Tuesday, February 20 - What We Did Today!

 

Today many kids were outside in the snow with Aaron.  He was so great, he was making snowballs for the kids to throw at him!  When I was out checking the action, the kids were making a snowman on the picnic table.  We even added a carrot nose!

Inside, it was much warmer.  We had red play dough in honor of Chinese New Year.  At the table, we added gold glitter making it even more of a sensory experience.  The kids were making lots of interesting things, one even tried painting the dough.

The water table is set up with some fire flames and red plastic squirt bottles.  The idea is to put out the fire by squirting water at the base of the flame.  This action builds eye hand coordination, hand strength, and the knowledge of using a fire extinguisher (kind of!)

The wild animals were in the dry table with the forest.  Several kids were setting up animals with ideas of what the game they were going to play would look like.  Luckily, not everyone had the same idea leaving some opportunity to practice problem solving skills.

Addy, Sebastian and I were making music together in the loft.  The fire station is set up there, but with so many kids outside, no one seemed to need the area to fight fires.

In general, these kids did a great job today.  They handled themselves well while working with each other to solve problems.  My thanks to Brittni and Aaron for all of their help today!

Friday, February 16 - What We Did Today!

Today we celebrated Edie’s 4 ½ birthday with rainbow cake and a song.  Since were had a field trip, I made the cake a head of time.  As I was ready to put it into the oven, I realized I had forgotten the sugar (definitely not okay!)  I sprinkled it on top of the cake and attempted to mix it without messing up the rainbow part of the cake (brown is not a color of the rainbow!)  Most of the kids like it and Edie took home the left overs, so it must have been at least edible.

Our field trip to the fire station went really well.  The kids did a great job listening as Firefighter Brian showed us lots of tools that they use to fight fires with.  They learnt that the fire truck is the one with the ladder and the fire engine is the one with the water.  They saw three different sizes of hoses and couplers, several chainsaws, a New York pick, and axes. 

I think their favorite part was climbing into the cab of the fire engine.  Brian took three kids at a time, let them look around, and asked them if they had any questions.  Simon found a lock box and wanted to know first what it was and second what the combination was.

Firefighter Brian dressed up in all of his gear, I do mean all, to let the kids see what he would look like if they were in a fire and needed help.  He talked through his mask with the oxygen on giving us a great impression of Darth Vader.  We then reiterated that it was just firefighter Brian and he would keep you safe.  The kids were given a homework assignment to come up with a meeting place outside of their houses in case of a fire.

Back at school, we had a bit of time for some play before it was snack time, then cake, and finally gym.

My thanks to all of our drivers as well as to Jessica and Michelle for their help today!

Thursday, February 15 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we celebrated Sebastian’s 4th birthday with a song and confetti cake.  Ginny surprised us with a bucket of what I call water balls.  I don’t know the real name.  You take a small packet of granules which appear to be no bigger than granulated sugar, add water, and presto, the grains absorb the water and grow to about ¾ of an inch.  At this point, they are bouncy, squishy, and a lot of fun.  Thanks Ginny!

Not much interest at the art table.  Perhaps because the weather was so wonderful.  It called to many kids.  Sebastian was searching for bugs.  He found several worms and a caterpillar.  He put the worms into a bucket that the butterfly class had created as a worm home while he carried the caterpillar everywhere with him.  When he joined the pirates, his caterpillar was his crew.  Speaking of pirates, the play structure became a pirate ship and Bodhi and Sebastian were sword fighting the pirates while Adam sent his pirate ship into the battle.  Liam was out digging for treasure while Jubilee was climbing mountains!

Inside, we had a couple of small tubs with warm water, a bottle of soap, a scrub brush and a pet that needed washing.  There is something about warm soapy water that is very calming.  Dramatic play was mainly about a restaurant.  There are many good cooks in this class and they excel in this environment.

River, Liam, and Eliza were playing wild animals using the forest as a home for some of the animals.  River told me he would like it if his lion just became real.  I thought that would be cool too!

In the science area, I put up a sheet to encourage shadow puppet play.  Rowan did a great job amusing his audience with an Auk and a groundhog.

My thanks to Jesse and Angie for all of their help today

Wednesday, February 14 - What We Did Today!

