The Nutcracker

I had so much fun doing The Nutcracker with the Busy Bees. We read the version shown below by Susan Jeffers. I love this version-- it is perfect for preschoolers. The illustrations are beautiful with the right amount of words on a page. It also nicely tells the message of The Nutcracker while incorporating scenes from the ballet.

After we read the story, we talked about ballet and how it can tell a story. We also talked about the music in the ballet and learned a little of Peter Tchiakovsky who composed it. We looked at sheet music from the The Dance for the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Then we listened to a few samples of the music (noticing different sounds in marches, waltzes, lyrical pieces, etc.) from the ballet and watched a few scenes. The kids really loved the scene where the Nutcracker defeats the Mouse King.

Then we headed off to the tables for crafts. We painted nutcracker ornaments.

For math and science, we looked at walnuts and almonds noticing the difference between them. We cracked the nuts in half. It was exciting and a little scary for them!

Finally, book look. Christmas books under the tree... It doesn't get any better than that!

We ran out of time to make sugar plum treats (recipe here) and act out the story, which was a bummer. But it was still a fun week!


12/12/ 2011

Room for a Little One

The Busy Bees are doing so good with listening and following directions. On Monday we learned about the symbols of Christmas and what they stand for. We worked on write our numbers and counting. For the craft we made a Merry Mouse which I thought was adorable. The only thing the kids cared about was if they got a candy cane and when could they eat it.
On Wednesday we colored an Elf. The kids loved it!! Here are the only pictures I took... The busy bees showing off their Elfs.

They worked very hard at coloring them, try to stay in the lines.


In Need of Some Posts

Just a friendly reminder, if you haven't posted about your preschool week, please do so.  Even if it was a few weeks ago, we'd love to have a few snippets of what you did that week.  I'm using this blog to make our end-of-year book, and I would love every week to be represented.  Please.........and thank you for doing such a good job so far at documenting this fun year.

Krispy Kreme Field Trip

Our last field trip was to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  
 Everyone, big and small, enjoyed our field trip destination. Ryan is just one of many "little busy bees" that accompany us on these excursions.
The boys checking out the machines and sugar that make the doughnuts.

Susan taught us where doughnuts came from and how they got their name.  She also taught us the difference between a ring doughnut and a shell doughnut. 
Look how good these kids are. They all did really well during the tour.  They listened and didn't try to touch the machines.  What good kids!
Going behind the scenes.
We got to see all the different kinds of doughnuts they make (i.e. red velvet, lemon, filled, glazed, dipped, seasonal, etc.).  I was surprised at the variety, but I still think the glazed is the best - granted I've only tried 2 or 3 other kinds. Not a qualified judge, I know.
Learning how they fill the shell doughnuts.
Watching how they dip the chocolate doughnuts.  Don't you just want to put a finger in that huge bowl of chocolate and take a lick? Good thing I don't work there.
Learning about the doughnut machine that flips the doughnuts over to cook on both sides.
The kids all got a small piece of dough to feel and stretch.
And the best part............testing the merchandise!
All the kids got a free chocolate dipped sprinkle doughnut. YUMMY!

Sydney was pleased with the product.
Afterward we took some doughnuts and a card to a couple elderly ladies.  The kids sang Jingle Bells to them as well.
All the kids took turns ringing the doorbell and knocking on the door. :)  If she wasn't awake before, she definitely was after we showed up.


Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas
We had a great week at preschool following the Thanksgiving holiday! The kids were so excited to read Twas the Night Before Christmas and learn Christmas songs for our field trip next week. We talked about what we wanted for Christmas during writers workshop. I want a clean house and someone wants a spider – I wish I could remember who it was! Noah was really exicted about his new bunk bed and Bronwen was lucky that she had pumpkin pie for dessert last night! After snack we took a picture of our multicolored tongues from the fruit roll-ups. On Friday we were able to make cookies and eat them for snack!
During math we talked about the countdown until Christmas. Emily helped us make the Christmas chain to help us with the countdown. We ran out of red and green construction paper, so only two lucky preschoolers were able to take home a chain (the last ones to leave on Friday J). It was a fun project, so if you have construction paper – maybe you can make some at home.

