Friday, December 30, 2011

For Our Children and All Children

I spent yesterday getting our classroom ready for the new year. As 2011 comes to a an end, I am ever grateful for the opportunity to teach your children.  This is such a great gift and I thank you.  So in 2012, for children everywhere---

A Prayer for the Children
by Ina J. Hughes

We pray for the children
who put chocolate fingers everywhere,
who like to be tickled,
who stomp in puddles and ruin their new pants,
who sneak Popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who've never squeaked across the floor in new sneakers,
who never had crayons to count,
who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who sleep with the dog and bury goldfish,
who give hugs in a hurry and forget their lunch money,
who cover themselves with Band-Aids and sing off-key,
who squeeze toothpaste all over the sink,
who slurp their soup.

And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who have no safe blanket to drag behind,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
who spend all their allowance before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed,
who never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the school,
who squirm in church or temple or mosque
and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at and
whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried,
and for those who must.
For those we never give up on,
and for those who never get a chance.
For those we smother with our love,
and for those who will grab the hand of anybody
kind enough to offer it. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Vacation Survival Tips

My family is arriving later today and I have lots of fun planned for everyone.  If you and your family are looking for things to do in and around Peoria, here are some ideas-
*With sunny days and good driving conditions, head out to Wild Life Prarie Park or Forest Park Nature Center for a family hike.

*Make some cinnamon dough and cut into heart shapes to get a jump start on Valentine's Day.

*Make a batch of playdough and get out the Christmas cookie cutters.

* Give the children some office stickers and crayons and create some office art.

*Make some soapy snowmen since we don't have any snow on the ground.

*Bake some bubblegum pizza.

*Playing lots of card games?  Make a card holder so little hands can hold cards easier.

*Gather supplies for a snowman supply box so when it snows you are ready to build.

See you next week!

Santa Sets a Record










A NORAD record! 
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/story/2011-12-24/santa-norad/52212090/1

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Noon Year's Eve Celebration


Popular children's entertainer Julie K is going to be at Five Points on December 31st for a preschool rockin' eve celebration! For time, ticket prices and more information-http://fivepointswashington.org/PerformingArts/Site/events2011.htm

NORAD Tracks Santa's Trip



Your child can follow Santa's trip starting Christmas Eve.   For  NORAD history, fun and games,  maps and more--
http://www.noradsanta.org/en/index.html

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Welcome, Christmas!

Welcome, Christmas, bring your cheer.....Christmas day is in our grasp, so long as we have hands to clasp. Christmas day will always be just as long as we have we.  Welcome Christmas while we stand, heart to heart and hand in hand.  
Dr. Seuss

Our Christmas parties were filled with fun, laughter and prizes for all!  Check back over the holiday for some survival ideas. 
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Reindeer Games

We worked on Letter M this week and also learned about moose, elk and deer.  Check out the 2010 post for a photo of the craft and a muffin recipe  http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/12/mr-moose-and-friends.html

We made muffins on Friday. When we cook, there is a lot of vocabulary, sequencing, questions and answers.  What is a recipe?  What are ingredients?  Why do we need to follow a recipe?  Each child gets to add an ingredient and take a turn mixing. We mix the ingredients and I ask 'What do we do next?'  The kids said put it in the oven.  In the bowl?  No, put the mix in the muffin pan.  We counted the muffins in the pan. What do we do next? You get the idea.  Lots of communication. Lots and lots of learning.

I used a different recipe this year.  We called  them Moose Muffins-my recipe is called Butter Cakes.  Super easy and nearly homemade.

Moose Muffins (or Butter Cakes)
1 package yellow cake mix
1 package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup water
1/2 cup melted butter (I used vegetable oil at school)
4 eggs
1 teaspoon butter extract
1 cup chopped pecans (we did not add nuts for the preschoolers)

Mix and beat thoroughly.  Pour into lined muffin pan or into 2 or 3 greased and floured loaf pans.  Bake at 350*.  Bake 20 minutes for muffins or  30-35 minutes for bread.  We doubled the recipe and made 24 muffins and one loaf of bread.

We used tally marks on a chart to see who liked or did not like the muffins. I forgot to take pictures of the chart, sorry.  We do this activity a lot when we cook. 

