Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fresh start, new school year

This school year is off to a great start! With a new room arrangement and a new group of children I couldn't be more excited.
Found this at Hobby Lobby
 I decided to go with black and white polka dot curtains and boarder in housekeeping, I found  the material while shopping at IKEA and I followed the directions on Pinterest - how to make no sew curtains.

Changed our center signs to make them fancy by adding a simple boarder.! It's the small things that count!
Enlarged the block area to accommodate 4 busy bodies

And now we are already to go!




Monday, April 28, 2014

Using the environment as the "third" teacher

The big question I often wonder about when using a prescribed box curriculum is how can I stay true to what's developmentally appropriate  for my preschool children while meeting system "standards"?  One way I've found to do this is to extend the curriculum beyond the walls of the classroom. Recently we took a field trip to  Latta Plantation Reserve  and simply walked the 2 miles of nature trails with no agenda but to get some fresh air before our horse back riding adventure.
 We allowed the children to freely explore the nature preserve (the third teacher in this case), the kids initiated conversations about sea shells and why were they on the sand around the lake,

Which animals live near and in the lake? What happens if you throw a rock into the lake, will it sink or float?  How deep is the lake? 
                                 
 How do we know if we are going the right way?

What animal made these tracks?
                                                 
                                                       And which animals live underground?

Of course I documented everything :) to be used as supplemental material for our LAST unit of this school year! 
Let nature be your third teacher and the children be your guide
Tootles  


Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is a great book to use for discussions about  the days of the week, healthy vs. unhealthy foods, and life cycles (butterflies). 
This past week we commemorated the 45th Anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by creating a rhyming caterpillar inside of our classroom (pics below)

So proud of our Pre-kinders for independently creating and writing  rhyming pairs 


Great Work!! If I do say so my self!
           

I also added a teacher made VHCP counting book to the math/manipulative center. 
The purpose of this activity is to count with understanding and connect number words /symbols to the objects they represent. 
Common Core objective K.CC.B.4
Check out my TPT page to get a copy!!!

Until next time,
S.Mc-Alston







Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Green Everything

Yesterday we celebrated St. Patrick's Day in such a great way!!! The kids came running into the classroom because they saw the door decorations from the hall (simple but effective)!
They soon realized that someone (Mr. Leprechaun) turned the water in the sensory table, the hand soap and the milk green!


He even hid shamrocks all over the room! He was so intentional!! :)hehe - pictures were on 10 shamrocks and the other 10 shamrocks contained the beginning letter (sound). Great matching activity!


for a craft activity he left gold noodles for stringing!

Wow, and even after all of his generosity :) we found the pot of GOLD! 
Hugs and Kisses to Mr. L on a job well done!!



Monday, March 10, 2014

Who doesn't like a celebration

The long snowy winter did not hinder us from celebrating all the wonderful events we'd planned, even if the celebration was delayed by one day or one week due to snow days......

100 DAYS OF SCHOOL

We used counting mats and then transferred the 100 items to a 100 day craft

RAINBOW TEA
   The rainbow tea is a family event which celebrates the end of our color unit. Families volunteer to bring in something edible for the colors of the rainbow...

                                                                                                            
INTERNATIONAL DAY
We celebrated international day with a field trip to Kabutos 

READ ACROSS AMERICA/DR. SEUSS'S BIRTHDAY
Cat and the Hat
 
Green Eggs and Ham
Celebrations brought sunshine to our cold days!!!!!
Mc-Alston


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Dreaming Big : Dr. Martin Luther King


Even four and five year olds can grasp the concepts of which Dr. Martin Luther King advocated for.. We decorated our bulletin board in honor of his dream...
boarder 



                                           

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Parents are our VIPS!

The two things I love most about my career are
1. children and
2. families
without either there would be no need for teachers

We try to provide enriching,fun parent/ child activities  at least once a month in our classroom.The purpose of this is to get the entire family envolved and excited about learning. In this busy, fast pace world that we live in, it is necessary for educators to lure parents into their child's world  (if only for a brief moment) through field trips, cultural experienecs, or muffins for mom. Usually at the end of one of our VIP (Very Important Parent) events, we evaluate its success by the number of smiling faces we see...

Parents compete in a piñata making contest during our piñata celebration


Piñatas were made from recycled materials
  





(Below) winter wonderland celebration 

Pattern wreath

Marshmallow  Snowman


                                                 


Enjoying our VIP's