Searching for Caterpillar Eggs
You know that book We're Going on a bear Hunt? Well, I was inspired by that book to take my class out on a Caterpillar Egg Hunt.
We took our magnifying glasses and our curiosity and went to search for eggs that we could bring back to the classroom.
There are huge trees all over the neighborhood that we all thought might be good places for butterflies to lay their eggs. Some of the children even thought that the butterflies could have laid them around the bottom of the trees.
5'4 me had to walk around on my tip toes and try to grab some leaves for each of the children to examine. They all thought it was super funny that Ms. Tessie couldn't reach very far up in the trees. Since I was unable to reach super high it meant our search was going to come up empty. But I didn't want to discourage them at least trying and it was good lesson on enjoying the journey and not just the end result.
Lucky for us, we had lady bugs and butterflies in our classroom to release. The Butterflies and Bees theme for the month had tons of ways for us to branch outside of the classroom. Which in my opinion is the best way to learn.
I hope you go out and search for caterpillar eggs with your children and remember......
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
Learning ASL With Preschoolers
Learning to Sign
Introducing new languages to children is important. It teaches them early about the world outside of their own. That there are people who speak and look different and to appreciate those differences.
This month for Mother Goose Time we are talking about the Alphabet. Which ordinarily would not be fun since most of my kids already know their letters, sounds and are on their way to reading. Mother Goose Time made it fun my introducing new animals into the mix. The animals have been super fun to learn, especially since we are adding sign language into the mix.
I learned how to sign the letters as a teen because we got detention for passing notes. This is not the most noble reason for learning sign language BUT it did spark my interest in the language. Which I am now passing on to the children in my classroom.
Everyday we are learning a new sign and practicing the ones that came before hand. I am encouraging them to use the sign every time we speak about the animals as a way to help them keep the prior skills we have learned. I am also encouraging them to show the signs to their families.
I introduced the learning of signs by teaching them the reasons someone might use signs and reminding them that sign language IS a language that is used by people who want to communicate just like those of us who use our voice. Something that is important to let children know, is that deaf and blind people can do the things that we sighted, and hearing people can do. For example I explained to them how deaf people are able to be dancers, how they may some who were able to speak and that blind people were able to learn to read.
I am enjoying myself with this lesson immensely. Especially since I am learning more signs right along with them. My hope is that I have inspired one child to learn sign language as another language and that the children are able to at least communicate socially with those who use it.
For now remember…..
Live Long and Keep Teaching!!
I have always thought it was better to teach children through hands on exploration rather than them sitting and reciting information. So, I love that Mother Goose Time provided a way to be able to teach the class about how bees make hives this week and at the same time teach them about the hexagon shape.
Shapes are sometimes boring for children to learn unless you develop an activity that happens to include the shapes. The invitation to create was about creating your own beehive. They were given the hexagon shape and told the different ways to trace, color or shade in the hexagon to form a hive.
This picture clearly shows the concentration that preschool/prek children put into activities they really enjoy. Playing is serious business! As they get older, they begin to be very intentional with their art work. They even begin to play out what they are going to do before they start to work. This is not a skill that I taught or introduced. This is a naturally occurring skill that I begin to encourage. As someone who tends to not be a natural planner, when I see the children developing the skill I try and encourage it because I want them to do better than I do.
The hive invitation to create helped me to develop other tracing and shading activities for them to do in their down time. Using different shapes, they were able to build pictures and create puzzles.
Our next activity for Honey Bees was playing a co-operative game. We took turns working on filling a honeycomb with honey. We rolled the die and put that amount of yellow chips on the honey comb until it was filled with honey. I love these co-operative games. They are a great way to introduce, sharing, compromise and working together. Empathy is a strong part of these games because the children learn to soothe the feelings of their friends who may not have rolled well, or help the others in class who can not count as fast or as well as them. I am strongly in favor of competitive games, but I think that co-operative games are able to help children learn other social and emotional lessons that they will practice during their free play.
Over all I loved the week of us learning about Bees, because we were able to explore our creative sides without worrying about it looking like the art we have seen before. I also loved the empathy and joy shown in playing the honeycomb game. I can not wait to show you guys the rest of the butterflies and bees theme.
For now remember:
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
Butterflies and Bees
My posts are a bit late, because I have been in a constant state of busy since January. But I have to say that the month of April was super fun for me. We were working on Bees and Butterflies! I love this theme because we are able to order the butterflies and ladybugs from Amazon and watch them grow in our classroom.
Our first project with this theme was to make bee hats. We LOVED our bee hats. I think they loved them because of the color of the paper. It was so bright and cheerful it’s just hard to not be happy with life when you are working with the lovely bright color of yellow.
The way I expanded the lesson for the children with the bee hats, is by having us dance to the song Bumble bee buzz by the Laurie Berkner Band and singing the I Caught a little Baby Bumble Bee. We also pretended to be little bees who buzzed around the room and when scared we would pretend to sting who was next to us.
This allowed me to help with the high energy going through the classroom that week and were able to learn about the different types of bees and the reasons that bees end up stinging people in the first place.
The one thing I would have loved to do with the bee hats if I had remembered was to try to go on a Bee Hive Hunt. Which is basically me changing the words to the Bear Hunt to fit things the bee would do and going on a nature walk afterwards to look for flowers and bees.
I like that we have the make and play activities in the Mother Goose Time curriculum. It allows the children to develop their imagination and have fun with what we are doing. The forget that they are learning new information and they just have fun with me and the rest of their class.
I hope you enjoyed out Buzz buzz buzz on the Butterflies and Bees theme!
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
Hi everyone, thank you for joining me today and welcome back to the blog! Conference week is always so crazy but I wanted to get Part 2 of the lessons I learned at NAEYC out to you as soon as I could. I did a video where I talk a bit more in depth about each of these if you want to watch it here: https://youtu.be/9zOookpBg2k
Otherwise here is a quick run-down of what I got from the second half of the conference!
The talk I was most excited about this year was "Using Video Reflection to Support FCC Providers." I know a lot of you feel that educator conferences tend to leave us family child care homes out of the mix but this talk showed me that there are more and more programs out there that want to help us succeed. This talk focused on a program available in limited areas here in California where they record your day in order to help you develop more strategies to keep your classroom run more smoothly. Since we are on our own most of the time I found the technique to be something we can easily do on our own by just setting up our phones to record a few hours of our day (maybe our most difficult) so that we can review the situations more in-depth later. While this might not get us outside opinions it will allow us to focus on improving with a more clear mind when the kids all go home.
Another discussion I attended was how to incorporate the arts into learning social skills. "Social Play through the Arts" explained really entertaining ways to get the kids working together through songs, games, and even theater skits. Watch my video https://youtu.be/9zOookpBg2k to hear the great activity they had us do as an example.
The last lesson I really honed in on while at the conference was gathering tips on "How to Create a Safe and Engaging Classroom." This is something I will go more in depth on later but it helped me come up with some good ideas on how to make the equipment we have in the classroom more meaningful just by tidying up and re-arranging. Stay tuned for a whole other blog post dedicated to all those tips.
Thanks again for dropping in and make sure you jump over to the video to hear more about the examples of these tips I picked up at the NAEYC conference.
Live Long and Keep Teaching!
What I learned as an FCC Provider at NAEYC 2019- Part2