Friday, September 30, 2011

D is for... DINOSAURS and DOCTORS!

     Sorry for the delay in this post!  Although we did the letter Dd a week ago, Sammy had some vacation hours he needed/wanted to use.  I guess we will excuse him just this once.  It just didn’t feel right doing my video without the little guy, thus, without further ado… the letter Dd!
     For the letter Dd, I went with a favorite among many of the kids in my classes, DINOSAURS!  What two through six year do you know that is not obsessed with dinosaurs?  I always start off my classes by asking the kids what the letter of the day is going to be.  This is great for helping them remember what letter they did last week and which letter comes after it in the alphabet.  I have some pretty smart cookies (if I do say so myself) and they continually amaze me with how much they already know.  Thus, without missing a beat, almost every kid in my class knew it was Dd and knew we were doing dinosaurs.  I wish I could have captured their excitement!
     The flashcard craft this week was pretty simple.  For those of you who don’t know, I try to draw my flashcards for the kids.  I am by no means an artist, but I think it adds a little something special.  So, with just one mess-up that ended in the recycling bin, the flashcard looked like this.

Materials: Dinosaur "D" drawn on an index card, crayons, and 4-5 foam triangle stickers, and a googly eye

Back side of the flash card

 1) Color your dinosaur.  Place triangles along the back of the dinosaur.  Place google eye on the head.

2) Trace the uppercase and lowercase "Dd" on the back of the card.  If your child cannot trace, hold their hand and guide them.

3) Add your card to the letters Aa, Bb, and Cc.

     I added some triangles to this flashcards in order to talk about shapes with the kids.  I asked the kids to put the triangles on the backs of their dinosaurs; however, if they did not like that, then they could put them anywhere.  In what I like to refer to as a “light bulb” moment, one kid responded, “So you want us to make a stegosaurus?”  Tell me that isn’t a smart cookie?
     Now I know that last week I said the clothesline craft was a favorite of mine, however, that was before I came across this amazing doctor bag craft (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find it).  I saw it and immediately knew I had to do it. That is one of the best parts about crafting during story times, it’s not only educational but fun too!
     Books this week were interesting.  There are thousands, and I mean THOUSANDS, of dinosaur books to choose from when you are looking for a great read-aloud.  The hardest part of dinosaur books is often the pronunciation of the dinosaur names!  My best suggestion, PRACTICE before you read it aloud.  I ended up going with Dinosaurrumpus by Tony Mitton.  This book has a lot of great dinosaurs that your kids will recognize.  There is also a chorus that repeats almost every page.  My kids had a great time chanting the chorus with me.  

     For my doctor book I decided to stray from the norm.  There are doctor books by all the classic children’s authors including Mercy Mayer, Jonathon London, and Stan and Jan Berenstain, however, I went with a little known book, Miss Polly has a Dolly by Pamela Duncan Edwards.  This book is actually a converted jump rope rhyme.  There are a lot of repeating words within the book that the kids enjoyed reciting with me.  Another great aspect of this book was that it was filled with Dd words. 

     Other than books and crafts, my next favorite thing to jazz up my programs is the music!  You CANNOT have a great program if you do not have music.  For my dinosaur theme I went with a well-known oldie but goodie “Walk the Dinosaur.”  For those of you who don’t know, the remix by Queen Latifah is fantastic and most kids recognize the song from the movie Ice Age.  It’s upbeat, bouncy, and all out fun! Just what I like.  Another great dinosaur song, “Fossil Rock” by Jane Murphy, is fantastic for teaching kids about fossils and how dinosaurs became fossils.  Once again, upbeat, fun, and bubbly!  Mark it down as another win!
     That seems to be all for this week’s post!  I hope you enjoyed the letter Dd.  As usual, if you ever have any questions, leave a comment!  I love getting replies!  Next week is the letter Ee.  What fun things can you think of?

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