At the top of the chart, I wrote 'Muffins' and ask what is the beginning sound?  I spell out 'muffin' as I write.  The children help me spell yes and no.  Each child comes up and makes a tally mark.  We had a 'lightbulb' moment in the afternoon class.  I love to watch these moments.  All the children in the afternoon class placed their tally mark under YES.  They immediately knew there are zero tally marks under NO.  I asked how many do you think are under YES?  100?  No.  30?  No.  A little boy shouted, "Twelve!"  How do you know?  There are twelve kids in our class!  Awesome. 

Finally, we wrote a report on moose, deer and elk. Why do we write the reports?  Recalling information and details taught---what do the children remember?  

What to learn more?  Go to the National Geographic site http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/?source=NavAniHome   On the right, you can search animals-moose, elk and white tailed deer.  There also is a section for kids.

If you have the book If  You Give a Moose A Muffin by  Laura Numberoff, check out this YouTube read-a-long  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOPFVSiB5uQ

Cook with your child.  Read to your child. Laugh with your child.  Learn with your child.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

CandyLand

Counting and sorting is fun when you can play with your food!  This week our TTh class did some fun math activities with m & m's and Skittles candy.  On Tuesday, we took a regular size bag of m & m's and sorted them together on a large tray.  Next, we counted the candy and put the paper 'candy' on a chart.  This is where I discovered my circles were too big for my chart.  Ooops!  Each child recieved a small snack size of m & m's to take home.

Today we opened a bag of Skittles.  We talked about how they are the same shape as m & m's, some of the colors are the same, some of the colors are different,  there is an 'm' on m & m's and an 's' on Skittles.  Skittles are fruity and  m & m's are chocolate.  They are both candy.  A small snack size bag of Skittles for everyone!


We sorted and counted  Skittles together.  We also graphed our favorite-m & m's or Skittles?  Ask your child about the charts and graphs.  Discuss the numbers.  Use words like-more, less, greater, least and equal. 

More ideas-
http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2009/10/counting-sorting-and-patterns.html


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Cheer

  I was walking into a home improvement store today smiling and humming a Christmas carol.  The gentleman walking in next to me said, "You're awfully happy."  It's the Christmas season and I am very thankful for so much.  Of course I am happy. 

Last night was our Christmas program and it always always pours tons of Christmas spirit into my heart.  No matter what the children do it is a wonderful gift for parents to see their preschoolers perform.  This year was no exception.  Next year I need to put out a box of tissues because sometimes I am laughing so hard I get tears in my eyes.  Good job, everyone!!!


Our art center has been an active place this month.  The easel has had Christmas trees for the children to paint.  When the trees are dry, we have a basket of office stickers for children to decorate their tree.  We are creating lots of Christmas cheer for all to see and all to hear.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Alphabetical Order

We work on letter recognition with a wide variety of activities ( we do not use worksheets with our preschoolers).  About twice a week, the children in the MWF classes are paired up (different partners each time) and given a set of letter cards.  The letter cards are just laminated construction paper in a wide variety of fun die cut shapes. The children spread out all over the room and dump their letter cards on the floor.  Their task is to put the cards in alphabetical order.   The children are singing and saying their letters (the L, M, N, O, P section is the hard part), looking at the letters up on the walls, and picking up the letters to place them in order.  Working with a partner engages them in a cooperative task.  We ask them to tell each other 'Good job!' when they are done.  In September, this activity was slow moving.  The children are getting better and better.  After the holidays, they will be doing this activity individually.

Want to do more?  If you have letter cards, magnets or puzzle letters have your child try putting them in order at home, too.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch!




































This is a new unit for MCP.  The classic Dr. Seuss story of How the Grinch Stole Christmas was our focus in the MWF classes. On Wednesday,  I read the story to the children and we had a short discussion.  One of the children put the moral of the story beautifully.  I quote, "People are more important than presents."   In the midst of the chaos of Christmas we often forget that.  After the story, we crafted the Grinch together with everyone snipping around the shape to make the Grinch fuzzy. Listening and following teacher directions and we crafted a pretty cute Grinch. 

Snipping helps with that opening and closing motion of the scissors without having to also concentrate on cutting out a shape (although many of our preK kids can cut out very intricate shapes!)  We have scissors available for student use every day. I realize this is not always possible at home because children often like to cut their own hair, the dog's hair, their siblings hair, window treatments, bedding, towels and more (do you hear the voice of experience?)   Do try to give your child scissors with adult supervision.  Snip around large pieces of paper and create place mats for the dinner table.  Have a tub of paper for just random cutting and snipping. 

