Monday, December 26, 2011

The Gingerbread Man Song

Here we have the afternoon class singing our Gingerbread Man song. 

Miss Stephanie cannot currently locate the file from the morning class!

The Gingerbread Man

We have been reading various versions of The Gingerbread Man in the month of December. On the Thursday before break we acted out the story with some Gingerbread Man cookies!

When the Gingerbread Man arrived at the river, he met a fox. The fox offered to help. 
(We think the fox was trying to trick the Gingerbread Man, not trying to be nice)

The fox said, "Come jump on my back. I will help you get across the river!)

Then he said, "The water is rising! Get on my shoulder!"

Then he said, "Quick! The water is rising more. Get on my head!"

The fox said, "The water is still rising! Get on my nose!"

Then, quick as a wink, the fox threw back his head, and flipped the Gingerbread Man into his mouth.

That was the end of the Gingerbread Man!

Ask your child to retell you the story of the Gingerbread Man! See what parts he/she remembers! Post your child's answer in the comments section.

Before we read the story the first time, we did a prediction activity. We read the story most of the way through and then I stopped before the last page. I asked each student to predict what they thought was going to happen when they saw the picture of the Gingerbread Man standing on the fox's nose.

Guesses from the AM class:
OP-A fox ate the Gingerbread Man. 
EH-He eat the Gingerbread Man. 
HG-He will eat him. 
JN-The fox melt in the water.
ZP-I think he going eat him.

5 day
CK-He gunna eat him.
IE-Fox. No.

Guesses from the PM class:
NP- I think he's gunna eat him. 
MV-The Gingerbread Man is going to bake some other GIngerbread Mans.
CH-His yes. 
CP-Eat him.
MP-A dog gunna drown.
EK-The fox gunna eat the Gingerbread Man.
MJ-He's gunna get on his nose.
MM-Then his legs. 
SF-The fox is gunna eat the Gingerbread Man.
NR-He's gunna eat him.
JR-The old lady try to catch him.
JB-In the water.
JP-The fox will eat him and the fox will shrink.
PG-He wanna eat him.
KP- He eat it

As you can see, we had some great predictions! This is a skill you can practice at home before you get to the last page of a book. Ask, "What do you think will happen next?"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Apple Apple Song

Here is another one of our very favorite songs: The Apple Apple song!

This song helps us learn our letters and letter sounds. It also helps us think of words that begin with that letter! It is one of our alphabet song choices at circle time. 

You can see the YouTube video (higher quality) by clicking the link on the right.


Hear ye! Hear ye! The Preschool Royalty!

We have spent the last 2 weeks enjoying our new royal status as princes, princesses, knights, kings, queens, and dragons! We thought it was funny to call Miss Stephanie "Your Highness". She thought it was funny too!

We worked on our castle walls in the creation station and then helped Miss Stephanie put them up and make them look like walls and towers. We have enjoyed playing with the props that we made at home for our family projects. In the Construction Zone we have been building castles. We even have a book with pictures of real castles we can look at for ideas while we are building. 

Miss Erin made a SmartBoard activity that she shared with our class. We really enjoyed sorting the castle people from the farm animals during a small group. Later we were able to do it on our own during work time. We had several debates about the noble steed (horse) and the dragon. We decided the noble steed could stay in the barn until the knight needed him.

Do dragons go in the barn or in the castle?? 
What do you think? Why? Ask your child what he/she thinks and post the answer in the comments section below. 


Friday, November 4, 2011

Putting on a Jacket

As winter gets closer, we have been working on our independence skills. Some of us are still working on putting on our jackets by ourselves. Kids at this age put on their jackets in a variety of ways. Some of us do it just like adults do: one arm and then the other. That is hard for someone of us to manage. Some of us use the "flip it over your head" method. 

Miss Stephanie had some expert jacket put-er on-ers help her make a video so others can practice at home. 

-Fix sleeves of jacket so they are the right way.
-Put jacket on the ground with the tag/hood facing your toes.
-Stick your arms in the sleeves. 
-Keep yours arms in the sleeves and flip it over your head. 
-Your jacket is on!

Another tip:
When you are purchasing winter wear, consider getting mittens instead of gloves for kids who are unable to put on gloves independently. Miss Stephanie and Miss Sandy don't have time to put 120 individual fingers in gloves!

