story · topic


Today is Mardi Gras which is a holiday that is famous for the celebrations in New Orleans. This first book is about a fictional band that played in New Orleans, but went away. They are trying to imply the time of Hurricane Katrina, but do not speak about it straight out. It talks about the impact that the band and music has on the culture of New Orleans and Bourbon Street. The Bourbon Street Band is Back by Ed Shankman.

The second story is written by Wynton Marsalis, Squeek Rumble, Whomp, Whomp, Whomp shows how you can listen to your world and hear the music. Watch this video as Wynton Marsalis shows how you can take other songs and put them into a jazz feel! If you and your child enjoy this, I encourage you to find his Nursery Rhyme Swing concert at Lincoln Center.

Now it is your turn. Find sounds around your house and see if you can create your own jazz. Can you take a song you know and tweak it to make it more your own.

STEAM · topic · writing

Life cycle of an apple

The life cycle of an apple takes us through all four seasons. This is a great learning opportunity to discuss life cycles, the four seasons and so much more!

Videos to check out:

Apple Life Cycle— This one is done in CGI

Life Cycle of an Apple Tree— this one has a fun song to learn and sing along

Life Cycle of an Apple— this one is kids telling kids

Flower to Fruits— this is a time lapse going from the apple flower to picking the apple off the tree.

Today we are going to work on a four square of this life cycle. I will show you two variations: In the top photo you will see I showed how a seed grows into a tree. The bottom shows how an apple grows on the branches.

The important part of this activity is the process of the growth. Have your child explain how the apple tree/apple grows. If your child is comfortable in their writing process, encourage your child to write labels or sentences to go with the pictures. The important item is the explanation… “Tell me the process” “Why did you draw this in this block?” “What do you think the next step will be?”

Do you follow me on Facebook yet? (link in sidebar… or just search @mydayinprekblog) Last Friday I did a live stream on apples! I will be back live on Friday, September 18th (2pm EDT) to read From Acorn to Oak Tree and have some more learning fun with my pre-k and kindergarten friends…. or anyone who wants to visit!

Also… follow me on Instagram @mydayinprekblog

art · family activity · STEAM

Fun Friday- Paper towel fun

In searching for ways to show colors, color mixing and color separation, I came across a fun video from The Dad Lab… I am doing this with my class today on zoom. It is cool and your kiddos will love not only playing with this concept, but sharing it with others.

But, before we get to this step in the process, we are going to review color mixing AND color separation. Color mixing is easy to see with the mixing of different color liquids. Since I don’t have paint a home, we will just use colored water.

After, we will have some fun. Have your child cut strips of napkins or paper towels into long strips. Then color onto the strip with washable markers. Make sure to leave the bottom 2″ or so blank.

Now dip that into a container of water, but do not dip the part you drew on, this will muddy the water AND cause a faster reaction. It will still work, as you can see my son dipped his in the wrong way… when you see the finished products you will see the difference.

After dipping into the water, leave it sitting on the edge of the bowl and watch the water wick up the paper towel. As it does this many marker colors will separate into their primary color combinations. Now this is not perfect science and most of the given pigmentation will remain, but you can begin to see the color separate and combine with the other colors you used.

game · phonemic awareness · STEAM

phonemic awareness Thursday- compound words

Today we are going to work on breaking down longer words. The easiest way to begin this orally is to start with compound words. A compound word is a word made up of two smaller words. These typically are words that children are familiar with, yet they may not always see that they are two words in one.

Here is a fun on-line game to practice this skill.

This skill can be worked in both directions… tell the compound word and see if your child can break it into smaller words: basketball = basket + ball, jellyfish = jelly+fish. Or you can give the two smaller words and see if your child can come up with the compound word basket + ball= basketball.

After you have practiced the skill orally a few times you can provide your child with picture cues of the broken apart word and see if your child can put the pictures together as a whole word. This game can be played as a cross the room game, memory or just toss the pictures down and see if they can match up pairs.

Here are some other compound words to try

  • applesauce
  • basketball
  • bathroom
  • bedroom
  • birthday
  • blueberry
  • cupcake
  • downstairs
  • earring
  • firefly
  • fireman
  • goldfish
  • grasshopper
  • haircut
  • inside
  • jellyfish
  • mailbox
  • outside
  • pancake
  • playground
  • rainbow
  • snowflake
  • snowman
  • toothbrush
  • treehouse
  • upstairs
  • underwear
  • watermelon

When your child gets good, play silly compound words. Take and mix up the parts of compound word to make your own word. Have your child illustrate what the new word would look like… what would a upmellon or an applehouse look like? Get creative and most important… have fun!

math · STEAM

Fun Friday- Lego Patterns

Today for fun Friday, we will work on patterns. Patterns can be found all around us. Many insects have patterns on their bodies.

Self Mimicry
25 Best Dragonflies and damselflies images | Insects, Beautiful ...
232 Best insect - pattern & texture images | Beautiful butterflies ...
The Science Behind Nature's Patterns | Science | Smithsonian Magazine

Your child can explore patterns with many items, but today we will use Lego blocks to create patterns. Children are taught that a pattern is something that repeats itself. We label patterns using letters. An AB pattern would be green-red-green-red or tall-short-tall-short. An AAB pattern would be green-green-red-green-green-red or tall-tall-short-tall-tall-short. This can also be explained by saying one green, one red, one green one red or two tall, one short, two tall, one short.

When working on patterns in preK and K we tend of focus on one attribute at a time to explain the patterns.

Have your child create a pattern using Lego blocks.

AB pattern

This picture demonstrates an AB pattern, or actually many different AB patterns. You will see that this pattern can be read as black, yellow, black, yellow, black, yellow, black. It could also be labeled as long, short, long, short, long, short, long. Or 8, 4, 8, 4, 8, 4, 8… do you see that one?


After your child begins to see how to make an AB pattern, demonstrate how to make AAB and ABB patterns. These patterns are similar and can easily be taught together. This pattern is an ABB pattern blue, red, red, blue, red, red, blue, red, red. It can also be stated as 1 blue, 2 red, 1 blue 2 red, 1 blue, 2 red. This helps the child focus on the quantity and not just the naming of the pattern. If you flipped the pattern over you now have the AAB version.

Typically you would then move into an AABB pattern and then introduce a third item moving from ABC to AABBCC and then going to AABC, ABBC, ABCC etc. You will be impressed at how intricate they child create their patterns when you show them the process and let them explore.

ABC pattern

Just remember to have fun!