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Sunday, December 23, 2012

A Merry Christmas to All!

Christmas Day will soon be upon us.  I wanted to take this moment to wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Most all of my Christmas ideas are posted on line so I don't have anything especially new for you.  I do have to say that some of our parents brought in some great snacks the last couple of days at school.  The parents said they found the items on Pinterest, so you may have already seen them if you were looking for great Christmas snacks.

There was a reindeer made from a small chocolate donut, broken pretzel antlers, a red M&M nose, and white icing eyes.  My favorite was a marshmallow Christmas ornament for which I don't have a picture--my camera was dead.  These were great.  It was a marshmallow that had been dipped halfway in chocolate, then the chocolate part was then dipped in rainbow sprinkles.  The final piece was a small candy can inserted in the top like the "hook."  They were great.

One new craft we came up with this year was from Mrs. D's crushed Christmas decoration.  When she was getting ready to decorate her home, she came across a decoration that had been crushed.  We used this decoration which was a pine type of decoration, with fake pine needles, to make the parents' gift tag.

We painted a 3x5 index card with red glitter paint.  We then had to cut the needles from the crushed decoration.  After the paint had dried, we created a tree shape with glue.  The children took the needles and made a Christmas tree on the card.  Then we topped it off with a star sticker. We attached these to the parents gifts.

Well, I'm off to enjoy Christmas and New Year's with my family.  I'm excited that this year we are traveling to Jekyll Island, Georgia.  This is our first Christmas trip like this.  Hope everything goes well.

Again--have a wonderful Christmas and enjoy some time with your family!

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Run, Run.....

Friday was our last day of school before our Christmas Break.  Boy, are the children ready.  It's almost like they have been living on chocolate chip cookies for the last week.  They are very EXCITED Christmas is coming.

So just to jazz things up a bit--like the children needed it--we had a great activity on Friday.  I LOVED it and the children talked about our day continuously.  Mrs. D created a Gingerbread Day.

This is an activity she used to do when she was a kindergarten teacher.  First we read "The Gingerbread Baby," by Jan Brett.  At the back of the book was a note from the Gingerbread Baby telling the children he was hungry and had gone to the kitchen for a snack---you should have seen their faces!

We rushed down to the kitchen.  There we found a note that the Gingerbread Baby had decided to go to the church to say a prayer.  We quietly went to the church.  When we got there, the Baby had left a note that he wanted to sing a song, so he went to the stage to perform. the stage.

When we got to the stage there was a note that the Gingerbread Baby had traveled to our front door.  Then he left a note he was waiting to see us in our classroom.  When we got to the classroom there was a note that said his mom made him go home, but he left some supplies for the children to make one of him.

Here is where the activity was a bit different then Mrs. D's original activity.  She used to have parents bring in plain gingerbread cookies, then the children decorated them.  Because of time we had a gingerbread shape, buttons, eyes, crayons, and glue available on the tables when the children got back to the room.  Then, they children made a Gingerbread Baby to take home with them.

The kids really, really, liked this activity.  It was one of the first things they told their parents before  our Christmas show began.  There were even a few children that "saw"  Gingerbread Baby footprints.  This is definitely an activity we will be doing every year.  I loved seeing how excited they all got.

We also made Hershey Kiss Pretzel Bites--just what they needed, more sugar.

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

New School Supply Site

I was recently offered the opportunity to shop at a new school supply site.  The site is called MPM School Supplies.

This site is jam packed with every type of supply that any school would need.  It not only has craft and art supplies, it also has office supplies for the person that wants to do that "one stop shopping."  Hey, that would be me!  The faster I can gets something done the better!

I was also very pleased with how easy it was to navigate the site.  Each heading is divided into subcategories which make shopping so easy.  You are able to go directly to the area you need, and find exactly what you need quickly.

This site takes into consideration their shopper's time and money.  It makes shopping easy and offers all a teacher, or director, would need.

MPM is offering my readers a 10% discount on their first 10 purchases.  Here is the link if you would like to take advantage of their offer:

 I hope you enjoy your shopping experience.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Catching Up

Hi everyone.  I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families and loved ones.  As usual the days flew by.

We haven't done anything in school that you have not already seen, so I just thought I would give you a quick update as to where we are--mostly so you don't think I fell of the face of the earth:).

One new activity I did before our Thanksgiving break was a bit of a bust so I didn't post it.  I'll tell you about it now, maybe there is someone out there with a better way to pull it off.  

