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Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Wonderful World of Writing in Preschool

We have a table designated for writing only.  On any given day there may be pens, markers, crayons, note pads, or envelopes for the kids to explore. However, writing is not exclusively for our "Writing Table" only. Here are some other ways we explore the wonderful world of writing.

We use shaving cream on the tables to practice our letters. 

We use sidewalk chalk to be creative. 

The white board provides a smooth easy to wipe surface. 

Making name tags provide great detail and concentration.

Whatever the medium, surface, or opportunity it's worth it to explore the wonderful world of writing. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Preschool Potato Print Families

This is a tried and true project. Teachers have done this for years but I pulled it out of my "bag of tricks" and you would have thought it was a new invention. For "Our Family" unit last week, I cut potatoes length wise. The children painted one side of the potato and made potato prints to represent each member of their family. After the print dried they added facial features, arms and legs to each family member. As with any preschool project enjoying the process was the most fun.
Books we enjoyed with this unit
Are You My Mother? (Beginner Books(R))Mortimer Spanish Edition (Munsch for Kids)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Our Preschool Birthday Celebration

I just love birthdays! I make it a point to go all out on my students birthday. Since the VPK year has just begun we have already had our first birthday celebration. While majority of my students have been with me for months, Niona has only been in my class for two weeks. In that time she has only spoken a few words here and there. Nevertheless, you don't have to speak to party! Her mom brought in a cake and drinks for the class. I put their birthday hats on, blasted the music and they all danced like they had never danced before. The Mom thought this was hilarious. Niona danced to the music and Mom smiled proudly at her. We sat Niona in front of her cake and all the kids sang Happy Birthday to her loud and off key. Once the party was over Mom gave Niona a big hug and paused patiently while Niona whispered. She turned to me and said, "Niona said, Thank you Mom for my party."

I just love birthdays!

For more ideas on how you can create a memorable birthday in your preschool class visit this link
for Deborah J. Stewart's Teach Preschool site.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preschool All About Me

Last week our class did an "All about me" unit. On Tuesday we talked about our feet. For art we made footprints. Each child chose a colored piece of construction paper and a paint to make their foot print. They took only one shoe off, I painted the bottom of their foot and allowed them to place the print on a piece of paper. We got to chat about the coldness of the paint, the way the bristles tickled and how the choice of paint would look on the paper.

During Circle Time we read, "My feet" by Aliki. After the story we took off our shoes and put lotion on our feet. We talked about the sole, the heel, the arch and our toes. We recited "This little piggy went to the market" and appreciated each toe.

We plan to put our painted footprints in an "All about Me" book to take home.

Here are some of the other books we read for this unit.

My Two Hands, My Two FeetIncredible Me!My Hands (Let's-Read-And-Find-Out Science: Stage 1 (Turtleback))Hello Toes! Hello Feet!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Preschool pieces got you puzzled?

During my underwater theme I checked our resources and found a puzzle that fit perfectly. There was one problem, it had 48 pieces! I knew there may only be one or two of my students that would sit long enough to even attempt a puzzle of that magnitude. I put the puzzle out anyway and naturally everyone was drawn to the bright beautiful colors and the sea animals that seem to float on the pieces. After several failed attempts the puzzle was left scattered amongst the table where it sat for two days. During Centers on the third day I sat and carefully numbered the back of each piece and the board they sit on. Unlike tracing the pieces which I've done in the past, I had hopes that matching the numbers would spark a conversation and possibly get some progress with the puzzle. As soon as I was done adding the numbers again they flocked to the puzzle. This time there was a little more success. I was happy to see them carefully looking at the numbers and trying to find it's matching place. I sat with a few of them and talked about the numbers "3 and 1 is 31, where is that same number on the board". Even after numbered pieces and assistance no one completed the puzzle. Next step, trace the pieces!

I figured this is how toy makers and early childhood specialist conduct their research for age-appropriate toys.