Blog

FARM WEEK

This week we will talk about farms, animals, seeds, plants and dirt.  They will harvest the seeds from the pumpkins brought to school.  We will take out the seeds and talk about the seeds and why we need them to grow a pumpkin.  We will fill the pumpkins with dirt and turn them into planters for pansies and other winter plants to decorate our garden area.  The carved pumpkins will go in the garden to provide food for the birds, squirrels, slugs and snails.  We will watch as they decompose in the garden beds. The little pumpkins will continue to be out in the play area to hide, make dinner with and stack on wood the blocks.  During Circle Time we will be talking about where animals live and what the ‘say’. This is time to work on descriptive vocabulary – colors, sounds, textures, similarities and differences.  

Over In The Barnyard
Over in the barnyard
Early in the morning,
See the yellow chickies
Standing in a row.
See the busy farmer
Giving them breakfast.
Cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep.
Off they go.
Substitute other barnyard animals.

FARM ANIMALS
The cow in barn goes moo, moo, moo,
Moo, moo, moo. Moo, moo, moo,
repeat
All around the farm.
The pig in the pen goes oink, oink, oink,………..
The hens in the coop go cluck……….
The lambs on the hill go baa,……..
The ducks on the pond go quack……

Read more

ANIKMAL WEEK

We will be looking at animals that live in our area.  We will be learning aobut where they live and what they do during the winter.  The children will add bird feed to our bird feeder and add liquid to the hummingbird feeder.  It will be their job to watch the feeders and add food when needed. We will have a water feeder in the garden area as well so that the birds have a source of water during the winter months.

At home your child where animals live, where they see animals and how they get their food.  During your walks outside you can point out animals that are ‘wild’ and animals that are ‘pets’, animals that live on the ground and ones that live in trees, animals that live at the zoo, on farm or in someone’s home. We will talk about animal homes, how they communicate and what they eat during class this month.

Reflect on your own attitudes toward specific animals and insects. Children readily pick up the attitudes of the adults around them. Try not to let your own likes and dislikes influence theirs. If you are very uncomfortable around specific animals / insects, help children learn to appreciate them from a safe distance OR find another adult that is comfortable with that animal or insect and have them be the person that introduces your child to that animal / insect. Just remember that the most important thing you can do is instill curiosity and appreciation of the nature that surrounds us. 

FARM ANIMALS

The horse in barn goes neigh, neigh, neigh

neigh, neigh, neigh.

neigh, neigh, neigh

The horse in barn goes neigh, neigh, neigh

All around the farm.

The cow in the barn goes moo, moo, moo

ARE YOU LISTENING?

Are you listening, are you listening 

to the horse, to the horse

Hear the horse calling, hear the horse calling

Neigh, Neigh, Neigh 

Cow, Pig, Ducks, Dog, Cat


OLD MACDONALD 

FIVE LITTLE DUCKS

THE BIG GREEN FROG

HOME for ME

Here is a nest for a birdie

Here is a hive for a bee

Here is hole for bunny 

Read more

SPIDER WEEK

SPIDER WEEK

During the day we will introduce spider songs/finger plays and continue singing pumpkin songs.

With the spider we will be talking about webs – home for a spider.  We will talk about other homes for animals – nests, holes, caves, etc.  We will talk about their home.  During the week you can show your child webs outside in the garden. With the morning dew it is a perfect time for finding webs outside.  The dew drops will highlight the webs in the gardens. It is a good time to look for nests in the trees now that the leaves have fallen.  Ask your child where he/she thinks the birds live during the winter, where do the spiders go when it is cold and what kind of homes different pets have.  We will continue to talk about homes as we move into Thanksgiving and family celebrations.

Songs and Rhymes

Itsy Bitsy Spider

Little Miss Muffet

Spider on the Floor
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.
There’s a spider on the floor,
Who could ask for anything more?
There’s a spider on the floor, on the floor.

