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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

My Pre-K Classroom

Wecome to my Pre-K Cottage!  I teach pre-k in a public elementary school in a portable classroom aka cottage.  With that being said, we prefer cozy over small and we love our space!

Our classroom is set up in centers, with several areas having dual purposes! Our cottage was origionally set up as an elementary classroom, so you will see some not so typical pre-k furniture, and we have made it work. Each center has a center sign above it and we teach the center names at the beginning of the year to help students identify which center they would like to explore. You can read more about our the ins and outs of our centers here.

The circle area is the main hub of the classroom.  It is where LOTS of learning and playing take place! We start off with morning meeting to connect with each other and our day, come visit again for story time and all things literacy, music and movement activities take place here and our math and science circle wrap up our day here! This area also serves as the library center during small group rotations and the block area during center time!

The art center is located near the sink for easy clean up. We have two 45 minute center times-one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  We preselect activities to be used during these times and have the materials ready and waiting for the children.  In an ideal world, we would have low, open shelving that the children could access and use materials of choice, but we rotate  materials frequently. We are super excited to add the art easel to our art area this year!

The dramatic play/pretend area is a favorite of both girls and boys!  We start the year with home living for two weeks and then introduce a new set up.  We continue to rotate two weeks of home living with two weeks of a dramatic play theme throughout the year.  This keeps their interest high as it provides additional opportunities to extend learning and build new vocabulary.

The math center includes an assortment of manipulatives along with puzzles and games.  We are lucky enough to have a manipulative shelf here that is ideal for pre-k.  The key to this is labeling the bins and the shelves to foster indepencdence in this area. We use picture and work labels as the children use the picture to help identify each manipulative as they make connections to the print. My teacher hack is to use the adhesive pocket labels found several times a year in the Target dollar spot so labels can be easily changed out.

The science center is a work in progress.  We are continually working to build the materials and I often turn to Donors Choose to make this happen.  This is definately a perk to teaching pre-k in a public school. The materials are changed out weekly and it is dedinately a well loved center now.

All things reading and writing can be found in the alphabet center. Some of our favorite activities include magic writng boards, alphabet fishing and several kids of letter manipulatives like bottle cap letters that can be used for name building and thematic word cards. The light table and the puppet theater also work well here and truth be told, our room is small and it was the only corner left!

The block area doubles with our circle time area to give plenty of room to spread out and create! This area includes the transitional wooden blocks, Legos, Magna Tiles, Melissa and Doug Small Wooden Blocks and Little People.  I reorganized my block area this year and added bins for easy storage and clean up with the large wooden blocks.  Labels still need to be added but that is on my to do list for now! Additional materials are exchanged in and out every few weeks to compliment a theme, add a STEM project or to create additional interest.  Children LOVE novelty and are excited to play and create when new items are added.

The library area also shares our circle time area which sounds crazy when you know blocks are also stationed there!  The library area is typically used during our small group rotations.  If they want to visit during centers, they are more than welcome of course! I have a collection of board books that are favorite stories for pre-k friends.  We then rotate in and our themed books and other favorite stories.  A collection of alphabet books can be found here along with a class set of name books. A chart with our weekly poem is also housed here.

Our students sometimes spend more ours a day in our classrooms that they do awake at home.  It is my hope that I have created a joyful atmosphere in my classroom that fosters a love of learning in my students as they explore and create in pre-k!

I would love you to follow The Resourceful Apple on Facebook to stay connected with alll going on here in my pre-k class!

Mrs. Wathen
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