Sunday, October 05, 2014

What are these cookie trays all about?

I've had a lot of questions about some recent instagram photos about our "cookie tray activities." Lots of people looking to know more. I am so excited about implementing this in my classroom, but first, I need to let you know, this is nothing spectacular or grandiose. It is exactly what sounds like. Activities on cookie trays. 

In the picture above I was prepping activities for our very first week of cookie tray activities. I have three students during this time so I needed to plan something that kept all three engaged. Each child will have an activity to work on and then we will rotate until they each do all 3 activities.

I wasn't using this amazing M-F organizer from Lakeshore Learning Resources, so I've put to use for organizing our cookie tray activities. I need to plan 3 activities for Monday through Thursday, so that's 12 activities total for each week. I can then use the Friday bucket to store extra materials.

Organizing them in these buckets also really helps my classroom assistants set up and put away the activities too. They know exactly what three we are doing and where to find them. It's very easy in our world for someone to end up preoccupied with another child so I feel it's essential for all classroom personnel to know the plans and where to find the materials.

I've used cookie tray activities before, but typically as choice activities. I needed something to engage 3 students at a time, and activities that would meet all 3 students skill levels. I was trying to think about what I already had in the classroom. Then the light bulb went off when I thought of cookie trays. I took to pinterest and the rest is history.

I started a pinterest board for cookie tray activities. Essentially they are just any activity you can use magnets with. It's easy to take a file folder game that was supposed to be set up with velcro and turn it into a cookie tray activity. I try to stick to one activity page on the tray with pieces that they need to apply-- either matching, sorting, number order, alphabet order, etc. Occasionally I might have one extra page if it's a quick activity that an adult will switch out for the child so they can finish the task. Once they are finished they put the items back into the small container.

Here's the link to my pinterest board if you want to check it out!
 Follow Erin's board [classroom: cookie tray activities] on Pinterest.

Here's an example of an activity that I already had in the classroom, I just simply attached magnetic circles to the back of the foam shapes and voila! Cookie tray activity created.

I'm lucky that 2 of the 3 students work at a very similiar pace. The third is a bit slower, but we're working on it :) Start to finish this takes us at most, 10 minutes. When we complete our trays we then transition to the carpet for the smart board until our lunches are ready.

These first two weeks I've pulled activities from all over the internet to use-- no specific theme to them. Then, when I've had the chance I've been working on my first "Fall Cookie Tray Activities" pack.

I'm excited to use these new activities this week (and probably the following since there are so many in the pack) AND also to share the new product with you too!

There are 13 different activities included, however, some activities have more than one page option so you can really stretch your use of what is included. For example, if I were planning my activities I would only pick 1 pumpkin counting page to use that day. The pack includes 6 different pages for pumpkin counting, so you could use 1-2 pages a week and really get a lot of use out of the pack! For me, that's either 6 or 3 weeks worth of contributing to 1 out of 3 activities I need.

Then there are also some activities that do only have one option available. For example, I would use the page of puzzles for one activity. I would either put all the pieces into a container for the child to do the puzzles, or split them, 2 piece puzzles or 3 piece puzzles. Find the 'P' activity also is a one page option.

For several activities I suggest using these magnetic circles. I purchased mine off of amazon. If you don't have these it's very easy to make substitutions. You can attach magnets to the back of small glass gems as an easy solution. 

Below are some of the activities included that I suggest using the magnetic buttons with.

Here is a list of all 13 included activities:

1. Pumpkin Counting
2. Alphabet Matching Capital to Capital
3. Alphabet Matching Lowercase to Capital
4. Color Matching 
5. Counting Cards
6. Scarecrow Puzzle
7. Picture Matching
8. Magnetic Fine Motor
9. Spelling Fall Words
10. Which Lowercase Letter?
11. Fall Puzzles
12. P is for Pumpkin (find the letter P)
13. Missing Letter (capital or lowercase)

I don't know about you, but, uh, my lesson plans for next week still aren't done. I wish they'd just write themselves but you and I both know that never happens! I'm off to write mine AND prep all these activities for the next few weeks! :)

If you are interested in checking out the pack on TpT {click here}

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