Friday, September 17, 2021

LEGO Statue Of Liberty

Statue of Liberty Boat Tour

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Paint, Paper and Paste-arts & crafts

Arts and crafts are a very important part of our program at MCP.  The two are also very different.  Art is open ended.  We have crayons, markers, scissors, glue, cardboard and much more in our art center so the children have an opportunity to be creative on their own. 

Crafts are about listening and following teacher directions. 

Crafts are done as a group at the tables with the teacher giving directions.  We use this opportunity to work on colors, shapes and spatial relationships (inside, between, top, bottom, etc.).  We also are working very hard on listening to teacher directions.  

If your child's craft does not look like a bear, a flower, a pumpkin or whatever---no worries.  We are just starting the year. We know sitting with friends with colorful paper and a bottle of glue is hard.  The children are learning how to use an appropriate amount of glue, how to pick up sticky gluey pieces and soon we will be cutting & snipping shapes together.  Please note---we do not move or relocate pieces that the children place incorrectly. Your child's work is their work.  We are working really hard on listening to teacher directions as a group.

For more information on why art is important-

Monday, September 6, 2021

Now I Know My ABC's

 
At MCP, we strongly believe that children learn best when actively involved in the process and not through worksheets and printables.  We work every day on letter and number recognition. We are always telling the children letters and numbers are EVERYWHERE (so look around with your child and point them out).  For more information check out the label 'Letter/Number Recognition'.




Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Sing!

 

We sing a lot at MCP.  We sing when we want the children line up. We sing when we want the children to sit down.  We sing to get their attention.  We also sing to teach concepts and just for fun.  What do we sing? 

http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2011/09/calendar.html

http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2013/09/sticky-sticky-bubblegum.html

http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2015/09/dont-stick-your-finger-up-your-nose.html

Friday, August 27, 2021

Play With Me

 

The only screen that your child can look at MCP is the screen in the window.  No computers. No tablets for children.  Play.  Play powered by your child's imagination and creativity.  It's a powerful energy that we channel in the classroom and it's a joy to watch. 

Read more about the power of play-

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Fine Motor Skills---Lacing Cards

Lacing cards are a very important part of the MCP curriculum.  We have lacing cards available for the children everyday.  After your child laces a card, we do not rip out their work for the next student.  Your child may take the lacing card home! This is an important difference in purchased lacing cards.  We are working on strengthening those very important fine motor skills---building strength to hold a pencil, crayon, paint and scissors.  When a child gets to keep their work, they are more likely to participate in the activity.  

Lacing cards are easy to make at home with your child. Old greeting cards and cereal boxes make colorful cards that will interest your child. 

Friday, August 13, 2021

Pattern Blocks & Geoboards

We have geoboards and pattern blocks in our Discovery Center. Learn more why these are an important classroom activity:

http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2016/09/geoboards-pattern-blocks.html

Monday, August 9, 2021

MCP Centers


The first day of school is approaching fast. Your child will discover that the MCP classroom is divided into 'centers'.  We believe in the power of play.  Find out more about each center:

Friday, August 6, 2021

Worksheets---why not?

 

No daily worksheets for your preschooler at MCP.  Why not?  Because there are lot of ways to teach your child their ABC's and 123's without them.  


Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Getting Ready to Read


At MCP we do not use daily worksheets to teach letters or numbers.  Reading readiness activities are woven into our program in many ways.  What is reading readiness?  Short answer-recognizing letters, making sure books and reading material are available for children and much more. During the school year, your child will:

  • learn to recognize their name
  • recognize letters of the alphabet and be introduced to beginning letter sounds
  • retell stories
  • have literary units with crafts, projects and activities 
  • be introduced to and practice new vocabulary words (palette, coprolite, concentric and many, many more)
  • act out stories
  • dictate reports and stories
  • have center activities that encourage reading
  • see  many items labeled in our classroom (by the window is the word 'window', every chair has the word 'chair' on the back)

For more information:



Monday, August 2, 2021

How to Be a Student

 

At Metamora Community Preschool, we believe that our program will provide a solid foundation for elementary school.  What will your child learn?  More than you think...

