Thursday, December 30, 2010

Playing Catch Up - Part II

Christmas time in Mrs. Karen's Class is always busy! This year was especially busy and fun because we joined together with Mrs. Christi's class on Mondays and Fridays. I like joining the classes because it gives us all a chance to meet and make new friends. Our Christmas tree was a perfect example of making something new out of something old. The old part came from the left-over scrapbooking supplies. I mixed up all the paper and the students tried to put the paper in decending order. They were all so good!
We also worked on our alphabet. The letter "J" was fun. We talked a lot about Christmas being a time when we celebrate Jesus' birthday. We even made a fun little jacket to go over our "J".

Of course no Pre-school Christmas would be complete without those wonderful gifts to our parents! As always we dressed up like little angels, no really, angels, see . . .
Then we made little manager picture frames out of craft sticks.

We made our own wrapping paper from butcher paper and stamps. This year we decided to make light bulb stamps. The children stamped and then after they dried I added the details!I thought they were so cute! Hmmmm . . . maybe next year I'll make some for my presents!

Of course we just had to make some Christmas cookies. This year we headed to kitchen and made "Christmas Ornament" cookies. Just a few 'Nilla Wafers, icing and sugar sprinkles make the most yummy cookies ever!

I can't wait to see what January and the year 2011 brings!!!

Dr Jean!

Right after Thanksgiving I was given an amazing opportunity to attend a Dr. Jean seminar. If you've never been - TRY TO GO! I had no idea I would enjoy it so much.

That's me on the right and on the left is our amazing new director, Mrs. Cynthia Turner. I don't think she has ever seen me so quiet! I didn't want to take a breath or go to the bathroom in fear of missing something. I learned so much and now feel as though 2011 will be a more fun and educational year for my class.

Let's Catch Up - Part I

Sorry to do this to everyone but I'm going to try and post some of our wonderful Thanksgiving work. I know! It is almost January! But like I've said before, between school, my second job (which technically takes up more time than school), my son graduating from the police academy, a house FULL of people at Thanksgiving AND then Christmas, I've hardly had time to breath. So, like I said, "let's catch up". . . . .
Look at this adorable turkey. He is made with one toilet tissue roll and scrap paper. First, I cut the tissue roll and glue them together with some "Aileen's Tacky Glue". Then the children started painting him.

After he dried we added the wonderful details. His feet are two stars. His beak is a square, folded in half to make a triangle. His little eyes are circle punches. His feathers, which happen to be our favorite part, are fingers prints. We simply painted our fingers with the different colors and wiggled them onto some scrap paper - perfect feathers! Many of the parents said they would be using him (or her) for their Thanksgiving centerpiece.

Here is our "Square" turkey! As you can see some of the students liked a lot of squares, while 3 were just enough for others.

For our science experiment we decided to dye some noodles to use for our indian necklaces. We divided up into partners and started dying! Our recipe was quite simple, alchol and food coloring. No measuring just squirting! Even the ones that turned out different than we expected looked really good! These were suppose to be purple and blue, but we didn't mind! Good thing we did these on friday. They needed all weekend to dry. Friday kept us in the kitchen for a while because we whipped up some turkey cookies for snack. A 'Nilla Wafer and icing started our turkey off. Then we added some candy corn for his feathers. Next came the head, a malted milk ball of course. We talked about adding some eyes, but everyone decided to just go ahead and eat him. He was very good!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Color Box

I know that I should be doing some cleaning or something constructive here at home during my Christmas break but I just can't. Instead I am spending every waking second thinking of new things for school. To be honest though, there isn't much to do here at home since Bill and I are all alone. Well, not unless I want to start my much needed remodeling process, but that is another blog all together :).

Once again my poor brain went into overdrive when I saw this box.

The inside will make some wonderful snow (wait I'm getting a head of myself)!
Surely there was something that I could do with it! Then WHAM, I knew!!! My class and I play "the color game". That is when I say the first part of a silly rhyme, for example I say "Get out of bed and go find me something_____ " and they fill in the blank by screaming "RED". We have a great time with it but it never fails someone is in a grumpy mood and will say, "I don't want THAT color". Of course everyone else follows. NOT ANYMORE! We will now roll the color dice and you will decide your own fate. Here is our NEW color dice!

