Open House Family Night!

Last week was so hectic! Thursday was our open house night for the 4 year old classes and I was busy finishing projects with the kids and working on gathering everything we needed for the night. The kids were also busy cleaning up the classroom. I gave each of them a wipe and let them go all around the classroom and clean! They LOVED it. They cleaned Meatball’s (our hamster) cage, the chalkboard, the doors, door handles, walls, tables, chair, shelves, the stage, EVERYTHING!

Open house was from 6:00-7:30. We started at 6 in the classrooms where families could look at the documentation posted around the room and in the hallway. The kids showed their parents around the room and explained how we did calendar, how centers worked, and enjoyed refreshments. Siblings came as well and loved exploring a brand new classroom. I made sure to have updated documentation posted around the room and in the hallways. I also updated everyone’s portfolio.

At 6:30 everyone went to the Fellowship hall (kind of like a cafeteria) I has a projector showing videos we had taken earlier in the year of various project and moments in the classroom. The kids and parents loved it. After we gathered everyone to the tables I introduced Mrs. Mary and she shared a story with everyone to introduce the project they were about to do! The story wasΒ Not A Box by Antoinette Portis, which is about a bunny Β who has a box but it’s “NOT A BOX” it’s other things like a burning building or a rocket.

I wish we had an ELMO or some way to make the pages bigger so everyone could see the book better. But, everyone pretty much got the point. Then, I explianed what was going to happen next. They could work with either jus their family or as a table with more than one family. I had glue, brads, markers, crayons, tape, scissors, and paper at each table and the boxes, lids, yarn, pipe cleaners and staplers at the front of the room. Also, hot glue guns set up on a table for ONLY ADULTS to use.

They we stepped back and observed everything that happened (and took pictures, of course). It was just amazing. So many parents let their child take the lead by deciding what they were going to make, choosing the materials to use, cutting things out, etc. They made rockets, houses, cars, bird houses, a refrigerator, a table with food on it, a robot costume, dinosaurs and so much more!

 

I had a handout for the parents to take with them when they left and if they didn’t I just put a copy in thier cubby for the next day. Here is what it looked like.

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A couple days later I also sent home a survey for parents who came to fill out about how to improve.

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And that was about it! It was sucha great time and everyone enjoyed it! We had nothing but positive commments! πŸ™‚ If you’d like to know anything else about it please don’t hesitate to send me a message or comment! Thanks and enjoy!

❀ Ali

 

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BUSY BUSY BUSY (Shadows and Light)

I feel like I haven’t written in so long! Last week we were busy with Groundhog Day and learning about shadows and light.Β I set up a black light on the wall by my writing table a provided white paper and different color highlighters for the kids to write and draw. They LOVED how the light made the highlighters glow!I had fun playing with it too! πŸ™‚

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Then I recycled a box that had our snack in it and put a piece of white paper inside and lined the height and width of it with unifix cubes. I set out our wild animal basket, some see through colored blocks and 2 flashlights. The kids put an object in the box, shined the light on it to make a shadow and used the cubes on the side to measure how tall it was.

We also were lucky enough to have the use of the school’s mobile light lab; which consists of an overhead projector, 3 flat light boards and different colored and shaped see through objects. I hung white butcher paper from the doorway in my room and had the projector shining light on it and let the kids experiment with making shadows with their bodies.

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It was so beautiful outside last week too, PERFECT for shadows! I had each child pick a block to take outside. Working together they made a tower in the sun. Using colored stones, rocks and wood pieces they filled in the shadow. It took a little explaining before some of them understood what “fill in the shadow” meant. They started by putting the stones on the blocks or on the ground around the blocks. While they filled in the shadow we talked about shadows, can you see through a shadow, can you see your face in your shadow, things like that. After they were done we left everything out and went to the playground for about 30 minutes. We decided to go check on our tower before going inside. In just 30 minutes the shadow had moved about 4 or 5 inches. The kids were amazed! I asked them how they thought the shadow moved. Β I got answers like “the wind blowed it!”, “someone moved the rocks!” and “NO! The sun moved!!” We talked more about how light can make a show move and get bigger or smaller and experimented some as well.

We did a few crafts too. I laid out white paper and black paint. The kids were invited to paint shadows. And we also made groundhogs that we used on Thursday to go outside and see if they saw their shadows (unfortunately, they did).I set out pictures of real groundhogs, various sizes or brown circles and ovals, markers and glue. I was so bad with pictures this week that I didn’t get any of these projects!

By the time Friday came around I was going bananas! Never had a heard so much whining, from my class or me! So, after nap I decided to spend our whole afternoon OUTSIDE! It was a beautiful day! Fluffy clouds, the sun shining, 76 degrees-GORGEOUS! So we took our blankets out and had a picnic in the grass. We also took clipboards, markers and paper out and did an activity. They all laid down and covered their eyes and listened. The called out the things they heard-a car, a kid yelling, a train, a bird. Then they opened their eyes and drew one thing they heard.

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I thought that was a pretty ingenious idea. . . the kids however did not. The complaints started “I’m hot!” “The sun’s too bright.” “When are we going to the playground?” “I’m bored.”. . . Me: *in my head*”We are never doing anything fun again.”

We packed everything up and moved to a different spot-in the shade. There I told them they were to find something they could see and draw. I gave them an example of a light on the building next to us. I described the lines on the bottom of it and the circle on the top and the rounded shape of the whole light. If I were drawing the light, that’s what I would draw. I emphasized that I want to be able to tell what the picture is of when I look at it. I didn’t let them tell me what they were drawing either. I had to be able to guess. They surprised me. One had drawn the light I described, one drew a house across the street, one drew the church, and you could pick out certain key aspects of the subject of their drawing and tell what it was. The church had a cross at the top, the house had lines on the side for the siding, they actually paid attention to detail! SUCCESS!! πŸ˜€

Then FINALLY they got to go inside and “cool off” before finally going on the playground.

❀ Ali