(There’s a spider on my leg, on my arm, etc.)

Spin Spin Little Spider

Spin, spin little spider. Spin, spin little spider.  

Spin, spin little spider. Spin a web today.

(Spin, spin higher higher.  Spin, spin lower lower.)

  •  
Read more

PUMPKIN WEEK

PUMPKIN WEEK

This week there will be pumpkins at preschool – in the play area, at the art table and in the sensory table.  We will have orange playdough and cookie cutters at the play dough table.   

A pumpkin is a sensory experience in an orange ball (or other colors and shapes!)  Talk to your child about the color, the size, the shape, the texture. You can scoop out the seeds and roast them or buy some at the store and talk about where they come from.  There will be farm and garden books in the library area.  Talk to your child about where our food comes from and how plants grow.   Remember that some children love to explore and get messy while others will just want to look at the pumpkin.  Either way the child is learning and developing new informational pathways in the brain.  These early experiences are stored and used to build the foundation for later learning

Developing and Cultivating Skills with a Sensory Table

By Danielle Steinberg

Is it smooth and wet or bumpy and dry? Is it sticky and gooey or slippery and fluffy? Does it tickle? Can it change shape? These are just a few of the questions that children can explore while using a sensory table. Learning with a sensory table is more than a fun time-filler; it allows them to gain insight and information about the world around them by providing essential hands-on experiences. Investigating materials with no preconceived knowledge also helps develop and refine cognitive, social and emotional, physical, creative and linguistic skills.  Remember, there is no right or wrong way to use a sensory table; they are appropriate for all ages, genders and races. Encourage your child to explore: don’t overwhelm him with tasks and don’t be too quick to answer his questions

http://www.pbs.org/parents/child-development/sensory-play/developing-and-cultivating-skills-with-a-sensory-table

Pumpkin Songs and Rhyme

We are pumpkins big and round, big and round, big and round. We are pumpkins big and round.  Sitting on the ground.                                                                      (We are pumpkins, little and round)

Pumpkin, pumpkin, round like a ball.  Pumpkin, pumpkin, high on the wall.  Pumpkin, Pumpkin, sit up tall.  Pumpkin, pumpkin, tip and FALL!

Have you ever seen a pumpkin, a pumpkin, a pumpkin,
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?
A round one, a tall one, a bumpy one, a squashed one.
Have you ever seen a pumpkin, that grows on a vine?
(You can add your own adjectives to describe it)

Read more

LEAF WEEK

Leaf Week 

This week we will be learning about leaves – colors, sizes & where they come from.  At the art table the children will be painting leaves.  There will be leaf and tree cookie cutters at the playdough table. We will have magnifying glasses out to examine leaves.  As you go for walks this week ask your child to find leaves of different colors, shapes and sizes.  

Leaves

Leaves are falling to the ground, to the ground, to the ground.

Leaves are falling to the ground. Pretty Autumn leaves.

The leaves are falling down.
 The leaves are falling down.
 Red, yellow, green and brown.
 The leaves are falling down.

The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown. . .orange and brown. .. .orange and brown
The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown
In the town. 

The leaves on the ground go crunch crunch crunch,  crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch crunch
The leaves on the ground go crunch crunch crunch
Down to the ground
The leaves on the trees come tumbling down, tumbling down, tumbling down
The leaves on the trees coming tumbling down
Down to the ground

Read more

APPLE WEEK

Apple Week

The children will be making applesauce and exploring the difference between fresh, crisp apples and warm, cooked apples.  Yum!  

We will have the paints out for the older classes.  Smocks are available but send them in clothes that are “messy okay” in case they don’t want to wear the smocks.  The paint is washable but messy. 

At home you can talk to them about the apple trees in the neighborhood, the apples they see in the grocery stores and at the market.  Ask them if all apples are the same color, if they like them crunchy or soft, what shape do they think an apple is and help them identify seeds/stem/skin.  

