Sunday, September 29, 2013

Church and "L" Week

I apologize for being so behind on my post.  Between school and this little thing we are putting together called a WEDDING, I am a little S T R E T C H E D thin.  But, I'm playing catch-up this weekend and I hope you enjoy some of these fun activities.

Our Church and "L" week was a lot of fun.  We started the week working on one of my favorite projects, a lizard.  Because we have a "L"andon in our class, we of course called him "Landon the Lizard". 

I love the little spots on him.  They were made by the children with dot paint.  He is a wonderful and easy way to introduce the letter "L".

I love sensory activities and I love for us to use our hands.  I could not resist letter my class make a "squishy" lollipop.  "Squishy" painting is one of my favorites.  No one really gets dirty (except for me) and I love to see the children's faces when they mix the paint all together.  We start with a large circle cut from poster board.  The children pick out their favorite colors.

I cover the circle with clear plastic wrap (note: this is NOT the time to buy cheap plastic wrap and if you do, use 2 layers). 

Here comes the fun part . . . squish!!
 What magically appears is beautiful.
We let them dry overnight (some actually took longer) and glued a large craft stick to the back.  INSTANT LOLLIPOP!  Of course everyone went home with their very own lollipop to eat too!
One of our 3 year old teachers found these Tiger Pops at the local Dollar Store and they looked just like our lollipops!

Since this is our "Church" week and our school is one of the largest churches (Shades Mountain Baptist Church) in our area, we took a wonderful tour.  Here is my friend, Mrs. Christi showing the children the BIG stained glass window (I may get in trouble for posting her picture.  But I'm checking to see if she really reads my blog.)

Since we saw the church's big window, we headed back downstairs to make our own!  We are VERY blessed at our school to get to use all the church's wonderful resources.  One of the BEST is the large commercial Ellison machines and dies.
We have a good supply of shapes to choose from and one of them is a beautiful window.  I carefully lay the cut out shapes onto a piece of clear contact paper and the children have a wonderful time cutting, tearing and placing their favorite colors of tissue paper onto the window.
When they are finished, we cover it with another piece of clear contact paper and cut away the excess.  Now, it becomes an amazing piece of art.  Here it is laying on our light box.
My class is doing very well with their scissor skills.  Each week we try and spend time improving our skills.  This week we worked on "Larry the Lion". 
Everyone cut their own mane!  Isn't he adorable!  We also worked on drawing "l"ines by using a ruler to draw his whiskers.

A little close up view of our cutting!

We used the Ellison machine again but this time we used the negative portion of the die cut (don't worry, the actually die cut will be used later!).  Instead of using tissue paper, we used colored cellophane that my wonderful director, Mrs. Cynthia ordered for us. 
Once again, I laid the cross onto a piece of clear contact paper.  Then, each child carefully selected their favorite colors and added them to the cut out.
Once the cut out was covered we had another beautiful art piece. 
I didn't send the cross or the stained glass window home until Friday because we used them during our weekly science experiments.
On Monday we sent home a little note that asked everyone to bring a flashlight to school on Friday.  Of course everyone was so excited on Friday morning to show me their flashlights.  Our entire Friday was devoted to exploring the "L"ights!  We started by looking at our beautiful stained glass window and cross on a light box.  The light box was more fun I imagined.  We looked at all difference in the tissue paper window and the cellophane cross.   We looked at other things too, including our hands, leaves and even one little girls long hair!  Next, we all headed to the kitchen to find our big table covered with butcher paper.  Unfortunately, we didn't have enough real rulers for everyone so we used big craft sticks and drew "L"ines!

Now, what does this have to do with LIGHTS . . . .well . . . look what happens when you turn the lights out and add a couple of black lights??????? 
AHHHHH!!!  We loved looking at every one's drawing, our clothes and especially our teeth!  A special "THANK YOU" to our sweet Assistant Director, Mrs. Melissa for finding us the black lights!

Next, we headed up the hallway for some flashlight fun! 
We drew shapes on the ceiling with our flashlights! 
Making squiggly lines was fun too!
We even danced with our flashlights!

Now as sad as it was, our fun day was coming to an end.  But we really didn't want it too, so we headed to the kitchen to eat our lunch under the black lights!!!  
Mrs. Christi and I had one last surprise for our "Fabulous Fun Friday" . . . . Glow in the Dark Jello!!!  Oh my!  You can find it on my PINTEREST board. 
Yes, it really did glow in the dark!  Although I'm not too sure everyone enjoyed the taste, but we had a great time.  THANKS for stopping by.  I hope you drop by again to see what we are up to!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Pet and "C" Week

We talked about our "Pets" this week and the letter "C".  This past week was our first FULL week of school, five LONG days.  Man, either I am really out of shape (could be) or I'm really getting old (yes, I am).  Oh well, either way, I survived.  Tired, but still hanging in there.  The children and I are still trying to get use to each other and each week I try to do something a little "extra" fun.  This week we started off by painting with balloons.  I read, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  There were a couple of children who had not heard of this book so it was fun to watch their faces and hear them yell, "Read it again!".  After we read the book we talked about what we like to eat when we are hungry.  Much to my surprise, "cake" was a big response (more on this later!).  Anyway. . . we divided up into small groups and I headed over to the craft area to make our very own hungry caterpillar.  Everyone was so surprised to see balloons all blown up and waiting for us.  We started by dipping our balloons into yellow paint and making big "blobs" on the page. 

