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Pre-K Dinosaur Color By Number/Letter

So now that I have a kiddo myself I have been creating for him and thought I'd share what we have been up to lately.  A little background - he's 3.5 now and is totally into dinosaurs! We have been working on alphabet and counting for awhile but I just now realized that he can do color by number sheets - like DUH! It just had not even occurred to me before now.

I whipped up some sheets that I LOVE! and he does too!

I'll tell ya why I love them:

1)  You can never have enough number and letter recognition (it contains all upper and lowercase letters! - BONUS!) in an easy to read font for littles!  I do color over the number/letter with the correct color first so then he can match them since he does not recognize the words yet.

2) There is a skill check at the bottom of each sheet!  I love these because I took the skills needed for kindergarten and modified to his level, so I know anything on there translates to something he needs to know~

3) Educator Connection is in the bottom right corner of each page as well!  Love, Love, LOVE these because whether it be a parent, teacher, grandparent (since they will be helping on days not in preschool) they can extend the learning to the world around them.

It totally follows the related skill but may use things around the room, the back of the paper, or ideas to build on the concept.  These would be perfect for early preschoolers to send home and have parents talk about what they learned and see an introduction to a skill.

They are just the perfect level for the little learners.  Not too much on a page, easy skill introduction, and ways to connect to learning - all wrapped into one!

We keep these handy in our diaper bag in with crayons in case we need when we are out anywhere and I also supply grandparents with some when they watch him to get some learning in as well!  Who doesn't love dinosaurs??!

Slime Science

Since I'm not in a school this year I have still been involved with kids even in my community.  Recently I held a slime science event at a local community center for parents to drop off kids and shop/wrap presents if need be.  We had four different slime stations and lots of learning and fun took place.

I loved that kids wanted to come outside of school and I tried to provide some great extensions about science from what they are learning.  The stations we had were:

  • Magnetic Slime
  • Color Changing Slime
  • Glow in the Dark Slime
  • DIY Slime
I wanted this to extend education in addition to the clear fun of "slime" on its own.  I made a specific booklet that contains all the recipes that we used and activities that go along with each type.  

For our specific event, we had kids rotate around in groups and really didn't get to do too much of the book work, but the table leaders went into specific details and experimented after making it.  

The way our event worked was 2 rotations of slime, then we met, talked and had snack, then finished up our last 2 rotations.  At the end, we met back up and looked at our books to find something new we learned or write it down and that is what they shared before they left.  

Overall, this would make a great family night for your school.  Buying the supplies in bulk really cuts the cost of the event.  We used 2oz cups since they got to take home 4 different types and that worked out great.  The booklet even comes with a whole page of parent extensions!

My four favorite parts:

1.  My Pearly Snow Slime:
Guys I seriously could not stop playing with my own slime I made.  At the DIY station I used White Pearl Paint combined with sequins to make a winter-y pearl paint.  I loved the shimmer and shine but it wasn't too much and the consistency came out just right.  We learned no matter how many times we made it that consistency varied each time it seemed like - too loose, too tight or just right.  It took lots of trial and error - we used pipettes to drop in the Borax solution to make sure we weren't adding too much.  Watering down the glue helps as well.

2. Magnet Fights
Because we used Iron Filings and Iron Oxide in different batches we could test the strength of each. Below is a video of the two different types and how they interacted with Neodymium Magnets .

*yes those magnets have to be used - I noted that in parent materials*

Pulling back the slime reveals the magnetic field!🤓🤓🤓

Also what's really cool is that those two slimes become magnetic to each other after polarized with the magnet.  If they are stored near each other the iron fillings will all gravitate towards the iron oxide slime - PRETTY COOL!

3. Exact Temperature Changes
The color changing slime was so fun to make and experiment with! Thermochromic pigment makes this slime so special. The pigment changes color with different temperatures! I could not find one to purchase that changes at a lower temp. Ours changes at 88 degrees Fahrenheit which actually worked out well.

We could dip it in hot tap water, warm with our breath, stretch out warm slime and watch it cool, and get metal utensils warm to make patterns!

