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Monday, December 26, 2011


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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ho Ho Home Goes Pre-K

Pre-K finished up their final week before Christmas. It really was a nice week. I didn't plan too many things as I thought I might be behind with all the Christmas preparations. But, we did well and I was right on target.

On Monday the children made a manger scene and we made reindeer antlers for our "show".

On Wednesday we made angels to take home.

Finally on Friday we made Christmas pretzel snacks with Hershey Kisses and M&M's. I let each child make 10 pretzel snacks. After they were cool we put them in a bag for them to take home. They did get a bit chocolaty--but boy was it yummy.

We finished off the week by singing our Christmas carols for our parents and passing out presents. It was a wonderful way to finish up for the year.

Merry Christmas to all and thanks to my great group of parents.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Three's Are Off to Christmas

Today was the last day for the three-year-old class. We finished up with some Christmas crafts and our last color, white.

For the color white the children painted a snowman white with a cotton ball. The second page of the book was to make an igloo. The children glued an igloo shape on the paper. Then they added the stickers as snowflakes. Just to add a little pizazz, I had them add some extra snowflakes with white paint and a Q-tip.

We continued our fun with cotton to make our Santa face. This is a super easy craft, but the children love the final project. I have a face run off on pink paper and the children add cotton for a beard and the brim of his hat. The final touch is wiggle eyes and a red pom pom nose.

On Tuesday we made our Hershey Kiss wreaths. I had this as a "center" instead of at the craft table. I have pre cut wreaths our of tag board with a yarn tie on them. When they children come to the table we use some tacky and the children add the Hershey Kisses.

We had also made our Christmas stockings to decorate the room for when our parents visit. The children did GREAT with these. In previous years, the sewing part of this craft sometimes got tricky for the students. I actually did not have to help any of them--other than pulling the yarn all the way through. The major WOW factor of this craft is the glitter names. It is amazing to see the children's eyes when the glitter comes off showing their sparkly names.

We finished up our week with a short Christmas program for our families. The children learned some songs and a short Christmas "play." They did wonderfully.

I wish all of our families a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind words and great presents.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time to "Wrap"

Our last week of nursery school for the year 2011 is here. We are trying to put all the finishing touches on our Christmas preparations. As you know, we made some wonderful surprises for our parents this week. Now was the time to wrap them.

The Pre-K class wrapped their gifts in white bags. Each child got a white bag, some Christmas stamps, and ink pads. The first thing they did was to decorate the front and back of their bag with the stamps. Then I had them roll the present in some tissue paper and place the gift in the bag.

We used old Christmas cards for tags. I had cut some up and let the children choose which one they wanted. They wrote their names on the back of the tag and we tied it to the bag with some yarn.

The presents are under our tree for the party on Friday.

The three-year-class wrapped up their gifts today. I had made some green envelopes from 12 x 18 paper. On one side of the envelope I wrote a Christmas greeting and the children signed it. Some of the children are able to write their names, others traced their names.

After the greeting was written I gave them the Christmas stamps to decorate their envelope. They're all festive and ready to go.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Starting Over

When I was doing some courses a couple of years ago, I had come across a course helping me to set up my centers better and giving advice about some best ways to help the children become more responsible with the items.

So to do this, I had taken my shelves that have manipulatives on them and opened them for the children to use freely. I also made sure all the toy shelves were readily available. For two years this routine worked wonderfully.

The children would find what they wanted to play with, enjoy themselves for a while, and then put things away.

Well, this year things have not been going too well. Pre-K is going fine, but my three-year-old class is having lots of difficulty with this concept.

Mrs. T has called this group the drop and run group. They pull things out, dump them on the floor, and move on. Then, when clean up time comes they scatter. It was taking 15 to 20 minutes for clean up.

So, I decided it was time to shift gears. I needed to limit the amount of items the children could choose from. I went back to putting certain manipulatives on the tables for the children. Then I went through our kitchen things and trimmed them down a bit.

My final step was to not make the shelves as easily accessible. I give them different choices each time, just not everything.

It really has worked wonderfully. They even seem to play much more calmer and kinder. I am hoping to gradually allow them free reign, but I am going to take it one step at a time--slowly!

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Bells Are Ringing

Both of my classes made bells this week. The three-year-old class made ornaments for our Christmas tree, a glittery "bell." We used egg carton cups, pipe cleaners, glue, and glitter. The children painted the cup with glue. Then we covered them with glitter. When they were dry they hung them on the Christmas tree.

The Pre-K's bells were a little bit more involved. They took a couple of days to make. They are going to be our parent presents. We're going to wrap them later this week.

To make these cute bells you need:

a small terra cotta flower pot
red or green paint
pipe cleaners

I had the children paint the flower pot either red or green. I actually bought paint that was with the flower pots so that they would get covered more quickly. You can probably used tempera, but I wasn't sure how many coats of paint it would need to cover the pot completely. We don't have that many days until our Christmas break so I was trying to make it as few steps as possible.

After the paint dried, I had cups of tacky, Q-tips, and sequins for them to decorate the pots. I had them put dots of glue on the pots then put on sequins.

Finally, we threaded a bell on a pipe cleaner, fed it up through the hole in the pot, twisted the ends together and we had our bell. They even ring.

Ring ding a ling!

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