Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bus Ride!

As part of our safety and community helpers unit, we got to experience a bus ride!  After we loaded the bus, we got to ride around the Ripley parking lot and the front circle a couple of times.  You should have seen the excitement and smiles on the kids' faces as we drove around!

Special Parents

Nathan's mom (PM Class) came in to talk about Chinese New Year.  We loved hearing about the special traditions that help celebrate this special holiday.  Thank you for our red envelopes!

Mr. Lee (Ms. McGregor's AM class) brought music and songs to the preschool.  We loved watching him play the guitar and ukulele.  It was fun to sing along and play our instruments with you!

Pizza Party

Pizza Party!
THANK YOU to all our amazing families for helping us to read all of the books to earn our party!  Can you believe that the preschool classes read over 2,000 books??!!
THANK YOU to our wonderful parent volunteers who helped out on our special Pizza Day celebration.  The kids were very busy and hard at work completing all of the games and activities thanks to all of you!

Safety & Community Helpers Unit

Safety can be a tough topic to work on with young kids, however, you would be surprised how much they already know!

  • We began our focus on signs they see everywhere and basic things ways for us to stay safe.  They love the traffic light games with "stop, go, and slow down".   
  • YUM and YUCK and TOUCH and DON'T TOUCH, are big themes for us as well.  These focus on what things are ok to eat or touch vs. things that will hurt us (eating or touching).  
  • We talk about fire, stop-drop-roll, how to crawl to get out when there is smoke, learning about meeting spots, fire extinguishers, EXIT signs and how to find them, and calling 911 in an emergency.  Plus, we had to have a whole separate discussion on "what" an emergency actually is.
Community Helpers
  • Learning about people who help us everyday within the context of where you would find them and what "tools" they use to do their job.
  • We LOVED the career bags that many of you sent in for us!  Your children were so proud to show off the items in the bags that go along with the jobs you do.  What amazed so many of the kids was that there were parents that had the same or similar jobs.
Some favorite highlights of the unit.
  • AM class got to go on an EXIT sign hunt around the school.
  • PM class got to go on a safety scavenger hunt around the building.
  • Making fire truck graham cracker cookies.
  • The fire experiment!  We had three lit candles.  One stayed lit while the other 2 had things happen to them.  The second one we squirted water on it to put it out.  The third one we placed a glass container over it.  While the first one kept burning, the one with the glass container over it, lost all the oxygen to keep it lit.  They were fascinated with the experiment and we repeated it several times!


Mrs. Clement Wong came to our preschool to share some robots with us.  He brought the round Roomba vacuum that ate some Cheerios we threw on the floor.  Another robot was a long skinny one with a brush on the end that is used to clean the debris out of your gutters.  When Mr. Wong took off the brush, the kids got to drive the robot forwards and backwards with a little remote.  The last robot he brought us is one that is used by Armed Forces and Law Enforcement.  This robot can "see" and handle being thrown or dropped, so it is perfect to send into dangerous situations.  It can flip too!  The robot is controlled by a tablet type remote and showed the camera of the robot looking at all of us.  The kids got to drive this robot too.  It can go really fast and many of our kiddos figured out quickly how to change the controls to do just that.  Finally, Mr. Wong activated a "people" type robot at his work.  The robot drove all around his work and his co-workers.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dinosaur Unit

Our Dinosaurs are now extinct!  We finished up our unit today because of our Read-A-Thon celebration tomorrow.   We had lots of kinds of puzzles and matching dinos to their shadows.  We played a game where we spun a spinner to find out what color dinosaur we had to find to match our colored dot game board.  There were dinosaurs to hang from a tree branch (just like Barrel Full of Monkeys game).  We worked on the letters D for dinosaur, T for T-Rex, and V for Volcano!  We used dinosaur stampers in the playdough and plastic dinosaurs in playdough to compare their footprints, tail prints and other body parts.  The kids loved our wind-up dinosaurs and had a blast playing at the dino table.

