10.19.2012

Fall Is Fun!


NUMBERS:
The "Pumpkin Patch" game is a fun one to play this time of year.  A great way to practice counting and adding!  I honestly can't remember where I downloaded this printable game board from???  It's so cute!  I found some small pumpkin erasers 2 years ago at "The Dollar Store" and bought a bunch knowing I would and could use them for so many things.  So we use those for our game pieces.  There are several ways you could play this game, here are the rules we use:
Each player takes a turn rolling the big foam dice.  He/She counts the number rolled and places that same number of pumpkin pieces onto the pumpkin patch dots.  The first player to "fill the patch" wins!  (If you don't have enough pumpkin game pieces to fill the whole patch, you can just move 1 pumpkin along - and the first one to reach the end wins!)
AM class counting pieces and hoping they get a bigger number than the friend before them!
Mr. Z is getting a little help from Miss M counting his pumpkins :]
Our game board and pieces.
(After 2 years I FINALLY laminated all my pumpkin patch  boards...can you say procrastination?)
When you're one of the first to Fill Your Pumpkin Patch, it makes you happy
....just like Mr. H!
I love an endearing moment!  I caught Miss L and Mr. M spending some quiet free time together.  According to my boys, girls stink - according to my girls, boys are crazy...so this moment made me smile.  I love it when the kids cross the 'gender barrier' and just be friends ;] 

LETTERS:
We are reading the Bob Book 'DOT' right now.  It's a little harder than 'MAT' and 'SAM' and spotlights the letters O, H, G and R.  So this week we focused on the letters O and H.
Our O papers were all about the Octopus!

Our H papers were about crazy Hats!
Mr. T decided his hat looked more like a hammer than a hat...
but that's ok because hammer starts with H too!
SCIENCE:
We are on a "Fall Binge" here at My Little Preschool, we just can't get enough!  However, we are lucky to live in a place where we can fully experience all 4 seasons. After a small chat about the difference between each season, we created our own illustrations...I thought Mr. T did a fantastic job!  
The winds calmed for the rest of the week...so we took learning OUTSIDE!  Fall always smells amazing, inside and outside.  We gathered anything we could find that smelled like fall - leaves, grass, lavender, mums, petunias, pine needles and even large mushrooms :] 
AM class: Mr. H, Mr. C, Miss J and Miss K gathering little bits of nature
Mr. Z is the one who discovered the mushrooms :]
He loves outdoor science projects!
PM class: Mr. M (great face...must of smelled something nasty?)
Miss L, Mr. A, Miss K, Miss K, Miss B and Miss M
When we gathered all that we could we took our bags inside, shook them up and took a big whiff!  Most collections smelled soooo good!  But, there were some that smelled like dirt and weeds!  You just never know what you're going to get?  Science is so cool!!!

We hope everyone is having a great Fall Recess and we are excited to see you again next week!

Be Happy,
Miss Lisa and Miss Caitlyn

10.11.2012

Filling Our Bucket...in all kinds of ways!

My Little Preschool's "Respectful Action" for the week was Helping Hands/Showing Kindness.  At the first of the week we read the book "Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?" by Carol McCloud.  Each child made their own bucket which would be filled with 'warm fuzzies' for each service/kindness they provided (without even being asked!!), it was our most popular respectful action yet!  Miss Caitlyn and I heard little voices asking friends if they needed help, or saying "Oh, I can do that for you."  Many children even offered up their services to help do things around the classroom that the teachers usually do...for example: pick the play dough pieces out of the carpet, clean off the white/chalk boards, stack the teacher books and invite the teachers to play games with them!  Great kids...Great "Respectful Action"!
A few of our "buckets" 
LETTERS:
We are still working hard on our ABC books!  When using our thinking, writing and art skills, everything comes together quite nicely.

