Thursday, March 31, 2011

Preschool Theme: America

Circle Time. The kids shared their collages about America.

Art Time. Sticker Paintings. I gave each child a color copy of the American Flag and a set of blue, red, and star stickers (I got all the stickers from an office supply store). They matched all the dots and stars (red dots on the red stripes, blue on the blue part and put stars on the stars).

Academic Time. Alphabet tracings of America. Click on image below to print.

Math Time. Spider windsocks. The kids cut out spider legs and moved them to make them dance. Now they just need some string and a pin to hang it up. They had a lot of fun with their "dancing" spiders. Click on image below to print.

Snack and a Story. Coconut Pineapple Smoothie.
1 C Pineapple
1 Banana
2-3 Kale Leaves
1 C Coconut water or 1 Can Coconut Milk

Place ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve cold.

Music Time. We danced to Yankee Doodle and the Star Spangled Banner.

Quiet Reading.
I took my kiddos to the Katie Wheeler library to pick up a bunch of patriotic books.

Science Experiment.
We made and decorated cookies with red, white, and blue frosting, marshmallows, sprinkles, and white tapioca beads. Cooking is always a science experiment.


Here, Jonathan is showing us a snail he found.

Random Thoughts:

Grant: He wore a donkey watch of Apollo's today and informed me that the time was sixty and then we would have quiet time-he LOOOOVES setting the timer on the microwave for quiet time; He is so helpful and always wants to pass things out to his friends and asks to help; he told us all today during circle time about his watch and Shrek; when I said we were decorating cupcakes he asked if we were making them and said we were chefs and laughed.

Jonathan: Jonathan patted Donny's back (like he was his little buddy-it was cute) and said "are you glad we're watching fireworks" to which Donny replied "yeah"-just a cute little gesture; today Jonathan said "I love you, Miss Robyn"; Jonathan is doing awesome in quiet reading and was totally into his books today; he told everyone he wanted to be in the Army today as he showed his AMAZING collage.

Nicole: She is such a sweetie and is so thoughtful-she gave Halley a book during quiet reading she knew she would like; when we were making our cookies she had to make sure she made one for her brother; she was very proud of her collage today and told about each part; I can always tell which project is Nicole's because there is color everywhere and it's always laid on thick.

Halley: All the kids had stories today and Halley's was about the sleep over she had. We made cookies for our parents and Halley had to make one for Sabrina; she is always all around great-she loves the activities, has fun, is funny, plays well, is always smiling, she adds a lot of joy to our preschool.

Donny: Donny's story was about how he played with his dad (I can tell he really loves his dad by how much he talks about him); he worked very hard on his letter tracings today even after things were cleaned up; Jonathan said "I don't like writing" when we were doing our letters and Donny said, "Do you like to ride on rides?" and Jonathan said he did-funny; I told the kids it makes me feel bad when they don't like what I make for them (they'll sometimes say yuck before even trying it)-right away Donny said "Yum, It's good for my body).

Apollo: He and Donny worked hard on their letters-Apollo is very careful about getting his letters just right; We got a book about Apollo 13 the other day so he thought it was his book and he told Grant that it was his book but that he could read it; Apollo was excited about something today and said that it would be a "Super Blast" to which Donny said "Super Brass".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Preschool: Spanish Theme

Art Time. Mexican bracelets. I found activity online. Usually the beads are turquoise but we used beans instead and glued them to toilet paper rolls.

Academic Time. We went to to look at the letters and hear the sounds together. We watched a guy sing the ABC's using the sound and a word starting with the letter.

Math Time. We counted to ten in Spanish. I would yell it out and and they would call it back.

Snack and a Story. Pan de Navidad (from Argentina). I served a mission for my church in Argentina and they had this during Christmas.

Painting with Pudding. I made four different colored puddings with my kids last night. I made each preschooler their own plate of each flavor and color and instead of using paintbrushes...we used our fingers! It was nice having our own plates so we could eat and paint at the same time. We all put things on our flag that we like (we painted on a Mexican flag).

Music Time. We started out dancing to It's a Small World and then sang Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes in Spanish. After, I taught the kids the Cha Cha to Cha Cha music.

Quiet Reading. I took my own kids to the Katie Wheeler library to have some Spanish books for the preschoolers. If you live anywhere near Irvine, check it out. It's pretty and it has fun gardens where we took a picnic lunch and read our books.

Science Experiment. We dipped a little tree in chemicals last week and they grew over the week so the kids could see it.

I found this apple experiment online-Explain to your children that even though people appear to be different on the outside they are all the same on the inside. To illustrate this, bring several different varieties of apples, and then cut them open. We talked about how people look different, some people have freckles, some have a wheelchair etc. But inside, we love our families and all want to be happy-we have the same desires.

Games. Basket of Colors (I think that's what it's called). Every one had our own chair. I would yell out a physical characteristic and those that had it, would run and switch with other having that same characteristic (long hair, boy, brown eyes, etc.). If only one person was left standing, that person would do a little dance in the middle. The funny thing, was that the kids all wanted to be in the middle to do a dance-so cute.