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!  We enjoyed decorating cookies and opening valentines today.  The rule is no candy until you check with your family.  This was tough, but everyone handled it well.

We wrote another page for our community book about the post box or mail carrier.  We are tracking how long it takes for the letters we mailed on Monday to be delivered.  At this point with only one mail day passed, no one had received their letters.  We will check again on Friday.  Many of the letters had to be rerouted as I only had the original address, so they may take a bit longer.

Outside, Edie was creating a home for worms.  She worked very hard making it just right.  Easton was using the wood circles to make a balancing track, jumping from one to the next.

Marcus and Simon were using ramps to race cars.  The ramps were various types and styles as were the cars.  They created different places and slopes with the ramps keeping what they liked and moving what they didn’t.

In the loft, there were several wild animals.  They were trying to keep away from the animal catcher who seemed to be prowling around their area.  The best part of all of this was as I listened in each of the areas, the kids were giving ideas to the group, taking ideas from others in the group, and working the storyline out as a team.  This is a wonderful skill and necessary as they move forward into the world.

After snack, we took our valentine boxes to the gym where we looked at each of the valentines we received.  There were lots of “ohhs”, and “ahhs” and “I got candy!”  My thanks to Kyle and Julianna for all of their help today!

Tuesday, February 13 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we celebrated Valentine’s Day with decorated cookies, valentines and a special valentine story, One Zillion Valentines.

The kids were doing a great job decorating their cookies for snack time and most had no trouble waiting to eat them until snack.  They spread the icing on their own and sprinkled colored sugar on top.  Yum, check out Adam’s face as he bites into his cookie.  That says it all!

At the art table, the kids were using droppers to drip liquid watercolors onto our special filter-like paper heart shapes.  The variation of colors through the blending process is pretty cool to watch.  Those that worked on this project couldn’t do just one.  They wanted to repeat the process several times.

Outside, there were bug catchers who discovered several weevils amongst a pile of leaves.  They were fascinating to watch, and I found myself wanting to check and get more information about them to share with the kids.  As the group changed outside, so did the activities.  Rowan and Adam were climbing the trees while Sebastian looked on.  They were “eating creepy carrots which give you power.”  Later, Adam and Molly were helping sweep up.  Adam had discovered that the sand on the top level of the play structure was coming down through the cracks onto his head while he was under the structure. 

Back inside for clean-up, then off to the gym along with our valentine boxes to check out what was delivered.  Thanks to all of you for your help with the valentines, I know that the kids had fun checking them all out!

My thanks to Rachel and Trisha for all of their help today! 

Monday, February 12 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we attempted something different.  We broke into groups with specific tasks set for two of the three. 

One group worked at the art table with Marya making their Valentine’s Day boxes.  They had to fold, tape of glue, write their names and decorate their box.  They handled the “have to” well and stayed involved until it was time to move on.

Group two was outside with Stefan for some free play.  Again, it was a “have to” and as far as I know, almost everyone was out enjoying the sunshine.

The final group was with me.  The kids made valentines on Friday that were to be mailed today.  So, we addressed the envelopes after deciding who to send our valentine to, asked about what city and state we live in, added a return address (mine) just in case I made a mistake writing the address, and added a stamp.  I think the hardest part besides deciding who to send the valentines to, was folding and stuffing the valentines into the envelopes!

After completing the envelop, we went outside and looked for a mail box.  One was spotted kitty corner from the bus stop outside the church.  We waited for the lights to change, crossed both streets and found the mail box.  I showed them where it tells us when the mail is picked up, the lock in the bottom half insuring only the postal carrier can get the mail, and how to drop their letters into the box.  They were great following safe practices on our walk back to the school, between the white lines, with me, and watching for the signals.

Once groups were finished, it was clean-up time with snack following quickly behind.  We acted out “The Mitten” and headed to the gym.  My thanks to Marya and Stefan for all their help today!

Friday, February 9 - What We Did Today!

 

Okay, they were back to normal today.  Everything you would normally expect happened, trouble sitting in circle, trouble focusing, trouble remembering how to solve problems.  Most these situations are during circle which is not necessarily an appropriate expectation.  So once again they have helped me to remember what is important and when it is time to let go.  It also helped me to remember how well this group responds to physical songs and actions.