I tried to make a turkey from a latex glove with the children.  I let them use marker to color the fingers for "feathers."  The I blew the glove up a bit to make it's turkey shape--almost impossible to tie.  I think my fingers were blue for the rest of the day from cutting off my circulation.  

After the glove was blown up I let them draw a face on the thumb.  I had cut out some feet from a piece of poster board using a hand print. I put a slit in the feet to slide the turkey in so he could stand.

Problems:  #1--I didn't like using the regular markers because they came off when you touched them.  I didn't want to use permanent marker in case they got it on them.
#2--It was impossible to tie after it was blown up.  It didn't matter if I had blown it up a little bit or a lot.
#3--It didn't stand that great.
#4--Some of them popped when I was sliding them into the foot holder--the most devastating of all.  

So that was my experience.  These turkeys are not on the schedule for next year. 

The rest of the month we spent getting ready for our Thanksgiving Feast.  And, more recently, we made our cinnamon ornaments for our Christmas Tree.

We did still do letters and numbers even though we were busy with feast preparations.  by the end of the year we will have finished the numbers 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.  The last few letters we did were L, and U.  Our final letter of the 2012 school year is C.

The three-year-old class is almost done with their color book.  They are working on the color green this week and will finish up with white next week.  Hopefully we can get the books all done before we leave for Christmas break.

The colors we are finished with are: red, yellow, orange, black, blue, brown, and purple.

Today we made our egg carton ornaments for our tree.  We are planning our hand print poem for Thursday.  

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Adorable Hand Print Turkey

Mrs. Dorward created the cutest hand print turkey--they turned out so cute.

You will need:

2 circles cut from brown construction paper-
1 small for the head, one bigger for the body
1 large piece of white construction paper
different colored stamp pads
google eyes
1 small orange construction paper triangle

We had precut the brown circles out of the brown paper for time purposes, but you can draw the circles on a pieces of paper and allow the children to cut them out.

Next have them glue the large body circle to the large white paper.  Now the children press their hands in the ink they desire and make hand prints around the circle for the turkey's tail.

After the tail has been stamped, have the children glue on the turkey's head, beak, and google eyes.  You may also add feet if you like.  Mrs. Dorward hung hers up like that, I cut around the children's hand prints for a bit more tail shape.

They are really cute!

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Favorite Day

On Thursday we one of our tastiest days of the year for our three-year-old class.  We do good foods in the month of November and we finish up the unit with some good food.

I have every child bring a fruit to school.  I ask for some parent volunteers and we make some great fruit salad.  It's great to see all the different fruit the children bring in, we have a different fruit salad every class.

Our other delicious treat was muffin pizzas.  I am always amazed that the children usually eat most if not all of their pizzas. You know how sometimes you make things and think the children will like them and they look at you like, "You really want me to eat this?"  But, with the pizza they love them.

I bring in muffins, pizza sauce and mozerella cheese.  The children take a muffin, add sauce first , if they like, then cover it with cheese.  We did have many just cheese "pizza," and one sauce pizza, but most of them were full "pizza."  Oh why am I on a diet?

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Monday, November 5, 2012

Big Green Monster

 Another great idea from "The Mailbox" magazine.  I get these magazines monthly and they always have so many great new ideas, along with the great ones I've already come up with (Ha Ha).  I am sometimes sad I can't get it all in.

For October they had a great craft to go along with the book, "Go Away Big Green Monster," by Ed Emberly  .  It was, of course, a green monster.  He was very easy, but the kids thought he was great.

For the craft you will need:

green paint (or a green stamp pad)
googly eyes
red nose
white pointy teeth

The activity says to use green paint.  We missed the day before Halloween and I wanted the children to be able to take the craft home, so we used a green stamp pad.

Make both of the children's hands green, then press them onto a piece of paper.  Have the thumbs pointing to the center of the paper and overlapping.  This is the basic shape for your monster.  If you have used paint, you will need to let these dry.

Now the children just need to add the finishing touches.  Let them glue on two eyes, a nose, and the teeth.  The first class glued on a red pompom nose.  We ran out so I cut some out of paper--I guess you could really use any color nose you wanted.

Then I drew a smile onto their monster.  I had precut white triangles to represent the teeth.  The children glued the teeth to the smile line and he was done.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Whooo's Ready For Halloween?

