all the time so when I come across something I can add a magnet to the back of, I will add it and set it out by the magnetic board….

Magnetic Play Dough Lids

I saved a ton of lids from store bought play dough containers though out our school year and finally sat down one afternoon to add magnets to the back of them….

The children used the magnetic lids on our Guidecraft Floor Easel as well as on our metal “grease pan” magnetic board….

The magnets will pop off on occasion so I have taught my students to bring me a lid when the magnet pops off and together, we glue it back on.  Some of my students don’t even wait for me anymore. They just get out the glue and put the magnet back on and leave the lid in the “drying area” until the glue dries.

Kids are so capable and when you teach them how to make their own repairs, they also learn to take better care of the things we make for play…

The magnetic play dough lids were out all throughout the week and the children would just stop by on occasion and change them around.  Sometimes, a child would stay for quite awhile and other times, they would reach out, do a quick rearrange, and move on…

Eventually, I added numbers to some of the lids just to add a new dimension of play to the magnetic play dough lids but I never took photos of them with the numbers – but you get the idea…

And now that summer is over, even my grandson loves to explore the magnetic play dough lids when we stop by the classroom…

But he prefers to take them all off the board (and because the magnets can pop off he doesn’t get to run around with the lids)

And he loves to stack the magnetic lids up on the shelf…

A super simple way to reuse all those lids and a great way to add something more to your classroom for keeping small hands busy and young minds thinking…

Available on Amazon

 

Links to Grow On

Bendable DIY Magnets from Play Counts

Mangnetic Marble Tubes from Teach Preschool

Alphabet Magnets from Everyday Art

DIY Glass Magnets from Inner Child Fun

Hungry Caterpillar Magnets from Craft to Art

By | June 26th, 2012|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , |11 Comments

DIY Bugs on the sticky table

We have been talking about bugs off and on lately and so I thought I would make us some sticky table bugs to explore…

I have been saving lids all school year and we used them for all kinds of games and activities but with the end of the school year coming up, I decided that it was time to use them up. I hot glued googly eyes and chenille stems (antennae) on a bunch of the colorful lids to make bug faces…

Then I set out a tray of my DIY bug faces  along with a second tray of just plastic lids…

The children used the lids to make bugs or caterpillars on the sticky table.  The sticky table is simply made by securely taping clear contact paper, sticky side up, onto a table (or any other surface you want to make sticky)…

I invited the children to make their bugs then count the number of lids or try to make caterpillar patterns. But in the end, the children chose their own path of play with the bugs…

One child requested a marker so we added black permanent markers to the table as well. Many of the children used the markers to add facial features on the bugs and to add legs on the sticky paper…

The children played with the bugs in all kinds of ways.  By the way, the children made the observation that the lids did not stick to the contact paper unless you pressed the flat side of the lid down – so this meant the bug faces would not stick to the contact paper but the body did stick.  What a great observation!

Making the bug faces took me about an hour but I enjoy sitting down and making something new for my students when I can. It just adds that little something to the classroom that makes it fun. I have saved all the bug face lids (and the other lids too) to see what else we can do with them…

Do you have any ideas as to what else we could do with our little bugs?
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By | May 9th, 2012|Categories: DIY|Tags: , , , |22 Comments

Exploring the estimation station in pre-k

I took some of our math tokens that we collected from our math bags and added a few other items then placed them into baby food jars for our estimation station. I will continue to add more jars but today, we started with a nice selection of about 12 different jars of tokens to estimate…

The jars are sitting on a cupcake holder that I won last year from The Cupcake Blog. Since I rarely do any baking, the cupcake holder has been sitting in a box since I got it.  I finally decided that the cupcake holder would make a fun stand for our estimation station and will probably use it for other ideas too later on. Sometimes, finding a new way to display or present materials to the children makes the process more inviting to the children.   As soon as the children walked in and saw our estimation station, they began asking all about it…

We talked about the process first. I explained to the children that they were to pick a jar and make a guess of how many tokens were in the jar….

The challenge in introducing estimation to preschoolers is that often times the children do not want to take a guess for fear of guessing wrong. I have found that I often make it worse when I make a big deal about how close their guess was to the right answer.  So I am learning to respond by listening to their response and conclusions throughout the process rather than making any comments of my own…

After looking over the jar and making a guess of how many tokens are in the jar, the children then open the jar and spread the tokens out on their counting board…

We talked about how organizing their tokens help with counting the total number of tokens…

Some of my students naturally organize their tokens for counting and others still do not seem to get this concept at all. They just start counting – I don’t worry about it either way right now since this is such a new process for us. Over time and with practice, my students will figure out what works well for them and how to organize the materials where they can keep track of them…

After estimating and counting their tokens, the children placed the tokens back in their jar and then picked a new jar to start the process all over again.  Some of the jars only held a small number of tokens and some of the jars held a large number of tokens. Sometimes, the children would discover that there were far more tokens in the jar than they anticipated. They would often decide that there were just too many to count.  Realizing that there were more tokens in the jar than they originally anticipated was an important part of the estimating experience whether they ended up counting all the tokens or not….

I will continue to add new jars of tokens to our estimation station and we will continue to explore our math tokens in other ways as well. I look forward to seeing what else we come up with!

Linking this post to No Time for Flashcards Link and Learn!

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By | February 5th, 2012|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , |15 Comments

Making lid soup at home with a two year old

I had a surprise visit from little Wy this week and we needed something to do so I set out the little table and chairs I keep in my office and a basket of dishes for us to play with…

Wy set out all the dishes and that is when I realized that we need something more to do than just set a table so I pulled out my plastic jar where I have been saving lids and Wy quickly dumped the lids out on the table…

Then Wy began putting the lids in each of the dishes and that is when I realized we needed a bowl so we could make lid soup…

So we gathered all our lids and put them in the bowl. Wy used his spoons to stir up the lid soup and I tried to show him how to pick up lids with the spoon and serve the lids back into the bowls…

But the spoon Wy was using was really too small for the task so Wy lost interest and decided he rather just play with the large plastic jar…

While Wy continued to play with the dishes at the table, I began to wash my real dishes in the kitchen. Wy came to me with the little pitcher and decided he needed some milk in it. I put “milk” (water) in the pitcher for him and our play now moved to some light water play. My floors needed cleaned anyway so I figured what’s a little water!

Wy played with the dishes and lids and water for a good long time before he decided to move onto something else. Oh, and together we learned how to pretend to eat our lid soup then rub our tummies and say “Yum!”

He is such a sweetie pie:)   I am linking our play up to Childhood 101: We Play!