1. How to be a student---When the children are playing in centers, our room may seem disorganized and chaotic but a lot is happening. The children are allowed to move from center to center and choose activities or toys that interest them.  Yet within the structure of our centers, there are rules and routines to learn.  The children learn where to return toys, how many children are allowed in each center, what to do when the bell rings, how to stand and walk in a line with their friends, and how to sit and listen to the teacher.  The children are learning how to behave in the classroom and how to behave in a  large group.

2.  How to make friends and be a friend---The park, daycare, lessons and activities have already provided your child with the opportunity to be with other children.  School is way for your child to connect with other children, make friends and be a friend.  Your child will learn to resolve conflicts and communicate with their friends.  We will provide activities for the children to work in pairs and small groups.  This encourages communication, sharing of  ideas, and  making decisions as a group.

3.  How to be independent---As parents, we naturally come to the aide of our children---helping with a coat or backpack, handing a towel to dripping hands and other small tasks.  At school, we work on independence.  The children not only learn to be independent but also to be patient.  As they learn to be more independent from teachers, they will develop into a more confident and independent  student. 

4.  How to tell a story---The children will listen to stories,  use props to retell stories, and dictate stories.  We work on developing a love for books and the written word.

5.  How to ask the teacher for help---It's easy for a child to ask mommy or daddy for help. A teacher has many other children who all need time and attention.  When teachers build  caring relationships with students, the student will develop the confidence to request help.  Our goal is to be caring, responsive and approachable.

6.  How to use a scissors and glue---Working with scissors, crayons and markers do more than just decorate your refrigerator.  When children use scissors and crayons, they are developing fine motor skills and small muscles.  We have many toys, activities and centers that work on fine motor skills.  Our art center has scissors, glue, markers, crayons, pens and pencils available every day.  Our writing center has pens and pencils with paper, cards, stickers and envelopes. 

7. How to build with blocks---Building with blocks allow children to freely explore spatial relationships, strengthen motor skills, promotes eye/hand coordination  and develop social and language skills. We also have Legos, waffle blocks, bristle blocks, and a train set that rotate through this center.

8.  Learn to recognize symbols---Most preschoolers are able to to identify a few letters and numbers.  They thrive on reciting and writing the letters in their name and begin to learn the letters in classmates and teacher's names.  They are understanding and recognizing colors and shapes.  We repeatedly say, "Shapes are everywhere."  "Colors are everywhere."  "Letters and numbers are everywhere." 

9.  How to hop, skip and jump---Playing outside is different than indoor center play.  Playing outside strengthens muscles, increases coordination, develops body awareness, and boosts  a child's self confidence.  Outdoor play creates situations for children to independently problem solve and socially interact with peers in an a environment different than the classroom.

10. How to be a scientist---Preschoolers are naturally inquisitive and love to explore.  Our job is to provide many opportunities for children to have hands-on and self-directed activities.  Pumpkin pieces with seeds, flowers, a computer motherboard, sensory bottles and tubs, science experiments for the group and individual are just a few ways that science is introduced and explored.

Our classroom encourages children to be a student by providing a wide variety of interesting materials, activities and experiences.  Building, painting and exploring will allow your child to learn and be creative in the classroom.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Read Me a Story

Every day.  You should be reading to your child every day.  I loved reading books to my boys when they were little. They are both good readers and read a lot!  Reading to a child EVERY DAY is one of the best ways to help them achieve success in school. Reading should be a fun and enjoyable activity for parent and child. Here are a few tips to help you help your child become a good reader-

