Sunday, March 22, 2015

Over the Rainbow

Our MWF students can color rainbows during center time.  Follow the directions and press the easy button.

Friday, March 20, 2015

MCP Cherry Blossoms 2015

Our MWF preK students have located Japan on our world map.  We are learning that there are celebrations all over the world!  Is that fun or what?  We are painting cherry blossoms in the art center.  I painted cherry tree branches and students will add the blossoms (I'm no artist but they work for preschool).
Pink paint and corks are in the art center.

We have an abacus and some traditional Japanese toys.  The children are having fun with the ball and cup.  Ask your child if this toy is easy or hard.  Many of the children are very persistent in trying to catch the ball in the cup.
More info and projects from last year---

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Duck Tales

Today we read Have You Seen My Ducklings?  We went to the tables and cut the grass.  We are getting much better at cutting with scissors.
 Next we glued the grass on pretty scrapbook paper that someone donated to our program.
 Finally, we  glued our ducklings onto the grass.  Where is that duckling? 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Walking on Eggshells

What an egg-citing experiment for our TTh 3 y/o class!  We are learning a lot about birds.  Last Thursday, we learned eggs are strong because of the shape.  How strong? We'll tell you how strong. 

I am a big of fan of Steve Spangler.  I first saw Steve do some amazing experiments and demonstrations on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show and have been a big  fan ever since (Steve and Ellen but for this situation Steve :-) 

I saw this experiment with eggs and adapted it for our 3 y/o bird unit.  First, we created a 'tree' (a large disposable plastic tablecloth). What does the tree need?  A nest!  All students were given pieces of brown paper bags and we made a giant 'nest'.  What does the nest need?  Eggs, of course!  So Mama Bird went to the frig and brought over some eggs. 
After our first experiment, the children understand how strong an egg is so I had no trouble getting volunteers to 'sit' on the eggs.  Mrs. B stood by with loads of paper towels and warm sudsy water. 
We asked for volunteers and most of the children were eager to try.  We only had two eggs crack. You can try this at home and  be amazed.  This is our first attempt at this experiment and I was amazed, excited and thrilled with the results.

Steve Spangeler

Walking on Eggs Experiment---
Grab some eggs and grab some science fun with your child.

Monday, March 16, 2015

St. Patrick's Day 2015

Today our MWF preK classes will 'travel' to Ireland.  When we 'travel' at school, it gives us an opportunity to talk about not only the country but the families and children.  We try to decide if the children are at school, eating supper or sleeping.  We will look at maps and see that Ireland is an island (we have discussed this concept with England, Australia and Hawaii, too).  Teachers will attempt to talk with an Irish accent (it's so sorry).  We will make a leprechaun and also sort, count and create pattern with Lucky Charms cereal. For more information on St. Patrick's Day activities search under the label 'St. Pat's'.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Beam Me Up

Our MWF classes are being introduced to the universe.  On Wednesday, we learned how craters were formed on the moon.  We created a vast universe (cheap round black plastic tablecloth) and I put the 'moon' in the center (plastic deli tray w/flour).  Soon meteorites, asteroids and comets were 'hurling' through space and hitting the moon!  Every time a 'meteorite' hit the moon, a crater was formed.

On Friday, some students were the sun and held flashlights.  This allowed  us to demonstrate that the sun does move but as the Earth rotates we have day and night.  We also demonstrated the distance of the planets.  Ask your child about the stars, the planets and our universe! 

There is a lot more going on in our room!

The Rocket Ship---

Science Centers (MWF classes only)---

Rocket Booster 'How To'---

Want to do more?  There are some amazing videos you and your child can watch.  You can search for videos about space shuttle launches, astronauts and how they work in space and much more.  Explore the universe with your child today!

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Paintin' of the Green

The colors of Ireland will be on the art table for the MWF classes.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Today Was Egg-citing!

Today our TTh friends learned that an egg is really strong.  I had a  large stack of I SPY books (the large hardback books) and 'handed' them to the children to see how heavy they were.  Too heavy!  I put out the egg carton and asked if they thought one book would break the eggs. Two?  Three? We kept stacking and counting the books and when we reached thirty books, we heard it.  Crack....just one egg!  Why are eggs strong? The shape!

This is an easy experiment you can do at home. Four eggs, some books (try to keep similar size) and some science fun  for you and your child!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

 This is a simple center activity to celebrate Ireland and St. Patrick's Day.  Our MWF preK students can color and then press the easy button.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Elmer the Patchwork Elephant

 We officially finished our Elmer unit several weeks ago but have had this activity on the art table during center time.  A large piece of cardboard, squares of construction paper, glue and one googly eye and you have one pretty cute Elmer.  Elmer is hanging in our art center for all to enjoy!
More fun ideas for Elmer---

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Oceans '15

Our 'Under the Sea' bulletin board will be coming down this week.  Some students used our art stencils and some children drew sea creatures.

Need ideas for boring bulletin boards?  Check out our 'Bulletin Board' label for lots of creative ways to include students and their work.  Bulletin boards can be a work of art!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

The MCP Art Studio

Our MWF preK students have been sculpting.  First, we glue the pieces (teacher hot glues pieces into place).
We are learning that art takes a long time to create and artists work very hard.  Most students spend anywhere from ten to thirty minutes painting their sculptures.  It is a beautiful thing to watch them be so engrossed in their work.

Next week, students will have the option to take their sculptures home or add some pieces from our collage box.
More information and past posts & pictures---

Monday, March 2, 2015

MCP Sculptures 2015

Our MWF preK classes will be learning about and creating individual sculptures (if time allows we might do a giant group sculpture).  During this unit, we revisit the concept of two dimensional and three dimensional.  During our unit on Picasso, we explored three dimensional geometric shapes (cube, sphere, cone and cylinder). 

Our sculptures are made of toilet paper and paper towel tubes. A few years ago on a trip to Seattle, I was looking down from the Space Needle and saw Alexander Liberman's Olympic Iliad.  The following year, I asked the children if they wanted their tubes cut (a teacher job b/c it's a little difficult for preschoolers). 
Olympic Iliad   Alexander Liberman
This past summer, we were fortunate enough to visit some friends who were temporarily living in Manhattan.  These two large sculptures by Alice Aycock are located on Park Avenue.  I had to slow down my husband and friends so I could snap a quick photo.  I am anxious to see how the children will manipulate the tubes  when we unfurl them. This will be an interesting option for their sculptures. Thanks bunches to Alice Aycock for the inspiration.
Spin-the-Spin  Alice Aycock
Waltzing Matilda   Alice Aycock
Want to do more?  There are many public works in our area.  When the weather warm ups, you and child can visit the riverfront and downtown Peoria,  ICC main campus and the Bradley University campus to see many outdoor sculptures.  Locally you can drive by Greg DePauw's studio  to see his work or drive around the square to see the Abraham Lincoln sculpture.  

More info and past posts---

The Common Core Standards do not address the importance of the arts.  For more information on why the arts are important---