Sunday, January 31, 2010
On Friday a sibling came in at pick up time, we began talking about Homework... She asked me why I didn't send home "homework" for her brother. This is something I have spent a long time thinking about. I know the kids sometimes want to "do homework" when their siblings are doing theirs... but this is what I said, "Well, I think that we do sooo much learning during the day, and they have 12 years of homework in front of them, I wanted to save all that wonderful anticipation they have for homework for their Kindergarten Teacher and the homework she will need to send home :)" She shook her head, but it was her Mom who smiled and said, "Yeah."
I have had Parent's ask for homework, but I feel that the kids need play, running, and the anticipation of school. I send home little books for the kids to "read" to their families, or if we are doing a special color or letter I send home a note asking them to go on a scavenger hunt at home for something to go with the color or letter. Other than that I don't feel it is necessary for me to do more than that.
I want the children in my care to be able to experience being a kid. Introducing them to the "academic" part of it is great, but ultimately they will learn all they need to in Kindergarten. Having an environment that provides for learning in a playful style is the key for me. We can have a great time, and we learn in the process. Providing them with a place to experiment and make mistakes, learn when to sit still and when to run and jump, to problem solve, question, and be happy.
When the children go off to Kindergarten, I am confident that they will be happy, smart, and well adjusted kids. They will leave knowing what they need to know, and if they don't know it they will have the skills to figure it out, and the confidence to ask for help if they need it.
Friday, January 29, 2010
If you didn't notice by the pictures... Today was Jammie Day!! We pretended that it was a snowy, cold day and, after all our free play, we arranged a Snack Picnic of Milk and Peanut Butter Cookies. Some friends came by and Thankfully they did because they brought The Little Mermaid... which was a HUGE hit!! What a Great Start to the Weekend.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
During Free Play this morning we found this... it is marker on our Beloved Sand Studio. We know who did it, we talked about it, and tried to clean it... but to no avail. The marker seeped into the cracks in the wood and it seems to be there for good. I thought we were through with the coloring on toys, walls, etc... but I guess not. I hate to have to put our markers and paint up where they have to ask for it again, but I don't know what else to do. This wasn't done by Little Miss M.
I guess I am upset because being a Small Home Childcare Provider it sometimes takes me months to save enough money to get a new item for the daycare. I know these things happen, I even expect and brace myself for it. Yet our Sand Studio can't be painted over, the goo gone won't work, and the marks will have to stay on there... and seeing it on there may lead other children to think it MIGHT be okay to scribble on toys, and at least try it.
So today was a 2 step back kinda day... I hope tomorrow will be a giant leap forward kinda day!! It is Jammie Day tomorrow... Cold weather will be coming back, we will enjoy a picnic in the living room and talk more about the Groundhog... all in our Jammies!!!
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I started our day off with all sorts of Letter Oo activities. I had the Oats ready to put in the Sensory Table, I had the Oval ready to glue Honey Nut O's onto, and we were singing our O song at breakfast. :) I have a little homemade book that the kids can use to trace letters in, so The Princess was tracing her Letter Oo and coloring her little Owl when B comes up to her and says,
"Why are you coloring the O, we didn't do O yet!!"
The Princess: "Yes we did!! Miss Michelle said I could do this!!!" (please picture her hands on her hips because it helps with the whole scenario!!)
B: "But we haven't done it yet, you can't go do it unless you know it!!"
The Princess: "I know it, and Miss Michelle said it was OK!!"
So I chime in and say, "B, it's ok. We did the Letter O yesterday. She can color it if she wants."
B: "We didn't do it. We did Gg yesterday. For Groundhog Day!! Remember!!"
Me: "Hum... I guess your right B. My mistake. I guess Miss Michelle is a little silly today."
B: "A Lot Silly!!"
The Princess: "See!!! I can do it and I do know it." (hands off the hips and turns to her work)
Yup, that's me. A Lot Silly!! What can I say, I was so ready to do the Letter O, I forgot I changed it. We had fun anyway, and I am glad I can laugh at myself, because my boys are home from school and had fun teasing me all morning about it.
Little Miss M catching up on her reading during Free Play. She loves to look at the books and she loves these little Emergent Readers since the preschoolers have a lot of them memorized and will "read" to her. It is a win-win situation. The preschoolers get practice "reading" and Little Miss M get lots of attention and modeled behavior.
Here are the kids gluing their Oo's on their Oval shape. They love eating their projects and when I put out the Honey Nut O's their eye's lit up. Little Miss M wanted to glue and eat. We had to keep a close eye that she didn't eat a glued O. She didn't. She did try to sneak the O's though. She didn't understand that some were ok to eat and others were not. :) In the first picture above she has just seen me watching her from across the table and the next one is her trying to make a joke out of Not Really Eating It!!! Like, "You didn't really think I was going to eat that did you!!!??? Your Silly!!" She's a PIP!!!
