Friday, January 31, 2020

How Do Polar Animals Stay Warm?

Blubber!  Today we learned that many polar animals are covered in blubber.  Blubber keeps polar animals warm. 

Our MWF students  have spent the week learning about polar animals. Here are some of the things we talked about-where the North and South Pole are, the North Pole and South Pole are covered with snow and ice, the North Pole and South Pole are really cold all the time, we identified polar animals and where they live, learned penguins live at the South Pole and polar bears live at the North Pole.

Today I asked the children, "How do polar animals keep warm?" After a variety of answers, I told them polar animals are covered in blubber. This brought lots of giggles especially when I asked them to say the word 'blubber'. I had a five gallon bucket filled with ice and very, very, very, very cold water.   One at a time, each child had an opportunity to put their hand in the water. After they quickly pulled their hand out, I told them I was going to 'turn them into a polar animal'. Each child chose a polar animal and told me where that animal lived. Then I covered their hand in 'blubber'. Inside a large zip-loc bag I have put lots of shortening and another zip-loc bag is inside the shortening bag (because really who wants to be covered in blubber). The children put their hand inside the blubber and then put their hand back into the water. Now they can feel how blubber keeps polar animals warm.

Want to do more?  Go to the library and pick up some books on polar animals and stay warm!  

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Get It Together

Today is National Puzzle Day. 

Puzzles are an important part of your child's development.  At MCP, we have a variety of puzzles for all skill levels. We have puzzles with knobs for beginners.  We have 4-8 piece wooden tray puzzles and on up to 24 and 48 piece jigsaw puzzles which include our floor puzzles.  We also have really hard puzzles to challenge our students.
What are puzzles doing for your child's development?  A lot!  
Your child has to pick up and manipulate puzzle pieces which develops the fine motor skills.  As your child tries to solve the puzzle, they are looking at pieces and trying to fit pieces into a space which works on their eye/hand coordination. 
As your child looks at the pieces, they are searching for clues in shape and color. Puzzles are problem solving.  We often tell the children to be a 'puzzle detective'.  When the children ask for help (which sometimes means 'will you solve this for me?), we will give guidance but not touch pieces.  "There's blue sky.  Where will the blue pieces go?"  Each child also has their own style in solving a puzzle so we don't tell them they have to find the straight pieces first.  Their job is to solve the puzzle in manner that best works for them.  We  also see children go back repeatedly to the same puzzle until they have mastered it.  Repeatedly working on a puzzle helps with memory.  
"I DID IT!"  I love to hear these words when a child finishes a puzzle.  There is an emotional side of puzzles that builds your child's self-esteem.  Puzzle are typically an individual activity and for a  young child to successfully complete a puzzle on their own is a big deal.  As they begin working with puzzles, children have to be patient and persevere through their frustration when pieces are not fitting where they believe they should go. 
Puzzles are social.  Floor puzzles are a group effort.  When we have harder puzzles out, we often see two or three children working together.  As children see their peers complete our more difficult puzzles, it encourages them to try. If a student is struggling we will have a student help their friend solve the puzzle.   This gives students an opportunity to teach their friends.  Success breeds success.

What can you do at home? Well, provide puzzles, of course.  Puzzles can be expensive but you can often find puzzles at discount stores.  Older children can be encouraged to try crossword puzzles, word searches and other word puzzles.  Have some fun finding the missing piece with your child!

Monday, January 27, 2020

Mixing Up the Blues

 Today we learned how to make 
colors lighter and darker. 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Winds of Winter

The leaves on the garden bulletin board have fallen and a blanket of snow covers the grass.  Pete is looking for some snowy friends to join him.  

Monday, January 20, 2020

Peace by Pieces

Peace by Pieces
Nathan Sawaya

"What does it take to create Peace? All the colors in the world working together, of course! This sculpture was created using thousands of recycled bricks."

Nathan Sawaya
The Art of the Brick

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Mass Extinction

Students will be tracing, coloring and cutting out dinosaurs for our bulletin board.  

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Aboriginal Art 2020

Last week our MWF preK classes experienced the wonders of Australia.  We learned where Australia is located, we talked about the equator, created some Aboriginal art and much more.  When we talk about our world, we introduce many concepts.  The children are learning what an island is, we talk about the oceans and how would we travel. Our discussion is also that there are children, families, mommies and daddies all over the world.  When we look at a country on the map, we ask the children if they think the children are awake or sleeping. 

The children discovered that Mrs. Q is terrible at accents but that an accent is when someone sounds different than what you are used to.  We have an accent!  We would sound different to someone from Australia. 
They worked really hard on their Aboriginal art, too!

A book about Australia...

Aboriginal art...

We traced each child's hand on recycled brown paper bags and packing paper.

We will have more aboriginal art next week at the easel.  Animal shapes, markers and dot markers.  Have a g'day mate!

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Marshamallow Math Game

Here's a winter boredom buster to try at home....mugs, mini-marshmallows and dice.  Younger children can count with one or two dice.  Older children can multiply or add diceCount out marshmallows and add to mug.  Make some mugs of hot cocoa and have fun counting with your child!

Friday, January 10, 2020

Dipping Chocolate

What a fun way to practice writing our name, our letters and numbers!  Hot chocolate powder and a pointer finger!  Dee-lish!  You and your child can do this at home.  A cookie sheet provides more surface for letters and numbers.  Older children can practice spelling words or math!  

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

It's 100 Wednesday!

We started this activity a couple years ago. Our MWF students are counting by tens and up to one hundred. We ended up calling it 'One Hundred Wednesday'. Every Wednesday the children have an opportunity to work in a small group during center time.   We started with stickers and are going to start working with other classroom materials.
We are introducing and practicing not only counting to one hundred but counting by tens.  We are also having the children write the numbers. Occasionally there will be activities on our Science/Math table for children to count out items and take home. 
Want to do more at home?  Easy breezy!  You can use stickers or office dots (cheap!), buttons, beads, pretzels, Cheerios or other cereals, LEGOS, pennies and more.  You might have one hundred Hot Wheels (I'm pretty we did) or one hundred Shopkins pieces.  You and your child are only limited by your imagination.  Start your own 100 Wednesday with your child today!

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Preschool Paleontogists

Our preschoolers are going to really 'dig' our new dramatic play!  A dinosaur dig for prehistoric discoveries in the classroom.  

More info---

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Polar Plunge

This polar plunge is filled with polar animals and lots of fun.  Easy breezy to do at home! 4-5 bags of white crinkle paper (used in gift bags) and 2-3 bags of cotton balls. Small clear plastic tubs create floating ice for penguins and polar animals to rest. 

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Snow Days

We are ready for our friends to return to school and have some frozen fun waiting for them!

Snowmen for numbers, counting and more!

Counting games and letter fun with snowmen are in the Discovery Center.