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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Me Book Name Page

We are getting very close to finishing up our Me Books. I just wrote the newsletter for April--we have 10 classes left until the end of the year. Yes, 10! Can you believe it? I'm trying not to get to frantic and take one day at a time.

Today we added more to the name page of our book. I have not yet put the title on this page, but it will say; Here is my name.....

I first have the children stamp their names and date it. Underneath of that I have the children trace dots to write their names and date it. The final name will come in May, I let the children write their names by themselves then date that. Now, some of them can do it and some can't, but I encourage all of them just to write any letters they know. I'll let you know how they turn out.

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Peek-a-Boo Chick

Hi everyone! What a beautiful day it is here in PA, March is definitely going out like a lamb here. I am also so overjoyed as I had a marvelous day at school, all because of one child. I have a little boy that has been having such a hard time at school, it's just not his cup of tea yet. Everyday is a battle for him to just come into the room. We have days where he is with us for a while, and days where he is not at all. Well, today was great! It was like he totally transformed into a new child over the weekend. He was on target the whole day! I love you, kisses and hugs, singing, playing--it was just a joy to watch. I was so happy--as was mom.

As for our day we continued with our Easter theme. It is so great because our room has one of the church's original stained glass windows, in it of Jesus(sorry I don't have a better picture, it's a beautiful enormous window, I took this off the school's site). The window is huge and is so helpful with Easter discussions. I don't go into too much detail, but I talk about Jesus bringing new life for us at Easter. That' how we incorporate eggs, bringing new little chicks, ducks, or birds, and bunnies because all the baby bunnies are born in the spring. New life all around us!

Our craft today was a chick hiding inside an egg. This is one of those crafts where the children are just in awe. Just showing them at the beginning--there are big smiles all around, they just can't wait to make one of their own.

For the craft you will need:

Construction paper egg
yellow chick
brad/paper fastener

I run the shape of an egg through the copier in many different colors so that we have a variety of Easter eggs. All the eggs have a crack in the middle where the children will cut them apart. I allow the children to pick the color they want, then cut around the outside of the egg.

After the egg is cut I let them take markers to decorate their egg. When it is all decorated they finish the cutting by cutting the crack in the middle--all the way across.

After the egg is finished, I have them put some eyes and a beak on the chick, then put glue on the bottom, front of the chick. They then glue him onto the back of one piece of egg.

The final step is mine. I take a brad and put it in the side of the egg so it will open and shut. All done--peek-a-boo--BIG SMILES!

Our book today was a new one to us. It was called "Easter Eggs Everywhere!" by Steve Metzger, illustrated by Kathi Ember. It is a rhyming story which I always love to read. They are so sing/songy and really keep the children's attention. It was a cute story about an Easter Bunny that waited a little too long to get those eggs ready for Easter. Will he get them all done?

We did not have a specific skill time today. When the weather gets so gorgeous outside, I always feel that outside time is way more important at this age. So our final part of the day was to swing on the swings, slide on the slide, and just run in circles.

Great day all around!

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Duck From an Egg

This title of this post is pretty silly, but I love the book, "Duck on a Bike," by David Shannon. Sometimes I write about all these book I love and I think these people must think I'm a bit off my rocker. I guess I need to find all that silly stuff fun to be enjoying preschoolers for so many years. Now that I'm off point, the "Duck on a Bike" title just is one of those things that I say over and over--I find it funny--sorry. So when I was trying to think of a title I came up with this one. By the way if you ever get a chance to read this book, do. It's really cute.

Anyway, my kindergartner made a really cute craft that I wanted to share with you. These ducks, probably ducklings because they are yellow, are all hanging from the ceiling in his classroom, they really add so much character. Also, I wasn't sure if it was a duck or chick, but I thought the feet looked webbed so I deciphered duck. When mine was done it looked quite chick-like too.

You will need:

2 pieces of yellow construction paper
orange construction paper
white construction paper
marker or crayon

If you would like you, can make an egg pattern and have each child trace it onto a piece of 9 x 12 yellow construction paper, then let them cut it out. If it's easier you can have this predrawn and then let them cut it out.

Next trace one hand on a folded piece of yellow paper and cut out two hands. You will also need two orange webbed feet, an orange diamond shaped beak, and two oval eyes from white. Dont' forget to add two big pupils in the ovals with marker or crayon. The kindergartner class all cut these out on their own, you can decide with your age children what will work best.

The last step is to glue them all together and show it off for everyone to see.

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Egg Shell Man

This craft is actually from my daughter and it has been hanging around the house since last summer. When I first started the blog we were all trying to come up with ideas. This is a planting idea so I told her I would post it in the spring. I am going to write exactly what she wrote, I think it's pretty understandable. We haven't done this for a while so I don't have a specific picture. I'll try to draw one--HA HA!

You will need:

used eggshells (slightly cracked, clean)
pipe cleaners

After you bake a cake or make an egg, your going to have some egg shells left! Hmm, what to do? Well, if you have a preschooler I have just the thing. Use those eggs shells for a decorative knick knack planter. Take your old eggshell and have your preschooler draw a design on it. Then take a pipe cleaner and make it into a small circle to fit the bottom of the egg. Glue the egg to the pipe cleaner so he can stand. Now fill it with some dirt and sprinkle with grass seed. Take some care and soon he'll have hair.

