Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fire Station Field Trip!!

Today was the first Big Field Trip of the school the Fire Station!! This is a new fire house for me as a teacher, but I thought that the crew did a great job with the kids. Although, in six years of orchestrating this type of field trip, it was the first time that I have seen one of my preschoolers cry when the fireman was crawling on the floor. [They quit doing the Darth Vader voice with the mask on because it got a little freaky for the kids]. But this was such good practice in case they ever have to be rescued or helped--they know someone will look for them and that they can trust some of our most valuable community helpers--the Fire Department!

Everyone had the opportunity to sit in the driver's seat of the big engine. We had a couple that weren't "burning" to get up there (and that's OK), but we had quite a few excited little ones.

Sunshine Preschool took on a whole new meaning today. The light was so bright that they had to wear "shades"!!

A few more takes...........

We are having gorgeous Fall weather and what a great day it was to go on a preschool field trip to the local Fire Station! Actually, the weather might have been a little TOO nice when you look at the pictures. I have to say, slightly cloudy and overcast is the perfect picture-taking weather. But anywhooooo--the kids seemed to have had a great time and made some wonderful memories for them!!
Homework: Don't forget to talk in your families about 2 different exits from your home and a meeting spot in case of a fire.
**Tuesday we have a brand-new topic that I've never done in preschool before: PIRATES. I'm very excited and I can't wait to see what kind of booty we score. It's going to be quite an adventure. Arr Mateys!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

COMMUNITY HELPERS WEEK "Handcuffs, Sirens, and Lights--Oh My!!"

Today we continued our weekly theme of "Community Helpers" by focusing on our local law enforcement. We listened to the story of Little Red Riding Hood and then discussed how her whole dilemma could have been avoided if she had followed the rules her mother had given her and not paused in her journey to grandmother's house to talk to strangers. This timeless story led into our discussion about personal safety. And who better to help teach the point than a couple of deputies from the county Sheriff's department. I have connections. Good connections, mind you. OK. So, Deputies Todd and John are the fathers of two of my preschoolers. It is fabulous to have such willing parents to come and share a day with us in their line of work.

For a child, law enforcement officers are somewhere on the pedestal of idols. And like most kids, ours were fascinated by the cars, the sirens, lights, handcuffs, and....the caged backseat. Some were very eager to take the wheel and push a few buttons along the way.

Here's Cody waiting patiently for his turn in the car. Finding a seat was a little difficult with 11 other takers.

Funnily enough, none were too excited to relinquish their seats. And for as hard and uncomfortable they appeared to be...that was kind of surprising.

Each of the little ones were made Junior Deputies and given a gold badge. With two officers in tow, we were able to have four sets of handcuffs moving around the table for everyone to see. I think the handcuffs are the epitomized symbol of what the children associate law enforcement with. They deal with the "bad guys".

But we also learned that law enforcement officers deal with the the "good guys" as well. Besides protecting and serving the community, they help educate the us about how to be good citizens, enforce the laws that keep us safe, and can help when we are in distress or lost.

Just as they have a job to do, so do we. We can be good citizens and make sure that we wear our helmets when we are riding our bikes. We learned that we are supposed to be in a booster seat until we are 8 years old. We learned that we should always wear our seat belts. And when we are walking near streets or roads, looking both ways before we cross the road is a MUST!!

Our preschoolers loved having their special visitors in class today. Everyone was on their best behavior and were amazingly compliant and excited to have their pictures taken. We appreciate all those men and women who have made it their career to serve and protect our communities. Community helpers are awesome and we loved learning more about them!!

(Deputy Todd, Sini, Alayna, Ben, Blina, Lilly, Zachary, Ben, Trianna, Courtney, Abby, Josh, Trevor, Cody, Deputy John)

Sidelines: We learned about Letter C and how it is a special letter that makes 2 different sounds. We glued Cheerios onto big C's for our books because they are circles, crunchy, and cereal. Because of the field trip to the fire station on Thursday, the writing practice sheets are in their back packs. Just have them trace over the letters and return on Tuesday with the other homework. They are doing great and I love how they are getting into the routine and loving preschool!!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Just a Reminder about Next Week!!

We have some great activities for next week about Personal Safety and Family Safety.

