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Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Tribute to Pete the Cat

Have you met Pete the Cat yet?  Pete is this groovy kitty that is the main character in several recent kids' books. 

He first appeared in this book:

The best part of the book (as with all the Pete the Cat books) is the song that goes with it.

As you might imagine, the Little People love it.  In fact, it took about one run through of the book and song combination before all the Little People were clamoring for more Pete the Cat on a daily basis.   I even put the link to the song in our school newsletter, and soon kids and parents alike were singing the song.

When I saw this past fall that Pete had a new book, I admit that I was skeptical.  Despite that fact that Pete had basically attained Rock Star status in our classroom, I just didn't believe that the second book could be as good as the first.  Call me a Sequel Skeptic if you will.

However, when the morning teacher brought the book in a few weeks ago I figured we would give it a go.   I downloaded the song on my phone and let the Little People listen.  As soon we heard it and the Little People started singing along, I saw the error of my ways, as the second Pete the Cat song was truly as fun as the first.

It was only a few after that I hopped on Amazon.com and ordered the second book - and the third, which just came out.  

In addition, I ordered a stuffed Pete the Cat, who now lives in our classroom (when he's not hanging out at my house).   And then I made him a yellow jacket with four groovy buttons that the Little People could remove while we sang the song. Because I was all in, Pete the Cat-wise.

Because where Pete the Cat is concerned (in my opinion), it's all good.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pinterest Project Tryout: Mother's Day Mosaic Suncatchers in Preschool

The Little People made some Window Suncatchers as gifts for Mother's Day last week, and they turned out wonderfully.

I got the idea from this pin on Pinterest that came from this post on the blog Play At Home Mom LLC.
I loved the way the translucent flat marbles and beads looked in the sun and decided that we would try it out.  

Source: playathomemom3.blogspot.com via Julie on Pinterest
I followed all the directions as given on the blog.  We also used frames from a dollar store, and a combination of glass gems and plastic "gems" that I purchased from Discount School Supply, along with some clear buttons I had on hand. The first day of the project I went with the glue that I had, which was your basic white school glue.  However, I then went out and found some clear Elmer's glue, and we loved how that worked.  It dried very nicely, with no haziness at all.  

Here are some of their creations:

This one was done with the regular (non-clear) Elmer's glue.  Even when dry, it didn't look as nice as the ones done with the clear glue.

Of course, the mothers just loved them, and we declared this project a keeper.

Here is my Pinterest Tryout Review:

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Preschool Gifts

On one of the preschool blogs that I recently started following, I noticed the author frequently posts pictures of "gifts" that she finds in the classroom.  If I remember correctly, these were not actual gifts given to her by her children, but instead things she came across in the classroom that showed some display of cleverness or learning or progress by her students.

Unfortunately, now I can not find this specific blog, so I can not link to her "gifts".  However, I am spending quite a lot of time today reading back through Google Reader to find it.  Once I do, I will post the link.

In the meantime, I decided to post some of the "gifts" that I found in my classroom during the past few days:

A fantastic train track.  I admit that I started it, but then the Little People just took over. 

I came across this at one of the tables -  they came, they sorted, and they left.

Again, I do not know why the pictures taken with my phone sometimes refuse to rotate, even after I try several different methods of doing so.  However, I loved this picture and the label name tag that she attached - wonderful.

Monday, May 7, 2012

My Life as a Middle Class Bag Lady

One of my favorite teacher blogs is Teacher Tom.  I pretty much agree with everything (that I've read so far) he says about preschool, and I especially like his posts about disciplines, natural consequences, etc.

One thing he said that I read not long ago (which was actually a quote from another educator) is that preschool teachers are all basically middle-class bag ladies.  Which basically means that we will hunt for, gather, scrounge up and reuse basically anything and everything.

I love this, because it is so very true for me.  One of my most common ways to practice being a Middle Class Bag Lady is by going to yard sales.  Since I live in a place with relatively warm winters, we have yard sales here about year-round.  So it is fairly easy for me to find one, and even easier (once I find one) to find something useful for the Little People.

Last week I had a great find.  A simple digital camera and an MP3 player for $5 each.  Granted, I haven't tried them out yet, but if they do work I think that these could be wonderful things.  Especially the camera.  I'm thinking we can have a new classroom job:  Picture Taker.  They can have the chance to use the camera that day to record their observations.

Or even better, I can send it home with a child a night to take pictures of their homes, their pets, their siblings, etc.  Kind of a digital "All About Me".  Then when they come back I can upload their pictures onto the computer and print them out.  Or perhaps I can keep my eyes open for a digital picture frame that can scroll through all the pictures for the kids to see.

The best part about the camera is, if someone loses it or a sibling breaks it, I'm only out $5.   Which is a risk I'm willing to take for the potential of some really good sharing.