Thursday, September 30, 2010

Preschool Theme: Nature.

Fun day! One of my favorite parts is afterward when Carleton talks with
Apollo about his day (I make all the parents a sheet so they can review with their kids). It's fun to eavesdrop and get Apollo's take on everything. During quiet time, Apollo flipped through Dad's Mountain Biking magazine. He told Carleton he would ride with him when he gets big.

1. We read some nature books. Like always, we sang Slippery Fish, sang "Days of the Week" and talked about it being Thursday, and did the Hokey Pokey to start circle time.

2. Art Time. We took a nature walk to gather seeds, leaves, flowers, and rocks. We came back and the kids glued them on to a plate. I saw that it was hard for the kids to make a face when we did veggie faces for snack time so I drew eyes, a nose, and a mouth to help them out a little.

On our walk, we saw a bunny, a kitty, and here a worm flipping around.

I got the idea awhile from the Family Fun Magazine (my favorite-I look forward to each issue) and did it during a family vacation. I put this picture on the screen so the kids had an idea of what to do.

We didn't get to the leaf rubbings but here is a pic from the same vacation if you want to do it. Just put the leaf under paper and color.

We made Halloween wreaths to surprise the parents so the kids could add their own decoration to the Halloween decorations.

Here's how: I bought fake red roses, plastic spiders, wreaths and plastic Halloween items from The Dollar Tree. Before the kids came, I stuck each flower bundle in the grass outside (no mess!!) and spray painted them black yet leaving a little red showing through. I spray painted one side of the wooden wreaths just enough that it didn't show the plain wood color. I got some Halloween ribbon (from last year) and made each child a bow.

They stuck the ring part of the spiders into their wreath. I popped off the plastic flowers and they stuffed them into their wreaths. After they created their wreaths, I went around and hot glued them in.

3. Academic Time. I had a tape roll of numbers (repeating 1-100) so I cut them out and taped them on colored paper. I got permanent markers and had them
circle all the 6s they could find.

We celebrated letter "F" so I drew big and little Fs on a paper and taped them to our window and taped a clear one on top so the kids could easily see through the second paper. They traced the letters.

4. Snack and a Story. We had trail mix from Costco to go with our nature theme.

5. Music Time. I read "The Animal Boogie" and we acted out all the parts-one of our family's favorite books.

6. Games. We played the generic version of Jenga. This is a great game for the little ones because it teaching taking turns, patience, and helps with their motor skills.

7. We went to a jungle gym type slide next door to gather sand. I let the kids play for awhile-of all they could play on, they were content to be under the slide all huddled together filling their cups with sand and dumping them. They quietly played and every once in a while they talked. They are very happy and very comfortable together-cute little buddies. I love watching them play together.

8. Closing Circle Time/Review. We play a horse game where we go through mud, over logs, under bridges, and wait for trains to pass. After, the kids put their hands in the middle if they want to share something we did that day as a review. They are getting good at this. Today we celebrated in fun ways when each child made a comment.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Preschool Theme: Color.

This lesson was probably my favorite so far-it's like art meets science. I found a lot of great ideas We missed Halley today-she was out sick. It was pretty different with four energetic boys.

1. Circle Time. For homefun last week, the kids were supposed to cook with their parents (I gave each of them a mix) and then tell about it during circle time. I remember the first circle time ever (the parents were there) and how shy they were. Now they stand up proud-so cute to hear them talking about the pancakes or rolls they made and how they stirred it. We clapped and told them good job. Circle time with the kids is so cute now.

Going with our theme, I asked each child to find something in the room with a certain color. They all individually got their object and brought them back to the circle to share.

2. Art Time. Shades of Color. 1. Each child had a white ice cube tray and filled the first three holes with red, yellow and blue water (a dropper in each color...3 of them).

2. Each child used the dropper to mix the colors in the empty spaces. They created many shades of beautiful colors.

3. Afterward, they used the paint colors they created to paint a picture.

Stained Glass. Contact paper with colored tissue stuck to it. I got this idea from Ali's blog. How darling is this picture?

The contact paper is at Target and a 10,000 pre-cut colored tissue papers from Lakeshore Learning in Fountain Valley.

3. Academic Time. I prepared pages of the upper and lower case letters we've learned so far (A-E) and the numbers by writing them out with a highlighter. The kids wrote over them with pens. Cody inspired me to do this more one on one with Apollo. He worked so hard tracing his even after the other kids were done. His mom works with him tracing his Apollo's mom will too:) I love teaching preschool because I learn how to be a better teacher and mom.