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Bunny in the Grass

As many of you know, ripping activities are something I like to have the children do. I found this cute little bunny that incorporates that skill.

You will need:

construction paper for:
grass (green)
face decorations

We used a piece a piece of brown construction paper for the bunny. You can fold the paper in half, draw half of the bunny, and have the children cut it out--symmetry. Have the children glue the bunny onto a piece of 9 x 12 piece of paper.

Now give the children half a piece of green construction paper. Have them rip the paper into strips. The strips can be different sizes; long, short, fat, thin, the different sizes and some pizazz to the grass.

After the grass is "grown" it's time to add it to the paper with the bunny on it. Put some grass over the bunny's body to make it look like he is peeking out.

To finish the bunny off he will need a face. We had some glitter glue so my little guy wanted to use that. You will also see he wanted to put a sun in the sky. Have fun.

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Bunny Hand

This little bunny turned out really cute. I read the instructions and was like--okay. My little guy helped me make him and he is adorable.

For the craft you need:

paint/we used pink
construction paper
wiggle eyes
pipe cleaner

Take the child's hand and paint the palm, pointer finger, and ring finger--just those areas. I used half of a piece of 9 x 12 construction paper. so it' s 6 x 9. Have the children press their hand onto the paper. This is your basic bunny.

The final steps are to spice him up. We used wiggle eyes(of course), pipe cleaners for whiskers, and some foam for a nose. At first I didn't put a mouth on him, but the little guy wanted to add the mouth. He looks hungry!

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Little Lamb

I know I put some lambs at the beginning of March for the lion/lamb theme, but I just found a cute lamb. I thought some people might like to make it for spring or a farm theme.

You will need:

Black construction paper
wiggle eye

Trace the child' s hand on the black construction paper, cut this out. Cover the whole palm area and the top of the finger areas with glue. Place cotton on all the glue. Then add a wiggle eye to the thumb which is the lamb's head. The other four fingers are the lamb's legs.

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Money Poems

My son has brought a couple of cute poems home to help him learn money values. Right now we only the penny and nickel. If we get the other ones I will share them with you too.

The Penny

Penny, penny,
Easily spent,
Copper brown
And worth one cent!

Whose fine face is on the penny?
One the penny, on the penny,
Whose fine face is on the penny?
Abraham Lincoln's.

The Nickel

Nickel, nickel,
Thick and fat,
You're worth five cents
I know that!

Whose fine face is on the nickel?
On the nickel, on the nickel,
Whose fine face is on the nickel?
Thomas Jefferson's.

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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bunny Bags

On Tuesday, I had conferences, which went pretty well by the way, and the children made the "baskets" we would use for our Easter party. I have to confess I was not there when they made them, but they look like they did a great job with them. I always think they are so cute lounging around the room waiting for our Easter party.

For the craft your will need:

White paper bags
ear and mouth sheet
pink pom pom
cotton ball
wiggle eyes

I run the paper with the ears and mouth off on some construction paper. I then give one to each child. If they are good cutters I will let them cut out both pieces. Usually we are running low on time and the mouth area is harder to cut, so I let the children cut out the ears while I cut the mouth.

I then have them take a pink marker and color the inside of the bunny's ears pink. The remaining steps are all decorative. The children glue the ears and mouth on the paper bag. We then use tacky to glue on the wiggle eyes, pink pom pom nose, and a cotton ball tail on the back.

For whiskers I usually hit the scrap bin and we just cut some strips and glue them on. We then place them around the room and hope the bunny will fill them on party day.

The book I had them read today was "Happy Easter Little Critter," by Mercer Mayer. I must admit I am a bit of a Little Critter fan. My son was doing a book drive and asked if he could take some with him. Well, I just can't part with them. I'll probably by seventy years old, in my rocking chair, enjoying my Little Critter books. We all have our favorites.

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Spring Field Trip

I would like to take a moment to apologize to everyone, I haven't had a chance to post some of my spring/Easter crafts. I have a pile here, but I have just been so overwhelmed with school and home obligations, that I haven't gotten to them. I am hoping to put off the cleaning tomorrow and get some of these items posted.

Today at school was one of my favorite days of the year. Our class took a trip to a local nursery to enhance our spring flower discussions. When I first got out of college, I worked at Little People's Day Care Center. One of the teachers there had this trip on her list, so we went too. I just LOVE it. I have gone every year I have been a teacher.

The nursery is called Ott's Exotic Plants. If there are any local readers it is located on Rt. 73 in Schwenkesville. Ott's is not your regular nursery it is just amazing. The ferns there are enormous. There are banana trees, lemon trees, lime trees, a room I call the jungle room with a water fall, fish, sometimes turtles. The plants there are truly amazing. Outside they have a large hill that I call the mountain. The children love to go under the mountain and then over the mountain. In the fall, Ott's covers this mountain with mums. I have heard it is beautiful, but have not seen it myself. It is also known as a great place to get wedding pictures.

This is just a great day where we get to experience so many new and wonderful adventures. I took some pictures to share with you. They do not do any justice to the size of these plants.

Here's the Ott's mountain:

This is a picture of a lemon tree, yes lemons. They are called Ponderosa Lemons and are bigger than most grapefruits I've seen.

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