Sun starts with the letter 'S'
I think Mr. T's sun looks great...
but, at least he's honest ;]
 Cookie starts with the letter 'C'
That's a cookie just LOADED with chocolate chips!
It looks yummy Mr. C!
 Dog starts with the letter 'D'
Miss B's first thought, when asked what starts with the letter 'D',
was a seeing eye Dog.  What a sweetheart :]
SHAPES:
I opened up our math center for some free time.  The AM class found the shape games/learning toys and decided that's what they wanted to do!  So out came all the shape 'stuff'...and an amazingly quiet and focused play time.  I left it all out for the PM class to explore, and they were just as intrigued.
Mr. T enjoying his time creating shape pictures
Mr. M created a bundle of rectangles and other creative shapes
with our elastic boards!
ART:
PAINT is AWESOME!  I've seen this project all over pinterest, so I can't really tell you who I originally stole the idea from?  It is a great art project that the kids were totally enchanted with.  It's easy too....paper, small globs of paint and straws...that's it!  However, we did take small breaks from blowing paint to fan our faces and take some deep breaths - I really didn't want any children fainting ;]
Miss K and Mr. H creating art!
The idea behind this project was to make them look like leaves.
NAILED IT!
Equally as beautiful on colored paper too!
SCIENCE:
We have continued our study of hot/cold.  During science time on Wednesday we had the delicious choice of making a Strawberry Lemonade popsicle or a Mango Peach popsicle.  Strawberry Lemonade being the flavor of choice in the AM class and Mango Peach being the flavor of choice in the PM class!  Then into the freezer they went!
*I use small (bathroom) plastic cups, which I think are the best size for a preschool child.  I use the plastic cups because (I think) the pop slides out much better after frozen.  I also use tin foil to cover the cups and hold the sticks in place - tin foil doesn't stretch, plastic wrap can stretch and the sticks end up leaning.*

 On Thursday, after we discovered they did actually freeze, we had the delightful opportunity of eating/licking our frozen popsicles during some free time!  Each popsicle was devoured and, oh boy, they tasted delicious!
Sweet girls eating Sweet Popsicles :]
OUTSIDE:
Fall is absolutely beautiful in Utah!  It is truly beautiful everywhere...I'm just being partial :]  We took a couple outdoor adventures this week, but the most fun was gathering leaves for a cool art project.  Some of the kids even collected purple and white flowers, vines and sticks.  It is always a pleasure to explore the outdoors!
Little Miss K choosing very particularly the items going into her bag.
Mr. M's bag just caught me off guard...
it was SO beautiful!
Leaf rubbing was fun, but, some of the kids traced their leaves as well!
How awesome is this paper of colors?!?
Can you spy the 3 leaves Miss K chose to work with?
So pretty in every color!
Well, I really think all our buckets were filled not only from our good deeds, but also our great learning and wonderful projects!  I LOVE my job, and I tell my kids that ALL the time!  They just look at me like I'm slightly crazy and continue what they were doing ;]

Thanks for checking us out!
Miss Lisa & Miss Caitlyn

10.06.2012

trees begin with T!

October is here already!  I am so excited to celebrate fall with breezy days and crispy cool nights!  The children have mentioned their recognition of the turning leaves and blue skies. Our projects have supported their fall discoveries with colorful trees and warm vs. cold projects.  As always, you are welcome to join in the fun by browsing through our blog!

ART / LITERACY: 
As it goes in many preschools, this week our art projects were also part of our literacy work.  While studying the letter T we made fall 'T'rees.  They turned out so beautifully I ended up hanging them on the wall instead of adding them to our ABC Books right away!  I can't stand the thought of taking them down quite yet...so they may stay on our wall for a while :]
*We made our trees with coffee filters, markers, watercolor paint and small water droppers.  We began by flattening out our coffee filters, then painting them with basic (crayola) water paints.  Although very pretty, the colors were not quite bright enough for most of us...so we added a bit of marker to our trees as well.  Then, with our droppers, we added small amounts of water to our 'trees'.  The colors blended fantastically and our trees were then the color we desired.  When they dried, we crunched them into a ball, pulled them out into a circle again and glued them to our 'T' page...and just look at them now!*