On Friday, the children retold the story of the Grinch.  What happened first?  What happened next?  Then what happened?  Sequencing is a very important reading comprehension skill.

We also made Grinch Bread.  It is grinchy green and good.  It is a quick  pistachio sweet bread that I have made around the holidays for a long time.  When my boys were little, they called it Grinch Bread and the name has stuck.  The morning class was pretty split on their like and dislike.  The afternoon class one hundred percent loved it!  It is super easy and loaded with Christmas calories.  Enjoy!

Grinch Bread

1 package golden butter cake mix
1 package instant pistachio pudding
4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sour cream

Topping-Mix 1/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup slivered almonds, finely chopped
We did not put the topping on our bread at school.

Mix all the cake ingredients. We did add three drops of green food coloring to make it a little greener.  Pour into two greased pans. Sprinkle topping on two breads and gently pat down.

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes.  We had to up the oven temp at school to 400*.  The morning class bread took almost an hour at 350*.  Like most recipes, it depends on your oven.

Get the Grinch online at http://www.seussville.com/grinch/

Get the Grinch movie and enjoy some Grinch bread!  Have a great weekend, everybody!!!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Cookies

Who took the cookie from the cookie jar?  The TTh class!  That's who!

On Tuesday, we made a Cookie Monster craft.  Your child was to snip around the Cookie Monster to make him fuzzy.  We also made cake mix cookies.  We had one for snack and brought one home.  Yummy!

Today we made gingerbread men ornaments.  The children rolled out the dough and pressed in the cookie cutter (this is not done in a group but one/one).  I was kneading the dough for a student and saw a single piece of glitter in the dough.  Light bulb!!!  Why have I never thought of putting glitter in the dough?  It was too late for this year (almost all had  rolled out and cut their ornament) but next year will be adding glitter to the dough.  There was leftover dough so I tried it home.  I added quite a bit of glitter (my kitchen is all sparkly now) and I love it.  Great craft for nieces, nephews, play dates and older children, too.

We also tasted cookies today (wafers, fig newtons, chocolate chip, Oreos and shortbread).  We looked at the cookie and described the color and the shape.  We tasted the cookie and the children described the taste and if it was soft or crunchy.  We also graphed our favorite cookie-Oreo, chocolate chip or peanut butter.

Gingerbread Man Ornaments-
http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2009/12/c-is-for-cookie.html

 Cake Mix Cookie Recipe-
http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/12/who-took-cookie-from-cookie-jar.html

We had so much fun this week with cookies.  Want to do more? Buy some cookie dough (or make it but the refrigerator dough is just so easy), give your child a rolling pin and cookie cutters.  Create some memories with cookies.  See you next week.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Light Science

Our science table has had this activity for our MWF classes.  Easy enough-turn on the flashlight and see if the light shines through the items.  After the child is done, a teacher checks their work and then they can press  the easy button. 

Young children love flashlights (a good stocking stuffer!)  At home, give your child a flashlight.  Explore your home together and find where the light can shine through. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

How to Nuture Creativity in Kids

A good read and great ideas----
http://www.americanprofile.com/articles/how-to-nurture-creativity-in-kids/

Family Christmas Fun

Wildlife Prairie State Park is hosting the Polar Express this weekend (December 9, 10 and 11).
 http://www.wildlifeprairiestatepark.org/visit-todo-events.cfm?id=135&getdetails=yes

The Christmastime GospelFest is Friday, December 9th at Five Points  http://www.gospelfestministries.com/

Discover the Dinosaurs is at the Peoria Civic Center  http://www.peoriaciviccenter.com/event/discover-dinosaurs

Hope you can find some time to have some family Christmas fun with your family!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Oh Christmas Tree!

The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:  the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.  Burton Hillis


Maybe if Ebenezer Scrooge was a preschool teacher he would not have been so crabby! We are full of Christmas cheer at MCP and just as busy as Santa's elves.  Today we created these cute little Christmas trees.  We had a friend of MCP generously donate lots and lots and lots of scrapbook paper.  We  used the green paper and cut five triangles of various sizes.  We talked about biggest and smallest.  Every time we glued a triangle, we counted and added.  There was quite a lot of glue involved in this craft so we are hoping they are dry by Wednesday!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

I'm the Gingerbread Man!