  • Read any time and all the time but make reading a part of your bedtime routine.  Most children like hearing a story every night at bedtime.
  • Let your child pick the book and hold it. 
  • Read your child's favorite books over and over and over again.  Young children enjoy knowing what is to come.  
  • Discuss the illustrations. Point to the pictures. Encourage your child to point and discuss illustrations.
  • Read alphabet and counting books.
  • Read to your child with expression and feeling. 
  • Stop and discuss unfamiliar words to build vocabulary.
  • Rhyming and silly stories are well liked by preschoolers.
  • Use books to help w/new experiences (going to the dentist, first sleepover, a new baby, etc.)
  • Use 'voices' for different characters in the story.  
  • Encourage your child to repeat refrains (for example in the book Owl Babies I have students 'be' Bill and say "I want my Mommy!"
  • Discuss what your read to make sure your child comprehends the story.  Ask questions like "What do you think would happen if..."
  • Make predictions. Ask your child "What do you think will happen next?"
  • Get a library card and make trips to the library.
  • Make sure your child has books at home.  On a budget?  Thrift stores and garage sales are a great place to find book bargains.
  • Read every day! 

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The Boys

 

"Half the time when brothers wrestle, it's just an excuse to hug each other."
James Patterson

The boys.  They are four years apart which I naively thought would make things easier.  If there are siblings there are bound to be conflicts.  Siblings give our children an opportunity to learn how resolve conflicts and so much more. 

Do you feel like you need a referee shirt and a whistle to survive the rest of the summer?  Check out Siblings Without Rivalry  and  How to Tall So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish.

More info on siblings:



Monday, July 26, 2021

National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

 
Next Monday, August 2nd is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day.  When your child is in the kitchen they are learning a lot plus there is a homemade treat at the end.  Here are 50 ice cream sandwich recipes and some information on why it is important to get kids in the kitchen.

http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2017/07/50-ice-cream-sandwiches.html

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Your Turn

 

We love playing games at our house.  Playing games is an important part of your child's development.  Family game night does more for your child than you think.  Family game night teaches:
  • cooperation
  • concentration
  • learning rules
  • following rules
  • learning about goals
  • contact and conversations
  • winning and losing 
  • and much more!
More info-

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Benefits of Using Your Local Library


Check out the summer reading programs at your local library.  Libraries are a vital resource for our children and our communities.

Illinois Prairie District-



Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Learn to Say 'Hello'


"Travel sparks our imagination, feeds our curiosity and reminds us how much we all have in common."
Deborah Lloyd

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Meanest Mom in the World


I thought for sure my mom was the meanest mom in the world.  Boy, was I wrong. She was not, of course.  I was.   It took awhile but I started to see what loving someone really means.  It's not always 'yes'.  

One of my boys (who shall remain nameless) started ranting that I was absolutely, positively the meanest mom in the world.  I'm sure I denied him of something-actually probably many things-during his elementary school years.  I finally had had enough and told my much loved offspring that if he called me the 'meanest mom in the world' one more time that I would make a shirt and wear it the next time I volunteered at his school (which was often).  

The shirt is in the back of my closet.  I keep it as a reminder that motherhood is blessing.  It is a joy but it is also struggle and lots of mamas have had lots of struggles these past fifteen months.  

What I know and what I have learned as a woman of a certain age is that there often is a lot of strength, wisdom and patience that is gained from strife and struggle. The sun is up there even during the stormiest of times.  We just have to wait for the storm to pass to see the sun shine. You learn to get great at the wait. 

My boys are grown and gone.  They both turned out to be  wonderful young men (I'll stop there b/c I could go on and on about how wonderful they are).  I'm no longer the meanest Mom in the world and I know I am loved by those two little boys who are now my grown sons.  

Happy Mother's Day! 

Past posts---


Sunday, May 2, 2021

Friday, April 30, 2021

The Art of Collage

 

When MCP students are in the classroom there are wide variety of materials in our art center including the collage box.  The collage box is a wonderful assortment of odds and ends thrown into a plastic tub.  The children search, dig and glue their pieces and create the most amazing works of art.  Creative juices and glue flowing...it is fun to watch. 

There is no  rhyme or reason to what is in the tub-whatever we pull from our main storage closet.  The child will often ask if we have pipe cleaners, more googly eyes or ribbon and we happily grant their request if we are able. 

