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Posted by on Jan 22, 2018 in Authors, Blog, Dr. Seuss, Eric Carle |

Preschool Author Study

Preschool Author Study

Preschool Author Study

Even little children can understand that words make a story. Your Preschool Author Study can be great fun. Young children can even be authors! Learning about authors can be fun even for preschoolers. Head to the library if your school doesn’t have a large collection and bring back as many books by your chosen author. Read them all! Choose one or two of the books to focus on and bring to the other areas of your room with flannel stories, art projects, and science experiences that relate to the book.  

The topics of books chosen to highlight for this article is arctic animals. You might choose to do an author study as a secondary theme. Check out our arctic theme here.

Jan Brett

The first Author we study is Jan Brett. She has a wonderful website that accompanies her many children’s books. Her illustrations are from a time gone by yet somehow timeless. By the time we’re doing our author study we’ve read several of her book with our preschoolers. We’ve been explaining to the preschoolers all year, every time we read a book, who an author/illustrator is. Now we’re going to show them.

Preschool Author Study  Jan Brett

For this post we’ll discuss her book The Three Snow Bears.

The book is a twist on the traditional Goldilocks And The Tree Bears story. It’s beautifully illustrated in Jan’s style. Read both stories and do a little comparison on chart paper.

We have a few different ways the children can tell and retell the story available to the children during our author study. There’s polar bears, an igloo, and a few Eskimo dolls to re-enact the story with. We also have a flannel board story for the children to use. Of course all of Brett’s books that we own are on our book shelf for the children during our study.

Eric Carle

The next author we’ll study will be Eric Carle. His books are staples in schools, libraries and day care centers. Children everywhere know Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?

The next author’s work has been a staple with parents, teachers and kids for more than 50 years. Brown Bear, Brown Bear was released in 1965! A great way to introduce Eric Carle to your kiddos is to watch the video The Artist Who Painted A Blue Horse or 40 Years Of The Hungry Caterpillar

Preschool Author Study  Eric Carle

For this post we’ll discuss Carle’s Book Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear?

Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear can be a part  a week long author study or a study of article animals. Take a look at how we look at the arctic. We have pleantiful real snow to play in but for those who can only pretend there’s DIY Sparkly Fake Snow. Flannel stories, books on tape (cd)  are great ways to introduce literature to young children.

Children Authors

The books children author can be elaborate or as simple as a few pages of paper stapled together.

Teachers can help children become authors by dictating their story onto paper and binding the story into a book. I just plop down next to my preschoolers with their journal in hand and say “ Tell my your story.” They usually have at least something to say. Sometimes they go on and on! Below are a few examples of story prompts to get you started. 

Childrens own books can be elaborate or as simple as a few pages of paper stapled together.

Preschool Author Study


Scholastic has a great page called Story Starters. They have something for every age group and 4 different fun categories like Sifi and Fantasy. The page is very easy to use with young children.

A cute site to visit for writing ideas is Look! We’re Learning  This is actually a homeschool blog but this could be applied to preschoolers.

Another great site for this was found on There you’ll find a cute game designed for around the dinner table but could easily be used in small groups at preschool. She has an

I’ve only highlighted two authors here but you get the idea. Introducing authors to young children may just inspire our next Jan Brett,  Eric Carle, or Steven King! lol

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Posted by on Jan 20, 2018 in Art, Blog, Pre-School Teachers |

10 Best Preschool Blogs

10 Best Preschool Blogs

10 Best Sites For Preschool Activities

This list of our 10 best preschool blogs will grow as I come across new blogs. Teaching early childhood is quite different from teaching grade school, or even kindergarten. Depending on the dynamics the curriculum in preschool classrooms changes from year to year. Preschoolers require teachers to have a whole other skill set and resources that they’ll find in a wide range of places. Our curriculum develops, each year, to be responsive to the children’s abilities and interests. Back in the day preschool teachers used magazine subscriptions for printed publications like The Mailbox or Ladybug Magazine.  These days the search for resources begins with colleagues and ends on the internet. Here is this preschool teacher’s list of the 10 best preschool activity blogs:

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs Teach Preschool Deborah Stewart’s blog is my archetype. Deborah’s site is just beautiful! Her blog is inspiring. Her activities are always developmentally spot on. The photos capture the action and depict the wonder she inspires in the children. She has also put together an early learning workshop for new teachers. Deborah is also the author of a readiness guide for preschool teachers titled Ready For Kindergarten!. I highly recommend a visit to this site you’ll book mark it for future visits.

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs   Lisa Murphy, the Ooey Gooey Lady has an exhaustive collection of fun activities for preschoolers. There are articles for teachers; hundreds, maybe thousands of pictures of her inspiring workshops; links to her Facebook page and Twitter feed; audio recordings of past workshops; and a page offering Lisa’s own books as well as books authored by other experts in the field. I highly recommend her workshops.

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs TeacherTomsBlog Tom’s blog is thought provoking. His posts are introspective and inspirational. He’s been at it a long time and the blog is worth a look.

