Friday, April 23, 2010

pizza party

I really needed today to be Friday. For some unknown reason I've been tired and dragging all week long. So this morning we had a four hour pizza party to jazz things up a bit. To start, we made these paper plate pizza pies. The littles colored the crust and then painted on red sauce. They tore construction paper for toppings. We made a chart listing all of the pizza toppings we could think of and thought up crazy ingredients as well. We graphed our favorite kinds of pizza. And, we read Pete's a Pizza. The littles adored this book. It was one of those "Read it again! Read it again!" books for them. After I read it a few times, we acted it out. The littles were the pizzas and I was the pizza chef. They laid on the floor and I kneaded their backs and sprinkled them with pretend oil and flour. They bubbled up in the oven and then I had to cut them in pieces. Again, littles were in love. During centers, I put out the flannel board and flannel pizza ingredients. I also put the Melissa & Doug wooden Pizza Party in the housekeeping center. A lunch of delicious cheese pizza finished off the morning. And tomorrow is Saturday - I'm sleeping in!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

i'd like to give the earth a hug . . .

I was trying to think of some more things we can do for Earth Day. We're going to pass around a soft model of the earth and have each child tell something he/she can do for the earth and then give it a big hug. Then, I'll have the littles color this earth pattern and I'll help them trace their forearms and hands. They can color their arms/hands and add details (rings, bracelets, etc.) and then cut them out and place them so they are hugging the earth. It looks like my arms are smothering the earth here so I guess I need to enlarge the earth pattern a bit :)

I've been trying to teach the littles to care for the earth's creatures instead of stomping them out on the playground. This week I'll bring in Leslie's veiled chameleon. The littles can't wait to meet her. A few years back, Leslie had a male and a female and the female laid a clutch of eggs. We carefully dug them up and placed them in a large underbed plastic storage box in vermiculite and waited for them to incubate. Almost all of the babies hatched and they were so tiny and amazing. The wonder of life. This planet we live on is pretty amazing.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Not a box

We recently ordered new tables for our center. They are very nice useful tables. The littles, however, were only mildly excited by their arrival. It was what the tables arrived in that had those littles beside themselves with glee. Three extra large BOXES! Never underestimate the value of a simple cardboard box :) I'm not sure how long these boxes will hold up on our playground here in humid south Florida - but we are loving them while we can. Today the boxes became ramps for the cars and trucks. They were secret hide-outs. One was the canvas for a chalk masterpiece. Another turned into a doggie bed. I tell you - when you give 11 littles 3 simple cardboard boxes, the possibilities are endless . . . I can't wait to see what they come up with tomorrow :) Conveniently enough, I just ordered the book Not a Box by Antoinette Portis from Scholastic.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

collage on our watercolor masking tape letters

Markers, pom poms, cotton balls, google eyes, and feathers were in the art center today, along with our dry watercolor masking tape letters. Here's what the littles did with it :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

birthday celebrations

I love everything about birthdays. A celebration of the day you were born - how cool is that? Balloons, presents, games, cake, friends . . . I just don't get it when people don't want to celebrate their special day. So what if you're turning 47? And if you happen to be turning 5? Well, I personally feel that the 5th birthday deserves extra special fanfare and celebration. And so . . . in my classroom this is how we celebrate: The birthday child wears a crown (of course). Every child gets a treat (small toy) from the birthday treasure box because it is a party. I put out a piece of poster board in the morning and draw a cake in the center with a little message from me and then ask each child (as he/she comes in) to draw/write something for the birthday child. (One of my former students, who is now 15, told me that she still has her poster from kindergarten!) Parents send in a treat and we share it at snack or after lunch. And of course we sing "Happy Birthday" - before the treat and during circle. At one of the schools that my daughter attended, they asked parents to come in and share stories about the birthday child. How do you celebrate birthdays?

Friday, April 9, 2010

masking tape & watercolor

We helped the children use masking tape to make the first letter of their names on a sheet of watercolor paper. They used watercolors to paint over the entire letter. When the paint dried, we carefully pulled the tape off. The results were pretty neat. Next week we'll leave the paintings out with collage materials and markers and let them embellish them if they'd like. I'll try to remember to post a follow up . . .

Earth Day

I am always so inspired by preschool-daze. Our classroom is now adorned with these simple, sweet models of our planet. I love that blogging lets me into the classroom of so many creative, interesting teachers :)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

zen gardens - well, sort of . . .

Today we made a preschooler's version of a zen garden. I'm pretty sure they were listening as I explained that Zen gardens come from Japan. They are supposed to make you feel calm and peaceful. I think they heard that patterns are raked into the sand to represent water. Little rocks and shells can be people, or mountains, or islands. Okay, cool, they are shaking their heads and contributing suggestions. So, I hand out supplies: shoebox lids, sand (we used colored sand because I didn't have white), small rocks, a few shells, and plastic forks to use as rakes. The littles loved piling up the sand with their hands and letting it run through their fingers. The fork-rakes were okay but hands were so much better as far as they were concerned. Basically, we made little mini sandboxes with buried rocks and shells. Not what I had planned, but totally fun and okay by me.