Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finishing Grocery Store and Thanksgiving Song

This week we finished up our Grocery Store unit and also talked a lot about Thanksgiving. We know that all families celebrate differently with their own customs, but we also talked about traditional Thanksgiving foods.

On Friday, some of the PM kids volunteered to work in the Grocery Store to turn it back into a house. We broke down the boxes and put them in recycling. We put the food back where it belongs. And now we have a house again! We are going to have a few days of house again before we turn it into our next project...a bakery!

Home/School Connection
Talk with your child about your family's Thanksgiving traditions (from large family gatherings to a normal day at home). Have your child tell you 5-10 sentences about what your family does on Thanksgiving and write them together. Then have your child draw a picture of those traditions. Please send them back when we get back on November 29th.

On Friday we sang our Thanksgiving song together and here are the videos!

On Thanksgiving-AM Class

On Thanksgiving-PM Class

Pictures from this week:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Royal Wedding Preschool Style

Last Friday was the Royal Wedding in England and we celebrated it Preschool Style at Independence!

Here are some photos of hats that guests to the wedding wore:

Staff at school were invited to dress up and wear our own hats! In class, we let the kids decorate their own fancy hats to "wear" to the wedding! It also made for interesting discussion about where England is. WHAT England is. And that there are real life princes and princesses!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Scarecrow Song and Leaf Hunt

We have continued to run a grocery store from our classroom this week. Everyone is getting very skilled at checking out the groceries and also putting them back. I am amazed everyday by how the kids realize yogurt goes in the refrigerated section and hamburger buns go in the bread section.

I hope you have been able to spend some time with your child at the store pointing out the different sections and discussing what items belong in which section.

We also took advantage of the beautiful weather this week in the afternoon class to go on a Leaf Hunt with Miss Kate as part of our speech group. We partnered up and walked around the neighborhood to look for specific leaf colors. We had to coordinate looking at our checklist, finding the leaves, putting them in our bags, crossing them off the list and keeping track of what we still needed to find! We all found all of the colors!

Here are videos of us singing our fall-Scarecrow song!

AM Class

PM Class

Home/School Connection
This week I want you to pick out 4 items out of your cabinet/refrigerator at home (with your child), and have your child tell you the name, and what section it belongs in at the store and how they know. Please write down their answers and send them in to us at school. This is a good opportunity to get your child thinking and explaining his/her reasoning.

Check out our slideshow of pictures below!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

At The Grocery Store

We had a great week setting up and learning how to play in our Grocery Store!

We have turned our Pretend Palace into a Grocery Store. When we play in the Pretend Palace, we take turns being the cashier, bagger, and shoppers! We have a cart and some baskets and we walk around the store looking at all of the different sections. Then we put our items on the conveyor belt. Then the cashier rings us up on the cash register and tells us how much to pay. They groceries get bagged and we are sent on our merry way!

But that is not all. Then we have to go back and practice our categorizing skills by putting all of the groceries back in the right section.

Sections we have so far:
snack foods
bakery (cookies, cake, muffins, sweets)
refrigerated section (cheese, butter, eggs, yogurt)
frozen section (ice cream)

We are getting really good at sorting the food!

-While you are at the store this week with your child, point out the different sections of the store to help him/her make the connections between real life and what we are doing at school.
-Grocery Shopping is prime time for language development with your child. While you are at the store, make sure you are talking to your child the whole time. Point out the foods you see and talk about why you are picking certain items and not others. Talk about the options and the parts of the store. Point out the people working in the store. Ask your child questions about what he/she sees and thinks about what he/she sees.

Home/School Connection
On Friday your child came home with an ad from the newspaper. Just like we did at school this week, your homework is to go on a number hunt with your child. Cut out the number cards (0-9) and take turns picking them. Find all the numbers in the ad that match that number! Find the big ones and see if you can even find the teeny tiny ones! Make sure to send it in to school!

Here is a video of a lady teaching some grocery store signs. Some of the signs are a little different from what we do (such as cereal) but they are a great starting point.

American Sign Language: Grocery Shopping -- powered by

Enjoy the pictures from this week:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Video and Blog Award

Two posts in one week?!?

On Friday, we enjoyed a special presentation of the book The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything by Ms. Jill's class. That is one of my VERY favorite books and we have been reading it the last couple weeks. We REALLY enjoyed the presentation.