Most of the children can recite their numbers from one through ten.  Many can count even higher and tell me they can count to one hundred.  AWESOME!  We also work on number recognition and counting out objects.  Throughout the year we place seasonal cutouts in our discovery center.  This is an 'easy button' activity, too. 

At home you can have your child count out Goldfish crackers, cereal, money, buttons, or anything (you want to clean up)!  Have a number for the day or week.  Write the number on paper and practice counting out items.  Place pudding on a cookie sheet and have your child use their pointer finger to write the number---yummy!   If your child loves it and is laughing, they will also learn.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Crazy for Candy Canes!

We have had a sweet start to the Christmas season at MCP. Our MWF classes spent time counting, sorting, making patterns, comparing and contrasting mints this past week.  We began with looking at two of our friends.  Two children stood in front of the class and we talked about how they were the same and different.  Next the children were given mints and candy canes.  We looked at them very closely and listed how they were the same and different.  
Afternoon Class














Morning Class










Each child also marbled painted a candy cane.  Easy project in a shoe box!  We have used this method and decorated white gift bags for Valentine's Day and Easter  http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/03/ive-lost-my-marbles.html.   Use the same idea for Christmas gift bags with red and green-an easy at home project. Grandparents would love a special handmade gift bag :-)




Today we ate Peppermint Pudding and graphed if we liked it or not! We also wrote a report on candy canes that will be sent home on Monday for you to read with your child.
Afternoon Class

Morning Class

Lots more information and ideas from years past---
http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/12/peppermint-pudding-patterns-and-more.html

Lots more fun planned for next week.  Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's a Bear!




We had a lot of fun with bears in our TTh class this week. What did we learn about bears?  We learned that brown bears are BIG!  Ask your child if they remember the smallest bear (the sun bear). We learned bears have thick fur, sharp teeth and claws.  Polar bears are good swimmers. Bears eat meat (intro vocabulary-carnivore) and nuts & berries (another vocabulary word-herbivores).  We also learned bears do not see very well but their sense of smell is really good.  We also learned baby bears are called cubs.

We created two bear crafts.  The pictures are actual student work. Please remember we do not move pieces for the children.  When I give directions, we talk about shapes, colors and spatial relationships (top, bottom, inside, above, below, etc.)  I also create the craft along with the children so they can visually see where pieces are to be placed.  It's listening and following teacher directions within a large group. It is a learning process and the children are getting better all the time!

We read Eric Carle's Brown Bear, Brown Bear and Polar Bear, Polar Bear books. 

We also have been having lots and lots of fun with the book Going on a Bear Hunt.   I love this version by Michael Rosen with illustrations by Helen Oxenbury.  Check it out at your local library or the book store.  Warning:  We are pretty animated when we read this book at school.  It is an activity we do together with lots and lots of movement.  Your child should be able to take you on a bear hunt at home.   Don't be scared!


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pattern Play Puzzle


This is one of my favorite toys in our room.  It really makes the children think!  Some of the children do not care for this puzzle because there is no 'right' way to put it together like picture puzzles.  It is hard and the challenge is so good for them.  There are probably thousands and thousands of combinations (I am not going to figure that one out but let me know if you do).  I ordered this from MindWare  http://www.mindware.com/p/Pattern-Play/25105

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Thousand Thank You's to You!!!

 Thanks for reading the Metamora Community Preschool Blog!  We have had over one thousand views in the month of November!  A first!


Monday, November 28, 2011

Kaleidoscope Knowledge


We were very excited to be back at school today.  The children arrived to find lots of new activities in the room. We are working on letter K and our science table has a kaleidoscope activity.  More patterns!!!  Want to do some kaleidoscope coloring at home? If you search 'kaleidoscope color pages' you will find lots of coloring pages to keep your preschooler and even older children busy (possible at home activity for a snow day).

We also have Santa's workshop in our dramatic play center.  Check it out http://www.metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/12/santas-workshop.html

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our MWF classes did a fantastic job yesterday at their Thanksgiving program!  The children worked very hard learning the songs and it is such a joy to see them perform.

I am thankful for so many things including the opportunity to teach your children!  Enjoy your families and have safe travels. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I Am Thankful for...

