Crozet Play School

Kids at Play in Crozet


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Seeds and Sprouts

We made little sprout houses for the window sill.  We filled the sprout houses with a wet paper towel and three sugar snap peas.  I soaked the peas overnight to get them softened up and ready to germinate!  Using the sprout houses allows the children to look closely at the life cycle of the seed.  They can peek at what happens “beneath” the soil!  Every other day we pulled out a set of seeds from the houses to check on them and see how they have grown.

The students documented their learning in our journals.  We asked them to write ‘seed,’ ‘sprout,’ and ‘roots’ in their journal to label the different parts of the seed.  This was their first time working on labeling and they did an excellent job!

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Here is a video of the learning journals:

For the last stage of the project everyone modge podged little potters to take their sugar snap pea sprouts home.  They got to use a spade to place potting soil in the pots, and dig a small hole for the seeds!

Last week we also worked on a few extremely top secret Mother’s Day Projects.  The children used liquid watercolors to die large portions of paper towels.

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Once these dried, we folded them into flowers and peeled the paper towels apart.  The results were stunning!

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The second project was a very large piece of contact paper rolled out on our tables.  The children pulled petals off of flowers to place them on the sticky paper.  I sealed the petals up, and then I cut them out in the shape of hearts.  The children told me little messages for their mommies and I dictated their words.

Lastly, we painted clear plastic plates with acrylic paints.  Then I sprayed each plate with a sealant and attached a garden stake.  They made the perfect homemade garden signs!

Here are a few little ones lined up to show Mommy their creations!

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I hope everyone had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend!


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How Does Your Garden Grow?

 

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On my last blog post I shared our little sprout houses that the children created last month.  Over a period of a few weeks we took our seeds out the sprout house to observe them and write about them in our learning journals.  We even worked on labeling portions of the pictures with some of the key science words we have learned such as:  SEED, SPROUT, and ROOT.  They did a great job looking closely at their sprouts and drawing their pictures.

 

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Once we finished with our drawings, I gave each child a copy of the plant life cycle to color and put in the correct order.

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They did all of the coloring and cutting themselves.  I am so proud of their progress with coloring and cutting and how much their fine motor skills have improved this year.

 

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The children got to work and draw their observations while enjoying the fresh breeze in our new outdoor area! 

 

Then we painted and filled up flower pots with soil, and added our bean sprouts to the pots to take home!

 

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This week we cut apart an order for potting a plant.  We discussed the words first through sixth.  Then we put the cards in the correct order from start to finish in our learning journals.

 

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We also read the book, “The Tiny Seed” by Eric Carle.  After reading the story we worked on a painting project using a variety of paint brushes.  After the paintings dried we cut the paper into petal shapes and added the flower parts to the art work.  The results were stunning!

 

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We also created plastic plate flowers as a garden decoration.  They painted plastic plates with acrylic paint, and I sprayed the plate with an acrylic shell to protect for the weather and elements.  Then we attached them to a garden stake, and gave them to our Moms on Mother’s Day!  I have mine proudly displayed in our garden.

 

 

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We also used our chocolate play dough to create these beautiful nests with our safari limited birds and mini eggs.

 

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It has been so fun exploring flowers, plants, and seeds this spring!  Only a few more weeks of school, and soon summer will be upon us!


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Jack and the Beanstalk

 

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We spent the past week reading Jack and the Beanstalk and discussing seeds and beans!  The children absolutely loved the story of Jack and the Beanstalk and enjoyed hearing the many versions of the book. 

 

 

After reading Jack in the Beanstalk one day we decided to build our very own beanstalk in the classroom!  We taped 14 paper towel tubes together and got to painting!

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Then I took picture of the kids as they pretended to crawl up a beanstalk.  Once we painted our entire stalk we put it up to the ceiling and then we put everyone’s picture climbing up it!

 

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Each child colored their own “sprout house” and then we placed snap pea seeds inside of wet paper towels.  We hung up our sprout houses on the window and everyone got very excited when we saw our seeds actually sprouting!  We took notes and drew pictures in our learning journals of the changes in our seeds.  After reading books about seeds and their growth we labeled our pictures with these science words:

 

  1. Seed, Sprout, Root, Root Hairs, Soil, and Sun

 

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Today we painted flower pots and we will be bringing home our snap pea plants this week!