You can enjoy it too at home with the video below (make sure to follow along with the movements!):

Also, I have been honored with a blog award for one of the best Pre-school blogs in the midwest region. I received an email with the following:

MissStephanie's Pre School Class, was determined to be one of the best Pre-K class blogs in your region!You can see other great teaching blogs in your region here

Very exciting! I received a special badge to put on our blog:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Go Away Big Green Monster!

We spent Thursday all day celebrating with our Go Away Big Green Monster party. We read the book during the week and then had a blast participating in activities to go along with it.

Some of the things we did:
-Play "Pin the nose on the big green monster"
-Read the book and other monster books by the same author
-Make a monster face by following directions
-Make a monster face for snack and then eat it
-Dance to monster songs
-Go through a monster obstacle course in the gym

Throughout all of the activities we worked on remember parts of the story and using multiple adjectives to describe his facial features.

Two big yellow eyes
long blueish greenish nose
big red mouth
sharp white teeth
little squiggly ears
scraggly purple hair
big scary green face

Start thinking about other descriptors you can use with your child while you are taking. Consider making a game of it! Try to name objects in your house, signs you see while driving in the car, and people you know using adjectives (describing words).

"Look at the big, red, brick house!"
"Do you see the small, yellow, sign with the M on it?"
"Dad has a scratchy, brown and grey mustache"

Home-School Connection
Think of 10 sentences that contain describing words that your family comes up with over the weekend. Write them down and send them into school on Monday. Your child will be able to share it with his/her class.

AM Class

PM Class

A grandma on YouTube reading the story:

Monday, October 25, 2010

Classroom Work

We have been working hard the last two weeks on all kinds of activities to show off our skills.

Here is a slideshow of us working on counting and working at centers:

Last week in the afternoon, we had several kids who were working in the Small Toys area. They started linking chains together and they reached across our room. One of the students had an idea to take the long chain out in the hallway to see how long it was. It reached almost down the entire hallway! After laying out the whole chain, we decided to lay down on the ground and see how many kids tall the chain was. We found out that it was 7 kids tall!

Don't forget to take time this week to work on sorting and following directions activities with your child. The leaf activity we participated in is a great starting off point to think of various types of directions to give. We are working on our thinking skills and processing these directions really gets us thinking! You can do this while eating an after school snack:

-Find one cracker.
-Put two raisins on 1 cracker and eat it.
-Put two crackers in front of you.
-Put one raisin on each cracker.
-Take one raisin off one cracker.
-Eat the cracker that does not have a raisin on it.

You can do it with anything!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Apple Song

We had another apple filled week last week. We have been practicing our apple song all month and we all sang it together on videotape. Check out our performance below! We also participated in many apple activities, including matching uppercase letters of the alphabet after picking them off of an apple tree!

Singing the apple song in the PM class:

Singing the apple song in the AM class:

Our slideshow:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Apple Picking Time

This week we continued to talk about apples and fall related themes. We participated in a lot of fun apple activities this week, but our favorite part of the week was music time on Friday. We really enjoyed learning how to use the rhythm sticks and following along with the beat. After we did that, we each got to try a different instrument and we paraded around our classroom playing our instruments! Boy were we noisy! But it was a blast and we enjoyed making music.

Check out our pictures!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Apple, Turtles and Surveys!

We had a very busy week this week! We started off the week by tasting and graphing our favorite type of apples. We tasted Red Delicious, Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples. Most of the kids in both classes liked the Pink Lady apples the best. We also took a survey of different adults in the building and most people liked red and green apples the best. With our graphing and surveying, we got to practice "most" and "least" and were able to determine which apples are the most popular.

In the afternoon class, we had two surprise visitors with our Family of the Week! Two turtles came to visit and we got to see them and learn about them.

We all practiced patterning this week. This is a great and easy skill to practice at home. You can make all kinds of patterns! If you are eating dinner, you can pattern: carrot, green bean, corn, carrot, green bean corn, carrot, green bean corn. Or in the car you can pattern sounds: clap, snap, clap, snap, clap, snap.

Don't forget to spend some time as a family this weekend working on your take home packs. You have them until Wednesday and there are some fun and educational activities that your family will enjoy!

Check out the slideshow below to see the fun we had this week!



Sunday, September 19, 2010

September 17

We had a very busy and fun-filled week this week!

On Friday we spent our Small Group time thinking of names for our fish and then voting on them.