Miss K's tree almost took on a neon glow!  How beautiful is that?? 
Our trees with the marker added...beautiful!
Our trees without the marker added...a very subtle kind of gorgeous :]
It was FIRE SAFETY week at My Little Preschool!  We perfected the tactic of "STOP, DROP and ROLL" and discussed some very important things about fire safety, like not hiding when there is a fire...we know to stay where a firefighter can find us!  Because everyone loves a firefighter, we made our own fire coats and hats so that we can continue to pretend we are courageous fire-guys and girls.
AM firefighters!
 Our coats are made from paper grocery bags.  We decorated them with neon yellow and silver duct tape (reflective...just like a real firefighters coat).  They are cut up the middle into a larger circle to fit the neck.  Smaller holes were cut out on the sides for the arms.  Our hats are made from red construction paper and decorated by the children with their name, a star and other little illustrations ;]
PM firefighters!
SCIENCE:
A popular project each year is Ice Melting!  We take an ice cube - or two - and start to discover how we can get those cubes to melt!?!  I simply give each child a small amount of water and some salt (about a tablespoon), and the I set them free to take it from there.  I usually wait a bit before I pass out the melting elements, just to see what they do with their own resources...hands, air, tray...and so on.  It was interesting to watch them rub the ice cube in circles or lines on their trays.  FRICTION...way to think kids!  Then the water and salt were introduced.  What a success!  Each child used their resources effectively and all the ice cubes melted quite quickly.
Miss M adding some water, but just a little at a time!
Mr A realizing that after the salt was added it made his fingers taste kind of yummy!
LITERACY:
I'm not a big fan of sitting a child in front of a t.v. to learn.  However, I do believe there are some great video's and snippets on television, youtube and the internet to take advantage of.  I grew up watching Sesame Street and still think it is one of the most fantastic shows on t.v.!  So, obviously, when we started learning about the letter S...Sammy the Snake came to mind!  The children of today don't see a lot, if any, Sesame Street programs.  So naturally they were intrigued by this silly clip about a purple and green snake singing a song about the letter S.  It was so enjoyed that my AM class asked to watch it 2 times :]  For the rest of the day, I heard kids singing softly "Sammy the Snake sounds just like the letter S...SAMMY!"  It was cute and I think a successful lesson about the letter S.

Thanks again for stopping by to check out our little blog.  Children bring exuberance to every situation, and I feel blessed to be a part of that joy almost every single day!  Have a great week!

Miss Lisa &
Miss Caitlyn

9.28.2012

making books is fun to do!

At My Little Preschool we practice Respectful Actions.  This week we practiced the action of "keeping our hands to ourselves".  This is a tough one!  So, we made a book about the Good and the Bad things we can do with our hands.  We found out that punching, hitting and poking are not respectful hand actions.  However, we also found out that high fives, hugs and keeping our hands still are respectful hand actions!  
ART:
We illustrated our "Respectful Hands" book during art time.  We painted our hand prints and illustrated a GOOD hand action!  The results were beautiful!
Mr. M getting 'approval' from Miss Caitlyn that his hand prints look great!
Miss B. focusing on painting her beautiful hands :] 
Mr. C drew an awesome bumble bee!!
LETTERS:
Another book we are making in our classroom is The Alphabet Book.  We started with the letter M.  Moon starts with M!  Next, we made our letter A page and apple starts with A.  (thanks again to Sunny Day's in Second Grade for this printable!)
Miss M always has something creative to say! :]
Miss K loves cute things...
so, naturally, she would love to dress up an apple!
PLAY:
Our play center has a Vet Clinic in it right now!  Thanks to Pre-K Pages, we have some really fun ideas to explore while pretending to be a Vet!  We all brought our "pet's" to school this week for a check up and licensing.  It was fun to listen to heart beats and take temperatures from our pets.  All pet's went home Healthy and Tagged!
Mr. T giving his pet dog "Bolt" a check up!
After a heart check, shots and temp. check, Mr. T concluded that Bolt was healthy!
 The kids LOVE play dough!  When free play is in session the play dough is out!  
Miss M loves to make shapes in her play dough.
She usually creates animal or flower shapes :]
I love homemade play dough!  I make a new batch almost every week.
This recipe was given to me by a friend many, many years ago.
I love it so much, I rarely make any other play dough recipes!
If I'm out of kool aid, I substitute food coloring (and sometimes a scent) in it's place...
*5 - 8 drops of food coloring and 1 Tbl of extract*
If you have kool aid...use it!  It makes great colors and smells good too!
Another happy week is over at My Little Preschool...But!...There's always another one ahead!  We wish a fun filled weekend to all!  Thanks for dropping in :]

