Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Inspire a Love of Reading

Reading is such an important part of future success in school! Many of us want to help our students become better readers. One way to do that is to show them your love of reading.
Try one or a couple of these ideas and see if they work for your family.

  1. Read books, magazines, and newspapers around your child.
  2. Read aloud to your child for at least 20 minutes a day! Establish a daily story time together. Make your voice sound enthusiastic as you read.
  3. Encourage reading by providing a well lit area with bookshelves full of books. Books can be inexpensive holiday or birthday gifts. Bookshelves can be made from old boxes, cartons, or scraps of wood.
  4. Limit your child's exposure to TV, movies, computer, and video games. Offer good alternatives like reading!
  5. Talk with your child about what they are reading at school. Keep in contact with their teacher about their progress.
  6. Teach your child how to care for books. Discuss the importance of keeping books clean.
  7. Help your child get a local library card and make a point of visiting the library together.
Taken from "101 Ways to Love a Book"

Sunday, August 29, 2010

B is for Butterflies and Bugs!

We had fun creating butterflies and bugs for snack this week to celebrate the letter B.
It was simple: celery, cream cheese or peanut butter, twisted and straight pretzels.

B is for Binoculars

Look up, look down, there are colors all around!

We made some binoculars this week to celebrate the letter B and to go on a scavenger hunt for the colors we have been practicing in class. We used two toilet paper rolls with a cotton ball glued in between. (It gives space for the nose.) I painted one end of each roll to help it look a little more like real binoculars. Then we decorated strips of construction paper with foam shapes and markers; which we glued around the toilet paper rolls. Add some string and tadah!

I learned that the best way to attach the paper is to tape one end of the paper to a toilet paper roll. Then put liquid glue along the toilet paper rolls on the top, bottom, and side. wrap the paper around the rolls. To help the glue dry correctly, it helps to put something round and heavy (like a cup or small bottle of paint) between the two rolls on top of the paper.

Awesome New Aprons!

One of our amazing moms (who also designed this great blog) made our class some awesome aprons to use when we are doing messy crafts. The aprons proved invaluable this week as we dyed pasta and one of the bags leaked! (More about that fun project next week.) I just wanted to send out a huge THANK YOU and show off how cool these aprons are.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Human Candyland

We took a walk on the rainbow path and reached the "candy castle" this week. It was a lot more fun than just playing the board game. I took the cards out of the game and made a construction paper path that the kids walked along. They each drew a card, told me what color they had, and walked along the path to find the correct square to stand on.

Here are my gingerbread men getting to the end of the path.

Rainbow Fruit Loops

Nothing is better than sorting and tasting fruit loops while learning our colors.

I think I am definitely going to have to invest in some more liquid glue after seeing how much the kids used during this project.

Our First Week

We had a fun first week at Chipman's Corner. We focused on colors and learning good manners in the class.

Some of my favorite memories:

During the 3 year old class we did a dinosaur dance to go with our dinosaur theme. When we were finished doing our dance I told the kids that we were going to tiptoe back to the carpet because we were pretending there was a sleeping dinosaur next to the table. For the next 20 minutes, the kids wouldn't let me talk louder than a whisper and they were very quiet during that whole time because they didn't want to wake up the dinosaur. I think maybe I will try that trick again some time.

Trevor says, "You have dots on you." I looked down to see where the dots were and asked him, "Where?" He says, "On your face." I laughed and explained that they are called freckles.

The New Decor

Chipman's corner has gotten a partial makeover. Here are a few pictures of part of the facility. A big thank you to my mom who made the fun alphabet quilt that has been the start of a lot of fun conversations.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Preparing For the First Day of School

Hello Readers! Each month as part of our monthly newsletter, I am going to include some kind of Tip of the Month to help with normal preschool aged behaviors. This month's tip is about helping your child transition to starting school this can be helpful for preschool or kindergarten aged children.

Helping Prepare for the First Day
Some or all of these ideas might work for you and your family. Always remember to talk about starting school in a positive and calm way.

A few weeks before school starts:
  • Start talking about school starting and how much fun it will be.
  • Be positive and share with your child what they will do there.
  • Read books about children going to school.
  • If possible, meet the teacher and visit the class ahead of time.
That morning:
  • Leave plenty of time to get ready so you're not stressed.
  • Reassure them that you will come and get them when it's over.
  • Please do not bring toys.
  • If they need a security object, have them bring a book to share when it is reading time at the end of the day.
At School:
  • Engage your child in toys that interest them and talk about all the fun they will have.
  • You are welcome to stay and help with the transition during center time only. If you show your confidence in their new experience by leaving with a smile, they will pick up on it and start to feel more confident as well.
  • When it is time for you to go, keep your goodbye short and simple.
  • It can help to have a goodbye ritual like a special handshake, song, hug, or special words that you always say.
  • Allow the teacher to help your child or go to the teacher if they need help with a project or have questions.
  • Always keep open communication with the teacher about your concerns.
After School:
  • Use the monthly activity calendar to talk about what they did at school that day.
  • Ask them to tell you about the stories they read or the songs they sung.