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Friday, January 8, 2010

Busy in the "Shop"

Back to school this week. What did I plan? Pretty much nothing at all. We had such a WHIRLWIND December that I wanted to bring the classroom atmosphere down a bit. I wanted them to get back to enjoying the classroom and all the fun things to do.

Our week went something like this: On Tuesday we came back and had some long discussion about what they did and received during the Christmas holiday. This pretty much took up the whole opening time. I have to tell you I am so impressed with the. They each waited their turn and listened as their friends talked about their vacation. Great job!

On the tables I had dot paint, Play Doh, the "creation station",(a place with scraps, scissors, glue, markers, etc., where they can create anything they want), and hmmm, I can't remember the other table, must not have been too exciting.

During the day we made Play Doh snakes, dot painted wonderful masterpieces, created beautiful works of art, built many train tracks, created some gorgeous block buildings, and just had a wonderful relaxing day.

We also read, " A Silly Snowy Day," by Michael Coleman, the kids LOVED it. Lots of laughter and I'm sure they all went home saying, "Ridiculous!" They even wanted me to read it again on Thursday!

We did Mat Man for the first time too. Mat Man is a project from Handwriting Without Tears. Mat Man "develops a child's body awareness, drawing, and counting skills."

The big hit, of course, was the Hot Chocolate Shop, which inspired me to add a bit to Thursday. When I posted about the shop here I got a response from Julie at Engine 3 about her making her own hot chocolate mix and her own marshmallows. I thought--how fun--I'd like to give that a try. I asked her for the recipe and if I could post it for which she has given me permission--thanks Julie.

I did not make the marshmallows as they were a bit involved for me--if you read you know I'm not a whiz in the kitchen, but the hot chocolate mix was easy and fun.

For the mix you will need:

10 ½ cups dry milk
3 cups cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
2 cups dry coffee creamer

Combine ingredients. Use 1/3 cup of mix to 1 cup hot water.

Here is the site for the marshmallow recipe:

Since I have two classes I halved this recipe and made some in the AM and some in the PM class. We had plenty for all 23 children, plus some left over. I thought it turned out pretty good. I am usually a milk and chocolate syrup type of person. The powder mixes aren't creamy enough for me. I found this to be a lot more creamy than the box powders and pretty yummy. All the children tried the hot chocolate, they all said it was yummy--of course some drank more than others. I thought it was fun.

Be prepared for some chocolaty faces and of course the occasional oops.

Great week, we all had a lot of fun.

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Teacher Tom said...

I'm like you. We got back to basics this week. Not themes, no new songs, nothing special but what is always special.

I don't know why I've never thought of mixing our how hot chocolate mix. What a great idea. In fact I'm wondering if we could set it up as a science project with the kids experimenting with different proportions of dried milk, cocoa powder, sugar and creamer until we got it right . . . Expensive? Probably!

Deborah (Teach Preschool) said...

I am just loving that hot chocolate shop! What a great idea to slow it down a bit - it looks like the children enjoyed the pace and time to just relax and explore.

Julie said...

I am so glad your kids loved making the cocoa. You know, you could make the marshmallows at home and then bring them to school for them to cut up and dip in sugar. It's sticky and such a great kids project. And yummy!!!
Keep up the great work with your kids, I know they love you!

Centers and Circle Time said...

Aww, how cute! Deborah (Teach Preschool) recently wrote a hot cocoa song you could have sang or posted with this activity. I'm inspired! Thanks for sharing:)