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

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

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---

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-

'Bubblegum' Pizza Recipe-

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!' 


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!

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-

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...

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.

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

Monday, November 7, 2011

Using Your Noodle

Are you in charge of keeping all the nieces,  nephews and cousins busy at any family gathering this holiday season?  This was usually my job-go figure!  This is a super easy project and will keep lots of little ones busy. 

Any pasta you can lace works great.  You will also need food coloring and rubbing alcohol so this is not a project for children who still put things in their mouth.  The rubbing alcohol is a small amount so the color stays but still in the pasta. 

MWF classes are using those fine motor skills but also will have a pattern on their necklaces (unless pasta broke from school to home).  TTh classes are working on fine motor skills.  How to's---

Saturday, November 5, 2011

MCP's Littlest Pet Shop

We love dramatic play at MCP.  It gives children an opportunity to role play, use vocabulary, use their imagination in a variety of situations and share experiences.  A lot of learning is happening when they are 'playing dress up'.  So we create a wide variety of play beyond just 'playing house'.

Our pet shop/veterinarian office is open for business and the children are having a lot of fun. We provided doctor kits,  pet bowls,  a pet carrier (an awesome garage sale find), keyboards, cell phones and small clipboards with paper and pens.  The paper gives the children an opportunity to write and they do.  It looks like scribbling but is all part of emergent writing skills and fine motor development.  WOW, right?  There is also a table with two chairs and laundry basket to contain all the props. 

Plus there are the pets. Lots of Beanie Babies, of course (my 'investment' in Beanie Babies for my son is really paying off at school).  We have cats and dogs.  We know cats and dogs cannot live together so when the children pick up they have to sort the cats and dogs into the appropriate containers and place them back on the shelf.  More labeling and exposure to the written word and meaning.   Learning through play!

The pet shop/veterinarian office will be closing soon.  Set up a pet shop at home. Provide similiar props and watch your child's imagination soar!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Glitter and Green Goo-Go G!

We had a great time with Letter G this week.  I had found some fun foam circles in our art closet that someone had donated and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to use them for a craft with glitter!  Sure we will have glitter in our room for all eternity but that is okay.  We always have a few sparkles on the carpet from some project and it makes me smile.  Glitter does makes us smile...well at least it makes me smile :-)  I asked each child the first letter of their name, placed the glue and then they sprinkled glitter over the letter.  We also sang, 'I love glitter, I love glitter.  It's pretty and shiny and fun.'  (West Side Story-I Feel Pretty) I just made this up on the fly and couldn't think of a second line so we just kept singing that over and over. 

Green Goo was today-some children opted  not to make goo.  Each child was given a small cup and changed the white glue to green with food coloring. I added the liquid starch and the kids stirred.   G is for good times.  We will get the goo out next week in the art center.  For complete directions---

Aren't you grateful we do this gross stuff at school? 

Sugar and Salt

A lot was happening at MCP this week!  Our MWF classes did a sweet unit on sugar and salt.  We started off the week observing sugar and salt.  How are they the same?  How are they different?    We looked at picture cards of different foods.  Each child had two cards-salt and sugar.  We decided if each food was sweet/salty or would you add sugar or salt to that food.
Today we made a sweet and salty snack.  We tasted each food a placed it under the right category.  Some foods are salty and sweet.  Before I write the word I ask what is the beginning letter sound.  We had a good discussion on CH, too!
We added all the ingredients into a large bowl.  The children broke the pretzel sticks into bite size pieces and we ate a great snack.  Please check your child's backpack because we sent home a snack bag to share with our families.
Finally, we decide if we liked or did not like the snack.  We counted our tally marks.  The afternoon class had a fun time with the number zero.

Want to do more at home?  Give your child a small amount of sugar and salt to look at on plate.  If you have a magnifying glass all the better.  Make your own sweet and salty snack.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011