Mother’s Day Fun from the Kids at School

May 9, 2012 at 6:11 pm (Uncategorized)

I’ve been asking my students questions about their moms this week for a Mother’s Day project, and I just had to share some of their answers. It’s a short little game of Kids Say the Darnedest Things!

“What makes mommy special? Why do you love her?”

* she loves on me
* she lets the cats inside
* she loves hearts
* seeing me
* I just like her
* whoopin’s

“I like it when my mom ____________”

* is happy
* smiles
* gives me hugs
* kisses me
* plays Barbie dolls with me
* goes to work

“What does mommy do better than anybody else?”

* work
* cook bacon and eggs
* take me to school
* cook macaroni
* driving
* digging in the garden

“What do you do that makes mommy smile?”

* clean my room
* play
* make funny faces
* kiss her at night
* give her hugs

“Mommy is as pretty as a ______”

* princess
* sunflower
* monster
* rose
* red flower
* girl
* Iris
* animal

“What does mommy know that makes her smart?”

* everything
* about butterflies
* how to dress people up
* baking
* how to do handstands
* my dad
* that she’s supposed to make her bed

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He definitely has self-confidence

March 29, 2012 at 5:50 am (The Preschool Files)

We were out on the playground when he came up to me.

“Ms. Amber! That’s my hat up there. (he points to the roof of the playhouse.) Don’t forget it when my mom gets here!”

Kiddo, that’s your hat. You wanted to bring it out, so it is your responsibility.

Another boy says “I don’t have a hat.”

Kiddo’s response? “That’s because you aren’t cute in a hat – I’m cute in a hat!”

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St Patrick’s Day Fun

March 25, 2012 at 11:37 am (Uncategorized)

I meant to post this last weekend, but I’ve been busy with other stuff.

In our “study” of St Patrick’s Day, the kiddos got to explore rainbows, shamrocks, leprechauns, and the color green.

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The shamrocks (above) were a color mixing experiment. I put a squirt of blue and a squirt of yellow on each shamrock and gave each kiddo a paintbrush to see what would happen.

Of course, what is a rainbow without a pot of gold at the end?

This hat has made for a great game in our classroom. We read the book The Leprechaun Who Lost His Rainbow by Nancy Cote.  Then we decided to build our own rainbow. I had cut strips of foam from each color of the rainbow and glued magnets to the back of them and put those in the hat. Then we went from top to bottom putting something of each color from our classroom into the hat and making each color “fly” out of the hat and onto the chalkboard. Probably the cheapest and most simple activity I could have imagined, but you wouldn’t believe how many times last week I heard “let’s build a rainbow!”

On Friday, the kids decorated small styrofoam cups like leprechaun hats. The plan was to do the shrinking hat trick, but I must have not done it right, because the cups didn’t form like they were supposed to (there’s a lesson in there somewhere about always testing out your activities before trying them with the kiddos I’m sure). Fortunately, I had planned to surprise them with the hats after nap time, so the kiddos weren’t exactly disappointed.  I think I made it work:

The kiddos woke up to this little bucket with some gold and a note inside. Here’s the note:

The kiddos had a blast hunting down the “gold” (rocks I had spray painted). As for the special snack,

Leprechaun floats: lime sherbet and Sprite. Once I got them to try it, most of them really liked it. As for the leprechaun pudding, I didn’t get pictures of it. But it was just vanilla pudding cups that I had buried 1 drop of green food coloring in. Once the kiddos started stirring, it turned green – which was a very exciting discovery for them, but once it was green, they weren’t interested in eating it.

I’m not Irish, but St Patrick’s Day is one of my favorite holidays for preschool – all that magic:)

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Pinned: Food Edition

February 4, 2012 at 8:15 am (Uncategorized)

So Pinterest is pretty awesome. I think I am addicted.  But I don’t want to be the person who pins all these great ideas and then never tries them. Which is where the blog comes in. Once I try an idea that I’ve found on Pinterest, I’m going to share the ones that work for me here.

3-2-1 Cake : This is absolutely awesome. I mixed a box of angel food cake mix with a box of devil’s food cake mix (you can use any kind of cake mix you want, as long as one box is angel food cake) in a large ziplock bag. Then I’m only a minute away from cake in a mug whenever I want it. 3 tablespoons of the cake mix, 2 tablespoons of milk or water (milk is better), and I add a squirt of chocolate syrup to mine before I microwave it for 1 minute. YUM!

Bacon Egg and Toast Cups : These are pretty good too. My only problem with them is that they are bite-sized, which means I have trouble stopping myself from eating the whole batch.

Crockpot Baked Potato Soup : This is in the crockpot right now, and it’s smelling pretty darn good.

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Behavior Management Chart

January 14, 2012 at 7:09 am (The Preschool Files)

My class was already familiar with the traffic light system for behavior management when I started working with them. So my system is really only a tweak of that. I took some black posterboard and glued four foam squares to it – from top to bottom: green, yellow, orange, red. Then I wrote each child’s name on a clothespin.

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The kids start each day with  their pins on green. I try to use a “three strikes” approach with them – remind them of the rule they are forgetting and say “that’s 1; if I have to get on to you for that 3 times, we have to move your name.” That works well for things that don’t pose a risk for injury – dangerous behaviors only get one warning.

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At the end of each day, everyone who stays on green gets to pick a prize from the treasure box. Yes, that’s just a box of candy. With most of the class getting to pick something everyday, candy is the cheapest option for me. A $4 bag of candy looks like it may last me a couple months (if I can stay out of it myself!)

But candy isn’t the only reward system in my classroom. After all, everybody has a bad day now and then and may wind up on yellow.  So I keep track of the red lights throughout the week (and those have been very rare). Everyone who stays off of red all week long gets to bring one toy from home on Friday for show and tell. Everyone gets a chance on Friday morning to show and tell, and if we have a good morning Friday (stay off orange and red), they get to play with those toys Friday afternoon.

The system seems to be working pretty well for us.

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Cake Recipe

January 13, 2012 at 6:07 pm (The Preschool Files)

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This is exactly what one little girl in my class told me I needed to do to bake a cake. She was playing with the dishes in the dramatic play area while she talked and was “showing” me how to do it. I would try it myself, but I can’t find “burnt” on my oven. Hmm.

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Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree

January 10, 2012 at 5:44 pm (The Preschool Files)

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My class is in love with the book “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.” And I have been wanting to make some file folder games for the classroom anyway. So here is the newest addition to our shelves.

When you aren’t the most artistic person in the world, it helps to have some imaginative kids to work with.

Start with an open file folder. Cut a rectangle from brown felt for the tree trunk and some triangles from green felt for the leaves of the coconut tree. I used craft glue to put
it together in the folder.

Now you could just write your letters on felt and cut them out, but we had some foam alphabet stickers and I thought they were cute, so I stuck those to felt and then cut around them. Your letters can go in a ziplock bag or an envelope that can be attached to the back of the folder.

Easy peasy!

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25 Days of Christmas: Day 25

December 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm (Christmas Photo Project)

I missed posting yesterday because I was too busy being sick to bother taking a pic, but only missing one day out of 25 isn’t too shabby if you ask me. Anyway, I think this shot captures  Christmas day pretty accurately…a beautiful blur.

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25 Days of Christmas: Day 23

December 23, 2011 at 6:13 pm (Christmas Photo Project)

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25 Days of Christmas: Day 22

December 22, 2011 at 6:41 pm (Christmas Photo Project)

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