Today our TTh class dictated a great list of things for which they are thankful.  We talked about waking up to watch the Macy's Day Parade (one of my favorite traditions).  We know dinner will be turkey, cranberries, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing and pie.  We talked about tasting new things at Thanksgiving dinner. We know football will be on TV and we will have lots and lots of fun with our families.  Here is their list of thanksgiving---

I am thankful for mommy, daddy, elephants, my brothers, my sister, flowers, giraffes, food, games, water, friends, Star Wars, soda, dogs, cats, chocolate milk, drinks, furniture, cows, my house, monkeys, my bike, Barbies, toys, clothes, TV, zebras, Thomas the Train, turkeys, cars, Thundercats, the police, horns and going on a walk.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Food Science is Fun

We have had a liquid and science unit for the letter I for three years.  It is a lot of laughs and a lot of learning---my favorite combination!  The concept I want the children to understand is liquids do not have a shape...very basic.  We identified many liquids and on Monday we made Jell-o (new this year).  We learned temperature can change liquids to solids AND it can change solids to liquids.  WOW!  Jello- snack on Wednesday with some whipped cream and we graphed if we liked or did not like the Jell-o. 

On Wednesday, we made Tin Can Ice Cream.  This is an outdoor project and after three years I can now predict what the weather will be the day before we make ice cream.  It will be nice (remember how nice it was on Tuesday?)  I can also predict what the weather will be the next day when  we make ice cream because it never fails-it's cold and windy!  Oh, well.  We made the ice cream and ate it all today. It was a delicious end to our week!

Today we graphed our favorite flavor, if we liked or did not like the ice creams and dicatated a report which will be sent home next week.  When we work on a chart or graph, I ask about letters and numbers.  I write the letter and the children identify or we say the word and the beginning letter sound.  We are spelling yes and no.  Today's graph gave us the opportunity to use the word 'equal'.  Lots of laughs and lots of learning!!!

Morning Class

Morning Class

  
Afternoon Class


Afternoon Class



















Want to do more?  Take a trip to get ice cream this weekend!  Do you have a 3 ring binder for those stories and reports?  This is a great opportunity for your child to 'read' to you.  We will be writing a lot more creative stories and reports. Missing a story or report?  Let me know and I will get you a new copy. Your child can ask (or email)  family members what their favorite flavor is and create their own graph. Stop in the freezer section at the store and look at all the flavors of ice cream.  Keep the learning fun!

Tin Can Ice Cream-This recipe is getting harder and harder to make.  Most coffee does not come in tin cans and this year my smaller can was just slightly taller requiring lots and lots and lots of duct tape to secure the big can lid.
Tin Can Ice Cream---http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2009/11/science.html

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dine in or Delivery?

 We delivered a lot of fun in two days with our TTh class.  Pizza was the topic and it was delicious!  Pizza is a great source for vocabulary-dough, crust, sauce, topping, mozzarella, etc. 

On Tuesday we discussed parts of a pizza and toppings.  We also created a paper pizza which was sent home today. 

Today we graphed our favorite pizza.  Lots and lots of math!!!  Ask your child-What is your favorite pizza?  Did you like the pizza?  Yes or No?  Overall, the pizza snack was a big hit. 


Want to do more?  Set a up a pizza parlor in your play area at home or make our world famous 'bubblegum pizza' recipe. 








The Pizza Parlor-
http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/11/pizza-parlor.html

'Bubblegum' Pizza Recipe-
http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2009/12/pizza-pizza.html

Pizza Song  (Tune-Peanut Butter and Jelly)
Pizza, cheese pizza, Yum-Oh!
Pizza, cheese pizza, Yum-oh!

First, you take the dough and you roll it............
Then you take the sauce and you spread it........
Then you take the cheese and you shake it........
Then you take the pizza and you bake it............
Then you take the pizza and you eat it...............

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Milk Caps + Marker Caps = GREAT FUN!


  We have been saving milk caps and marker caps at MCP for quite some time.  They are so colorful and a uniform shape and size.  The caps are wonderful for counting, sorting and creating patterns. 



Well, I had this idea...We lace with pasta which is fine but I thought, 'I wonder if I could drill a hole in a marker cap?  Well, drilling on the curved side of the marker cap did not work out like I planned (still have all ten fingers, thank you).  I drilled straight into the cap and TA-DAH---a lacing bead.   I also drilled holes in the milk caps (you probably wondered what we we were going to do with all those milk  and marker caps you have been saving for us).

