Experimenting With Eggs

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Lately, we have been learning all about seeds.  We are switching now to exploring how different animals grow.  With Easter coming, we decided to start with eggs.  I began by reading Guess What is Growing Inside This Egg by Mia Posada. Continue reading

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20 Ocean-Themed Books For Preschoolers

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I know that I said that I was going to do the theme of Community Helpers next week, but I left my folder at the school so I am moving on to the next theme which is-UNDER THE SEA! I hope no one is too disappointed.  Don’t worry, I will get to Community Helpers the following week.

While preparing for our “Under The Sea” adventure, I gathered up an awesome collection of books on the theme and decided to share them with you.  I will have the following books available for my students and parents this week…

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Preschool Theme: Favorite Children’s Books

I was so excited to start my summer session of class!! It is an abbreviated six-week series that started this week.  I loved meeting all of the kids and parents!  Since I absolutely love children’s books, I thought that having some of my favorites, as our first theme, was a great place to start!  Here is what we did…

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Book Review: “Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink” by Victoria Kann

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A couple of weeks ago we visited another independent book store.  I have said that I always purchase something every time I go to one and this time was no different.  I let my three-year-old pick out something and she chose “Pinkalicious and the Pink Drink.”  Now, I am unfamiliar with the Pinkalicious book series.  I know that there are several because I have seen them around, but I always thought they were a bit gimmicky for a book (I tend to be a bit judgmental about books).  However, it was what my daughter wanted and the price was right, so there you go.  I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised.  Here is my review…

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Book Recommendation: “Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs” Retold By Mo Willems

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I love reading different versions of fairy tales.  It was one of my favorite units that I used with my fourth and fifth graders.  Authors have the ability to tweak a story that the audience is familiar with in new and often comical ways.  In this version of the traditional story, “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” Mo Willems does just that.  He plays with the plot line of the traditional story, by featuring hungry dinosaurs that are somehow familiar with the past behavior of Goldilocks.

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Mom and Tot/Preschool Theme: Food

Ok, so I am soo behind with my blogging!  I am just getting to posting from our class last week!  Well, we learned all about foods! We focused on healthy versus unhealthy and all different varieties of food.

For me, it had been quite a Monday morning.  My daughter was up extra early-somewhere in the 5 o’clock hour- and that totally through me off.  Therefore, sorry, but I didn’t do the greatest job of taking pictures of all of our activities and set-up.  I had my passport as usual, but this time, I included ten websites that have different pictures of ways to have fun with food.  See my link here.

I created a PDF file of our passport this week.  Click here for my Food Passport!

After singing some songs and playing a gross-motor game, I introduced the group to some Saxton Freymann books.  In case you are not familiar with these books, they are really fun!  Freymann creates different objects and phrases with different foods, mostly fruits.  I had a bunch of the books available to read, but we read “Dog Food” together.  The kids really enjoyed looking at all of the pictures.

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Post Office Themed Books

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Tomorrow we are having a class revolving around the Post Office!  I am, of course, going to have several books to read and have available for parents and children to check out.

The book that I am going to read, for the most part, is entitled “What’s it like to be a Postal Worker” by Morgan Matthews.

Our class is filled with very young kids, so I do not think that I am going to be able to get through the entire book.  It is a very detailed account to what happens to a letter when you mail it.  Throughout the book, there are several labeled illustrations that exposes kids to new vocabulary.  For example, in the illustration of the counter, at the post office, the postal meter, rubber stamp, tape dispenser, and computer postal scale are all labeled.  The book teaches you who the people are that help your letter arrive at the right location.  It also teaches the different details that you need to include on your letter in order to mail something such as a stamp, all of the components of your address, and your return address.  The book gets into details of “first-class” and special deliveries and the different modes of transportation to send your letter wherever in the world you want it to go.  I recommend this book to preschoolers and lower elementary age children to teach them how the United Postal Service works!

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Here are a few more books that I am going to have on hand….

Post Office Themed Books

“Letter Carriers” By Alice K. Flanagan

“Mail Carriers” By Dee Ready

“The U.S. Mail” By Elaine A. Kule (This is a great book for learning about the history of postal service, with photographs)

“Out and About at the Post Office” By Kitty Shea

“To the Post Office with Mama” By Sue Farrell

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Books On Writing Letters

“Sincerely Yours” Writing Your Own Letter By Nancy Loewen

“Messages In The Mailbox” How to Write a Letter By Loreen Leedy

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Book Recommendation: “A House is a House for Me” By Mary Ann Hoberman Illustrated By Betty Fraser

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A while back I signed my kids up for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Station (see below) and it is AWESOME! Every month, each child receives a free book in the mail. I highly recommend that you look into signing your children up for this program!  Most of the books are books that I have never heard of, which is great.  A couple months ago, we received “A House is a House for Me” By Mary Ann Hoberman and I was pleasantly surprised.  I know that you aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover, but I did.  The book looked out of date and had pictures of clowns on the cover (not ok with me).  I found out that the book was published in 1978, which would explain the illustrations, not the clowns.

Upon opening the book, however, I grew to really appreciate and love the charm of the text and illustrations.  The cover page has the title drawn completely out of different houses that are listed later in the text, such as shoes for our feet.

Quickly after starting to read the book, I found that I enjoyed the rhythm and rhyme of the text.  My kids love it too.  The book plays on the idea of different “houses” for different creatures and so much more.  Here is an example:

“A book is a house for a story. A rose is a house for a smell. My head is a house for a secret.  A secret I never will tell. “

Although the book is fun to read, there is also the idea that we all have our own individual homes and all of our homes are on Earth.  “A House is a House for Me” is a great way to introduce vocabulary that your child may not be familiar with such as sty, fold, hutches, and hangar.  There are also several Native American tribes mentioned in the book and their different “houses.”

Overall, I was really surprised how much my children and I enjoyed this book!  I am sure that we will enjoy it for quite awhile! Enjoy!

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The first page of the book.

More about “A House is a House for Me:

  • Here is link to the website
  • It is a National Book Award Winner
  • Scholastic rates the interest level at grades 3-5, but I think that children younger than this would really enjoy this book!  (My kids did and they are 1 and 3 years old)

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Here is some information on Dolly Parton’s Imagination Station:

  • Dolly Parton started the Library in 1996.  At the time of this post, just about 667,000 children are registered!
  • Every month, a child in the program receives an age-appropriate book
  • Children under the age of 5 qualify
  • From what I understand Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library works with local organizations to get to books to you and your family for free.  Local organization accepts donations and is listed on every address label.
  • Here is the website with more information.  You can register your child(ren) for the program or donate to the cause.