My kiddos (age 7 & 10) had their last day of school yesterday and they are beyond excited to come help me teach my nuggets in the classroom. I talk about my kiddos in the classroom a lot. It almost feels like my classroom nuggets know my home nuggets and vice versa. -And I LOVE it as kids learn SO MUCH from each other. -And that is often why I try to 'teach some lessons' by sharing stories from how my big kiddos handled a particular situation. We don't live in a world where the kids of various ages run free in the neighborhoods, but that is often where some of the best learning and experiences came from. A younger kid will listen, learn, emulate and remember a lesson from a bigger kid in a way that no teacher nor adult could ever offer. So, I am happy to offer up my 2 little (not so little anymore) nuggets for the day.
I told my preschoolers that my kids were coming to class last week, and several of them walked in on Monday morning looking for them. I assured them that Wednesday would be the day!!!!
My daughter has already packed her book bag with her favorite books, coloring worksheets, barbies and more. She also talked about those Cozy Coup cars that she used to LOVE playing with when she was a student at UDCNS. She is planning on teaching 'her students' how to use leafs for money at that older than anything, but beloved McDonalds station.
While, my son has loaded up his tote with a portable basketball hoop, nerf ball, car collection and his beloved football. The funny thing is that my husband is actually working from home and they have the option of sleeping in and staying home on their very 1st day of summer vacation, but guess what they both picked! They want to come into my classroom, and I am thrilled to have them!
Decided by both my kiddos today, our schedule MUST include gym, snack, playground, cozy coup cars, coloring or painting, blocks, books and stickers. I think we can make that happen!!!
We also decided that my kids are going to sneak some carrots into our Nursery Garden so each kiddo can 'pick' one and take home. The kiddos adored tending to, weeding, and watering the carrots in our Nursery Garden. I'll be honest, I have the most un-green thumb ever so I am not sure the timing, the conditions or what, but I am not seeing any signs of carrots popping up (and the kids look every day). So, with a little help from my own 2, God's gift of a grocery store and the beautiful imagination of my class, they are going to see how their hard work has paid off and carrots have 'grown'. Each kiddo was able to 'pick' their own carrot and they were thrilled to take it home!!!!
From the bottom of my heart, thank you so very, very much for letting me have your joys in my classroom this year. I have had a challenging year and continue to walk a journey of dealing with the loss of my absolute best friend and beloved father while caring for my mom with Alzheimer's. Getting to teach your kiddos each day, is the absolute BEST form of love, laughter, joy and therapy around. I thank God everyday for your precious nuggets. I wish you and your family the most wonderful summer and I can't not wait to see you all again next year!!
We are sadly counting down the days until this school year comes to a close, but the teachers at UDCNS wanted to enjoy some summertime fun with their kiddos before the school year lets out!!! So, a school wide Beach Themed Party it is!!!! We had the kiddos arrive at school with their bathing suits on, sunglasses donned, sun tan lotion applied and beach blanket in tote. Rain or Shine, we were bringing the beach to our nursery school!
Several of the classes teamed up so that the classmates could explore new friends and enjoy the various stations together. The kiddos got to soak in some church backyard fun in the Bounce House and Water Table Sessions. We even had some fun learning with numbers and water paint at our Easel Center.
Depending upon the class, there were various age appropriate Summertime Beach Crafts planed that the kiddos could enjoy. Beach in a Bottle, Fish, Crabs and Seahorse creations were just a few of the various imagination efforts that were cooking around the school.
We also pulled out the beloved Cozy Coupe Cars. We have a fleet of about 20 or so that have all been donated to the church throughout the years. We don't know why (actually we do... they are FUN), but the kiddos just ADORE playing with these cars. They get so excited whenever we mention that they are on the schedule. A great reminder... that those tried and true toys, activities and games are always the BEST!!!! So, the kiddos enjoyed some Cozy Coupe Beach time cruising with some baby pool water play and Chalk Art Imagination, as well!