We have to use large needles with this activity so it is for the MWF classes only.  The children have to create a pattern and get a beautiful necklace. Okay, you are not going to see them at your next Lia Sophia party but they are pretty and colorful!   

  
Student Necklaces






Student Necklace









So after the children laced necklaces and they were so wonderful and unique, I thought, 'Wouldn't that be great outdoor garland on my evergreen trees!' 


Garland

This is cheap and easy. We lace the necklaces with yarn but I would use a sturdier string for outdoors. I'll admit it's a little time consuming drilling all the holes (I have plastic 'dust' all over my garage.  Have I mentioned how tolerant my husband is of my job?)  It is a super earth friendly and green project. 




Sunday, November 13, 2011

39th Annual Breakfast with Santa

The Metamora-Germantown Hills Junior Woman's Clubs 39th Annual Breakfast with Santa will be held Saturday, December 3rd from 9-11 a.m. at Germantown Hills Middle School.  Tickets are $4.00 in advance ($5.00 at the door) and available at Metamora Pharmacy.  There will be food, arts and crafts, games and you can bring your camera to take a picture with Santa.  All profits benefit the Community Holiday Basket and many other local charities.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

That Was Easy!

The easy button.  A few years ago, my husband brought home an easy button.  A sales rep had given it to him and he has lived with me long enough he knew I would love it.  I do love it.  We have 3 x 5 'Press the easy button' cards by several activities in our room for the MWF classes.  This is to encourage them to do a specific activity during center time. Upon completion,  the student gets to press the easy button.  We use it for art, letter and number recognition, science activities and lots more.  The kids love it.  Often when they hear, "That was easy!"  interest in the activity is sparked among other students.  Will it work for cleaning their room or picking up their toys at home?  It is definitely worth a try! http://www.staples.com/

Friday, November 11, 2011

Playing with a Full Deck

A few years ago, we had a parent donate about thirty decks of playing cards.  Numbers and letters--- it was an offer I just couldn't refuse.  Now comes the tricky part...what to do with all those cards.  This activity is set out for the MWF classes during center time.  We recycle cardboard (because reusing is recycling) from snack boxes, gift boxes, etc. and write four numbers on the cardboard. The student glues the matching number onto the cardboard.  How easy is that and a great way to encourage number recognition  plus it is inexpensive.  We try to encourage participation in this activity by making it an 'easy button' activity.  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

With My Little Eye...


 

We have had an I SPY unit for several years and added a new activity to this year's lesson.  The pictures are actual student work.  The children were provided with lots and lots and lots of pre-cut pictures. We found pictures from children's magazines, our book club orders, various magazines and newspaper ads. Each child was given a piece of construction and filled it like an I SPY page.  They did an AWESOME job!!!  They are really doing a good job gluing items onto paper.

After you look for the items on your child's page, start to look for smaller items-sunglasses, cheese, black tires, things with a tail, a birthday hat, something you eat, etc.  This will help build your child's vocabulary, too.

What else can you do? If you want to preserve your I SPY page, insert into a sheet/report cover or many office stores will laminate. Create  rhyming clues for your child's page. Older children can also create this craft and create clues and rhymes like the official I SPY books.  Check out the I SPY books from your local library. 

How many are coming for Thanksgiving?  Do you have enough to keep the little ones out of the kitchen?  For more information and How To's for the I SPY bottles-http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/11/i-spy.html

Fun with our Food

Fun with food was on the menu for the MWF classes this week.  We had activities with healthy and junk food (one student even brought junk food for show and tell. Great idea!!!)  We also learned about fruits and vegetables. A full explanation can found on last years post and also what weird food combo my son ate for years...
http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2010/11/rooty-tooty-fresh-and-fruity-fun.html

November 2011

The fruit salad was a big hit!  We had oranges, bananas, peaches, pears, grapes, mangoes, papaya and cherries.  Almost everyone tried the fruit salad and most cleaned out their bowl, too.  Ask your child where they placed their tally mark.  Ask questions about the chart-what word is at the top?  do they see the word 'yes' and 'no'?  Ask about greater, less, more, least and zero.  Are any numbers equal?

Want to get your kids eat healthier?  This article indicates that children need to see food four or five times before they will taste.  http://busycooks.about.com/od/healthyrecipes/a/kidsnutrition.htm

You can try...all I know is my youngest considered ketchup a vegetable. Good luck!