In the morning class, we picked out the name for our yellow fish. We decided on sunny.

In the afternoon class, we picked names for three fish. For our silver fish, the names the kids came up with were: Purple, Turtle, Fred, and Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo won! For our orange fish, the names the kids came up with were: Paula, Ballerina, Nemo, and Ariel. Nemo won! For our blue and orange fish, the names the kids came up with were: Brendan, Princess, Green, Soul Train. Soul Train won!

The kids voted by placing a post-it with their name on it on top of the name they liked best. Then we talked about more and less and counted all of the post-its to find the winners.

We also did several other fun activities this week! Check out the slideshow below to find out what we were up to!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Second Week and Picture Walk

Sorry for the late post from last week! We had a very successful second week of school.

We participated in a picture walk on Thursday. We picked a book (Clifford) and looked at the cover and "walked" through the book without reading the words. While doing our walk, we talked about the pictures and what they could mean. We made predictions about what the book was about and what was happening on each page of the book based on what we saw. After that, we read the book and then looked back at our predictions to see if we were close. This is a great strategy to use at home before reading bed time stories!

Below you will find the slideshow with other pictures of the fun we had this week!

Friday, September 3, 2010

First Week

Here are the rest of the pictures of us learning about our classroom this week. We have learned a lot about the routine of the classroom and how to play at the different centers. We even learned how to clean up at each of the centers and we are doing a really good job looking at the pictures to see where everything goes!

We hope you enjoy the slideshows of pictures of what we have been up to this week!



Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Day of School

We had a wonderful first day of school on Wednesday! Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate, but regardless of the rain, we enjoyed ourselves. We had circle time, learned about a few of the centers, read books, ate snack, danced and sang! We even drew pictures of ourselves to look back on at the end of the year.

Here are some slideshows of the first day of school!

I always encourage you to comment on the posts and let us know what you think!

Also, there is an updated Helping Hands list on the side of the page. Thank you to everyone who has helped with supplies for the classroom!

AM Class

PM Class

Open House

Thank you to everyone who came to visit for Open House. I enjoyed seeing kids and families and I'm glad you had the opportunity to see the classroom!

Check out the slideshow below to see some of the fun we had!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

School Supply List

School Supply List

1 box thick Crayola Markers-Classic Colors
Backpack (please no wheels, and it needs to be big enough to fit a folder)
1 Snack to feed entire class
1 box of 5 oz cups
1 package Antibacterial Wipes
1 box of Kleenex
Change of clothes labeled with your child’s name (all children)
Diapers/Wipes (if your child uses them)

*If you are interested in purchasing other materials for the classroom, a donation of a $5 or $10 gift card to Target or Staples, is always a great help! I can use those to purchase copy paper, crayons, markers, scissors, etc, as we need them.

There will also be a “Helping Hands” poster available for other classroom items that we need. Items at the beginning of the year are:

110 pound cardstock (can be found at Staples)
HP ink #15
HP ink #17
blue gel bottles of Elmer’s glue
gallon sized Ziploc bags (no easy zip zipper please!)
roll of paper towels
waterless hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol)
dry erase markers

Welcome Back 2010-2011

Welcome back to school for the 2010 or 2011 school year! I am excited for another school year with some returning students and some students that I can't wait to get to know!

Open House
Monday, August 30
First Day of School
Wednesday, September 1
8:00 AM or 11:30 AM
I look forward to seeing all of you in the next week! Please contact me if you should have any questions!

*You can also click on the Google calendar on the right to see other important dates that are coming up!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Last Day!

Our last day of school was spent enjoying sunshine and friendship at the park near the school. We played and ate yummy snacks. On Thursday we even got to walk through a path in the "woods" near our school. It was fun!

Have a great summer!

Enjoy the pictures below.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Young Athletes Celebration

On Friday, we spent the day celebrating with our Young Athletes finale. We had a day full of fun rotating around the stations: playing with the parachute, kicking and throwing, going through an obstacle course, eating a snack and dancing. We felt very special during our opening and closing ceremonies. Thank you to all of the parents who joined us and helped us!

The pictures from AM and PM are in different slideshows because Miss Stephanie took SO MANY pictures. She just loves to take pictures!

AM Class

PM Class

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Update in our Class

Last week we were working hard on counting and story retelling activities. We each had a chance to sit with Miss Stephanie and show her our skills!

You can check out our slideshow below!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Farm and Turtles!

