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 http://www.achievepreschool.com/ and at our new blog http://blog.achievepreschool.com/ .


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.


Letters:
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!


Language:
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.


Math:
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!


Science:
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!
achievepreschool@hotmail.com

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!


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Numbers, Numbers Everywhere...



Hello Everyone! I hope you are having a great Tuesday! I wanted to share a engaging project that we just completed today. For the last several months we have been working on the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. We have worked on number identification (naming each number), number sense (how many items are needed to represent a specific number), rote counting (1, 2, 3, 4, 5), counting objects (touching each object as they are counting), and we have also started practicing forming each number. We began with the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5. When I taught Kindergarten, one of my team mates introduced me to a series of adorable rhymes to assist the children in learning how to properly form each number. Below are the rhymes we used for the numbers
1-10.



#1 One is fun!


#2 Around and back on a railroad track.


#3 Around a tree and around a tree, that's the way to make a three.


#4 Down and over and down some more, that's the way to make a four.


#5 Fat old five goes down and around. Put a hat on top.


#6 You roll a hoop and make a loop.


#7 Across the sky and down from heaven, that's the way to make a seven.


#8 You make an "S" but do not wait. You go back up and close the gate.


#9 Around with a line to make a nine.


#10 One is fun and a zero and you're done. Now you have a ten.



When introducing how to form each number the rhyme is first introduced. For example, number one, is basically a straight line down. We practice making a number one in the air while saying the rhyme (One is fun!). Next I model how to write each number, using proper formation (always starting at the top), and saying the rhyme as well. The children LOVE this!!



Today we made flashcards for numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10. We glued beans over each number to give the children a tactile experience. and it was great fine motor practice. The rhyme for each number has also been attached to the back of each card, just in case your little one forgets how it goes. We practice our numbers (counting, identification, and proper formation) every day during circle time. I hope you enjoy the new flashcards!



Proper formation is critcal and we want to develop good habits early, especially when it comes to number and letter formation. Below is a link that demonstrates how to properly form the numbers mentioned above.

http://www.handwritingforkids.com/handwrite/manuscript/animation/numbers.htm

As always, if you have any questions, please let me know! achievepreschool@hotmail.com



Friday, August 19, 2011

Beautiful Bees...



Last week we worked on the letter Bb here at Achieve Preschool! And boy, did we have a great time! We sorted buttons, tossed balloons, blew bubbles, and ate blueberries. These were all fun and enjoyable, but my absolute favorite was this little guy pictured above. Meet Benjamin the Bee, complete with a stinger and all! The children really enjoyed making our paper bag whales during our fish until, so I decided to modify the activity and created this bee to help in our celebration of our letter of the week.


While of course, he was fun to make, we also worked on many important skills. The children utilized their fine motor skills while stuffing the bag, painting, gluing on his eyes, attaching his wings and antenna, and drawing his smile. We also practiced our color identification and counting skills as they added his stripes. So much fun!




This week we have moved on to the letter Cc. Keep checking back to see what fun creation we will come up with!



Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jolly Phonics



Hello Everyone! I apologize for not blogging this past week. We have finally settled in after our vacation (truthfully Miss Kim had to recover from camping) and then we have been preparing for both of my boys to start school this week. Both my Kindergartner and second grader LOVE school this year. YAY!!! I can't not even begin to explain what a huge relief this is. Now let's share some exciting things that have been taking place at Achieve Preschool...





Above, you see our two most recent letters that we have learned. Next to each letter I have included a small puppet, similar to the one the children each made and took home. Let me explain the significance of these fun manipulatives.





As I mentioned before, I have recently started using a modified version of a program called Jolly Phonics. I used this program when I taught Kindergarten and loved it for a variety of reasons. First, Jolly Phonics uses a varies of modalities when approaching children's learning. They do this because there are different types of learners. Some children learn by hearing things (auditory learners). Some children need to see things in order to learn concepts (visual learner). Other learn by doing or touching (tactile learners). Due to the fact that children have different strengths as to how they learn, Jolly Phonics has created a program that addresses each modality (auditory, visual, and tactile ), so that no matter what learning style your child possess, their needs will be addressed.