Practice putting on your jacket this weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New Castle Vocabulary

Our November theme is "Castle". We are really excited to transform our classroom into a castle and discover all kinds of new vocabulary about things that are found in a castle. Don't forget to start working on your family project this weekend. We need items for our castle! You could make a tower or something a king/prince/princess/knight would have. Be as creative as you want! We just need props for our castle. Make sure you work together as a family. It doesn't need to be perfect, it just needs to be done together. Here is a video reviewing some of our new castle vocabulary:

Monday, October 31, 2011

Go Away Big Green Monster

We had a great time with our Go Away Big Green Monster Day at school today! We had 6 stations that we rotated through all around the school. All of us participated and it was a blast! Even though we had so many transitions and it was such a different routine, we did a great job and had lots of fun!

Our stations:
monster mash obstacle course
parachute and Trick, Trick, Treat (Duck, Duck, Goose)
making a monster face snack
pin the nose on the big green monster
making a monster face on a paper plate
watching the big green monster story and playing a smartboard activity

Check out this retelling of the story on YouTube that I found (sorry about the high pitched voice! But the felt board activity she uses is cute!) 

AM Class

PM Class

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything

Miss Erin and I videotaped ourselves reading one of our VERY favorite books: The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything. It has been a big hit in our classrooms over the last couple weeks. We love to read the story and make the hand motions to go along with it. We have also enjoyed our SmartBoard activity that goes along with it! Check out the YouTube video by the link on the right sidebar for a higher quality version.
Miss Jill and some of the other Independence staff helped perform this story on Thursday. We had a blast watching them and participating with them! Our class was the "shirts". When Miss Jill read about the shirts, we held our white shirts up in the air and said "Shake, Shake!". You can enjoy the Independence rendition of the story here:
On Friday, we watched the performance again in the morning because some of us were absent on Thursday. We enjoyed it just as much the second time! (This time Miss Stephanie is interpreting the story in sign language).

Pumpkin Fun

In our slideshow this week you will see some creative ways we used the pumpkins we picked at the pumpkin patch. One of our favorite activities has been pounding plastic nails into a pumpkin in the Construction Zone. It is harder to get them out than it is to pound them in!

In addition we have been very silly and creative making Mr. Pumpkin Heads with pumpkins and the Mr. Potato  Head pieces. We have all kinds of fun creations!

The last few photos and videos in the slideshow you will see something new that we have been doing with our SmartBoards! We are practicing our story retelling skills with The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything and Go Away Big Green Monster. We can wear a microphone that is plugged into the computer. Then we move the pieces around the SmartBoard and retell the story. The SmartBoard records the movements and our audio and we can play it back! It was really fun to play with!

We have an update to our blog design. If you notice, at the top of the page there are tabs "home", "stories", and "songs". If you click on the "stories" or "songs" tabs, you will pull up all of our blog posts about stories and all of  our blog posts about songs. We are loving to watch theses stories and songs during our work time and have said that we'd love to watch with our families at home as well!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Learning Letter Sounds (Alligator Song)

In addition to the ABC Rock (in another post) we also love the Learning Letter Sounds song! We like to call it the Alligator Song.

It is one of the 6 songs we can choose from at circle time. 

You can also click on one of the links on the right to see it on YouTube (better quality). 


Pumpkin Carving

After visiting the pumpkin patch this week, we went back to our classroom and carved the top of pumpkin. We carved pumpkins that we found in the pumpkin patch!

We talked about how knives are sharp and only grown ups should touch them.

After that we each stuck our hand inside the pumpkin (or touched the inside) and took a handful of pumpkin goop out! Then we put the pumpkin in the Discovery Zone so we could finish cleaning it out during work time. Some of us really really didn't want to touch the pumpkin goop! That is OK. Some people like or don't like certain textures. Everyone did, however, at least touch the inside of the pumpkin!

AM Class Pumpkin Carving
PM Class Pumpkin Carving
Have you carved pumpkins at home? Will you? We'd love to hear what you made. Please leave a comment and tell us about pumpkin carving with your family!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Following Directions with Pumpkins

We have been practicing following directions. We practiced following directions in the morning class with mini pumpkins! You can try this at home. We practiced using body parts. The day we practiced these directions with the deaf and hard of hearing class, we did it using our auditory skills only. No sign! We did a good job listening to the directions and picking out which body part Miss Stephanie said!

Put the pumpkin on your head.

Put the pumpkin on the floor. 

Put the pumpkin on your foot. 

Put the pumpkin on your nose.

Put the pumpkin on your ear. 

Go ahead and try these directions at home!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Today (finally!) we took our walking fieldtrip to the pumpkin patch!

We had a blast walking through the pumpkin patch and seeing the pumpkins in all different stages of the pumpkin life cycle. We also loved seeing the one HUGE pumpkin that Miss Stephanie has. After each picking our own little pumpkin (though Miss Stephanie says it is technically a gourd) we got to sit on her old tractor and pretend we were driving it. Then we all started jumping in the leaves! It was so much fun to jump in the leaves and bury each other.

