Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Goldilocks and The Three Bears - including multicultural adaptations

More fairytales this week, and social stories of course.  The definition (Merriam-Webster) of a fairy tale is:  a story (as for children) involving fantastic forces and beings (such as fairies, wizards, and goblins).  Also a story in which improbable events lead to a happy ending.   I would add, summing up the other sources, that the fantastic forces and beings could be talking animals, princesses, imaginary beings and lands, and sometimes involve magic. With that being said, there are fairy tales from long ago, and some more recent.  

This week we have four different Goldilocks and the Three Bears, two are retellings of the story.  The Three Snow Bears is an arctic retellings, and Leola and the Honey Bears is an African retelling.  You may notice that Goldilocks and the Three Bears on the left, and The Three Snow Bears are both by Jan Brett. 😍 Love her illustrations!  I just purchased The Three Snow Bears this past weekend at Sams Club.  Could not pass up a Jan Brett book!  I was very excited when I realized it was an arctic retelling of Goldilocks and the Three Bears (yes, I have a book problem).  Can't have too many Jan Brett books!

Moving on.......
So this week we are reading the many versions of Goldilocks, The Fisherman and His Wife (be happy with what you have), The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Little Pigs.  We began the week with Alice The Fairy by David Shannon.  If you have never read this book you really must make time!  It gets the children's in a pretending frame of mind and ready to role play as temporary fairies. 

Our social stories begin every morning with "I Can Be A Super Friend" and "Tucker Turtle".  It has brought it back to focusing more on what we want to see and being a Super Friend.  Our social stories during story time this week are:  Grumpy Gloria, Ruby The Copycat, No More Hitting for Little Hamster, and The Worst Day of My Life Ever.  

We began this week with a field trip a local county park.  The kids call it the tree park.  Many wonderful trees to play under making it feel like we were in a forest.  It made a perfect place to read a story that takes place in a forest. Who said story time has to be at a story time carpet?  Love being outside!
The children really enjoyed playing, climbing, running, swinging, and challenging themselves at this fun playground.  I was really impressed with the tenacity of the two year olds in particular.  They did not give up and kept climbing and sliding on the tallest slide.  I was at the top helping them to make the transition to the platform for safety.  I had to tell them I needed a break.  😉 All of the children kept climbing, challenging themselves to reach that rope that was a little tall for them, or to climb the rubbery ramp at that tough angle.  So proud of these children for being so persistent.  What a great approach to learning!   










We returned from the park just in time to have lunch then rest time.  Since snack follows rest time, we made "magic wands" from paper towels right after snack time.  They decorated for so long, then turned me into a frog among other things. 😁  

Obviously we didn't have time for centers on Monday.  Today was a typical day so we had centers to work in and enjoy.  The one and two year olds today sat with the three and four/five year olds for Grumpy Gloria (story length was right), but went to the reading area in the playroom with Papa Joe to read The Three Snow Bears in a more direct fashion and to point out things like "bears" or "dogs", and saying the words.  The three/four/five year olds have more open ended comprehension questions to give more opportunity for thought.  Also, I knew they would want more information on polar bears so I threw in a book about polar bears and one about tracks in the snow.  We also talked about being content with what we have as we read the story The Fisherman and His Wife.  





 Not many pictures I could use today.  Our centers were fishing for letters (laundry basket boat) to make words (just mason jar lids with a couple of lakeshore fishing pole magnets) and making words from our CVC words for the week, coloring a flounder and gluing both eyes on top, working with playdoh (squishing, rolling, squeezing, etc.), and putting pom poms on the snowman to add together and put the magnetic number to solve the equation.  We are still using the wheat berries as a sensory/math experience, counting how many scoops it takes to fill the little bucket.  Fishing for letters was probably the favorite for the day. 



One of the distractions for the day was BOB.  BOB arrived Monday night and after plugging him in did a little cleaning.  He cleans periodically, but was definitely turned off for rest time.  The children were amazed at this little robot cleaning the floor.  Wally is just not sure about him yet. 😆
Tomorrow - Wednesday - we will begin using our Goldilocks activities from Cassie @ 3Dinosaurs.com.  Tons of fun coming the rest of the week!
 