Miss Lisa & Miss Caitlyn

9.21.2012

letters + science = fun stuff!

Another busy week at My Little Preschool!  Enjoy....

LETTERS:
We finished the first letters of our names with jewels, buttons, sticks, google eyes and beads!  They were all made with clever creativity.  Now they've gone home to find a "bragging" spot on a shelf or a wall!
Mr. J chose to keep it simple with jewels of all shapes.
Miss L and Miss K worked together (very closely), and their letters were so cute!
Finished product :]
For a bit more practice...a very focused art project...made our names colorful and fun to look at!  With white chalk Miss Lisa wrote each name on black construction paper.  We then took out our colored tape (from Lakeshore Learning) and covered up the chalk name to make a tape name!  With cuts, twists and turns of the tape our names looked awesome!  It took patience, but we did it...and all by ourselves too!
Mr. Z worked hard to get his the 'e' in his name just right!
Those letters that curve weren't so easy ;] 
Mr. T discovered that if you twist the tape, just a little,
those curvy letters are a little easier to shape!
Our 'Name Wall' is complete!  We've been coloring, writing, taping, constructing and playing games with our names all week...and now we recognize not only our own names but our friends names too!
I chose to put our 'Name Wall' up in the play area so it would be glanced at often.  The kids have had fun finding each other on the wall and pointing to the letters each name.  A simple project turned into a worth while lesson :]
We are starting a few books here at My Little Preschool.  The one we will start working on soon is our "Alphabet Book" (I found this great template at sunnydaysinsecondgrade.com)!  Our letters wont be in order because we read the BOB Books at our preschool.  We follow the letters spotlighted in each BOB Book.  So, that means we will be starting with M, A, T and S!

SCIENCE:
We took our science outdoors this week!  We discovered where dogs, horses, birds and bugs live.  The AM class found several snails and shells...it was totally cool!
LOOK!  We found a spider.
We also discovered that he jumped...which left us all a little nervous ;]
AM - showing Miss Lisa exactly how to look through a magnifying glass ;] 
PM - with their thumbs up they are letting Miss Lisa know that they can use "respectful actions"  outside too!
PLAY:
Because our theme of the week is "My Home", it seemed only appropriate that we have a home to call our own.  Here it is!  We decorated it with a lot of respect and concentration...
AM Class House


 PM Class House


MESSY PLAY:
I don't care who you are, getting messy is always fun!  Looking at everything yellow this week was great, but even better is when we added yellow beads, rice and string into a heaping pile of shaving cream!  The textures felt kind of funny and mixing up and then uncovering our yellow 'stuff' was a blast :]
Miss M, Miss J and Miss K digging in for some fun!
Mr. T just beginning his shaving cream adventure!
Miss B, Miss M and Miss K comparing shaving cream hand globs ;]
Mr. T, Mr. T and Mr. M realizing the pie tin sticks when you lift with both hands while submerged in the cream!  WOW, what a discovery!
It's been a whole lot of fun creating and discovering this week.  We hope you enjoyed our projects and will come back next week to see some more.  Thanks for stopping by!
Miss Lisa :]