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs Jackie put together a nice site where she blogs about her family child care center. She posts crafts and activities for toddlers and preschoolers. The site has many links to activities, tons of pics, arts & crafts, and she even has a recipes! This is one busy lady, she’s a mom, teacher, and blogger.

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs Red Ted Art is written by another very busy wife, mother, and blogger named Molly. Her site is full of age appropriate activities. Molly produced many videos, photos, and even authored a book called Red Ted Art .  Enjoy!

5 More Best Preschool Activity Blogs

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs Here is a blog dedicated to teachers of every grade. They do offer a large preschool section. There is a section with pages of free downloads. This blog is valuable to teachers everywhere!

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs This author’s name is Karen Cox. She has tabs for learning areas, themes, classroom ideas and printables.

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs  This is a cute blog written by a former preschool teacher who is now a full time mom and blogger. There are tabs for science, literacy, math, fine motor, and parenting.

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs This blog is designed for parents still the ideas presented are appropriate for classroom use as well. This site has many free resources although they do offer a pricey subscription. Very well illustrated.

10 Best Preschool Activity Blogs This blog is overflowing with fun activities! Their latest post, a gingerbread theme goes on and on forever. You will find something fun to do with your preschoolers!

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Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in Blog, Curriculum, Teaching Strategies |

New research finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices

New research finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices

New research finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices

In October Lillian Mongeau of the Hechinger Report told the story of a  scientist who took their research to the next level. This is the story of how new research finds “Magic 8” preschool classroom practices. In 2015 Vanderbilt researcher Dale Farran published the disappointing findings from her study of the Tennessee state preschool program.  That study found the preschool program had no effect or negative effects on children by third grade. Rather than doing reasearch and just leaving it there with children in mediocre settings she decided to get involved and do something about it! “Do you just say ‘we found these outcomes’ or do you roll up your sleeves and try to do something about it?” said Farran.

Farran initiated a second study. Farran’s team collected data on teacher actions and student achievement in 26 preschool classrooms. The study of 840 children ran for two years from 2014 to 2016.  From the data Farran developed eight critical actions teachers can take that can increase positive experiences. These “magic 8” actions, taken across curriculua, can improve outcomes and transform mediocre programs into high quality programs.

Learn more about the “Magic 8” here. 

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Posted by on Dec 21, 2017 in Blog, Christmas, December Themes |

Sugar Plums Last Minute Christmas Fun!

Sugar Plums Last Minute Christmas Fun!

Sugar Plums Last Minute Christmas Fun!
Spin Art Lollipops

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads   Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads   Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads   Just tape a paper plate to the turn table of an Fisher Price record player turn it on 33rpms and give a kid a paint brush. Some how they seem to know what to do!

Gingerbread Men In Their Gingerbread Houses

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads     


Tree Decorating

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads     Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads  These are simple painting and gluing activities.

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads These trees were purchased at thrift stores. We just plopped ‘em in the sensory table with beads and ribbon. They know what to do next!

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads  This is a store bought magnetic tree, might have been Scholastic. Really can’t remember where I picked this up.

Hand and Footprint Art

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads  These snowmen are fabric paint on a carpet squares. Nice gift for parents.

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads  Hand print Santa. No need to draw a face, this is so cute as is.

Candy Canes

Sugar Plumbs Dancing In Their Heads  These delicious candy canes were done with just the child’s finger tips. Patterning is an important pre-reading skill!

Sugar Plums Dancing In Their Heads  These were made by using masking tape to cover the paper and create the stripes. Kids paint then remove the tape.

Sugar Plums Dancing In Their Heads  Each child marble painted two canes. Make sure they’re facing the right direction if you want to hang them is shown.

Sugar Plums Dancing In Their Heads  These kids are painting on the under side of paper bowls with masking tape on them to make a pattern to look like peppermint candies. Next let them dry then wrap them in cling wrap to look like wrapped hard candy.

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Posted by on Dec 19, 2017 in Art, Blog, Christmas, Holidays |

Preschool Stained Glass Windows

Preschool Stained Glass Windows

This all started many years ago when I moved into a new classroom and found a box of unused tiles. Some were mosaic some were just 4×4 bathroom tile. I had no idea what to do with them so they sat for a long while. I thought maybe a mosaic or stepping stones for the playground, but they just sat collecting dust. Then one day I had some left over plywood from some other project and my idea started to take form.

Preschool Stained Glass Windows  First I glued the tiles to the boards in interesting patterns. I used E6000 glue because the thing will need to hold up with moisture from lots of paint.

Preschool Stained Glass Windows  We used rollers to apply paint. We used BioColor paints.

Preschool Stained Glass Windows  Next we laid parchment paper over the tiles. We gently rubbed to insure the paper had collected all the paint.

Preschool Stained Glass Windows  The great reveal!  Not the greatest pic but you get the idea.

Preschool Stained Glass Windows         Preschool Stained Glass   I cut the frames out of black poster board. I just cut them to fit and mounted them with tacky glue. Not many sunny days here (WNY)  in the winter but I’m sure they’ll look great with the sun shining through. They turned out better than I expected!




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