Monday, September 3, 2012

Meet the Teacher Bee Attitude theme and classroom set up

My school's back to school, meet the teacher night theme was Bee Attitudes.  In addition each month we will concentrate on one Bee Attitude.  Also new this school year is our curriculum.  About a month before we started back the K3 and K4 teachers were informed of the change, we received the actual curriculum a little over a week ago.  With Meet the teacher night being this past Thursday, we all have all have an extremely busy week from pulling our rooms together, putting our parent packets together and preparing to start a new curriculum this coming Tues!!  But God works in wondrous ways and I know he will work through us for a smooth and productive school year.

Our new curriculum is from Bob Jones University, The K4's curriculum is called Footsteps for Fours.  It is a very hands on student interactive program.  Using a seasonal tree as main "home" for circle time with Max the dog and his forest friends and his human family.  My overall impression of the curriculum at the moment is good.  I like how it's set up and organized.  With three k3 classes and three K4 classes (we usually have four K4 but had to cut one class due to lack of numbers of enrollment) I believe this will help keep all classes on the same page.  Plus with past years of creating our own thematic curriculum a lot of  basic skills have been neglected.  Our curriculum also includes daily bible lessons.
This is a photo of my sample display of the curriculum for parents to check out on Meet the Teacher night.

Since our Schools theme this school year is Bee Attitudes we decorated the school in bees.  Each classroom signed up to be a certain color bee hive.  Mine was green... my bee hive in my opinion looked more like a tree being invaded by a swarm of bees.   Here is my decor and yellow cup that was turned into a treat holder for each of my new students.


Now for my room arrangement for the upcoming school year.  I was able to add to some centers I was really hoping to, just wish my room size could grow with it. 

Large Group  meeting area

Computer/Listening center and student work display

another view of group time center with my new space carpet I picked up from Costco over the summer.

Cubbies with parent info board and art center
Art center, sensory table, and the back side of science center
expanded science center

Math and manipulative's center

Writing center
Our fish tanks, starting the year with 9 fish and 1 aquatic frog

Block center

Kitchen center

Literacy Center
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Monday, July 30, 2012

K4 Lesson Plan

After years of trying to make pre-made lesson plan books work for my K4 class I finally decided to come up with something that fit MY needs.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vacation Bible School

This summer has been full and busy, and I can't believe it's nearly over!!  I was blessed to participate in two Vacation Bible Schools both with the same theme.  I taught 4 yr old Bible Study at work in June, then was the Director of VBS at my church in July.  Exaughting but totally worth it, several children at BOTH churches accepted Jesus as their personal savior!!  We participated in Lifeway's Amazing Wonders Aviations.  My church was lucky enough to recieve decorations from two churches and then we were able to pass items to two more churches.  These are pictures from the VBS that was held at my work.

This is the waterfall that I created in my K4 classroom for 4 year bible study during VBS.  Easy and cheap using 2 light and 2 dark blue plastic table clothes and tulle. And brown butcher paper to create the rockey edge

This airplane was created by one my co-workers for her 3 yr old classroom.  She hand drew the plane and cut it out.  It looked awesome!!

Worship Rally Hanger, airplane and backdrop both made from styrofoam sheets from lowe's

VBS at my church

We just LOVED the music that came with the curriculum, both kids and adults were very involved in learning both words and moves.

We truely enjoyed the interactive and well put together Bible Stories
Our crafts included Aviation goggles, stain glass, necklaces, stiching, and beading
Our worship rally set up, very exciting for the kids!!

A week long Penny wars Boys against Girls... what happened end of the week?  If girls won Pastor got a pie in the face, if boys won the VBS director (Me) got a pie in the face.  Watch video below to see what happens.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

End Of School

Well another school year has come to an end and with all the craziness to wrap everything up I managed NOT to get any pics of final memory books or anything else.  So will leave you with a few random memories.

K4 Field Day and End of the year picnic was a major hit, the kids LOVED it.  The overall favorite game was the tug-a-war.  Our class beat only one other class but we will take it (and I will send home a gym memberships to all my parent's after we lost to a class of parents that had 2 broken legs and another parent who just had knee surgery!!)

Family Night at Gatti Town was a load of fun.... and I was able to continue my undefeatable record in air hockey (don't worry I was playing my husband, I do let kids win whenever I play them.)

