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About Me

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I am a first grade teacher who has rediscovered a love for firsties this year. I have taught pre-k, kindergarten, first grade and even second over the past 16 years. I have been married for 17 years to my wonderful husband and have been blessed with 2 very active boys.

Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K Back to School
Pre-K Back to School

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy
Pre-K/Kindergarten Literacy

Phonics Games

Phonics Games
Phonics Games
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Learning through Play

I have finally come up for a breath as "back to school" is upon us! Full day pre-k is fast paced, fun  and you always have to be one step ahead of your munchkins!  It is so refreshing to see children learning through play! Through LOTS of planning and modeling, the students are learning in developmentally appropriate ways.  I have found my passion once again.
Children love learn to play with a variety of materials.  Some are more popular than others!  It is our job as educators to encourage play by MODELING activities! Foam shapes sat at the math table during centers this week.  I sat down next to a child who just seemed to be sitting there.  We talked about what we could make and started moving the shapes around.  We had a great dialogue including shape names and before long, the table was crowded and everyone wanted to play!

Puzzles were at one of the rotations during small group activities this week.  It is a "quiet" center,,, My students work on puzzles with up to 10 pieces with individual pieces.  I started to walk over to the child in the bottom pictures because he was "playing" with the puzzle pieces and making plane noises (GASP!) . REALLY?!? This is pre-k!! I quickly caught myself and sat with him for a minute to chat about the space shuttle he was launching! Perhaps he will travel to space someday...

Games are such a great learning opportunity.  In a time where the only games kids know about are video games, I believe this is the PERFECT activity during small group.  It give students a time to practice skills, learn how to take turns, follow directions and yes,  sometimes there is a winner and a loser.  Lots of life lessons and it is my job to help students with these social skills.  Thanks to my friend Anna for introducing me to the game of CRASH!  I just added the CRASH cards to a set of Lakeshore shapes for instant engagement.  CRASH cards can be added to any cards to add a bit of fun to any skill:).

The sensory bin is such a great place to combine science, math, fine motor practice, language and free exploration!  We added pine cones, acorns (which not one little friend knew what they were prior to this)  and little pumpkins along with pumpkin ice cube trays for counting!  Don't worry about the two little "worms" that crawled out of the acorns... I saved them and relocated them outside!

The block center encourages cooperation, spacial awareness, fine motor, language, naming shapes, and sorting them at clean up!  The conversations students have evolve and the challenge is to add additional materials such as animals, cars and wooden people to foster imaginative play and keep things fresh and inviting.  

 I am always looking for new ways to expand our program and resources.   If you would like to read more about how Donors Choose works, you can click HERE.  If you would like to see how I "theme" my projects, you can check out my current project HERE.

I would love you to follow me on Facebook or Instagram to follow along with our fun and learning!

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Mrs. Wathen
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  1. I miss Pre-K too! Sensory tables, blocks and puzzles! Love the pic learning trough play!

  2. I love your attitude about learning through play! When I was volunteering in Peru years and year ago an OT told me "play is a child's work," and that's always stuck with me! Thanks for sharing.

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