Road Under Contruction

The past few days there have been a few boys making a new road (on the sidewalk in the sand box) . I’m not certain who started by putting all the sand on the sidewalk but it made an opportunity to start contruction and so the work began.

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They told me “we have to make the road flat”. They have tried to keep everyone out of the contruction zone the best they could, not everyone listened so they would have to redo some of it over and over.

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I ask what equipment they were using, so they showed me and told me what they were.

1. Front end loaders

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2. Flatner (roller)

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3. Dumptruck

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4. Monster truck (I think it’s a piece of broken heavy equipment)

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5. Car

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6. The woo woo car (aka police car)

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Once the first crew finished up there came a new crew in.  I don’t think they even realized they were helping make the road, they were just pushing the sand around! But they were having fun.

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Then they all drifted away to do something else.

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Miss Susie

We go to Collage

In early childhood, it is the process not the product that guides us. Children dwell in the present moment.  Art is simply an exploration of thought, of feelings, and sometimes just an experience of the senses. The colors, the feel of the brush or the paint on fingers, the materials…

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Today we played with collage. Cardboard canvases were painted in colors the children mixed to their liking last week and then layered with “bits” from our tinker trays.

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The product just happened to be beautiful. But that was, of course, not the purpose.IMG_0994

 

Miss Lori, Atelierista

Tis the season of growth.

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                    Happy Arbor Day!
Here at Miss Amy’s we have planted several saplings. Pictured, you can see from left to right; Washington Hawthorn, American Redbud and Sargent Crabapple. We made wire cages for our young trees to protect them a little until they are big enough to fight for themselves, so to speak.

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We have also planted a garden; carrots, onions, Swiss Chard, beets, peas, potatoes and spinach. Next month we will plant even more crops and add an other garden. As you can see, there is a path right through the middle of the vegetable garden for easy access by all. The children are enjoying this new adventure and are eager to help.

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Here is a close up of some of our seedlings. From left to right; cauliflower, broccoli and kale.

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We also have a strawberry patch and a black currant bush which are both in bloom at the moment.

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On our porch, a Robin has decided to nest and she is now lying on her eggs. We are all looking forward to seeing the little chicks in the not too distant future. She may be a little surprised at the noise level in the coming weeks though. When she built her nest the weather was a lot cooler than it is now… We will all do our very best not to disturb her or her chicks.

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Speaking of nests and birds… We have our very own pet chicken! Her name is Minerva Louise. We have raised her since she was just a few days old, which is now several years ago. Minerva Louise has been very busy these last couple of months, laying about one egg every single day.

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Plants and birds are not the only things that have been busy growing here at Miss Amy’s. Several of our children have been asking to be measured to make sure that they are actually getting taller. Some children check their height several times a day, just to be on the safe side. One girl wanted me to measure her with the yard stick and we concluded that yes, she was in fact taller than the yard stick itself, and she would never be smaller than it ever again! She was not quite convinced so she came back several times to compare herself next to it. To her great relief she had not shrunk one little bit! We talk about growing taller and growing bigger a lot, as you can probably imagine. I tell the children that they all grow a little bit taller every day. This is very exciting to young children. The older kids are not quite so sure about that, so I like to add that they may only grow a very small bit every day, so that they may not notice it. This reassures most of them. Many times I have heard that “You are growing taller too, Miss Maria!” I try to explain that you will eventually stop growing, when you have reached the hight you are supposed to be, and after that if you keep growing it is just your waistline that grows a little wider but that is usually something we adults do not really like so much…

Let’s hope that we never stop growing, socially and emotionally and that we learn something new every day, for as long as we shall live!

Have a great weekend and plant a tree in honor of Arbor Day!

– Miss Maria

We Are Family.

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All week I have been thinking about what my blog entry this week would be about. I tried to think of a unique angle or an interesting subject, and until yesterday, Thursday, I still had no idea what the subject was going to be…

All week I watched and took part in the childrens’ trials and triumphs.

Growing up is hard work!

There is so much to discover and so much to learn. There are so many complicated rules to follow and just when they think that they know them all there is a new one to learn! There is so much that the children want to try to do by themselves and so many skills not yet mastered…

Frustration, anger, fear and sadness, as well as the thrill of discovery, of mastery and of growth. These are all emotions bubbling up inside a preschoolers mind.

I watched children solving problems together, completely on their own and children taking turns and helping eachother. I watched as a 4-year-old boy helped his 2-year-old friend put her shoes on for her, without any prompting from a teacher!

There is so much love!!💟

I have dried tears, received hugs and high fives and celebrated someone’s mile stone. I have tried to understand exactly what was bothering a child who was experiencing a huge temper tantrum (as were the rest of us…).

As the week progressed, I tried to spend face time with each and every child. I really tried to pay attention, to really listen and try to understand what is happening to these young children on their journey, passing through here at Miss Amy’s.

The other day, I forgot that the group of 3,5-year-old girls that I was laughing with were in fact not my peers but children in my care (oh how lucky I am!).

