Thursday, December 17, 2015

Polar Express Pajama Day

We had such a blast today in our pajamas!  The energy was so high you would have thought I gave them candy upon entering the classroom today :).  We started our day off reviewing our pre-primer sight words on a fun website based game of memory.  Then we had to get right to work making our Christmas presents for our moms.  We lost a day this week due to snow so it was a rush with slightly wet paint in the end but they turned out so cute!
 We watched a narration of "The Polar Express" book that had images from the book, movie and other scenes to go along with it.  Then we watched the "Hot Chocolate" scene from the movie and followed that up with dancing to the song.  Our next step in our holiday gifts was to sew on buttons.  The kids did a fantastic job with this mini sewing project.  I was so proud of them and proud of the ones who were waiting patiently for their turn.
 They even got to wrap their presents at the end.  It's been fun to see these kids grow in silly skills like ripping tape off the dispenser.  It wasn't too long ago that that task was simply too difficult for them to do.  Today most of them did it on their own with little struggle.  I was so proud of them.  When we were wrapping presents I asked the kids to be quick because moms would be arriving soon and we didn't want them to see their gifts.  One of my boys responded with, "But we just got here!"  It was such an exciting day that it was over before they even knew it!
Have a fantastic holiday break!  Enjoy family and spend some time reading to your children.
Hugs and loves, Miss Amanda

Thursday, December 10, 2015

How We Express Ourselves: Writing and Color

Today we had a great time writing to express ourselves.  We made a big deal about working and trying hard at the task no matter what it looked like.  The task for some was more about the drawing and for others was more about the writing.  Then each child got an opportunity to share their writing with the group.  I know the kids love having sharing time but it was so sweet to hear it from one of the boys directly about how much he loves sharing time.
 We then headed to the kitchen to paint!  I was very impressed with their ability to follow fairly complex instructions for making their color wheel.  I only gave them one step at a time with the tools to complete that step after I had explained it.  They were super excited when we started blending colors and they saw new colors appear.
 Of course, clean up after using that many paint brushes was quite the party at our one little sink :).
The kids played outside for a few minutes while I finished up with the paint brushes and wiping down the table.  The weather is so nice I'm sure they wanted to stay out and play forever.  There was also the benefit of feeding the chickens today.  I let them feed some celery that was still in the garden (quite wilted and sad) and then some mealworms, which the kids and the chickens were super excited about.
I don't have any pictures, but toward the end of the day we had about 5 minutes before pick up and a cute little voice asked if we could listen to the "Wolf and the Little Boy" again.  "You want to listen to 'Peter and the Wolf'?" I asked. "YES! That was so awesome!" Came the reply.  I LOVE how much they got from that experience and turned it on as we finished up for the day.  What happy little people :).

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

How We Express Ourselves: Color and Music

Today was a phenomenal day in preschool.  The kids worked very diligently on on their reading lessons.  We added new sight words and started talking about vowels and consonants. After working very hard we moved into our inquiry block about how we express ourselves.  We reviewed emotions (which we spent last week talking about) and talked about how our emotions can also be demonstrated through music.  We spent the next 30 minutes listening to "Peter and the Wolf" and acting/dancing out the parts of the story.  If you've never listened to Peter and the Wolf with kids I'd HIGHLY suggest you look it up.  It is a fantastic example of how music can change to demonstrate different emotions and events in a story.  The kids were in love with the activity as they were able to act like all the characters including a cat, bird, wolf, hunter, grumpy grandfather, and happy carefree child.
We then talked about how important music is and what it can tell us about emotion.  We spread this into a couple of books about colors of emotions and listened to Kira Willey's song "Colors".  We also had to read "Blue Hat, Green Hat" by Sandra Boynton because it's hilarious.  At the end of the day we drew and wrote about our experience with "Peter and the Wolf".  I was super impressed with these kids today.  Keep up the good work!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Emotions: How We Express Ourselves

This week in preschool we started our new inquiry block "How We Express Ourselves".  With preschoolers this starts of with discussing emotions and actions/reactions.  We read tons of stories like "The Way I Feel" and "Today I Feel Silly" to discuss the wide variety of emotions.  I love that "Inside Out" has been seen by many kids in the past year.  They have more vocabulary to describe the different emotions because of it.  We identified emotions all day long on Tuesday and then on Thursday we talked about what emotions look like on your body.  If you're happy you smile, if you're sad you may be quiet, if you're excited you may be jumping up and down.  We also talked about the possibility of changing a negative reaction (hitting, snatching, wailing, sulking) into a helpful reaction.  The idea that we have control over how we react is still being worked out within preschoolers.  I hope that our conversations this week have opened them up to a possibility of choosing a different reaction, though as an adult it is still hard for me personally to change a reaction. One small step at a time, I suppose.
The first couple of weeks of December will also be spent reviewing the 4 basic coins, their value and their identifying characteristics.  On Tuesday we talked about pennies and shined our pennies in a salt and vinegar solution.  That's why my house was stinky when you picked up your kids :).  On Thursday we talked about the nickel.  We're also dilligently working through the Moffatt Girls Ready2Read program and reading our interest led reading books.
Thursday we pulled out the puppets and let the kids play with the puppets and the emotion bean bags together.  It turned into a silly game of very emotional puppets :).