Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Now Is the Write Time

In our MWF classes, we help the children write their first name. We do not focus on proportion, use lined paper or obsess about proper letter formation. We do not want them to get burned out on writing before they reach kindergarten. This is one thing most children want to learn to do-write their own name. Here are a couple simple things you can do at home to help your child--

*Cover your child with an old t-shirt or paint smock. On a tray, paper plate, plate or cookie sheet, place chocolate or vanilla pudding on the tray/sheet. Have your child use their pointer finger to write their name in pudding! Start with just writing the first letter. When your child feels successful with first letter, begin to add others. Older siblings? Have them practice their spelling words, math facts and more in pudding. Do it before bedtime and you can call it their bedtime snack!

*Adventurous?  Look for other things in the kitchen pantry that will make letters and math a little more fun. 

*Write your child name with a highlighter and have them trace the letters.

*We used hot cocoa powder in January for Fun Food Friday.  Hot chocolate powder and a pointer finger!  Dee-lish!  
Remember make it fun. If your child is getting frustrated, it's time to stop. 

Enjoy writing letters and numbers with your child

Learn to Dance

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, 
it's about learning to dance in the rain. 

Seeds and Plants--Bean Time-Lapse

Monday, March 30, 2020

My Favorite Children's Books

April Fools---Balloon in a Bottle

MCP Homeschool---Masterpiece Monday

Today our students will learn about Piet Mondrian.  When we color and paint, we have been reminding students to cover all the white spaces.  Whoa!  Mondrian leaves white spaces.  Enjoy learning about Mondrian with your child.  For additional information check out the websites listed below:

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Another Monster at the End of This Book Starring Grover & Elmo by Sesame...

The Monster at the End of This Book starring Grover! by Sesame Street - ...

This book is a part of our Monster unit in October when our TTh class learns about real and pretend.  You and your child can make a list of things that are real and pretend.  For example,  ponies are real but My Little Pony is pretend.  Spiders are real but Spiderman is pretend. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Pizza My Heart Dough Toss!

Pizza My Heart Field Trip - Part 1

Pizza Projects

In the fall, our TTh class always has fun with pizza.  Here are some things you can try at home:

Draw a pizza.  Do you have construction paper?  

Have your child take a survey---cheese? sausage? pepperoni?   You don't need pizza shapes.  Have your child make tally marks. Me?  Put my tally mark under sausage.  Count, have your child write the number and discuss which is the greatest and which is the least.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Throwback Thursday---the boys

Dave Rudolf was a favorite of my boys when they were little. Hope it brings a smile to you and your child today.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

The Mitten...an MCP Favorite

The Mitten  is an MCP winter favorite with our TTh class.  We cover a table with a white blanket and the children crawl under the table as the animals enter the 'mitten'.

You can do this at home. Really...
  • Cover a table with a blanket or sheet.
  • Gather dolls, action figures or stuffed animals.
  • As the story progresses have your child place the animals under the table (or if the family is up for it they can crawl under the table)
  • Our bear child sticks his/her nose out from under the table a bit.
  • The mouse child gives the bear a little tickle and 
  • ACHOO! 
  • The teacher pulls the blanket off  the table and all of our animals tumble out from under the table.  They love it.
You and your child can have fun with Jan Brett's The Mitten! 

Number Recognition & Counting

Our approach to number recognition and counting is similar to letter recognition:
  • Let's start with counting out loud.  
  • Work with a few numbers at time.  1-5 and work up to 1-10 and continue to move to higher numbers as your child when your child is ready.
  • Look around the house and find numbers.  We know numbers are everywhere!  
  • Flashcards?  Play Hide & Seek.  Hid the flashcards and as your child finds them place them in numerical order.
  • Count objects.  Children will count orally first but also need to be able to count objects. Coins, cereal, toy cars, etc.  Give your child a number and count.  
  • With our MWF students, we practice counting by 10's and counting to 100.  Don't be concerned if your child is not able to count to 100.  Practice and have fun.  It is important to have fun!
  • We'll be hosting lots of math activities at MCP Homeschool.  
Have some fun with counting with your child. 

Letter Recognition & Reading

I hope you and your child are reading a lot of books.  Reading with your child will keep you connected and comforted.  Books are safe and familiar space.  Here are some helpful hints for you that we use at MCP when reading stories:

  • Reading will help build your child's vocabulary so stop and ask if they understand unfamiliar words.  You hear me say, "Can you say that word?"  Give your child the definition of the word. 
  • Keep story time playful and fun.  Uses voices and hand gestures.  Be theatrical.  This keeps the story interesting and fun.  
  • Many stories will allow your child to participate.  For example, when we read  Owl Babies the children are always Bill.  
  • Let your child stop you and ask questions and make comments.  This means they are curious and engaged in the story.
  • Look at the illustrations.  Point out things in the pictures.  Count. Identify colors and shapes. 
You might be learning that working on letter recognition with your child is hard.  It is and that's okay.  Be patient.  We are going to continue to provide you with lots of ideas (and I'm sure there are millions of  others out there doing the same) on how to work on letters. Here is a start:

  • Sing the ABC song.  The oral language comes first.
  • Work on just a few letters at time until you feel your child is ready to review all of the letters.
  • Notice letters around your home. We tell the children there are letters everywhere.
  • Do you have flashcards?  Play Hide & Seek with the flashcards and when your child finds the card, identify the letter.  Start to add more cards and place in alphabetical order.  
  • Learning all the letters of the alphabet takes time.  Be patient and keep it fun.  Encourage your child and celebrate their success.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Owl Babies ---I Want My Mommy!

An MCP favorite!  More to come...

