We enjoyed our morning together to the fullest. The grocery store was a huge hit this week and fostered a lot of creative role play. We also had the opportunity to work on tracing our names and some even ventured into trying to form their letters on their own. It is beyond exciting to me to see how much this group has grown this year. It is one of the reasons I love this age so much. The milestones that have been met are totally visible in what the children are able to imagine, communicate and demonstrate.
Our fine motor skills have developed so much this year. We focus heavily on these reading and writing readiness skills. Children who have success with these early skills go on to have more success in tackling new skills with confidence. The class knows all of their letters by sight and can name several things that start with each letter. Just today at lunch someone noticed the alphabet that hangs on the bathroom door and went through each letter naming a word or two that started with each letter. This class has a great foundation for next year and beyond.
This week our room has been transformed into the local HEB, complete with shopping carts, baskets, flyers, a register with a scanner, and a variety of healthy options for purchase. This sets the stage for dramatic play in a setting that is very familiar to the children. We have all been shopping with our parents and it didn't take the children long to fall into appropriate roles. Some were the baker handing out cookies, some the shoppers with their babies in the shopping cart, others were clerks and some acted as stockers to keep the play going.
Listening to some of the conversations that took place made me giggle...
"My mom always buys this."
"Baby, you have to sit in the cart. It's not safe!"
"Can I have some Buddy Bucks?"
"Here have a free cookie. Want sprinkles on it?"
"Beep, Beep! I have to beep to make the scanner work."
"Come on, I just need milk."
"I love getting samples."
For our art project we finger painted on brown paper bags in HEB's colors, red and white.
We were also fortunate to have some real ranchers visit today and show us what cowboys do on the ranch. They even brought along some animals and tools they work with every day.
Fiesta is always a fast paced day full of adventure and today was no exception. We started with a parade, danced and sang, decorated crowns, made our own tortilla, decorated cupcakes, and hit a piñata. It was packed full of Fiesta Fun!
Unfortunately, I was not able to finish the day with the class. I was called to my son's school. Seems he has a case of pink eye. Lucky we were able to get right in to see the doctor and his is on meds now and excited to have a day off tomorrow.
I can't believe we only have two weeks left. It is going by so quickly! Please enjoy your Fiesta holiday on Friday and I look forward to some more pretend play next week as the classroom is transformed into HEB! We will be learning about healthy food choices, clipping coupons and using our imaginations!
Today we had the opportunity to visit the Oak Hills Art Museum and see all of the talented art work on display. We also had a visit from some real live worms. So much excitement!
During our visit to the Art Museum we had to look with our eyes and resist the temptation to touch. The children were able to identify their personal art as well as the subject matter of many other works. They were so proud to see their efforts on display for every one to enjoy.
After doing such a great job of not touching in the Art Museum we had to go back to our class and get some serious hands on learning into our systems. You can talk about bugs and worms all you want but if you want a three year old to really understand you have to let them touch! So as much as I am not a fan of earthworms, I went and bought some for the kids to check out. And if I didn't touch them there was no way the kids would. So I put on a brave face and handled the worms right alongside these little scientists. We discussed how important it was to handle these creatures with gentle hands, not to poke or squeeze them. After all they are God's creatures too. The children were shy at first but after a bit most came around and handled the worms too. We watched them crawl around for nearly a half hour. The children got so into it some even named their worms, (Max, Superworm and Dude).
The boys and girls had a wonderful time exploring bugs and creepy crawlies today. We counted bugs, checked out a wide variety of specimens and went on a bug hunt!
During story time we learned the song, "Bringing Home a Baby Bumble Bee." We each had our own little bumble bee to hold on to as we sang. It is such a fun little song the whole class caught on pretty quick and were singing it all day long.
The biggest hit of the morning had to have been our bug hunt. We went across the hall to search for pretend bugs which had been hidden all over the room. There were shouts of joy as they ran to collect as many bugs as their little hands could hold. They deposited them into a giant bug collection jar and then we counted to see how many we had found. Bugs of all shapes and sizes. We used giant magnifying glasses to help us find the creepy crawlies. It was so well received we had to have a second hunt. The children were such great bug hunters I told them they could keep the magnifying glasses for future bug hunts at home.
This morning we were busy learning more about birds. We enjoyed making a bird feeder to hang in our yards and working on threading some feathers with beads. There was a lot of enthusiasm for all of our activities.
Our painted bird houses were finally dry and we thought it would be nice if we made a bird feeder to add to the tree when we hang the bird houses so that our birdie friends had something to nibble on. Some of the children had more fun eating the Cheerios themselves than stringing them for the birds.
We also had an opportunity to work with clay today and by next week our creations will be dry and ready to take home.
The children had a fantastic time learning about birds today. We painted bird houses, listened to bird calls, built bird nests and learned some new facts. Everyone was engaged and had fun while learning!
During our circle time the children came up with a pretty impressive list of things they already knew about birds.
Birds lay eggs in nests.
Ducks can swim.
Birds come in lots of different colors.
Birds have feathers not skin.
Birds like to eat bird seed,
They sing different songs.
I had a bag with several different types of plush birds. Some even have a sound box inside that mimics the bird's call. We were able to match them to pictures of real birds by using their colorings as hints. Once that was complete the children were inspired to build bird nests for their new friends. Such a great extension of their growing imaginations.
The boys and girls also had the opportunity to paint their own bird house. This was pretty exciting and they really got into it. Some even added color inside the bird house so the birds will be happy living there.
Once these one of a kind bird houses are dry don't be surprised if the children beg to have you hang them in the tree outside their bedroom window!
Our morning began with some dinosaur exploration. We checked out the science table and replica fossils, enjoyed practicing our pre-writing skills and playing with our dinosaur friends.
The class was treated to a very special snack this morning...the most adorable Fruit Dinosaurs! They were a huge hit!
Once we were finished with snack we headed over to the other wing for a special group art project. The children were very excited to take their shoes off and strap on some dinosaur foot plates and walk like the dinosaurs did. Some were hesitant at first but quickly changed their minds and we all had some prehistoric fun stamping with our feet!
After all the excitement we returned to our room for a science experiment that required a bit of imagination. We talked about how the scientists that study dinosaurs are called paleontologists. We learned that paleontologist study rocks and have special tools called pickaxes which they used to chip away at the rock and uncover dinosaur fossils. I asked the children to imagine that they were paleontologists. I gave them each a plate, a chocolate chip cookie (a prehistoric rock) and a few tooth picks (their pickaxes). We pretended that the chocolate chips were dinosaur bones and that we had to use our pickaxes to very carefully chip away at the rock and free the dinosaur bones. Once the dinosaur bone was free we could stop pretending and eat the chocolate chip! Talk about a task that kept every one engaged and wanting more! We may have a few future paleontologists in the making!
Here you will find little snippets of our days together. When my children were in preschool and would come home I would always ask, "So, what did you do today?". All they ever said was, "Played." That didn't tell me much. I hope this blog will be a place to share what we have done and help you ask more directed questions of your child. You will see first hand just what we do after you kiss your little one goodbye in the morning. It will also be a great place to visit and see just how much your child has grown and learned throughout the year.