We made Valentines for someone special which we will be mailing on Monday.  This will give us an opportunity to see how long it takes a letter to get from one place to another.

The soup has been a lot of fun for the kids.  Today, they were making chocolate veggie soup, noodle soup, and strawberry soup.  They were practicing pouring and serving liquids where it didn’t matter if anything spilt.

Dash and Barkley were in the loft creating what I thought was a spaceship, but then they were skate boarding all around the room, so I think I was mistaken.

Aesa was playing Kubo complete with eye patch.  She was using the ukulele for her “two strings” and serving up rice with chop sticks.

Outside, the kids were using the slide as a crashing pad for trucks, blocks of wood, and their bodies!  They have taken up climbing the rope to the top of the slide like mountain climbers.  Sometimes the others will help pull them up, but usually they climb holding the rope with hand over hand.  Some great heavy work!

Again, our clean-up went very quickly allowing the kids to have more time playing quiet games which they like to do.  My thanks to Kaci and Andrew for all of their help today!

Wednesday, February 7 - What We Did Today!

 

Something must have happened last week, but I’m not sure what it was.  These kids have been great, playing together appropriately, cleaning up as they go along (with and without reminders), and walking/lining up!  They are working together solving problems, mixing with different kids, and trying new things.  Kindergarten here they come!

Making soup at the water table was very popular today.  There was some drama with wanting the same things, but problems were solved quickly.  While the kids are cutting, stirring, and serving up soup, I like to ask them open-ended questions to help them build on what they are doing.  For instance, what kind of soup is this?  How many cups of water did it take to make?  You can see their eyes roll upward as they think about the question before coming up with an answer.

Outside, there were some kids bug hunting.  They found many worms and worried about spiders.  Those of you who know me, know that I am somewhat of a fanatic when it comes to animals and that includes creepy crawlies!  So today I pushed a point that probably wasn’t necessary, but I couldn’t help thinking that when nature and the planet are concerned, the younger kids are while learning about taking care of our earth, the better.  One of the kids wanted me to destroy all of the spider webs near where they wanted to play.  I stopped and said I couldn’t do that because they had their home there and I wasn’t comfortable destroying anyone’s home.  We talked for a while, but she was not happy with me.  I can only hope she will take the information and apply it to other things in nature as she grows.  Then, maybe our planet will have the stewardship it needs to survive.

Oops, sorry, propaganda over.  It was a joy to be here today with these kids as well as my parent helpers.  Thanks to Julianna and Kymberli for all of their help.

Tuesday, February 6 - What We Did Today!

We started out really well today with kids busy in at least six areas.  They were quickly drawn to the mailbox and the mail bags.  They gathered up the premade letters and added them to their bags.  When these were all packed up, they made new letters to mail.  Bash and Molly were the first to be mail carriers, but several others got the chance as well.

In the water table, the kids were making soup.  They had two pots, water, a bowl of food, and kitchen tools such as a knife, ladle, and spoon.  I tasted noodle soup, avocado soup, and a wonderful vegetable soup.  Various kids came and went and then returned again later.  There was a lot of pouring and measuring going on.

Outside, Josie and Sebastian were looking for worms.  Sebastian had set-up a wonderful habitat for them to rest in while he continued to look for more.  Josie was so excited to show the other kids what they had found.  She carried the worm in to share each time they found a new one.

In the dramatic play area, we are back to a kitchen or restaurant.  Several kids there decided to bake chocolate chip cookies.  They worked very well together as some sat at the table and others did the cooking.

At circle time, everything changed.  They had difficulty sitting in their own space, difficulty listening to the songs, even difficulty listening to the story.  At the gym, the chaos continued with kids accidentally running into other kids, stepping on feet, and scaring others.  Finally, just before leaving for home or lunch bunch, we did some stretching and mirror movement.  Then we created a rain storm that we could hear pass over our heads bringing us back to a more controlled (I hope) place.

My thanks to Lisa and Brittni for all of their help today!

 

Monday, February 5 - What We Did Today!

 

Wow!  I’m not really sure where to begin describing our day.  The kids were amazing, the parent helpers positive and involved, and I was pacing.  So much to do without adult help and so little time to do it in!

