Update on Teach Preschool Postcard Exchange

Hello to all who are participating in this year’s postcard exchange.  I have sent out emails to each person who signed up to be in this exchange so if you have not received my email, then be sure to contact me at teachpreschool @ y a hoo . com.  This email address is ONLY for the postcard exchange so I can keep things straight.

We have a total of 7 groups (Groups A through G) in this year’s exchange and in each Letter Group there are approximately 45 participants.  So this is quite a bit of work for me to put together but now that it is mostly all completed – I am excited to introduce it all to my class!

I need everyone to know that THERE WILL BE UPDATES to the current lists that I have posted on each group website. Be sure to check your group website before sending out your postcards to make sure the latest changes to addresses or zip codes are correct.  Check comments below each group page too – just in case I have not yet made an update.

I will update ALL groups by this SUNDAY so that we can be sure to have the latest information as we head off to school next week.

Thank you so much for your participation and your patience with me as I make sure everything is as acurate as possible!

Deborah

 

By | September 21st, 2011|Categories: Around the Classroom|Tags: |Comments Off on Update on Teach Preschool Postcard Exchange

Fun with puffy paint and cupcakes in preschool

For this fun activity, the children started off by mixing up their own cupcake puffy paint icing…

To make their own puffy paint icing, the children mixed together shave cream and glue. I would say to make our puffy paint icing, we added 1 part glue to  4 parts shave cream but honestly – we just threw in shave cream and added glue straight from the bottle. Then we added some food color and mixed it all together…

It really did look like icing so I reminded the children that we can’t eat it! I had them smell it and the children didn’t even try to eat it but just in case, I threw out the extra reminders. Once the children mixed up their puffy paint icing they put their bowls in the center of the table so we could share all the colors…

Next the children fan-folded their paper cupcake holders so they would have lines like real cup cake holders. Then they glued their cupcakes toppers and folded cupcake holders on a large sheet of paper…

Now it was time to add our puffy paint icing. I showed the children how to drop the icing on the cupcakes so it would set up a bit and dry puffy.

some of the children preferred to mix the colors and smear the icing on – either way, it still has a puffy feel when it is all done. And some of the children didn’t quite get the idea that the icing should go on the cupcake, not the holder 🙂

For snack, we got to ice real cupcakes too! And this icing we could eat!

Links to Grow On…

Check out the puffy paint ice cream too!

Cupcake Ice Cream Cone from Dukes and Duchesses

Delicious Plaster of Paris cupcakes from Casa Maria’s Creative Learning Zone

Felt Play Food Cupcakes from GummyLump

Threading Cupcake Holders from House of Baby Piranha

Framed Cupcake Felt Board from Miranda Made

Having fun with a little blue and yellow in preschool

After reading the story, “Little Blue and Little Yellow” by Leo Lionni we did a little blue and yellow color mixing of our own…

We have been exploring balls and so we combined our reading with a little blue and yellow ball painting…

Each of the children started out by putting their paper in the box and then adding some blue and yellow paint on their paper…

Once each child added a little yellow and blue paint to their paper, I invited them to throw a few balls into the box…

It was fun watching the children as they worked together to get the balls moving in the box.  I generally had to get them started by showing them how to take turns making the box go up and down or side to side…

Some of the children really got the hang of this as we went along…

And in the end, we had some beautiful blue and yellow (with a little bit of green) artwork…

Available on Amazon

By | September 19th, 2011|Categories: Children's Books|Tags: , , |7 Comments

Planting and growing beans in our preschool window

With all the bean measuring and play going on, we also took the time to explore how beans grow…

This was a simple way to plant a bean. We started with cotton balls, water, plastic baggies, and a bowl of water…

Each child dipped their cotton balls into water and placed them in their baggie. They used enough cotton balls to fill all the way across the bottom of the baggie…

Next each child added some lima beans to their baggie. They wanted to add handfuls so we had to remind them that the beans needed space to grow so only add four or five…

Before introducing this activity to the children, I had previously soaked the lima beans overnight to speed up the growing process a bit…

Once the children finished adding their cotton balls and beans to their baggies, we then closed up the zipper and taped them to our window (make sure the baggies are sealed tight so they hold in the moisture). Now all we have to do is wait and see what happens. We will talk about the growth of the beans as they start to shoot out some sprouts…

Beans after one day in the window

Bean Plant after 8 days

I think we added too much water in a few of our plants – or we didn’t seal them tightly enough or perhaps we got too carried away with the number of beans in the bag. In any case, we had a few that didn’t grow. So we are going to try again next week for those who would like to do it again. The interesting thing is that we were able to talk about why some didn’t grow as well as why we think some did. Great science discussions based on natural happenings in our classroom!

This one didn't grow....Time for a Do-Over!!

 

                      

By | September 18th, 2011|Categories: Science and Nature|Tags: , , , |8 Comments

Exploring measuring tools in preschool

We have been exploring the use of measuring and cooking tools in our prek class. The children loved using the measuring tools to scoop up dried beans…

Beans have a wonderful quality to them. They feel smooth to the touch which invites hands on exploration…

As the children explored the beans, we were able to talk more about our measuring tools which included measuring cups, measuring spoons, and measuring scales…

Later in the day, we played a short measuring tool sorting game. We sorted our measuring tools by size and used terms like 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup and 1/4 cup…

Then we dumped them all into the water table for a little more measuring cup play…

It was quite the day for exploring our measuring tools!