4. Snack and a Story. Watermelon drinks. Oh Wow-so so yummy! My friend January, made one for me the other day. Just put chunks of fresh watermelon in the blender with a few ice cubes. I had to add a little water just to get the blender going. As a fun addition, boil boba (they're like big tapioca) and put them in the bottom of the drinks and topp them off with a big straw that you can slurp up the boba too. You can find them at Asian markets with the straws close by. January told us to go to 99 Ranch Market and the boba and straws were each only a buck. January said other melons-cantaloupe, honeydew, or other fruits. Milk can be added to some if need be.

For their story, the kids listened to Goldilocks and the 3 bears on cd. This gave me some time to prepare their snack.

5. Music Time. I found this song chant that we added to music time:

When I See Red I put my hand on my head
When I see Blue I touch my shoe
When I see green I wash my face real clean
When I see yellow I wave to the fellows
When Orange is found I put my hand on the ground
When I see pink I think, I think, I think

The kids thought it was cute.

For the last couple weeks, I've found some movement songs that tell the kids what to do. Here we are acting like frogs.

6. Quiet Reading. I snapped a pic of the kids-they look so cute with their books.

7. Games. The Color Mixer Pyramid. I painted one hand of each kid and then they stamped it on the top of their paper. Then painted another color on the other hand and they stamped it on the bottom. After, they rubbed their hands together making a new color and stamped one hand in the middle of the two. A fun experiment for all ages to try.

blue plus red makes purple.

blue plus yellow makes green.

red plus yellow makes orange.

8. Physical Fitness. We were going to take turns looking at the different colors around us but we didn't have time so I'll assign it for their homefun today.

9. Science Experiment. Rainbow Bottle. Get several different densities of liquid (oil, water, alcohol, etc.) and use food coloring to die each one a different color. Put these in a bottle (oil then water then alcohol) and let your children play with these bottles. I thought the liquids would stay their individual colors but instead, it became a brownish red. It was still fun to talk about solids and liquids and watch the layers separate (but with four boys shaking away-we didn't see any layers for awhile).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Preschool Theme: Physical Fitness. Self-Selected Time. There are some great finds at Dollar Tree right now because they have out their Halloween costumes. Great to beef up your dress up box. I usually get gender neutral dress up stuff for the kids but I saw this tiara and knew Halley would love it. She put some high heels and was walking around.

The ball pit was added as one of the free time options.

Circle Time.
We read one of our mini books together. For the most part, we were able to be on the same page together! We're making progress.

Art Time. We made Olympic Flags and I told them a little about the Olympics and the sports they do in it.

Academic Time. We got out a bunch of different “ds” and stamp colors and stamped them on our paper.

I found these at a thrift store. They're pull apart cards and are great to review the letters we've learned so far in preschool.

Snack and story time. Multigrain muffins. Oh my goodness, they went crazy with excitement when I announced snack time (they always do). I had showed them the muffins before I put them in the oven so they were excited. I just added water to a package (I bought it from an old mill in Lehi, UT on vacation).

Music Time.
During music time, we had a couple songs where we followed what the music told us to do.

We also had plastic pads that had different activities on them (crab walk, jumping jacks, etc) that we did while we danced.

I gave everyone a bean bag and had them balance it on different body parts while we walked or danced.

We played “Stop and Go” with a red hand and a green light.
They would go back to the beginning in a fun way-skipping etc.

Everyone worked on their paddle ball skills. We celebrated any time one of the kids hit the paddle with the ball.


We went around the house and every time they found a colored pad, we did what it said until we found the next one. For example, we tip toed from one room to the next until we found a pad that said frog jump.

When I taught physics, I had my high school kids pick different activities like running or somersaulting and they would time themselves, note the distance, and find their velocity. I toned it down for the preschool kids and set out different footprint to follow and timed each kid. Then, I changed it up so they would hop or jump on one foot.

We marched with some instruments on a little walk. Donny and Grant liked their microphones. Everyone had fun.

For our last activity, we went next door to play on a slide. I wish I had brought my camera-they would make a train and immediately crawl up to go down again.

Homefun: Practice paddle ball. Each student got a box of a mix that needed water added or something easy. The kids are to help out with the cooking. We'll talk about these two things during circle time next preschool.

Annie made a homemade shaker and an art project at Katie's house. She came home so happy.