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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Easter Fun For Pre-K

I was a substitute in the Pre-K class today. Boy, did we have some fun. Guess who came to visit? The Easter Bunny. We didn't actually get to see the Bunny, but he hid eggs for us and then filled our baskets. (This is an amazing day for the little ones. They can't quite figure out how everything happened. Thanks to all our helpful Moms!)

Before the Bunny came, we made some handprint bunnies. Oh how that paintbrush tickled! The bunnies were just adorable. This craft didn't take too long either. If you're looking for something to do with a lot of children that doesn't take much time, I would give this a try. I was able to do 13 children in about 25 minutes.

I have to tell you that these "special" days can get very "exciting" for the children, but they did really well. It was a nice day:).

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Cubbie the Cable Car"

I recently received an email from a Mr. Erik Nelson. He has created a character called "Cubbie the Cable Car. He thought readers with little ones might enjoy this clip.

"Cubbie the Cable Car" is a delightful new series set in 1890 San Francisco about a little cable car finding his way in a big cable car world. Who knows? Maybe someday Cubbie will be as popular as "Thomas the Tank Engine."

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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parent/Teacher Day

Yesterday was our parent/teacher conference day. All the meetings with the parents went very well. I thank all the moms and dads for taking the time to come and meet with me. Even though I get nervous on these kinds of days, it's always great to get input from the parents.

If you're interested you can check out this post to see how we get ready for our conference day.

I wasn't in the room, so I don't know specifically what went on that day. Rumor has it they did real well without me, (and I thought I was so important). I had left the teacher all the materials to make our paper plate bunnies. A long time favorite of mine, these bunnies just light up a room. If you would like instructions on how to make the bunny, click here.

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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Catching Up on Our Me Books

With the arrival of conferences next week, I needed to get the children's Me Books up to par so we could share them with the parents. I always like to show the parents what the children have done during the course of the year. The weather this year had put me behind. It always seemed like we had a snow day on days I had planned to complete a new page.

Here are some of the pages we have been catching up on:

The "I Know My Colors" page is done with different colored circles. We go through the colors of the circles and then the children glue them down to make them look like a caterpillar. The caterpillar always reminds me of the one from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar." After all the circles are glued down, the children decorate the caterpillar with legs and antennae.

The "I Know My Shapes" page we do after we have all our fun with the shapes. I have pre-cut shapes, square, circle, triangle, and rectangle. The children tell me the names of the shapes and then glue them down to make a house and tree. They then decorate the scene as they like.

I also do a "Here is My Name" page. For this page I have the children stamp their name with our letter stampers. Then a few weeks later, we step it up a bit. The children's names are printed out in dot form and they connect the dots to "write" their name. Before school ends I allow them to all try and write their name on their own. I always encourage them to try and write whatever they think it looks like.

The final page we caught up on was the "I Can Cut" page. I give the children a picture of "Alley the Alligator" who is all mixed up. They have to cut the alligator apart and glue him back together in the correct order. I have to say I am very proud of how well they are all doing with their scissors.

So, we are all caught up and I'm ready to go, I hope. I always get so nervous at conference time. I can talk to parents everyday, but put it in a formal situation and it's a whole different ball game.

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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Hello Spring!

What a gorgeous first day of spring we are having here. I don't know what it is like in your part of the world but we are having a first class day here. Is this first day of spring extra good because of the thousand feet of snow we had this winter? Maybe it's because of the beautiful, sunny 70 degree day we are having? I'm not sure, but at this point I don't think I care either.

It's almost sad that we aren't having school today. The opportunities to introduce the children to spring are just everywhere. You can take a spring walk, play outside all day, even have a picnic snack.

Maple tree blossoms

Forsythia buds



I hope you are enjoying your day as much as we are here!

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Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"Wearin' of the Green"

Tomorrow is good ole St. Patrick's Day. Since we won't be at school, we had our celebration today. St. Patrick's day activities fill our day with lots to do. I have renamed this day "cereal day" at school.

Our craft activity was to make rainbows with gold at the ends. To do this I give the children a rainbow pattern glued to a black piece of paper. They then glue Fruit Loops to the rainbow pattern for color. Then at the end of the rainbow, they glue some Corn Pops for "gold." Last year when we did this most of the children finished their rainbows. This year I think they were a bit more engaged in the fun they were having with other activities. The rainbows still look cute.

I also have a Lucky Charm sorting activity. I pour Lucky Charms onto a tray. Then I have taken some small paper plates and drawn the marshmallow shapes on them. The children sort through the cereal and try to match the shapes on the plate. Then comes the best part--they eat them!

A new activity I had this year was to have a table with folded green squares and a half heart template. I showed the children how to trace the template against the fold and then cut out a heart. When they cut out three hearts, they could make a shamrock with the hearts. If they wanted they could cut out four hearts to make a four leaf clover. This activity was monitored by Mrs. R as it is brand new--tracing, cutting, and gluing. Plus the tracing was specific. She mostly made sure they put the template up to the fold and kept he paper folded as they cut. They did pretty well with this.

I had also put out the ever popular green rice and split pea sensory tub. They enjoy this immensely.

Final added fun was a hide and seek shamrock game. A crafty little leprechaun hid some shamrocks around the room and we got to go find them. This game was very exciting for them. Good thing it was time to go when we were done:).

Our snack providers sent in some great cupcakes today. Our AM class had shamrock cupcakes. They were adorable. I'm sorry I don't have a picture (I forgot), plus I don't even know how she got the cupcakes molded like a shamrock. Oh, and homemade icing too--DEEElicious.

The PM class also had St. Patrick's Day inspired cupcakes. It was also Patrick's birthday, hmm I wonder why his name is Patrick? These cupcakes looked like they had a leprechaun's hat on top. She had taken a cupcake, iced it with green, put a vanilla wafer in the middle, covered that with green icing, then placed a marshmallow on top of the wafer and covered that with green icing. The final touch was to add a black rim and gold decoration with icing. These, of course, were just as delicious as the AM cupcakes. (How is one ever supposed to stay thin?)

I hope you all enjoy your St. Patrick's Day fun with the little ones in your life.

UPDATE: I had made the green rice and had gotten the idea from Teaching Tiny Tots which is no more. The blog, I think, has a new name but I'm not sure of it.

To make the rice I poured white rice in a Ziploc bag. I then poured in a bottle of green food coloring. Mix the rice around until it is all covered. Then spread on a flat surface to dry. Once dry it's time to play. Have fun.

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