Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Finishing up December...

Sorry it's been awhile since my last post... busy, busy, busy is all I can say. We celebrated the graduation of my oldest as he just finished nursing school... yea!!! We took care my second youngest who was sick with numerous problems and ended up with a ruptured ear... owww! We drove to Hyde Park, NY to pick up our second son from the Culinary Institute of America... so nice to have extra hands in the kitchen! We had a lovely Christmas that I thoroughly enjoyed... I love Christmas!!! And we celebrated our 25-th wedding anniversary with a big surprise from my husband... we renewed our vows, was given this beautiful ring, and had a spectacular dinner made by him and my culinary son. Of course, this was all a surprise to me!

As for the daycare... it too is hectic and busy along with overly excited anticipation of Christmas. We didn't get everything I wanted to get done this season, but I think we got pretty many things done along with our normal learning time.

We learned about the letter Kk the past couple weeks... with the snow and winter storm we had low numbers last week so I combined many activities into the past two weeks and this week is only a three day week with the Christmas holiday. As we always do we learned the letter Kk song from Mrs. Jones Kindergarten site and completed a letter book.

We took a trip to Holland and looked at pictures from Holland and talked about different things we saw. We talked about and made windmills.

We talked about wooden shoes and the history behind them. We also talked about St. Nicholas day and made a wooden shoe in which we put carrots and hay and then pretended to go to sleep so St. Nicholas could take the carrot and hay and replace them with a gift. They had fun role playing this.

Our next stop was Italy. We talked and looked at pictures of Italy. We then discussed how in Italy most churches have a nativity. We made a nativity scene.

We made a Christmas paper angel ornament.

A handprint and footprint angel.

And we painted a wooden angel as part of our parent gift from the children.

We then started running out of time and made a few more Christmas ornaments for the parent gifts. I found these fun foam kits at Walmart and the children really enjoyed making them.

We used our dot-r-markers to make wreaths.

We fingerpainted a Rudolph.

And made a paper bag Santa puppet all before Christmas.

Our Christmas party was a lot of fun. The children enjoyed opening new toys that stay in the daycare... a wooden train, magna doodle pads, a dollhouse van, puzzles, and matchbox cars. They have been having a lot of fun with these items. They also each took home a memory game.

After Christmas we talked about Africa and looked at some pictures. We talked about the holiday Kwanzaa and its origin. We made a kinara and a fruit bowl in celebration of Kwanzaa.

We made three different snowmen... a paper piece snowman, a cotton ball snowman, and a fingerpainted snowman.

We reviewed some numbers and did a number/counting recognition paper.

Lastly, we talked about New Year's Day and how and why we celebrate it. We made a New Year's resolution and the dropping New Year's ball (although it's not dropping).

Thank you for looking over all the projects and learning we did. I hope to see you back in the New Year! Hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Second Week of December...

Welcome December!!!

Our December calendar is an ABCD pattern in which the children are doing really well with. Most know the days of the week and can tell what today is, what yesterday was, and what tomorrow will be. I love the calendar because there are so many concepts you can teach with it. We also have our name shapes at the bottom where the children practice spelling their names, saying their names, and this month we are learning our birth dates.

This week we had some snow.

So we had some fun outdoors surrounded by the snow. I don't have them bring snowpants anymore so we just do some driveway fun.

We put up our snowy days on our felt weather board.

We had fun with our new name plates in which we trace our first and last name on the front and then print our first name on our own on the back with dry erase markers. Our name plates are laminated, so dry erase markers wipe off nicely.

I started what I call "Our Yearbooks" which are basically portfolio's that the parents will get at the end of the year. I keep all kinds of samples of their work and some pictures. We always begin each month by doing a coloring paper for the month. I hope that by the end of the year we see some coloring improvements.

This week was letter Jj week. We do a lot to learn to recognize the letter, know the letter sound, and hear the sound at the beginning of picture words. We accomplish this by doing many activities. A few of the activities are we do a Letter Jj song each day found on Mrs. Jones Kindergarten Class site. We use many phonemic awareness skills while singing the song and discovering letter Jj words.

I also make a Letter Book for each child that covers an array of skills that empahsis the letter Jj. Here are some pictures of my book.

We worked on the number one. We counted sets of one, made sets of one, found the numeral one, and traced/wrote the numeral one. Here is a sample of some of our work.

We also worked on the circle shape. We found circles in a mixture of shapes, went on a shape hunt looking for circles in our daycare room, and worked on a few activity sheets.

We started our tour around the world finding out about different countries and some of their winter holidays. Our first stop was Mexico. We had fun talking about Mexico, finding out where it is on the globe, counting in spanish, doing the Mexican Hat Dance, singing "Feliz Navidad", acting out the Las Posadas celebration and making a few crafts.

We made ourselves wearing a sombrero and poncho and making a poinsettia.

We also practiced hitting a pinata with a paper towel tube.

Our next stop was Germany. We again looked at many pictures of Germany, discovered where it was on the globe, learned how to say Merry Christmas in German, and learned about some of the traditions in Germany during this holiday season. We learned that families put up Christmas trees and that the first Christmas trees were decorated with edible things... like gingerbread cookies. We fingerpainted and then decorated a gingerbread boy, did a matching gingerbread boy activity, and made a tissue paper Christmas tree this week.

In the afternoon, after snack, we do learning stations. During this time I set out activities for the children to explore and learn with. These are some of this weeks activities.

Our Christmas sensory tub and water tub activity.

An art activity they can do on there own... glue cotton balls on Santa's beard.

and a cutting activity... collage stockings was our other art activity.

Working with the felt board

Jelly bean magnet page found at Confessions of a Homeschooler

Jelly bean letter Jj sort also found at Confessions of a Homeschooler

Jelly bean shape matching puzzles also found at Confessions of a Homeschooler

A Christmas Tree color sort

And a Christmas Presents Builder found on my site

It was a busy week, but we learned a lot and had a lot of fun.