 AM Class
Make a video - it's fun, easy and free!

PM Class

On the way to school today Miss Stephanie saw something really exciting. She saw a deer in her pumpkin patch! She said the baby deer comes by every day, but this was the first day she saw her in the morning. The baby deer was even starting to follow Miss Stephanie to school! We enjoyed looking at the pictures of the deer.

Ask us:
What did you see at the pumpkin patch?
What did you do at the pumpkin patch?
What was your favorite part of the pumpkin patch?
How does a pumpkin grow?
What color is a pumpkin before it is orange?
What do a pumpkin plant's flowers look like?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

ABC Rock

One of Circle Time jobs is mail helper. Our mail helper checks the mailbox to see if we have received any "letters". We talk about the letter of the week and what kinds of words start with that letter. We always amaze Miss Stephanie with what we come up with! Then the mailperson gets to choose which alphabet song we sing. The favorite lately has been ABC Rock! We recorded the AM class singing ABC rock and have been watching it during computer time too!

Here is our rendition of ABC Rock!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pumpkin Patch and ABC Rock

Our Construction Zone has transformed into a pumpkin patch!

We have leaves to rake, scarecrows to pose, blocks to build hay wagons, and mini pumpkins to pick! We have been very busy in our pumpkin patch this week.

Unfortunately we didn't make it on our walking fieldtrip to the pumpkin patch this week because of the rain. We are going to try again on Tuesday!

Another exciting piece of news is our morning class ended up on the U-46 parent page because of the Llama Llama Day. Very neat! Click here to check it out. We have enjoyed picking the computer center this week and watching the Llama Llama Red Pajama videos of our class. 

Pictures of the afternoon class enjoying work time, especially the pumpkin patch (Somehow I didn't take any pictures in the morning?!?!)

One of Circle Time jobs is mail helper. Our mail helper checks the mailbox to see if we have received any "letters". We talk about the letter of the week and what kinds of words start with that letter. We always amaze Miss Stephanie with what we come up with! Then the mailperson gets to choose which alphabet song we sing. The favorite lately has been ABC Rock! We recorded the AM class singing ABC rock and have been watching it during computer time too!

Here is our rendition of ABC Rock!

Check out this video of the life cycle of a pumpkin. We have been reading several books about how pumpkins grow. Ask your child to tell you about each of the steps: seed, plant, flowers, pumpkin!

Another event this week was a Skype interview with author Tom Angleberger. Mrs. V one of the hearing itinerants set up the event for all of the deaf and hard of hearing students in the district at the library. Miss Stephanie went and it was really neat so see students of all ages from all over the district. And to meet the author on Skype! One of the characters in his books (for middle elementary aged students) is even deaf! Check out the post here!

Friday, October 14, 2011

5 Red Apples

Miss Stephanie keeps promising to post our 5 Red Apples videos and she keeps forgetting! So here they are...finally! 

This is the song we have been singing for the last 4 weeks. 

5 red apples on a tree.
Look very yummy to me. 
A crow came down to
get some lunch. 
He ate one apple with a 
crunch crunch crunch. 
Crunch, crunch, crunch, 
crunch, crunch, crunch.
He ate one apple with a
crunch, crunch, crunch.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Llama Llama Red Pajama Day

Today we had our very special Llama Llama Red Pajama Day! We were very excited about this day because the Llama books are some of Miss Stephanie's very favorite books! Whenever she hears a new one is coming out, she orders it right away so she gets it the day it comes out! 

We love the llama books because they are about things we can relate to, they rhyme and are fun for us to read, and we think the llama is funny!

Our Llama Llama Red Pajama day was sponsored by the Pearson Read for the Record program.

In the AM class, we read our book two times. We were VERY excited about the llama stuffed animal we had to help us read the story. We tried to go on the website to read the book on the computer, but the website was down in the morning. In the AM, Mrs. Chris (our principal) stopped by in her red pajamas to bring us our very own copy of the book!

AM pictures:

In the PM class, the website was working again. We enjoyed reading the book online and retelling the story ourselves. In the PM we had special guest stars come to read us the book! Dr. Susan Ali, the Coordinator of Literacy and Learning for U-46, came with representatives from Pearson and a reporter and photographer. Our class was chosen to be spotlighted for this special day. "Ms. Susan" read us the book and she also had a special PowerPoint to go along with it. It is the same one you can find on the We Give Books website! At the end, our special visitors gave all of us copies of the book to take home for ourselves! We were so excited! 