I have modified the program to be used with our preschoolers in the following ways. I will be using the program in alphabetical order. The children are very familiar with the ABC song and I want them to feel comfortable knowing what is coming next. Jolly phonics goes out of order so that children can begin to blend and read words sooner. My goal is to expose the younger children (2yrs-3yrs) to the concept that each letter makes a sound. With the older children (3rs-4yrs), I want them to not only understand that each letter makes a sound, but I want them to internalize what sounds each letter makes. At this point, they will be extremely well prepared for the Kindergarten curriculum.




Jolly Phonics has a hand motion that is associated with each letter sound. For the letter Aa and the /a/ sound, Jolly Phonics has the children use two fingers crawling up their opposite arm. This simulates an ant crawling. As the children do the "ant motion" they make the sound /a/, /a/, /a/. We also attached the ant motion to our Aa song:




Aa says /a/,

Aa says /a/,

Every letter makes a sound,

Aa says /a/.




We also made an ant stick puppet to reinforce this concept. By singing (auditory), looking at the puppet and hand motions (visual), and creating the puppet and using the ant actions (tactile) all of the learning styles are addressed and hopefully the children will begin to internalize these concepts.




We have also worked on the letter Bb. The action for Bb involves pretending to hold a baseball bat and making the /b/ sound while swinging at a pretend ball. Again, we created a popsicle stick puppet and adding the hand motion to our Bb song.




The children have really enjoyed this new phonics program. Please feel free to provide your feedback! Next week we move on to the letter Cc. I can't wait!!!



If you would like to visit the Jolly Phonics Website, it is http://jollylearning.co.uk/


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Introducing DAISY...



Hello Everyone!



I hope you all had a great week! I wanted to take a moment to share an exciting new component of our program here at Achieve Preschool! Please, don't worry, we are not establishing a petting zoo, but I would like to take a moment to introduce you to Daisy. She is a chicken who is going to be a part of our first community service project.




While academics are an important part of what we do here, there is much more to your child's education than just learning their letters, shapes, colors, and numbers. The social and emotional component of their education is just as important. To meet this need, along with our Character Trait that we focus on each month, we will be adding a community service project. These projects, while fun and engaging, also serve another purpose. It is my goal to introduce the children to becoming productive and supportive members of their community while helping those around them.




For anyone following the blog, you are aware of the wonderful experience my family and I had at the Gentle Barn located in Santa Clarita. If you missed this post, please check out "An Amazing Family Experience." After having spent time here, seeing the animals first hand and witnessing the healing these animals have received, Daisy a chicken from the Gentle Barn will be a part of our first community service project. Let me explain what we will be doing for our project for August.




Please meet Daisy http://www.gentlebarn.org/virtual_barn.php . She is a chicken that needs some love and compassion. Achieve Preschool will be sponsoring Daisy for $5 per month, so that she will continue to receive the love, care, and food that has helped with her rehabilitation. We will earn the $5 for Daisy by beginning a recycling program. It is my hope that by establishing the recycling program and having the children help to earn the money for Daisy, we will begin on an exciting road of compassion and helping to care for others in need.



Starting tomorrow, there will be a bin located by the front door. If you would like to have your child participate with this project, please have them deposit any aluminum cans or plastic bottles that they would like to recycle to help earn money to care for Daisy. I will keep you posted as to our progress towards our goal of earning $5 per month.




As always, I thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free talk to me, call me, or email me at achievepreschool@hotmail.com .

Friday, July 29, 2011

Lovely Lobsters



Happy Friday!