There were simple and complex paths to follow with markers.  We worked on putting dinos in the right order to make a number line.  Our colored stegosaurus lost their spikes, so we used colored clothespins to clip on their backs.  Our dinosaurs also needed nests in their eggs, so we used playdough to make the right number of eggs in the nest.  We used pattern blocks to make dinosaur shapes and followed dino pattern strips.  One of the favorite games was colored plastic dinosaur eggs that we had to match the same felt colored egg yolks.  When you matched them, you opened up the egg and put the yolk inside.  A game at the teacher table was rolling a dice and adding baby plastic dinos.  The next day, we filled up the card with dinos and took them away.  We became Paleontologists in the sand table using small scoops, sifters, and brushes to find dinosaur bones and fossils.  We dressed up like dinosaurs with funny dino hats, feet made out of craft foam, and puppets.  There was a lot of roaring and growling going on!  We got to use these great dinosaur hand grabbers to pick up more dino eggs out of their nests (shredded packing paper).

Hiding under the paper below are rubbing plates.  We watched dinosaurs appear as we used crayons to rub on top of the paper.    Kids were loving the dot-to-dot dino pages.  They felt like big kids!  We matched real objects into the "fossil" stones by matching the imprints.  There were dinosaur bones in a big tub to put together to make skeletons.  Did you see our dinosaur bone bracelets come home?  The kids tried very hard to make patterns.  Lacing, dot paints, and sorting dinosaurs mats.  We had a dinosaur lotto game that had different pictures of our dinosaur vocabulary words on it (museum, paleontologist, fossil, jungle, etc.).  We had giant triceratops on the floor with cone horns for ring toss. We called it the Triceratops Toss!

Circle time featured tons of songs, movement games, and activities.  We used giant foot prints for a listening and number concept game, doggy bones to weigh, and dinosaur pictures for descriptive words and opposites.  See the giant dino footprints?  Teachers helped us trace our feet, then we cut the footprints out and taped them to the giant dino prints.  Before we did that, each child estimated how many kid prints would go into the dino print.  We played a sleeping dinosaur game, that when they woke up, they had to do a given movement (jumping, clapping, spinning, etc.).  A fun craft was dino egg paper marbling.  We spread shaving cream on a tray, added food color drops, swirled the color around, pressed a giant egg shape on top of the swirls, and then used a spatula to scrape off the shaving cream.  What was left was a cool print on our egg!  Wait until you see the surprise inside our egg when they come home!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Space Unit

This was a fast unit with our snow day and special robot presentation.  I don't feel like I got to ll of our fun activities, but we enjoyed anyhow! Space is always an "ADVENTURE"!

We built rocket ships by rolling a dice and finding the pieces we needed.  Another rocket game used small blocks, unifix cubes, or caps to make a rocket ship a certain number high.  We had space books to manipulate and felt pieces to create with.  We used our handwriting skills to trace stars and to use tweeers to pick out craft foam stars in black beans.  There were "moon rocks and spaceships" (tin foil balls and plastic grape tomato containers) with tongs and small astronaut puppets.  We had green moon sand also with marbles, more tomato containers and astronaut, rocket ship, and moon buggy plastic figurines.  We used large parquetry blocks to build some rocket ships and colored space ship pictures.  Kids used small finger rockets to shoot the moon.  We used large rockets later in the week (no picutre).

We learned about the solar system and planets.  We played with alien and robot wind up toys.  We used rocket cards to play a color "go fish" type game.  We learned about shadows because it was Groundhog Day and because of the Earth's shadows to get the different phases of the moon.  We used small googly eyes to give the alien cards their eyes.  In shredded paper, we found small plastic planets and made constellations with star erasers and popsicle sticks.  Our turntable made great solar systems with markers and we added sticker planets, stars and astronauts.  Some kids loved making star bead necklaces or use celestial rubber stamps.  We played a space lotto game that had all kinds of space words and concepts on it.

We blasted through space using our gameboard as we moved around the planets.  We used space tinker toys to build all kinds of structures.  We also matched the phases of the moon with cards.  In circle time, we had a great time making craters in the moon with a tub of flour and small wooden balls.  The "poof" of the flour all over our rug was a hit!  We sang "oodles" of blast off songs, astronauts visiting things in space, and of planet songs.  We had star fingerplays and lots of other rhymes.  We played alien tic-tac-toe with alien and spacemen pieces.  We learned about things that give us light and how the earth spins and moves to make summer and winter, day and night and the hit of Mrs. Bailey's group was playing a rocket ship alien hide and seek game.  At least once a day, we danced and moved to Laurie Berkner's Rocket Ship Run and the Wiggles Walking on the Moon.  I believe those will be the most memorable songs of the unit!