Friday, November 30, 2012

Ocean Animals

We had a lot of fun during ocean animals week. Dramatic play was a beach, similar to what we had for our summer DP here. Except my cool trees lost their leaves, so no palm trees this time.

The kids were really into the fish toys and posters all over the room and were always asking what kinds of fish they all were. They loved racing the fish and chasing each other with the sharks too.

I have 3 ocean floor puzzles and we spent a lot of time on them this week. Puzzles are such a great skill for kids and they have a lot of fun putting them together and breaking them apart again.

We did a lot of math and number recognition this week too. These math puzzles from Lakeshore are some of my favorites that I have! I have a lot of them, and we've played with them before, so now they really knew how to use them when I got out the ocean ones. In order to see the picture, you have to put the numbers in order from 1-10. There's no fitting pieces into tricky spots or anything, just knowing your numbers and how to get them in order. I love that you can see right away if you got it wrong because the picture doesn't look right. We did these together several times, practicing our counting and naming the numbers. Number recognition is all about repetition, and this was great practice for us!

We did more math in large group with our new song, 5 Little Crabs. Instead of having the kids help hold the crab pictures, we had them on the board and them subtracted as the song went along. I already learned with 5 Little Monkeys that we're not quite ready to subtract ourselves and sit down-we want to hold a monkey the whole song! They did great with this activity and counting to 5! We also played a fish counting board game in large group where they picked a card, counted how many of that fish in the picture, then match the card to the picture. They did so great, they played it alone in self-select time the next week and all remembered how to play.

The highlight of the week was our growing sting ray. I love Dollar Tree! We measured it the first day, then put it in water. They were checking every few minutes and having me pull it out to compare to our first measurement. They were so sure he was growing by the second. Wednesday was a real treat because he had doubled in size and outgrew his jar! Weeks later, he's dried up and shrunk back down, and they still ask how he's doing!

Other fun things were eating our ocean in a cup, which was swedish fish in blue jello, and sewing with ocean lacing cards (an excellent fine motor skill). We also sang and danced to a lot of music! The kids have really enjoyed turning songs on during self-select time too and I love it!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preschool Songs

With sending my daughter to nursery at church, I've realized how hard it can be to decipher the songs that she's learning there, and she's constantly asking me to sing them with her. When I know it, I can, but she gets frustrated when I don't. That being said, I thought this same thing could be happening to you parents, too. I write some of the lyrics on our newsletters, but that doesn't really help with the tune. We love watching some silly songs on youtube at our house, and I started searching for many of the songs we sing at preschool. My girl loved watching and singing along and I thought I'd share with you, so enjoy! I couldn't find them all, but here's what I found. Some are not sung by the same artists, but I found versions close to what we have sung in class so your child should recognize them!

Spider on the Floor:

Five Little Monkeys:

Tootie Ta

Five Green and Speckled Frogs

Dreidel Song (we'll learn it this month)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Back to blogging!

Sorry parents! I've been a little busy and distracted and have not been great at keeping you updated on our blog. I added a few new posts below, so scroll down and check them out.

This month is already flying by! After baby's arrival, we took a week off of school, then thanks to my wonderful husband, and a wonderful grandma, we were right back to school! We even added 2 new friends to our class! The kids have been amazing and done really well with our substitute teachers! I am so pleased with how well they've done at just sticking to their routine of school, and even how well they've adapted to the changes. I have felt so great after having this baby, I've actually joined the class each day to lead large group and it's been so much fun to get right back into teaching.

The first week back, we still had a foot of snow, so we changed the routine a little bit to have outside time last. This way, we weren't doing the snow gear thing all day! Even with 3 of us, it took about 10-15 minutes to get them all ready and outside! Because of this, we may only have outside time once a week when I'm back to teaching on my own. The kids loved playing outside in the snow, especially painting the snow with the colored water in squirt bottles! They had a lot of fun learning about farm animals. We played animal sound bingo, had stick horse races, and both Troy and Kerrie got down on their hands and knees and took the kids for horseback rides! We had to cancel our field trip because of the weather, but we'll just reschedule for the spring! We also played with farm puzzles and counting games. It was a great week!

 This week, the weather was great again, so we were back on a regular schedule. We had a super fun day, wrapping up our unit on farm animals, and also learning a little about Thanksgiving. We shook a bottle of whipping cream to make our own butter to put on crackers for snack. And thanks to our substitute "grandma," as all the kids call her, we also got to make ice cream that we enjoyed after playing outside. We sure are grateful for the cows who give us milk! We learned a little about Thanksgiving, made turkeys, and sorted Skittles by color on these turkey sorting mats. Well, to be honest, we ate a lot of Skittles. We'll continue to work on the sorting thing!
 Sorting Skittles. Fun activity for Thanksgiving Day!
Our awesome substitutes will help out 1 more week after Thanksgiving, then back to me full time! Thanks for all your help and willingness to be flexible this month! Your kids are the best!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween Week

Thanks to the late arrival of baby boy, we got to come to school the week of Halloween! We had so much fun, so I am so glad we were in school and that I got to be a part of it! Here are some of the fun things we did:
  • The block area was turned into a giant spider web. Not all the kids were thrilled about this, but they warmed up to the idea! We had lots of bugs and spiders for the kids to play with, and I challenged them all to try to collect the bugs by staying on the web as they walked. It was a great activity for balance and their large motor skills. Also fun for the imagination! Many of these bugs also ended up in some tasty dishes in the kitchen!
  • We made pictures with Halloween stamps and stickers in the writing center.
  • We played with the squirrel pattern cards and apple and acorn counting trees from our week about fall. The kids loved having these back out!
  • We read lots of spooky Halloween stories.
  • We got dressed up for Halloween! Grandma Kerrie visited our class and played with us, read us books, and led a fun game of Halloween Bingo for large group time.
  • We played in pumpkin guts!
  • We acted out the story of The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat, and also learned a new song, Spider on the Floor by Raffi. We did the song over and over, they thought it was so much fun!