During circle, we read about Postal carriers, what they do, how they go about doing it, and what tools they may need to do their jobs.  There was much discussion as to the gender of the mail carrier, whether they walked or drove (or both!), and what they might use to carry the mail.  From there, I showed them the mail box and two bags to carry mail for delivery.  When it seemed as if there wasn’t enough mail for all the carriers to deliver, they made their own mail by writing a letter or card, putting it into an envelop and mailing it in the post box. 

Art table was crayons, sharpeners, wax paper and an iron.  The first comment I heard was “we already did this”!  oh, well, what are you going to do?  Some of the kids cut the final project into various shapes.  I got caught up in the moment and made a heart for tracing.  I immediately stepped back when I realized what I had done and was happy to see many kids did not trace the heart but cut their pieces into various forms.  Marcus made a T-Rex that was pretty impressive.

Outside, there were haulers, treasure hunters, bug hunters, and mountain climbers.  The haulers, Dashel, Avery, Easton, and Otto were carrying large stones, wood blocks and rubber mats up the slide.  The treasure hunters, Edie and Henry, were digging out the sand looking for any treasure they could find.  Lillian and Finn were looking for bugs in all the right places and putting them in the bug catcher.  I think most of them were attempting to climb the mountain using the rope, but I only saw Lillian actually help Otto by pulling the rope up the slide while Otto held on.  Now that is heavy work!

Several kids such as Barkley, Dashel, and Henry cleaned up their area before moving on without me telling them to!  That was fabulous.  After mentioning that, Marcus and Aria cleaned up the two areas they had been playing in, again, without being asked.  Even the outdoor kids began cleaning up as soon as the clean-up song started.  Absolutely marvelous!  I think they were all surprised when they had time for a quiet game because everything was already cleaned up.

My thanks to Margaret and Ali for all of their help today!

Friday, February 2 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we talked about and acted out the story of “The Mitten.”  Everyone wanted a turn, so we went through the story twice.  We have the story and characters set up in two places, one as a felt board or puppet activity and the other with masks.  The kids usually like to act the story out throughout the week.

Avery, Barkley, Dashel, Simon, Henry, and Marcus were at the play dough table working with the bubber.  They were working together for about 30 minutes before they started to scatter to other centers!  There were minimal disputes which needed minimal help solving. 

At the water table, we had warm soapy water and straws for bubble blowing (a few tools to make bubbles as well.)  Kids were in and out of this center saving their straws in their cubbies for later use.

Avery and Otto decided to turn the loft into a pirate ship.  Only pirates were allowed.  Lucy was the first to join the crew followed by Barkley and Dashel and finally Easton.  This was a serious pirate crew.  A few of them went to find the treasure by swimming to the shore.  When they returned there was much joy and celebration.  I have never heard such amazing musical pirates!

The cars made it out and the ramps followed soon after.  There were races as well as stories connected to the individual cars.  Henry was trying to find out which was the fastest car.

Outside, Aria, Finn, Easton and Edie were having a great time listening to the woodchipper.  I think Marya was also impressed as she realized one of the “trucks” was remote controlled.  Aesa and Lillian joined the others outside digging and carrying tools up to the top of the play structure.

My thanks to Kelly and Marya for all of their help today!

Thursday, February 1 - What We Did Today!

Today much was going on as per the norm.  A bag of plastic eggs was found, opened and utilized.  The random ideas coming from various kids as to what to do with the eggs was lovely.  Stella was having an egg hunt.  Jubilee was collecting.  Several were opening and filling them.

We did some palette knife painting using finger paint which is a bit thicker than tempera and a wooden stick.  I only put out red, blue, and yellow so that new colors would emerge as the kids wiped the paper with their sticks.  Very fun and effective.

The water table was once again filled with warm soapy water and tools to create bubbles with.  My favorite is the straw.  He makes proper breathing a must which is helpful for kids if they are having a tough time.  If you find a straw in their cubbies, keep it there so that it is available when we have warm soapy water.

The doctors’ office is no longer a draw, so next week it will be something else – a Chinese restaurant or a post office.  For now, the doctors’ office was an amazing climbing structure!

I wasn’t outside, but Rachel was for much of the day, so I am assuming much was happening out there.  I hope she took lots of pictures so that I can see the who, what, and how.

