Saturday, September 28, 2013

September - A time for new beginnings

Even though it's fall and lots of people think of this time of year as an ending, it's the start of a new preschool year and for my students it's been a time of new skills, new friends, new knowledge and new routines.  Sometimes all those new things can be a little scary so our theme for September has been COURAGE!

Making new friends and caterpillars.
Looking for bugs and answers to all our questions.

To support our theme we read books like "First Day Jitters" and "Chrysanthemum".  We went on a "Bear Hunt" and spotted several ferocious ones, but "we weren't afraid".   We learned a new song about being brave.  It's sung to the tune of "Bingo" and the words area:
If you climb a tree even though it's high, 
Then you are being brave.
Then you are being brave.

If you try something new even though it's hard, 
Then you are being brave.
Then you are being brave.       
Ask your child to sing it to you.  They like to sing it with gusto!               
                                           Matching written letters to letter magnets.  They stick to the cookie tray!

We have also been working on letter sounds, names and shapes.  So far we've covered:
A is for apple and ants (We read "Apples, Apples, Apples" and "Apples A to Z")
B is for butterfly and brown bears (We read "Brown bear, brown bear" and "Once there was a caterpillar")
C is for caterpillars, corn, carrots (We read "The Very Hungry caterpillar" and "Ten Little Caterpillars")
D is for ducks and dots (We read "Make Way for Ducklings")

We've made art projects for each letter which are being compiled into an alphabet book.  They are so proud of their projects they always want to take them right home, so here's a little sneak peek.
B is for Butterfly!

We are also working on learning the names of our numbers.  This year I'm using a new DVD by Heidi Songs to help them remember numbers 0-10.  The kids love practicing.

We have also been working on practical skills and making an All About Me book which the kids will bring home this week to share with you.

   Looking for those ants we've been reading about!

 Learning to pour a cup of water.

                                                                                      Mastering a computer mouse.
   Getting all the pieces in the right places.

Listening to a story on tape.

Success! I put the puzzle together!

Peeling carrots is good for small motor control.....and it's fun!

We've also been learning the pledge of allegiance.  With someone to help I'll bet your little one can do quite a bit of it already. :)  They are all so bright and eager to learn.  The other day one of the little boys said, "Miss Cindy, I love to learn new things.  It makes me happy."  I agree and I'm lucky enough to learn new things along with the kids every day!  What a great beginning.

Using music, movement, play and art we learn phonics, math, literature and good social skills!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Fall classes are filling up!

I only have a few spots left.  Our AM class will meet M,W, F  from 9:15-11:45 am.   Our PM class will meet M,W, F from 12:30-3:00.  If you are interested or have questions, give me a call at  713-8113 or drop me an email at

Through games, music, art and academics, we prepare children for a bright future!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

March 2013 - Joy of Spring, Community workers, St. Patrick's Day and Easter

Wow!  March was a full month!  We continued our study about community workers by focusing on firefighters.  We reviewed the letter "F" for firefighter and did a letter search for the letter "F".  We made a picture of a house with a tissue paper fire and a firefighter beside it.  We practiced stop, drop and roll and crawling around the house on our bellies to escape the smoke if there was a fire.  (If you haven't already, you might want to talk about your family's fire escape plan and practice it.) We read the book "Flat Stanley and the Fire House" and then each child was sent home a few weeks later with their own copy of the book. Then we visited the fire station on McMillan where Chris and others helped to show us around.  They even sent the kids home with their own firefighter hats and badges.

We continued learning about other community workers like farmers, teachers and policeman and we made paper doll of some of these.

Next we transitioned into talking about signs of spring and we prepared for St. Patrick's Day.  Anytime I said "leprechaun" the kids jumped up and did an Irish jig.  They loved catching me saying the word.  We built a leprechaun trap and baited it with Lucky charms cereal, but he was too fast and escaped.  He did leave a note saying he wouldn't give us his gold, but that he might play tricks......which he did.  He turned the water in our toilet green.  The boys said it's because leprechauns "pee" green.  Later when our vanilla milkshakes turned green at snack time, the girls worried aloud if the leprechaun had peed in them.  I assured them that green was a leprechauns favorite color and that was the reason the shakes turned green.  We also made leprechaun book marks and read "St Patrick's Day" and "Jack the Leprechaun".  We baked Irish Soda bread. Everyone helped and it was yummy!