This was so simple and so cheap to make. I used left over pieces of old scrapbook paper and stickers. After I took all these pictures I wrapped it in wide packing tape for a little protection. It is now ready for it's debut in January 2011! Of course I am now on the lookout for more square boxes. I can see this same idea with other colors and one with our shapes too! For older classes you could write letters on the side and try to come up with words that begin with that sound! Oh, the possibilities!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Game!

Oops I did it again! I have to apologize for not posting in TWO months! Oh my goodness I have been so busy! Between school, my second job, my son's graduation from the police academy, Thanksgiving and Christmas, I have neglected my class blog. PLEASE forgive me! :) I'll be playing catch-up from now until school starts but there is something I just have to share. Our new game! It is made from a cupcake holder, the kind you get your cupcakes in from a bakery.

This is what was left after a birthday party. I knew I NEEDED to keep it, but I wasn't sure why. Then inspiration hit me!!! First I lined the bottom with circles.
I'll tell you a secret, those scrapbook supplies came in real handy for this project! My circle cutter made this really fast and easy. Next I used some old stickers and put numbers on each circle.
I could have put the numbers in order but I wanted my class to have a challenge. We will now use all those little scraps of circles, squares, heart, etc. to add to the game. Simply but one circle in the 1 hole! I'm going to try and use items that coordinate with our theme or letter of the week. When school starts back we will be reviewing for a while so I'll just use some plastic snowflakes I found. Isn't this a great math and fine motor skills game. I think so!!! You could also simplify it by using colors or shapes. Of course you make it harder by using Roman numerals or words. I hope you try it!

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

"H and Home & Family" Week

FUN WEEK! This week was all about the letter "H" and our Homes and Families. We started out by making the cutest little house out of shapes.

Great fun and a great way to review our shapes.

We also ate a house! Graham crackers and vanilla icing make yummy houses. (Sorry for the bad picture but the children were READY to eat them, not wait for pictures.)

We also did some wonderful science experiments with our left over Halloween candy (get it - "H" week). I found them at SUPER FUN! Try these, especially the ones with the skittle candies

One last fun thing that just has to be mentioned. We made handprints by dipping our hands in glue.
Then after they dried (give it at least 2 days) we water-painted over them.

Magical fun! Just watch as the hands appear! I love the expression on the children's faces!!!!!!!! We will start our unit on Thanksgiving next week!!!

"G" and Community Helper Week

Again, I am late in posting but my hubby and I headed to the lake for some fall clean-up and winter preparation. I've decided lake houses are fun for everyone except the owners. Anyway, back to school stuff - "G and Community Helper WEEK"!!! We really enjoyed ourselves this week. We started out by talking about our wonderful friends, the garbage men! I know, technically they are sanitation workers but hey, we are 3 and 4 years old so to us, they are garbage men. Monday was a day filled with garbage!!!!! After digging through all my neighbor's recycling bin, we made wonderful little "Garbage Guys" and "Garbage Girls". They were so much fun! We also ate "garbage"! Yep, that's right, we ate garbage. My fellow teacher, Mrs. Christi, and I dug through our snack closet and found all kind of fun left overs and threw them them into a clean garbage sack. All the children helped shake it up and then we distributed it into little brown sacks. Everyone loved eating garbage! Although it was funny to see the parents faces when the students got in the cars and said, "I ate garbage today"! After all the sugar, we headed to the hallway for some great garbage games. We played "Garbage Toss" and "Grab the Garbage". "Garbage Toss" is a simple as it sounds, just throwing a lot of balls of newspaper and "Grab the Garbage" was a fun relay game. A great day was had by all.

