Sunday, September 25, 2011

"C" Week and Church

WOW! "C" week was a Complete success! We started off early Monday morning talking about the letter "C", the color yellow and triangles by doing an amazing art project.  We call it our Colorful Shape Clowns!  Aren't they the Cutest things ever???

Everyone enjoyed putting the different colored shapes together.  I really love the new button eyes.  Our wonderful director, Mrs. Cynthia, ordered these LARGE buttons in all different shapes and colors.  The children had to hunt for two eyes that were the same.  Oh what fun!

Monday is also our Computer Lab day.  We divide up into two groups and while one group heads upstairs with our friend, Mrs. Tiffany, the other group stays with me.  I always like to do something a little special so Group #2 doesn't feel left out.  So this week we headed to the kitchen to make our own crayons!  I always think it is so funny that children love to peel the paper off of crayons.  Well, they do until they are actually instructed to do it!  Some very sweet person donated a large box of used crayons to our school.  Now, I said "large" but the word really should have been HUGE!  We got busy peeling paper and doing a lot of giggling.  It seems that on this particular day, peeling paper either makes you giggle or get mad.

We finally filled our muffin tins with all the broken and peeled crayons.  We decided that some of the muffin tins would have all different shades of one color in it while others were filled with every color you could imagine.  We popped them into the oven and in just a few minutes they were all melted.  I put the in the refrigerator while we were on the playground.  When we returned - our very own, homemade new crayons!  FUN!

Tuesday we talked about our theme of the week, "Church".  I think it is very important to remind the children that even though we are at school, we are still "in" a church.  I always tell them that NO ONE loves to act silly and have fun more than I do.  BUT, there are a few times that we have to be "RESPECTFUL".  The first is when we head upstairs to have our Chapel time.  The second is when we say a prayer.  And the third is when we say our Pledge of Allegiance.  I only have a couple of children who need reminding of this.  And believe me, I remind them!  (OKAY, I'll get off my soapbox now . . .)  Anyway, we are very lucky to have a beautiful stain glassed window in our church/school, so I thought we needed to make one too.  We are lucky to have a large commercial Ellison Die Cutting Machine upstairs in the main office that we can use.  We got a large roll of contact paper

and requested the "church window" die cut and we went to work!

I love how patient everyone was.  I thought that my boys would use nothing but blue tissue paper or the girls would only want the pink and purple.  But once again they surprised me, everyone wanted ALL the colors!  Our very Colorful Stain Glass Window was a big success!
Several Moms told me later that they put the window in their kitchen window to let the light shine through.

During the week, while some students are working on their art projects other students have the opportunity to explore our different centers.  One of the most popular centers (right behind the blocks) is our writing center.  I have taken some writing sheets that I downloaded from First-School  I made copies of the writing paper and wrote each child's name on one.  I laminated the sheets and the children use the new Crayola dry erase crayons.  These things are amazing!

The children write then they wipe!  Everyone loves it practice writing our names!

Another fun center is our "Fine Motor Skills" table.  There is always a different game or manipulative to help us work on our fine motor skills.  Here is one of our newest games.  We call it the "Color Wheel".

As the year progresses, I will change out the clothes pins.  The next step is to have them with only the words written on them in the correct color.  After that they will have only the words, no color.  I love having fun and learning our color words at the same time.

Wednesday is always a fun filled day!  Besides our regular activities we get to spend 30 minutes in the gym with Mrs. Nancy.  She has wonderful games and activities planned.  It is a Physical Education class designed just for us.  I had what I thought was a fun art project planned for us too.  Well, as always things got changed.  I saw this Puffy Paint Cupcakes over at Teach Preschool and I knew we MUST DO IT!  There are no words to describe the fun we had.  Everyone loved saying, "it looks good, but you can't eat it!".   First we read the wonderful book If You Give a Mouse a Cupcake by Laura Numeroff.  We love all her books!  By the time I finished finished reading it everyone was giggling and asking, "are we going to eat a cupcake?"  I really felt bad when I told them "no".  But everyone agreed, our art project was almost as good!  We started by folding the paper for our cupcake wrapper -

Then we made our icing!

