Sunday, March 27, 2011

SSSSHHHH! It's "S" Week!

I'm not really sure where to start on this past week. It was Super! We were coming off of our Spring Break and that is usually a big problem. I think the over-planning for the week really helped! Don't get me wrong, I'm pretty good at making sure our days are filled with fun and educational activities but sometimes things don't always go as planned. But this week was as close to perfectly planned as they will get (okay, seriously enough bragging on myself). I think this picture pretty much sums up our week! It is a rainbow made from our plates and pots from our classroom's kitchen!

We started the week with a new student. YIKES! But she was absolutely wonderful (see post below) which really helped to make things run smoothly (wheeew!). On Monday, we worked really hard on the Super letter "S". Oh my, there are so many fun things that can be done with the letter "S". We started out with a sun. We've made a sun during our big unit on the Solar System so I wanted something a little bit different. I cut out of the big yellow circle and handled the scissors over to the children! WOW! I was thrilled with our cutting progress. Of course, several had to add faces to theirs

and I even have one with hair!I LOVE THEM ALL!

This week we are also talking about the rain forest. This is a new unit for us so I had to put on my thinking cap. We have a wonderful book about the rain forest and on Tuesday we looked at all the beautiful birds that make their home there. I found a very old coloring sheet of a parrot (YAWN!). Nope, no way we are just going to color something! I ask our sweet office helper (we don't have access to the copier, Ellison die-cut machine, etc., they are located on another floor, so we have a "runner" who does all this stuff for us) to enlarge the parrot as "big as you can". She did GREAT! I also found some old dot markers ( ) and cleaned them up. I'm sure you can tell, I cut them out and mounted them on some large black construction paper. I love to make our art work look very special, it is a great way to help the children take pride in their work. I think the parrots are wonderful!

The only instructions I game the children was to "try" and color each part a different color. I think they nailed it!
Wednesday is always exciting for us. We have "Wiggles with Mrs. Nancy". It is really a Pre-K version of Physical Education. Mrs. Nancy takes them to the gym for organized games. No doubt about it - EVERYONE loves Wednesdays! On this particular Wednesday we talked once again about the letter "S". Again, I had found some old worksheets (YAWN again!) and cut out the giant "S". I found some sticks in my yard and well, you get the idea . . . . .

While several children were working independently on their "S's", I called one child over at a time and had them work on our "name caterpillars". I have small multi-colored circles cut from our wonderful Ellison machine and each child is instructed to pick out one circle for each letter in their name. Next we pick out one more circle for their caterpillar's head and we start working! After all the circles are glued down the fun really begins. Each child adds a face and legs to their caterpillar and then each child actually WRITES each letter of their name on the circles! SO MUCH FUN and the look on the child's face when he/she sees the final results - AMAZING! Here are a few of our caterpillars -


These lovely creatures will not be sent home right away. I'll have them laminated and store them away for our big art show in May.

Since we were talking about the rain forest, we decided to make our own. Thursday was a fun day, it is also our shortest day because we have to squeeze in Chapel and Spanish class into our already busy day. Since it was "S" week we got out of scissors once again and started cutting. First we cut out the grass, then we painted our wonderful sun. We added hand print trees and animal crackers for the animals!

Sorry for the wet glue! Simple project, but everyone really loved it!

FINALLY, it was Friday! I love Fridays, but not because it is the end of the week. It is because we have so much fun on Friday that we actually call it "Fabulous Fun Friday". Seriously, that is what we call it! We started the day off talking about snakes! Ahhhh, the perfect "S" word! We read a book about snakes and even made our own snakes out of sticks.

Everyone loved them! Next we headed to the kitchen for a wonderful science experiment and a snack. First we mixed up some cookie dough, added a little food coloring, and rolled them into snakes! We added some chocolate chips for eyes and popped them into the oven and wow, super yummy snake cookies!

I really goofed on this one! We were having so much fun with our science experiment that we forgot to eat our cookies. We had to take them back to our room and eat them for our deserts at lunch!

It was finally time for our super science experiment - homemade silly putty (a very simple recipe, just mix equal parts of glue and starch then stir!) First we mixed food coloring (your choice of colors, of course) and good 'ole Elmer's Glue together.