Children pay so much attention to adults and to eachother. They want to do good and they want to be helpful. Please give children ‘real’ things to help with. They know if you make up a task just for the sake of finding them something to do!

The first children I had in preschool, many years ago when I was a teacher’s aide, will be finishing their first year of college next month! I think of these, my former students and wonder what they are doing now.

Being a preschool teacher to me is an ongoing job that does not end at the end of my work day or when they graduate from my class! We are family, of sorts, and families are forever.

– Miss Maria.

Take Flight 

The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it. – Peter Pan

Every year around this time my class becomes obsessed with flight. They talk about it, they try to do it, they draw it. Their entire day seems to become centered around flight.  This year is no different. A lot of my kids this year are more technical, scientific, and hands on as opposed to my class last year that dreamed of fairies and caring for birds.  

Lego planes are quite popular with boys and girls! 

 

 Our recycled art is taking off too! They have found ways to use old cardboard and marker lids to create planes and space satilights. 

 

  

  The block center is being used to make gigantic satelights that are ready for orbit.   

Even the fish aren’t exempt… 

 

“Miss Amber the fish aren’t swimming they are flying through the water!”

-Miss Amber

Rainy Day Play

Well it has been a rainy morning. After music this morning we decided to stay out and play some on the porch.
            We got the bubbles out!

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They enjoyed blowing bubbles and then catching them, but if someone popped their bubble they got upset. Jasmine even discovered she could put her finger back up inside the bubble and it didn’t even pop!

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We had the chalk out. Leighton was coloring the mortar with blue chalk, he said it was water and the stones were Islands!

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They took hula hoops and made a hopping game with them and some even tried hula hooping!

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We gave two balls to them, they tried really hard to share. Some did better with sharing than others. They figured out a way to play a game with four of them playing.

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We also have a playhouse on the porch. They started out climbing upon it but soon discovered it could be a train!

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In spite of all the rain they were able to enjoy their time outside using their imagination!

Miss Susie

Preschool Rules According to Four and Five Year Olds

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Every morning I like to have breakfast with my class. I enjoy sitting down with them and having conversations with them while they eat. One morning last week they started making up “rules” on how to be a successful preschooler. They  are as follows:
0. Don’t ever swallow a big dog! ( Clifford )
1. Never punch yourself in the eye, on purpose or by accident.
2. Never stick things up your nose.
3. Pinecones are bad, don’t  do anything with them.
4. If your a girl, don’t ever shave your head.
5. Bricks are not for eating.
6. Don’t kiss spiders.
48. You shouldn’t eat the hair off your head.
81. Lasers don’t belong in  your eyes.
85. Don’t eat snakes.
81,004. Never swallow a bumble bee.
Infinity. Don’t eat an octopus.
Infinity and two. Glass is dangerous.
Infinity and 89. Don’t cut your hair with scissors made of glass, it could get ugly.

– Miss Amber

Mondays are for the Birds…

Feeling warm temperatures on our skin, watching flowers bloom and hearing birds sing, we welcome Spring inside and outside of school these days.

And speaking of birds, Miss Maria inspired our art today by bringing in an abandoned birds’ nest from her yard. Left on the table for study, the children marveled at the materials used by the birds in making the nest: sticks, weeds, plastic bits, even (ironically) a plastic flower. So, as it happens in the atelier, we began making our own birds nests using different materials that we thought mimicked those the birds used.

One child used Wiki Stix to build a nest…and then place a “dolphin bird” in it:

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We also explored molding a burlap scrap over a bowl. The child working on this project sewed bits of yarn into the burlap to make it more nest looking, then added bits from our tinker bins to it. We mod podged it together and used clothes pins to shape it. It will be interesting to see what kind of bird will be made tomorrow to live in this nest!

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And because it was a beautiful Spring morning, we had to go out and feed the birds as well. Using the leftover halves of lemons and oranges that had been hollowed out, we filled them with bird seed and hung them from our favorite tree.

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And also because the children must always be allowed to follow their bliss in the art room too, we painted some beautiful things just for the sheer joy of it!

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—Miss Lori, Atelierista

Easter Egg Hunt

Today was our “Easter Egg Hunt” and what a beautiful day for it. While the kiddo’s were napping the “Easter Bunny” dropped off lots and lots of eggs.

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So after nap time and our snack we opened the door and out they went running to find eggs.

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They had so much fun. We had some that had their baskets running over with eggs and some that only had a few eggs. There were even a couple that would pick up eggs then throw them back down.

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When the 2 and 3 year olds finished Miss Amber’s class came out to find a yard full of eggs also.

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They had actually picked earlier in the morning what color of eggs they each would find. This really worked out nicely, I didn’t see anyone get upset because they weren’t finding many eggs.

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After all the eggs were found they each got a medal and a bottle of bubbles.

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Also today was the first day everyone was able to get on our new grass. They were having a blast, they were rolling all over it as if they had never been on grass before.

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Happy Easter everyone!

Miss Susie