The Little House

I had the kids our first week back after Christmas break. They seemed happy to back in school but were definitely a little tired. I had a fun time reading The Little House with the kids. I wish I had taken more pictures though. It's funny, just when I think "Oh yeah, I've totally got this under control" I remember I'm supposed to be taking pictures!

I've been trying to make singing time a little more exciting so I had the kids color stars that we could wave around for Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

 Oh my, have any of you tried "cutting" with the kids? You are all smart enough to know that these cute kids are not ready for that skill. I thought it would be so fun to color and cut out stars for our Twinkle Twinkle Little Star song but oh no, the kids were not even sure how to hold the scissor let alone cut out their star. Hilarious. 

 The Little House is a very long book so I let the kids get comfortable while we listened to the book on CD. 

I must say there was a precious moment when the kids all realized that the little house didn't like being in the city and he wanted to be back on the green hill. I was really surprised. All of them knew the little house was sad and they were very concerned. The moment came and went so fast but it was cute.

 The kids loved building little houses with blocks. 


The Mitten

We read the book, The Mitten by Jan Brett.  I have to admit I had never heard of this book.  Supposedly it's a classic, but I was unaware, so excuse my ignorance. It's a great book!  We had a lot of fun with it.
After we read the book, we did some line tracing to help Nikki find his lost mitten.  Most of the kids did really well with this - even the curvy lines.
 Then we did letter matching.  I made these animal pinwheels (the animals from the book), and on each clothespin there were two letters (one on each side).  We matched each of the letters with their appropriate animals.  The kids didn't quite know the letter sounds, which I was expecting, but they loved using their fine motor skills trying to clip on the pins.
 Snack time (did we forget to feed them breakfast today? what little pigs)
For some reason my cupboards are pretty bare on preschool days (OK most days), so popcorn tends to be the snack of choice at my house.  Just add some popcorn to a pan, fire up the stove, and voila, a snack. Don't worry, I don't add butter (Shh, the kids didn't notice). 
 Nala seems to handle the chaos quite well. 
 The kids, minus Trevor (he hasn't quite warmed up to the idea of a dog at preschool), give her lots of love and attention (and an occasional tease).  Blake and Stewart are the most enamored with her.  Come on Megan and Kelli, they NEED a dog!  Paper, rock, scissors over who has to get it.
Then we came in and colored our mittens.  The hardest part of this was trying to get them to only color the mitten that went with the color.  Afterward I cut them out and made them into cards.  Hopefully the kids can use them to practice their colors.
 Different day, same scenario.  Stewart and Blake have to know where Nala is at all times.

 On Thursday we talked about knitting.  I showed them my knitting needles and the hat that is on the needles and let them try to knit.  Then I gave them their own mittens to "knit". 
 They all did great with this activity, and it kept their attention for quite awhile.
Then we read the book, and as we read about each animal going into the mitten, we added that animal into our mittens.
 Snack time - popcorn again.  They kept asking for it, so I obliged and took the easy way out again.  It's actually quite comical/amazing to watch them shovel handfuls of popcorn in their mouths.  Nala was right there to clean up the spills.
 Next we came in and did a hunt to find the matching pieces that went to the story.

 We traced the letter 'G' and colored our grandma page (yucky picture, sorry). Then I gave them their mitten coloring cards.  Stewart said it was like Christmas. :) Glad he doesn't have high expectations. We had a great week reading The Mitten!


Noisy Nora

It was so much fun teaching after taking the fall off to have a baby. These Busy Bees are so precious and eager. The first day, we only had Luke, Trevor, and Meggie, as the others were sick. We really missed our other friends. Nora watched for the first few minutes, then took a nap for the rest of the time.

After we read our book, Noisy Nora (we substituted the word "loud" for "dumb", just in case you are worried that we taught your kids how to call names,) we talked about how Nora felt. We talked about being part of a family. All of these kids are middle kids, except Luke, who will soon be one, so we talked about what that is like and how sometimes we have to wait for our parents. Then we looked at the pictures again and said how we thought Nora felt about waiting. She was "mad", "sad", and "didn't want to wait."   We talked about using our words when we feel like that instead of being naughty or noisy, like Nora was.  Then we played Hide & Seek, since Nora hides toward the end of the book. It was so fun to help them play.
 Here is Luke, counting to 10 three times.
 Trevor was "it" next.
 Here are Margaret & Trevor finding Luke behind the drapes in my bedroom.
 After recess and snack, we colored the letter N and then made Noodle Necklaces.

 The kids all said that they were making the Letter N for their mommies, but they were keeping the necklaces for themselves! So cute to listen to them talk while they worked.
 On Thursday, we had Stewart and Ava with us as well. We taught them the Three Blind Mice Song that we learned on Tuesday (our number was 3, since Nora's family had 3 children). Here they are singing Itsy Bitsy Spider. Trevor did not want to sing for the camera. :)
 After we read Noisy Nora again, we talked about noisy and quiet. I showed them about a dozen stuffed animals and they helped me sort them as either noisy or quiet animals. Then we practiced being as quiet as can be, followed by being very noisy. We passed out noisy things and made some noise together. Here they are making noise.
 During outside play time, Luke begged for the light sabers, so the boys dueled. I was worried it might get out of hand, but it did not.

 Instead of a craft, we did a science experiment. In the book, Nora drops her sister's marbles on the kitchen floor. We each took a handful of marbles and dropped them on the hardwood, the stone, and the carpet. We discussed how each sounded and how much the marbles rolled around or scattered on each surface. They loved this experiment and thankfully, I had enough of the jumbo marbles for each Busy Bee to hold one of them along with the regular sized marbles, because that turned out to be very important to them!

 Here is our journal "story" of the day's events.
 Book Look. I love how much they love this part of the day.

Hurry back to our house, Busy Bees! We had so much fun together!


How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Ok, I have learned my lesson!  Procrastinating this post has also made me realize that I hardly remember what we did this week for pre-school!  What I do remember was everyone really loved this book but no one wanted to stand next to the Grinch himself, except Luke. I guess he is pretty scary looking! :)

We improvised this day because I did not have the actual book to read from.  They enjoyed watching it on YouTube.

We painted popsicle sticks and decorated them to make a Christmas tree.  We practiced big to small as we made our trees.

We also made laced stockings....which was a little advanced for this group.  They quickly fizzled out. :)

Their very best grinch/grumpy faces!  I love that Margaret is still smiling, sums her up to a T.  (Sorry Luke was cut off!)

 We had a "Green Day" where everyone wore green.  We made green slime together and played with green playdoh!  
 Wearing green!  (Margaret sported a green bow) :)