By | September 17th, 2011|Categories: Activity Boxes, Mathematics|Tags: , , , , , |8 Comments

Measuring and mixing with a dash of new vocabulary in preschool

After reading “Blueberries for Sal,” we became “bakers” as one of my students observed and our little bakers made some blueberry muffins…

We explored different kinds of measuring tools and cooking terms as we worked together to make our blueberry muffins…

Our bakers took turns measuring and pouring in the different ingredients…

Cooking presents such a great opportunity to introduce math, language, and new vocabulary…

As we worked to measure and mix, we used words like ingredients, recipe, oil, eggs, thick, smooth, dry, moist, oven, measuring cups, measuring spoons, preheat, 400 degrees, 1/2 cup, 1 tablespoon, and the list goes on..

The ability to mix up all of these ingredients and scoop the mix into paper cups required quite a bit of fine motor work as well…

No reason to waste good blueberry juice. We saved our blueberry juice and added a little blueberry art into our day…

The children used the juice to make blueberry pie drawings…

We used cotton swabs to draw with since the blueberry juice would stain our hands…

Our take home math bags in preschool

I found these bags at our local Dollar Tree. They were 2 for $1.oo each and I knew that they would be perfect for our take home math bags…

A math bag was sent home with each child.  We added each child’s name on their bag as well. The children take home their bags each Thursday and bring them back by the following Thursday…

Instructions were sent home to the parents as well. They are to help their child collect no more than five items each week to put in the bag. The items should be small and something that the children (or parents) will not mind donating to our school. For example: acorns, plastic lids, coke tabs, rocks, buttons, and so on….

On math day, the children will share what they brought to school (sort of like show and tell) and then they will all sort the items into baskets. All the acorns will go in one basket and so on.  We will graph the number of items each child brought, count the items, and use them for making patterns and games…

Each child can choose five different items to bring or they can be all the same. The reason for bringing five or less items is because when we combine all the items from the entire class together – it makes for a lot of graphing, sorting, and counting…

The parents get to be involved just a bit too which is always a plus for opening conversations about preschool at home! This is our first week for bringing our math bags to school so I will be sure to share more as we go along.

Books on Amazon

   

By | September 14th, 2011|Categories: Mathematics|Tags: , , , , |18 Comments

2011 Teach Preschool Postcard Exchange Update

 

 

I am writing this update in hopes that you all will see it. I sent out emails this week to touch base with everyone and several of the emails I sent out returned to me and undeliverable. Well – not too many but enough that it caused me alarm.  If you did not receive my email then please do the following….

1. Check for spam and make sure you add  >> teachpreschool @ y a h o o  . com    to your address book as this will be the contact email address for all postcard exchange information going here forward.

2. Send me an email to the email address listed above letting me know you are on board and if there are any changes you need to notify me about such as: a change of mind, change of address, or number of classes that are participating.

If you have more than one class participating – make sure you check the groups when you get yours to be sure I have everything listed correctly.

If you received my email and have no changes, then you do not need to write me back.

We have over 300 participants this year in the exchange so it is taking me a little effort to get it all organized correctly. I will have your groups sent to you by this weekend if not sooner. I am working every evening to wrap this all up so we can begin our journey!!  I am super excited to send out those post cards and share the ones I receive with my class.

When I send out groups – you will be given a website address and a password to check into your group. This is why it is ABSOLUTELY important that we are able to communicate via email.  If I cannot reach you then I may need to remove your name from the list as I want to be sure everyone on the group list has been contacted and is participating..

 

Thank you so much for joining me!

Deborah

PS. At this time, sign-ups for the postcard exchange are closed! I am so sorry if you missed it this go around but we will do this again in the future.

By | September 14th, 2011|Categories: Around the Classroom|Tags: |4 Comments

Our state-of-the-art outdoor playscape in preschool

Our outdoor playscape is very unique and you need to know that most of our equipment is very valuable and not available in stores. Here is what you will find in our playscape….

We have a balance beam…

A rock climber…

A stair master…

A very large sand box…

A mountain…

A nature trail…

And a basket ball goal (which is available in stores) …

Although our outdoor playscape is equipped with the finest of equipment, we do offer some “loose parts” for additional play in our playscape.

Including construction materials …

Natural materials…

Magic sticks and stumps…

All kinds of hidden treasures…

A very large Lincoln Log collection..

And straws…

And cones…

Well that covers the highlights of our state of the art playscape!

By | September 13th, 2011|Categories: Children's Studio|Tags: , , , |6 Comments

Outdoor nature hike collecting and sorting in preschool

Since day one, our students have been wanting to go on a nature hike in the woods.  So what did we do? We went on a nature hike (on a slightly rainy day no less)…

Each child was given a paper bag to collect nature items. The popular collections included rocks, acorns, and sticks. We had a few leaves but since our leaves are not quite falling yet – we will take another walk on a fall day for collecting leaves…

The children have been collecting acorns on a daily basis around here and taking them home in their pockets, but today we put them in our bags…

After we completed our collections, we went into the outdoor classroom and set our bags out by our sorting baskets…

Later, the children sorted all the items that were in their bags into the baskets. Keep in mind that we have been collecting items to take home often so leaving the items they found in the baskets was no big deal to the children…

That was all we had the time for today but throughout the year, we will continue to add to our collections and use them for various kinds of learning and play in the classroom…

By | September 13th, 2011|Categories: Around the Classroom, Creative Art|Tags: , , |10 Comments