The Learning Station Concert was an absolute blast!!!!  This is one field trip I look forward to going on each and every year.  The bottom picture is Mrs. Susan on of my fellow K4 teachers down the hall from me..... we are proud to show the world how to rock out an air bass!!

We ended the year with our final field trip to the strawberry patch.  The kids thought this was the best thing ever and were excited to go home and eat the berries they had picked!!  And I have to add I was lucky to receive a small jar of homemade strawberry jam made from the strawberries we picked from one of my parents.  Very yummy, and very grateful.

We had a great year and will miss all the "babies" that are going off to Kindergarten.  But excited to prepare for my new group to enter my classroom as Big 4 year olds ready to learn. So over the summer keep a look out for items I will be preparing for the upcoming school year and not to mention VBS items!  I will be working one at work and am the Director of the VBS at my church, both will be doing Lifeway's Amazing Wonder's Aviation.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

2012 Class prayer song

Each day during the school year at the Christian School I teachat the kids take turns each day with a prayer.  Well the second to the last week of school it hit me that I needed to record each child saying a prayer and use it in the slideshow I do each year for my class.  This is the end result of that prayer song we did.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A few Preschool Updates

So I've had several ideas for blog entries, actually remembered to bring my camera to class and loaded them on my computer and then  they sat. Sigh. I tried. Well in the meantime I got a new laptop. Well it's my first laptop and huge update from the desktop my husband and I purchased our first Christmas after we were married back in 2002!! So... I've been living on my new addiction pintrest, as well as, starting work on my church's VBS, which I hope to share with you my adventure on that as well in the near future.
Well back to the subject at hand. I wanted to share some faves from these past few months!! First off one of my kid's FAVORITE charts in our room is our helping hands job chart!! They enjoy looking each day to see what job they will get to do that day. I used a die cut of a hand print and listed enough jobs for the number my class maxes at on. A few of those days were listed as Day Off the rest had the job title and a small hand drawn picture to resemble whatever that job is. I then had the poster laminated and added Velcro next to each hand print and then on each crayon cutout which indicates the child's name. This has also been a wonderful enforcement for name recognition plus helps build self-esteem knowing that they are a part of the class and that what they do matters.

 I LOVE graphing with my 4's!! And they sure do love sharing things they love. I created a reusable graph on a plain white poster board and with a permanent marker drew out the basis for a bar graph. Then the poster was laminated for durability. I cut out squares to create  responses, for this particular graph we did a "blind" taste test for different types of foods and we graphed if we liked the food or not. Red square construction paper was taped into the appropriate place. At the end we talked about what foods we liked the most which one we liked the least. This graph as worked out very well!!

I just LOVE my system for keeping up with each child's memory book pages. I use a basic paper sort shelf I purchased at Sam's several years ago. Down one side I labeled each child's name indicating which slot was theirs. Once a page is completed for the memory book I punch the 3 holes in the side and place in child's slot. At the end of the year all I will need to do is bind the pages together with book rings and hand them out. This has worked out great for me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Shinning Stars Behavior Chart

I love using this style behavior chart with my four year olds, it's very simple for them to understand.  Everyone starts the day on the super happy face.... and I allow for one freebie verbal warning.  After a verbal warning and a class rule has been broken the child's star will fall to the happy face.  Where they will spend 4 minutes on the thinking mat, when time is up we go over what the better choice would have been, plus the child will automatically loose their computer time for the day, if later in the day for the next morning.  If by chance good choices are forgotten again the star falls to the not so happy face.  When a star is here 5 minutes in spent on the thinking mat, and a one on one meeting with the teacher will be done after time is up to go over why good choice are not being made and to again go over what the good choices are and then reminded what will happen if their star shall fall again.  If again all good choices have just flown out the window, and the star shall fall again to the sad face thinking time will be served in the office and a sad note will be sent home to the parents.  I've found by the time a child has gotten to the not so happy face behavior greatly improves... with punishments set in place for office visits and parent notification the idea really deters the negative choices.   Those who are able to stay of the super happy face all week get a choose a prize out of the prize box.   This is one of three possible ways kids get to pick a prize.  The other two is completing any homework and turn it in by deadline and able to dictate the weeks Bible verse via memory.

Our sensory table is ready for the Artic!!

In January we spend a week learning about the Artic region and the animals that dwell in that environment.  I was happy to stumble across bags of plastic like snow stuff at Wal-mart after Christmas.  This is stuff I believe you would use in mini Christmas villages to give the look of snow.  I couldn't pass up large size bags for about $.60 each... I picked up 2.  One bag filled my little sand and water table up pretty well.  I added some small Artic animal toys to it and viola... an Artic play land.  The kids in my class have really enjoyed this addition to this play set.

