Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We've Moved...

Hi Everyone!

In case you hadn't heard the news, we've moved! Please come and join us at our new website and at our new blog .

We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Don't Worry...

Hello Everyone!

I just wanted to let you know, I'm still here! I haven't been blogging our daily activities, but I have been working on our new website! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!!! I hope to have it up and running by the end of next week. So, for now here is an adorable picture from pumpkin week. The children have been having a great time learning about pumpkins, how they grow, and we also have been working very hard on expanding our vocabulary. "Enormous" has been their favorite word of the week. It's adorable to hear them use this word appropriately in a sentence. We love our describing words!

We also had a very exciting situation occur yesterday...our little friends began blending their sounds together to read words!!! Yes, you saw that correctly! They are reading! While we are still in the very early stages of this process, we were all excited! The children were jumping up and down screaming. I was jumping up and down screaming. To say it was a great day, would be an understatement!

I hope everyone has a great weekend and the new Achieve Preschool site will be up and running soon. I can't wait to share it with everyone!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Little Hearts

Today we continued our celebration of the letter Hh. Hooray! We had so much fun today! The children loved decorating their "H" with hearts. At first glance, of course it is adorable, but it might appear to be just some foam heart stickers attached to a piece of paper. Oh, but there is so much more to this activity.

First, this was a great way to review colors. We also practiced sorting the hearts into different groups. While sorting the hearts, a great language explosion occurred and we were able to explore new adjectives such as shiny, bumpy and sticky. We also divided the hearts into groups based upon size. This was an excellent way to practice the concepts of small, medium, and large. And of course the children were able to utilize the small muscles in their hands and fingers as they peeled the backing off of each heart sticker. Finally we practiced counting after each friend completed their heart collage.

Hope everyone had a great Tuesday! We certainly did! Can't wait for more fun tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Let's Catch Up...

Hello everyone! We have some catching up to do! I needed to take a little blogging break, but now we're back in full swing!

Many exciting things have been taking place here at Achieve Preschool. Over the last couple of weeks we have covered the letters Dd, Ee, Ff, and Gg. The children have been enjoying the learning a new letter each week and have been very excited to share their projects with all of you! I hope you have enjoyed them.

This week we will be working on the letter Hh. Today we made a Henry the Horse puppet and sang the song "If You're Happy and You Know It." We also celebrated Johnny Appleseed Day. We listened to a story about Johnny, made a hat just like his, practiced sequencing with apple picture cards, and we colored a picture of Johnny Appleseed.

For the rest of the week we will be adding in a special project to our regular Art Center time. We will be working on our service project for the month of September. This month all of the children here at Achieve Preschool will help to make a stuffed bear for a child who's father or mother is in the military and is currently deployed. We will post pictures later this week with additional information about this great community service project.

As always, please contact me with any questions that you may have. Thank you!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Darling Dogs...

It's letter Dd week and I'm just delighted to share these darling dogs! We have been having a blast so far! Yesterday we used hearts to create these dogs. Aren't they adorable? I can see marked improvement with the children's fine motor skills as they use the glue and grasp small pieces of paper. It is so exciting to watch these little people grow and develop right before your eyes.

Today ends our last day of August. WOW, September already? Yikes, it will be the holidays before we blink. We have had a great month of learning, growing, sharing, and changing. Let me give you a little recap on what we have done.

This month we learned the letters Aa, Bb, and Cc. The children did great with this. It's so exciting to see them beginning to recognize these letters in print when I'm reading stories or writing words. What's even more wonderful is when they also tell me the sound each letter makes. They are all doing fantastic and I am proud of each and every one of them!

For August, we continued with vocabulary development and also talked about prepositions. The children did great as we worked on describing words to enhance their expressive language. For prepositions, we played games with stuffed animals and placed them on, over, under, and in a variety of objects.

For math we covered several concepts. We continued working on color identification. All of the children have become very proficient with this and they enjoyed the games we played to reinforce this skill. We also continued practicing counting from 1 to 10 and number identification for the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. The children love the number rhymes we recite to help us remember how to form each one properly.