It was a wonderful combination of shaving cream, glue and your favorite color of food coloring.

And as everyone knows, you can't have a cupcake with our sprinkles, so we added some sprinkles -

The sprinkles were actually some old metallic confetti that we found!  I knew it would come in handy ONE DAY!  And here it is, the perfect "C" word, CUPCAKE!

If you are wondering whether or not it stayed puffy?  
Well, YES IT DID!  
We had to be a little careful taking it home, but it was still nice and puffy.  
Oh, and it smelled good too!
for another great idea!

Our Thursdays are so busy!  First we have Chapel and that last about 40 minutes and we also squeeze in a 20 minute Spanish class.  I have to plan fun but quick activities for Thursday.  This week, I think I nailed it!  The puffy painted cupcake gave me an idea.  We had found some puffy paint in the supply closet earlier and I had been wanted to use it.  I hesitated, because it said you had to bake it in the oven for it to "puff".   But wait . . . putting something in the oven and baking it is called, "cooking" it right?????  Okay, let's do this!  I found an old writing sheet that we trace for writing practice.  
It gave me an idea!  I drew circles onto a piece of aluminum foil
Each child decided what color to put in each circle
We spread the paint around and waited 24 hours for it to dry!  (Just a note, preschoolers and some teachers are not very good at waiting!)
Since we had to wait and I didn't tell them what was going to happen to the paint, we spent our circle time discussing the possibilities.  And discuss we did!  I loved some of the answers.  Of course there is always that one person who thinks (maybe hopes really) that it will "blow-up".  A few thought it might "disappear" and several thought it would change colors!  We wrote all our answers on the board and waited. 

Friday morning finally arrived and we headed to the kitchen to cook our "Cs".  A 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes and . . . . . 
A colorful "C"!
Friday of course is our big science experiment day.  We did a wonderful experiment involving milk, food coloring and dishwashing detergent.  I call it a "Colorful Explosion".  Okay, nothing really exploded but it does get their attention.  First I dropped some green food coloring into the room temperature milk.
The I drop one drop of dishwashing detergent into the center of the food coloring

AHHH!  The food coloring will move very quickly!  We had to do it many, many times.  But each time everyone loved it.

Of course we had to cook something this week and since we had just read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie we had to make a chocolate chip cookie.  BUT, we had to make it the "Mrs. Karen" way!  Here are a couple of versions of our chocolate chip cookies -
Our number of the week was "3" so each cookie got 3 chips!

I really loved the stacked cookie!  YUM!

Of course each Fabulous Fun Friday we must have a Fabulous Art Project and this week we had SEVERAL!  I found this vegetable slicer thingie in my basement.  (I think my mother-in-law gave it to me because she didn't want it anymore.  PLEEAAASSSEE. . . don't tell her what I did with it!)  When I looked at it, it was all rusty, YUCK!  So, I used it at school to make crayon shavings!
Well you know what you HAVE to do with crayon shavings . . . 
YES!  We melted them onto a triangle piece of paper!  We called it "A Very Colorful Triangle!"  (Sorry, no pictures of the final project, I forgot!)

My sweet friend and fellow teacher, Mrs. Christi, had a lot of fun melting crayons.  I am sure that you have seen this

It is all over the internet.  Of course we had to try it.  First, cover you area with a lot (and I do mean a lot) of plastic.  I'm sure the original artist was much older than my class, but I think we did a great job!  We glued crayons randomly to a piece of cardboard using E-6000 glue.  I put out an S.O.S. to my friends on Facebook saying I needed an old hair drier.  Luckily, I found one!  Here are some amazing pictures of us in action

Everyone waited pretty patiently for their turn.  Now here it is

We were all so proud!

What an amazing week!  We were all so very tired by the time it was carpool time, one little girl actually fell asleep.  

Thanks for stopping by and check on us!  I hope you will come back again!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Letter "D" and Pets

Here we go again!  What a great week!  On Monday the class started our unit on "Pets" and introducing the letter "D" with a wonderful, easy project.

