Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

Here is a jack-o'-lantern that our preschool class had. One of the families donated it to us. One of our teachers carved it and then the children scooped out all the pumpkin seeds and the pulp. The kids loved it when we would turn the lights off and like the jack-o'-lantern during lunch. We would use battery operated candles or the flashlight on our phones. I hope everyone is enjoying their Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Growing Halloween Creatures

Today was a windy rainy day so we were all stuck inside.  We decided to do an experiment with Halloween tablets. They are these tablets that if you put them in water, they will dissolve into different objects or creatures. These happen to be Halloween related. So we chose to use black, green, orange and blue. As we put the tablets in the water, I asked each child to guess what the object inside might be. I did this for each color. Guesses included a pumpkin, a ghost, a jet, an A, purple beans, green beans, flowers, trees, a witch's hat and a W. I don't know where the letters came from. The jet was a little out of place too, but it makes things interesting. It took a while for the tablets to dissolve so we kept ourselves busy by singing songs, reading a story and rolling a ball back and forth. Eventually, the capsules had broken and spongy Halloween creatures emerged. The kids were excited to see them. Since the objects looked a bit strange, I went around the room and asked what the kids thought grew in the jars. A couple of them were correct and could see a pumpkin. Others saw jets, skulls, skeletons, a witch, a sea horse and others were not sure. After closer inspection, we discovered that three out of the four were different shaped pumpkins and the fourth was a bat. Overall, I'd say this activity was a success even with rowdy kids who just finished eating cake for snack!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Our Library

Here is our library. Right now, we have the light table in there. We have artificial leaves along with sticks to make trees on the light table. We also have colored blocks so the kids can build on the light table and watch the light through their creations.

We have stuffed animals to cuddle with, sensory bottles to help children relax and a mirror for self reflection. It's also neat to watch while working at the light table. We always have the book shelf, and couch. In the past, we've had felt boards, mini chalk boards for drawing, a small doll house etc. We try to have a couple different quiet activities for the children to do when they need to calm down or want some alone time.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Pumpkin Seeds

Today, we scooped out a pumpkin! The children really enjoyed this activity. Although, it was a sticky mess! We got all the seeds out of the pumpkin. We divided the seeds into two cups. One for  roasting and the other for planting. We also have pumpkin seeds for art projects that somebody donated. So we will be having lots of fun with pumpkin seeds! I also wanted to link to a few fun pumpkin books.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sink or Float

Last week, we did a sink or float activity for science. I had everyone gather around the table and I had ten items. Before putting each item in the water, we went around the table asking each child if the particular item would sink or float. We created a chart showing how many children thought each item would sink or float and the real results. The items were:
A cotton ball,
A pompom,
A smaller black rock,
A larger gray rock,
A clam shell,
A leggo,
A cork,
A golf ball,
A plastic turtle shell
And an apple.
I asked the children what sink meant and one child said that it meant where you wash your hands. That was right, but I explained that in this case, it meant that the object would go to the bottom of the bucket. When I asked what float meant, one girl said that it would stay on top of the water. So as the experiment went on, we talked about concepts such as the weight of the different items and heavy vs. light. The children were surprised that the cotton ball appeared to float at first, but then sank to the bottom as it absorbed water. We were all surprised to see the apple stayed afloat. The children really enjoyed this activity so at the end, I let them drop each item in a second time and then help me dry everything off. I'm sure we'll experiment again with different items in the near future. Here is the chart that we made.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Our Pizza Parlor

We've recently been rearranging our classroom and redoing our learning centers. We have redone our dramatic play corner. It is now a pizza parlor. It has everything to make and serve pizzas. We have pretend pizzas, vegetables, plates, measuring cups, mixing bowls, pizza boxes, a timer, a cash register, pretend money, books showing pizzas and even phones for ordering. The kids really seem to like it so far! My favorite thing is the pizza that zips together! You unzip it and the slices come apart. It's great! I've attached some pictures so you can see the whole area.1

Monday, October 17, 2016

Our Science Area

I'm back. I don't know how often I will write. I will explain where I have been in another entry, but I will start by writing about things we are doing in our classroom. Today, I'm posting about our science area. We have recently updated it to match our fall theme. Recently, we've switched from having materials in plastic bins to using open wooden bowls or baskets. In our science area, we have included pumpkins, gourds, Indian corn, pinecones, acorns, leaves, magnifying glasses a scale and the world globe is always there. On some of the shelves, we have books and water play materials. We have a water table and rice table near by. Next to the shelf pictured is a small table with a box of animals. The children are really enjoying our new set up. We have these objects out simply for the children to explore. The children just noticed the scale today so tomorrow, we will show them how to use it. It should be interesting to see what they will do with the items.

I will keep these entries short and I will be posting pictures of other areas in the classroom as well as the activities we've been doing. I hope to blog regularly again.

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