Way Up High in a Tree

Way up high, in a tree, two littles apples smiled at me. 

So I shook that tree as hard as I could. 

Down came the apples, mmmm good.

Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light

Twinkle twinkle traffic light   Round the corner shining bright

Red means stop, green means go, yellow means – very slow.

Twinkle twinkle traffic light Round the corner shining bright.

(Then we will sing it ‘silly’   Twinkle Twinkle APPLE light)

Have You Ever Seen an Apple

Have you ever seen an apple, an apple, an apple,
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?
A red one, a yellow one, a red one, a green one.
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree? 

Have you ever had an apple, an apple, an apple?
Have you ever had an apple and heard it go ‘crunch’?

Read more

Back to School

I am excited to be starting my 30thyear teaching preschool.  I have been teaching at Crown Hill for 26 of the 30 years I have been with North Seattle ‘s cooperative preschool program.  I received a K-12 teaching certificate and BA in Psychology from Seattle Pacific University.  Before I taught cooperative preschool I started a private kindergarten at North Queen Anne Day Care and was a K-6 gifted teacher in the Shoreline School District.  

I decided to stop teaching when I had Joel in 1982.  We bought our house in Loyal Heights and I started an in-home daycare. I had my daycare until Joel and Nick both were in school.  For most of the time I had my daycare I took care of 6 other little boys.  We had our own little preschool! We went everywhere together in our Ford Bronco.  It was quite a sight to see us all getting out the vehicle.

I found out about the cooperative teaching job from my neighbor.  She saw the ad in the Ballard News Tribune – a local weekly newspaper.  The Parent Educator that hired me has been my friend and mentor the whole time I have taught preschool.

The college website gives this information about the preschool program. Started over 50 years ago, the NSC Cooperative Preschool Program offers a warm and gentle introduction to school and community life for young children and their families. Adults and children learn together, grow together, and actively build a community together. NSC’s Cooperative Preschools provide parent and early education for families with children from infancy to Pre-K.  For children, co-op is a safe and nurturing place in which to explore and have fun. Social, emotional and intellectual skills are learned through cooperative and creative play. For parents, it’s a place to improve parenting skills, help shape their child’s first school environment, and form lasting friendships.

I have always enjoyed working with the children and I appreciate the support given to the families by each other.  The parent education helps families as they interact with their child and as they develop relationships with other children and their families. It is a strong network that supports families during the preschool years and beyond.  I just met with some of the moms from one of our classes – their little ones are starting high school and learning to drive!   They still meet on a regular basis and have stayed connected as their children have moved through the school years.  From another class a dad sent me a note to say they were all going camping to celebrate a birthday – this weekend – in the rain!  But off they all went with the children that had all played together for the last 3 years during preschool and are still playing together as Kindergarteners.

Cooperative preschool is a time for learning and growing for both the child and the parent.  It is a time to develop friendships that will last for years – for both the child and the parents.

As we start the new year we will continue to work together in the classroom as we build friendships – some that will last for years.  I want this to be a year that builds a foundation for developing their love of learning.  I want this year to be a time for both the children, and the adults, to learn, grow, explore and engage in a safe and secure setting.

Instead of the 3 R’s we will have the 5 R’s …

Reading– together as a family activity

Rhyming– talking, singing, using language throughout the day

Routines– keeping a child’s schedule consistent 

Rewards– acknowledging your child’s achievements

Relationships– building strong, healthy relationships between children and trusted adults

I am looking forward to a great year together.

Read more

Me Week

This week we will be learning about ME and my body.  We will have a story called

I LIKE ME and sings songs about our body parts.   We will talk about our 5 Senses i At home you can ask your child to ‘listen’ as they crunch the leaves on a walk, ‘look’ at the colors of the leaves in the trees, ‘taste’ the apple, ‘smell’ the food as it cooks for dinner and ‘feel’ the slippery soap during their bath.  This year we will spend a lot of time encouraging the children to engage in the world around them by using their 5 Senses and developing an awareness of how their body works by interacting with the world around them – inside and outside.

