Top 5 Books in our Classroom

Holes in your nose

We started our year with many books about ourselves and our bodies and this one – by far – the most favorite one of them all. Who wouldn’t be interested in holes in their nose? Did you know that some animals have just one? Did you know how boogers are made? And that no matter how neatly you line them up, they are still dirty? ๐Ÿ™‚ Now you know. You are welcome.

The Paper Bag Princess

The boys in my classroom love this book! We have read it so many times, I cannot even count it anymore. They know most of it by heart and even started to dramatize it… we especially had to draw the burnt forest and horse bones!

Pout Pout Fish and the Big Big Dark

We have been talking about ocean, fish and beaches and this has been an absolute favorite this month. It’s about a fish that overcomes its fear of dark with a help of its new friend. Kids relate to the fish a lot and love reading the book along with me.

Make Van Gogh’s Bed

Touch the Art series are very popular in our creativity-based preschool but I think one is the most popular one. Kids love to talk about these famous paintings and learn a lot in a really fun way.

Pete the Cat: I Love my White Shoes

Kids loved this so much, they decided to draw their own version of this book. They let Pete step in all sorts of different things, like chocolate, ice cream and bananas. We played a lot of games, learned a lot about colors and – more importantly – about a positive outlook on anything ๐Ÿ™‚ Love the message of this classic.

What are some favorites in your classroom or in your home?

Fill Me a Bag

bag

What is your favorite ‘get to know you’ activity?

I love to do ‘fill me a bag.’ It involves the families, lets the child talk about her favorite things in front of the whole classroom (in a non-intimidating way)… and most kids really enjoy theย show and tell aspect as well.

I found these great colorful envelopes for the kids to take home on the first day and attached a simple note with instructions:

Dear families,

Please help us to learn more about your child. We would love to learn what he likes to do, what are his favorite books and toys, what sport is he into? Fill this bag with things that help us learn something new and fun about him ๐Ÿ™‚

If he likes to play with legos, put a small lego cube in. If he likes to read books, you can include his favorite… we will look at the things and carefully put them back to bring home the same day!

Thank you

Fill-Me-a-Bag directions for your child:

  • Fill this bag with 3-5 things that you can use to tell the class about yourself
  • All your things need to fit in this bag
  • You can decorate the bag if you wish
  • Bring it back next time you come and tell us all about it

I cannot wait to see what the kids bring into the classroom. And now, I have to go and search for things to put in my envelope… hmmm… do you think my coffee mug would fit?

Art Book review: Beautiful Oops!

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There is no right or wrong in art.

This is a message I try to teach the kids every time we create an art project. Art is not about right and wrong answers; it is about creativity, fun and self-expression. That is why I love this book so much.

Barney Saltzberg did an amazing job showing kids that every “mistake” is an opportunity to make something beautiful. Every stain, cut, drop of paint can be used to make something new and exciting.

I have used this book with kids 2-10 years and all of them love the message. It helps them to see what ‘no right or wrong in art’ truly means. I would definitely recommend this book to every budding artist and especially those who are afraid to start painting because they are afraid they will make a mistake.

I sometimes even do a little exercise in mistake-making. I ask the kids to doodle randomly on a piece of paper, make a stain or a tear and then try to figure out what to do with it. You can even mention that some artists, like Joan Miro, used this technique to make some of their art. Miro loved automated drawing: basically random doodles on a piece of paper that he later transformed into art… here are some examples of my older student’s work (K-2nd grade). What do you think, aren’t those Oopses wonderful?

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