As promised here is the precious lobster we have been working on. As a mom, I've watched my own boys grown so quickly and realize the importance of capturing their small image in a variety of ways, hand prints and footprints are two of my favorite ways of creating a moment in time that lasts. I came across this project on http://funhandprintart.blogspot.com/2010/05/handprint-footprint-lobster-for-june.html. There were so many exceptional projects on this site that I can't wait to try!




As we wrap up July, it's a great time to reflect on all of the wonderful skills we have learned and been introduced to.




Letters: We have learned Ww, Xx, Yy, and Zz. The children enjoyed the last four letters of the alphabet and are looking forward to starting with Aa, when we return in August. For letter recognition and sound association we will begin using a program called Jolly Phonics. More details to follow soon.



Language: For Language we have really been focusing on developing our vocabulary, especially when we communicate our wants and needs with friends and adults. Manner words and a polite tone were a big focus this past month and will continue to be in the future as well.



Math: We continued our quest with color identification. The children made great progress with this skill during July. They were also introduced to the idea of "more and less." This tends to be one of the more difficult concepts to understand. We will continue to work on this in August and the months following. We also worked on counting and our numbers 1-5. The children love the rhymes we use to remember how form each number. One is fun!




Social Studies: Teamwork was the theme in July and the children did a great job with this! We made floor puzzles, created a pretend restaurant, built forts, and created towers all by working together, taking turns, and sharing. Of course our manner words were used a lot when doing these team based activities. Great progress in this area as well!




Science: We had an outstanding time exploring our ocean life unit. The children loved the variety of fish activities, literature selections, and the songs. This is a very musical group and all of the children enjoy singing and dancing. I hope to implement some musical instruments in the near future.




Gross Motor / P.E.: We completed our until on kickball this month. The children love any activity that has to do with a ball and this was no exception. I saw growth with the children's motor planning skills and their abilities to kick a moving ball. Teamwork was also utilized here and effectively and politely talking to others as well.




Fine Motor: Cutting, tracing, and strengthening the small muscles in the children's hands was the focus here. We are seeing definite improvement with cutting and tracing.




Character Trait: The character trait for July was to be respectful. All of the children did an exceptional job with this. The teamwork unit and language and vocabulary development were also utilized while we were learning what it means to be respectful.




To get a seek peek of what's to come in August, please visit the Curriculum Center.



We will be adding one new component to the curriculum in the future, starting in August. This will be a community service project each month. In August we will being this adventure by starting a recycling program and using the money we earn to sponsor an animal from the Gentle Barn. Specifc details will be sent home soon.




Have great weekend and an excellent first week in August! As always, please email me with any questions or concerns. achievepreschool@hotmail.com Thank you!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

Perfect Patterns

Yesterday when the children expressed their enthusiasm for creating patterns, I was thrilled and couldn't wait to plan some more activities for this skill. I was even more excited when several little friends asked if we could do more patterns today. Absolutely! A quick scan of the craft cupboard revealed the left over colored pasta we had used to make Mother's Day necklaces. Perfect! Now for some black construction paper and a little glue and voila...perfect patterns emerged! Of course we practiced our colors, counting, and fine motor skills too. I love spontaneous lessons!
We are wrapping up our ocean unit and will be completing our final lobster craft tomorrow. I may be a little biased, but these lobsters are precious. Several of you have asked for the words to tunes to all of our fish songs for the month. We will have a new page called The Song Spot, where all of the tunes and lyrics for the songs that have been taught will be located. I will also attempt to place a description for any hand movements that were used with each song.
Be sure to come back tomorrow! You will get to see the infamous lobsters and have a recap of the month of July, along with a preview of the fun to come in August!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Z is for zoo...






Happy Wednesday!






Today has been another busy and eventful day. There was a buzz of excitment in the air as we celebrated another birthday. It's our forth one this month! We all had a great time singing Happy Birthday and there may have been some homemade chocolate cake involved.




Above is a picture of our latest artistic venture, but this activity goes beyond the children just exhibiting their creative flair. Let me share all of the skills associated with our zoo pictures.




