Sunday, September 19, 2010

"A" Week

We FINALLY started working on our alphabets this week at school. Two weeks are really a long time for us to have to ssstttrrrreeeettttcccchhhh. But, it was better than then usual 3 or 4 weeks. This week we started studying the letter "A", circles, red and the number 1. To some it seems like a lot to put into 7 short days. We manage by incorporating the color and shape. For some reason the words "ants" and "apple" got everybodies attention, so I ran with it. First we glued ants onto a large "A". I didn't think that would be very much fun, but the children had great fun with the giant ants. We also ate some ants! Actually the were raisins (wheew!) that the students stuck on top of their iced oatmeal cookies. Oh, and the oatmeal cookies were CIRCLES of course.

We also made "Annie the Apple" and "Adam the Apple". I really think this class loves glue! It makes them so happy.

But the most fun day this week was friday. We headed to the kitchen and made apple scented playdough. It looked like plain, old white dough but it smell delicious! Here is the recipe:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt (use iodized, not kosher for smoother dough)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
Red food coloring (I use the Wilton gel colors)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
Stir ingredients together well in pot. Over medium heat cook the dough, stirring constantly until it forms a ball. Turn dough onto a board (or the countertop) and knead until very smooth. Cool. Store in a covered plastic container.

Very simple to make and the children loved it. One parent actually e-mailed me to make sure it WAS playdough. She said it smelled too good and she wanted to bake it! What fun we had!

Of course playdough would not be fun without the snake!

Next week "B" week, my favorite!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Week TWO - Starting Preschool

This week theme was "Starting Preschool". We don't have any of our special classes (Spanish, Music, Computers, etc.) until next week so it can get kinda boring. All the 3 year old teachers got together and decided that this year we would get together at least once a week for a story time or special music. So far, it has been a good experience. The children seem to love the music and I try very hard to make our story one that is exciting and funny.

Our school has two 3 year old classes that come 5 days a week. I'm one of them and this year my sweet friend, Mrs. Christi, has joined me. Mrs. Christi and I decided that each week we would have "Munchie Mondays". It seemed like the perfect day to cook. Of course we will always have our "Fabulous Fun Friday's" where anything can happen. Since we haven't actually been at school for an entire week yet, we have joined our cooking and science experiments together on friday. This week, we made some very yummy icing cookies. Everyone got to pick their favorite color to make for their icing of course.

As you can see, Caleb likes pink!

We also had our first science experiment this week. We took some old crayons that someone had donated to me and we melted them down to make large ones. The classes had so much fun peeling the paper off the crayons and deciding which colors to melt together.

Some got a little frustrated but I loved when others would rush to their side to help. Good lesson today in sharing! Messy but good!

Next week's lesson is "All About Me". Check back for more fun ideas!

2010 School Year!

Our new year has officially begun! YEAH! Since we are a private school, our school year does not begin until Sepember 1st. It has been a great start, so far (she says crossing her fingers AND knocking on wood). I was really worried after "Meet the Teacher Day". I had 2 cries, no make that SCREAMERS and 2 that were latched on to their Moms. All I could think of was "I knew it!" I have had several years of wonderful students and to be honest, I have been wondering when I would get "that class". Turns out it won't be this year!!!! My screamers came in ready to have fun and the other 2 did just as good, as soon as I pried them off their Mom's legs. Seriously though, we are off to a good year.

Our first day was spent seeing all the fun new toys that were in my room. My sweet hubby decided to clean out our downstairs den during the last of August while I was setting up my classroom. He finally decided to let go of some "junk". But, you know how pre-school teachers are, someone else's junk is our treasure. And a treasure it is! Look at the great guitar we had stuck in a corner. Now it is a wonderful source of music in my class.

Other fun finds over the summer included new dress up clothes. It was fun seeing the students dressing up in my family's old cast-offs, especially the old Mardi-Gras beads and caps.

I also write a little note to my parents about making donations to my classroom. I never ask for anything that they need to buy, instead it is things that they would normally recycle. Our class always likes to use real food boxes in our kitchen. This year's parents have been great about sending them.

I just hope the rest of the year goes as smoothly as week 1!