According to my very sophisticated and highly scientific method of writing names on paper and drawing one out, it looks like Michelle will have a new book to read as she sips her hot chocolate on a snowy day! Congratulations, Michelle! And thank you all for sharing your snowy day ideas! I love hearing from you! I hope to have more give-aways in the future, but in the meantime, feel free to chime in!
I apologize for being so behind on my posts! Truth be told, I have a load of pictures on my camera, a few pages of notebook paper covered with notes and outlines, and I’m almost constantly constructing posts in my head as I wash dishes or clean up spent projects. The only problem is, I’m having a terrible time sitting down to my computer and getting it all down! This is just a busy time of year, and this year seems a bit busier than years past! Well, I’m hoping to make it up to you, by posting a whole lot more very soon of course, and by having a bit of a give-away. It’s one of my favorite winter picture books, The Snowy Day by Jack Keats (in paperback). It’s a classic, and winner of the Caldecott medal way back in 1963. It was a groundbreaker as one of the very first picture books to feature a Black child as the hero. Though it was first published over 45 years ago, the timeless story is enjoyed as much today as ever. Its story and pictures are simple, and relatable, and a real treasure to share with youngsters ready to explore the snow!
If you are doing a study of apples, or on trees in general, you should really consider using the book, The Apple Pie Tree, by Zoe Hall. This wonderfully illustrated book follows a single apple tree, and the two girls who love it, through the seasons, until its fruit can finally be picked, chopped, and baked into a perfect apple pie. It is a great illustration of the cycle of seasons, as well as the process of making pie!
Understanding the cycle of seasons is a pretty obvious science objective, but learning to put things in an ordered series also builds cognitive and language skills that lay the foundation for reading and writing (beginning, middle, end) while also contributing to preschool math and problem-solving skills.
Preschool children often confound us with their behavior. They’re playing and laughing one minute, and crying “for no reason” the next. We ask them not to poke their baby brother’s eyes, and they look right at us, with angelic faces, and do it anyway. What is going on? It can be a baffling, maddening process to try to answer that question! I’m going to be adding a series of posts, linked from here as well, in an effort to give you a few more tools for observing, understanding, and approaching child behaviors using the positive guidance philosophy and techniques. Here’s what you have to look forward to:
When I talk about starting with the end in mind, I’m not talking about those days where you begin to fantasized about the last day of school, giving all the little darlings a soft pat on the head as you seek refuge at the nearest source of sand and surf. What I mean is starting your planning by thinking about where you want to end up. This backwards planning helps to keep you focused and purposeful, rather than just flitting around from one “cute” activity to the next.
Ahh, Summer Vacation! It’s fantastic, but has turned our schedules upside down! Between family reunions, boys with bloody lips, and summer online classes, I’m struggling to get as much done here as I’d like, but I promise more is coming! I just wanted you to know I haven’t forgotten you!
Using a set of rhyming cards (you can find printable ones here or purchase a set at a teaching supply store) give your children one card each, and keep the rhyming pair yourself. Explain that this dinosaur is a rhyme-eater and loves rhyme sandwiches. Ask them to help you make a sandwich by putting two rhyming words together and feeding them to the dinosaur!
Tell me I’m not the only mother with a two year old who thinks the best thing to do with five boxes of puzzles is to put them all into one bucket together. Luckily for me, I learned at a university lab preschool, that it is very handy to number the backs of your puzzle pieces to help out in just such a situation. Each time I get a new puzzle, I write a number on the box and then write that number on the back of each piece. Then, say when I find two random puzzle pieces mysteriously stuffed into the only VCR left in our house, I can quickly determine which boxes to return them to. Now if only fixing the VCR was that easy!