Pizza Shop Dramatic Play

Pizza Shop Pretend Play

Kids love pizza! I created this Pretend Pizza Shop in our Dramatic Play Center for my little pizza eaters! My littles love to pretend to be Chef’s in the Pizza Shop. I love that they are working together, negotiating roles and role-playing. Another bonus to this Pizza Shop set is the students are writing up order forms and tickets as they play! Check out what we have in this Pretend Play Center:

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Some props I have included in this Pizza Shop:

  • Play Pizza (wooden Melissa & Doug and some plastic sets)

  • Pizza Cutters

  • Cups

  • Plates

  • Utensils

  • Child-sized aprons

  • Pizza pans

  • Pizza toppings (came with the Melissa & Doug set)

  • Pizza boxes (clean, new)

  • Parmesan Cheese container (cleaned)

  • Placemats

  • Tablecloth

  • Pizza Order Forms

  • Menus

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Want to create your own Pizza Shop?

Encouraging Writing Through Read-Alouds

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Read Aloud time is my all-time favorite time of the day.

Maybe it is because I like to read in dramatic voices, or maybe it is because I love watching little ones fall in love with stories and authors... whatever the reason-  Read Aloud Time is very important to me!

While going through my Master's training, I learned about using reading to encourage writing.

If you stop and think about it, a read-aloud is just reading someone else's writing.

Even young children can be writers!  They can create their own stories and books through drawing and developmental writing.

Our little ones are most likely not reading themselves, but they are hearing us read.  They are gaining knowledge about text, writing and authors through us.

But, helping children learn about what it is to be a writer is not as simple as just reading a book to a child or class of children.

We teach our children how to be readers and writers through our reading alouds.
We have to remind ourselves to stop, ask questions, wonder aloud and point out not-so-obvious things to children.

What should early childhood teachers be helping children learn about authors and illustrators?  How can it be done through a read-aloud?

Check out this quick guide to help your littlest writers see their potential as story and content creators :

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Free Read Aloud Guide

Want to get even deeper into young children being authors?  Check out the book, Already Ready, Nurturing Young Writers in Preschool and Kindergarten by Katie Wood Ray and Matt Glover.


Ditching the Paper Newsletter

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Raise your hand if you send a newsletter to parents!
{raising my hand}

The importance of communication is huge.
If we want parents to work with us, we must communicate what is going on in the classroom.  Newsletters help us do just that.

In the past, I always created a newsletter on the computer, printed it out and send it home.  I also send the pdf in an email to parents.

It seemed to work at time.  Parents knew what was going on in the classroom.

Then, the last couple of years, this seemed to change.

I was hearing more and more parents saying, 'oh, I didn't read that' or 'i didn't know today was picture day'.

It wasn't for lack of trying.  I had sent the info home on paper and in pdf form in a email.

They just weren't opening it.  They weren't opening the backpack and finding the paper nor were they opening the pdf newsletter in their email.

It dawned on me why this might be...

Our society now is busiest it has ever been.  No one can keep up.  If I want our classroom information to be read by parents- I had to make it as quick and easy as possible.  So, I thought about how I like to receive info. It definitely wasn't in paragraph form.  Nor, was it in a pdf that I had to open on my phone.  So, I crafted an email that I myself would read easily.

Here's what I now do instead:
I put everything in email form.  I don't attach a pdf of the newsletter.  I just bullet point everything. This makes our news easy to scan.  I also bold and underline the stuff I do not want them to miss.

Yes, it's working.

This year, I relied on this type of newsletter and thus far and I have not had any uninformed parents.  It's been awesome.  But, I am aware that sometimes, we as teachers, run into a parent that just isn't going to engage no matter what we do.  But, hey... at least I tried!

Bonus... this bullet-pointed newsletter is much easier for me to write up.  Plus, I don't feel like it is a waste of time because it is actually getting read!

What types of things I include:

  • Upcoming Events: this is the first thing on my bullet-point newsletter.  I want to make sure my families are seeing these events (if nothing else)

  • New/On-Going Points of Importance: things like conference sign up, items we need in the classroom or reminders (like making sure the kids have gloves)

  • Current Theme: I layout our current theme and I bullet point some of the books we will read, activities we will do and center changes.

  • Ask your child...: Many parents mention how getting information about the school day is hard to do.  So, include an 'Ask your child' section with a question they can ask their child to spark conversations about the day. For example, 'Ask your child about the gingerbread cookie experiment we did.'

  • At Home: Here is a great place to bullet point 2-3 things that parents can help their child with at home.  It many be academic or simple self help skills.

Do you use newsletters?  Have you found simplicity is the way to go?

Share your opinion in this Facebook Post.