Green Milkshake Mustaches!!

More body memory learning

Some children learn by seeing something.  Some learn better by hearing it.  Most of us learn by a combination of learning styles or modalities.  One often overlooked learning modality is kinesthetic or body movement.  Preschoolers ALL learn better by integrating movement with new ideas.  In early February we practiced writing our letters and numbers in an interesting way.......Watch and enjoy.

Feb. 22 Our Field trip to Rosauers

The end of February we began a unit on Community Workers.  We first learned about grocery clerks and chefs.  We made chef's hats from tissue paper and card stock.  They were so cute.  We learned the song, "911 is who you call, who you call, who you call, 911 is who you call, when you need some help" (London bridges tune).  We then went on a really fun field trip to Rosauer's Grocery Store on Eagle Rd.  Sandy was our guide and she was excellent.

February 2013 - Groundhogs, Valentines and President's Day

In February our overall theme was Friendship but there were lots of other things to learn and talk about.

Books we read - "10 Grouchy Groundhogs", "Happy Valentines Day, Mouse", "I love you stinky face", "I love you forever", "A Pocket full of Kisses", "The Day it rained Hearts", "Construction Zone", and "At the Supermarket".

We learned a new song,  "Won't you be my valentine? Valentine? Valentine?  Won't you be my Valentine, Be a Friend of Mine." (London Bridges tune) and we worked on our "ABC sounds" song.  Original music but the lyrics are "1,2,3,4, when we learn these sounds you'll see, ready to read then we will be aa (short sound of the letter)  apple, b b ball, c c cat and dd doll, e e egg and f f fan, g g goat and h h hand"  You get the idea and you'll hear us sing it at graduation.

Just before Groundhog day we learned about Puxatony Phil and we predicted whether he would see his shadow.  We made shadow animals on the walls of our preschool and played flashlight tag.  We crawled through tunnels like a groundhog.

To celebrate Valentine's day we did rubbings of sand paper hearts, decorated foam door hangers with stickers and foam shapes, practiced writing "I love you", did a Valentine's color by number picture, decorated mailboxes, made pasta friendship bracelets, counted and sorted conversation hearts and had a party with treats, games and valentine exchanges.

We also learned about George Washington just before President's Day.  We made a cherry tree by painting the trunk and then glueing leaves and cherries on it.  We introduced our first digraph "Ch" is for the cherry tree.

January 2013 - Snow and the Solar system

January was really cold and there was plenty of snow so we did units on "Signs of Winter"  and "Snow".  We painted the snow outside with water bottles filled with colored water, made snowflakes inside with paper, glue and glitter and brought snow inside the classroom by the bucket full.  We predicted what would happen to the snow inside and what would be left behind.  (In case you're wondering our snow was fairly dry in January and 1 bucket of snow turned into 1/2 bucket of water.)  We talked about where animals go during the winter and the clothing we need to wear during cold weather.

We read books like "The Magical Snowman", "Hibernation Station" and "The Snowy Day."  Because our overall theme for the month was RESPONSIBILITY we also read "I am responsible", "All by Myself", "It's milking time", "When I grow up", "Just a Mess" and "I was so mad".

Next we left the cold of earth behind and had a unit on the "Solar System".  We made a mobile of the planets, reviewed the letters P for planets, S for Solar System, A for Astronaut and M for Moon.  We traveled with Mrs. Frizzle on the Magic School Bus to our solar system, painted pictures of the sun and sang songs like "Zoom, zoom, zoom, We're going to the moon (repeat) If you'd like to take a trip, climb aboard my rocket ship, zoom, zoom, zoom"  sung to Three Blind Mice.  We also learned the "Responsibility" song.  Lyrics are "Come on do what you're supposed to do, responsibility is following through" (repeat twice).  We found this on Youtube.