Sunday, October 31, 2010

November! Gobble, Gobble!!

We eat turkey, We eat turkey,
Oh, so good! Oh, so good!
Always on Thanksgiving, Always on Thanksgivng.
Yum, yum, yum! (Sing it to Are you sleeping?)

November, November! I can't believe that it's November!!
Each month brings so many changes to our room, and this month saw MANY!
Housekeeping is now a Thanksgiving Feast and Dress-up is going to be dressing up Pilgrim and Indians with a tee-pee! My co-teacher's father-in-law made us one for the kiddos. I've always wanted one!! :) One of my favorite books is Eve Bunting's "A Turkey for Thanksgiving". I have the cutest stuffed figures that go with the book and the kiddos can use it to retell the story. My co-teacher made some yummy smelling pumpkin playdough for us to use in our playdough center. And this week our journal is going to be "How to cook a turkey." It's always so fun to hear how the kiddos think a turkey is made. ;)

We have lots of crafts for this month too! This week, we are making a finger print turkey. I have a turkey pattern that you cut out and glue onto a small paper plate. Heading to Lakeshore again this weekend and going to buy several of their multi color stamp pads. The kiddos will color the plate and head brown and then use their finger prints to put colors on the turkey feathers.

On Friday we are going to have a multi craft day during center round up. Fridays are fun days and we do only centers. ;) At one center we will have colored pasta for an Indian necklace. I did this last year. You buy several different types of pasta. Then I put it in a large gallon sized baggie with some rubbing alcohol and several drops of food coloring. Shake it up until you get the desired color. I added quite a bit of alcohol maybe a 1/2 cup, but you just have to eye it. ;) Then the kids string it on to yarn and make a colorful necklace. The next center will be the ice cream cone teepee decorating. For this use sugar ice cream cones and make a paste with powdered sugar and water. I buy several kids of candy for them to stick to their teepees. Then I print their names off on card stock and "glue" them on with icing for their place cards at our feast!

The K kiddos are now Pilgrims and Indians. ;) On our feast day, Nov. 19, they will dress up in kid made Pilgrim and Indian costumes. It's always such a fun time!!

The week of the feast, we will be making most of our food. I always say our feast is sort of like the Charlie Brown feast. :) We'll make corn muffins, butter, pumpkin pies, and cranberry punch. Our Mom's are bringing deli turkey and popcorn to top it all off! It's such a fun time. Next to each plate we put 5 kernals of corn. This is a reminder of what the Pilgrims had that first hard winter.

Of course we have LOTS of new poems and songs too! Dr. Jean's Happy Everything C.D. has one of our very favorite songs Albuquerque Turkey. Such a fun song! Check it out! There several other Thanksgiving songs on this C.D. too.

Thankful Hearts!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

OCTOBER~ Teddy bears, changing leaves, and pumpkins, oh my!!

O-C-T-O-B-E-R, October is in the fall!

Wow, we've been in school for 38 days today. It's hard to believe the first 9 weeks of school is almost over! The K kids have been enjoying the changes of fall here in Oklahoma. We've been watching the leaves begin to change and we are enjoying the cooler fall weather! We've also been working hard at school. We've been making lots of fall crafts. Today we started making a paper plate pumpkin. We use the small paper plates and then use our fine motor skills to squish up little pieces of tissue paper to cover the pumpkin. Then we cut out a stem to finish our pumpkin off. On Friday, we are going to do a BIG task, painting leaves for our fall leaf wreath. This is one of my favorite fall crafts! One of our great Mom helpers cut out 8 leaves on the ellison die cut per child. We are going to set up at the table in our "Learning Corral". In trays we are going to have several different fall colors of paint. I have some really cool rollers from Lakeshore that the kiddos can roll into the paint and roll onto their leaves. :) The same great helper Mom is cutting out the middle of a regular sized paper plate. The kids will glue their 8 leaves onto the plate once the leaves are dry. It makes a very fun colorful fall leaf wreath! I posted some pics of the ones we did last year last Nov. too, so you may have seen them before. :)

At the beginning of this month, we had a Teddy Bear Picnic! Such a fun time! Each child brought their teddy bears and we went outside on a BEAUTIFUL fall day and had yummy snacks with our teddy bears. The kids made teddy bear ears so they would be in disguise. For the teddy bear ears, we cut the circle out of the middle of a small paper plate and left a sort of tail on the bottom so we could glue it around a headband. Then the kiddos colored the background of their ears and glued yarn pieces all over the ear. We use Aleen's tacky glue for our craft projects, and I love it!! Their headbands turned out cute. :)

Well, I said last time that I would share my love for phonics! :) I've taught 3 grades at our school, Pre-K, K, and 1st. 1st grade was my longest trek, and I saw SO many benefits from a strong phonics curriculum. We use ABeka phonics at our school. It starts with the basics in Pre-k and then builds each year. In K we begin using blends to make and read words. We drill those blends each day! In Jan., we will begin doing reading groups and the blends they have drilled really begin to hit home. :) I'm already so impressed at how well my students are making and reading words. In first grade we build a little more. They have phonics charts with special sounds for words to help them read and spell. Many of these special sounds help us to even read sight words, so the Dolch word list becomes very small! It's exciting to see these kiddos take off and use the rules and sounds they practice. It's even more exciting to see them become GREAT readers and spellers. I LOVE phonics!!

Okay, another soap box this month. We work hard in our K, but we play even harder, and that balances it all out. :)

Enjoy the changes in your seasons wherever you are!!