Sound/Symbol Relationship- The children have been exposed to and are beginning to understand that each letter we learn makes it's own special sound. This week we are focusing on the letter Zz and the /z/ sound. To reinforce this concept we have been talking a lot about the zoo.




Introductory Concepts of Print- At the top of their picture each child glued the question "Who lives in the zoo?" The purposed of this is to introduce the children to the concepts that letters in print create words, which have meaning.




Language Development and Vocabulary Building - To enhance the children's vocabulary we named each animal and discussed the location they had placed each animal on their paper (on, next to, under, over, beside). This was a great way to work on prepositions.





Color Identification- We identified the color of each animal and played a game to strengthen their color identification skills.





Sorting - Before we began to make our zoo picture, we sorted the foam stickers into groups by each type of animal. This led to playing another game relating to patterns.





Patterns - After sorting the animals into their different groups, the children were then asked to pick two different animals. Once they had picked their two favorite animals, I gave them four of each, for a total of eight. At this time we created a simple ABAB pattern using their two animals. For example, one child picked a giraffe and an elephant. So together we created the following pattern: giraffe, elephant, giraffe, elephant, giraffe, elephant, giraffe, elephant. The children loved this! We we definately be doing more patterns again soon!





Fine Motor - And last, but certainly not least, we worked on developing the small muscles in our friends little hands by having them peel the backing off of each sticker before they placed it on their papers.





What a great day!!! I wanted to take a second and thank you for all of the positive emails and feedback I have received. I know many of you have expressed the desire to want to make comments after each post but have been unable to do so unless you have a blogger account with Google. I am still researching the best option for how to correct this. I feel it's important to share your thoughts with everyone and would love to be able to have a dialog beyond email that can be shared with others. I will let you know as soon as I have this "kink" worked out.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

An Amazing Family Experience

So, today we are going to take a break from curriculum, projects, and activities because I have something I must share with you! Each weekend my family and I attempt to find new fun and educational activities, while spending quality time together. This past Sunday we spent some time at The Gentle Barn in Santa Clarita. I had heard from several of my mommy friends that it was a wonderful place to take children and they were absolutely right!


For those of you who are unfamiliar with The Gentle Barn, let me share a little bit about it. The Gentle Barn is wonderful place where abused and neglected animals have been brought and nursed back to health. Each animal has a story. Each story is tragic, except for the ending. The end of each animal's story is one of health, happiness, and healing from the they have spent with the wonderful volunteers and Gentle Barn family members.


They have approximately 130 animals at their location. All of the animals can be pet, groomed, and loved on. My boys (especially my husband) loved feeding the horses! The volunteers kindly taught us how to properly hold our hands, so that the horses could eat their yummy treats.





video



We also went to the top of the property where we met several pigs, chickens, turkeys, goats, and peacocks. This was where I fell in love! I'm unsure of his name, but he was enormous and had the loudest snore I have ever heard. ADORABLE!!!







video




The Gentle Barn is open to the public every Sunday from 10am-2pm. However, during the week they work with at risk teens and children with special needs. When I found out this bit of info, I loved the Gentle Barn even more. It is a wonderful place to show all people that we can heal from our hurts. Each animal was truly an amazing creature and my entire family left feeling uplifted and grateful for our time there.




I was also pleased to see our new animal friends chowing down delicious veggies (which are donated by Albertsons). And did I mention the Gentle Barn serves vegan pizza from their concession stand? The Gentle Barn could definitely be my new favorite place. What more could this girl possibly ask for?




The Gentle Barn was such an inspirational experience that I have decided to incorporate community service projects into our curriculum. Our first project will be to sponsor an animal from the Gentle Barn.




If you are interested in more information about this incredible place, please visit their website at http://www.thegentlebarn.org/ They also have a Facebook page and are on Twitter as well.




I highly recommend making a trip to The Gentle Barn! If you decide to go, you will have an awesome time and I can't wait to hear about your experience!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Creative Crabs...