Next came the fun! On the count of 3 everyone dumped their starch into the colored glue and stirred! I didn't tell anyone what we were doing until they finished mixing. Oh, the joy on their faces! I've never heard such happy sounds! We played and played with our silly putty and then packed them away in little baggies so everyone could take it home. It was a wonderful day!

Next week, the letter "T" and Ocean Week, it should be great! I hope you will stop back again.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The New Student

I have survived yet another week after spring break! I'm just kidding, it was really great! The children came back this year ready to go. We even added another student to our class and it seem to make things even more happy. I always worry about "the day after" a big holiday and then to have a new student on top of that, well . . . . let's just say I didn't get much sleep last Sunday night. I did find it funny that my newest student started school with the usual tears and sad face. Okay, that part really wasn't funny but what happened next was! My newest student "S" was standing there "trying" to cry and be unhappy when all of a sudden "A" walked right over to her and said, "You've got to stop that, this place is fun!" and just walked right off. Of course "S" still stood there and looked sad and then "A" waltzed right back to her and said, "Really, you need to stop that, you are gonna have a lot of fun here. Now stop crying!" I wanted to run to "S's" rescue but I stopped and waited to see what would happen next. In what seemed like a 1/2 of a second the sad face disappeared and a very small smile appeared. She walked over to "A" and the other girls and said, "Can I play?" "A" quickly answered, "SURE!" and they walked hand in hand to the kitchen area where "A" said "Do you want the doll that looks like me or the doll that looks like you?", meaning of course the color of the dolls. "S" said, "I like the one that looks like you". "A" said, "We are gonna be good friends!". WHAT AN AMAZING THING TO WITNESS! I suddenly remembered why I love my job!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

What's Black & White and Red All Over?

What's black & white and red all over? Hmmm . . . did you say a newspaper? Well, in Mrs. Karen's Class the answer is . . . .

A ZEBRA on red paper! His head is the child's foot! Isn't he the cutest thing? We had so much fun using tiny paint brushes and painting the stripes. By now you may have figured out that we are studying "Zoo Animals" and the letter "R". This adorable little zebra was the finale of our fabulous week. Friday was our official "BLACK AND WHITE DAY". We all wore black and white clothing (or at least tried) and we headed to the kitchen to whip up some really delicious "zebra cookies". Here is our secret recipe - take one chocolate cookie (our's was lowfat)Spread a little vanilla icing on top
Why use a knife when we have fingers???? Add some raisins for eyes and a nose and drizzle with chocolate syrup!
Instant zebra cookie! AND very, very yummy!

Opps, Friday was so much fun that I think I got ahead of myself. Let's go back and talk about our Marveous Monday activities! Monday was a lot of fun! We started of the week talking about the letter "R". Nothing says "R" to me like a Recyclable Red Rabbit. Recyclable Red Rabbit??? Yep, isn't he adorable? And all we used was red scrap paper and a toliet tissue roll. Instant Recyclable Red Rabbit.
Of course no respectable rabbit would be complete without a tail (left over from some Christmas crafts)If you look closely you may notice that the rabbit's little feet are made from left over valentine hearts. Truly a "Recyclable Red Rabbit"! This was one of those projects that had the children giggling and thinking at the same time. All day long we tried to think of things that had the "R" sound. SUPER FUN!

On Tuesday we concentrated on our zoo animals. We talked about all the different zoo animals and did a lot of growling! So we made a pride of lions!
We started with a small paper plate. By the way, why is it is hard to find CHEAP paper plates? It seems all the manufacturers want to coat them in plastic. Preschoolers need cheap paper plates, they are easier to paint. Opps sorry, now back to our activities. Next we painted them with our special mixture of yellow and orange paint with a splash of glue. Before the paint/glue mixture had a chance to dry we carefully laid on rotini noodles. After he dried we added our eyes and noses. Super cute! I have to show this next lion. Somehow he absorbed some of old purple paint that had dried on our paint mat. Instead of being upset, my sweet "L" just thought he looked "meaner", which in preschool terms means "he liked it". Whew, meltdown averted!Wednesday was a really big "R" day! We made our annual "Recycle Rosies" and "Recycle Robbies". (These little ones are named after my mom, Rose and my brother-in-law, Rob) Oh my goodness, each year this project gets bigger and better!

