Thursday, March 21, 2013

Writing, Pizza, and The Learning Fair

Writing is a very important part of the preschool experience.  Here we are practicing writing letters on white boards. 
 We use white boards because they provide an open space where mistakes can be easily wiped away.  At this age, it is not always developmentally appropriate for children to be writing on lines.  Many 3 and 4 year olds do not have the visual acuity to be able to write correctly on a line.  

Vanessa Levin, author Pre-K Pages, says this:
Just as in the hands, the muscles in the eyes of many young children are not yet fully developed, thus causing them to see wiggly or wavy lines.  Imagine being asked to write on a line when you can’t even see it, this is a source of great frustration for young children.  Often, when we ask young children to write on the lines they become more focused on the lines and less on the letter formation and pencil grasp and they are unsuccessful at all three tasks which then causes a negative attitude towards writing. 

Therefore, we spend a lot of time writing in open spaces and focusing on correct letter formation, rather than trying to get letters on a line.

In other news, we spent a couple weeks talking about careers and community helpers in our classroom.  We started out by learning the Bible story of the Good Samaritan.  We talked about the fact that God wants us to love and help everyone, not just our best friends.  

 Of course, that leads into learning about community helpers.  We learned about doctors, vets, police officers, teachers, etc.  The kids each made a project for the learning fair that showed what they would like to be when they grow up. 
We also learned about chefs and bakers (a personal favorite, given that it involves food!).

 The kids turned into little pizza chefs.  We learned about good habits that a chef has, such washing your hands before touching food, and then not touching your face or body until after the food preparation is complete.  
 We made pizzas using english muffin halves, pizza sauce, and mozzarella cheese. 
 We baked them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. 
While they were baking, we sorted items that chefs use in their kitchens, and items that they would not use. 
All done!
The kids really enjoyed their work!

 And a couple pictures from St. Patrick's day...
Here, they are mixing yellow and blue to make green on the shamrocks. 
 And our beautiful rainbow bulletin board...


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Dental Health Week

Dental Health Week is so much fun!  In order to show the kids how food affects our teeth,  I soaked eggs in Coke and Kool-Aid until they absorbed the color. (It didn't take long - only a minute or two.) 

 As you can see, the kids used toothpaste and toothbrushes to get the eggs clean.  It works like magic! I gave them each a bowl to keep their egg from rolling and a little bit of water to wet the brush. 

 We had some very clean eggs after the kids were through.  

Rachel and Heather from Children's Dentistry Group in Lake Zurich  came to teach the three year old class about taking care of their teeth.

This was a demonstration about plaque and how it sticks to our teeth and creates cavities.  
They are visiting the 4 year old class this coming Friday morning. (Unfortunately, they were booked on every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday in February, which is National Dental Health Month.)

The 4s tried their hand at egg brushing, as well.