There was much music in the loft.  Adam likes to be lead guitar while Josie is happy with percussion and voice.  Stella was also percussion along with Bash and Margot.  Margot also brought her voice in to play singing original songs such as “No, no, no, no, no!”  Josie added her own verse of “yes, yes, yes, no, no!” 

We had a family visiting today and the kids did a great job talking with them. My thanks to Jenny and Rachel for all of their help answering questions!

Wednesday, January 31 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we wrote the first page for our new book, Our Community.  We talked about our visit from Dr. Tang and then drew something from that visit or from a visit to our doctor.  Then we dictated our comments to one of the adults in the classroom. Once finished, we went off to work/play elsewhere in the classroom.

The art table was, I admit, a craft.  However, the reason for the craft was to get an idea of who may need some help cutting.  It was related to the story “The Mitten” which we will continue using to tell the story in various ways.  We read the book at the second circle, looking at all of the side pictures as well as the main picture.  Jan Brett tells a more in-depth story through the side pictures and it gives the kids a sneak peak as to what is coming.

The kinetic sand is still popular although I’m not sure if it is because of the texture or the story line the trucks add.  I know that Finn, Aria and I were paving roads with the steam rollers, while Lillian wanted to build a snowman.

Not as much interest in the doctors’ office lately, but I will watch for a way to continue the play with new interest or let it go.  Some babies were being treated and a lot of bandages were being opened, but that seemed to be the extent of the usage.

The water table had warm soapy water with various whisks and some straws available while the sensory table had bubber. 

The kids are doing a wonderful job with quiet game time.  They work together with Legos, blocks, games, or puzzles.  As a matter of fact, they utilize this skill throughout the day as well.  My thanks to Josh and Kristen for all of their help!

Tuesday, January 30 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we welcomed Molly our newest student.  Molly jumped right in to things, checking out the various centers, writing cards, and joining the play outside.  The classroom was very calm today.  It was described by two parents as “thin” which was fine with me.  I was able to focus on what everyone was up to, how they were playing, who they were playing with, and what additions I could bring into their play. 

Outside, Anthony and a small group were enjoying the sun, water, and fishing.  Molly, Adam, and Jubilee had a bucket on the end of the rope and were “fishing” by sending the rope down to the ground.  Anthony would put something into the bucket and they would pull it back up.  Rowan and Liam were filling a watering can and watering the ground.  They had a nice big lake on the west side of the play structure.

Kids were painting on aluminum foil with tempera paints.  Some of the paintings are bright with colors as well as with the foil shine!  They were busy for about 30 to 40 minutes before moving on to something else.

We had warm soapy water and things that make bubbles in the water table.  This brought many kids over to blow, mix, and pour.

Addy was working with the wild animals.  I think she may be part lion herself.  Her roar is very convincing.  She also showed me some of her ballet moves when I turned on the radio.  She twirled and raised swan arm. 

Others in the area discovered the ramps and tubes and began having races down the tubes.  Ginny used this to her advantage at clean-up by placing the tube end into the basket and having the kids race the cars down the ramp.  I learn something new everyday and not always from the kids!  My thanks to Anthony and Ginny for all of their help today!

Friday, January 26 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we talked a bit about crystals.  I passed around some crystals and pictures of crystals.  I explained the process of molecules in hot water and the point of saturation, too much information.  So, we left circle and took turns mixing borax and hot water to saturation, added a pipe cleaner shape, and left them on the windowsill.  As I write this, they are all hanging from the blinds drying.  They turned out very well.

It was a rather quiet day today for the most part.  Several kids were working with the kinetic sand and construction vehicles.  Some of them build, while others just like to drive through the sand or feel the texture of the sand.

Dash and Simon were doing some interesting building with the big blocks in the loft.  Last week someone made a rocket ship and about four kids took off to realms unknown.  Today it looked more like a plane of some sort. 

Outside with Kymberli, the kids were searching for worms which they finally found and shared with the rest of us.  There is nothing like a muddy worm to get kids excited!

You may have noticed some number activities on the manipulative tables lately.  I am watching to see who recognizes the number symbols to the amount it stands for.  Next drop off, ask your child which of the tiles is a seven and which is an eight. 

