Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 16 - 20

I'm so sorry for posting this late, we've been busy at home with the Holidays and family visits that time gets away from me . . . daily!  I'm sure this never happens to any of you (sarcasm)

Hopefully by now each of you have received your special gifts that the children (big shout out to Miss Jamie for helping to facilitate the projects) have been working very hard and diligently on.  The hand print calendars were their favorite, and I'm sure their color stained hands make a lot more sense now that you've opened them.  They have hopefully given you wonderful presents that you will want to keep for many years and show off when they have children.

For some review of our classroom activities.

Due to the snow and ice on our playground, we have become very creative with what we can do inside.  This week we played hockey (paper towel roll and large marshmallow).  Not only did they get some great energy released, but they were able to focus on coordination skills and gross motor development without feeling like they were "learning".  Hitting their "puck" from poly spot to poly spot in teams was a lot of fun.  Hearing them cheer on their teammates was even more encouraging as they helped each other from the side lines!

We have also been using our letter boards (Miss Shelly made with the use of the recycled tops that were brought in from families).  There are lots of ways to use these: matching letters with the same upper case letter, matching the upper case to the lower case letter, or working in teams and one team member says the sound of the letter while the other finds their match in the bin to cover it up.  An easy game to bring or do any place you travel!

You all have received your cards by now as well.  The children decided the two phrases they think would be best in the cards, as I wrote them on the dry erase board they came to the writing center to write out what they wanted to say.  Some spent so much time here, wanting to write out 5 cards for specific family members and loved ones.  Their handwriting has improved so much!  We were so impressed with their ability to view and copy.

Thank you to the parents that donated cards for our children to use in this center!  They love writing, and cards/stickers/etc encourages them even more to participate in this center.

Easily one of their favorite places this week was the Holiday tunnel!  We had a big box, poked holes in from the top, and stuck lights down from it.  Not only did they enjoy crawling through the tunnel, but their play from the block center was "enlightened" as they parked their vehicles in the tunnel or built cities with blocks all around it.  Looks like we'll have to bring this back as a favorite in a future week.

Thank you again for all of your support and help during our Holiday party!  We are looking forward to the play date on Monday, December 30th 11:30 at the Ranson Chic Fil A!  Can't wait to see you there!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Chick Fil A Play Date


Chick Fil A play date is Monday, December 30th at the Ranson Chick Fil A at 11:30.

We hope your holidays have been calm, full of family, and shared with many.

Miss Shelly and Miss Jamie would like to thank each parent and family member that came to the holiday fun party.  Not only did your children enjoy a day of excitement, but they also shared their classroom with you (and that means a lot to them!)

Thank you also for the wonderful gifts of encouragement and appreciation that were given.  We were blessed with your giving hearts.  Thank you!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December 10th - 13th

Snow doesn't stop our learning!

Well I guess it stopped our class from meeting, but we're still in full swing when we're here.  Here is what we did this week.

Letter parking.  There are many ways we play this game.  Placing letters (we use recycled bottle tops as well as leap frog magnetic letters) and the teacher can either call out a letter and the student will park their car in the parking spot where the letter is at.  For those that know their letters, we make the sound of the letter encouraging them to think of what letter it is and park the car there.  For those even more advanced, we are either using sight words or allowing them to be the teacher and lead the activity.  SOOOO many things we can do with this activity!

Menora math.  Children roll the dice and count the total shown.  They then use the bingo blotter to mark out the number shown.  Great practice to teach both adding and number recognition.  This one we have numbers from 0 - 20, encouraging two people to work together when counting and participating in the center.

Housekeeping holiday fun.  This week we have a homemade Menora (the stores were selling them for $35 and our 4 year olds would wreck that too quickly!  And making crafts is our specialty!!!!!)  Encouraging the children to play and plan out their holiday meals.

Making dreidels out of marshmallows, Hershey kisses, pretzel sticks, and a little frosting.  Our kids love doing anything that includes sugar . . . I mean food. :)  Although after making them they were wondering when they got to spin them and win money!

We've been working very diligently on handprint crafts.  Many of you have noticed your kids coming home with pink, blue, or green stained hands.  YES we do have them wash their hands right after we are done, sometimes it takes a good scrubbing (as you have known at night time baths).  We can't wait to share these projects with you!  

Lily our Elf

Many of you will know what The Elf on the Shelf is!  Our class LOVES our elf!  Her name is Lily and she does amazingly crazy things in the classroom.

Lily was introduced to the classroom last week, and at the start of each class our children enjoy searching around the room to find her.

Here is some of what she's done. (If Miss Shelly can remember to photograph her, we will have more pictures too!)

Having a sack race with some of our stuffy friends.

