Saturday, November 20, 2010

Magnetic Alphabet.

My mom made this magnetic alphabet with matching pictures for each letter for Apollo's birthday. He loves it. We put the alphabet in order and then he puts the pictures next to the letters. Next, we'll have him spell out simple words. This is great for little ones to just start recognizing pictures or letters and for readers too. They're great for road trips because they stick and stay in place. My mom is selling them at a Christmas boutique over the Thanksgiving weekend. If anyone wants one, let me know and I can pick one up for you or she can mail it to you. They are $32 for the set and if you just want to use your own pan (for the magnets to stick on) you can just get the magnets for $25.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Preschool Theme: Science
Self-Selected Time.
Circle Time. We read a big book called "What Makes Light". Each child stood up and shared something they are Thankful for (it's our last preschool class before Thanksgiving). Here are some kids explaining to the rest about the things they brought.

Art Time. I bought some turkey making kits at Michaels. They were just peel and sticks-perfect for this age of kids.

Academic Time. The kids traced Ms and colored some pictures that started with M.
Snack and a Story. I made "Yum Yum Brownie Muffins" and they were a hit. Every kid said "it's my favorite"-all repeating each other. I actually made them for the kids a week early and took them out of the freezer and they were still moist. I got the recipe out of the Lisa Lillien cookbook. She makes normal recipes more healthy. Ingredients 1 box devil's food cake mix (about 18 ounces) One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin Directions Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the two ingredients together. Don't add anything else that may be mentioned on the box, like eggs, oil, or water. The mixture will be very thick, so you might be tempted to add in other things to make the batter smoother. Do NOT do this! Place batter into a 12-cup muffin pan lined with baking cups or sprayed with nonstick spray. Place pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Science Experiments. We did several. I made up a super cute (if I do say so myself:)) worksheet for the kids with pictures that had to do with their experiments. I put questions and left room for them to draw/take/scribble notes. If you want it, let me know and I can email it to you. Here are the experiments we did:

1. Dye in water. The kids watched as the dye mixed into a pitcher full of water. I asked how we could get the dye mixed faster. They said to stir (this is one of the core concepts for high school chemistry and my little preschoolers came up with an option!). We could also add a catalyst, I told them, and explained how it speeds up a reaction. My little Donny said, "Miss Robyn, a catalyst would speed up the reaction" repeating it back. He's so cute. Maybe this is why he remembers things so well because he says things out loud. Adding heat would also do it because the molecules move faster.

2. Evaporation. I filled up a cup with water and put a line at the top of the water line. I asked what would happen to the water. Donny said it will go all over the floor and Apollo said it would go everywhere. I love that they are making hypotheses. We'll talk about evaporation and the water cycle when the kids come back and see that water line has gone done.

3. Leave Skittles in water. The S floats to the surface. The colors make a cloud of color in the water.

4. Melt Starburst, shiny oil spots form.

5. We froze nerds in water. We'll see the results after our Thanksgiving break.

6. How far can you stretch Laffy Taffy? The kids drew a line on their paper showing how far they thought they could stretch their Laffy Taffy.

7. Heated Candy. We threw candy onto a pan and the kids guessed what would happen if we left it in the oven. Apollo guessed it would bubble and it did.

8. Invisible Ink. The kids wrote (drew pics) a note to their parents with lemon juice. They dipped q-tips into the lemon juice. To uncover the message, the papers need to be put by a light bulb or heated up (this is their homefun for the week).

9. Make cookies. Cooking is chemistry. Kids can learn about chemical reactions (how molecular bonds are broken to form a new substance) and they can learn the difference between physical and chemical reactions. We didn't get this far yet. We do hand motions or I tell them little things as they are doing activities. Maybe some of the words will stick and science will be a breeze for them later:)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Preschool Theme: Thanksgiving

Self Selected Time.