At second circle, we talked about Valentine’s Day and what we will be doing that day.  One of my favorite songs to teach the kids (besides I’m stirring) is I’m Gonna Mail Myself to You, by Arlo Guthrie.  Check to see how much they remember.  This year we will learn all five verses!

My thanks to Michelle and Kymberli for all of their help today!

Thursday, January 25 - What We Did Today!

 

Today the kids were actively involved immediately.  Here is what I noticed.

The Bubber is still intriguing to most of the kids.  Its’ texture is different enough to make creating different from playdough.  The latest technique has been to squeeze it tight enough together while shaping it into balls or other shapes such as triangles or squares.

The water table has thermometers, glasses, measuring cups, water, and ice.  There are no rules or suggestions for this table which creates various ideas from different kids.  Liam was working hard to gather up all of the water and place it into the bowl in the center.  Adam was more interested in the ice and what it was doing.  When he showed me the water with ice in it, the thermometer was in the bowl.  I asked him where the red ended, and we discovered that it was at 0.  He said he wanted it to go up to the top.  By talking through this without giving any specific answers, he got a cup of warm water, put the thermometer in and watch as the red line move quickly up to about 60.  For a while after, he practiced his new knowledge by moving the thermometer from one cup to the next watching as it moved up and down.

There were many doctors and a couple of patients today working hard to save lives.  Isla was sitting by her patient’s bed, Josie, stroking her hair to make her feel better. 

There were kids in the dry table working with construction vehicles in the kinetic sand.  They were clearing the road, steam rolling the road, and moving sand off of the road.  I the block area, the kids found some of the hot wheel type cars and began to race them on the play mat.  I asked if they would like a ramp to race them with and brought out some cardboard ramps for them to work with.  They tested several options deciding what worked best.  My thanks to Jenny and Lisa for all of their help today!

Wednesday, January 24 - What We Did Today!

 

Today was a wonderful day for learning!  We had a guest speaker, Dr. Tang also known as Marcus’ dad.  Dr. Tang is a surgeon and arrived in scrubs and all to talk with us about what a surgeon does.  He talked to us about the difference between a surgeon and a physician, he showed us on our body pop-up how food started in the mouth and ended outside of the body in the form of – yup – poop.  Of course, this was the most interesting part!  He also showed us how he had to clean and dress in order to be as sterile as possible before surgery.  We don’t want any germs or stray hairs getting into someone’s body!  From there, he gathered the kids around a table and showed them various tools used during surgery.  We saw sutures, tweezers in various sizes, a scalpel, a couple of tuning forks, and a rubber band.  The kids had some good questions to ask him after we were through.  When everything was done, those kids had been sitting in circle for about 50 minutes – 20 with me and another 30 with our guest!  Unbelievable.  They were doing a great job!

After this wonderful opportunity, they were ready to play.  I thought they would be headed to the dramatic play area, the doctors’ Office, but they were everywhere else. Only Aesa and Lucy were in the office.  I was listening for a bit because they didn’t seem to be working on patients.  It turns out Lucy was making medicine.  Pharmaceutical companies look out!

The dry table has kinetic sand with construction vehicles and definitely started some imaginations flowing.  Kinetic sand has a wonderful feel to it to begin with, but when you add the vehicles, there becomes a new kind of play.

We have been talking about animals in winter lately and what they do to stay warm.  We have talked about migration, hibernation, and growing thicker fur.  So today, we made bird feeders to help birds that don’t migrate have food.

Many of the kids have started working with ramps and cars.  I am enjoying where this is taking them and will try to keep up with them.  What a great day!  My thanks to Kyle and Kacy for all of their help!

Tuesday, January 23 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we celebrated Isla’s 4th birthday with rainbow cake and a song.  Evidently the bakers are doing an excellent job because I seldom see any leftover cake!

The water table had a bowl of water, ice cubes, glasses, measuring cups, and thermometers.  From there, the kids tried various things.  First, they were just testing the water in the bowl.  This led to some pouring from cup to cup and finally to pouring into individual glasses.  There we added some ice cubes and the thermometers while the kids watched as the red, mercury, moved rapidly down the thermometer.

