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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Tasty" Apple Blossom Trees

I know it sounds like we might be making something yummy to eat, but actually we are not. With the beginning of spring we have been discussing all the glorious happenings going on around us. One of those, of course, is the blossoming of the trees. On this day we focused on apple blossoms.

The craft we made is very easy. The tasty part? Popcorn. We used popcorn to represent the blossoms on the trees.

For the craft you need:

construction paper
green construction paper leaves
markers or crayons
glue (I used tacky)

The first step is to have the children draw a tree branch with the marker or crayons. You may get some very thick branches, or you may get some smaller branches.

After the branches are drawn, it is time to add the leaves. I had some precut leaves for the smaller children, but allow the children to cut their own leaf shapes if they are able. Add the leaves to the branches.

Finally it's time to add the blossoms. I had the children put tacky where they wanted their "blossoms" then add the popcorn.

The final step is to enjoy the beautiful creations while snacking on the leftover popcorn--mmm.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hello, Are You There?

Hi everyone. Yes, I am still here. We have been doing some home remodeling so my time just seems to slip away. I wanted to check in quickly to make sure you knew I was still around.

In the last week the school had our wonderful St. Patrick's Day celebration. The children all looked so cute with their green on. I have to say I had the same activities I had out last year, but this is definitely a different group of children.

Last year the children were so immersed in all the activities. I even had to make sure they took turns at the Lucky Charms so all the children got a chance. This class is totally different. They are a true "play" group. They revel in free play time and they do it so nicely. I have a total of 14 children that can play for 45 minutes or more without fighting or getting to rowdy--it's amazing. I have to keep asking if they would like to join in one of the activities. Well, as long as they are enjoying themselves.

Today was a day to get ready for conferences. They are really great. They all did such a wonderful job. I'm not sure if they even need me here anymore :).

Check in soon. Enjoy your spring.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011


We had so much fun today. Today we went bowling at a local bowling alley. No only was it fun because, well, bowling is just fun, but it was great because it was something new and different. In all my years with the school I would have never thought to take the children bowling.

I got a flier from a local bowling alley. The trip was to include shoes, two games of bowling, a pretzel, and a drink. I thought it sounded great, but didn't think my children would be able to work with the ball.

I decided to call the gentleman anyway and I am so glad I did. We took the trip down to one game--it was plenty. He then told me they have little ramps the children push the balls down--didn't know these existed. Also, the bumpers were out so that they would hit something when they tried.

Mr. Ron was also kind enough to get all the names set up in each alley before we got there so that I didn't have to figure out how to use the computer. For 15 children we got three lanes. It went pretty smoothly, we didn't have much trouble with the waiting in between our turns.

We were at the bowling alley about an hour and they had so much fun. If you are a local school and would like to try this, give Limerick Bowling Alley a call. The trip cost us $5.00 per child and I will surely be going back.

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Friday, March 11, 2011

Hello St. Patrick's Day

This coming Thursday, March 17, is the ever popular St. Patrick's Day. It's a day full of immense fun for us, lots of great activities--although I am a bit biases :).

Recently a reader, Mr. Michael Quadro contacted me about an article he has written, "St. Patrick's Day for Kids." I thought I would check it out. I don't know about you, but when introducing St. Patrick I don't like to get to technical. Also, I didn't know the reasons for many of the traditions.

Mr. Quadro's article was quite helpful. I am actually going to print it out and add it to my St. Patrick's Day file. He was even good enough to add some links to pictures, songs, and a video.

If you're looking for information to share with your children for St. Patrick's Day, check out this article.

Thanks Mr. Quadro.

Also, I usually post my St. Patrick's Day fun after the fact. Please check out the St. Patrick's Day label to see what wonderful activities we have going on. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ship Shape With Shapes

We were formally finishing with shapes today. We continue shape discussions throughout the year, but today was an end to the "formality."

As you know we finished our shape books in February. The final piece was to add an "I Know My Shapes" page to the children's Me Books. That is what we did today. This is a very easy page. I already have the shapes cut out, I ask the children the names of the shapes, they take the shapes and create a house and tree. Finally, the take some markers--if they wish--and decorate their paper. Very simple, but somewhat of an assessment on my part.

Before we did the shape page I thought it would be fun to do some play dough shapes. This activity was quite an eye opener. The idea was to give each child a ball of play dough, have them create a "snake" with it, then turn the snake into the given shape.

This took quite a while. I was shocked first at the number of children that had no idea how to make a ball to squish into a snake. (Now we have play dough out on the tables quite a bit. It is of the child's choosing if they wish to play here or not.)

Then came the snake. Another task indeed. Out of 13, probably 3 could make snakes. And those three just kept rolling and rolling until the snake fell apart. So Mrs. T and I helped show them how to make snakes and rolled their hands back on forth on the play dough balls.

OK, so now we have snakes. Let's make a shape. Circle went well--pretty easy. Triangle was okay, after we guided a straight bottom. I then explained for the square we were going to break our snake into four pieces and arrange them like a square--I did it for them too to show them. We helped them break the pieces, as many were unsure, and then they just looked at us and said I can't do it. No idea how to arrange the four pieces to make them look like a square. Same experience with the square.

Now, I don't know,I never did this before. Maybe I was asking too much. I thought I explained it well, as well as, showed them how to do each shape. This will definitely be an area for experimentation again.

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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Blown Away

Continuing with the theme of March and it's weather, we discussed wind today. This is always a very fun day. Our room is very windy, with the help of a fan, and lots of items get blown around the room.

My first introduction of wind was to use my hair dryer. We listened to soft wind, and hard wind--wind gets louder the harder it is. We felt the soft wind, calm and breezy, and also the hard wind, messy and loud. Then we had a container of different items. Would the wind blow these items? The children had to guess if the wind would blow the item. They did quite well. I was as surprised as they were with a toy we all thought for sure the wind couldn't blow--well it did! Imagine that.

I then had the fan running during play time and the children could bring any item over to see if the wind would blow it--the ball was a favorite:).
Our craft today was, as always, a crowd pleaser. We made pinwheels using construction paper, pencils, and a pin. The paper is cut into a square. The children color both sides of the paper--I used crayons. After coloring they use scissors to cut along predrawn lines--stopping at the drawn circle. I then fold the paper, push a pin through the corners and into the pencil eraser. Final step---BLOW. Smiles galore.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Lion or Lamb?

Robins outside, dandelions growing, did spring sneak in the back door? Not that I'm complaining mind you, I was just surprised to see these wonderful harbingers of spring.

With March arriving yesterday, we talked about the "lion and the lamb,"--"March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb."

We made a cute little sign that the children can hang each day to symbolize if it's a lion day or a lamb day. I have one at the school and we are going to hang the appropriate character during opening time.

I have to apologize, my camera's battery died half way through the day so I don't have all the pictures I would like to share with you.

For this project I had a piece of 9x12 construction paper that said, "In like a LION," on one side and, "Out like a LAMB," on the other side.

I then had a pattern of a lamb and a lion, each pattern was circular shaped and the children had to cut out the circles (the lamb was white and the lion was yellow).

Then they glued the lion on the "lion" side and the lamb on the "lamb" side. To finish up, the lion got a mane made out of crepe paper and the lamb got some fluffy cotton fur.

Now the children can hang up their picture with the correct character that helps to define the day.

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