Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Feelings, Communication, Valentine's & Freebies

Wow, what a crazy busy week!  (But then again, what week isn't?)  First of all let me say HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY to everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful week with your class filled with lots of love.  Our party was great yesterday, I just wish I had Monday off to recover!  (On Monday we are having a staff training day... and get this... I'm presenting on Positive Discipline!  Super excited but super nervous.  I mean, I don't really feel "old" enough yet to be teaching other teachers on classroom management!)

Before I start gabbing about this week, I need to tell you how much I love the "If You're Happy and You Know It" Song!  We sang this great song all week and substituted different feelings/actions.  The best part is I always end with some lyrics of my own invention, "If you're ready and you know it take a seat/If you're listening and you know it look at me," so on and so forth.  :)  GREAT song for transitions and learning about feelings!

Okay, onto the very busy week we had (with TWO Friday Freebies in store for you!)


Valentine's Day Cards

We made these cuties in the morning before our party.  They turned out great!  On the inside I let kids draw a picture of whatever they wanted for their parents.

TP Roll Heart Stamping

Great fine motor practice!

Stained Glass Hearts

These turned out gorgeous and were easy to make!  I simply folded a piece of construction paper in half, cut out a heart shape, then cut out a heart shape again on the inside (leaving a border).  I put the heart border on   piece of clear contact paper and the kiddos used tissue paper squares to fill in the inside.  Cover with contact paper again and voila!  These little beauties are now adorning our windows!

Heart Critters

This was my FAVORITE art project this week!  We made these after reading My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall, which is a great book with amazing illustrations (every animal is made out of hearts!)  Then I let my kiddos get to work making their own heart critters.  I just love how creative they get with open-ended art projects!  They made cute ducks (above), butterflies...

A caterpillar...

And my favorite- a bear holding a heart!


We started off the week with a shared writing about feelings.  Then we started learning about communication (how can we tell someone our feelings).  We did a mini-lesson in small groups on postcards...

And then I put postcards and stamps in the dramatic play center.  :)

Unbreak My Heart

The kids loved this activity from my "Beary" Sweet Math & Literacy Centers Pack!  In the picture above, my highest group is working on rhyming words.

In this picture, my lowest group is working on matching upper/lowercase letters.  I forgot to snag a picture of my middle group, but they worked on matching letters/beginning sounds.

Writer's Workshop

Here's some of my favorite books the kids wrote about Valentine's Day this week!


Pit-a-Pat Heart Patterns

This week we reviewed AAB/ABB patterns with these fun heart pattern cut and color worksheets from my "Beary" Sweet Math & Literacy Centers pack.  First they had to cut out the hearts and finish the patterns...

And then color them!  :)


Okay, this week I had a major reflective teaching moment.  Here's our sensory table on Monday...

TOTAL CHAOS.  And I'm not sure why I thought scoopers would work in confetti.  Just after I snapped this lovely picture, the kiddos in this group decided to throw everything onto the floor.  Yikes.

Now of course that group had to clean up their mess and be reminded of the sensory table rules, but being a reflective soul I thought about what I could do differently... and came up with this for Tuesday:

MUCH better!  A lot less confetti.  Red/pink colored rice scented with lavender oil for a calming effect.  Adorable heart-shaped measuring cups from Target  White and pink rose petals from Dollar Tree.  And we're back in business!  :)

I hid these cute valentine letters from Marsha at A Differentiated Kindergarten (pick them up by clicking here, she has a lot of great ideas!  I adapted the cards to fit the needs of my prekinders, but she has included cards for rhyming and beginning/middle/ending sounds).  My highest group fished for letters and tried to experiment and make different words... (which were very interesting!)

Whereas my middle and low group wrote down the lowercase letters they found on a recording sheet I quickly whipped up.  It was a blast!  (By the way, the cute pails are also from Target!)

Later when I had some more time this week I made some different (more beautiful) recording sheets that Marsha was fine with me sharing, and which you can find by clicking on the picture below!


Faces & Feelings Play-Doh Mats

These were great!  Get these blank face play-doh mats from Sparklebox by clicking here.  

Heart Shaped Lacing Cards

These fun lacing cards come from Karen at PreKinders, grab them by clicking here!

Dramatic Play

The Post Office took awhile to get launched this week!  First we had to have our postcard/stamp mini-lesson.  Then I also spent the first day of the post office playing with my kids at the center to role model how to use the money/register (this was my kids' first experience with pretend play money).  

And we also had to experiment with how delivering the mail should work.  I decided it would be a lot easier if my kiddos just wrote postcards to each other, that way the mail carrier could easily read the "To" line and put it in the correct take-home folder.  You can just barely see our Class Names photo album directories in this picture!  These are great, my kids love using them!

So, back to the mail carrier.  In the end, I decided on choosing two kiddos to be mail carriers right after rest time (so the pick-up time on the box is wrong)!  I switched out these two mail carriers each day so that almost everyone could have a turn by the end of the week.  I'm thinking of carrying this center on into next week too... It's just so cool!

By the way, if you're admiring my lovely homemade mailbox, you can easily make your own by following the directions at Busy Bee Kids Crafts.

Here's a look at some great books we read this week:

That's all folks!  Don't forget to grab my super cute Valentine bear number order freebies while you're here...

and check out everyone else's great Friday freebies!

Freebie Fridays

And I'll see you soon with some exciting news about... A FABULOUS FIRST 100 GIVEAWAY!  :)  I'm only 10 friends away!


  1. Wow, you have been super busy!!! I have the playdough faces from Sparklebox and the kids love them! I used your missing numbers bear freebie yesterday that I had picked up last week. These sheets were perfect as my kids have been working on this skill daily.

    The Bender Bunch

    1. So glad you could use them! :) My kiddos loved the play-doh faces too!

  2. We must be on the same page b/c we opened up our post office this week too! AND we put birdseed in the sand table and it was a total disaster...Birdseed everywhere!! LOL

    Seems as you found a way to get those heart activities in without focusing on Valentine's day.... =) I was quite successful too as we changed the name of the day and called it "Friendship Day"....

    I am sad I didn't get a chance to pick up your VDay packet...but it was such a crazy week!! =( Def next time!

    Good luck on your presentation on Monday!!

    Teaching Munchkins

    1. Wow, we were having a very similar week! :) We really focused on feelings and how we communicate our feelings rather than just Valentine's Day. How'd your post office go? Any pictures coming soon? Thanks for wishing me luck Sara, I hope you have a good weekend!

  3. I am a new follower - only 9 to go :)

  4. Jessica I loved everything about this post. Thank you!
    I want to come and live in your classroom.
    Lots of ideas here for my homeschooler.
    As a homeschooling Mum, I find the world of teacher bloggers inspirational. You all work so hard and are so creative and dedicated to your little people.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! You really made my day. :) I find you as a homeschooling mom inspirational, I hope to do that for my children someday! Have a good weekend!