This week we continued to work on farm activities. We finished up painting with various vegetables and began painting farm animals.

We painted with green peppers, potatoes, carrots, and broccoli.

We painted "mud" on pigs (shaving cream, glue, and paint).
We marble painted on cows.
We painted with a feather on a duck.

On Friday morning we had an exciting morning on the playground. We found two baby turtles! We were so excited to find them and we brought them inside and put them in our empty aquarium. One of them was not moving so much, but within a few hours it really perked up! The two tiny adorable turtles were running around the aquarium and seemed to be enjoying the food we gave them. We kept them all day and had a lot of fun watching them. At the end of the day we decided to let them go and bring them back out to the swamp. Since we weren't going to keep them forever (Miss Stephanie wasn't sure what she would do with two grown turtles at some point) we didn't want to get them used to living inside. We didn't think it was fair to let them get used to living inside and then let them go in the wild, so we let them go on Friday. They were lots of fun though!

Enjoy lots of pictures from our activities this week and especially the turtles at the end!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

More fun on the Farm

We continued with our farm activities this week.

Don't forget to finish your family projects if you haven't done so yet!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

More fun at the Farmer's Market

This week we added two new centers to our Farmer's Market theme.

We have onion bulbs in the sand table. We have practiced digging holes, planting the bulbs, and covering them back up. We are learning to be quite the gardeners!

We also have vocabulary cards in Literacy Lane with many of our vocabulary words for this unit. We have been practicing writing our words on different signs to place around the room.

We are getting really good at picking out our vegetables and purchasing them in the Pretend Play area.

Don't forget to turn in your Family Projects on Monday or Tuesday! Working on these projects as a family is a great opportunity to build vocabulary and work on creative and problem solving skills together.

Here are our pictures:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Shopping at the Farmer's Market

This week we began our Farm theme. We are talking about all of the things that come from a farm. We are learning that farmers not only take care of animals, but they also grow vegetables too. We learned that they eat some of what they grow, but that they also sell it.

We have a Farmer's Market set up in the pretend play area. We are practicing buying and selling fruits and vegetables when we are in there.

In the construction zone, we have a whole vegetable garden. We can pick the vegetables we want to harvest and take care of our garden. We also have some farm animals and we are building barns for them with the blocks.

In the small toys area we are playing with puzzles about farm animals and fruits and vegetables.

Stay tuned next for even more farm themed centers!

When you are out shopping this week, check out the produce section in the grocery store and talk about the different vegetables. You can also involve your child in the checkout process (adding up the total, giving money, receiving change...or paying with credit!) to help us understand how to work the cash register at our Farmer's Market.

Check out the slideshow of our farm fun this week:

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Goodbye Circus

When we got back from spring break this week, we said, "Goodbye" to the big top. It was sad to say goodbye to the animals and clowns, but most of us really enjoyed having our regular toys back!

Here are some pictures of our fun this week!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Circus Trains

This slideshow shows all of the Circus Trains that were made for our Family Project. The kids were SO excited to bring their trains in and show them off to their friends. Working as a family on these project not only creates family time, but it also encourages dialogue about the subject.

Have a wonderful week off!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Revised Family of the Week

Check out our new Family of the Week schedule if you are new to our class!

Click here or on the link at the right.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Welcome to the Big Top!

This week our classroom has been transformed into a Big Top Circus! We have been having a great time learning about all the pieces that make a circus happen. We are using mature play to interact at our centers. We are pretending to be clowns and ringmasters. We are selling and buying cotton candy and popcorn. We are building circuses with the blocks and the animals are putting on shows. We are using vocabulary and making signs to put around the room. The Big Top is ablaze with activity! The MWF and AM classes came home with clown hats. Check out the weekly newsletter to hear how we had to listen to a story to put them together. Check out the slideshow below to see some examples of our fun and our learning.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


As you know, we have been learning about feeling words recently in class. This week we played with some balls that have different faces on them. We took turns throwing them to each other and telling a time that we feel that way. It was fun to come up with different situations for the different emotions. This is a great skill to continue practicing at home. Use a variety of emotion words around your house. Knowing different feelings words allows kids to express themselves more clearly which often leads to less frustration!

Enjoy some pictures of our game!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Washing our Hands

One of the things we have been focusing on in class recently is washing our hands correctly. Many of us just get some soap on our hands and immediately run them under the water. Miss Stephanie tells us that is not the right way to wash our hands! She says that is not actually getting them clean!