I actually forgot her this day (shh don't tell the kids), so we had to think quick and we created an "elf hat" and shoved it in the snow.  It appears, Lily was snowed on and stuck!  (Elf hat made from mini bean bag and yarn)

We also like to share what Lily has done at Miss Shelly's house (because she flies to both places!)  The kids enjoy seeing the pictures and tell us loads of stories that you are doing with your elves at home.  We would LOVE to share some ideas.  If you have any that you would like to share, please email Miss Shelly the pictures and she will upload them onto our site.

Happy Elfing!

Lily hung around for a bit and make a Rudolph on our pantry door!

There is no doubt that this elf LOVES to eat the marshmallows out of Lucky Charms!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 3rd - 6th

We find any reason to celebrate in Pre K!  At least that's what I'm told by parents and other teachers.  It just makes learning more fun!!!

This week was National Cookie Cutter Week.  We celebrated it by bringing in our favorite cookie cutter.  We used them to cut out biscuits (that were brought home) and then used them in our science  center with play doh.  We brought in small cookie cutters and even some of the biggest cookie cutters EVER!  They loved showing off what they brought in.

We also celebrated this week Diwali and Kwanza.  Making colorful lotus flower, lanterns, and Kinaras (both painted and as hats).  I will upload the picture of the kinaras and lanters very soon!

Holiday Program Cancelled

Due to impending weather, Children First has decided to cancel the holiday program scheduled for today (December 8, 2013).

Wondering how to find out about closings, delays, and other happenings?  Children First is on facebook!
Check them out here.

We look forward to seeing you at our Holiday part on the 20th!  We'll let the children sing their hearts out for you there.  Thank you all for being so awesome!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Holiday Videos

Christmas shopping is a stress!  But hiding the presents strategically within the house makes it even more of a hassle.  Once you think you have the perfect spot, a game of hide and seek inside the house gets you all nervous!  I know the feeling!  Not all families have grandparents that live within a block to stash the goods at, and for those that do then it's the transporting to and from or keeping them hidden in the car in order to get them there.  I'll stick to the shopping and leave the rest to someone else :).
Another topic during this time is the discussion of Holiday traditions.  Diwali, Kwanza, Hanukkah, and Christmas are all discussed during the month of December in our classroom.  For each holiday, there will be a short video assisting in the explanation of the celebration.  While no participation in right/wrong discussion regarding these holidays will happen; we want each parent to be aware of the videos being shared.  You can watch these videos as they are posted on the classroom blog and all holiday books displayed within our library are available for viewing.
While these celebrations are important and create the morals and standards that some of our families build their lives around, the conversations regarding a child's view will never begin with a staff's inquiry.  It is joyous to hear your children share their thoughts with others, of all topics, as these conversations are building friendships and trust. 
If you have any questions, concerns, or comments with any topics or discussions held please see Miss Shelly.   

Diwali Holiday Video

Hanukkah Holiday Video

Kwanza Holiday Video

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Scratchy is on her way to Kenya, Africa!

Scribbles, our classroom bear, is having a fantastic weekend with one of our Pre K kids.  Scratchy, his friend, she is on her own journey.

We love seeing where Scribbles and Scratchy have been traveling and doing.

So far Scribbles has been to birthday parties, family celebrations, Disney World, and the list will go on.  We cannot wait to share with you his awesome travel journey at the end of the school year.  In the mean time, wish Scratchy an awesome trip and safe travels while in Africa!

Update (11.21.2013)

Scratchy at an Orphanage eating "Chapati" with some of the kids.

Update (12.03.2013)

Scratchy helped to throw a birthday party for Bradley, a friend living in Kenya.  (Scratchy likes cake too!)

Friday, November 8, 2013

Veterans Day

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."  Woodrow Wilson 

In the classroom, we attempt to educate the children on Holidays.  Veterans Day is included!

First helping 4 year old children to understand the word "Military" or "Armed Forces" turned into a discussion of super heros and included some of our children's Dads as these super heros.

We used their hands as our American Flags and after they dried we allowed them to create what they wanted to inside of the card.  As always we write exactly as they say beside their drawing.  Their little minds are so encouraging!

Some of our children have parents that served in a branch of military.  If they asked to bring their cards home to their loved ones, we gladly placed them in their folders.  Please look out for them!

We encourage you, when you see a gentleman or lady dressed in their uniform to take a moment and thank them.  It is within their service and sacrifice that we are able to live in the country we call home.

To our Veterans, we thank you.  Thank you for our fighting for our country and our freedom that we treasure.  For your time away from your family in order to supply this to us.  Thank you.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin investigation

After our field trip to Orr's Farm, we were anticipating carving our pumpkins and investigating what  was within!