What did we learn about owls? Ask your child...

What kind of animal is an owl?

All owls are covered in...

Owls fly so they have two...

Owls have large eyes.

There is a special name for an owl's feet.

Owls lay...

Owls are out at night. This means they are ...

Are owls herbivores or carnivores?

Where do owls live? All over the world except the South Pole.

The Elf Owl is the smallest owl at five inches long.

The Great Gray Owl is the biggest owl.  The Great Gray Owl grows up to 33 inches long.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Dance Like Nobody Is Watching

We are having a lot of dance parties at my house. Here is a list of MCP favorites:

  • Hokey Pokey---Little Richard version but I'd love to see an AC/DC (suggested a long time ago on a favorite radio show), ZZ Top or Justin Timerlake version.  There's always hope. 
  • Ghostbusters
  • Car Wash---Rose Royce  We 'drive' around with our windshield wipers on (moving our arms like they are wind shield wipers)
  • Miserlou---Dick Dale and his Del-Tones. Classic surfer music.  We pretend we're on surf boards and there will be wipe outs. 
  • Born to Be Wild---Steppenwolf   We get on our motorcycle, put on our helmets and drive around the classroom.  Teachers call out "Red light"  or "Green light"
  • YMCA---Village People  No explanation needed.
  • Who Let the Dogs Out--BaHa Men   We remove the chairs from the tables and the kids crawl around barking.  Seriously...this is one of their favorites.  
  • Chicken Dance---We love this song because it's a pattern.  Cluck, flap your wings, lay an egg, clap.
  • Macarena---Los Del Rio   We hadn't taught this one yet but we like this dance because it's  a pattern.
  • Walking on Sunshine---Katrina and the Wave  We dance to this one because I love this song.  When we hear "walking on sunshine", we raise our hands above our heads like a great big yellow sun.  
  • Shake It Off---Taylor Swift/KidzBop version   Well, it's pretty obvious...Shake it!
  • Space Jam---Quad City DJ's   We pretend we are playing basketball...pretend...dribble, pass and shoot baskets.  
You and your child can have fun at a dance party!  Nobody is watching!  Dance!

The 86th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade NYC

The Macy's Day Parade!  How fun.  Where is the Macy's Day Parade held?

What holiday?  Who loves the Macy's Day Parade?  Yep! I do!

Amazing LONDON City Tour

Letter E meant England!  What do you remember about England?

It has water all around it so it is an---------.

Do we travel across the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean?

What is the name of the large clock?

What else do you remember about our travels?

Saturday, March 21, 2020

New York City | Amazing Statue of Liberty Boat Tour

Would you like to go on a boat ride and see the Statue of Liberty?  Let's go!

LEGO Statue Of Liberty

Do you remember when we learned about America and the Statue Liberty?

Little Richard / The Hokey Pokey

Friday, March 20, 2020

This Is Not Eggs-actly What I Had Planned...

Want to do more with birds?  Here's the 'how to'...

We hope you and your child are having fun learning about eggs!  National Geographic has a great kids website!

North American Bird Songs

Saturday, March 14, 2020

He's a Lucky Man

Yesterday our MWF classes learned how to draw a leprechaun.  Teachers give simple step by step directions using lines and shapes.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Whooo Can It Be Now?

Meet Sarah, Percy, Bill and their mother.  The TTh class will be learning about owls and birds.  We will read Martin Waddell's Owl Babies and create our own little owl babies.

First we'll have to snip.

and then glue.
Ask your child what they have learned about owls.

Monday, March 9, 2020

There's a Rainbow Above You

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

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Lucky for You

We love exploring other countries and cultures with our preschoolers.  This week we 'travel' to Ireland. 

A bin of green in the art center makes colorful collages.

This leprechaun should be an easy catch when students listen to teacher directions.

During center time students may color the Irish flag and press 'the easy button.'

Orange and green paint in the art center.  Aren't we lucky?

Friday, March 6, 2020

Message in a Bottle

We have had so much fun in the sun the last couple weeks.  Our TTh class made seashore sensory bottles.  Small soda bottle, tinted water with a hint of blue glitter (I love glitter), a small amount of baby oil, 'sea glass' (glass vase filler), small seashells and plastic fish.  

Thursday, March 5, 2020

One Fish, Two Fish

I found these fun foam fish last year.  Cheap!  So our MWF classes drew on the fish with Sharpie markers and...
we added glitter glue on one side!  They are hanging in our classroom in the 'sea' but will be sent home soon.  We are having a lot of fun under the sea! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Seaside Sunrise

Mrs. U has done it again!  A tranquil seaside sunrise is ready for creatures of the deep.  We have lots of stencils in our art center. Our MWF students will trace, color and cut.  After they are done, they will make a tally mark so we can count and press the 'easy button', too!  

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Seeking Seashells by the Seashore

We love dramatic play at MCP.  Our 'dress-ups' have the children playing in the sand.  A large sunny golf umbrella, surf boards from carpet scraps, binoculars, cameras, phones, magnifying glasses, 'sunscreen', Hawaiian shirts and dresses, buckets, shells, sea creatures and your child's imagination.  

Sunday, March 1, 2020


The idea started when a friend gave me hundreds and hundreds of large cupcake liners and then there was a road trip to the St. Louis zoo and I saw these...

We have a variety of plastic bottles that are cut down, plastic cups and cupcake liners.  There are markers, stickers, tissue, glue sticks and ribbon.  The MWF classes will be able to create their jelly fish from start to finish.  Teachers will add the tentacles for the TTh 3 y/o class. 

Ask your child about the underwater adventures in our classroom!