Saturday, March 10, 2012

Old Mrs. Karen Had a Farm!

"Old Mrs. Karen had a farm!"  EE-I-EE-I-O!  With some fun here and some fun there, everywhere some fun, fun!  Old Mrs. Karen had a farm, EE-I-EE-I-O!"  Okay, that is enough singing for a Saturday!  Can you tell we talked about the farm this week?  It was great!  We have mooed, oinked, neighed, quacked and clucked all week (not easy with a sore throat I might add).  We also had a great time, let me show you.  Our Monday we talked about one of our favorite barnyard friends, the pig!  We started off with an activity that I have done for several years now, our muddy pigs!
 We painted our pigs with our regular paint and let them dry.  It doesn't should like a whole lot of fun but if you "oink" while you paint, you start to giggle!  After they dried, we added "Mrs. Karen's Special Mud"!  It is a fun mixture of . . . .

Everyone mixed up their own "mud" and slapped it on their pigs!  Each child had their own method for applying the mud.  There was the "I don't want to get my hands dirty" method -

The "let's just use one finger" method - 
And then there is MY favorite, "LET'S DO THIS!" method - 
The "how" part didn't really matter, it was the "fun" that counted!  All-in-all our pigs were "perfect"! 

We also spent our circle time talking about pigs and how they use mud to cool off.

Tuesday turned into an "R" day.  We talked about letter of the week and rabbits!  If you are a follower of my blog you know that I really enjoy "reusing" items in my classroom (and at home too!).  I don't believe in spending a lot of money to have fun.  Our "R"ed "R"abbit is a perfect example of this.  We started with a good 'ole toilet tissue roll and painted it red.  

After it dried, we added a face, some ears and a tail - instant "Red Rabbit"!

Our circle time was spent talking about rabbits and everyone tried to "hop" everywhere we went!

Wednesday's are always a fun day for us because we get to spend 30 minutes in the "big" gym with my good friend, Mrs. Nancy.  We call it "Wednesday Wiggles".  It really is a preschool version of a Physical Education class.  There are about 40 children in each class and we work on group activities and following instructions.   I love when everyone runs in the door screaming "is it wiggles day?".  And since wiggles is so much fun, I have to make sure my classroom time is fun too.  SSSOOOOO, this Wednesday we talked about roosters.  We cock-a-doodle-dooed ALL day and spent our circle time talking about roosters.  We also made a wonderful rooster to take home.

He was quick and fun.  (Quick note:  Next time we will make him red!).

Thursdays are always busy for us, but not too busy to talk about horses!  We galloped along  as we neighed and made our hand print horses.

I love hand print art!

Finally, it was Friday and time for REAL fun!  I don't think anyone was disappointed with this week's "Fabulous Fun Friday"!  We started with a recycled sheep project.  This was GREAT for our fine motor skills and everyone had a fun time.  First we wound the yard (your choice of colors of COURSE!) around a piece of old recycled cereal box.

Next, we added a head and some clothes pins for legs.  Instant recycled sheep!  
Our Auburn and Alabama Sheep!
Our blue sheep!

Since we were talking about sheep, we headed to the kitchen to make our snack.  We made sheep cookies, of course!

Okay, I know, you have to use your imagination on these, but we loved them!

Our science experiment of the week was all about the letter "R"!  We made raisins and rice dance!  
I'm not sure where I found the original experiment but, Dancing Raisins is a great link.  I changed it up a little by adding a little red food coloring and using rice too.  We did the experiment at around 10:00 a.m. and by 1:00 p.m., the raisins and rice were still moving!  Everyone loved them!

We had a busy week!  Next week is all about the letter "Z" and the zoo.  It is our last week before our Spring Break so I will be pulling out a bunch of new ideas.  Thanks for visiting with us and I hope you will come back soon.

This blog post was shared on 
Kids Co-op 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Everything about Friday, March 2, 2012 did not go as I had planned.  Besides being the amazing Dr. Seuss' birthday, it was also the birthday of my dear friend and fellow teacher, Mrs. Christi.  I wanted our pre-school day to be extra, extra special but alias, the real-world got in the way.  After days and days of planning and scheming (I spent days telling all our parents that we would be celebrating TWO birthdays on Friday), I left school on Thursday to head home and bake a birthday cake in the shape of the hat from A Cat in the Hat.  NOPE!  I came home to a refrigerator that was leaking water all over my kitchen.  So after mopping up my floor, finding the problem, deciding it wasn't worth the money to fix the thing, my hubby and I headed out to buy a new refrigerator!  By the time we got home, there was no time for baking.  Luckily, I called one of our moms (and dear, dear friend) and she volunteered to make our my cake!  THANKS TIFFANY!   I headed to bed that night thinking of the fun we would have on Friday.  Again, real life got in the way!  The great state of Alabama (and most of the southeast) woke up Friday to the news that we would be under a severe weather threat all day.  After what has happened to our state in the past 10 months, we in Alabama take severe weather VERY SERIOUSLY.  All the schools in our area made the decision to close early Friday. Our school would be closing at 12:00 noon but since most of the other schools closed at noon too, I knew our parents would pick up first.  RATS!  Sorry, Dr. Seuss!  I had to get moving to make this day a success!

