"The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiousity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards." Anatole France
What to do...what to do...
Fortunately, my "classroom" is my home...there is a secluded safety in knowing that all the children in my care are tucked away in our little cul-de-sac... That being said, I am very aware that danger can strike anywhere at any moment. Do we have a plan for if a stranger come barrelling through our door...yes! Do we talk about and think about what we would do, where we would go, how we would keep the children safe...yes! Thankfully, the times I have been faced with keeping a group of children safe were not met with a gun in my face, but rather a disgruntled, non-custodial parent who had spent a bit too much time belly-up to a bar. It has happened, it probably will again, and thankfully, THANK GOD, I have been able to diffuse the danger and think fast enough to keep everyone safe and under my protective watch.
In light of the recent loss of the precious lives in Connecticut I look intently at the children while they rested and thought, "What would I do if a gunman shattered our front door?" "How would I return these children safely to their frantic mommas and daddies at days end?" I have prayed, I have cried, I have sought God for the answer.
This, I believe, is His reply for us...at this time...2 Timothy 1:7 "I have not given you a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." This, to me, says it all. Our children, in our presence, must feel the safety they have in us being UNfearful. Our confidence gives them the courage they need to explore the world they live in and, as they are ready and are mature enough, begin to understand that dogs bite and bees sting. But while they are still so small, let's protect their innocence. They cannot protect themselves. I have a ban on discussing anything but L.O.V.E. and F.U.N. while these little children are in our presence. We can make our plans "A" and when that fails, our plans "B" and "C," but all they need to know, at this tender age, is that we will love and protect them.
The world will see to it, all on its own, to show them otherwise. But, while they are little, and while they are mine, they will see love...
Now...onto the fun!
"D" is for DECK THE HALLS...and the floors and windows..and..and..and!
This week we began studying the letter "D" and since it IS Christmastime, we decided that "D" is for "Deck The Halls!"
Decorating is an EASY task with preschool children... Just ask one to help you "decorate" anything and you will have more help than you can handle :)))!!
We started by decorating our take home felt Christmas trees. We talked about colors, we talked about shapes, we talked about sizes and comparisons and placement and fish! Fish?? Yes, fish... The children wanted to decorate their tree with FISH! Fortunately that is an easy shape for me to cut out, so they each went home with pretend baubles for their blue spruce and FISH! Soooo CUTE!
We also "decked" out our numbers for a numbers book we are creating...
He's making a list and checking it twice!
This sweet project gave me an opportunity to do something I LOVE doing in a day, spend a few moments totally focused on each and every child individually...
We made lists for Santa and (mommas and daddies!) of each child's favorite things. I paid special attention to those items each child favors heavily in their days with me.
I painted each little hand and pressed it upside-down on a legal sized envelope, added stars and and trunk to make a hand-print Christmas tree. We then continued making handprints onto heavy cardstock to insert into each envelope so that each family would have a little keepsake of this years likes, and their little prints for posterity!
Each child was so excited to complete these. I think the families were just as delighted to receive them as the children were to give them!
Oh Christmas Tree...
Soooo...when I am going through the daily "to-do's" list with my sweet assistant I USUALLY say, "This project will be an explosion...but its just SOOO GOOD for them!" And then I go onto explain why we need to fingerpaint, cut playdough, mix ingrediants for hours on end, glitter glue, splatter paint, chalk the entire backyard (trees included), write our names with dirt, mud, branches, crayons, glue, chalk, dry erase markers...you name it. That is the daily conversation I have with my teachers... Everytime I say it I feel a little de'ja' vu (imagine that!!)! This little project did not disappoint... We used stickers, PUDDLES of glue and plastic gemstones. We then cut and taped the cardstock into standing trees so that each child could have a Christmas tree for their own room at home. As I cut and reattached the gemstones kept popping off everywhere. I even drank one as I guzzled my 5th cup o' joe! It took me just a second to realize what I had swallowed. I was just thankful it wasn't some crazy bug :)! But, it was a fun project and it turned out so sweet...
Santa, Santa, HO! HO! HO!
As a child of the 70's and 80's I just LOVE it when I get to revisit some of my childhood favorites! Since the holiday's are upon us, and who doesn't L.O.V.E. a good cookie...AND we were studying the letter "C" last week, it seemed a given that this blast from the past would pop up! We decided to cover the topic of cookies, as in the Gingerbread Man primarily, to fully experience letter "C" week. We watched this cute little clip numerous times and practiced singing it just like Cookie Monster! We sang it HIGH and LOW and with all the growly monster goodness we could muster. We also practiced our sign language C and reviewed letters A and B as in the video below... Moms and Dads, practice these at home as well for added emphasis and memory retention, but don't be discouraged if your little one can't keep up with the video. It's hard for us adults to keep up. We are all learning together!
The ASL Alphabet
Run, Run, Run As Fast As You Can!
We have been reading several different versions of The Gingerbread Man this week and coordinating activities to emphasize different aspects of the book. One of the children's favorite "tag-a-long" activities has been Gingerbread Man Chase!
The children pretend to be different characters from the book; the fox, the old woman and old man, the cow, the horse, etc... We then assign several "gingerbread folks" as the ones to be chased. The gingerbread folk squeal while running, "Run, run, run as fast as you can! Can't catch me I'm the Gingerbread Man!" The other children pretend to be their characters and say, "But Gingerbread Man, we just want to talk to you!" Then, the chase is ON! The run, squeal and chase one another and in the fray they forget who is who and its just a big game of RUN! It has been so fun to watch. They take so much time carefully deciding who they want to be and then when everyone is running and chasing and laughing and having fun, they forget and simply enjoy the moment. I love watching their play.
What else did we do this week???
Welcome Miss Melissa!
We want to take a moment to welcome a new helper. Ms. Melissa comes to us with youthful energy and sweetness to spare! We are so happy she is with us and she is a great addition to our school family! WELCOME!!!
Life is made of moments...
"There isn't anything more full of hope, joy and peace than a child's smile... It captures the mundane and makes it extraordinary." - LaDonna Woolsey
I am a Mother Goose Time Blogger. I decided to become one after trying their products because I they are comprehensive and serve my mixed age group well. I do receive products to review from Mother Goose Time and do so with my own honest and thorough opinions. For more information, please contact me at Ladonna@woolseyacademy.com