Happy Easter

It’s that time of year! We enjoyed coloring eggs yesterday morning (4/12/17). We had many that only colored one egg and I had a few that colored I believe a half a dozen each 😆. Some enjoyed it more than others!

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They took their dyed eggs home with them in a “nest” (rolled down paper bag) I didn’t get a picture of them, but they were adorable.

Today was our Easter Egg Hunt.  It was a great success, the 2’s and 3’s had their hunt first, then the 4’s and 5’s did their hunt. We had a golden egg for both classes, inside was a dollar!  We enjoyed a special Easter snack afterwards on the porch.

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Here are the 2’s and 3’s heading out to hunt!

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Here is our winner of the Golden Egg.

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Here are a few pictures of the 4’s and 5’s hunting eggs. They were quicker and I didn’t get a picture of the Golden Egg winner from that class! They mean business!

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It was a beautiful day for an Egg Hunt.  I hope everyone has a great Easter weekend!

Miss Susie

Budding Photographers 

“You don’t take a photograph. You make it.” -Ansel Adams   

We worked on photography today during outdoor classroom. Children’s photography is really magical. It’s a new way to see through their eyes. They capture what’s important to them.  

I can’t wait to see how these turn out! 

– Miss Amber

Have Water, Will Play

Yesterday a summer shower came. It lasted only a few minutes, but it left the children a glorious gift…

  
… A giant puddle! 

Their imaginations went into overdrive and fun was had by all. 

  
A chair on a stump became a life guard stand.  

 
Pieces of drift wood became surf boards.

  

And before long everyone joined the “beach party”! 

-Miss Amber

 

Holy Rollies and the Wilderness

It’s Monday and at Miss Amy’s that means “Outdoor Classroom”.  We take a short journey to a nearby park and explore what mother nature has to offer. The children look forward to it and it’s the perfect cure for the Monday blues. We let them guide themselves and try not to intervene too much. Today we brought clay for impression making, their sketch books, pastel chalks, charcoal, pencils, and a bug net.

The park we visit is beautiful but it is far from a jungle or even a forest, but the kids always equate our visits to being in the wilderness. They seem to go into foraging mode almost instantly.

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A feather collection is started

The bug net spiked their interests immediately. They caught and observed a firefly, dragonfly, and an earwig.

 

Then one little boy noticed some decaying wood under a tree. He lifted up the wood and exclaimed, “Look Holy Rollies!”. One of the older kids said, “Do you mean Roly Poly’s ? They like to live under wood!”. The younger boy agreed that that’s what he meant, but for the rest of the day almost everyone referred to them as holy rollies.

-Miss Amber

Cry Wolf!

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Barter Stage II

At Miss Amy’s we are so lucky to operate in a town that has so many interesting things to do and see. One of our favorite experiences is the Barter Theatre. The Barter is  one of the longest running professional theatres in the nation. We are very blessed that they offer a troupe of actors (The Barter Players) that specialize in performances for young audiences.

Every year the children look forward to watching the plays. It’s a big deal to them! They get a little “dressed up” and they work on using their best manners. We walk through our wonderful town exploring the sights.

We couldn’t have a trip to Stage II without stopping at the “wishing fountain”.

Then we were off to the show. We saw “Cry Wolf“. It’s a fantastic play written by the wonderful Catherine Bush. It was a mash-up of many classic stories. The kids absolutely loved it! They were on the edge of their seats for the entire show. It’s my absolute favorite thing to watch first timers when the lights dim. They have no idea what’s about to happen, but are immediately captivated  every time.  It is so rewarding for them to witness kind of art!

This quote from a Huffington Post article, entitled How Theater for Young People Could Save the World  really illustrates the benefits the children get from the experience.

” Theater is like a gym for empathy. It’s where we can go to build up the muscles of compassion, to practice listening and understanding and engaging with people that are not just like ourselves. We practice sitting down, paying attention and learning from other people’s actions. We practice caring.”

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We had a fantastic time at the theatre. You might have heard us howling all the way home…

-Miss Amber

 

Trike-A-Thon

Recently we held our annual Trike-A-Thon. We have done this for 22 years. We use this as an opportunity to raise money for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and to teach the children about bicycle safety. We have raised over $31,000 over the past years. The children look forward to this every year. They are always very excited to show off their bikes and helmets. Every year I am astonished at how determined they are to help the children and families at St. Jude’s. Even our smallest friends seem to know they are riding for a purpose. The children did a total of 874 laps between all three classes and would have probably doubled that if it hadn’t started raining!

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Thanks to all the parents, family and friends that made and have made donations!

When it’s Spring…

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My class has had “Spring Fever” for about a month now. They are (not so patiently)awaiting everything that Spring has to offer. I hear, “When it’s Spring…”, multiple times a day. They have plans, plans for baby chicks and planting seeds. They are planning on not wearing jackets, “only tank tops”. They are already planning their egg hunting strategies.

We are close, but frosty mornings are an excellent reminder that we’re not there yet! I gave in a little though, and read, “When Spring Comes…” by Robert Maass

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Miss Amy added some themed items to our lacing and weaving table. The kids really enjoyed working with those. They loved feeling the fuzzy rabbits and attaching “rainbows”  to the table.

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The kids are also very excited about the prospect of new life. Everyone suddenly has a new baby, boys, girls, mermaids, and dinosaurs alike. This kind of play promotes gentleness and caring. As a teacher and a caregiver it’s amazing to see how much the kids pick up on from just observing their parents.

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A "dad" driving his kids to the park

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Spring will be here before they know it, but waiting is the hardest part.

-Miss Amber

Water Play

  
Fridays are a big deal around here in the Summer because that is our official water play day! It is the most popular activity we do in the summer. The children absolutely love it and they are learning as they go! 

Water play fosters learning in all developmental areas. It provides opportunities for children to experiment with math and science concepts, strengthen their physical skills, advance their social and emotional skills, and enhance language development (Crosser, 1994; Hendrick, 1996).

 
   
    
  -Miss Amber

 

Cowboy Camp

Howdy! Last week  at Miss Amy’s was our first music camp of the summer! It was Cowboy themed. We worked hard and had A LOT of fun!   

We started our mornings off by going over the cowboy code, listening to cowboy songs, and coloring! 

When Miss Janet, our music teacher, arrived the real fun started ! She taught the kids some wonderful cowboy songs! They sang and danced and even learned how to play recorders!  

  
After singing and dancing it was time for crafts! We did so many and the kids works very hard on them. I liked them all, but I think the pool noodle horses were my favorite! 

  
     

We love to play so we couldn’t forget games!  The kids had a blast tossing horseshoes and racing on the pony express! They learned how to milk a “cow” and even tried their luck at panning for gold, and I’m sure they will always remeber to check their boots for snakes !  

  On the last day of camp the kids put on a wonderful performance for their parents!   They learned so much and were eager to show off a little! It was a busy week but I know the can’t wait until our next camp! 
-Miss Amber 

Busy Bees 

The kids in my class have been desperate to try to make something out of Papier-mâché. It is a long process and can be challenging. We searched for the right project for their skill and interest level and came up with hornets nests. We have had a real one in our classroom for most of the year. The children enjoy examining it and sketching it. 

 
They love  insects so much this time  of a year I knew this would be a perfect project! So far it has been ideal. The “nest” is a simple shape and though this is a long process the children can easily visualize what they are working toward. 

   
 

-Miss Amber