Monday, January 15, 2018

Nursery Rhymes and Fairy Tale Activities

Are nursery rhymes and fairy tales just that?  What can we learn from fairy tales by engaging preschoolers in activities related to them?    That is what we are going to find out this week.  Check back in for more about this.

Monday we will be using the story Jack and the Bean Stalk to learn about being responsible, having integrity, and not talking to strangers.  We have a felt story to use during storytelling, then the children can use it during centers to re-enact the story.  The centers we will use Monday are a beanstalk game using dice to help the children learn a few sight words.  We also have a sight word word/picture matching game, and a marshmallow counting activity and will probably have some warm cocoa later in the morning just for fun since it is so cold.  We are going to be talking about subitize and practicing subitizing.  I have a little "fairy play" small world play ready to go during the day, and some fun, easy, activities.  Check in again soon to see pictures of children completing the activities.
 Fine motor happening in early morning.  Lacing mittens, and tracing and coloring hot cocoa picture.
Even though they loved using marshmallows, this is the first time we have used a problem and used a manipulative to go with it.  Usually we talk about it, but not mainly working from problem.  It was a little tough for them to understand.  We will definitely be using more like this.  We will have some warm cocoa with Snack today to go along with the cocoa math problems. :)
They have enjoyed working with the fairy play items.  We have to use a timer to allow everyone to get a turn.  Guess it is a hit!  We have a logic puzzle called Camelot in which you have to find a way for one person to get to the other.  We played this the same.  They have to find a way for the fairies to get to the fairy queen.  Play with this has many more options.  They can use any of the different parts for them to build a way to the queen.  Also, J said "well they have wings" so we had to go with "what if they don't want to use their wings?"
 These first two pictures are from Monday when they were simplying exploring and play with it.
 These two pictures are from Tuesday where they were building a way for the fairies to get to the fairy queen.


I didn't get any pictures of the children playing the Beanstalk game yet today.  This is our first official week reading sigh words more instead of working on mainly letters.  I think they are ready for it, but it was a bit challenging for some of them.  We also used these word and picture cards as a matching game.  See the pictures and say them, then read the cards and match with the correct picture.  A little tough, but enjoyed the happy smiles when they accomplished their three words. 😁

Today we read The Elves and the Shoemaker, and The Little Old Woman's Shoe.  So we used Legos to measure how long each child's shoe was (non-standard measurement).


 
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Field trip short

So I should tell you, before we go on a field trip we review our Classroom "Expectations"  just to remind everyone what is expected of them.  We find this really helps everyone do their best while we are on a field trip.  We also bring a little key ring with a few visuals in case we need them for reminders.  It is only a little extra step that adds up to so much time and frustration saved. We usually get compliments on how well all of your children behave. :)

Today we had the opportunity to go to an special story time, but more of a storyteller event.  One of our local libraries had a childten’s Event called “Pig Out on Reading”. They allowed us to bring all 11 children 😊 and it sounded like fun.  Most of the time was spent storyteller style with “Farmer Minor” spinning his tale about how his house had been too quiet but then he and Mrs Minor brought Daisy the pig home. All the while he had Daisy pig 🐖 in a stroller on his right side and two pugs in a stroller on his left.



Some of the children thought the pig might eat them and were worried. Most were just totally enthralled with the storytelling and the fact they there was a pig.  When they learned they would get a chance to pet Daisy, most were very excited.  We lined up and waited for our turn.  Farmer Minor had told them that her hair was a little rough.  It was interesting to see their faces as they petted Daisy.  The pug puppies garnered a good bit of attention also.  After all, who doesn't like puppies.


After the field trip to the library, we returned for crock pot lasagna (my first attempt, it was a hit - none left over).  Then we dashed outside to run for just a few minutes before laying down for rest time.  They had been sitting all morning it seemed with the driving to and from the library and needed to burn off some energy.  Directly following the running, everyone was sleeping very soundly. 

