Thursday, August 26, 2010

Preschool Theme: Music

Who doesn't love a good dance party?!! Not only were the kids having fun, but I had a blast as well.

Here's what we did if you want some fun ideas for your kiddos:

Self-Selected Time. So, I cut out computer time as one of their options because the kids can do this at home and it's such a great opportunity to play with each other for a few minutes. Apollo has been looooving
this free computer learning program. It has creative ways for kids to learn to read. I don't like my kids watching TV but is a good break for me during the day and a great learning tool.

Circle Time. We went for a walk to see what the weather was like and I showed them little pictures and asked, "Is it rainy today?" "NO" until I found the sunny picture. We sang a "Days of the Week" song and talked about it being Thursday and I showed them on a calendar. Each child had their own little book called "Bluebird, Bluebird." It will take us awhile until we can all turn one page at a time and look at the pictures together:)

Art Time. The kids made shakers:

1. Tear off any extra toilet paper

2. Put some beans or a noise maker in the middle.

3. Wrap foil around the rolls to keep the beans inside.

4. Wrap a colorful piece of paper around it all.

5. Squish the ends together and tie the ends (I used yarn).

6. Decorate. We used alphabet stickers today and puff paint.

I found the first letter of each of their names and stuck it on and circled it so we could find their shaker later. Since we celebrated "B" today we found talked about it as we found some.

The kids colored some pages that I printed for free off the internet about music. Some of them had ads on them so I copied and pasted them to a word document. I got three of the instruments

Academic Time. Target had a bunch of workbooks for a dollar so I got one for each child. There are little activities to do and numbers to trace.

Snack and a Story. I bought some sweet potato fries from Trader Joes-just threw them on a cookie sheet for 18 minutes...and done! The kids really liked them (well 4 out of 5 did). A little pricey, but a lot easier than chopping sweet potatoes. While the fries were cooling, I game the kids some alphabet cookie crackers from Trader Joes.

Music Time. We played "Freeze" where the kids danced around until I paused the music and they all had to freeze. I gave them each bug wands with ribbons to march around the house.

Each child brought a handmade instrument from home, so we danced with those, too.
I took out Apollo and Annie's bath toys (fish, sharks, dolphins, and an octopus) and each child got one to sing "Slippery Fish"-one of my favorite kid songs.

Games. We played "Name that Tune". I played the first few notes on the piano until one of the kids recognized the song, then we sang it the rest of the way through. I got the sheet music from here.

The kids drew to different musical sounds and noises. I read about it online but wondered how it would really play out with the kids. They all had chalk and I played short sounds out of a couple books I had (you know where they have the short sound buttons on the side). I told them to draw the sound...and they did! It was amazing to see. They drew little lines or half circle type things. I then sang to them. They drew slower when I sang slow songs and faster and choppier when I sang a fast song to them. Cool experiment.

Physical Fitness. DANCE PARTY! It was darling to see them bopping around with big smiles on their face. I brought the mini trampoline so we could jump on and off.

Science Experiment. When you add cornstarch to water it is so fun to play with. When you rub it in your hand fast or try to move a spoon in it, cornstarch acts like a solid. When you move slowly or don't do anything, it acts like a liquid. We talked about solids and liquids. After giving some examples of solids, Myles said that concrete was an example-smarty.

Sending Annie off in style. Little Annie loves baby Anna and gets the chance to be the oldest for a few hours during preschool. I send her off with a different cute bag each time, snacks, and a toy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weekly Challenge #31

Try a healthy snack that you have never eaten before

How did last week go being a more thoughtful eater and enjoying your food this week? I really focused on my food and when I was full. I lost 4 pounds this week!! Heidi said she really enjoyed her last doughnut from the farmer's market.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Me and My Family

Here's our highlights from our first day of school.

Self Selected Time. When Carleton asked Apollo what he learned in school, he said "dress up." After everything we did, and that's what sticks out...funny.

Circle Time. We read the big book Quick as a Cricket, then each child brought a collage of their family and talked about it. As "extra credit", they brought pictures of families from around the world.

Art Time. I outlined each one and then they colored themselves.

Each kiddo brought a pic of their family or themselves and decorated a frame for it.

Here's a little stick person they made of themselves.

Academic Time. We celebrated Letter A and Number 1. The kids traced big and little A (I just Googled "trace letter A preschool." For number one, I tore a page from a workbook I bought where they trace each number. We went on a walk and as we walked I would tell them different things to find like "find 1 flower...find 1 blade of grass etc.". When we got back home they taped what they found onto their number 1 worksheet.

Here the kids are running with their bags behind them like capes.

Snack and a Story. We made veggie and fruit faces. A sheet of foil worked great for each kid and I could put some hummus on there too for dipping. Here's what I had out for them to choose from: broccoli, black grapes, carrots, black berries, tomatoes, green peppers, and Cheerios. We read Alphabites for our story. It's cute. Has a bite out of the book and names a fruit or veggie with every letter of the alphabet.

Science Experiment. I swear I need a photographer-it's too much for me to run preschool and take pics of the cute things they do at the same, I took a Google pic of what we did. Just poor a pack of Mentos into Diet Coke. Each student drew pictures of the 8 ft explosion. Fun. We talked a little about chemical reactions.

My little Annie goes to my friend, Katie's house during preschool. She is treated like a queen. I'm glad she gets special time too.

I'm doing a preschool for Apollo and his buddies. I looooove it. I've had so much fun preparing for their first big day. It's fun teaching again. I'm going to blog what I do each time for those doing a co-op preschool or those moms looking for fun activities to do with their kids. I've been on the hunt for healthy snacks so I'll post those too.

Here's what I had set up before the kids got here:

Vintage pics. I got a bunch of vintage children books from my mother in law and from thrift stores. I scanned pictures from the books and printed them off at Costco.

Welcome sign. I put this guy with the scroll on the wall right where the kids come in the door. I wrote "welcome" on it with all all the kids' names.

"Clock". This is our daily order of events.

Self selected time.
They can choose the dramatic play area, computer time, or another activity I have set out when they first come.

Circle Time.
This is where we read a big book (they are literally gigantic books that the kids love), do show and tell, sing our "Days of the Week" and "Who Put the Cookie in the Cookie Jar" and other songs, and share thoughts (like what they do for fun or what they ate for breakfast).

Art time.

Academic Time. We celebrate a number and letter every week.

Snack and a Story.

Music Time.

Quiet Reading. We started with five minutes of quiet reading and will move up to ten. This give the kids time to "read" to themselves while I read my own book too.

Science Experiment.


Physical Fitness.

Ending Circle Time. We review what we've done.

Here are my darling students. I (well, Carleton) blew up a head picture of each kiddo to an 8 by 10 inch size and laminated them with a very thick laminate. They are not all the same size here, but they were when we printed them off.

I put a sign with their name in front of their pics so they knew where to put their preschool binder and backpacks. They brought them over to circle time and sat on their faces. Nobody gets confused on where to sit (nobody has the same face) and you can tell them to sit on their face if they wander off and they know where to go.

Donny, Myles, Grant, Apollo, and Halley...welcome to preschool!!!!