Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Polar Express!

Update: December 19-21

The children were thrilled to spend the last day of school before winter break watching the movie The Polar Express!  Of course, we couldn't just stop there though, we had to EXPERIENCE the movie first hand! :)

So, we began by quickly looking through the book and talking about what was happening in the pictures.  We then gathered blankets and bean bag chairs and laid them out on the floor.  These became our pretend "beds" since the little boy in the movie starts out sleeping!  Since we were already in our pj's for pajama day, it was perfect!

Pretending to sleep while we watched the movie!
When the little boy got on the train and got his ticket, we also had to experience this!  We each had our own "tickets" and hole punches and we punched lots of holes in all the tickets!   We then gathered our chairs and lined them up like a train.  We got on our "train" and started the movie again.

The lights were still out, but, yes, we're using hole punches to punch our train tickets!

Here we are on our "train"!
We then had to take a little break to enjoy a snack, just like in the movie!  We had hot cocoa with marshmallows and a candy cane!

Drinking hot cocoa!

And, finally, at the end of the movie, we got to paint with giant bells (we put paper, paint and the bells in cake boxes, closed them up and shook them)!  We listened to make sure we could hear the bells ring as we shook them in the box, just like the little boy listened for the bells in the movie!

Painting with bells!

Then, to top everything off, we had cookies after lunch- brought by one of our friends in the classroom!  A perfect way to begin our winter break!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cricket Corner Update...Gingerbread Babies!

December 5-9

We had so much fun reading the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett, that we just HAD to have our own gingerbread babies in the classroom! 

So, we played with gingerbread play dough all week long!  At the end of the week, we made gingerbread babies and baked them in the oven.  When they came out, we strung yarn through the holes and hung them on our tiny classroom tree...gingerbread baby ornaments!!

Lucky us, we have MORE gingerbread play dough left!  We'll make a few more ornaments on Monday.  I can't wait!  The smell as the gingerbread play dough is baking is WONDERFUL! 

The children also helped "decorate" our tiny classroom tree!  We used many chenille pipes (glittery ones and soft ones).  We bent them into shapes and twirled them onto the tree!  The gingerbread babies fit right in on that tiny tree! 

And, did you know, while we're playing with our play dough, we are working all those muscles in our hands needed for writing!  We're squeezing, rolling, pinching and pulling.  We're working on fine motor skills by pulling off tiny play dough pieces and hiding them in play dough toys!  We're enjoying the sensory smell of gingerbread!  We're working on communication and language and we're remembering and relating our play to the Gingerbread Baby book that we loved so much.  Finally, we're working on sharing, turn taking and cooperation with play dough toys! 

This past week we also enjoyed listening to the silly book The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell!  We worked on imitating the sound for the letter "J".  We did the Weather Rhythm song and movements.  We explored our new "spools" outdoors and we danced, tumbled and ran in the gym!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cricket Corner Update...Our Newest Member of the Classroom!

November 28-December 2

The newest member of our classroom is "Bob" our classroom hamster!  If you follow my other blog from time to time, you may have seen him mentioned...once or twice!  The children have been so excited to get to know Bob.  They've enjoyed petting him very gently, feeding him peanuts and pumpkin seeds (his favorite foods) and watching him run around in his little fenced play area!

We have enjoyed hearing so much language from the children about Bob!  "Bob sleeping", "Bob eating", "No take Bob walk!" (I had taken him to visit another classroom) and the best was "Uh, Oh, Bob!" as Bob climbed the walls of his house, wanting to come out and play!

Starting soon, the children will have a chance to help care for Bob a bit.  They will be able to fill his water bottle, help fill his food bowl and put his toys back in his house after they are cleaned.  I'm pretty sure they will love helping with this!

This week we also enjoyed reading the book The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett, working on vocabulary, imitating sounds, colors, shapes, sorting and matching.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Welcome to the New School Year!

