Wednesday, October 31, 2012

HaPPy hAllOWEeN .........

It's Halloween tonight!! Booooo.... There are going to be plenty of little monsters trick or treating tonight and beware. If you don't have anything nice to give them, they may start singing: "trick or treat! Smell my feet. Give me something nice to eat! If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your .... underwear!!!". So hold on to your breeches lads!
This past week in classroom, it was all about Halloween. As seen in my previous post, we started with the carving of the pumpkin. And then, we had art & craft, singing and dancing and  games. Of course,  we finished by our annual Halloween party. I thought I would give you just a quick glimpse at what our classroom looked that:

As you can see, a hge spider web had grown overnight in our netrance hall. Spooky!

And Winnie the Witch was even there!

And she brought with her one of her friends: hairy pumpkin dude!

We painted the children's feet and look at your cute "smelly" ghosts:

Then last Thursday, we had our party. I had a few treats prepared for the children. Don't you like the lollipop pumpkin-holder?


And I spent the evening before making these cute little candy bags for the children with our traditional bat clip! They were very popular!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carving pumpkins....

Halloween would not be Halloween without pumpkins... and yesterday, we carved a big one together to the delight of the children. It was a great sensorial exercise as the children got to use their hands to scoop the insides of the pumpkin. The photos speak for themselves:  

Monday, October 15, 2012

I can draw spiders!

As we are approaching Halloween, the children are talking about their costumes non-stop. Some of them keep changing their mind but this year the superheroes theme is definitely a winner among the boys, while the majority of girls seem to opt towards witches' costumes. And of course, we have started doing some craft related to Halloween. Funny enough, this morning, a little 3 year old boy was drawing and when he was finished, he pointed at his picture and proudly said "spider!!". I added googly eyes and glued his drawing on a black card paper. Nearly insantly, 3 other children ran to me and asked me if they could draw a 
spider too "to frighten" their mams!! Off they went.... Soon followed by anoher 3 or 4 children! We had a full table of children, totally focused on adding as many legs as they could to the circle they had traced (never mind if spiders only have 8 legs... these ones were to be "monster spiders"). The result was quite good. Havea look   for yourself:

I love when the children take control of what they want to do and take initiatives. This is a great step towards autonomy and a greater sense of confidence. This also means that they will settle easier in primary school. This is why giving them the tools to increase their self-esteem is so important in preschool. Preschool is no jus about play dough, maths and language. The program in our classroom also focuses on opening up the children’s minds and   helping them to develop  new skills they can use not only during their school years but for the rest of their life. And this is just one example of what can be done when we let the children take control of their own learning and activity.

Progress in the classroom

I thought I would share with you what the children have been up to these past few weeks. We have started our Montessori program and are currently learning about the sound /a/ and /c/. We have also gone over numbers 0, 1 and 2. I will make sure to post something about our learning to record our progress. The photos speak for themselves:

Practical exercise: locks and keys

Practical exercise: hammering


More practical life to develop fine motor skills

Working with number rods (quantity and symbols)
The spindle box (quantity & box)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

5 Autumn Golden leaves high up in the tree!

Another year... another season.. And this is actually my favourite season (I think): Autumn time!! I love the colours, I love the themes.. So I re-introduced all the bits and pieces I use to decorate our classroom every year:

our autumn tree

moss and leaves i gathered on my nature walk in Ballycross Apple Farm

sticks, fern, nuts, pine cones and my little squirrel

Apple and conkers (chestnuts)

my Autumn posters

All our good books featuring Autumn

And Jack the scarcrow ( a bit early for him but I Love him and "He" cheers up the classroom so much!!)

We started by reading one of my favourite books: The Leaf man by Lois Elhert. It's the journey of a character made out of leaves across the country. The book is beautifully illustrated and captures the children's imagination.  Each picture depicts an animal a vegetable or a landscape created entirely out of leaves. Very clever!

Leaf Man (Ala Notable Children's Books. Younger Readers (Awards))
So we created our own little characters out of leaves too! The children love this activity. They simply choose 2 or 3 leaves, glue them carefully onto the page and then decide what they want them to become! We did this exercise last year too and it was so popular that I had to do it again.

At circle time, I have introduced a new song called "5 Autumn golden leaves". This allow me to introduce a bit of a maths as we count backwards:
5 Autumn Golden leaves
High up in the tree
The wind blows
The leaves shake
And 1 falls down to me.
Falling, falling down
falling to the ground.
And today we did "leaf printing".. Nothing very original here but again, this is a very popular pre-writing activity, which develops concentration and fine motor skills.

There is so much more to do. I have a lot osf things planned.. So keep in touch!