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Saturday, February 27, 2010

Smile Pretty!

I forewarned you. This dental activity is fun, but probably not the best if you are stressing the importance of eating right to keep teeth healthy. I always think this is such a cute project. I think if I had some red wigs they would make great clowns.

To make the smile pretty face you need:

pink icing
large paper plates

Have the children draw a face with marker on the paper plate. Make sure they draw a BIG mouth.

I took the pink icing and spooned it into a Ziploc bag. I snipped a very small hole at the corner. Then the children could squeeze the bag and follow the lip line to make the gums.

The final step is to add the marshmallow teeth.

How would you like that face looking at you every morning when you open your eyes?

Another fun activity that we did today was brushing eggs. I place the eggs in a bowl of Hawaiian Punch and a bowl of Coke. The eggshell absorbs the color turning them red and brown. I talk about the aspect that if we drink too much punch or soda, our teeth could turn colors too. How can we get them clean? Brush them of course.

I had set up toothbrushes, toothpaste, and some rinse water and they brushed the teeth clean. This is always fun for them. I have the eggs hard boiled, they do tend to get dropped a bit and you usually end up with some pretty broken "teeth."

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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Parent Communication

Many times I get asked about the aspect of how we communicate school life with our parents. We have a few different ways we "get the word out."

Our first and major form of communicating is a monthly newsletter. We have been doing this for many years. Each teacher creates a newsletter for her class, then there is a cover letter by the director. These newsletters let parents know what events will be taking place in the upcoming month.

Here is a sample of my newsletter:

It contains themes, skills, and special events. There is a place to write important dates and always a list of our upcoming leaders. (Snack is provided by our parents on a rotating schedule. When children bring snack in for the day, they are the leader that day. This is the list included in each newsletter.)

Secondly, since we created a website for our school, I have been able to make a page that pretty much reiterates the important aspects of the newsletter. This way parents can check this page if they are looking for an important date to remember. I also post major events or changes on the front page.

A newer aspect we added a few years ago is what we call "the board." Our facility does not have a board where we can post something for nursery school parents. We have invented a little board which works well.

One board is an old felt board that we found in the attic. Our other board is a large white board we found somewhere. Each day the teacher will update the board with the days events. It includes what the children did, what they had for snack, the book we read, and other fun events that may have occurred. This board gets placed outside at the pick up area before the parents arrive so that they may read it.

Here is a copy of what I fill out and place on the board each day:

There is also space on the board to include our snack providers for the month and our show-n-share schedule. We also post sign-up sheets here, for computer help for example. We have space where we can write a reminder to the parents about an upcoming event.

We have found the board to be very helpful to parents with letting them know exactly what took place while they were away.

These are only a few ways that one can spread the word about how much fun the children are having at school and what great things are happening. I'm sure there are other great ways out there too. Oh yeah--like this wonderful blog:).

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Breakfast for Champions

This week we have conferences for our Pre-K classes. That means I get to do some subbing in those classes.

The Pre-K classes are doing good foods. The class I was in this morning was focusing on breakfast. So what did we do? We made some breakfast of course.

I had a scrambled egg station, and a pancake section. There was also an area that they could make toast. The table was set with juice and utensils with some cereal in the center if they wanted any.

They had a ball. For time reasons, we split the class in half and one half made the scrambled egg mixture, while the other half made the pancake batter with me. Then during playtime they could make one, or both and have a great breakfast.

I had one little boy that was just so cute to watch. He had so much fun helping the other children cut their pancakes or helping them pour syrup and he just wanted to cook, cook, cook. He even loved helping to clean up the tables.

It was a very busy day, but I think one they will remember.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Aspiring Dentists

We had lots of good clean dental fun on Thursday. My favorite part of the day was watching them dress in our dental "gear" and clean some teeth. We have a large set of teeth, a big toothbrush, glasses, gloves, and floss. I put them out on one of the tables and let the children dress as dentists and clean the teeth. They look so cute.

We played the "Good for Teeth" or "Not Good for Teeth" game. I had all the children bring some food from home. We then sorted it into the two different categories. They get a little confused when the food is good, but not necessarily good for teeth. I had the game out during play time if they wanted to continue to practice.

Our project helps to reinforce 10 teeth on top and 10 teeth on bottom. I have a paper with our little teeth poem on it. The children all get a small amount of pink Play Doh to represent the gums. The roll the Play Doh into a snake and and glue it to the paper in a smile formation. I have navy beans to represent the teeth. The children have to count out 10 beans and press them into the gums.

It's a pretty easy project but it incorporates quite a bit: fine motor and counting to pick up the beans, count them out, and place them in the gums. Did you know that making snakes from Play Doh is great pre-writing activity? This helps them to build strength in their fingers and hands which is very beneficial for writing.

This was our healthy teeth day--just wait until you see what we do tomorrow.

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