Saturday, May 27, 2017

Mmmmm....Math is Yummy!

At  MCP, we love to play with our food.  We love to sort and make patterns.  We also practice counting to ten.

Pretzels and goldfish crackers are fun, too!



Friday, May 26, 2017

Math Counts!

Math is plays an important role in our daily curriculum at MCP but how can you help your child at home?  Easy!  Math is everywhere!  Numbers are everywhere!  Shapes are everywhere!  Patterns are everywhere!  You just have to look and find opportunities to talk about math with your child. 

Some ideas to get your started---
  • Count out snack or dinner items (five carrots, one sandwich)
  • Set the table-how many people? how many plates?
  • At the store "Let's pick out five apples."
  • Calendar count downs to holidays or special events
  • Board games where your child has to count the spaces moved
  • Point out shapes-circles, spheres, cylinders, squares 
  • Cooking is fantastic for measuring
  • Children love rulers and measuring tapes.  A great way to introduce the concept of inch and foot.  Have your child look for things that are bigger than one foot or smaller?  Find things that are five inches long.
  • Use words like more, less, greater, bigger, smaller, shortest, tallest.
Seasonal shapes from the dollar store and office stickers are a fun way to count!

We love geoboards and pattern blocks at MCP!

You can roll the dice and count anything! 

Our Discovery Center has math activities---

For more ideas and additional information---

Monday, May 22, 2017

Summer Bucket List-2017

"Summertime is always the best of what might be."
Charles Bowden

A week from today the bell rings, the gates open and summer takes off!  Summer is like no other season.  I never ask anyone "What are you going to do this winter?"  Summer has a magical and never ending feel.  It's a season to get out and be together with family and friends. 

You might do all the things you plan to do but probably not.  My husband and I continue to make a summer bucket list even though our boys are grown and gone.  A visual list in the kitchen reminds us that summertime is the best time to do so many things.  We get to most but never all. 

Check out the Children's Museum in Galesburg!  Discovery Depot---

Past posts---

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Mr. Hoppers

What a fun day!
We learned about frogs and toads.
We sketched with paint.
 We painted a frog!

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Summer 2017-Read & Dance

"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world."

I have to add Footloose to my list of favorite books.  It combines two of my favorite things to do with the children in the classroom-read and dance.  So, here are my favorites and some additional book ideas to get you started with your summer reading with your child. 

My top 108 books---

Summer books---

Zoo books---

Monday, May 15, 2017

Believe in Yourself

"Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen."

Congratulations to the MCP Class of 2017!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mom's Breakfast

Mother's Day arrives on Sunday. Across the nation mothers will pretend to sleep while they listen with a combination of curiosity and fear to the sounds coming from the kitchen.  I served my mom breakfast in bed and my father was of the 'Mad Men' generation and ill prepared to have five kids in the kitchen helping with breakfast.  My husband and two boys faired better and I think today's fathers are more at ease in the kitchen than my Dad ever was.  No matter what the skill level and no matter how much chaos is created, enjoy your breakfast because the plate is filled with love. 

Don't You Dare Bleed on Mom's Breakfast
Erma Bombeck

A lot of things have been done in bed in the name of  love...but nothing comes close to the traditional Mother's Day breakfast in bed. 

On this day, all over the country, mothers are pushed back into their pillows, their bird of paradise (which blooms every other year for fifteen minutes) is snipped and put in a shot glass, and a strange assortment of food comes out to a kitchen destined to take the sight out to a good eye. 

A mixer whirs out of control,  then stops abruptly as a voice cries, "I'm telling. " 

A dog barks and another voice says, "Get his paws out of there.  Mom has to eat that!"

Minutes pass and finally, "Dad! Where's the chili sauce?"

Then, "Don't you dare bleed on Mom's breakfast."

The rest is a blur of banging doors, running water, rapid footsteps and finally, "You started the fire; you put it out!"

The breakfast is fairly standard:  A water tumbler of juice, five pieces of black bacon that snap in half when you breathe on them, a mound of eggs that would feed a Marine division, and four pieces of cold toast.  They line up on the bed to watch you eat and from time to time ask why you're not drinking your Kool-Aid or touching the cantaloupe with black olives on top spelling out M-O-M.

Later that night, after you have decided it's easier to move to a new house than clean the kitchen, you return to your bed, where you encounter beneath the blanket either  (a) a black jelly bean, (b) a planter's wart, or (c) a black olive that put the O in M-O-M.

And if you're wise, you'll reflect on this day.  For the first time, your children gave instead of received.  They offered up to you the sincerest form of flattery---trying to emulate what you would do for them.  They gave you one of the greatest gifts people can give:  themselves.

There will be other Mother's Days and a parade of gifts that will astound and amaze you, but not one of them will every measure up to the sound of your children in the kitchen on Mother's Day whispering, "Don't you dare bleed on Mom's breakfast." 

Past Mother's Day posts---

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Get Off of My Cloud

On Wednesday and Friday, we continued our study of Georgia O'Keefe with two large group projects in the art center. The morning class created a large  Blue Flower on Pink and both classes made Sky Above Clouds preK.

How I love large cardboard boxes!  I cover the cardboard with white rolled paper that was generously donated to our program.

We know we sketch before we paint.  Georgia O'Keefe's flowers were BIG!  Our flower is big and fills the space.  The small group had to come to a decision on colors and then painted their masterpiece.

On Friday, we created Sky Above Clouds preK.  With a small group in the art center, we talked about mixed media in art.  Artists often combine paint, paper and  collage pieces to create art.  We started with tissue paper.  I spread glue all over the cardboard and students added tissue paper. 

Students glued cotton balls to create clouds.  I started off letting the kids pull the cotton ball but it was very difficult for our preschoolers.  I pulled them apart and then they glued onto the sky.  The result is lovely.  I hope we have made Ms. O'Keefe proud.

After we completed the group project, one of our budding artists was inspired to create her own Sky Above Clouds with paper and glue. First she used markers and crayons to create her sky---
 Then white paper from the scrap bin made clouds.
Enjoy searching for shapes and  the watching the clouds float by with your child today!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Sky Above Clouds

Last year was the first year for our Masterpiece Monday program.  At the end of the school year a little girl commented that "we didn't do any girl artists."  Well, we changed that this year.  Our last Masterpiece Monday artist is Georgia O'Keefe.  She is also an American artist. 

We looked at the work of Georgia O'Keefe and noticed the flowers are BIG and usually there is only one flower.  We saw her art had bones, mountains and clouds.  We learned Georgia O'Keefe lived most of her life in the Southwest.  We talked about the Southwest and how it is different than the Midwest.  We learned about clouds...what are clouds?  We are learning to identify three types of clouds---cumulus, cirrus and status. 

On Monday, we worked with watercolors.  Our inspiration was Sky Above Clouds IV.  We looked at a photo and saw that this painting is BIG!  We used a special paper for watercolors.  Ask your child how it felt.  We went to the tables to paint.

First get the paper wet---
Next we added blue but just half way---
 Big brush strokes across the paper!
 Fill in those white spaces, too.

Next, we added red---

How did our watercolors dry so fast? Ask your child.  Our last step was adding clouds with acrylic paint. 
 Clouds are big and little.

 We worked really hard to make sure our clouds were next to each other.
 We made lots and lots of clouds in our blue sky!

Thanks, Mrs. U for a wonderful lesson on watercolors!