Friday, September 27, 2013

Denver Testing and Hearing/Speech testing

Each student has brought home a copy of their DENVER testing.  Here is some help and clarification on how to read it and even areas to help your child grow.

The front page has a graph chart, ages at the top and topics on the left side.  If you draw a line straight down from their age wherever that line touches is the areas that were tested.  Your papers should already have this line drawn down.  There are numbers that correspond with these areas tested, these numbers are associated with the back of the page.

The back page, wherever the line touched from your child's age read through the questions and tasks that were asked to be performed.

P = Pass
F = Fail (explanation of 3/4 meaning 3 out of 4 items correct)
R = Refused

At the bottom of the page there different categories written:

Walking = performing the task of walking a line heal to toe heal to toe
Jumping = jumping with two feet
Hop = how many times they were able to hop on each foot (ex. 10/6 = ten with one foot and six with the other)
Colors = 7 colors shown, how many were correctly recognized
Counting = Ability to count to the number five correctly

If you have any further questions about the DENVER testing please see Miss Shelly or Miss Jamie

Sarah from the county also came into our center over the last two weeks and performed the hearing and speech testing with the children.  If your child is eligible for either of these assistance programs (FREE OF CHARGE) you should have received documents in the mail from her.  Please make sure these are returned to the school promptly.  There will be another representative coming in the classroom within the next few weeks to do the second testing for this program to establish the proper way to assist.  Sara's contact information was on this information if you have further questions about the program, please make sure to connect with her!

We also sent out the parent liaison information in each child's folder this past week.  This is helpful in many areas to understand organizations and procedures within the school system.  Please take advantage of using her if you need anything!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Back to school night is tonight!!!

This evening from 6:00 - 7:00 is our back to school night.  Parents, students, grandparents, and siblings are invited.  This will be a time when your children can showcase their classroom all while enabling you as parents to get a great glimpse of what we do in our classroom.

We will end it promptly at 7:00 to enable children to return home and begin their nightly routines for a great day on Friday!  We know how important this is for a successful day.

Miss Shelly and Miss Jamie are greatly looking forward to seeing you this evening!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Goodnight Moon

Goodnight Moon is probably a book that most of us have on our shelves at home.  Easily a favorite to small children and bedtime reading.  Today our classes read this book during circle time to celebrate our pajama day.

There was more than just a "pretend" sleepover that we focused on with our book.  We also did a craft.  A great way to test our 'scissor skills', while also letting the kids enjoy ANYTHING that enables the use of glue and color!

Here is how what may appear to be a simple craft has use in so many more ways.

First, we read the book.  Asking questions after the book enhances comprehension skills and encourages the kids to think about what happened.  Then during center time, each child received time to use scissors and cut out a crescent shaped moon; scissor skills.

Learning how to handle them, use them properly and efficiently is a task that can be extremely frustrating for a 4 year old!  I teach them to make sure their thumbs are facing up instead of attempting to use scissors at a horizontal angle.  Their other hand should be holding the paper, also with their thumb up on top of the paper to assist in guiding the paper and turning it if needed.  (You will see a lot of scissor cutting skills coming home next month).

Then each child had to find their name on a sheet of labels to put on the back of their paper.  Name recognition is a HUGE thing at this age!  Seeing it in another's handwriting is different and although they may know how to write it (some of us), we may not always recognize it.  Recognition is beginning reading and writing.  Next, with the use of a crayon they drew a cow (the cow jumping over the moon).  This allowed for conversation about body parts and other features that could be drawn to indicate a cow is different from a person or plant, etc.  Finally we used yellow bingo dotters to make stars or make a yellow moon.  This was a lesson on gentle vs a heavy hand.  The heavier they pounded the blotter, paint would splatter.  But if we were gentle, they were perfect circles.

Crafts are for fun, AND for teaching opportunities!

Science Sensory Exploration

This month in our Science center we have been focusing on sensory exploration.  Last week we included bottles that contained cotton balls of a scent (like vanilla or lemon).  This week, we placed items in paper bags. 

Students are encouraged to work with a partner, not looking inside the bag, and describe the feeling or texture of what is within the bag.  Together they are to try to figure out what is within the bags.  Once they've made an assumption, they can peek in the bag.

Items in our bags were: a rock, pieces of playdough, tissues, smooth pieces of plastic, and a cookie cutter.  The looks on their faces if they guessed it correctly is priceless!

Here is a picture of two of our students exploring with their science jackets on (my husband's old button down shirts).

To also assist in understanding more of our senses, we used blindfolds today outdoors.  While one student was blindfolded another student would assist in guiding them around the playground on the cement.  After their tour around the playground, we switched roles and enabled each person to experience not having site and what adjustments they needed to make.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Comfy PJ or comfy clothes day, September 25th

Shaving cream in the classroom

Learning letter formation isn't just for paper/pencils and dry erase boards . . . well at least not when you're 4 years old!