We have been working on the correct way to wash our hands:
-Turn on the water (it should be warm)
-Get your hands wet
-Get soap on your hands
-Rub your hands together all over (front, back, fingers, thumbs)
-Count to 10 while rubbing
-Rinse them under the water
-Dry your hands

(Hands should really be washed for longer than 10 seconds, but we are taking baby steps. 10 seconds is better than just running them under the water quickly and being done!)

Miss Stephanie really wants us to practice this at home and sat school to help keep us healthy!

Check out the video below!

Check out two videos of friends washing hands to help remind us what to do!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

This week we participated in many Valentine's Day activities. The most fun was the party! On Thursday afternoon and Friday we enjoyed passing out treats that we brought for our friends. We practiced recognizing our friends names while passed out the valentines we brought. We also practiced saying "thank you" to everyone who gave us a treat.

Thank you to everyone who brought in treats and juice for us to share at snack time. We enjoyed all the yumminess!

Enjoy the slideshow of pictures.

Saturday, February 6, 2010


This week we have been talking about feelings. Each class brainstormed different emotions and we came up with examples of when you feel that emotion. We came up with some pretty creative responses! During the week we made sure to use emotion words as much as possible. This is something you can do at home.

For example:
"Oh. I see you are frustrated because you cannot keep playing with your toys right now."
"I get grumpy too when I don't get what I want."
"It looks like that boy on TV is scared because the lights went out."

Have fun talking about feelings!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Birthday Fun and Story Retelling

This month we have been celebrating a lot of birthdays! We have one January birthday in every class and at least one half birthday in every class! We have celebrated the July half birthdays this month so we have all been enjoying yummy treats.

Last week and this week we have been practicing retelling the story I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly individually. We have the pictures and the book to help us retell the story. The MWF class will be practicing that this week. We have had a lot of fun reading this story and especially saying, "She swallowed the spider that wiggled and jiggled and tickled inside her"!

Here are pictures from our activities:

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Family of the Week Update

We have had many new friends join us in the last couple of weeks. I have updated the Family of the Week Schedule and it is posted on the right sidebar. Please check it out so you know when your turn for Family of the Week is coming up. Your child will bring home the Family of the Week bag with a note inside the week before his/her turn. There is also a note on the right sidebar for ways you can participate. I also list the upcoming Family of the Week in the weekly newsletter.

Don't forget to check it out!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Writing and Stories

This week we started a unit on "I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly". We had a lot of fun reading the story and talking about the different animals she swallowed. We also spent time listening to the story and helping Miss Stephanie put animals on the flannel board in order when the animal we were holding was read. On Thursday and Friday, Miss Stephanie became the old lady and we had to feed the old lady the animals!

Also on the slideshow are pictures of everyone practicing their daily message this week. Every day, we do daily message at circle time. Miss Stephanie says a message like "Today we will read a story". Then she writes one line for each word on the board. She points to the lines and reads it again. Then she writes the words on the lines as she says the message. Then we all read it again. Last, everyone gets their own dry erase board and marker to write the message. Some of us write the message letter for letter, some of us write with letter like symbols and others of us are still scribbling. When we are done, however, we all read back the message we have written.

Here are the pictures!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thursday and Friday

There is no school for preschoolers on Wednesday January 13th.

On Thursday January 14 and Friday January 15 there are some changes with transportation.

AM-The morning classes will have busing into school but WILL NOT have busing home. Please be at school to pick up your child with your sign by 11:50.

PM-The afternoon classes WILL NOT have busing into school but will have busing home. If your child normally rides the bus home, we will plan to send him/her home on the bus unless we hear otherwise.

If your child is normally on the bus and you are either picking up or dropping off you will do that in the bus lane in the front of the school. If you participate in the parent pick-up and drop off you will continue to do what we always do.

If your child will not be riding the bus, please remember to call transportation.

If you have any questions please let me know!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Donors Choose Link

Welcome back! You will notice on the right sidebar there is a link for a proposal. is a wonderful website for teachers to request materials for their classrooms. Anyone can view the proposal and make a donation of any size. We have been very lucky to receive materials for our classroom from in the last several years. Our large rug, costumes, and construction toys all came from Our new proposal is for more materials for the block area.

Here is the link.

Thank you for taking the time to check it out!