*Please check your TS Gold soon as we have been posting all of the pictures of your child's specific investigation and their faces when they reached into the pumpkin*

We made our hypothesis (big word for a 4 year old, but a word we use in each of our science experiments), we carved the pumpkin, looked inside, then got to dig our hands into it to pull out what was within.

Miss Jamie did an awesome job cleaning out the pumpkins completely so we could follow a yummy recipe for Sweet Pumpkin Seeds

Orr's Farm Pumpkin Patch and Halloween Party

This past week was amazing!  Not only did our kids have the much anticipated Pumpkin patch field trip but our Halloween party was a blast!

HUGE THANK YOU to the parents that helped to put on the parties in both of the classes.  Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the children.  In both classes I heard over and over again how "this is the best party ever" and that is because of YOUR work into it.

Below are a few shots from both classes during the field trip and also our parties.

Thank you Tip Toe Studios for helping to capture some of our shots in the morning class activities.

For more information about Tip Toe Studios please follow their link.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Orr's Farm Field trip

Orr's Farm field trip is on Monday, October 28th.

AM Class trip begins at 11:30 a.m.
PM class trip begins at 1:30 p.m.

Please make sure you are at the farm with time to meet up with our group and become comfortable before beginning the tour.

CHEERS school is NOT providing transportation to the farm.  The guardian that will be staying with the student is responsible for transportation.  REMINDER:  the guardian must stay with your child throughout the trip.

Weather is calling for good weather!  Low 60's.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email Miss Shelly.  She will be doing her best to reply quickly over the weekend.


  • Hayride to Pick-Your-Own Pumpkin Patch (make sure your child uses the rest room before the trip, we don't want them to miss this hayride!!!!!)
  • Small Pumpkin from the "Green Patch" which is about 5-6 inches diameter
  • Small Corn Maze
  • Learn about Varieties of Pumpkins, Gourds, and Winter Squash
  • Sample Hot Apple Cider
  • Goodie Bag with Coloring Book, Crayons, Sticker, and Small Toy
  • One Free Gallon Cider for Each Class (we will enjoy this while at the farm for those that want some)
  • One Free Classroom Pumpkin for Each Class (we will carve and bake the pumpkin seeds next week)
  • Groups are welcome to bring picnic blankets and have lunch here as well (teachers will not be directing or leading those that want to stay for picnic lunches or those that want to arrive early for lunch)
  • Restroom Facilities Provided (indoor facilities available by the market store and portable toilets available throughout the farm.  PLEASE help us be most prepared and arrive with time to bring your child to the restroom if needed)
  • Located about 5 miles from Poorhouse Farm Park if groups want to visit their campgrounds/playground for lunch afterward (directions available at the end of this blog post)
  • Photo Opportunities (BRING YOUR CAMERAS!!!!)
All groups are welcome, however our haywagons are not currently wheelchair accessible. Please contact us if you have any further questions.

 Please have each child wear an identification tag which includes their name and the name of the school. Stress the importance of dressing properly. They may need to wear boots or coats, depending on the weather.

Miss Shelly and Miss Jamie will have pumpkin name tags at the farm.  We will make sure your child receives this for the trip.


South on I-81

Take Exit 13 (West King Street); Turn right onto Rt.15/Tuscarora Pike and head west for 1.7 miles; Turn left onto Arden-Nollville Road for 2.3 miles south; Turn right onto Orr Drive at our sign; Straight on Orr Drive for 0.7 miles.

North on I-81

Take Exit 8 (Tablers Station Road); Turn left off the exit ramp onto Tablers Station Road and head west for 1.8 miles; Turn right onto Arden-Nollville Road and travel north for 0.7 miles; Turn left onto Orr Drive at our sign; Straight on Orr Drive for 0.7 miles.

Street Address:

Orr’s Farm Market
682 Orr Drive
Martinsburg, WV 25403

October 22nd - 25th, Weekly Review

The weeks are flying by!

The month of October is giving us the opportunity to have 2 weeks of review.  What an incredible time this week has been.

Reviewing "Down on the Farm" was done through throwing "cow pies" and turning over the Xs and Os.  The faces when we explained what cow pies were was priceless!  As one child said "this is important when we visit the farm."  And they are right!  Our farm visit on the 28th of October might have discussion about cow pies.

The children love anything with crafts, so reviewing the farm and including one of their favorite animals had to happen.  Any time they can make an animal and have the opportunity to make their noise.  It has to happen!
And Halloween preparations have been so much fun!  Miss Jamie has done an awesome job creating Halloween projects that can combine hand eye coordination skills, small motor skill development, and a little bit of fun too :).  Here are some of our students making their witch, pumpkins, and skeleton.  The kids are looking forward to showing off their spiders and mummies in the classroom as well!