This week was so much for for many, many reason. One of which was the wonderful visitors we had come to see us. A nurse and a doctor came and talked about their jobs. We also played like we were doctors and nurses by putting bandages on our own hands. A great thing to do with the left over guaze from our CPR/First Aid classes.Friday was very special for me. A wonderful friend of mine came and talked to us about her job. She is an x-ray technician and I still can't believe how much the children loved her. She brought actual x-rays and skeleton puzzles.
We even had a special craft in her honor, a skeleton! I knew there had to be SOMETHING we could do with all those packing peanuts.

What a wonderful week! "H" Week is coming - I can't wait!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"F" Week and Community Helpers

I love the letter "F" and I really enjoy talking about "Community Helpers"! I know, I say that all the time, but I really do enjoy them. Both remind me of my Dad. He was a Birmingham City firefighter for many, many years so I love getting to tell my students some of his funny stories. We also enjoy "Fabulous Firehouse Friendship Fruit Salad" for our special cooking snack. It is a fun sharing snack! Everyone brings in their favorite fruit! We talk about sharing while we cut up the fruit and throw it in one huge bowl. Then everyone gets a giant spoonful! YUMMY! It is always an adventure when the fruit starts coming in on friday morning. There have been years when literally EVERYONE brings in apples! This year it was grapes, we had lots of grapes!
One our of special craft projects this week was our shape firetruck. On Monday we made our fire! It was our fun squishy painting. We squeeze on red, yellow, orange and little brown paint onto a BIG piece of paper. Next, we cover it with clear plastic wrap and squish the paints all together. After several days the paint is dry enough to cut into the shape of a flame. next comes the firetruck! I loved hearing the students tell me the shapes as we glued and glued and glued. We also had a lot of fun on our "FABULOUS FUN FRIDAY" (yes, that is what we call it each week!) pretending to be firefighters. We headed outside armed with chalk and dishwashing bottles filled with water. (By the way, those bottles are really heavy!) First we all drew FIRE on the wall!Next, we grabbed the bottles and put out the fire!As everyone knows when you are outside AND your have chalk you just HAVE to write on the driveway! We had a great FABULOUS FUN FRIDAY!

During the week we worked on our "Fat Frogs". This is one of the alphabet projects that has really evolved over the years. I started by using an Ellison cut out of a frog, sitting on a lily pad. I eventually found the picture of a fat frog and we color him by placing him on top of sandpaper and rubbing him with a green crayon. Then one year we added the water (painted with a fork of course!). Last year the five flies, using fingerprints, were added, and finally this year four friendly fingerprint fish joined the party. FUN, FUN, FUN!
Oh, and we named him Fred!

Thanks for coming by and checking on us.
Next week . . . "G" week and the "Great Garbage Games"!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Halloween Wall Hanging

Since our school is located in a very large Baptist Church here in the Birmingham area, we don't usually do a lot of Halloween crafts and activities. But, children enjoy Halloween, so I wanted to find one that made everyone happy. Last year I was trolling the 'ole Oriental Trading website and came upon this (item # IN-48/4670 in case anyone wants to order the kit) -

I really like this but it doesn't leave much for the students to do. So I developed my own. Here is our take on "Shine with Light of Jesus". The children of course did there own painting. I cut out the title and verse with my fun craft scissors. The eyes are crosses from our wonderful Ellison die cutting machine. The finished products will be sent to the laminating machine first thing Monday morning and then I will add a nice ribbon to hang it with. I don't laminate a lot of our work, but I think this is a keeper! I hope the parents enjoy them as much as I do.

Here is the title at the top.

My favorite part - the saying at the bottom!

Don't you think this will look wonderful hanging on the door? I DO!

THANKS for stopping by and looking.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Our Favorite Game

I made this color game a few weeks ago and my class loves it! I call it "Color Sorting". It is so simple to make and everyone wants to play with it. The base is .an old carton from our crayon box.

I cut out colored paper and glued it to the bottom.

Next a gathered all the different colored bottle caps I could find.

And I let the children sort!

As the year progresses I will change out the paper in the bottom. First I will have an all white background with just the words of the colors (red, blue, orange, etc.). Next, I will swap it out for the Spanish version. Simple, cheap and lots of fun! What more could you ask for???