What is a Beach Time Party, without some tasty treats? We laid out our beach towels, and the kiddos got to enjoy a moment of rest in the shade with some Yummy Popsicles (we had red, blue, green, purple & yellow). You might have been able to guess what color they chose based upon the evidence left on their smiles at pick up time. It was also fun to have several classes together to enjoy the various snack time prayers that are echoed within our classrooms each day throughout the year.
Oh, and before you go... Check out Mrs. A's Amazing Octopus Door that will set the tone for any under water beach time theme! The kiddos felt like they were submerged within the water time ocean fun each time they came to class this week. So, Fun!!!!
All the staff at UDCNS are so blessed to have your kiddos in our class each and every day. We truly enjoy them and are honored to watch them learn, grow, play and just share in God's wonderful love. We hope you get to enjoy some relaxing, wonderful, family fun with your kiddos this summer, which may or may not include some beach time joys!
fI can not believe that is our final last, full week of school. While things are coming to a close for the summer, we still have lots of big plans for our classroom.
We are going to learn and play with all themes beach related this week. We have a great beach ball numbers game, ice cream scoop name craft, free style beach scene art session and dry verse wet land sorting activity.
On Wednesday, we are going to have a School Wide Beach Blanket Party! We are not sure what our weather deal is going to be, but there will be beach time fun inside our out!!!!
Can't wait to get this final, full week of fun and learning in with our kiddies!!!
It is hard to believe that we only have just a few more weeks left until our Summer Break is here. We are going to take the next few weeks to learn, play and grow in our classroom Summertime Fun!!!
One thing that I love is that our class adores reading!!! Each kiddo will sit so beautifully as I read to them. They are full of intrigue, questions, laughter and fun. Story time reading can be one of the ABSOLUTE best ways to improve emerging reader skills, letter recognition, vocabulary recognition, cognitive thinking skills and much more. I gathered up several of my favorite books that have some summertime themes or elements associated with them, which include 'The Rainbow Fish' by Marcus Pfister, 'The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear' by Don and Audrey Wood and 'I know Jesus Loves Me' by P.K.Hallinan. We will be sure to enjoy these, and many more, great books over the next few weeks.
We will be discussing all things Summertime this week so of course sea animals will come up!!! We are going to get our smocks, paint and brushes out this week and get some creative juices flowing!!! We will be making some paper plate crabs, fish and seahorses. I ADORE using Paper Plates for painting. The ridge up helps our tiny little artists have a little handle to grip onto with their helping hand. This helps them to get the paint where they like and contain the mess (which I don't mind, but the kiddos do sometimes). It also provides a bit of a thicker, sturdier platform so the paper does no get saturated. If you have a lazy, rainy summertime afternoon, I highly recommend getting out some paper plates, paint, brushes and let them create!!!
We also have some fun Count By Number Summertime activities and worksheets. In addition, I have a great cut and paste cognitive thinking activities planned where the kiddos will indicate if the animal, item or person belongs in the sea or the land (love this one)!
Finally, we are going to be doing a little learning via ice cream (of course). We will be creating Ice Cream Scoops on our Cone to practice spelling our name. -And I have a super, cute 'pass the ice cream cone' game that is always a hit!!! Can't wait to have tons of summertime fun in the classroom this week!
Can you believe that we are cruising towards the end of May and into June? I'm not sure I am ready to say goodbye to my cute, class of kiddos and am grateful that I have a few more weeks left with them for learning, loving, praying and playing!!!
Today we are going to have a Butterfly Release Party, and one last adorable Butterfly paint activity to build up the excitement. We have a busy day with Gym, Chapel and lots of outside learning and playing as the weather is supposed to be beautiful!!!
On Friday, we are going to take a moment to chat about Memorial Day and how we should be grateful for all that God has given us and the those that have served our great country. I will be reading the following book, 'Let's Be Thankful' by P.K. Hallinan. I adore all books written by this author as they do a wonderful job in sharing gratefulness, kindness and respect. This book touches upon a gratitude and pulls in the wonders of our great Nation.
We will be working on our May Emerging Reader Book, have some fun Memorial Day games and will be making our very own American Flag to take home.
I wish you and your family a most wonderful, blessed and grateful Memorial Day and kick start to the summer fun!!!!!