Random Thoughts:

Grant told us he's going to take a salsa class; he "read" a book to the other preschool kids; always so happy and has so much fun every week.

Nicole: Nicole tasted the Fruit cake and said Yuck! as she pushed it away...nibbled at it...ate it...said it was good... then asked for more:) She said she liked to eat the frosting so I think she expected frosting on cake (most do); she always so sweet and wonderful in preschool-a hard worker.

Jonathan: He told me today that he missed me-what cutie; he did a great job in circle time and music time today following all the hand movements and movement pieces.

Halley: She did the best Cha Cha. She really looked adorable and really likes to dance. She told us that she is going to ballet class soon;
she is a good auditory learner. We sang the alphabet song (with words and sounds) and she could remember what they were after only two times of listening to it-smart girl!

Donny: All the kids missed him today.

Apollo: He read a book to the kids today-they are good listeners when one of the kiddos is telling a story or talking; Apollo liked making all the things for preschool today and enjoyed eating it all.
Annie: Got to go to Disneyland with Katie!! Lucky girl.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Preschool Theme: Art Appreciation (and happy St. Patrick's Day)

We went to the Getty Museum for our field trip so it was fun to celebrate art today. Carleton put a play list together for me of famous classical music pieces to welcome the kids and I played it throughout class.

Circle Time.
For homefun, the kids put together and painted different wooden projects (related to transportation). I bought them for $1 at Michaels. Apollo loves them-we've put together a lot-Annie just did her first one this week (a monster truck). The kids did a great job and were so proud.

Art Time. James Pollock Masterpieces. I Googled images of Pollock's splatter paint style (a different one for each child) since this is the easiest famous artwork that can be copied by kiddos. Each child brought a pillowcase and I let them go to town with fabric paint and a little picture of their art to imitate.
The kids really got into it and had fun. Their "masterpieces" actually turned out really cool.

Academic Time. Van Gough "Still Life". I put fruit on a pretty platter and had the kids draw it. Click on the image to go to the site.

I had them draw their "still life" in the frame and put a big and little z in the lines below for them to copy.

Math time. Pablo Picasso collage. The kids cut out six shells and glued them onto a paper bag (sand). Using scissors has been a hard skill for some of the kids to master but they are so happy and proud when they get it. They turned out cute. Click on the image below to print.

Snack and Story. We made guacamole (green for St. Patty's) and ate it with chips. I had the best guacamole while watching a basketball game the other day at someone's house. The guy (sorry it's not the most exact recipe) had fresh avocados, 1 Tb sour cream, a little salsa, and some garlic. Soooo yummy. For our story we read Imagine a Night. The artwork is beautiful. It was the first book I ever bought Apollo.

Science Experiment.
We put a little tree in a solution and it's supposed to grow crystals over time so we'll check it out again next week (it already looks cool). They have a bunch of little experiments at the Dollar Tree right now for kids.

Music Time. We danced to Beethoven's 5th symphony and other songs the kids can move to.

Mother May I. So funny to play with this age of kids. So so cute. My mom played this game with us as children. The game master tells one of the kids (they take turns) to take 3 giant steps forward (or 2 leaps, or 5 baby steps etc.) and they say "Mother May I" to which I would reply "Yes, you may". If they forget to say "mother may I" they have to go all the way back. The first to make it to the Game Master (me today) wins.

Random Thoughts.

Grant: As always, he is such a champion and builder-upper of other people. He always encourages his friends; he looked adorable in his outfit!! Krista is so great about putting a cute outfit to match the theme or celebrate the holiday; he kept calling the guacamole different things like macamole; he enjoys the outdoors.

Jonathan wasn't too excited to do his collage, and Grant tried to cheer him up; he loves to make other people laugh and loves to laugh himself.
Jonathan: Jonathan's story (after Donny's) was about being a tiger. He's always telling us he's a tiger and likes to act it out; He really enjoyed our splatter painting today and was one of the last kids to want to keep working on it; he LOVED Halley's cookies-all the kids did; he is enjoying quiet reading time and likes to talk about the books he has read.

Nicole: She did great at Mother May I and ended up winning the whole game; she is so kind to the other kids; she is always so positive-ALWAYS-she shouted "I'm happy" today; she is very skilled at using scissors and is very confident in her abilities and is a go getter.

Halley: What a darling frog she made today!!; Her story today (after Donny's) was about how she wore princess shoes as a baby; She was the hit of the party with the St. Patrick's Day cookies-very yummy (it's one of the things the kids remembered as we did our final review); she was very happy today (like always). Donny said he was "Gordan" today so Hally called herself "Gorda" for awhile (it's kind of funny when you think of it in Spanish).

Donny: He was the only one to eat the guacamole today (Apollo finally joined in); Donny said he had to tell us a story at the beginning so we all sat around to here Donny's story. He got old on his arm and showed his dad and Apollo. After that, all the kids had to each tell a story. It was cute to see how well they listen to one another. They crack me up.

Apollo: He LOVES our "Beaver Time" song and had a lot of fun with all the songs and hand motions we did today during circle time. He looked so cute going back and forth for "Days of the Week"; he likes to keep clean and had to change his pants when he got a little paint on them (even thought we always do messy things).