PM pictures:

The website is here:

Other Llama Books

This is the same website that has been featured in our newsletter. It is a great opportunity to share picture books with your child and to expand your library without buying additional books. The website does not "read" the book for you, it is like reading a real picture book! If exploring the books with your child, you can read the books in the typical way. You can also have your child click through the pages and retell the story independently. In addition, when you read a digital book on the website, you can click "donate" at the end and it will donate books to schools in need. If you click on this link, the author will read the story to you!

We had a great day and feel very lucky to have the special visitors come to our class. We are excited to keep reading the books online at home and school.

To read along with the story with your very own llama book, you can watch the video of Miss Stephanie reading and signing here:

To see the story in ASL (American Sign Language) click on this link, scroll down, and click on the video that looks like this:

To read along with the PM class and Dr. Ali "Ms. Susan", you can watch the video here:

Other activities:
-You can visit the Llama Llama website and enjoy some fun games and other online activities. 
-Beyond the book activities that came home in backpacks today can be found here.

Description on the U-46 website.

If you click here, you can read the story to you child. For a neat interaction twist, you can click on the photo of the author and she will interact with you about what is happening on the page!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Making Applesauce on Tuesday

Today in class we made our own snack!

We were so excited to make our snack and then eat it!

We made applesauce. This is how we did it:

1. wash apples and hands
2. pick an apple (1 per person)
3. core apple and cut into tiny pieces
4. add apples to pot
5. add sugar, water, cinnamon
6. cook on stove on high until all mushy (at least 45 minutes for 12 apples)

4 apples
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 t Cinnamon
Servings: 4
4 apples = 4 servings

Miss Stephanie promised us that she'd post about this on "our computers" today so we could make applesauce at home. If you make applesauce at home with your family, we'd LOVE to see a picture of it!

Check out our pictures:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Taste Testing Apples

The most exciting part of our week this week was taste testing apple and voting on our favorite. We tried 3 varieties of apples: red, green, and yellow. We tried one slice of each, talked about our thoughts about the taste, and then voted on our favorite. We each had a post it with our name on it and when it was our turn, we walked up to the graph and had to choose the one that was our most favorite.

When we were done, we counted the number of votes for each color. We talked about more and less and figured out the one with the most votes was the biggest number.

The AM class liked RED best.

The PM class liked YELLOW (or mostly yellow) best.

This weekend talk about apple flavors with your family. Make a chart to show the favorite flavor of apple of most of your family members. If you have a chance, you can even go to the grocery store, get 3 types of apples and do your own taste test at home. Count the votes and talk about less and more. What a great way to tie in activities from school to home!

Our chart (click to view larger):

Check out this youtube video with your child about colors. The first one starts with a red apple!

 Here is a great clip of the "Way Up High in the Apple Tree" Song. This isn't the one we have done in class. But it is a popular favorite!

 If you want to learn how to do apple in sign language, check out the video here:

 Please consider leaving a comment this week, letting me know what you enjoy most/get the most use out of on this blog! Or anything else I can include to make it useful as a tool to use with your child.
 -slideshow of pictures
-activities to print out
-videos of songs or stories
-videos of signs
-links with related activities

To comment, click on the comments button at the bottom.
You can comment anonymously, however, please leave your child's initials if you would like so I can respond personally to your comment. If you plan to comment more often (and I would LOVE if you did! What a great way to interact with other parents!) you can set up a free Google account.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Apple Letters

Apples! Apples! Everywhere!

This week we participated in some fun learning activities with apples. One day we picked apples off the apple tree and matched the uppercase letters with apples we picked from a basket. We talked about the names of the letters and matched the letters by looking at them. 

Kids learn to recognize letters at various speed of development. Developmentally, 3 year olds are expected to know 1-2 letters (usually the letters in their name come first), 4 year olds are expected to know at least 10 letters and 5 year olds (going to Kindergarten) are expected to know at least 32 letters. *There are 54 letters we assess kids on, upper and lower case as well as 2 g's (g/g) and 2 a's (a/a).* In our program we include letters in the environment, letter of the week, and daily activities. We sing 1 of our 4 alphabet songs every day. We do not do worksheets or use flashcards. Most kids learn letters when they are ready. Pointing out letters on signs while you are driving, in the grocery store, or pointing out letters on the cereal box while you eat breakfast are some of the best ways to introduce kids to letters. 

Click on this link to do an online letter jigsaw puzzle with your child:

Our letter this week was B! Click on this link to do an online coloring activity of a baker. Our alphabet puppet was a baker. We talked about different things a baker bakes and decided they all sounded yummy!

Check out our slideshow of playing and then participating in our apple picking!