Well, we thought we were ready for Halloween here, but now I'm not so sure.  We here on the east coast are sitting and waiting for Hurricane Sandy to work her way through.  It always is amazing to me how I am sitting here surrounded by wind and rain, others are having snow and cold, while still others are strolling along a beach somewhere in sandals and short sleeves.

So we are on a bit of a holiday from school.  No school today and no school tomorrow.  Who would of thought we would be in October and already adding on days to make up at the end of the year?  Unbelievable.

Last year it was all about Halloween for Pre-K.  We made bats, owls, and took a trip to enjoy the outside fall happenings.

Our second craft was new.  It was a craft from that wonderful magazine, "The Mailbox."  It was a cute little owl and pretty easy to make.

You will need:

brown construction paper--I made two owls out of one 9x12 sheet
brown construction rectangles about 3x4 1/2
large google eyes
orange construction paper triangles
brown paint
white paint

Because of time purposed I had all the pieces for the owl cut out and the children put the pieces together.  If there is time, the children could cut out the pieces themselves.  

Cut the 9x12 construction paper in half, then cut off a small portion of two bottom corners, just to give it shape.  I then took the two rectangles and curved one side, then the children can use scissors fray the wings, which are made with the two rectangles.

The children will need three orange triangles, two for feet and one for a nose.  On the back of the owl have the children glue on the wings and two feet.

Turn the owl over and let the children glue on the two eyes and one triangle for the beak.  

The final step is to add some feathers.  The children dip a Q-tip in some white paint and add  some white feathers.  Then they dip a Q-tip in some brown paint and add some brown feathers.    

Have fun and Happy Halloween!

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Halloween Cat

This past week in Pre-K we were busy, but it seemed like we didn't get a lot done.  It was mostly one of those weeks with lots of specials going on.  We had pictures one day and Wee Workout another.  I know it was only two specials, but when you only have a 2 and a half hour class, things go quickly.

We were able to finish the letter T for our alphabet book and the number 2 for our number book.  We had one craft this week, a black cat for Halloween.  We actually started another craft on  Friday, but I must confess, I took a personal day and haven't seen it yet.

Mrs. Dorward brought the black cat craft to us.  It is relatively easy, but the children thought it was great.

You will need:

a cat template
black paper
white crayon
tissue paper

I had the children trace the cat on a piece of black paper.  Then they cut it out.  After they cut it out, I cut out two eyes and they picked a color of tissue paper they liked.  I then gave them a rectangular piece of the tissue paper they wanted.  Then they placed glue around the eye holes.  The tissue paper was placed over the eye area to give the cat a spooky appearance.  If you hang the cat on a window, it's even more spooky.  The kids really liked it.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Kid Writing

Way  back during the summer, Roaring Springs Paper Products had sent me a box of composition books for me to review.  At the time school was not in session, Roaring Springs has been very patient waiting for me to try these books out.

Roaring Springs sent me a box of marbled composition books for grade 1.  These books are filled with lined pages sized appropriately for children of grade 1 age.  When I got the books I was thinking of a thousand uses for them.

As I said before, our new Pre-K teacher is very big on teaching the children the written word.  When she was a kindergarten teacher she did a lot of Kid Writing with the children.  I have never done this before, so she is teaching me.

To do this we pick a topic, have the children draw a pictures, then "write a sentence" about their picture.  Our focus right now is to have the children writing from left to right, and to try to get them to form "words" together and put a space between them.  After the children "write their sentence" they dictate it to me and I write it also.

I have done the Kid Writing twice with my class.  Our first topic was our families, then I did a page about a pumpkin during pumpkin week.  During pumpkin I provided the children with the printed words to the beginning of our sentence.  They they told me what they wanted to write and I printed it on a sentence strip for them.  Some of them were able to copy the sentence, while some were still practicing getting down the writing motion.

We are using the composition books for this purpose.  The books lay open very nicely.  You know how sometimes it is hard to write to the middle of this type of book as they crease is there?  Well, we open the page, press down the middle, and the book lays nice and flat.

I have had the children use crayons and pen on the pages.  We have not used markers yet, so I'm not sure if the marker will bleed through the page, but we have had great success with what we have used so far.  We are even able to write on the back of the page we just drew on as the pictures "stay on their own side."

I am enjoying my new journey into Kid Writing and glad that we have a wonderful book for the children to keep their memories in.

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