In an effort to build a sense of community and get our 3 to 4-year-olds ready as they transition into their preK classrooms for next year, we combined all 3 of our classes together for one fun, amazing, morning filled with Ladybug exploration and learning!!!! It may have been raining outside, but that did not stop our fun and learning inside!!!
While the kiddos in the classrooms of Mrs. Mullen and Mrs. Myers were learning and their watching caterpillars grow, the excitement for ladybug exploration was bursting out of Mrs. Atherholt's class.
-And she was too kind to share!!!!
As we gathered all the kiddos together, Mrs. A read to them about the different life cycle stages of ladybugs. We learned about the different types of ladybugs, what they ate, how they pretended to 'freeze' to avoid predators, and even how their legs tasted yucky so they would not be the 1st choice for somebody else's lunch.
Station 1: Mrs. A then broke the kiddos out into 3 stations of learning and exploration. The first station included groups of 'ladybugs' (adorable rocks painted with googly eyes) inside grass pods. The kiddos were asked to use their homemade binoculars to count the ladybugs in the pods. Which ones had more, which ones had less, could you add the 2 together, could we take some away? After tons of fun and exploring, each kiddo was able to select their very own ladybug to take home, love and enjoy.
Station 2: Mrs. A prepared great ladybug gross and fine motor skill games. The first station was a simple, yet oh so fun, lady bug toss. She created a large ladybug to lay flat on the floor. The kiddos took turns tossing the ladybug spots (sand filled black balloons) onto the ladybug's back. We had the option of dividing the group into teams to see which team got more on their side? We counted how many landed on the ladybug's back. We also talked about which side had more or less.
The second game of the station focused more on fine motor skills. The kiddos had a blast putting the pompom pipe cleaner spots into the ladybug colander back. I don't know how Mrs. A can think of all of these, simple, adorable, but so impactful learning opportunities.
Station 3: Ladybugs like to eat, and so do we!! Mrs. A prepared an adorable ladybug snack for our kiddos with upside down jello fruit molds. The kiddos adored these (and teachers did too)!!! What a cute idea for a picnic or bday party?
After all of our Ladybug fun and learning, it was time to release them into our School Garden, so that they can share in the love and joy of God's world. The rain stopped just enough for us to take the kiddos out for a few minutes and let them release into the world (thank you God). It was fun talking to the kiddos about where they thought the ladybugs would go. Some said to their mom's, a play date, picnic, shopping and more! What a joy! We can not thank you enough for letting us share in these special moments of your kiddos at UDCNS. We adore each and everyone of them so much and our lives are enriched everyday by their amazing love from God!!!
A special thank you to Mrs. A!!! Mrs. A. (with her hubby & 2 kiddos) is a member of our church and nursery school. She is beyond dedicated to helping our kiddos grow, learn and share in God's great love. Our church and school thrive in highlighting the God given gifts that we are all blessed with. God has created such a diverse population and everybody has their own special, precious chosen gifts. Instead of wanting everybody to be the same, we cherish each special gift that God has given us. Mrs. A is beyond hard working with her dedication to details, amazing creativity, and tireless effort to create new, original and dynamic lesson planning and curriculum. -And I swear this lady has more hours in her day than mine. From the bottom of my heart, Mrs. A inspires me to be a better teacher and we are so very, very thankful to have her in our ministry. God is Good!!!
Each of our 5 (we count them often) classroom caterpillars have now each made their own Chrysalis!!! The kiddos are SO excited to check on our progress each day!
We are going kick start our week of learning off by singing, dancing and experiencing some great instruments in Ms. Linda's awesome Music Class!!! When the kiddos return to the room, they will be ready for our Caterpillar & Butterfly Learning Stations. At the first station, the kiddos will be helping the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' find some yummy food while working on those important cutting and tracing fine motor skills. At the second station, the kiddos will be making their own Paper Plate Caterpillar. The third station, will provide an opportunity for the kiddos to make their very take home pom pom caterpillar. Finally, there will be vertical coloring breaks around the room for the kiddos to enjoy some Caterpillar & Butterfly creations if they finish working early.
