Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Let Kids Get Their Happy On!

Pix from 'The Pink Ribbon" on Facebook

I remember the first time I started teaching. I did activities I loved as a child with them and we had a great time.  By mid-year my class didn’t seem to have that “oomph” it once had.  I’m so glad I started talking to more experienced teachers about the problem I was having.

The problem was I never had had the pulse of my class. I was doing things I liked without ever considering what they were interested in. After forgiving myself, I had a long talk with my class about things they wanted to do.  I can still see how big their eyes got when I took out the white board and wrote down every idea they had and read it back to them to make sure it was correct.

The teacher had now become the student.

We explored topics I never considered before.  Some of the children had serious illnesses so we made sure to do curriculum on trips to the doctor, hospitals,  even what types of medical equipment was used for.  The children that had been ill asked to speak to the class about what they were going through.  We recorded it for the parents and shared in their laughter and tears.

The curriculum began taking a life of its own . I felt just as excited to come to class as the parents and kids.

I’m so thankful I reached out for their sakes. It changed my life forever: hopefully, theirs, too.

How about you? How have you helped kids get their happy on lately?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What’s the Difference Between Baby 1.0 vs. Toddler 2.0?

Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Baby 1.0 to Toddler 2.0. and noticed a distinct increase in the system’s overall performance, particularly in Tantrums 4.0 and it regularly defaults to a “No” application I never downloaded.
In addition, Toddler 2.0 uninstalled some really great programs like Regular NAPS 2.0 while installing Whining XP and Biting 4.0.
Easy-Going 8.0 no longer runs and adding cookies simply causes the system to crash just before adding SugarOverload 2.0. I’ve tried adding Pleading 3.0 and Nagging 4.0 but it works to no avail.
Someone recommended the Spanking 1.0 application but this seems counterproductive to what I am trying to do here.
What should I do?
Desperate Mom

Thank you for your letter. First, please keep in mind that Baby 1.0 is a Learning Package; Toddler is a full operating system.
Please enter the command: idothisbecauseiloveyou.html and download, Compassion5, Positive Discipline 3 and Love&Humor4.2. 
If the application is working as designed, Toddler 2.0 should begin running Happiness 3.0, Contentment 5 and Sweetness 3.1.
Please reconsider the Spanking 1.0 application, our research shows that overuse of this application can cause Toddler 2.0 to default to MEGAtantrums 4.3, Anger 5 with the Confusion 6.
Just so you know, all those default programs are very bad. These act as a virus and will eventually seize control of every system in Toddler 2.0.
I forgot to mention, do not attempt to reinstall Baby 1.0 back to Toddler 2.0. That system is no longer supported and will completely crash Toddler 2.0.
In summary, Toddler 2.0 is an excellent program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications as quickly as you may like. Please consider buying additional software like Parent Support 7. 
Thank you & Good Luck,
Tech Support

Monday, November 19, 2012

Kids Ice Ornaments Craft

Kids Ice Ornament Craft!
 Okay, I have done this is the summer, but winter is another story. Funny how teachers must constantly reinvent tried and true preschool curriculum.
Well, here it is, and for good measure I put a popular link in there that is great for summer from A Sense of Wonder.
Here is how we reinvented summer ice activities to Kids Ice Ornaments for the winter and what our preschoolers are doing with them!

From A Sense of Wonder-Great Idea!
What you'll need to make Kids Ice Ornaments
  1. Balloons
  2. Sink
  3. A Freezer (if it's not snowing outside)
  4. Food Coloring
  5. Glow Sticks (optional, but oh so much fun)

Kids Ice Ornament Process
Kids love filling up the balloons in the sink, but what they love even more is splashing one another! Defiantly recommend direct supervision and assistance with the food coloring.
  1. First have the child put a few drops of food coloring in the empty balloon.
  2. Light a glow stick and place it inside the balloon.
  3. Assist child in filling up balloon at the sink and tying it off.
  4. Make sure there is plenty of room in the freezer and place them inside.

Depending on the size of the balloon, it may take a few hours to an entire day for them to solidify.
When it's time to take them out have the children figure out a way to unwrap their ice ornament.

We love to place them in the sensory table lined with aluminum foil and other round objects like unique marbles, and glittery round objects. We turn off the lights and enjoy the soft glow of the glow sticks inside. I love to do this when we study space and planets!

If you can, make more with the children during the coldest weather and arrange to take home and place outside their door!

Monday, October 1, 2012

How to make the Kids Jack-o-Lantern carving last longer!

Great idea found on Pintrest! Make your own Pumpkin Fresh!

Carving a pumpkin to make a Jack-o-Lantern with the kids? Make that carving last! Spray a mixture of bleach and water (equal parts) on the inside of your fresh pumpkin daily or coat the inside w/ petroleum jelly to keep mold and dehydration at bay. I wish I had known this tip last year for the kids!
Well, I think we could still save one as a science project-then the kids could see the difference between the two Jack-o-Lanterns! 
Be sure to check out "Getting Messy with Ms. Jessi" with some great Halloween and Fall Art for Preschoolers!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Easie Peasie Homemade Kids Finger Paints

These finger paints are great for a tight classroom budget, but what about a great classroom gift idea for the kids?
Be sure to add at least a tablespoon of dish washing soap to the mixture with the water!
This gift idea is great for:

  • Kids Birthdays
  • End of Summer Gifts
  • Special Holiday Gifts
  • Party Favors 

Friday, July 13, 2012

How to make a kids classroom art gallery!

When I first began teaching I put a lot if money back into the program. Then I learned was to be more Recession Chic. Today's teachers have to be quite resourceful and found my parents very willing to help-boy does that lighten the load!
We did a great family classroom project with the parents and kids around picture frames. We requested parents donate an old frame from the Goodwill.
For those kids that insist on taking all their precious art projects home, we had them select a favorite picture to cut out from a magazine.
Voila! Instant kids art gallery!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kids Crafty Bottle Bird Feeder

Materials list for the Kids Crafty Bird Feeder
  1. Empty Liter Bottles with Lids
  2. Bulk Wooden Spoons (Available at the Dollar Store)
  3. Bulk Wild Bird Seed
  4. Scissors
  5. Sharpie Marker
  6. Masking Tape
  7. Small Eye Hook Screw(s) (Enough for each lid)
  8. Twine or yarn
  9. A nice shade tree with sturdy branches

The Process
Teacher Prep: Use a sharpie and mark two sections per spoon you would like to have them placed. Make sure your "entrance and exit" Sharpie marks are parallel to one another. After you punch small holes in the marks with the tip of your scissors, place one more just above one of the holes. This third hole will disperse seed in the bowl of the spoon.
Get the lid, and screw in the eye hook in the center of the lid. Make sure it's secure.

The Kids Part: Give the children the wooden spoon(s) and allow them to figure out how to put them through the proper holes. This is a great fine motor exercise. When they are finished have them clip a piece of masking tape to cover the 'third seed dispensing hole'.

Allow the children to fill the bottle with the seed and place the lid on top. They will place a length of twine through the whole and tie it.
We love to go out as a group and pick our branches to tie them to. It's then that we take the tape off and allow the bowl of the spoons to fill with seed.

Be sure to get a camera. The kids love to show their families proof that the birds came!

Bird picture found on Facebook from All it Takes is a Can Opener & Crockpot.