Sunday, April 29, 2012

What? Sunday night already?

Wow, the weekend sure went by fast! And I feel like I have been run over by a truck! My little munchkins internal clock is a pain in the neck! She was up by 6:30am both on Saturday and Sunday! NO sleeping in for this momma!

BUT I must say, it was a productive weekend! We did some fun activities, went shopping and Im excited about this oneI started working on my 1st Freebie! I am hoping that I get around to finalizing it by the end of the week to be able to share!

Anyhow, the little munchkins interest in Ladybugs is still going strong and this weekend we stopped by a toy/teacher store in the mall and found what I had been looking to purchase online: Lady Bug Land! And a Teacher Discount at the store was even better!
She is super excited and is already eagerly awaiting the arrival of the ladybug larvae- even though I wont be sending the card out until tomorrow! I know, I know-- bad momma---I should have done it as soon as we opened the box! Oops

Well, I am sure she will forget all about it until they actually arriveor until she notices where I put the Ladybug habitat in her playroom!

BUT I have many other things planned to hold her interest until then! I found a set of Beginner Skill floor puzzles (four puzzles) at this same store and I originally bought it with the intention of using them in my classroom but once she got her little hands on it, it was over! You know those toddlers: Its MINE! 

And she shocked me when she was done with all four puzzles in no time!

So, now I probably will have to go get another set for my classroom OR sneak them out of the house and hope she doesnt notice they are gone! J

Well thats about all the excitement I have for now 

I am one exhausted momma and I have to deal with 19 preschool munchkins tomorrow, so I will have to post again tomorrow and share the other things my little munchkin and I did this weekend...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Around the World in 30 minutes !

Today’s Multicultural Day was a HUGE hit! Not only did we have a very good parent turnout for the monthly center meeting/Multicultural Festival, but the kids loved it!
As I said in my recent post, my classroom has been studying Italy. Each classroom in the center (a total of four) was assigned a different country and have been studying the historical facts, art, music and culture of the country.

After the parent meeting that was held by the administration, parents came to the classrooms and we all went on a “tour” to visit each classroom and view the work that all the munchkins have done and sample a food from the classroom’s country.

Mosaic Art:
  In studying the culture of Italy, we looked at some of the popular art in Italy and I decided to have my munchkins make a mosaic. Because of time constraints (thanks to the last minute meeting I had to attend on Tuesday), we didn’t have time for anything elaborate, so I found some clear plastic plates and dug some magazines and sales paper from my recycle bin for a quick and cute paper mosaic art activity for the munchkins to do. 

They came out beautiful!

Learning about Famous Italian Artists:
 We also took a closer look at the art in Italy and learned about Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. I showed the munchkins pictures of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo and told them about how he painted it while lying on his back. And to give them the experience of how it feels to “paint” while lying on their back, I taped some bulletin board paper underneath the art table with some colored pencils and crayons (cuz paint would have been a disaster!) and let them go at it! At first they were very awkward as they tried to figure out how to actually draw “upside down” (as they called it), but once they got the hang of it, I had to drag them out from under the table to give the other munchkins a turn! 

As you can see- they LOVED it! 

Here is their masterpiece that we exhibited in the hallway today for our Multicultural Festival:

We also learned about Leonardo Da Vinci, whose Mona Lisa painting I have in the Art Center. They seemed very interested in learning more about the person who painted that portrait. As I read the book on Da Vinci and came to the information about the Mona Lisa painting, a few of them immediately referred back to the picture painting in our Art Center! Wow, guess they really do pay attention to what I put on the walls. Now I am happy to say that they now know the name of the artist and the painting!
We learned about the art of painting people, I modeled how to refer back to the subject (their friend) to paint their portrait as precise as possible, and each munchkin partnered up with a friend and painted their portrait!

I got a kick out of watching them paint each other and the looks on some of the munchkins’ faces as their friends painted them were priceless!

Ahhhh... blooming artists in the making, don’t you think?

Overall, it was an awesome day and a 
very fun week! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Touring Italy !

  I feel very blessed to be in the company of so many different ethnicities and cultures at my Head Start center. In my classroom alone, I have at least 6 different ethnicities! It is awesome and I absolutely love the diversity! Being a Chicago native, diversity was all around me, so I feel at home.

   So, it was no surprise that our focus for the Week of the Young child was multiculturalism. I am sure it could have been something else but I like the fact that in teaching our students about different countries, we are teaching them about differences and tolerance within those differences-those are very important lessons for children to learn!

   Anyhow, so my classroom was assigned to Italy!  cIAO!

   The munchkins are still intrigued with the entire world and are fascinated with our classroom globe since we have been referring to it since last week when we talked about Earth Day.
   We located Italy in the globe and then I showed them Italy on a larger map. The children’s atlas I had came in handy because it helped me to teach them different things about Italy- some things that I didn’t even know! LOL
   The first things we learned to identify was the flag of Italy.
   The munchkins love to paint, as all preschoolers do, and so when it came time to paint the flag of Italy, we experimented with some sponge paint rollers that I found in the art closet! 