We will also use our imagination and draw pictures of 'What I think the caterpillar is doing in the Chrysalis'? Can't wait to see what our kiddos creativity will bring.
Finally, we have lots of materials (coffee filters, beads, pom poms, noodles, leaves, paper, stickers, glitter, etc. to make our own caterpillar habitat!!!!
We have a fun filled week ahead of us, and I can not wait to learn and grow with your kiddos!!!
We are learning, exploring and watching our Caterpillars grow! It is so fun to read and experience all of the elements within their life-cycle that will unfold in front of our very eyes! -Which is of course so fun to view from, 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. We have lots of caterpillar songs, movement games and a Reading Comprehensive Sequencing Activity in store for our kiddos!
We are also VERY busy the 1st part of our week with our many Mother's Day Tea preparations. The kiddos are beyond excited for this special moment. We want to keep things a secret so we can not share all of our prep work, but I can tell you that our kiddos are working hard!!! We can NOT wait!!!!
Finally, we continue to check on our garden and see how our carrots are growing. Each class in our school had a different vegetable to grow, and it is SO fun to check on them every day!!!! We are hoping to see some activity in about 2 weeks, or so.... Enjoy this beautiful Spring Weather!!!!!
I was sitting here early in the quiet, morning before the house awakens with my morning cup of coffee (or 3), and doing a touch of reading. I came across this quick, fun article on the importance of play in preschools that I thought I would share. The article, 'How Important Is Play in Preschool?' by GreatSchools Staff @ www. greatschools.org can be located HERE .
As a 'newish' teacher, I continue to learn and grow everyday (I hope this never changes). One of the greatest gifts that I have learned for early childhood development is that playing is learning!!! God knew what he was doing when he gave the kiddos the gift of great imagination and thirst for play. That is exactly how they learn. I try very hard to not distinguish between 'learning' and 'playing' in the classroom because they are the same in the eyes of the kiddos! Activities at the table, discussions during our story telling, craft creations, science experiments, stations around the room, and outside games are all apart of the play and learning that develops the whole child.
Stacey, Mrs. Zollo and I work to infuse meaningful play into our school and classroom, which is sometimes guided and sometimes not because the kiddos need room for both!!! I don't want the kiddos to think that learning and play fall into two different categories, but empower them to develop fine and gross motor skills, socialization, elevated vocabulary, cognitive skills and more through the fun of play. Most importantly, I hope I infuse these kiddos with a true love of learning that will remain with them their entire lives!
Sunday, April 22nd is Earth Day so we will be spending some time in our classroom talking about God's great gift of Earth. We will discuss what amazing things we can do on Earth and how we can help take great care of it!!! We will be making an adorable Earth Coffee Filter Mobile that involves, coloring, droppers with water and more (what fun)!!!
We are also planning to help our Pre-K kiddos plant in their garden. We have a lovely vegetable garden outside of our school in the back, near the playground. We talked a lot this week about the various element needed to make plants and flowers grow (soil, seeds, sun, water, air, rain, bugs, bees and of course the love of Jesus)! Each kiddo helped make a sign that represents the elements, and we will be adding those stakes into our Garden for all to see. We are also going to get our hands dirty and help our older friends down the hall with some of the work. Can't wait!!!!
We have a busy week ahead! We only have 2 days in the classroom as Friday, April 27th is our fun Spring Fling Day. All kiddos, siblings, parents, grandparents, friends and more are invited to our school for a fun day of Spring Fling Activities. The teachers will be working at the fun games, stations, etc. Can't wait to see you all there! However, if we do have enough time, I would love to start reading and discussing the following book, 'Captain Snout and the Super Power Questions,' by Daniel G. Amen.
I just got this book and I am SO excited!!!! Dr. Daniel Amen is a well known author that has written several adult books about the power of positive thinking, ADD, Alzheimer's and more. These are all topics that touch upon my family so I love soaking up as much information as I can. When I found out that he wrote this positive, lighthearted book about positive thinking for our littlests ones, I was thrilled!!!! We will be reading this book and exploring what it means to ask questions that lead to a positive outlook!