My classroom- Big ideas in a small space

I love centers in my K4 preschool classroom, and think the MORE centers the more benefits children can have.  My challenge is small space, and I'm constantly working on ways I can better utilize the space I have.  So as of the moment this is what I have come up with.
 Book Center
I really wanted a quiet spot for the kids to have an opportunity to be alone if needed and a place to relax.  Having the book stand butted up to my desk creating a wall (I put our writing center book shelf on the opposite side for support to help either from flipping over) created a little reading nook.  With a stuffed animal and few pillows and couple child size seats my book center has become more welcoming and I've noticed the kids are more likely to freely go over there on their own.  Most go there to retreat away from the larger group and end up laying down flipping through books.  I hope to add a couple larger floor pillows.  I use a small plastic container between the two chairs to hold the books that go along with the months themes.  Books places on the bookshelf contain a wide variety of various types of books.  Though I may change this since I've noticed the kids tend to gravitate more to books we have read or go a long with what they are learning about.

Cubbies/ Parent Information Board

Above our cubbies is my parent information board.  Each month a monthly calendar goes home listing each week's theme, letter number shape color and sight words for the week, Cooking activities, special happenings, and craft projects, as well as, any closings, music classes and chapel meetings.  This same calendar is located on my Classroom News wall in 2 forms the same one sent home and then one the large dry erase calendar.  Each week I send home a weekly newsletter, this newsletter is more detailed about what we will be doing that week, any changes that contradicts what was on the monthly calendar, upcoming important dates, reminders or other news that has came up after the calendar was sent home or simply just unable to fit on it.  Plus our weekly Bible memory verse for the children to work on at home.  This newsletter will also be placed on the wall (normally wear the bare green paper it).  Also included on our Classroom news wall is our lunch menu, poems I find inspiring to early childhood development, programs parents may find helpful for their children, programs/events going on in the church, or other related articles and whatnot's I find that parents maybe interested in.   Along with what is posted on the wall and what is sent up, Any really important reminders or notes is written on the small dry erase board that is held up by the large clothes pin.  This sits right next to our sign in/out sheet to I know everyone will see it.
 Discovery Center

This is one of several of my centers I really wish I had room to expand!!  The kids really enjoy exploring their world around them with the different tools from magnets to binocolors to color paddels.  I also enjoy adding things I find from nature for them to explore.  Currently we have a plant, a turtle shell and a bird's nest out.

 Weather Center
 Our weather center is one of the kids favorites, They LOVES when it's their turn in our classroom jobs to be the metorologist.  Where get to step out our back door to figure out what the weather and temprature is, mark it on our display and annouce it to all their friends during large group.  I'm hoping to add some tools right outside our classroom to include a themometer, rain gauge and a wind shock.  But more on that later down the road.

Sensory Table (AKA Sand and water table)
I refer to my sand and water center as our Sesory table since rarely is there ever sand or water in it!!  I enjoy changing out it's contents to keep the kids engaged.  I plan to do a post in the near future of great mediums to use in your sensory table.

Art Center

One of my favorite centers and I LOVE keeping it stocked with a varity different items the children get to choose from.  The draw backs to my art center through is my limited non-carpeted area and the lack of NO sink in our classroom, our nearest restroom in down the hall.  But we learn to adapt and make it work (Baby whipes help clean up enough to safely send children down the hall to wash their hands properly).

Dramatic Play Center
This is one of the top two favorite centers amongst my class, and it stays busy!!  I'm working to add several prop boxes to change out every once in while to add to the kids imganiation and play.  Keep an eye out for these!

View of my classroom from farthest front left corner to the opposite back right corner
This is overlooking our two tables we use to do our classwork, the dramatic play center, the block center and the computer center

From the back left corner to the front left corner
Again over looking our work tables, large group center, block center, my desk and work area, writing center, computer center and manipulatives center.

 Large Group Center
This is where our class meets as an entire group (lucky with only 10 on roll we have just enough space)

View of the left side the classroom

Block Center
I would like to add to this center with a varity of building mediums and props.

Math & Manipulatives Center
Yet another center I would like to expand and still searching of options and ideas, as of know the kids love making patterns, sorting and putting puzzles together.