The cool science part was letting students use a thermometer to experiment with exactly what temperature changed the slime. Lots of trial and error to figure it out. The powder can be a little pricey but woukd easily make a big batch for one class!!

4. “Literal” lightbulb moments 
The glow slime was really eye opening for some of the kids that have never seen black lights or used them before. It was so cool to see their reactions to he parts.  Clear Glue works better than white glue for glow slime!

We used Highlighter ink in our water since it glows in black lights, we used glow paint and black light paint to make sure our slime glowed in dark and under black light really well. I made sure kids got to see each part of that process as well! 

If you are interested in the workbook that goes with the materials to use in school or for parents you can find more information by clicking here or any of the pictures below.  It also comes with an editable invite and some promo resources!

My top picks: 

10 Ways to Make a Teacher's Day

I’ve been there! The long conference days, unplanned drills, sick students...each day is a surprise and we live for it.  We wouldn't have it any other way.   Teachers give day in and day out - all day every day.  Transferring the office world made me realize even more how little teachers get a break even though they have the most demanding job.   Want some ways to #thankateacher on special days or any day - they are with your child daily so even a little pick me up is ALWAYS welcome.

These are more idea for throughout the year.  We celebrate Teacher Appreciation week but they dedicate a whole year to your child.  Here's some ideas to get teacher they will LOVE!

1.  Target 

Target dollar spot items, the coveted Target Giftcard you name it - teachers love it all.  So many items they can use there!  You cannot go wrong.

2.  Cleaning Supplies

Especially for Christmas or flu season - we always seem to be out of Kleenex or Lysol Disinfecting Wipes and so desperately need them.  To save asking again in a newsletter this is great to help stock up later in the year!  Hand Sanitizer too!

3. Caffeine + Treat  

@whattheteacherwants shared how she brought caffeine and a donut to power through conferences. LOVE this idea - what teacher would not appreciate that.  I would sink in my chair and dive right in.

4.  Positive Note

Write just a little note saying how much you've enjoyed a particular aspect of their classroom, teaching, relationship to child, etc... Even if its work to find one thing - it would go a long way for your relationship.  The positive relationship between parent and teacher is crucial why not encourage it.   Your child can help write or make a card too.  I have some great FREE ones for teachers to start you off!

5.  Dinner

If you have a good relationship or really like your teacher - imagine showing up after pick up line with dinner for his or her family.  Even takeout you picked up so they wouldn't have to cook that night!  I would *faint* if this happened...maybe then I would scarf up the food.  In my previous schools, we were pretty tiny so our community was close and we knew each other well so this was a likely possibility but honestly any teacher would appreciate it!

6.  Donate to classroom

Does your teacher have a Donor's Choose Project?  Do they have an Amazon wishlist?  Use them!  I started those one year and got tons of books that we so desperately needed in our classroom.  Parents didn't have to guess because they knew what we needed.  They liked helping out the classroom too so all the students could benefit.  Look in their newsletter, website, or ask!  I don't think any of us are shy if it will benefit our students!

7.  Office Supplies

Teachers go crazy for Post-its EXPO Markers, Flair! Pens, sharpies, Astrobrights Color Paper, Thermal Laminating Pouches, --- sorry for the name-dropping but this stuff is like SUPER cool in the teacher world.  We go crazy for it.  Click on the links to check out my absolute favs that any teacher would be dying to have!

8. Volunteer

What can you do to help --- redo a bulletin board, help cut out pieces for a game, organize library books?  We could always use help AS LONG AS YOU ASK AHEAD!  We might send work home for you or have you work in school and maybe not in the classroom with your child but do know we appreciate your time to help things run smoothly.  *Bonus* if you make this a weekly or monthly task!

9.  Treats

Baked goods/ chocolate (or treat of choice) are a guarantee of getting us to smile. A little bit goes a long way.  Usually getting into 2nd or 3rd grade your child knows what your teacher's favorites are, sometimes they post them in a intro letter so there is no guessing.  Use that info!

10. TPT Giftcards

Teachers spend countless hours and money on supplemental curriculum for their students.  Why not help them out and they get to choose - bonus --> the students always win!  They get awesome resources and the students learn *and* love the outcome!

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