HAPPY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!
I LOVE the first day of school. I will fully admit to this year being little bit sad because this is the largest amount of children I have ever had leave my program. But that is the life of a military family child care provider. I am so happy for my littles going off to Kindergarten and I trust every that I and their parents did to prepare them for Kindergarten was the...Perfect Start. I had to do it ya'll.
So, I think the thing I hear the most around this time of year is what is a good way to help your new children get use to the new routine in the classroom. This is something I have been doing for years. Some years it is easier than others, some years it takes longer than others. This year, I realized that I have a common denominator in how I have helped the littles get use to the classroom and the new routines and rules.
Mother Goose Time activities. So weird to finally realize that I have been able to ease new children into the first couple of weeks of school because I have been able to keep them engaged with fun learning experiences. My hook to keep the children having fun when they miss their parents is the discussions and projects with Mother Goose Time! It's why I keep doing the program. It is why I picked it! If the children are having a real hard time having something interesting to focus on can at least for short bursts can help.
The big hit this year, was the find it poster. This poster is GREAT! I was able to help my preschool class learn to sit in a circle time for 5 minutes and take turns while waiting patiently for their turn.
IT WAS THE FIRST DAY!! I was so EXCITED! They enjoyed themselves with the activity, made it interactive by hopping like frogs and we furthered the discussion by asking about apple trees and bugs that lived near water.
Our next activity was making telephones! They got a kick out of me speaking to them through the other cup. They decorated the cups before I put the string through the bottoms. They also used them during their free play in the dramatic play area to play "family".
This project, had too much adult involvement usually for my taste but it ended up working out because the children need to get to know me and the way I will help them learn how to do things themselves. So this project let them know how Ms. Tessie works without the project being too boring.
My first week of school has been insane. I will be uploading a special video about the epic day I had with my new preschoolers and to further explore how to help new preschoolers/prek children enjoy their first days of a new school and teacher. For now....
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
This is the end of summer, it's sad and I have watched many of my students leave and go off to Kindergarten. But I am looking forward to the beginning of the new year next week. I will be starting my new students on the curriculum at the camp theme, because it will be a good introduction into the way the school year and routines will go.
Before we start the school year, I need to end my camp for the year. I decide that since we are learning about science, I am going to take us on the best field trip that science could have ever imagined
The Aquarium of the Pacific
This is the Aquarium in Long Beach California that is simply amazing. We had so much fun. We learned about fish, they SCREAMED every time we saw a Clown Fish "IT'S NEMO!!!" We got to feed parrots, we were able to touch Horseshoe Crabs and Stingrays. It was simply the best way to explore science, and to learn that science is not about experiments in a lab coat, with robots or inside at a table. Science is about living breathing things and making sure we know what they need to take care of the planet properly. It is the best way to show them how science is related to the real world.
It was the best way to end my 2018-2019 school year. Thank you Mother Goose Time for this awesome theme and I can't wait to introduce my new students to you in the coming school year.
Field Trips bring learning alive. So make sure you take them whenever you can and remember.....
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
Learning is messy!
This is my classroom motto. I use it a lot at the beginning of the year for students who have an aversion to getting dirty. This theme from Mother Goose Time perfectly represents what I mean when I say learning is messy. We spent the entire month making huge messes and the best part is that we didn't need to stay inside to make these messes. We did chalk art in the drive way, painted on our backs in the back yard, painted master pieces in the art center during recess. Simply put.....
It was magical.
This blog post is a picture walk summary of what we did this month. Showing children that art comes in many forms is so important. They will learn to find beauty all around them even in the most nontraditional places.
I hope you take the time to wander around your neighborhood and see the beauty that can be found with your class and remember....
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
Art is one of those times when even the most laid back of children seem to want everything to be perfect. They have an idea in their head about how they want their project to look and when it does not meet expectations it cause them to think they have failed.
Which is not the lesson we want children to get from art.
I started thinking about this when I was attempting to create the library bags my class will be using in the new year for checking out books. I had an idea in my head and I became upset because it didn't look perfect. I burned a bag completely and the iron got stuck to another bag. Thank goodness there were two extras in my Amazon order!
I hope that I am not giving off the impression that every project is perfect. Because for me it is important that you can see that everyday work in a family child care home is not always sunshine and roses. There are hard days even for those of us who love our jobs. One activity that seemed to go off the rails more than I wanted was the Stamp Printing art activity. The children enjoyed watching how stamp art was created and were very excited to try making their own.
One thing that must remembered when it comes to children's art is that they have to be allowed to make their own decisions. It can be hard to let them keep going when you see it going sideways, but if we want them to build confidence in their own decision making abilities we have to let them keep going. I do make suggestions, but I have a classroom full of strong minded, sure individuals. This is code for they think I'm always wrong lol.
The stamp making project didn't really work because the children had to build their own stamps and the prints were not coming out. I tried to explain that we shouldn't put too much paint down but it didn't really work out.
This was the final product. They were not happy. They abandoned it within minutes. Someone built a stamp castle.
This was a teachable moment. We started to talk about how it was ok if their projects do not come out the way we want them too. As long as you tried and you like it, then you did a good job. We also talked about the importance of following directions and why we do it. They spent the rest of the day giving each other pep talks about various games and projects. Including while they played school. It was adorable.
Teaching children that sometimes they will fail but the important part is that they do not give up, that they practice and try again is a valuable lesson. A lesson that can be learned with art or with the Mother Goose Time Journal covers.
Keeping Trying and.....
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
Last month was about reviewing the alphabet. In an earlier posting I spoke about my class already knew their alphabet and their letter sounds. So I found a way to expand the lesson to make review month more fun. We did it by learning sign language. But there were other ways that I expanded the Mother Goose Time theme of the month. Mainly I used the resources for children I found on Youtube. Children need to be able to see what they are learning about. For example, if they have never seen snow, doing projects on snow is going to land a little flat. That does not mean you have to give up on teaching children about snow. You just have to get creative and use DAP (Developmentally Appropriate Practices ) to introduce concepts that they may have a hard time with.
We learned about 26 different animals this month through youtube videos. Short videos that give the children an insight into the animal and can be conversation starters. The channels that I used:
Sci Show Kids
Some of the videos are a bit long, so we would only watch apart of them and have a summary talk afterwards.
Another way that I expanded on lessons with the kids, was to use our loose parts in the classroom to help them develop an understanding of exactly what the animals live like.
An example of this would be using blocks to build a dam like beavers.
Pretending the Safari truck was taking baby bears to the zoo to be helped and needing to count the bears. The bear counters came with the theme box for the month.
We had a steam center set up in the classroom with nature items that were also used to learn about the different animals and habitats. Over all expanding lessons should really be about listening to the children in your classroom and following where their interests lie. We held races outside because we heard about how fast large cats run in the wild. We used the barn house in our block area to make our own zoo and pretended to camouflage to run away from predators.
Over all there are ways to make reviewing previously mastered areas fun and if you have any ideas or resources for expanding learning for your preschoolers please share them in the comments and remember.....
Live Long and Keep Teaching