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Monday, 30 May 2011

Children's Lands - Part two

Each week we see our gardens developing and growing - the entire school has joined in and we are hoping to see the results of our labours soon!
Today the toddlers added more plants and we hope to see our seeds pop up soon!

Each class has their own space to create their garden. Some are layed out in a pattern.

Some are small!

Some are bigger!

All together they create one huge garden!
This once dull brown space is now turning into a very colourful garden. We can't wait to see it fully grown in.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Floral Tube "Vase" Art

This idea is going to come in very handy for me - since I just received a huge box of floral tubes for free at a garage sale today!
This website has other great ideas to share - go take a look! http://www.makinglearningfun.com/index.html
I appreciate them allowing me to post this link!

Friday, 27 May 2011

Sign Language in the classroom

I have always used sign language with the children I have worked with. I started working in the field of special education, family support services and residential care, where sign language was essential to communicate with most of my kids. However I have also used sign with hearing children who have communication skills, to support the path to full communication from an early age. In the toddler classrooms sign has eased some frustrations for those toddlers who may not have full verbal skills. Simple signs can be taught with no difficulty and the children catch on very quickly. Using sign as a part of everyday communication and routine makes signing familiar and instinctive. Signing with my son, who is autistic, was a great support until his verbal skills caught up with his desire to express his needs. Sign Language can make a classroom more inclusive, whether there are hearing impaired children or not.

My students signing.....

Thank you



These are some easy signs that you can use in your classroom!

These two sites have some great simple signs for kids!
Baby Sign Language is great as well!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

I have toes!

Toddlers seem to be facinated with their body parts  - and they should be - humans are facinating! We read these two really cute books - then we did some body movement exercises, stretching, jumping etc. (which they loved). Followed up with making our foot prints - which will go in our yearbook gift to Dads on Fathers Day.
Today we will re-read the books and then talk about how we are all similar than different - we all have toes - we all have eyes, noses, ears, arms ...... This is a great anti-bias activity!

Today we added Toddler directed drawings of our body parts!

We started with the head and face - all the toddlers said this was their MOM!! LOL

We then sang head and shoulders in English and French and did more body movement exercises!
Oh and we sang my made up belly button song which is a hit where ever I go!! :)

Monday, 23 May 2011

Cute as a bunny - Sensory Bin

This was a popular sensory bin during Easter time. The plastic grass came from the dollar store, as well as the carrots, they were powdered candy containers (I dumped the candy out). This bin can be kept out all Spring!

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Sunday, 22 May 2011

Counting placecard

While at the dollar store one day I found these smooth flat oval stones - I purchased them for counting and created a counting placecard for self direction. This is one of the popular activities in the classroom and it was cheap and easy to put together! The placecard allows for a successful outcome, which I think is important for toddlers, to encourage further skill development and independant counting while exploring the classroom.

Matching Geometric Shapes

I selected some wooden geometric shapes for the children to identify and placed them inside the cloth bag - then identical shapes were laid out on the table. The children were to reach inside the bag without looking and feel for the shapes one by one, and match them with the ones on the table. The concept of 'not looking' inside the bag was difficult - the matching was easy!

Process vs. Product

Sometimes using art materials isn't about the end result, it's about the process of experimenting and exploring with the resources provided. I'll often put out a large sheet of paper and crayons, markers or pencils and simply let the children do what comes naturally. It's a good time for developing social skills as well!
There was no expectation to create a 'product' - this was simply a time to practice our drawing skills.

My Crocheted Finger Puppets

I have to be the most frugal Early Childhood Educator there is - what that has required is for me to search for materials at garage sales and thrift stores - or I have created my own resources. Here are some of my crocheted finger puppets, created from yarn found where? Yes - at garage sales and thrift stores!
The Frog Prince

Jack and Jill

Little Red Riding Hood

5 Green and Speckled Frogs

Hey Diddle Diddle

The Lion and the Mouse

Goldielocks and the Three Bears

Three Blind Mice

Three Little Pigs

Humpty Dumpty

Santa Clause and Mrs Clause

Telling Tales with props

Reading to children is enjoyable for me, but whenever possible I love to tell a story 'off the cuff' - props help and children love visual aids. I have been  lucky enough to find some nice props during my garage sale excursions. Having the props makes a story visual, giving it impact. Having a variety of materials can allow the same story to be told over and over without 'losing the audience'. Telling tales with props usually translates into the children mimicking what they have just experienced.
 I love these 'flip flop' dolls - I was fancinated with them as a child. What a great way to tell a tale!
Felt board characters

....and my own version - crocheted finger puppets.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Album: Bulletin Boards | izzyshare

Album: Bulletin Boards izzyshare
My bulletin boards were featured here! Thanks izzyshare!

Bulletin Boards

This page will consistanly change as I add new pictures of bulletin boards I have done - so visit often! :)

Well what can I say I like to push the seasons - get a head start - make them happen! LOL
Here is the first Summer bulletin board of the season - even though it's only spring. :) Once I start thinking of what to do, there is no stopping me - my creative juices must be sent forth! Now I can't wait to get to the calendar board! Come on Summer!
All the kiddies are peeking out of the sandcastle windows! :)

Well here's the next summer bulletin board!
I'll probably change something - not sure what?

My classroom door!

Friday, 20 May 2011

Children's Lands - Part one

This program was introduced to me by one of my college ECE instructors, who visited Peru and experienced it first hand. I was impressed, so I have subsequently introduced it to a Child Care Centre where I once worked, and at the Montessori School I am in now. In both instances it was taken on by each and every member of the centre and school in a very positive manner. Everyone came up with their own plans and put it them action. We are presently in the early stages of planting and getting the word out into the community. It will be exciting to see how this develops.
First Ania came all the way from Peru (via my college instructors friend) to introduce Children's Lands to our school.

This is my Toddler room - The children were happy to meet Ania - they were excited to get started!

The planting begins!
 The Sunflowers start to grow!
We recycled carpet tubes and tissue tubes to plant some of our seeds in!

Sadly our broccoli died and our zuccini never grew - but that didn't stop us!

 Time to plant outdoors!

Our beans are growing along side the beautiful flowers donated by family members.

Watch for a followup to our Children's Lands gardening adventures!
Hopefully we will be able to sample our beans! :)

I have a wonderful powerpoint along with information booklets available for viewing, if you would like to start your own Children's Lands project! email kreativeresources@hotmail.com

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Scissor Time

Using a pair of scissors is definitely an aquired skill. Some skills do not come naturally! When teaching children to cut, I make sure that I have the best performing scissors. Kids Fiskars are my favorite because, they make a nice clean cut, even if the skill of holding the scissors is a new mastery. The handles are also comfortable and well shaped for little fingers.
To begin, I sit behind and slightly off to the side of the prominent hand, place the scissors in the childs hand appropriately, then assisting hand over hand, move the blades up and down. I also model cutting as well. Then of course this activity has another skill - holding the paper that requires cutting. I use stiff paper such as construction paper or card stock, since it tends not to flop around and seems easier to hold at the proper angle to cut.
All this takes encouragement, dexterity and patients, as well as practice - practice - practice!

Today I put out a basket of scrap paper and my favorite scissors - the children seemed to enjoy their time manipulating the scissors until they got the desired technique!