Happy Monday Everyone!
I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable weekend! This past week has been rough in the blogging arena. Technical difficulties, blog crashes, camera malfunctions..it's been enough to make a girl need a vacation! Whew! Well, even with all of the challenges I have faced this past week, I'm not giving up. I'm bound and determined to master the art of blogging and I appreciate you sticking in there with me.
The cute little guy above was actually made on Friday, but he was too cute not to share. He was created by the children painting their hands and using their hand prints to bring to life another one of our sea creatures from our ocean unit. We had a lot of fun with this activity. The children all giggled and were squirmy as the cool paint was brushed onto their little hands. They became excited as they attached Mr.Crab's eyes, but the most enjoyable part of all for our little preschool friends had to be the sand! Of course, we had to play with the sand first, which is a great sensory activity for our young friends. Overall, this activity was definitely one of the children's favorite in the ocean unit.
This week we will be wrapping up our ocean unit and finishing up the alphabet with the letter Zz. Today the children met Zach the Zebra. He collects zippers, loves to eat zucchini, and lives in the zoo. The children made their very own Zach the Zebra puppet that will be coming home today. We will also continue working on our colors and shapes. I hope everyone is having an outstanding Monday!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Y is for yellow...

Hello everyone!
Sorry for the couple of days of down time on the blog. I was having a few minor technical difficulties, but I think I have them all squared away now. So, without further delay, let's talk PRESCHOOL!
This week we are working on the letter Yy. So far we have learned the letter Yy song, looked for things that start with Yy, and played with yo-yos. Oh the fun we have had!
Today we sponge painted the letter Y using yellow paint. The children loved dipping the sponge into paint and then squishing it onto their paper. They giggled as the paint got all over their hands. It was a bit messy, but definitely super fun!
I can't wait for tomorrow and our next adventure! Have a great day!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fabulous Fish...



Today we continued to work on our ocean unit and pulled in a great deal of learning, while we were having fun! We made fish using colored streamers, construction paper, and paper plates. We practiced our colors, worked on strengthening the small muscles in our hands, and had an all around great time doing it. This activity also gave us a excellent forum for using our polite manners when we asked our friends to share supplies, such as glue and paper. The children did a great job! The best part of the activity was when (without any prompting from me) they began to sing the song "I'm a Little Fish," while creating their fishy masterpieces. It was absolutely adorable!



I hope you have been enjoying the blog as much as I enjoy writing it. I'm still working out some details, as I'm a complete newbie when it comes to blogging, so I appreciate your patience. I received many positive comments and some awesome suggestions! Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"Squishy" Scissors


Squishy scissors...what are those?! Well let me share, actually let me RAVE about "squishy scissors." Being a Kindergarten teacher for years, I have probably been exposed to every single kind of safety scissors ever made. And let me tell you, I have never found a pair of scissors that I love for little hands, until now. We have talked quite a bit recently about how we are working on developing the children's fine motor skills by strengthening the small muscles in their hands. Well, cutting always tends to be difficult. Especially in the beginning when little hands are weak. The regular safety scissors are just that, safe. Safe for little ones, so that they will not cut themselves, but they are basically just a smaller less sharp version of adult scissors. They are not designed with the children's hand muscles in mind. However, FISKARS makes a pair of safety scissors that really addresses this need (pictured above). The two hands of the scissors are attached together and the children just need to squeeze to make the scissors work. Genius, I tell you, pure genius! We have made cutting a game where every time we squeeze the scissors to cut we say "squish." The children love their squishy scissors and so do I!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fish Frenzy...




Today we had a fabulous day! We continued our ocean theme and also worked on the letter Xx and the number one. Today was the first day that the children practiced writing the number one all by themselves and let me just share they did a phenomenal job!! They were so proud of themselves. I really wish I could have recorded their squeals of delight as they wrote on their papers. They were happy, having fun, and incredibly proud of their latest accomplishment. It was great to be a part of that moment!