 

SPECIAL ME

Special, special, special me

How I wonder what I’ll be

In this big world I can be

Anything I want to be

Special, special, special me

How I wonder what I’ll be.

 

A Home for Me

This is a nest for a birdie

This I a hive for a bee

This is a hole for a bunny

And this is a house for me.

 

HANDS ON YOUR SHOULDERS

Hands on shoulders,
hands on knees.
Hands behind you,
if you please;
Touch your shoulders,   now your nose,
Next your knees and now your toes;
Hands up high in the air,
Down at your sides, and touch your hair;

This is the Way

This is the way we wash our hands,

wash our hands, wash our hands.
This is the way we wash our hands
So early in the morning.

…eat our food

…drink our milk

…brush our teeth

Read more

SUMMER IS HERE

SUMMER IS HERE  … but it feels a little like fall.  Here is a fun way to start out this cooler weather week as we officially start summer.

When my sons were younger, and I was doing home day care with 6 other little boys, I would start our week by baking bread or making a fresh batch of playdough.  This week looks like it will be a great week to make a loaf of banana bread and try out this recipe I found in a book by Asia Citro that my daughter-in-law, Danielle, gave me.  150+ Screen Free Activities for Kids I will be using this book all summer to share ideas you can use with your children.

Baking with your child promotes interest in what they are eating, math skills, fine motor skills, sensory experiences and scientific investigation.  The smell of fresh bread (or anything you bake) will bring back memories of this activity when they are older.  A cool, cloudy Seattle day is a great day to fill your home with the aroma of something baking in the oven.  I suggested banana bead because ripened bananas are also part of the edible play dough recipe I am including in this note to you.

EDIBLE BANANA PLAYDOUGH

½ cup ripe or overripe banana, mashed

½ cup water

½ cup vegetable oil

2 ¼ cups flour

¾ cup cornstarch

  1. In a bowl, combine the banana, water and vegetable oil.  Mix well.
  2. In another bowl mis the flour and cornstarch.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients.  Knead the mixture until you can no longer feel bits of banana.  You can use a mixer with a dough hook if you would like.  My sons loved making the mixer “go”.

If needed: add more water if too dry or more flour if too wet.

  • ENJOY playing with this edible dough.
  • This dough is perishable so store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  Discard in a few days or when it shows signs of spoiling —  if it smells ‘foul’, discolors or has mold.

This is a fun dough to add kitchen tools to when playing with it.  Muffin pans, rolling pins, cupcake holders, birthday candles, colored macaroni noodles to poke into the dough, etc.

Read more

FISH WEEK

FISH WEEK 

This week we will make fish prints at the art table.  We will encourage all the children to make a fish print.  The children will have a chance to choose the colors they would like to paint their fish and see how these colors blend when made into a print. We will have a fishing pool set out in the blocks area with a ‘dock’ to stand on to catch fish.  

A fun activity at home is to “catch” goldfish crackers with humus “bait” on the end of a long, fat pretzel “fishing pole”.  You can use anything long (a pretzel, celery or carrot) to be your pole and any thick bait (humus, cream cheese or a nut butter) to catch your ‘fish’ (goldfish crackers, cut in half olives, cheerios).  It is a fun way to eat a snack.

FISH IN THE SEA

There are so many fish in the deep blue sea. What color fish do you see?

5 Little Fishes 

5 little fishes swimming near the shore
1 swam away and then there was 4

4 little fishes were swimming out to sea
One swam away and then there was 3

3 little fishes said now what should we do?
One swam away and then there were 2

2 little fishes we are having great fun
One swam away and then there was 1

1 little fish said I like the warm sun
She swam away and now  there are none!

FISHIES

Fish are swimming, fish are swimming,
In the sea, in the sea,
A-splishing and a-splashing,
A-splishing and a-splashing,
Look and see, look and see.

Read more