Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jack O'Lantern Snack

Today we decided to have Jack O'Lantern Snack... We just cut up our oranges and put them on the plate... we added a strawberry stem and off we went!! They enjoyed it and it meant seconds for some that never ask for seconds on oranges.

Some Happy Faces!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Muffin Tin Monday

Muffin Tin Monday at Her Cup Overfloweth

We have a Great Week planned for our Meals and Snacks... We are starting off our Week with Muffin Tin Monday... and idea we implemented this year from the blog... Her Cup Overfloweth. You can click on the above shortcut to see more Muffin Tin Monday ideas!! She also has theme's that you can follow. We like to make our own up to go along with our weekly themes and units. You should jump over and check it out though if you have never seen her site.

So we decided, of course, that we would make ALL our meals and snacks ghoulish and spooky this week. For lunch today we had... Ghouls in the Graveyard (hot dogs/mac-n-cheese), Witches Fingers (carrots and ranch), Slimy Eyeballs (mixed fruit) and then some marshmallows and candy corn for a treat!!! They loved it. It was a whole lot more fun to eat witches fingers than bring old carrots and ranch... It was fun. I will post as many of our fun meals this week as I can... if I remember... I always mean to take a photo and then realize after they have pretty much finished eating that I forgot!! Oh well... we do what we can :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Busy Week

A Busy Week we had... we did many different things. I am amazed at all we do. When I go through the photos for the week, I am amazed at the things we do and what I get on camera. I then have the fun of going through them and deciding what to put on my blog and which ones to send to each family in a Smilebox.

This week we finished up our Community Theme. We learned about Group Games with our After-School Helper, she taught the kids Red Light, Green Light, Simon Says, & Duck, Duck, Goose. They had such a fun time!! The laughing and giggling was so much fun to watch!!

We also did some Halloween crafts. We did some marble painting spider webs, paper plate pumpkin, and construction paper black cats. They were a combination of Teacher Directed and Child Centered activities. I decided that after they were done with the craft themselves then they could explore with the the mediums all they wanted.

Simon Says

A new toy from Discount School Supplies!! We loved this toy too!!

Our Halloween Sensory Table... I got the idea from Chasing Cheerios... who got it from No Time For Flashcards!! Well, I would like to give a Huge Thank You to both of them because the kids Love it!! They absolutely Love It!! Thanks!!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Family Tree

Our Family Trees came out Great!! We had a great time tearing paper and gluing... lots of gluing!!! Using those glue sticks are really great, all the kids love them. I don't mind them using them as much as they want since I buy so many at Back to School time. I don't mind buying them for $.25 for 2... so I stock up and let them at it. Then I don't feel like we are wasting. Now, if I have to buy them now or later in the year for $1 for 2 or sometimes more... then I get obsessive about them. I know now to stock up at the beginning of the year, and we're all set!!

Working together is fun, socializing while working is a big part of the fun. They model for each other and you never know where the project will take you. They were able to talk to each other about what tree's look like, how to make them, and what parts they have. It was very child directed, towards each other. They helped each other without me having to intervene at all. I got to sit back and just watch them work. I loved it!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Process over Product: Portraits

Sorry, I haven't been able to blog lately... Fall Little League is winding down and with 2 of my 4 boys on different teams, we have been very busy after work and school each night. Plus, we have to keep up with Karate... Oh, sometimes I can't wait for winter to come. Time inside, reading, playing board games, soup... oh the joys :) But I veer off track...

Process over Product

I was able to jump online and read Annie's Blog, which you can find at the link below... http://annielook.blogspot.com/2009/10/teacher-project-vs-kid-project.html

She talked about the projects the kids create being done by them or the teacher... I struggle with this sometimes too, but feel like I provide a lot of open ended/child directed projects, that the few times that I do have a teacher directed craft it's ok. Sometimes the kids want my help to make it "perfect." As long as they create and don't always want my help, I feel it can be a learning moment. Learning that certain techniques do help, and when they get bigger some tasks will get easier. Keeping the idea of process over product in mind each day and when your planning will help keep your environment child centered rather than teacher directed. The way it should be.

We had our own little experiment with this issue recently... We had our All About Me theme week recently, we made portraits or our faces and cut outs of our bodies. It was an interesting lesson for the kids. They spent a lot of time looking in the mirror and studying their features. They knew they had eyes, nose, mouth, ears, neck, chin, hair, etc... but to actually draw those things were hard. "How do I do it Miss Michelle??" "Where do the eyes go??" "Do I smile?" It was so hard to not just say "PUT IT HERE!!!!" We talked about it being where THEY wanted it to go, we looked in the mirror and thought about where the top of our heads were, eyes, and so forth... and some of them got real serious about it and tried to put everything where it was "supposed" to go and others just loved the large movement of coloring green hair with sweeping motions on the top of the body. It was great!!
We moved onto clothing the next day. After talking to a parent, who is a kindergarten teacher, she had said her kindergartners were having trouble tearing paper. HUM.... what a great activity to do for the clothing for our bodies. They loved it too! Some did have a hard time with the concept of tearing without pulling the the paper apart. I even had a hard time explaining how to do it... so I just showed those who didn't "get" it over and over again. They all eventually "got" it. I realized we will have to revisit this often though, it was such a cathartic activity and great for those fine motor skills. (It IS interesting they have no problem tearing the pages of some of the books in the book corner, but had a hard time tearing paper specifically for the purpose of tearing... Huh)

Here we are deciding what should go where...

Ahhhhhh... like this right???!!!

I wish I had the finished picture.... She really loved ripping the paper and gluing it on to herself. She was very proud of the finished body.

Here is when I really love my job. The kids took what we learned inside and brought it outside and ran with it. I had outlines of little people all over my driveway. Some were just the outlines and others were colored in and names written next to them. They looked at them, talked about the different sizes and shapes... "My head is bigger than yours" "Look at my legs, one is longer than the other" and the giggles were delightful.

I am so glad the kids enjoyed this unit. We learned so many things, not just body parts. They worked together at times, talked, socialized, and most importantly laughed. They thought all the bodies were great. No one seemed to care that one person had green hair, or another put his ears on the top of his head. We're all different, for real, on paper, and with chalk. Each child worked through the process his/her own way and came out with a product they were proud of. As an added bonus... It was fun!! It was a perfect intro to our Family & Friendship Unit and then our Community Unit. I will post more about them as soon as I can upload the pictures from my camera.