We have also been working on color identification. The children are doing great with this and have made a lot of progress. Today we worked on the color yellow. We made yellow collages and the little ones loved taking pictures out of magazines and gluing the pictures down onto their yellow papers.




Our big project this afternoon was to create an underwater scene using foam shapes and stickers. There was a great deal of learning taking place that the children were completely unaware of. All they knew is they having a great time, but I was well aware of all oCheck Spellingf the wonderful learning taking place in the room. Let me share..




This activity led to practicing counting (number of ocean animals in their picture), sorting (putting the ocean animals into different groups), color identification (identifying what color each animal was), and fine motor practice (taking the backing off of each sticker and placing it in their desired location). Look at all of this great learning taking place and they never even knew it! All they know is they had a great time and asked when we will be able to do it again! I love it was they have so much fun! Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday! We sure are!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rainbow Writing





Over the last several weeks you may have noticed the children have begun working on their fine motor skills by practicing how to trace lines, simple shapes, and recently letters and numbers. We have been developing this skill by using a technique called "Rainbow Writing." The children use a variety of different colored crayons to create a rainbow on their paper. The children repeat the same motions to write the letter Xx. The end result, a colorful letter that was created while the children were having fun practicing a crucial skill. You can see from the picture above, we worked on the letter Xx. They all did a great job! Happy Monday!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Whimsical Whales






Happy Friday, everyone! We have had a great week learning, growing, and playing! To go with our science unit on ocean life, we created some pretty amazing whales. The children loved each step of this project. They stuffed the bags, painted, and glued. Their favorite part was making and attaching the whale's spout. They each giggled when they watched their whale come to life.




We will continue with our ocean life unit next week, so there is more fun to come! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weather Watchers








Circle Time is one of the children's most favorite times of the day. It has always been a fairly simple activity that included practicing the letter of the week, music time, and listening to a simple story. We recently introduced the job of flag monitor as we have started learning the Pledge of Allegiance. The children LOVE to do this and feel such a sense of pride when it is their turn hold the flag and lead their friends in this activity. Yesterday we added another helper to our Circle Time routine, the Weather Watcher. The Weather Watcher is responsible for checking the weather outside and sharing the information with their friends. We also learned the Weather Watcher song that the children sing while the Weather Watcher is looking outside, assessing the weather situation.




Weather Watcher



(Sung to the tune Frere Jacques)



Weather Watcher, Weather Watcher,



What do you see?



What do you see?



Come on back and tell us,



Come on back and tell us,



What you see,



What you see.




When the song is completed the Weather Watcher shares what type of weather they saw and then shows their friends the matching weather card (shown in the picture above). If the children at Circle Time agree with the Weather Watcher, they give him or her "thumbs up." If they disagree, the keep their hands in their lap and we discuss as a group what type of weather we have outside. As with leading the Pledge of Allegiance, the Weather Watcher is a great way to motivate all of the children to participate in Circle Time and it fills each child with a sense of pride and accomplishment when it is their turn to be the Weather Watcher! It's fun, exciting, and a great self-esteem building activity for our little ones.




*My son came home singing the Weather Watcher song when he was in Kindergarten, so I have no idea where it originally came from or who should get the appropriate credit for it. I am still researching the actual creator of the song, so for now, thanks Mrs. Brixey...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wonderful Watermelons!











Today we had a great day! Not only did we eat some watermelon, we also made our own torn paper watermelon. The kids had a blast! You may be wondering why they are tearing the paper instead of cutting it. Great question…Let me explain.


As little hands being to mature, it is important to help them develop the small muscles in their hands and fingers. Why is this important? Well, these same small muscles are used when the children hold crayons and eventually pencils. By doing activities that promote strengthening the small muscles in their hands, such as tearing paper, the children will begin to develop more fine motor control and have an easier time when they begin to write. Due to this, you will see and hear of the children participating in many different activities that promote fine motor development. Cutting is another skill that will help develop these muscles. We have been working on this as well. As a matter of fact, a post on our "squishy" scissors is in the making and will be up next week.