Creating a collage box for your child at home is easy.  Get a box with a lid (a shoe box-you don't need a store bought box).  Gather items-buttons, old beads, fun foam, pom poms, puzzle pieces, old playing cards, googly eyes, ribbon, paper scraps. The children glue on cardboard or tag board which is sturdier instead of paper.  Save cereal and cracker box for gluing. 



Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Egg in a Bottle


This requires close adult supervision.  

Monday, April 26, 2021

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Masterpiece Monday-Georgia O'Keefe

 

During the school year, our final artist is Georgia O'Keefe.  'Sky Above Clouds' is an easy at home activity.  Here's how:


We love having the children work together on large pieces of art.  The canvas is a large piece of cardboard covered in white paper.

What is mixed media?  You and your child can use tissue paper and cotton balls to create a masterpiece, too. 

Our art center inspires our preschoolers to create! Paper, markers and glue---

I love the torn paper clouds! 


Saturday, April 17, 2021

Friday, April 16, 2021

Piggie Pie

The Three Little Javelinas by Susan Lowell

Science is so Egg-citing

 Here are some super simple experiments with eggs for you and your child to do at home.  Adult supervision is required.  

In April we usually learn about birds with our TTh 3 y/o class.  The question is how can a mother bird sit on an egg without it breaking?  We discover that eggs are strong.  


You need four raw eggs, an egg carton (a dozen size) and a stack of books about the same size. Place the eggs in the second and fifth row. 
Now carefully start stacking the books on top until you hear a crack.  You will be able to get quite a stack.  Back in the day I used to use encyclopedias but any books that are similar in size will work. 
So now your child understands that eggs are strong.  Would you be able to walk on top of eggs?  Predict what will happen if you walk on eggs and then try this experiment. 

You will need 4-5 dozen eggs inside the container.  We cover the floor and kiddos remove shoes and socks.  A bucket of sudsy water and paper towels for clean up.  

On top of the mat stagger the eggs.  Have your child walk slowly on the eggs.  We hold hands with children for safety. 

Give credit where credit is due.  This comes from Steve Spangler Science---


Super easy-observe what happens when you place in these liquids.

For the how and why and science stuff check out---

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Three Little Aliens And The Big Bad Robot

And They Lived Happily Ever After

In April, the MCP curriculum has a fairy tale unit.  We read books. We compare and contrast the stories.  There are props for dramatic play, countless activities in the Discovery and Art Centers plus our special 3 Little Pig Snack.  

The Gingerbread Man stories are sweet!  


Simple props and your child's imagination to recreate stories.  If you really want to go all out---

No sewing skills?  Buy pink t-shirts.  Houses and our 3 Little Pig snack-

Book list-

Monday, April 5, 2021

Masterpiece Monday-Meet Mondrian

Our Masterpiece Monday program has been a part of the MCP curriculum for many years.  What started out as a simple unit on V and Vincent Van Gogh has grown into a wonderful way for children to express themselves and learn so many things about art, science and math. Art makes you smart.

All year as we paint we remind the children to 'cover the white spaces'.  We introduce Mondrian and ask them what they notice first.  White spaces!  Shapes?  Squares and rectangles? Color? Primary colors?  (we look at Mondrian's work w/black lines and primary colors). 

We start with crayons-


and then acrylics and canvas.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

What a Child Needs


Children still need a childhood with dirt, mud, puddles, 
trees, sticks and tadpoles."
Brooke Hampton


Saturday, March 27, 2021

Easter is so Egg-citing

A few ideas to keep the kiddos busy until Easter! Little hands make the cutest keepsakes!http://metamoracommunityprek.blogspot.com/2012/04/flopsy-and-mopsy.html


Plastic eggs, carrots, soccer balls and more.  Use a sharpie and write numbers or letters for matching. 


Jelly beans make math fun.  Sort, count, create patterns, add, subtract or make a graph.  Ask your child questions using words like 'greater', 'less',  'more', 'equal' and 'zero'. 

Hop to it and making learning a fun experience for your child.