On Tuesday, Deputies Oliphant and Saunders from the Spokane County Sheriff's Department will be visiting our class. Look for the honorary badges and coupons for free ice-cream cones (hint, hint) in the folders when they get home.

Thursday is our first out of class Field Trip. We will be visiting Fire House #91, on the corner of Hastings/Waikiki Rd. We will meet there at 9:15am. Our tour and visit is only 45 minutes long. I will bring the treats that day. Bring your cameras--it's sure to be a memorable day. Brothers, sisters, Moms, Dads, Grandmas...everyone is welcome to come. [Last year we got quite a show when the sirens went off and everyone hurried to their trucks and left in the middle of our field trip! Hopefully that won't happen this year!]

Is there a Doctor in the House?

On Thursday we continued with our theme of the Five Senses by introducing a special person that helps us keep our senses and bodies strong and healthy...the family doctor. In past preschool classes, this has been a very popular day. I wanted to make sure that the "Doctor's Bag" hand-out lasted past class time, so I made the bags out of felt this year. I'm very pleased with the results because nothing ripped or fell out (through) before preschool was over. I know that the kids will get a lot of use and imaginary play out of these bags at home too. Their attention was pretty rapt when we talked about all the things that go inside a doctor's bag. Each of them received an assortment of band-aids, bandages, tongue depressors, cotton balls, q-tips, safety masks, doctor's note papers, and a special prescription bottle that they could only consume on Doctor's orders! (Parents...we talked about never taking pills that weren't ours or without help from Mom or Dad. I included the bottles filled with M&Ms as a part of the bag with a little trepidation. So I hope you know that it wasn't without thought or concern for their safety and we discussed it during class. But please follow up at home with the safety aspects of prescription drugs...Thanks).

Dr Blina Dr Courtney

Dr Sini / Dr Lilly

Dr Trianna / Dr Abby

Dr Ethan / Dr Alayna

Dr Ben

Dr Zachary / Dr Trevor
(absent: Ava and Cody)

As I handed the medical supplies out and discussed with them the ways they are used, I issued them ID tags, with their names on them. Such as "Dr _______, Sunshine Preschool Hospital". I laminated them and hung them from a plastic string so they could wear them. I know that each of them loved seeing their own faces from their tags. It made it easier for me too--I knew exactly who didn't have theirs without having to go through their bags :)

The bag was a fabulous catalyst to a lesson about our bodies and keeping them healthy. We started our day out by putting together a puzzle of a skeleton and talked about how the bones have to go in order for them to work properly. We can feel our bones, but we can't see them. And just because we can't see them, doesn't mean that they aren't really important. What a fabulous day learning about how wonderful our bodies are and how each of our senses makes us appreciate our world around us.

**I took really cute pictures of each of the kids laying down beside the skeleton to see themselves in proportion to the puzzle. Because there are so many pictures, I'm not going to post them here...but look for them in your child's book they are building throughout the year.

Hearing......One of the Five Senses

For Music and Motion on Wednesday, we focused on hearing and listening music. On Tuesday, I introduced our week long theme of the Five Senses--sight, taste, touch, smell, and hearing. We focused mostly on the tactile side of our senses by building a sensory book of Textures and tasting some delicious treats.

For our focus on Hearing, we played a listening game. I picked this activity book up a few years ago at Costco and it has been a wonderful addition to my curriculum because it has four different listening games included with the game cards and CDs. I gave each of the children 15 foam place markers and they had to cover the picture of the animal as they heard it from the CD. "Old McDonald" was introducing each of the animals on his farm in random order.

The anticipation built as they figured out it was a race to find the picture before the new sound came. What I saw soon became some sharp-listening little boys who did not like to be left in the dust by their buddies. It's amazing how sharp they all are!!

Most of the parents are from my you will understand when I say "Snap, Krackle, Pop" what I'm talking about. But I asked these little guys what that meant...and they didn't come up with Rice Krispies. So for our snack today, I poured each of them a bowl of cereal and they were not a bit impressed with the selection. Then I gave them a glass of milk and told them that there was magic in the cereal, but they would only hear the magic after they poured the milk on. you can tell by the pictures, eating a plain bowl of Rice Krispies became an absolute delight after all!

Our ears are amazing and Hearing is a true blessing! Preschoolers know how important their ears are and can tell you some of the great things that they learned and heard at preschool today!