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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Apple a Day

We are having fun with apples this week. I always incorporate apples when we do the color red. Mostly because an apple always comes up when you talk about things that are red.

We take it a step further though and discuss that apples can be different colors. I would love to take the children to an apple orchard one year and see the apples growing on the trees, picking them, and tasting them. I, of course, thought of this too late this year, but it is on the agenda for next year, I just hope I can find an orchard that will allow us to come.

Last year I had the children do a cooperative apple project that involved paper tearing--a skill I try to incorporate occasionally. We then hung the apple up to decorate our room. This year, since we did a cooperative project with our mural I did a more individual project, paper plate apples. We were actually doing quite a bit on Tuesday. I had the activity at the craft table and they could make one if they wanted.

You will need:

Small paper plate
green leaf shapes
colored squares

I let the children make apples with the small paper plates. It's an extremely easy project so they can complete it themselves.

On the table I had different colored tissue paper squares; red, green, and yellow. I also had glue sticks, the paper plates, and green leaves cut from construction paper.

The children put glue all over their paper plate then covered the glue with the colored squares. Some of them made an apple all one color, while others mixed and matched. The finishing touch was to add the leaves--like it was just picked from the tree. We hung them on the wall and they look great.

The book we read was a great book that they enjoyed more than I thought they would. It is called, "I am an Apple," by Jean Marzollo. It take the children on a journey from apple blossom, to apple, to applesauce, to seeds, and back to the apple tree. We have this book as a Big Book and the pictures are so colorful. The children loved to find the different "creatures" on each page.

Just wait and see what tasty activity we have for Thursday!

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hanging Our Mural

If you remember, on Tuesday we painted a background to make a mural of "Us. Today we finished up our mural and hung it on the wall.

I had gotten some people shapes from Discount School Supply. I let the children pick a person, then finish it with clothes and a face using marker. When they were done, we glued it to our painting. I used tacky to glue it down so it would hold better on the paint. I was really pleased with the final product. It looks so good on the wall.

To help the children remember parts of a person, we did Mat Man from the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. Mat Man is always fun to create. This was our first time so it was a bit slow, but we will practice again.

Next week we start our Me Books and Color Books. Oh, did you know that next Friday is October 1? Who knew!

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Celebrating "Us"

As the school year begins we start with a Me unit. We talk about likes and differences between people. We compare hair color, eye color, skin color, etc. We talk about what makes us special.

To celebrate this unit I decided to do an US Mural this year. On Tuesday it was background day. I put out a large piece of paper and some paint, and let the children paint it any way they wished. (Just really having fun with paint.) And, yes, I did come home with paint on my clothes--I just don't understand how that ALWAYS happens.

On Thursday we are going to add everyone and hang the mural on the wall.

I also had bought a new little manipulative for this unit. I found them at discount school supply. The kids loved them. They are like paper dolls. There are body shapes and lots and lots of different "outfits" for the children to put them in. They also have to add a face. Some of they had a ball with this. I think two or three people went home with them. I was hoping by putting out this activity, when we do our people on the mural Thursday, the children will have a better idea of what to include to finish their person--eyes, mouth, hair, clothes, etc. We'll see.

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

September Interactive Board

I have never made an interactive board in September before. Usually September is gone in a blink of an eye and you don't have much time to get the children used to the idea. This year I thought that since we have been doing interactive boards for a couple of years, the Pre-K class might already know what's going on.

I made something very easy to go with our ME unit. I had gotten a pad of face patterns from Discount School Supply. I staple letters to the board saying, "Here we are...". Then I stapled up the face patterns. I have a supply of magic markers so that the children can draw faces and hair on the patterns to make pictures of children at school.

I drew the first face to give them an idea. The three-year-olds were doing some with me the other day so we have lots of "decorated" face patterns. They may not look exactly like a face, but they tried their best.

In case you are wondering about other boards we have had over the years, here are the links:

Have a good week.

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Friendship Day

Today was the first "full" day for our three-year-old class. They did wonderfully. They all arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready for some fun. It was almost like they have been here before. We only had one who was a bit upset, but for probably about one minute.

I didn't have a major focus for today. Our first day is pretty much just getting to know them, and them getting to know us. We did talk about making new friends and treating each other with kindness. We made a class project just to work together. We made a friendship wreath. I had cut a piece of large paper and drew a circle on it. Then I had the children use an ink pad and stamp their handprints to make a wreath. We hung the wreath on the door to welcome the parents as they arrived.

The book we read today was, "How Do Dinosaurs Play With Their Friends?", by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. I love all the "How Do Dinosaurs..." books.
Some of the children finished their Me Posters and shared them with the class. These are great to have in the room at the beginning of school for reassurance purposes.

Some other activities they enjoyed were making bead bands. I had put out some beads, straws, and pipecleaners. If they wanted to make a band they were welcome to--great small motor and eye-hand coordination activity. (I did this one year as a friendship game where all the bracelets went into a bag and the children took home a "friend's" bracelet. It didn't go too well. The children were very possessive of the bracelets they had actually made.)

They also had lots of fun with the marble maze today. It's always so cute to watch their faces as they send the marble down. The smile slowly spreads across the face as the marble travels down the path.

Finally, I was very impressed with their use and care of the manipulatives. Of course, they didn't all put them away when they were done, but some of them followed suit very well. We finished up the day having a blast on the playground.

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