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