It was messy but what is painting if it isn’t messy, right?

   After learning some interesting facts about Italy, I drew a picture of Italy on bulletin board paper, as best as I could. My drawing skills are at about the preschool level to be honest with you!
   Each munchkin contributed to our Italy collage as they chose the clip art picture they liked the best and cut and paste it onto the paper.

   And this is part of the display that is hanging outside our classroom, ready for our Multicultural Day event tomorrow afternoon!

   Today we learned about 2 famous Italian artists: Michelangelo and Da Vinci. We started some awesome art activities today and we will finish them up tomorrow in time for the afternoon event!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tuesday Training Takes Away Teaching Time...!

So today I attended my 1st Universal PreK Teacher training (since I started this job in February) and I will admit, I was a bit excited! Being a new teacher in this city, I felt like a rookie… LOL
 It wasn’t the most inspiring meeting since all we did ALL day was look at the Scope and Sequence of our curriculum in detail and align it with the NYS Early Childhood Common Core Standards... that’s quite boring! But it was great to meet other preschool teachers outside of my Head Start center!

Anyhow it was a little break from my preschool munchkins, which is always needed, BUT we have so much to cover this week and so I felt like I lost a day. I could have left my actual lessons and activities with my aides but being me, I wanted to oversee everything and of course I needed to take pictures myself! Sounds selfish I know, but when I plan activities for the 1st time, I prefer to be the one facilitating it all, you know what I mean?

Stay tuned for our Week of the Young Child activities, as we focus on multiculturalism and study the country of Italy!

Earth Day is Everyday!

So my munchkins are still learning about Earth Day because Earth Day should be everyday right? =)

Anyhow, as promised, here are the pictures of some of the Earth Day activities we have done...

Our Earth Day Pledges

 We Love Our Earth 

We have a few recycled art activities planned for the next coming weeks, as I encouraged them to bring in any recyclable trash for our Classroom Recycle Bin, that we will try to reuse!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!

    The little munchkin and I have been talking and learning about Earth Day since we saw “The Lorax”.
   And this morning after reading the book AGAIN, I chose a quick puzzle for her to do from our “Lorax” pack and then we made some more yummy Nutter Butter Lorax cookies!

  Back in my classroom this week, the preschool munchkins and I discussed on a very basic level, the problems that Earth faces today and how we can save the earth in small ways.

   I loved all their ideas on what they can do to help protect the earth, so I made a writing activity from it.

It made me happy to see them so concerned about saving and protecting the Earth! 

Tomorrow I will post pictures of the Earth Day bulletin board which contains and Earth art project they did earlier in the week!

The week went by way too fast, as did the weekend!

Online Story Time by Barnes and Noble

I was doing some blog hopping and I came across an awesome blog (Little Literacy Learners) that posted about Online Story Time by Barnes & Noble.

Each month there is a new book that is read by the author or another celebrity.

My little munchkin LOVES it!

This month's book is "The Pigeon Wants a Puppy" by Mo Willems

So I am excited to pass it on to you.... You can even see/listen to past month's featured books! Check it out!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Spin & Graph Truffula Trees Game

     I want to give a BIG thanks to 2TeachingMommies for creating a free downloadable The Lorax Unit pack my munchkins love the Spin & Graph games that are in these packs. Click on the link to their blog above or below my picture to get your own copy!

Spin and Graph Truffula Trees
     I first introduced a Spin & Graph game during our Dinosaur unit and it was a hit!

This time though instead of running off copies for each student, (cuz we need to save paper, you know) I just printed out enough sheets for 4 players (or 2 teams) and laminated them. And I found some colorful plastic rock thingees in my lovely art closet to use as cover-ups.

PERFECT small group idea for center time!  Not only is it a fun game, they get lots of practice counting, graphing and learning the concept of more or less! Awesome 

MAYBE one day I will have some time to make my very own Spin & Graph gamesMAYBE ! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Earth Day Fun: Truffula Trees!

So when I started the discussion about Earth day with my preschool munchkins, I was excited to see where it would go! For the most part, they had no idea what I was talking about! 

Great huh? YES!! Because that just made me more motivated to teach them about Earth Day and the importance of taking care of our planet.

Their little faces were glued to me as soon as I said the words: “Our Earth is in trouble”. The room was filled with silence as their eyes widened as I tried my best to explain how and why the earth is in trouble and what we can do to help. 

When I get attentiveness like I did this morning, it reminds me why I love what I do. Teaching, training, manipulating (whatever you wish to call it) young little minds takes a lot of heart (and yes, patience), but it’s so worth it.

I grabbed their attention by reading the book “The Lorax” . It is a long book and I knew many of them had probably already seen the new movie, so I was ready to paraphrase paragraphs and pages if I had to…but I didn’t! 
I put on my actress hat, and made sure I was very animated (I had an extra cup of coffee that morning) to be able to keep them interested and engaged—and it worked!

