W is for Winter: Early Literacy and Math for Preschoolers

January 10, 2012

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What Will the Weather Be Like Today by Paul Rogers is the perfect winter weather book to read here in the Hill Country of South Texas. Once in a blue moon we experience a snow day like last year but on the other hand, we often enjoy sunny warm weather in January. It might get hot in the summer but we don’t have to shovel snow during the winter!

As I wandered into a Pre-Kindergarten classroom last week, I thought, I’ve got to get my camera because I’m witnessing simplistic learning at it’s best. Using her big chart tablet, Ms. Trisha kept her lessons simple, engaging her young students in early literacy and mathematics concepts.

Activity 1: What is your favorite season graph?

  • read aloud What Will The Weather Be Like Today by Paul Rogers
  • on a large chart tablet, write the four seasons
  • use tally marks to record the vote of each child
  • model how to count tally marks and record data with numbers
  • introduce the mathematics vocabulary “least and most”

Activity 2: W is for Winter

  •  introduce the letter sound “W” as in winter
  • the children brainstormed words that begin with the “W” sound
  • Ms. Trisha modeled early literacy concepts as she wrote on the class big chart
    • letter formation, with a focus on “W”
    • upper and lower case letters
    • left to right reading and writing
    • top to bottom reading and writing
    • proper nouns / capital letters
  • the chart is displayed in the room and the children use it as a resource when writing

Activity 3: “Winter is  ______________________” brainstorm and self portrait.

These winter self portraits began as a simple blackline. I was impressed how these children have obviously been taught to express themselves freely. While they are encouraged to grow and learn, they are not forced to “color within the lines.” We have blue eyes, red eyes, girls with long hair and multicolor children with a big blue gorgeous sunshine. This makes me smile.

  • read aloud winter related books
  • brainstorm words that describe winter
  • write words on a big chart tablet
  • give each child a sentence strip and encourage them to write their favorite winter word
  • invite children to paint a winter self portrait
  • create a display titled, “Winter is _________________”

Come win: The Secret Life of a Snowflake by Kenneth Libbrecht

This is a gorgeous book to include in a winter weather study. While the text is a bit long for young children, they will be fascinated with the intricate close-up photos of snowflakes. Preschool teachers can simply share some of the facts about how a snowflake is made.

These simple winter literacy and math activities reminded me of our waddlee-ah-chaa philosophy:

  • learning is the simplest thing: learning is most often at its finest in its simplest form
  • learning, there just “ain’t” much to it: learning is at its premium when it is experienced in an uncomplicated, spontaneous manner
  • learning is something you doodlee-doo: learning is the most meaningful when it is active and hands-on
  • learning makes you want to yell “Hey!”: learning that stays with you creates a vibrant soul

Do you have the waddlee-ah-chaa attitude?

I’m reminding myself to keep things simple in 2012!

Life with Joyce

Sharing this week at:

Thematic Thursday

Thrifty Thursday


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Jackie January 13, 2012 at 6:30 am

Love these. I love how she used the words least and most with the kids. I need to integrate more math vocabulary.

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