As the children were working I asked them if they could tell what kind of material we used for our project. I was amazed at how many students could identify the cereal boxes, expecially the "Fruit Loops" boxes! I was quick to remind everyone that all the supplies used were "recycled"! They loved it and couldn't wait to tell the parents that we used "garbage". Well, I tried!

Thursday is an extremely busy day for us. We always enjoy our Chapel time with Mrs. Fish and Mr. Scott and our Spanish Class is always lots of fun. But it leaves us rather short on actually class time. This week we did 2 fun and silly animal crafts. Our first was an eleplant, on red paper of course
Super easy and pretty much an independent activity. Everyone did a great job!
Next we tackled a handprint peacock! SUPER pretty and great fine motor skill practice trying to pick up the sequins.
Again this was pretty much an independent activity so I just watched them work!
It was a wonderful and busy week in our class. We are on our Spring Break this week and hopefully everyone will get some needed rest because we will start on the letter "S" when we return. I hope you will join us!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Q" and Farm Week

Oh what fun we had this week! I must admit that I worried about letting my class down after our wonderful "P" week, but I think they were surprised. This week was all about the letter "Q" and the "Farm". See my newest picture for "Q". It is my favorite "Q"uarterback, Auburn University's Neil Caudle! THANKS NEIL! We were pretty busy all week but we managed to squeeze in a wonderful "Dr. Seuss Day" on Wednesday. Our week started off by heading to the kitchen. One of our former teachers had left all kind of junk items behind when she parted and I inherited them. LUCKY ME hahahah, or so I thought until I realized some of her junk was pretty neat. One thing she left was a package of little capsules from the Dollar Store. There were like 18 in a package. You put them in water and when the capsule melts you are left with a surprise. Inside our capsules were farm animals (okay, we knew this because the package told us)! The look on the children's faces were priceless! They were so excited! Everyone was screaming and giggling. GREAT little science activity at no cost.

We also spent the day Monday making a wonderful little duck, no photo :( because we all couldn't wait to get them home :) We also spent the entire "quacking"! Yes, I said QUACKING, a lot of noise but OH SO MUCH FUN and a great way to learn the "Q" sound.

Our Tuesday was spent working on a lovely little cow (yes, we MOOed while we worked). Tuesday was also a fun day because we got out of scissors and did some "Super Fun Scissor Work" (again, yes, that is what we actually call it). Everyone cut their own spots for our cows. Some cut just a few, while other just kept on cutting. (please note the "hairbow" that my sweet little "A" just had to make for her cow - VERY creative!) Either way, they were MOOOOOvarleous!

Wednesday of course was good 'ole Dr. Seuss Day! See post below for all our fun.
Thursday was a fun pig day. We had the best time talking about the different sizes of the circles we used for our pigs. And yes, just in case you were wondering, we DID oink all day!
A special thank you to my co-worker/Emily's Mom, Amanda for taking a picture of Emily's pig. Everyone was so excited to show their pigs to their families that I didn't get a picture before we left.
Friday is one of my favorite days. We head to the kitchen to whip up a fun and not always nutritional snack. This week was definitely fun! WE ATE A PIG! I know the pigs should have been round, but WOW this was a really big cookie, so we cut in half. This is my favorite cookieI never tell them where to put items, I only tell them what the items are. For instance, on this project I said, "here are the pig's eyes". Gotta love 'em!

We also made the cutest little sheep on Friday. I really love this one -
"R" said, "it's a Mommy sheep, she has on lipstick"!

A quick note - this week a couple of our art projects got out the door before I actually had time to photograph them. I was rather sad when I realized it but then I thought, this is what happens when our day is too fun and our time is too short!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

We had a great day!
Yes we did!
That is all I can say,
We had a great Day!

Okay, that was a terrible tribute to the famous Dr. Seuss, but I tried. Today we spent the entire day trying to speak in rhymes. Needless to say some very strange words came out of our mouths, but we had fun, lots and lots of fun. We also sang "Happy Birthday" to Dr. Seuss ALL DAY LONG. It seems like someone was singing the entire day. Again, it was fun! We also read "The Cat in the Hat" and giggled a lot. We also made our very own Cat in a Hat. I just love him. Especially the bow tie, one student had the saddest look on his face after he finished his Cat and I asked him what was wrong. "T" looked at me and said, "you forgot his tie". Oh My! So we quickly added a bow tie to finish him off. Truly today was a great day!