Unfortunately, I wasn't there because I was sick at home recuperating from a massive migraine (YUCK!).  But thankfully my substitute did a great job holding down the fort.  I like this project because it really isn't anything special - at first.  But look closely and you will see the precious little prints of the children.

Tuesday, I was back and ready to go!  We started our day with an interesting art project.  We made "Sam the Square Blue Dog".  As you can see, Sam was made entirely of blue squares.

 I think he turned out to be Darling and most importantly everyone was so proud!

We sent a note home asking the parents to send pictures of their child's pet(s) to school.  During circle time everyone took turns telling us the name of their pets and why they love them.  
Our class microphone came in very handy!  It seems this small little addition to my circle time REALLY works!  Everyone has already learned that you can't talk until you are holding the microphone.  YEAH!

Tuesday is also our "Music Class" day.  The entire class spends approximately 20 glorious minutes singing, learning new songs AND discovering new musical instruments.

Wednesday is always a super busy day.  We  worked again on our letter "D" and our "Squares" by making a dump truck filled with blue squares!.  With a room full of boys, I am sure that you know it was FUN!

Everyone had a good time pointing out all the different shapes we used.  

Wednesday is also our "Wiggles Day".  We head to our gym for 30 minutes of group activities.  It is really a Physical Education class for 3 and 4 year old children.  EVERYONE loves WIGGLE DAY!

Thursday starts out with our Chapel Class.  Again, it is church for 3 and 4 year old children.  We sing some of the most wonderful songs and then hear a fabulous Bible story.  Chapel last about 40 minutes and we love it.  I still am amazed at how well my class behaves in Chapel.  Needless to say, this class was no exception - their behavior was FABULOUS!  I was so proud!!!  We also head to "Spanish Class" on Thursday.  This is a short 20 minute class which introduces us the wonderful Spanish language.  I love hearing my class greet Mrs. Fish (okay, her REAL name is Mrs. Felicia, but no one calls her that!) by saying "hola" and "adi'os" as they leave.

The only problem with having Chapel and our "Spanish Class" on Thursday is that our art and circle time is drastically reduced.  I usually have to have something quick planned.  So this week we made a "Square Blue Collage".  SIMPLE, SIMPLE, SIMPLE but oh so fun!

Several blog post ago I mentioned paint chips and how I would be telling you what I did with them.  Well, if you look closely you will notice that some of the blue squares we have used on these projects were punched from paint chip samples!  


Finally, it was our "FABULOUS FUN FRIDAY"!  I love to pull out special things on Friday.  My goal is for everyone to have so much fun that they can not wait to return on Monday.  I think this Friday did exactly that.  We started with an insane art project.  We called it 
We started with BIG half sheets of poster board.  Next, we made different shades of blue paint.  (Everyone really loved looking through the blue paint chips trying to find the shades of blue we made.)  Finally, it was time for FUN!  I have been saving different size square boxes to use as BIG stamps.  I like BIG things!  We used everything from old tea boxes (remember, I live in the south, we drink a lot of iced tea!) 

to old jewelry boxes  
But the fun really came when I pulled out this -
I found it at our lake house.  I think it was used for firework rockets during the 4th of July.   I'm really not sure, but we didn't care because the bottom was a perfect square!
You can see by the above photo that we also used an old tissue box.  We had a blast!

Soon it was time to head to the kitchen for our "Science" and "Cooking" class.  As everyone left on Thursday I told them we were going to "eat a dog" for Friday's snack.  I love the look on their faces when I tell them things like that!  Here are a couple of our "Dog" cookies -

Please notice our square heads.  And yes, they tasted as good as they looked!

Our science experiment for the week was "Does it Dissolve?"  Several of the children were given clear plastic cups (you only get to be a "Science Helper" if you are using your extra special listening ears) and we poured in different items to see if they would dissolve.
The grits and shaving cream were fun!
We ended up with eight different cups.  It was fun to look at them while we ate our snack.

We ended up our week by pulling out the ever-popular "Playdough", blue of course!  Everyone tried very hard to make our letter of the week.  Hmmm . . . . 

And people wonder why I'm very tired at the end of the week! :)

Thanks for stopping by!  I hope you will come back next week and see how we learn, play and have a great time!