The kids are being Bears, Groundhogs, and Porcupines scavenging for food to fill their belly's for winter!! We learned about Hibernation and how the Groundhog, along with other animals, hibernate through the winter and some wake up around the middle of winter and check things out. So, we made "caves," scavenged for food, climbed in our "caves" and began our Hibernation. I turned out all the lights and played some "wintry" piano music while the kids Hibernated. When I turned it off we pretended it was February 2nd and they cam out and looked for their Shadows. Some saw their (if they were near a window) others didn't.
Monday, January 25, 2010
We have calendar, introduction of our Theme for the week, letter, shape, etc... then we break up into our Quiet Work Time (which is really Center Time... using the word Quiet helps with the noise level). We read Groundhog Day by Margaret McNamara to understand what Groundhog Day is all about. This book also helped us with the concept of Pretend, as they use a Hamster to be the Groundhog, and Shadow. We also went outside and played with all our riding toys with the School Aged Kids, who were home from school due to a Teacher Work Day. (I need some of those :) ) While outside we ran after our Shadow's and wondered what it meant if WE saw our Shadows.
During Free Play we took the Slime our of the fridge again and had a grand time... We started off on the table. We love how cold it is when you first take it out of the fridge and how it doesn't stick to your hands to much.
The kids then decided that the Sensory Table looked lonely without any flour in it and moved the Slime there. We then added some animals.
Yesterday I posted about my dismal organization skills. Thank you Bev and Ms Debbie... It is nice to know I am not alone!!! I did get to that area next to the fridge. OK, I know it doesn't look perfect and I haven't really addressed the issue of the pile (that keeps piling up) yet, but I will get there. Baby Steps :) I think I may follow Bev's advice and put up a couple of those plastic magazine rack kinda things on the wall over there, that will at least help make the counter stay clean. I also will look into where I can put some sort of desk/Armoire thingy to hold my "office." IKEA might be a good place for that.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
(yes, my parents see this pile... I try to organize it every weekend... but it lasts a few days)
Friday, January 22, 2010
Thursday, January 21, 2010
We also did some assessments for my preschoolers... mostly on numbers and I introduced another work tray onto the shelves.
This little lady got to visit today and I promise she had a much better time than what her expression seems like. She played with her friends and got to learn about Penguins too.
My friend here also was visiting today and he absolutely loved the sensory table. He played in there for quite a while and enjoyed the sensory experience on his hands. If you notice, some new and interesting things have shown up in the sensory table... we have used pretty much every imaginable toy in there. Right before this photo I had to take out about 12 Monster Trucks as there wasn't room for anything else in there, including our hands :)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Today we had Calendar, letter & number review and read our Penguin story... Yesterday and Today we read Tacky & the Winter Games, by Helen Lester (we also touched on what Winter Games might mean, since the Olympics are coming up and we want to be ready for them). We like Tacky the Penguin and find that he is definitely a funny bird!
We read this poem from Jackie at Pocketful of Posies... which the kids loved since we were learning how the Daddy Penguin keeps his baby warm on his feet. We then circled all the P's we could find and then The Princess said, "look there's an A... can we circle all the A's too??" So, we circled and counted 13 A's and 3 P's... then figured out which letter had more!!
I got this idea & templates from Tired Need Sleep. I was so excited when I saw how she adjusted the idea from Handwriting Without Tears. I wanted to buy the wooden letter makers for a long time, just never had the money. Now I have a great version of it and can always make new ones if these get lost or destroyed. I can also make them in different colors for the little ones.
We ended our morning with our Outside Time!! It has been beautiful... in the 60's this week and we have been taking advantage of the great weather!!! I told you about the ice that we found last week (in this post) well, we found that it melted yesterday. The kids were in to playing other things and didn't really care about it. Today though they decided it would be a GREAT day to get muddy!!! I always tell the Parents... we get muddy & dirty inside and out here at Kozy Kids... so send messy clothes!!! We needed it today :)
I don't know if you can tell they have dumped the water and are fascinated by the "river" it made going down the hill.
I love the way the sun bounces off the water... they were mesmerized by the trickling of the water going down.
Ah... the wonders of mud!! We spent a lot of time dumping dirt into the "ice mix" to see what color we could get it.
We as Parent's sometimes forget the learning aspect of play. The problem solving that goes into an undertaking of this magnitude. The different tasks that need to be done, the mishaps, the self correcting, the negotiations, the whole social aspect of finding an interest and building upon it. These are the skills our kids need most to go to Kindergarten... these are the skills that all the math, reading, music, social studies, and science build off of.
What... can't I play too??
Little Miss M is practicing brushing her hands off... oblivious to the kids getting and taking water to other area's of the yard, she just looks at the water, touches it, looks at me and smiles, then brushes her hands off. Over & over again... what she is processing I'm not sure... she is a smart one, so is it "Can I get away with playing in this mess?" or "What exactly is this brown yucky stuff anyway?" or "I like this"