They seemed to take a big interest in the Truffula trees. But who doesn’t love them? They are gorgeous!

There were tons of art activity ideas online and on Pinterest on Truffula Trees but with my center time constraints and the fact that some of these munchkins have a very teeny tiny attention span, I had to do something fairly quick and easy. All I needed was paper, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, colorful yarn and glue! What preschool classroom doesn’t have all that shoved inside the art closet??

So I put it all in a table and let them go at it!

And here is the project we ended up with:


Awesome TShirt giveaway from Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business!

Hey all!=)  I don't know about you, but I love contests and free stuff!

If you love teaching and you want to make your passion know to the world, then you will LOVE this giveaway....

A fellow blogger is hosting an awesome giveaway... Glam T-Shirts expressing your love/passion for teaching!

Check it out!

Mrs. Miner's Kindergarten Monkey Business: Wanna Easily Win a Prize? It's Got Bling:

Good Luck!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Some Earth Day Fun at Home

After going to see the movie “The Lorax” last week, I wanted to do some kind of extension acitivity with my little munchkin. I found this idea on Pinterest and knew we had to do it!

We made Lorax Cookies!

The little munchkin and I also did some Earth artwork at home, after dinner one day. 
I originally wanted to do this with my preschool munchkins but we have another lousy rule that states that we can’t use food as art.BOOO! 
And I found a similar activity for my preschoolers to do but I still wanted to do this one, which was originally done with pistachio shells.

We made a 3D globe/ Earth using pasta shells!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Earth Day

As Earth Day approaches, it's our responsibility to teach children about what Earth Day means and to teach them what they need to know to help save this beautiful planet. This Earth Day, I encourage you to teach your children how and why they should do small things every day to help the Earth.

Why is Earth Day Important? 
Once we've used up and destroyed the resources of our Earth, there's no turning back. What we leave behind is what our children will inherit. Don’t we want it to be something wonderful?  Teaching kids the message of Earth Day is important, but the goal of teaching them about Earth day is to just teach them the things that we should be doing ALL year long.

How can I teach my young child about Earth Day?
As a teacher, parent and an adult, it's our job to teach them  about the importance of Earth Day. As much as we may or may not believe it, kids do listen and they definitely learn from us.

Kids learn through example. Let me say that again: Kids learn through example. As a teacher and a parent I have a dual responsibility to teach all the munchkins in my life, in the best way that I can and I know those little eyes are watching my every move and are listening to every word that comes out of my mouth.

It is important that children see firsthand, that protecting and preserving the Earth is important, simply by the words we speak and by our actions.

I have come across many articles related to teaching kids about Earth day and have compiled a small list of things of ways that we can teach kids the significance of Earth Day through our own actions:
  • Do not litter (Easy one right? Then why do I still see garbage all over the place and then look a couple feet away and see a trash can?)
  •   Take recyclable materials to a recycling center/Use recyclable bins (Now this one, we recently started at home, thanks to our green recycling bin and a little pressure from our new neighbors!)
  • Turn off the lights and electronics when they are not in use (I must admit, this one is easier said than done, but we are working on it!)
  •  Don’t waste water (This one seems simple, right? Just don’t leave the water running)
  • Walk whenever possible (Another one that is easier said than done! BUT as the weather warms up, walking to nearby places will definitely be an option)
  • Spend time outdoors appreciating the beauty you don't want to lose! (A simple trip, walk or bike ride to a park will do just fine.)

As you are leading by example, take time to talk to your children about why you should or should not do these things and why they are important. Simply talking about it and making it an important topic will help them to realize its importance too.

Earth Day is April 22 and Earth is only one day a year. We should teach our children to treat EVERYDAY as Earth Day. Saving our planet for our own kids and for future generations, is  a huge responsibility, but someone has to do it right?

Stay tuned for my fun Earth Day activities that I have planned for my little munchkins this coming week!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ladybug Snack

Well it’s Sunday night and that means back to work tomorrow! While I am bummed out to not be able to stay home with my kiddos, I can’t wait to get back into the classroom with my preschoolers. We have lots to do! 
There are just about 9 weeks left in the school year; that is about 45 days- but I’m not counting, I promise!  LOL

Anyhow today for a morning snack, my little munchkin and I couldn’t decide what kind of snack we wanted to make. On Pinterest I had seen some cute snack ideas: Ladybug cupcakes and Oreo Ladybugs! BUT we decided to male something easier that required no cooking and very little mess! We made a Ladybug cookie!

All we needed was baked sugar cookies from the grocery store bakery, and some red and black cookie icing (and tools).

When I made an example, my little munchkin watched me carefully and made her very own! 

Hers in on the right, mine is on the left. She did a pretty good job huh?

My big kiddo joined in and made one with us too!


What a great way to end our mini ladybug unit!