Circle Time. Today we read "Judge for a Day" about how a boy thought all Hispanic food was hot but found out how good it is. I asked the kids who would eat Hispanic food for Thanksgiving and they all raised their hands (they raise their hands with almost anything I ask:). They told me they were going to have candy and popcorn for Thanksgiving. We also read a story called Thesalonias Turkey about a turkey that didn't want to be eaten on Thanksgiving but instead used his feathers to decorate hats.

Art Time. We made Indian vests out of paper bags. I Googled how to make them. If the kids were a little older, I would have had them cut them out but instead, I cut them out and turned them inside out before they came to preschool. I cut the bottom of the vests off and used them for headbands. With more time, the kids would have cut the bottom of the vests to look like leather strings. The kids decorated their vests and headbands (to make it easier, we left the same brush in the same paint the whole time-no need for water or rinsing-when they wanted a new color, they passed the jar over). I showed the kids a YouTube video clip of an Indian Pow wow so they could see what they look like.

Carleton had the day off work so he played games outside with the kids while I took each kid individually to make a Thanksgiving card. Here's how: Paint the turkey and feathers like we did with Grant below and stamp.

Add an eye, feet, and the turkey's wattle (the red part hanging from the chin-I just looked it up).

Academic Time. L stands for leaf. The kids traced and colored this page (click on image below to print). They chose some foam and sparkly leaves to staple on to their paper.

We reviewed numbers 1-10. I stuck numbers and groups of things on the window with non matching pairs. The kids counted them and helped put them with their right match.

Snack and a Story. In lieu of our Thanksgiving theme, we had cornbread with honey butter. I got it from a mix from Trader Joe's.

Music Time. Sometimes the music time pictures are not so great because we are moving so much. The kids chose different leaves for each new song.

We played our "drums" (toilet paper rolls-the ones from Costco come individually packaged) and danced to 10 Little Indians and Indian Chant Music.

Here are some songs we sang:

Mr. Turkey

Mr. Turkey's tail is big and wide (spread fingers wide),
He swings it when he walks (move fingers around),
His neck is long (stand on tip toes and stretch neck and head up),
His chin is red (stroke chin),
And he gobbles when he talks(open and close hands while gobbling)

Ted the Turkey (Sung To: I'm A Little Teapot)

I'm a little turkey, my name is Ted.
Here are my feathers, here is my head.
Gobble, gobble, gobble, is what I say
Gobble, gobble, gobble, It's thanksgiving Day!

Five Pilgrims

Five Pilgrims fish in the morn (act like casting and reeling in fish)
Five Indians help them plant corn (bend down and plant corn)
The Indians bring the corn (hold up one hand)
The Pilgrims bring the meat. (hold up the other hand)
Ten new friends sit down to eat. (put hands together)

Science Experiment. I made this recipe for my high school students too because it is a good example to see signs of chemical reactions and to learn about molecules and heat. When the baking soda is added in this recipe, the caramel bubbles up (a sign that a chemical reaction took place). Other signs are smells, heat given off, and temperature changes. Molecules are breaking and rearranging forming a new substance. We talked about how heat makes molecules move fast so they all moved their hands fast...slow when I said when I said add fire etc. It's the best caramel popcorn I've had if you're not interested in the experiment part.

3/4 brown sugar
1 cube butter
2 Tbs light Karo Syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
6 C popcorn

Mix sugar, butter, and syrup. Microwave for 2 min. Stir. Microwave again for 3 more min. Add soda until thick. Poor over and stir into popcorn until fully covered. Enjoy!! Warning: Highly Addictive.

Games. We played Duck, Duck, Turkey (like the Fish, Fish, Shark of last week). This week's game went a lot more smoothly.

I copied this activity out of an activity book for the kids and talked about the Mayflower and Thanksgiving.

Physical Fitness. Each child took turns doing a trick on the mini trampoline while I got the kids' outfits ready.

Ending Circle Time/Review. Every week we go on a horse race to gather everyone around the trampoline. Afterward, everyone puts their hand in the middle if they remember something we did from the day-it's so cute.