 

 

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We have been working on these puppet box theatres for the past two weeks.  Each child got to pick their favorite fairy tale and plan a puppet theatre inside their box.  It has been a long process for each child, with painting, planning, prepping, and choosing their design.  I am so proud of each child and how hard they have worked on their puppet theatre.  Above is a picture of a Little Red Riding Hood story box, and below is an example of The Three Little Pigs.

 

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Once each child has finished their puppet box, they will have the choice to act out their fairy tale in front of the class!

 

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Above is D painting his wheat garden for The Little Red Hen.

 

We have also been enjoying this beautiful weather with lots of walks and activities outside!

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We have walked down to the playground and visited the fountain a few times.

 

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We have also walked down the creek and community gardens a few times as well.  I have been trying to take everyone on one long walk a week.

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We got lucky at our last visit to the community gardens.  They had a huge rock pile that we got to climb and play in!

 

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There has also been a few rainy days, but that doesn’t stop us!

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And of course our mud kitchen got re-opened for the spring weather too.

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When we are at school, I have been trying to bring one or two big activities outside to enjoy.  We mixed up our own batch of sidewalk paint and got right to work decorating Crozet PlaySchool’s driveway.

 

 

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I am looking forward to our last few weeks of adventures as May approaches!


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March Madness

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We had so much fun on St. Patrick’s Day this year!  The kids came into the classroom to find that some little leprechaun vandals had left a mess in our classroom overnight.  There were gold coins, rainbow yarn, and green confetti all over the place.  Then some of the students noticed a clue located on our bookshelf. 

 

We worked together, read the clues, and used our thinking skills to determine where to go next!

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We ended up finding chocolate coins and treasure hidden in our trashcan!  The leprechauns sure know how to be tricky!

 

During our morning meeting we had a “lucky hunt” around the classroom.  Each child was given a hunt paper and had to find golden coins hidden around the classroom.  Then they had to race back and try to fill up the lucky hunt papers as quickly as possible.  This was so much fun that we played it a few times!

 

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We also found some very green gak in the art room on St. Patrick’s Day.  Gak is still a favorite in our classroom, and we loved sticking the gak full of coins, shamrocks, and green gems.

 

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In March we opened a new construction area in the classroom.  It included our golf tees and foam board, with real hammers and goggles.  This is such a great activity for everyone in the class.  Holding up the hammers and pounding them into the board is great muscle building for our arms and hands.  Also getting the chance to use real tools is enticing and empowering for children.

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New in our construction area were vests, hard hats, and all our construction vehicles.  The vests and hats have become a permenant part of our dramatic play area of the room.

 

 

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We played with pasta, tubs, scoops, and bowls in one of the sensory tubs.

 

 

 

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After reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears a bunch of times we got to act out the story using the sensory tub.  I filled the tub with oatmeal, added three bears and a goldilocks.  Then I put the furniture from our doll house to act out the beds and chairs.  They always know just what to do when they see these activities around the classroom.

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Last year we spent a great deal of time discussing rainbows, colors, and color mixing.  I still did a few projects that included rainbows this spring.  We painted rainbows on a large sheet of paper.  Before they started painting I put a rainbow piece of contact paper on their sheet.  Once their paintings dried, I peeled off the contact paper to reveal an opposite rainbow picture.  They were very confused about the process, but once they saw me peel off the contact paper the whole idea made more sense to them!

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We also finger painted rainbows with our glitter filled paints.  Each child decided if they wanted their rainbow to run across the paper or in an arch.  After our rainbows dried we taped rainbow yarn to the bottom of the paper and turned it into a windsock.  They loved taking them outside and seeing them blow in the wind.

 

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This winter was filled with a lot of snowy days, and we have loved adding the addition of yoga into our monthly routines.  The children are quickly picking up on the poses, terms, and the breathing elements of yoga.  They are so flexible and can quickly move from one position to the next.  I am in awe of their attitude to embrace new ideas and jump into yoga feet first!  We will continue to have Ms. Kay visit us throughout the spring too!

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Ms. Kay begins each lesson with an affirmation that we repeat a few times before an after our yoga exercises.  Then she guides the yoga session by reading a book that usually has animals in the story.  Each animal leads the children to the next pose they are going to encounter.

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Moose ears and breathing right to left

 

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Whale pose: laying on belly and lifting arms and legs

 

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Wolf pose:  downward dog with a leg lift to be the wolf’s tail wagging. 

 

Ms. Kay is so creative, and makes yoga fun for the kids!