During craft time, we were all tempted by mini marshmallow snowmen. Luckily there were a few marshmallows left after making the snowmen so we were all able to enjoy a handful. The kids did great placing the marshmallows all around the snowman they colored. They counted the dots for the buttons, eyes, and mouth.
The kids also did great with making their very own snowflakes. Emily decorated her entire wall, so the kids saw some beautiful examples. Everyone was very responsible with the scissors and no one cut their hair! They really enjoyed unfolding their paper to see their creation. The kids cut lots of shapes in their snowflakes like triangles, diamonds, and squares.
We had fun with the phonics lessons. We learned about the letters U and V. We were able to use an umbrella and go on a Very V Vacation. Calli really wants a volcano picture! This was a fabulous week and we had a blast working on Christmas and winter themed projects. Thank you everyone for coming on Friday instead of Wednesday.
 Next week is the field trip to Krispy Kreme and caroling to sisters in the ward!


I know an old lady who swallowed a pie

What a fun week leading up to Thanksgiving break!   The kids were really into I know an old lady who swallowed a pie.  By Wednesday, they could tell me what she would eat next without me reading it.    On Monday we made  paper plate pumpkin pies, which I don't have pictures of.  It was fun to see the kids trying to cut their pie in four pieces and sprinkling glitter on it.  Wednesday we did a different twist from the book and talked about the things we were thankful for and made hand print thankful trees.  I few of my favorite answers....all of which they came up with on their own:  toilet paper and helping Mom with the dryer.  I think they really caught on to the things that they loved in their life. :) 

Happy Thanksgiving!

A few pictures from the week:

Sydney and Bronwen doing play-doh at free play

Our math lesson one day was Turkey shape count.  They had to count how many ovals and triangles on their turkeys.

Noah and Evan during Centers.  Spelling their names with magnet letters.

A few of their thankful trees.


The Runaway Pumpkin

The kids had a terrific time with The Runaway Pumpkin.  We took a walk on Tuesday and rolled pumpkins down the hill.  We used this as a math lesson as well - counted the number of times it rolled over. 
On Thursday, we all dressed up and went trick or treating.  Ryder at first had a Captain America costume on, but changed his mind and decided he didn't want a costume.  Instead he pretended he was a zombie.  I wish you could have seen it- he walked just like a zombie.  He was so cute. 
The second math lesson was also tied into the book as we made pumpkin muffins.  We talked about fractions in cooking.  I think it was a bit over their heads, however, Bronwen and Noah were especially interested. 
The kids were pretty good.  At one point, they were all being too noisy, as I was trying to do the journal writing.  I used my stern voice and told them to be quiet.  Little Ryder looked up at me and said, "My mom is nice to me."  He cracks me up.                                                                                            ------Christine 
Crafts and projects from The Runaway Pumpkin week.


The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything

This week (actually, last week) we read the book, "The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything".  In the book the lady is followed by items that make up a scarecrow.  I used my hideous plant hooks that still adorn my ceilings to tie up all the items for our scarecrow. 

Writers Workshop.  I really like this.  I couldn't wait to see Noah's book, and when I read through it I about died.  I watch T.V.  was almost every story. :)  WHAT!!  I was laughing so hard.  Some of the other stories were great as well. 

Getting ready for the book.  The kids got used to me saying, "Wait, I need a picture".  It's second nature to my kids, but the others caught on quickly.

Our activity and craft was to make our own scarecrow.  We got all the clothes down from the ceiling and then the kids stuffed him with straw.  

Evan and Noah stuffing the pants

Paige, Noah and Evan lasted the longest with the straw stuffing.  The others petered out slowly and Calli said the straw was too itchy. :)

Ryder and Noah sorting money (looks more like tossing money) for centers.

Lincoln and Evan looking over snake, reptile and bug books. 

Calli and Paige making colander creations.

My two cheesers - Bronwen and Sydney doing robot and fairy magnet things. 
Our letters were O and P.  We learned about Ollie's Octopus Stew.  The kids got to see what 'O' things Ollie put in his stew and stir away. 
We didn't actually do this one since we ran out of time (since we didn't do letters for the party I tried to do both this day), but this pretend pennies store was going to be a cute one. 
The kids practicing their O's and P's.  They were excited to write on my windows.  I told them fairly sternly that they can ONLY write on my windows, so hopefully they don't try this at home.

And finally, we all (well, I just realized that Callie is MIA - she must have followed Lincoln in after he got his picture taken :) ) took turns getting their picture taken with our scarecrow.  They were so excited and proud to come out and see him all put together.  What a fun week.