For some of us this was a great sensory exploration of smells and a different texture.  Others, we began to write our letters for the first time!  And for all of us, we helped Miss Shelly and Miss Jamie clean us our tables from dried glue over the last few weeks.  :)

If you have extra shaving cream, and want to donate some please bring it in.  We will make sure to make good use out of it!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

National Talk Like A Pirate Day

What's a pirate's favorite letter?  "ARGH" 

Best way we could've started out our day today was when one of our little ones came to school with that joke.  We LOVE when parents get involved with how much fun we're having in our classroom.

We made a "Hook hand" and a parrot for our shoulders, walked the plank while doing our treasure hunt, played Jake and the Neverland Pirates on the Ipad, and listened to an awesome story of a pirate and his search for a new parrot . . . learning through play, it IS the best way!

Here are a few great shots of your kids having an awesome time in Pre K!

Walking the plank is more than just fun, combining a practice with balance and a treasure hunt means more fun for us!

Who says treasure has to be gold?  Helmets for outdoor play was just as successful as a bucket of gold!  It's our gold!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

"B" is for Bumble Bee

Our students LOVE crafts!  What better than to combine letter recognition with a weekly craft.  They had so much fun with our "A"lligators that this week we continued the theme with "B"umble Bees.

And to get our bodies moving and understanding the importance of physical fitness, Miss Jamie led us in an awesome Zumba exercise outdoors.  They love to get their bodies ready and active!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Week 2, September 10 - 13th.

Home Living this week our special items were a curling iron and flat iron (cords removed), mirrors, "hair spray" and a spray bottle.  In our "All About Me" theme, we encouraged the children to play and have fun with meeting their new friends in the class.  Many enjoyed playing beauty/barber shop!

In small group we discussed what the word "Honesty" means.  Miss Shelly helped the discussion with pictures of scenes, she would say something about the picture and the children would decide if what she said was "honest" or not honest.  Afterward Miss Shelly would say a sentence that was not honest and the children would help change the sentence to make it honest.

Miss Jamie also led a group in a craft of the letter "A".  The alligators were easily a favorite item this week.  They were also all sent home with the children.  You will begin to see us make a wall of letters, each week as we make a craft of the letter we will save one for our wall (a teacher will make the one being saved).

In the water table there were people, animals, and other items that we bathed with washcloths.  Learning how to properly scrub our bodies to make sure we're clean and healthy is very important!

In sensory, we had a big bucket of sand to search through and discover many different beach items.  Who doesn't love the beach!  Some of us discovered the sound of the ocean in the shells, or discovered animals that they haven't seen before.

In the writing center we were practicing our letter A's and other letters in the alphabet.  Each week we will have papers that the children can practice the letter of the week and additional writing.  Next week we will introduce holding pencils properly and showcase writing correctly with a pencil.

In the block center, we had a map of our parking lot where the children were encouraged to practice safe ways of walking in the parking lot and into the school with our cars and play people.  We had no idea that many cars could fit in our parking lot :)

Remember we sent home cardboard people and can't wait to see how they are each decorated next week to show everyone "All About Me".  Please make sure everything on your person is well secured to ensure they go home the way they came in.

We are ready for Week 3, National Talk Like a Pirate Day is Thursday.  Make sure you come dressed and ready to "Argh" on our treasure hunt!

We love the Outdoors!

We love to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle!  In this activity, the teachers reused milk jugs (cut off half of the top and saved the handle) as something to catch with!  With the use of ping pong balls, we would throw the ball and our partner would catch it in their jug.  Another use was to bounce the ping pong ball on the ground and catch it in the jug.  Great hand eye coordination hard at work! 

This is a great project that you can easily do at home and practice outdoors, and super cheap! 

With how awesome the weather was this week, we also enjoyed some incredible time on the play set and surrounding areas.  Learning opportunities surround us and we love taking advantage of all of them!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Making Ice Cream

Making ice cream is such a blast! (Recipe is at the bottom of this post!)

Yes your children told you the truth when they said we made ice cream today.  And what a perfect September 90 degree day to do so!  A lot of shaking, jumping, and moving our bodies around got our ingredients to the right consistency to enjoy a sweet treat today!  The students today were very excited to share with you what they made and are excited to possibly make this at home too!

First we showed off what ingredients we needed as we followed the recipe (remember its posted below).  As each ingredient was shown off, we described the ingredient, discussed the smell, taste, and even texture of it.

Then we began mixing the ingredients.

Then the fun part!  We got to shake it, jump with it, hop with it, and shake it some more.  We began to discuss how the ice felt (warm or cold) and also were able to feel and see the difference in the milk as it became ice cream.

And the best part, eating it!  We sprinkled some sprinkles on the top and enjoyed a refreshing small snack to reward ourselves for #1 our jumping and shaking put to work and #2 an extremely hot September day (made more hot after all that shaking!) 

Delish!  We can't wait to hear what special ingredients you add to your homemade ice cream.  To think, fresh ice cream in less than 30 minutes and little clean up!

Homemade Ice Cream 
What you'll need
·         Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
·         1 cup half and half
·         1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine. We used rock salt.)
·         2 tablespoons sugar
·         1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
·         1 pint-size ziplock bag
·         1 gallon-size ziplock bag

How to make it:

1.      Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.

2.      Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done.

3.      Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too!