Thursday, January 14, 2010

First Day of Preschool!

Well, today was our first day of our neighborhood preschool using our own curriculum! I will admit I had very low expectations of how this was going to go! I expected Jessica's best friend to enjoy it, but I was very surprised at how much Jessica enjoyed it!! Many of her friends are very verbal, and Jessica is not. We do not find this surprising, since both David and I are also very spatially oriented; however, it does bother me when people comment on it or think there is something wrong with her because she is not terribly verbal. As a mother, it is always great to see your child excel at something, but it is even better when you have already seen at such a young age just how much differences can bother people. Not only did Jessica seem to enjoy the experience, but her mother received a much needed dose of confidence! Here is more about what we actually did:

It's a little empty now, but that will change over time! See the paper doll with her hat, coat, pants, gloves, and scarf I placed on the picture for January?

This is a picture of the vinyl shade I had David install in our dining room to use as our "focus wall!" The awesome part is that this can be used for years to come with multiple groups of children and multiple academic levels! I bought the shade, some foam letters and numbers (because they were on sale), and some stick on velcro. I printed out a calendar, used a picture from an old calendar, cut out some paper dolls I found for free on the internet, and cut out a circle using some extra foam sheets we had from another project. Overall, very low cost but very high durability! Also the shade can be rolled up once you un-velcro all the pieces! This was our lesson plan for the day:

9:15-9:30Calendar, Dress Paper doll, Introduce Letter A, box of A things
9:30-9:45Letter A Rubbing with Sandpaper
9:45-10:00Snack Time: apples and letter A cookies
10:00-10:15Story about Trains, Poster for Types of Transportation
10:15-10:30Sing Wheels on the Bus, play with electric train
10:30-10:45Sorting circles by color
10:45-11:00Cut and paste wheels on a roller skate

I went over the calendar as well as what the paper doll was wearing today. Then I showed them the letter A, and we explored a box of things that start with the letter A: alligator, anteater, ape, airplane, apple, avocado, angel, apron, and a letter A. We also took letter A's cut out of sandpaper and made letter A rubbings (Jessica really got into that)! Then we had a snack of apples and letter A cookies! I made the cookies using a recipe of my great-great-grandmother's for Tea Cakes. They are really good for using with small children because they are low sugar but high fat, which is great for developing brains! Click on the picture below to enlarge the recipe. I am guessing the recipe is older than that and was brought by my family to the New World from England.

Next it was my kindergarten teacher friend's turn to teach. First we talked about things that go, and she let the kids place pictures of different types of transportation on a poster of a landscape. Jessica insisted that all transportation belonged in the sky (We moved it later)! I told my husband we may have a budding Aerospace Engineer on our hands!

Next we sang the Wheels on the Bus song, and played with an electric train set! Finally we played a math game and created a math craft! My friend handed out colored circles to everyone and before she could tell everyone what to do, Jessica was already sorting the shapes! Next we did a cut and paste worksheet. I cut out the circles, but Jessica made sure to cut fringe around the edge of the page! (She is very into scissors right now!) Then without anyone telling her what to do, she took the circles and placed them exactly where they were supposed to go! I put the glue on the page and let her press them into place (I did not want any more mess than we already had!)

A picture from her first time using scissors!

I am teaching early reading for the rest of the month, and my friend is teaching math for the rest of the month. Tuesday we are going to see the Blue Angels practice! Friday we will have class again, and next week we are planning to go to a train museum! It should be fun!!! Sorry there weren't any pictures of the kids this time! We were a little busy figuring out how this was going to work!! Hopefully next time!

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