We started our day by changing up our little carpool routine.  I helped Friday and told each child as they got out of the car that they could RUN down the hall to Mrs. Christi's room IF they told her "Happy Birthday"!  OH BOY!  Who doesn't want to run in school?  Christi said everyone ran in yelling "HAPPY BIRTHDAY!"  Many of the children brought her cards and gifts.  It was so fun to watch her face as more, more children came to school.  We talked about Dr. Seuss and sang "Happy Birthday" to him most of the morning.  Our art project was scaled back a bit because of our short day.  I still think it turned out well.

We headed to our kitchen for our Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish snack.  I found this printable and enlarged it.

 We loved counting our "fish" and placing them on the counting sheet.
And of course we enjoyed eating Mrs. Christi's birthday cake!

I really wanted to squeeze in our science experiment.  It came from the Dr. Seuss book, Bartholomew and the Oobleck .  WARNING this experiment is very messy!  I got MY recipe from Instructables , of course I didn't follow them EXACTLY (insert evil giggle here!)  Everyone had a lot of fun mixing and making a big mess!

Because our time was short we weren't able to do all activities but we ended our day with a new game.  We called it "HAT, HAT, CAT!"  You play it just like "DUCK, DUCK, GOOSE!" but change out the words!  Everyone and I do mean EVERYONE loved running and playing our new game.

All in all it was a short but great day.  I'm planning on doing a little tweaking to our calendar for next year.  I think we need an entire week to celebrate Dr. Seuss (and Mrs. Christi too)!  

Thanks for visiting us!  I hope you come back soon.  Next week we will be talking about the farm!

Leap Day 2012

It just hit me as I was starting the post, this is my first "Leap Year" since I began blogging!  And, I think I dropped the ball a little on taking pictures of our "Leap Day" activities.  It is after all, almost impossible to hold a camera and teach pre-school at the same time.  Most of my pictures are taken while the children are doing their artwork (if my hands are clean!).  So please bear with me.

Leap year is very difficult to explain to a group of 3 and 4 year olds.  I found this amazing site  Leap Day for Kids and it went over very well.  BUT, to be honest, we mostly talked about frogs!  Yes, frogs leap and they are a lot more fun than talking about the number of days in a year!  So for the most part we leaped around the room, made frog noises and talked about what frogs ate (gross stuff because they eat flies!).

Our art project was fun.  We made frog hats!
I cut out the middle of the paper plate and folded it back.  Because we wanted to wear our frog hats home we used crayons and markers to color a paper plate.  Next we added the frog's eyes and legs.  I'll try to find a finish project to post.  He looks more like a turtle but we didn't care!  We popped him on our heads and leaped down the halls!

Friends Around the World and "O" Week

This week our unit was scheduled to be "Friends Around the World" and the letter "O".  If I have learned nothing else from teaching pre-school for the last 16+ years, I have learned that things change!  And change they did this week!   I did start off the week planning to stick to my lesson plan of "Friends Around the World" by talking about the amazing country of Italy and Leonardo Da Vinci.  We looked at the beautiful flag of Italy and discussed the meaning of each of the colors.
Green - Hope, Joy and Love
White - Peace and Honesty
Red - Hardinesss, Bravery, Strength and Valour

But of course if you are a preschooler, when you see an Italian flag you automatically think of Francesco Bernooulli!
Ahhhhhh, the power of media!

We also talked about Michelangelo his wonderful sculptures and art.  I had several wonderful pictures of the Sistine Chapel and the students loved looking at them.  It's fun to look at pictures of great art, but how about let's make some Michelangelo art of our own!  We hit the floor for this lesson and drew UNDER the tables! (Edited because this crazy teacher wrote Leonardo de Vinci instead of Michelangelo!)

As soon as I said "u"nder the tables, several students yelled "under starts with U"!  OHHHHHH they remembered last week's letter of the week, "U"!  A sweet teacher moment for sure.  Some of the children would have stayed under the tables for the entire day, others spent only a few minutes on their art and they were ready to move on.  It didn't really matter because we all had a wonderful day!

Tuesday we talked about the letter "O".  We spent the making the "O" sound and laughing.  For some reason making the "O" sound is extremely funny.  It was a very happy day in our classroom.  We did a very impressive art project on Tuesday.  We started with a plain black piece of construction paper and covered it with chalk.

Next, we poured black paint on the bottom and let it run off the top of the paper.

Everyone loved letting the paint dripped into the garbage can!

After it dried we added a little owl, a moon and lots of stars!

The end results were nothing short of amazing!

It is hard for me to believe that these were done by 3 and 4 year old children!  

I'm ending this posts now because as I said earlier, "things change".  The rest of our week was devoted to Leap Year and good 'ole Dr. Seuss' Birthday.