This week we also reviewed our "No Bully" rules in the classroom to review that October also represents "Bully Prevention Month."  Bailey the Big Bully* was one of their favorite books that was a huge help in understanding what a bully is.  The conversations this week after reading this book have been very encouraging, both as a teacher and as a member of our classroom setting.  Some of the kids in the class have realized that some of their actions need to change.  Others have realized that they can begin to stand up and use their words if they feel they are being bullied.  Others have been encouraged that their behaviors are rewarded!

Bullying isn't a big problem in our classrooms.  Although the concept of what a bully is assists each child in understanding how to grow and mature into a more loving, welcoming, and good friend to others.

*Link will take you to the You Tube video of this story being read*

Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Picture Day!

Reminder:  Picture day is today; Monday, October 21st.  Our Pre K program will be doing individual pictures between 12:00 - 12:30 p.m.

Class pictures will be taken in the Spring.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

More graphing

We graph every day, and our discussions are always incredible when we review what we are graphing.  Here are two of our favorite graphs this week.

The first, we loved how 3 people in this class chose "sitting in traffic" as what they like about the city.  How many parents would agree with that!?!  Their explanation, they get to watch more t.v.

And then choosing to live in either the country or city brought loads of discussions with our theme.  Asking the children what they like most about the country or most about the city helped us all understand our theme this month a bit more.

Week in Review October 15 - 18

Our football unit has been a load of fun!  The kids love bringing in and showing off their footballs and sharing them for games in the grass too.  We continue to practice how to throw (fingers on the laces, thumb by the ear, step and throw).

This week we also were able to bring football into the classroom.  Using our toy people and a paper football, the kids are lightly hitting their football down the field to score a touchdown.  This is not only teaching them a few more basic skills of football, but its also helping us to learn more about using gentle hands.  Don't we all need practice in this?

Making crafts each day brings so much joy, excitement, and personality out of our kids!

Learning the differences between the city and country, we read Town Mouse, Country Mouse.  After reading the book, we used construction paper, pipe cleaners, and wiggly eyes to make either a city or a country mouse.  We encouraged the children to draw in the background of the mouse they wanted to represent.

Another craft project this week was spray painting leaves.  The children understanding the manipulation of tape on their fingers, choosing leaves that were picked from the playground, and then using the spray bottles to accurately shoot the paint was a fun experience!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

TS Gold

We have been experiencing problems with our blog, we greatly apologize for the lack of posting, but it seems to be working great now so expect some awesome things this week!

Miss Shelly has sent you an invitation to TS Gold, an online assessment tool that we are able to share pictures of assessments of your child.  We can also share milestones and .  We LOVE to take pictures and videos of your children, and there is no better way to show and share with you what we do during the day than through these. 

In order to view these pictures, videos, and assessments geared towards YOUR child; you need to accept this invitation and create an account.  This is FREE to you!  The county pays a fee for this program and our center is one of the schools that is currently using it for communication with you as the child's guardian.  If you ever have a question about a documentation or material used in this program you can either email directly through this site or email Miss Shelly personally.

If you do not accept the invitation by the end  of October, the teachers in the classroom will stop uploading and adding documentation for your child.  Please communicate with Shelly if there are any problems accessing the site or if you need another invitation sent to your family.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

October 8 - 11th

This week our focus was on Community Helpers.  The firefighters came and it was a blast!

Here is some of what we did in our centers and small groups this week.

In the block center we added a firetruck and firemen and encouraged the children to use their imagination to create a town.  We've never seen the block center so popular than this week!!

In sensory, we added squirt bottles to put the fires out inside of boats.  Firefighters work on the water just like they work on our streets!  Not shooting our friends in their faces was the teacher's fun task!

In the art center we had markers and pictures of Firemen in order to draw a fireman in their full attire.  We also explored an apple this week, checking out the inside of it (color, shape, formation); afterward we were able to do some apple stamping.  (these art projects are hung in the classroom and will go home at the end of the month).

The collection of fireman books in the library made for numerous visits when someone wanted a more quiet center!  In the computer/Ipad center we also played Fire Frenzy (a free app) allowing the children to be the firefighter and to understand the motions of up and down, and how to effectively put out the fires with obstacles around the scene.  For the computer they used to fight fires with Team Umizoomi.

In small group we added our "E"agle to our ABC collection. (I forgot to take a picture but I will add it next week!)

Our small groups were separated on Wednesday and Friday.  Each person participates in both sections, to enable a smaller group setting with a different focus.  One of our topics was our R-E-S-P-E-C-T talk and the other was "How to make bubbles".

With a recipe book in hand, Miss Jamie led this group in an awesome bubble making experience!  (Because Friday we had rain, this group was able to make the bubbles indoors.  We don't let rain stop us!!!)

The children are all excited for the pumpkin patch trip and our Halloween parties!  Stay connected for more details about the Halloween party!