I hope you are enjoying the new blog. I realize it has only been a couple of days, but I am loving it! J


Also, several of you have stated that you had wanted to post a comment, but were unable to do so. I am currently researching why there has been an issue and will get back to you as soon as I have found an answer. In the meantime, always know you can send me an email anytime. achievepreschool@hotmail.com Happy Wednesday!











Monday, July 4, 2011

Winston the Wolf










Hello Everyone!



It's Ww week and today the children were introduced to our puppet for the week...Winston the Wolf. Below is the story the children heard about Winston. As you can see he loves the letter Ww.



"Winston the wolf loves to wiggle! He lives in the wilderness near the water. He likes to eat walnuts and watermelon and he also enjoys going on walks. His best friend is a Walrus named Walter. Together they have a wonderful time washing windows. So whenever you think of the letter Ww, remember our friend Winston the Wolf!





We also sang the Ww song.



W says /w/.


W says /w/.


Every letter makes a sound.


W says /w/.



It was a fabulous day! We had a wonderful time!












*wolf puppet pattern from www.abcteach.com








Friday, July 1, 2011

Welcome!


Welcome, welcome everyone! I am so glad you popped by to check out the new blog! This is something that I have been working on for a long time and I am so happy to finally see it becoming a reality.






As many of you know, along with taking exceptional care of your children, one of my biggest goals is to provide you with the most information possible about your child's activities each day. That is my main purpose in doing this blog. It is my intention to create a post each day about one our activities. It is my hope that along with the daily communication logs and our blog, that you will feel as though you were here with us, sharing in each moment of our preschool day. So come and join our adventure! We can't wait to have you spend time with us!









Please take a few moments to look around. Here on the home page is where I will post about our daily activities. On the right side of the blog, you will see a section titled "Pages." While a few of the pages are still under construction (Special Needs, The Story Sanctuary, and Business Solutions-Providers Playground), there are several others that are ready to go!





The "About Me" section, is just that...It's all about Miss Kim, my education, and qualifications. Everything you wanted to know and more.






The "Educational Philosophies" section highlights why I do what I do. Just in case you didn't know, I love my job and I want you to understand my reasoning for constructing my program as I have.









The "Daily Schedule" will show you what we do each day and when.






The "Curriculum Center" is block plan for the months of July-December. You will be able to see what the children will be learning each month (letters, language development, math, social studies, science, character trait of the month, and any holidays). If you have questions about any of the curriculum, please let me know and I'd be happy to clarify.









The "Meal Menu" section will provide you with a list of the meals and snacks that have been planned for the children each week.





Finally, the "Weekly Focus" will share what literature selection we will be working on. It will also list our song of the week and it will highlight what letter we will be working on.









The Special Needs, The Story Sanctuary, and Business Solution pages will be up and running soon.





As many of you know, Special Education is a passion of mine. As a mother of children that received special needs services shortly after birth, I know what an overwhelming experience it can be. It is my goal that I will be able to offer support to others, share what I have learned, and increase my knowledge base as well.




"The Story Sanctuary" page is something I chose to include for a variety of reasons. The main one being that it houses one of the biggest dreams in my heart, to become a published author. Over the last several years, I have begun writing children's stories. These are Christian based children's stories that have been created with the same set of characters that have a variety of adventures. If you are interested in reading some of these stories they will also be posted on my other blog http://www.thestorysanctuary.blogspot.com/ . I will let you know when that is up and running.








Finally, the "Business Solutions-Provider's Playground" is a place for daycare providers to come together to share ideas, gain new information, and find new ways to enhance their business.







Well, again, I thank for stopping by! Please feel free to share this blog with any friends, family members, neighbors, really anyone you know that might be interested in the information shared here.









Please leave a comment below, so I know you were here. It would mean a lot!