Tuesday, July 12, 2016

"A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up"

 I'm sure you've seen these calm down jars floating around the internet. They are mesmerizing. They can be a great tool in helping kids learn about regulating their emotions and taking time to be calm when they are feeling upset. 

We decided to try them out and as we were working, I realized that I have never shared one of my most favorite books on here. I seriously can't believe I haven't shared this book and I literally have butterflies in my stomach because I am so excited to tell you about it. One of my third graders got this book for me from the book fair when I was teaching 3rd grade and it is the best. Okay, are you ready? Eek, I'm stoked. Okay here it is:

The Blue Day Book for Kids by Bradley Trevor Greive

The book goes through what it might feel like to have a rough day and uses the most incredible animal pictures that are sweet, funny, and touching all at the same time. For example:

And then it invites the readers to turn a blue day into a new day and offer strategies for cheering yourself up. Like:

Another fun thing about this book? There's a grown up version too! The Blue Day Book: A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up
So, you have to go check out this book ( maybe the one for adults too) and after you read it with one of the little people that you love, maybe hop over to Momma Owl's Lab for instructions on how to make a calming down jar. The thing that makes her site better than all the rest is that she tells you about the science behind it at the bottom and that is beyond cool. So make sure to read that part too. 

Okay. You totally have to tell me what you think of the book. Isn't it the best?!

Have an amazing summer and I may or may not see you again before the fall. ;)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Letter Stomp

Practicing letters during the summer doesn't have to be boring. Try this fun letter stomp game! Write a letter on the top of paper cups. Call out the letter or the letter sound and when your child finds the right one, they stomp the cup flat. It is strangely satisfying and educational at the same time!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Passionate Thoughts about Current Preschool Education Trends

I don't always get soap boxy, but I feel so very strongly about this issue. I was recently reading an article that describes how "twisted" early childhood education has become. Preschools have increasingly moved away from what is appropriate for children that age. Preschools are including more and more desk work and drill in order to help kids "prepare" for kindergarten and they are taking out the essential hands on, sensory, play based learning. It is not what children that age need. It is depriving them of important development. Studies of brain development support the need for active learning and many preschool classrooms are depriving them of that opportunity. Here's a quote from the article.

"So never in my wildest dreams could I have foreseen the situation we find ourselves in today.
Where education policies that do not reflect what we know about how young children learn could be mandated and followed. We have decades of research in child development and neuroscience that tell us that young children learn actively — they have to move, use their senses, get their hands on things, interact with other kids and teachers, create, invent. But in this twisted time, young children starting public pre-K at the age of 4 are expected to learn through “rigorous instruction.”
And never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that we would have to defend children’s right to play."
This is why I teach the way I do and why I have chosen not to put my kids in other classrooms. "Play is the primary engine of human growth."
Preschool should be fun and full of play. Your children will have 13 years of sitting at a desk, doing worksheets, and being still for hours on end. When considering where your child should go to preschool, don't deprive them of some of the last moments they might have to learn about the world through exploration.
Please take a minute to read this article and consider carefully where your child attends preschool. Don't enroll them in a classroom that doesn't take your child's right to play seriously.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Z is for Zoo

Paper plate, yarn, and animal cut outs. To go with this fun book.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mother's Day Card

If you are a current mom, avert your eyes, or you might ruin the surprise. :) 

I don't know about any of you but it feels like May snuck up on us like a ninja! I can't believe school is almost out and that mother's day is only 5 days away! If you are looking for a card for a special mom in your life, look no further. 

Here is an adorable card for you to make for mom or Grandma for mother's day. It is simple and you can print it for free. Simply add who it's to, from, and add some paper pieces. 

To make ours, we cut 1/2 inch strips of construction paper. Then the kids cut and glued squares in the heart and on the bottom of the cover. They wrote who it was to and from. Then I tied of off with a ribbon.

The idea isn't originally mine. It came from an amazing preschool one town over - Brilliant Beginnings. I thought it might help to provide the page we use to make these. All you have to worry about is printing, cutting, and gluing. 

Click here to print out your own card. After printing, cut 2 inches off of the bottom. 

When you click on the link, there are a lot of ads on the page. You want to click the small grey download button right beneath the box that says view document. You will need to sign in to download the paper. You can sign up for a free 4shared account or use your social media outlet to download. Please leave a message below if you have any problems or questions. 

Happy Mother's Day to all you amazing moms who do so much and don't get nearly enough thanks.