Social Studies:
In August we learned about families. We talked about where we live, who is in our family, and we listened to a number of stories about being a part of a family. Everyone enjoyed talking about who is in their family. A few of them even shared how old mommy and daddy are. Don't worry, I'll never tell! They did ask me how old I am. I told them to guess. Most of them think I'm about 17. That works for me!

Healthy foods were are focus this month. We discussed fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and also how sugar may taste good, but it is not good for our bodies. While they were all disappointed to hear this, I must say they were rather enthusiastic about several of my new veggie creations I shared at lunch. Most of these were vegan, but described as YUMMY!!!

Gross Motor / P.E.
Jump rope was our focus for physical education. I always love doing this unit with preschoolers. You can see them trying to motor plan when to jump and how high, so that they do not step on the rope. It is adorable to watch! We will continue working on this skill and I look forward to seeing how their motor planning skills progress.

Fine Motor:
We have been working on tracing simple shapes such as squares, circles, triangles, and rectangles. A great deal of progress has been with this. The children see their accomplishments too. Squeals of excitement could be heard followed by the words "I DID IT!!"' I'm so proud of them!

Character Trait:
For the month of August we worked on having good manners. I'm happy to report that I am hearing "please" and "thank you" much more consistently from our little friends. We also worked on "excuse me" and the appropriate times to use this phrase.

Community Service Project:
This is our first month doing a community service project and I have to say it was FANTASTIC!!! We adopted Daisy the chicken from The Gentle Barn and started a recycling program to earn money to assist with her care. We needed $5 to help support her and guess what? We did it! We earned $5.17. I sent in the $5 today and we will carry over the .17 for September and Daisy's care. Thank you for assisting to make this project a success. We will begin a new community service project in September, while continuing our recycling program. Details will be sent home soon.

Well, once again, thank you for all of your support! I love your little ones and it is a blessing every day for me to have the opportunity to be a part of their lives.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please let me know! Thank you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Crazy Cats!

Today's project was super simple, but so much fun! As we continued with letter Cc, we made these cute and crazy cats. The children loved picking the bright colors for their whiskars. Of all of the projects we have done together, this definately ranks in my top 10 favorites for being adorable! And this, ladies and gentlemen is why I love my job! Thank you for your continued support of our program. I feel blessed to be a part of each child's life, every single day.

I also wanted to take a moment and thank you for your donations for our recycling program. All funds obtained from the recyclables will be donated to Daisy the chicken from the Gentle Barn. We will be making our first trip to recycling lot this weekend and I will post an update on the progress of our goal of raising $5 for Daisy.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Creativity and Corn on the Cob...

It's Cc week here at Achieve Preschool! Today we explored with textures and paint. In honor of the letter Cc and our Healthy Foods unit, we used a great vegetable to do some painting. Each child was given a raw piece of corn on the cob. We began the activity with some vocabulary building. I asked the children to use their senses (feel, look, smell, and taste) the corn. Each time they used of one their senses they generated a word to describe the corn. We came up with a great list of adjectives.

According to the little ones, corn is...yellow, cold, hard, bumpy, and (my favorite) scary. I'm not quite sure how we came up with scary. I promise I wasn't trying to give them one of my infamous vegan creations. Never the less, the children did an outstanding job describing what they observed about the corn. At this point you may be wondering if the above describing activity is important. My response to this is YES!!! More than most people realize. Let me explain a bit.

Vocabulary development is extremely important for every day conversation and effective communication, but it is also crucial when it comes to the children's ability to express themselves in writing. The California Educational Standards are very rigorous. Expectations are extremely high and when the children enter Kindergarten it will absolutely be their advantage to be able to verbally express themselves using a variety of different adjectives. This skill will hopefully carry over into their writing abilities as they progress through elementary school. We are just trying to build good and effective educational habits early!

After we discussed the corn then the texture fun began! We dipped the corn into different colors and rolled it around on the paper to create the corn on the cob print paintings. Some children loved the squishy feel of the paint, others were quick to finish and clean their hands. But overall everyone had a great time! Happy Wednesday!