We were coloring with crayons on top of a warming tray.  As the crayons melt, they leave a cool residue.  The colors seem more intense and pop off of the page.  There wasn’t a lot of interest though, as we had a new set-up in dramatic play – a doctors’ office.

This class was one of the first I’ve had that had several kids willing to be the patient.  Usually, parent helpers and I end up with shots and bandages galore before we go home!  They started taking turns right away.  Josie sat in the waiting seat for a very long time before she could see the doctor!

Outside, Sebastian was searching for caterpillars, slugs, or worms.  He wasn’t picky.  Unfortunately, with the rain, most critters were hiding in a dry spot somewhere.  The wild animals made a trip out today along with the jungle.  I am always interested to see how the play changes when we add the jungle to the area.  With just the animals, the kids line them up and then start fighting, but with the jungle, more often they are working together in the jungle.

Getting to circle was a little bit crazy, but we made it through and into the gym where many had to wait and take turns to use a new vehicle and did very well!  My thanks to Rachel and Brittni for all of their help today!

Monday, January 22 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we talked about animals in winter and what they do to stay warm.  I showed the kids some pictures and asked them what each animal did to stay warm in the winter.  They knew each one except for the bird.  Nicely done!  It was a long circle and even with some interruptions, they did an amazing job.

No one touched the sensory table with the Bubber ready to go which is interesting as this is usually a regular.  Of course, it has to do with the new dramatic play area, doctors’ office.  Lucy was the main patient other than the dolls.  She patiently laid on the bed while various kids with their faces covered with masks and their hair covered with a scrub hat decided what was wrong with her.  She got shots, medicine, and band-aids.

It was interesting how many kids spent the first part of the day working quietly with manipulators such as gears and Legos.  They were enjoying themselves in groups of two to five.  Usually, first thing, they are playing in the loft or outside moving and getting energy out.  So, it was interesting to watch as they quietly continued games then moved on.  Most did a good job cleaning up before moving on although usually with a reminder.

At the art table, the kids were to make a bear den, mix some special snow, and paint the den.  There seemed to be some trouble which I think was due to the bags being to light to hold up the snow.  Oh, well, live and learn.

The winter animals and ice floes continued to keep kids busy, especially as Edie had brought an Aquabot which she put into the water.  It was a shark-like submarine.

I had brought a Little Tykes car that I recently got from Buy Nothing (yea!) into the classroom hoping to wash it before the kids got here today.  Well that didn’t happen.  However, Stefan took it outside to wash it off along with Finn.  They finished it up and we were able to bring it to the gym.

The kids have really been enjoying the Magic Tree House book, Polar Bears before Bedtime.  Today we found out how a 750-pound bear and cross ice so thin that a human wouldn’t be able to cross it standing up.  Ask your child to show you how to do this.  You never know when you might be stuck on thin ice!

My thanks to Stefan and Marya for all of their help today!

Friday, January 19 - What We Did Today!

 

Today we were missing three kids which brought about an entirely different dynamic.  Kids broke up into various groups, moved from group to group, and other than being very loud by the end of the day, were calmly playing and interacting.

We talked about ice during circle, how is it made, is it warm or cold, what happens if it gets warm and so forth.  Then we read about ice.  It is amazing to me that they can sit in circle while I’m reading a book, giving their opinions about ice and what they are seeing in the book, but if anyone walked into the room at that point, they would be sure there was no control of this chaos!  They did a great job of staying on the topic and when someone veered, I reminded them to talk about ice and they managed to change immediately so that it was focused on ice.  Loud?  Yes!   Learning?  Most definitely!

At the art table, we had a little bit of science while also doing crayon resist.  The kids drew mostly designs with crayons.  Then they painted the paper with Epsom salts mixed into hot water.  They can see the resist right away, but later, they get to see the growth of some crystals that look like a frosty window.

The Bubber was very popular again today.  We were making cakes and cutting them into pieces.  Lillian was making little cakes as samples to give away.  Edie was getting right into her project!  Many kids went straight to the wood working table after finishing up with the Bubber.  Simon and Aesa were drilling holes, Simon was working with tape to create a scene, Marcus used tape to enhance a tree cut out, while Edie was building with the wood, but not attaching them with anything.

Another great day in preschool!  My thanks to Jessica and Andrew for all of their help today.