Our Classroom Website


My name is Marianne Erlien, I'm one of the preschool teachers at Rice Lake Elementary in Lino Lakes Minnesota.  I would like to show you what exciting and fun things we are doing in our preschool classroom.

What we do! What we learn!

We have Buddy Bear / Group Time:  Buddy Bear is our classroom mascot who joins us during group time each day.  During group time we work on greeting peers, singing songs, talking about the weather and, of course, reading a good book.  This is the time we work on our skills needed to be a good listener and to be able to focus in a group setting.


When I participate in circle time we learn...

  • To sit still and understand spoken words;
  • That my ideas have value to the other children and the teacher;
  • To wait my turn when others are talking;
  • New vocabulary words;
  • To remember the words of songs and poems I have learned and to put things in proper order (gaining sense of time);
  • The names of others in the group;
  • To cooperate and be considerate of the needs of others;
  • To help plan what we will do and when we will need to do it.


children playtimeWe have Play Time:  During playtime, the children are able to select their own toys to play with.  This is the time we work on expanding their current play skills and increasing interactions with peers in the room.


When I play in the dress-up corner we learn...

  • To be flexible in my thinking;
  • To express myself with my words;
  • To try on different adult roles;
  • To solve social problems through negotiation with friends;
  • To sort and organize play things;
  • To make decisions;
  • To improvise and use things in a symbolic way, a language skill;


We have Work Time:  During play time, staff work one on one with the children and we often call this "work time".  This is the time that we work on each child's individual IEP objectives.


When I play with pegboards we learn...

  • One to one correspondence (one peg for one hole), a math skill;
  • To make and repeat patterns,  math skill;
  • Possible left to right progression, a reading skill;
  • Concepts of addition, as well I add one peg at a time;
  • Colors;
  • Symmetry, shapes, order and design;
  • Eye-hand coordination.


When I look at objects at a nature table, we learn...

  • New vocabulary;
  • Concepts of texture, color, weight, and size;
  • To group objectives likenesses and differences;
  • To appreciate nature and develop a sense of wonder.


When I sort things we learn...

  • To notice details, likenesses, differences, and to form categories, essential reading and math skills;
  • Concepts of colors, size, and shape;
  • Numeral concepts of more and less;
  • Logical reasoning.


We have Table Time:  During table time we are working on increasing many different skills.  We work on increasing fine motor skills like cutting, writing, and coloring.  We also work on following multiple steps that are given in order to complete a project.


When I cut with scissors we learn...

  • To control the small muscles in my hand;
  • Concepts of shape, size, color, and location;
  • To exercise my imagination and creativity.


When I play letter games we learn...

  • To recognize and name upper and lower case letters;
  • To associate letters with sounds they represent;
  • That letters are parts of words I say, and that letters make up those magical words that people read me from books;
  • To recognize my name and some other words, all on my own (without stress and without fear of failure), only if I want to and am already.


When I paste, glue, and collage we learn...

  • To exercise my imagination and creativity;
  • Concepts of shape, size, location and design, which is relevant to reading;
  • About different textures;
  • How to create patterns and designs, a math skills;
  • To distinguish patterns from backgrounds, a reading skill.


kids 10We have Motor Room Time:  Each day we will have motor time.  This may take place in the motor room, the playground, or in the classroom.  This is the time that the kids work on gross motor skills like bike riding, balance, and climbing.  We also play simple games like ducks, duck, grey duck, and London Bridge.


We have Snack Time:  There are so many skills that we are developing are.  Skills that we work on are: self-care (hand washing and using utensils) communication (we require children to make requests during snack) and peer interactions.


When I do cooking projects we learn...

  • About nutrition, taste and good groups;
  • How heat and cold change things, a science lesion;
  • Whole-part relationships and concepts of volume and measure, math lessons;
  • Vocabulary, a language;
  • Awareness of my own and other cultures, a social science lesson.


We have Music Time:  During music we provide visuals with many of our songs.  This allows children to participate and be more involved.  During music time, we work on language development, imitation skills, and group skills like sitting and attending.


When I sing songs at school we learn...

  • Principles of music ad rhythm;
  • Vocabulary;
  • Memory skills and sequencing;
  • To be conscious of others;
  • Various concepts emphasized in songs;
  • Phonics or auditory discrimination, which is recognizing difference in sounds, necessary for learning to read;
  • Awareness and identification with m culture and other cultures


When I play with rhythm instruments, we learn...

  • To be conscious of rhythms in music;
  • Concepts of fast, slow, loud, and soft;
  • To express myself in new and different ways;
  • Listening skills;
  • Auditory discrimination (recognizing differences in sounds, necessary when learning to read);
  • To interpret and understand signals and cues