Welcome to the 2011/2012 school year!  I'm so excited to continue working with all of the children in the classroom.  We made some wonderful progress last year, and I can't wait to see what we will be doing at the end of THIS school year! 

Making "trains" with the Legos!
We're so lucky to have welcomed Miss Dawn AND Miss Kelly officially to our classroom as teacher associates!  Dawn has worked with the children as a long term teacher associate sub for some time, but now she's here for good! 
We LOVE our car ramps!
Miss Kelly comes to our room from Children's Village West.  She was a teacher associate there for several years.  We're THRILLED to have two wonderful teacher associates full time in the classroom again! :)
Oh, just ignore the fact that Miss Pam gets a headache from hearing the "bugs" dance on top of the drum! :)
Of course, the children are as excited as ever to explore lots of sensory items.  This week I brought in apple pie scented playdough.  We were able to use all of our playdough tools and were even able to pretend to "feed" the puppy dog some of the apple pie playdough!

It's tough to get a clear photo of a child swinging!
We've been reading the book "Mouse Paint".  Wednesday and Thursday, we did a bit of a mouse coloring experiment!  Our little mice made from coffee filters, jumped into some colored water and came out colored!  We explored how the mice mixed the colors to make new colors!

Thursday, we explored making bubble "snakes"!  This was a fun experiment that ended with us making lots of colored bubble prints on paper.  We each had a bubble snake blower (water bottle with the bottom cut out and a washcloth placed over this).  For the children that don't yet have enough strength to blow the bubble snakes themselves, I provided a battery operated bubble snake blower!

We also began exploring bird seed in our sensory table.  We used our measuring cups, spoons, bowls and natural objects to explore different ways to move, mix and measure the birdseed.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oh My! It's Water Day!

Here is what we think of Water Day- just look at that smile!  Boy, were we having fun splashing and running through the water!  Enjoy browsing the photos!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Our End of the Year Picnic!

Our end of the year picnic was fantastic!  We couldn't have asked for better weather and the family turn-out was great.  Families and classrooms brought out blankets and sat under the trees and out in the sunshine!  Of course, as soon as we were done with our picnic and had played at the playground, we went inside to watch our end of the year DVD!  Families each took home one of the DVD's to enjoy at home as well.   Now, THAT was a fun afternoon! 

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Our April and May Update!

We're in the middle of May...and for some reason some days feel like SUMMER and some days feel like WINTER!  I think the kids don't believe our "Spring" song anymore :)!  That doesn't stop us!  We have enjoyed playing outside anyway and have explored all our outdoor areas!   Here are a few photos of some of the things we've enjoyed during the months of April and May!... 
We enjoyed going "fishing" during center time!
More fishing!

We've been busy taking care of the babies!

We've worked with our Handwriting without Tears program!

We've enjoyed being with our friends!
We've listened to stories on CD!
We've listened to MORE stories on CD!

We LOVED the Carol Peterson concert!

Oh yes, the Carol Peterson concert was lots of silly fun!

Some of us loved it so much, we wanted to be right NEXT to all the action!

After reading Mrs. Wishy-Washy we've washed LOTS of things!

We've enjoyed music therapy with Miss Kelly

What day is complete without "washing" at least one item in water!?
We have now introduced every letter of the, we're starting over!  We've focused again on "M" and the "mmmm" sound and are now moving on to "S" and the "sssss" sound! 

We will continue throughout the summer to work on math concepts such as "stop"/"go", "up/down", "big/little", "fast"/"slow", "in front"/"behind" as well as recognizing objects and matching and sorting objects.

Of course, we always work on our IEP goals each and every day as well!  You will see us work on more concepts in our Outdoor classroom also!  We have enjoyed making use of this wonderful space!  Next month, I will have more photos from this area to post!

Feel free to contact me by e-mail or by phone 823-0267 anytime after 2pm if you have questions or concerns!  Or simply write in your child's notebook!

Miss Pam