Wednesday, January 18, 2012

At Home -- December 2012 in Pictures

So, I've been trying to figure out a simple, yet descriptive way to blog about my home life.  That being my life outside of teaching preschool.  As I was looking through photos from this past December, I thought, why not do a pictorial overview of the month!  So here goes...

For the short amount of time we have had snow this month, we made sure to get out and play in it!

We did some "work" with pattern blocks.

And baked lots...

and lots...

of Christmas cookies!  78 to be exact!

Froggy Boots thought she could fool me by saying, "I'm just looking at them!"

And we decorated all 78 Christmas cookies...

one by one...

by one...

until they were all decorated!
Every last one of them...

I had to borrow space in Froggy Boots' play kitchen so that I would have room to let the frosting all harden!

We had lots of birthday parties with stuffed animal friends!

Did I mention we had LOTS of birthday parties?
This is Froggy Boots' grocery cart that she uses to transport all of the required supplies to hold a proper stuffed friend birthday party to the middle of my VERY small kitchen floor.
We took Froggy Boots to Chelsea Tree House -- an indoor children's play space.
We took a winter walk in the rain (yes, rain, not snow) with Froggy Boots' new umbrella.
I made two of these delicious Triple Chocolate Cheesecakes.  Oh, my, where they ever good!
  We spent lots of time with family!  This is Froggy Boots with her Aunt G.

This is our newest family member -- Froggy Bottom -- with Grandma D.  Froggy Bottom is Froggy Boots' cousin -- my little brother and his wife's first child.

Froggy Boots "spelled" lots of words with her "magic spelling wand."  Those are her words, not mine!

We, well Froggy Boots mainly, opened lots...

and lots of gifts!
One of Froggy Boots gifts was a dollhouse from her Grandma and Grandpa D!

Froggy Boots got to hang out with her other cousins -- my husband's brother and his wife's kids -- on New Years Eve.

Froggy Boots played with the same Nativity that I played with as a child!

And, of course, made our trip to Holland, Michigan to celebrate Christmas with the rest of my family.  This is Froggy Boots with one of her cousins!

Froggy Boots playing on Great Grandma C's rocking chair.
Well, there you have it folks!  I'm sure there are things I missed, but this was general overview of our month.  I hope to continue these pictorial overviews each month along with weekly posts about life at preschool!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wonderful Winter Work

It's been a couple months since I last posted on my blog.  I've just been really busy and every time I think I may have some time to work on a post, I realize that I've forgotten to take pictures of the new works at my preschool.  And it just turned into a revolving cycle...

Well, today was the day I finally remembered to take some pictures of the new work we've been doing in our classroom the last couple weeks since winter break ended!  So, here goes!

Our themes for the last couple weeks have revolved around winter.  Last week the theme was just "winter" and this week the theme was "animals in winter."  We learned about the changes that occur during the months of winter and about the different ways animals respond to the winter months in Michigan -- hibernation, migration, and adaptation.

Below are some of the Practical Life works we've been doing over the last couple weeks:

Spooning styrofoam snowballs.  The styrofoam snowballs are from the clearance section at Michael's.

Pouring Water -- pitcher to pitcher.  This is our first wet pouring work.  We were focusing on dry pouring previously.

Snowflake lacing from in the free printables section.

Styrofoam snowball pouring.

Glove matching with clothespins.  This turned out to be more difficult for the kids than I thought it would be.  But, there has been a lot of interest in it.

Open & close basket.

Here are some Sensorial works from the last couple weeks:

These are listening cylinders that I made out of some old film canisters.  These have been out for a while, but since I haven't posted in a while I thought I'd add these in as well.

These are the listening cylinders again -- showing the bottoms.  I have them color-coded so that the kids can check their work.

These are my handmade touch tablets made from plaque boards from Michael's and several grades of sandpaper that I purchased at Hoe Depot.  The blindfold on the right side is from Kid Advance Montessori.  These have been out for a while as well.

This is visual discrimination snowflake matching from Making Learning Fun.

I took this picture to show the knobbles cylinder extension cards from Montessori Print Shop.  These have also been out for a while.

We've been adding drawers to the geometric cabinet.  The kids are really interested in the different names some of the shapes have!
This is a "build a snowman" work that I actually found in the members area of Kids Soup.  The child chooses a snowman card from the small bin at the top of the tray and then uses the different parts of the snowman in the tray below to recreate the same snowman.  Or, they can create their own snowman!

This is button sorting/matching from Making Learning Fun.  The child must match three of the exact same button on the snowman card.  There are enough cards for each set of three buttons in the bowl. 

Here are some of the Math works from the last couple weeks:

These are snowman cards & button counters.  The cards are from the free printables are of

This is a snowflake patterning work. The child extends the patterns by adding snowflakes from the bowl.  I added sticky-backed magnet tape to the back of each snowflake and put the work on a metal tray so that the cards would not move around as easily once the child placed them in the correct space. I feel badly that I cannot remember where I found this work!  If you know where it is from, please post to my blog so that I can give credit to the person who made it!

This is a collecting snowflakes game from Making Learning Fun.

Sorting snowballs by size -- with the styrofoam snowballs.

These are snowflake count and clip cards from Making Learning Fun.
Here is a work that I added to the shelf that I use interchangeably for science and puzzles, depending on what we are working on at the time:

This is an "Animals in Winter" book and matching puzzle cards from the members area of  The child can use the book to help him/her match the animal picture cards with what that animal does in the winter.

Here are some pictures of the way our shelves are set up in the classroom right now:

Practical Life



Puzzles & Science




Each school day I also have one project out at a table that each of the children must complete.  The last couple weeks we have done the following projects:

* snowperson craft using pre-cut paper snowballs, buttons, yarn pieces, cotton balls, markers, crayons, and glue
* yarn & glue snowflakes - this requires dipping white yarn into a mixture of glue and water and then laying the yarn in a criss-cross manner on top of wax paper until it dries.  I did not have much luck with this project once it dried to the wax paper.  When I tried to pull the snowflakes off, they came apart...
* winter clothing magazine picture collage
* hibernating bear craft - I adapted this craft from an idea I found at
* migrating bird craft - using a bird pattern (I can't remember where I found the pattern), buttons (for eye), paper triangles (for beak), and fake feathers
* cheerios & pipe cleaner bird feeders -- string cheerios on a pipe cleaner, attach into a circle, and hang on a tree
* pine cone bird feeder -- using pine cones with yarn tied to the top for hanging, shortening mixed with cornmeal (instead of the traditional peanut butter, since my classroom is peanut-free), and bird seed

I am linking up with Montessori Monday through Living Montessori Now:

Montessori Monday