As we had snack today we talked about the difference in the pig's hair and Hedgie's prickles. We talked about the possible difference I how the fur felt compared to the prickles that Hedgie has. They predicted that Hedgie would have rougher or pointier hair/spines. That was correct!  Also the pig was very big, and Hedgie is very small.  So we let Hedgie out for a little bit and took him outside to explore the bushes. 




The meals today were:
Breakfast: Cereal & Orange Wheels, Milk
Lunch:  Cheese Lasagna, Peas, Lettuce/Tomato Salad, Milk
Snack:  Animal Crackers, Bananas  


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Keeping it fun

Our motto is:  "Where Fun and Learning are Child's Play".  If it isn't fun then they probably aren't learning.  So, to keep things fun, we added in some ice and penguins.  This not only allowed for fun fine motor play, it also brought questions such as "why are these penguins different?" and talking about colors, sizes, how they are different, and why they are in the different poses.  Some are for sliding, some for walking, and some for swimming. As the children played in the ice it became ice with some water, then water.  Of course we then could ask how it is different now, why is it water now, and what temperature the water is (still cold).  Then it because ocean water for the penguins to swim in. :) Not all penguins like the cold and we addressed this briefly.  We will go into more detail before the end of the week.

Hmmm, this might not be simple penguin play.....

 We purchased a book about penguins to come this week. Penguin book
The penguins we purchased were a Toob of Penguins from Amazon.  Below are the books we read today.  As you can see they are about cold weather animals and cookies, 😋 Gingerbread Friends cookies to be exact (I love Jan Brett stories!).  The children also requested The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School, another fun gingerbread story.
 The one and two year olds chose these books to be read today.  Three year olds usually choose to come to the bigger kid story time.  The one and two year olds are welcome to join the bigger children for their story time, or they can read books later.  Sometimes they aren't ready to sit for reading.  We try to allow them flexibility at the story time circle.  Sometimes it's just too distracting. 😜  Other choices for the younger children during story time are puzzles, coloring, or playroom with it's centers.  What they choose is whatever they feel like for that time.  After the afternoon snack time, Papa Joe was reading We're Going on a Bear Hunt and just happened to be at the snowstorm page when I snapped this picture.  Most of the children had gone home at this point, if they had been here they would have been at story time.  Everyone LOVES Papa Joe's reading of We're Going On A Bear Hunt!  If you need "We're Going On A Bear Hunt" for yourself you can get one on Scholastic Book Clubs or on Amazon.  Contact me if you need the group code.

We also had the centers that we are working on this week.  We also brought in the easel for chalk and magnetic letter fun.  The children used teamwork in a few of the centers, or at least more collaboration between each other while working beside each other.  The day was much more cheerful and fun with the camaraderie.  We also added 9 chains to our Super Friend Chain today with all the sweet Super Friends.


I know you can't see their faces, but boy were they proud of their hard work!

 The picture cards are working very well for the ten frame centers.

 After their centers were finished one of the things they chose was the small legos to build cars and other structures.  They worked for a long time, and brought it out in the afternoon again.  Side note, this is all girls; the boys were in the penguins/ice.
 Two of the younger children working below.  The first is doing some pre-writing.  She had noticed the older children writing their names and friends names.  The youngest below is learning about opening and closing, and pressing buttons.


The menu today was:
Breakfast:  Multigrain Cheerios, Apple Slices, and Milk
Lunch:  Beenie Weenies, Cooked Carrots, Whole Wheat Bread, Milk
Snack:  Yogurt and Bananas was replaced with Applesauce and Graham Crackers since we didn't have the yogurt we thought we did.  Sorry!

They ate the usual amounts at breakfast - at least one serving. 
At lunch we had about two servings left after multiple servings per child.  In case you are wondering the beef franks are sliced long ways, then into small sections from there so they are safe for eating.
At snack, only a few children had a little bit of graham cracker left.

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