Next, we added big green blobs right on top.

And a big red blog for the head.

We added legs and little antennas and let them dry.  Afterwards, we added cute little eyes, a nose and of course, a happy smile!  

I just love these little guys, don't you?  I especially love the fact that they were 100% made by the child.  This is a little pet peeve of mine and I'm sure I will be mentioning it from time to time (sorry!). 
Another great book that we read this past week was If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by the wonderful Laura Numeroff.  I think this is one of my all time favorite books.  It should be, I've read it enough over the years!  We made a little chocolate cookie and added it to a "prompting note" to our parents.  It was easy, but it was fun.
I hope you can tell that the "chocolate chips" are our fingerprints.

This one made me giggle.  She said the mouse was hiding!
On of my special individual activities this week is our magnet box.  I was a little concerned about getting it out so early in the year.  I wasn't sure it we had people that put things in their mouths (something I am guessing is not a concern for Harvard professors!).  But, I kept a very close on it and everything went smoothly.  One of my students loved it.  He loved making a chain with the magnets.

During the week our circle time discussions generally were about our dogs and cats.  There was one day when we discussed what animal(s) we would like to have IF we could have any animal in the entire world.  Alligators and crocodiles were 2 of the favorites - YIKES!  It did make for a fun and lively circle time. 
Our letter of the week was "C" so we HAD to make a cat.  Now if you have read my blog before, you know that I big on giving the children choices.  Making our cat was no different, everyone decided on what color their cat would be.  First we painted a large paper plate and let it dry.  The next day we came back and cut some whiskers (it was "C" week after all!).  Most of the children had never cut with scissors before and most of them were quick to tell me they weren't suppose to use scissors.  After a little reassuring them that it was okay, they went to work.
Everyone did an amazing job cutting with scissors!!!
We added the freshly cut whiskers, ears, eyes and a little nose to make the cutest little cats!

On the back of each cat was a little note to the parents.  It said, "Guess who cut the whiskers?".  Everyone could hardly wait to show their parents!

On Thursday, we headed to kitchen to begin our weekly science experiment.  I had gone to my local Publix grocery store on Wednesday afternoon looking for fresh carnations (another great "C" word!).  The sweet manager finally located some for me way in the back of the store cooler.  It was a large bunch, big enough for EVERYONE to have flower!  We have a very sweet lady at the church who brings up empty Boost bottles.
She is so nice, she even takes the labels off of them for us!  They were the perfect size and shape for our experiment.   Each child selected his/her favorite color and we mixed the food coloring and water together.  Next, we carefully added our little flowers and waited . . . and waited . . . . and waited . . .

The next day we found a lovely surprise! 



Look very closely, can you see the colors starting to creep into the flower??  We sent them home on Friday and asked the parents to put them back into some colored water.  I cannot wait to hear how they are doing.

We read several stories about dogs this past week and one of the other teachers shared this next project with me.  It was really cute and easy.


I cut out the body, head and 2 ears.  The children had a great time painting them whatever color they wanted.  After they dried, we assembled them and added the cute little eyes.  One little girl was so excited, she now had a "real" dog of her very own!

Friday is always a fun day at school.  I want everyone to leave WANTING to come back.  After this week, I bet they ALL do!  We start our day with our Spanish class and everyone has so much fun with Mrs. Stacy.  Then we headed to kitchen to cook-up a little more science fun!  Our school is very good at using recycled products.  There is nothing that makes me happier then doing a project that cost little or nothing.  I found our big box of used and unloved crayons.

A lot of them already had the paper off so I just had to separate them.  The students picked out their favorite colors and put them into our little homemade bowl. 

We didn't have enough old muffin tins, so I just some aluminum foil
and made little crayon bowls. 

It worked pretty well.  They were funny looking and
the children loved it.
While the crayons melted slowly in the oven, we started working on our yummy "color-cake".  I mixed up 2 boxes of white cake mix (thanks again to Publix!) and each child got a large cup filled with batter.  Hold on, here comes the fun . . . . everyone got to add their favorite color of food coloring to the batter.  We spooned it into a cake pan

and popped it in the oven.  WOW, the entire school smelled SO good!  But we were patient and while it cooked, we got to use our new crayons!
I'm trying a little experiment myself.  On Friday's we are doing some free art.  This has no instructions and the children just have fun.  This week we had a lot of fun using crayons that we made ourselves!  INSTANT GRATIFICATION!!!
Soon the cake came out of the oven and we spread on some plain white frosting. 

As soon as we ate lunch we headed back to the kitchen to enjoy our cake!  

What a fun and yummy way to end our week!
Thank you for visiting with us.  I hope you stop back by and see what we will be doing next week!