Preschool: Community

Our community theme is one of my favorites because there are so many fun things we can do. I could probably spend a month on this theme exploring lots of jobs, places and community helpers.  
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Here were our plans for our community theme:
And here are the details for each activity:
Making Inferences:
 Madelynn loves a good guessing game, so our next book Clothesline Clues to the Jobs People Do by Kathryn Heling and Deborah Hembrook was a lot of fun! Each page gave clues in both the text and the pictures to help Madelynn guess what the person's job was. This was an easy way to introduce making inferences in a very straight forward format.
Making Inferences:
 Our next book, Whose Hands are These? by Miranda Paul was another fun read aloud with a similar guess the job format.  The jobs were a little bit more difficult in this one (engineers, cooks, physicians, etc.) But the text clues rhymed with the job on the following page which helped a bit.
Community Helper Book:
While reading Career Day by Anne Rockwell, Madelynn learned about many new jobs (musicians, judges, etc.)  After we read, she made her own community helper book, reading the sentences and then illustrating each one.
When I Grow Up Writing:
Our next book When I Grow Up by Al Yankovic, was a fun silly take on different jobs people can have. I love that it encouraged Madelynn to think outside the box about what she wants to be when she grows up instead of the typical teacher, police officer, firefighter, etc.  Of course then she decided she wanted to be a tooth fairy, but hey who am I to crush her dreams :)
 Tracking Print:
Our last book was Our Town from our set of Little Red Readers. Madelynn is starting to read easy level A books with patterned text. First, I read the beginning of the sentence, "Our town has a..." and paused, then she read the last word. She did a great job using picture clues to read the words.   And after the first 2 pages she was able to read the sentence by herself.
Community Sand Tray:
Our first literacy activity this week was a community themed sand tray.  I filled the tray with black sand and a few yellow straw pieces to form a road. Then Madelynn used small wheel cards as a model to write letters in the sand with her finger. She also used the cut up straw pieces but decided her finger worked better.
Jobs Sound Stamping:
Next, for more letter practice we used our dot stampers. We started out stamping inside the letter to make a J. Then Madelynn had to find the upper and lowercase j's in the mail carrier, stamp them and make the "J" sound each time.  
Build a House Sound Match:
This month we are focusing on beginning sounds so we started with this build a house matching game.  I printed houses and roofs with different letters and pictures on them for each letter of the alphabet. Madelynn chose a roof, said the word, then tried to identify the beginning sound. If she got it right she matched it to the letter house. If she wasn't sure about the sound I had her pick another picture instead.
Community Name Craft:
For this week's name craft we created a little neighborhood of houses.  First Madelynn cut the house and other pieces out. For the grass she made snips all the way across the top as well to create texture Then she wrote the letters in her name on each house. After she finished writing, she glued the pieces together and added the houses to the page in order to spell her name. To finish off the sky she added cotton balls for clouds.
Dinosaur Journal Writing:
For our journal this week Madelynn chose to draw and label her community. She drew a large building and herself.  I encouraged her to label each item so she wrote her name to label herself.
Car Count and Color:
To continue working on counting and identifying numbers, Madelynn worked on this color by code activity. Madelynn counted the dots then had to follow the directions to make each spot the correct color.  Now that we've been doing these activities for a few weeks we moved onto 6-10 dots in each area.
Community Helper Patterns:
This week's math focus was on patterns so I made mini community helper cards and patterns for her to copy.  We started out with a few simple AB patterns then tried ABB, AAB, and ABC patterns as well. Having the cards handy to copy made this a pretty easy task for Madelynn and was a great way to introduce new types of patterns.
Ice Cream Patterns:
To  expand on the new patterns we learned with the community helper pieces, I created these ice cream scoop patterns with missing scoops for Madelynn to complete.  She pointed to and said each flavor then used fine motor tweezers to grab and place pom pom scoops on the remaining cones to complete each pattern.
Sticky Band Aid Patterns:
Are your kiddos band aid obsessed like mine? I swear we go through boxes of band aids faster than milk over here.  I put that band aid love to work this week with these band aid pattern pages and Madelynn loved every minute of it!
Stamp Patterns:
Our final pattern activity was building stamp patterns. For this activity I put a strip of paper labeled with a type of pattern in an envelope.  I also placed small stamps in that envelope. Madelynn opened each envelope to find the pieces she needed to make each type of pattern. The tricky part was AAB and ABB patterns because she had to figure out with shape was the correct A or B otherwise she wouldn't have enough shapes.
Construction Zone Sensory Bin:
In this bin: black beans, vehicles, toilet paper and paper towel tubes

Build a City Craft:
Check out this amazing city Madelynn built with just paper! It was super easy to prep, I just cut out a bunch of rectangles and squares and glued some paper inside a shoe box lid.  Then Madelynn rolled the paper for buildings and added windows, doors and roads. I used hot glue to attach the buildings to the box lid so that they would be more stable.  After it dried, she used it to play with her toy cars and other vehicles.
Community Helper Matching:
After learning about lots of different jobs and the work that people do, I put together this book with 2 similar jobs on each page along with pictures for sorting.  I laminated and added velcro to all of the pieces so they could be used over and over again.  Then Madelynn practiced identifying the tools, vehicles, and hats that belonged to each community helper and sorted them onto the correct page.
Make a Mailbox Craft:
To make her own personalized mailbox Madelynn first cut out all of the template pieces from cardstock. Next she glued the pieces together, and I added a velcro dot to the mailbox door so that she could open and close it easily.  I helped her punch a hole in the side to attach the flag with a brass fastener so that it could move up and down as well.  Finally she personalized her mailbox with foam letter stickers to spell her name.
Dinosaur Mud Sensory Bin:
In this bin: packing foam, uppercase letters, lowercase stamps, mailbox

If you are looking for all of the plans and printables for this week's theme I will be posting them soon! If you'd like to be notified as soon as they are available please subscribe to my newsletter (in the sidebar to the right) and/or join our Tot School and Preschool Facebook group here:
And that's it for this week. I can't wait to share all of our learning and fun with you this year! Here are our tentative plans for weekly themes if you want to follow along!




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