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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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Graphics by: MareeTrueLove.
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Calendar Math for Primary Grades

Calendar Math for Primary Grades
Primary Calendar for the Year

Incorporating Fine Motor Activities

So many preschoolers and kindergarten friends come to school 
with little fine motor practice.  
The first thought when fine motor comes up is pencil, paper activities, 
but the reality is there are so many ways to build fine motor BEFORE
children are ready for pencil, paper activities.

Clothes pins and larger tweezers offer children practice with the pincer grasp.  
We practice using pop poms and small objects 
as they are grabbed and moved from one place to another.  
Alphabet Mats and sensory tables provide a place for integration with these skills.

Alphabet Mats

Art activities provide fine motor experiences such as paper tearing, 
painting and gluing. While painting, we remind our friends 
to use their "pinching" fingers as they hold the brush. 
 Twirling the paint brush is a circular motion 
also takes practice at the beginning of the year.

Paper tearing also provides additional experiences 
and the scraps are saved for the art center.

Fine motor experience can also be incorporated while teaching math concepts.  
We use pony beads for counting and patterning.  

Play dough is always a go to with counting and tens frames.  
Rolling the dough in itself takes a LOT of practice!

One to one correspondence can be modeled and practiced 
using pom poms and recycled marker caps.
The end of the school year is the perfect time to collect 
old marker caps from students and teachers alike!

There so so many commercial games and materials for sale 
that lend themselves to fine motor practice
like Gumball Grab and Magic Boards.

Scissor practice is another fine motor skill that takes a great deal of practice.
We cut paper and play dough as they offer different resistances.  

Last week I added straws and scissors to our sensory table 
for additional fine motor practice.
We were then going to add string for threading once the straws were all cut.


This was found under the table at the end of  day one.
No one claimed it, no parent complained.
Scissors will be at the art table with supervision!

Affiliate links are included for your convenience.


Feel free to pin the image below onto your Pinterest boards for easy reference. 
For more fine motor inspiration, follow my Fine Motor Pinterest Board.

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Mrs. Wathen
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5 Fun and Engaging Alphabet Activities

Learning the alphabet in pre-k is front and center in our classrooms.
The KEY is making it fun and meaningful for our kids!

Children learn better when they have connections to things.
What better way to learn the alphabet than to start with students' names?
The excitement becomes contagious and as they learn their own names 
they want to learn to learn their friends names too!
Bottle Cap Letters is a FREE download on TpT. 

My pre-kinders love anything with texture.
Salt trays are a busy place in our room.
Learning is at an optimum when I set up one tray 
and call students over for some one on one time to practice writing their name. 
EVERYONE wants a turn!
When we do set it up as a center, 
a teacher is sure to be sitting at that table to supervise.  

Alphabet Mats are a FUN way to practice letters and sounds 
with some fine motor practice!
We roll play dough to form the letters, use tweezers 
and small objects like pom poms to cover the letters 
as well as just picking up objects like glass gems with our little fingers too.  
The alphabet mats that I use have two matching pictures 
for sound and vocabulary development.  
This is especially important for my English Language Learners.

Alphabet games and puzzles are sure to be a crowd pleaser!
A few of our favorites include alphabet fishing, matching spoons and puzzles.
 I found several versions of alphabet spoons on Pinterst and then made my own
with Target Dollar Spot stickers. You can follow me on Pinterest HERE.
We offer lots of practice in small group before moving these activities 
to the alphabet center for independent play.

We use LOTS of songs, nursery rhymes and poems 
to build on oral language, vocabulary and phonological awareness.
One of our daily activities during story time is to learn a new poem.
The rebus pictures help my pre-kinders connect to the text and build vocabulary.
We are working on beginning letters and sounds now, 
will move onto medial sounds and 
ending sounds as well as sight words later in the year.

On Fridays, my students add the poem to their Poetry Journal and we work on 
letters and vocabulary during small groups.
Starting in October, we will send home the Poetry Journals once a month 
for students to share with their families.  
It becomes one additional way to build that home-school connection.
October Poetry Journals with Rebus Pictures is available HERE.  

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Mrs. Wathen
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Follow @georgialoustudios