Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Community

As I said last week, this is my favorite season.  We walk through blazing color and are surrounded by delicious smells.  In the midst of the Autumn Serenade, Grace Child Care is thinking ahead to Christmas. 

We have set up a collection area in our entryway for Operation Christmas Child.  Your kiddos are excited about packing boxes for boys and girls around the world.  Follow the link above to learn more about this ministry and please bring in small hygiene items, toys and trinkets.


Mrs. Carol has even guided the Afternoon Artists as they made stick puppets to add to the boxes.


Of course, this year, October has brought more than Autumn.  Mrs. Sasha has taught the kiddos the Royal Rally cry and our playground echoes "Let's Go Royals (clap, clap, clapclapclap)" most days.  Check out their collage work!

 
We are all proud to live in Kansas City, and so proud of the Royals and their "Never Say Die" attitude.  2015 World Champions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Autumn Heroes - Fire Safety Month

I love the seasons, each of them have such distinct gifts for our senses.  Autumn is my favorite, apple orchards, changing leaves, pumpkins and so much scope for the imagination.

Our 4 year olds exploring pumpkin scented play dough and painting an autumn pumpkin patch.

You can't talk about Fall without talking about Owls!

One of the best things about Fall is that it's socially acceptable to dress up in costumes!  (Not that these kiddos need that excuse)
Of course, October is also Fire Safety Month.  Once again, our Froggy class incorporated Firemen into a 3 week unit on Heroes.  They spent a week talking about Bible heroes (Queen Esther, David, Joshua...), a week on community heroes (firemen, police, nurses and doctors, soldiers), and a week linking those heroes to the super heroes they all love to be.

I love the firefighters in our town, they are all very good with children.

They practice practical skills with them. Stop. Drop. Roll.

The thing that impresses me the most is how they work at getting the kiddos to be comfortable with them and with their suits.  They work hard to gain their trust, so there won't be fear in the middle of an emergency.
ALL our teachers approve.
We always want to link what we are teaching to something the kids love, but how do you play superheroes without chaos in the classroom!?  Our answer is to link Heroic qualities and repeat them all 3 weeks. Heroes are people who are brave (have courage), who save others, people we obey.

Our dramatic and quiet area became a comprehensive Dr.'s office, complete with waiting area

and an area to sign in and talk with the receptionist. 
Our doctors took blood pressure,

checked ears,

listened for heartbeats and proper breathing.

They checked X-rays

and wrote up their "dianosis".  This diagnosis is that the patient's cat was sick.
All of those words get worked into the final "Super hero" week, with an obstacle course on the last day.




Modelling their capes and masks (made from T-shirts parents brought in).

Showing off how strong they are.

They use the letters in "Brave" to navigate the hot lava, go through the tunnels.
They make their way through the lasers and have to break down a wall...all in order to rescue the baby.
I love walking into the room and hearing the kiddos talking about being brave and taking care of their friends.  I also love that we have the opportunity to make biblical heroes come alive for them as we teach them respect for the heroes that we all rely on.

Happy Autumn everyone, and have a safe Halloween.  Go Royals!

Mrs. Karlie

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Busy Summer

To start, we apologize for the months of silence.  We have had some internet connection issues and a busy summer.  Those two things combined to make it close to impossible to get a blog out!



 
Of course, true to our style, we spent a lot of time outside this summer.  The children explored trees, explored nature, made collections of  sticks, stones, seeds and shells.
 
 

His "Not a Stick" is a racecar...of course!

 Our Afternoon Artists really amp up their painting in the summer.  They pull out all kinds of materials, and they take it outside too!

It sure makes clean up easier!


Our sidewalks are always so colorful this time of year!

 Ice Cream is one of my favorite "themes" - how can something so yummy have such educational value?  We made milkshakes and sundaes.  We made our own ice cream, shaking it in a bag.  Pom poms, beads and yarn were re-imagined to fill our ice cream shop.  And we painted with "ice cream paint".

condensed milk and food coloring

Add a little glitter



 On Fridays, all centers contained water.

Our director, Mrs. Diana, sets up centers and fills up containers as the kiddos wait to be splashed.

We watched this sea turtle grow from inches to over a foot tall.

It's amazing how much fun empty dishwashing liquid bottles are...especially when they are "nearly empty" to begin with.

Taking turns "washing" their hair.
 
I am always surprised at how many ways this simple center gets used - painting the sidewalk, painting the fence, repairing playground equipment...
 

...it can even be an Olympic sport!
 
So, that's a wrap-up of our summer.  We had fun, we said good-bye to the new kindergarteners and we've welcomed many new students. 

More to come,

Mrs. Karlie







Thursday, July 9, 2015

City, state, country for 5 year old

On Father's Day, we read "Knuffle Bunny" (as mentioned here).  I was so taken by the children's urban art, that I decided to do a week on our city, Kansas City, to lead us in to the 4th of July. 

 
 
We revisited our book of KC life pictures, and talked about some of the things that make Kansas City special. 

so many sculptures to tell stories about

Of course we covered all of the sports teams,
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
 
Chiefs!

 BBQ, some of the special architecture

Central Library
 
 and Jazz music. 

Jazz Museum

But the Monkeys also thought of things like Children's Mercy Hospital,





carriage rides through the Plaza,


and hay rides.



After spending a couple of days building lesson plans around all of that, I decided we would do a day on fountains.  After all, we are the city of fountains!  We counted pennies,

 
and used tissue paper water to make an indoor fountain.
 


 
But really, the fun of fountains is in the water.  So, true to form, we took it outside.  The class constructed their own fountain around a water hose and we watched it fill and cascade.
 
 
At one point, they experimented with adding rocks into the buckets.  Once it was discovered that rocks made the whole thing go faster, all of our rocks got used up very quickly!


 
That was one kind of fountain, but we had seen several different fountains in our book, and they decided to try a "stair step" fountain.
 

Each child took a chance to be the "statue" in this fountain.  You'll notice they learned the rock lesson well.
 
After a week of learning about our city, we took a day to talk about Kansas.  Now, there is a lot more you can say about Kansas, but we were working a transition here.
 
You can't talk about Kansas without talking about sunflowers!
And then it was on to the United States.  We listened to patriotic music, created a "deconstructed flag" sculpture, put together puzzles of both Kansas and the USA.  And we also borrowed an idea from Jasper Johns for our art project.
 
 
Using a copy of the final newpaper magazine from the Kansas City Star, the kids collaged over a white canvas.  They then painted the blue field and red stripes (with a little help from strategically placed paper).
 
 
Instead of painting the white stripes white, they simply "painted" those stripes with glue.  All colors got a healthy dose of red, white, or blue glitter.
Finally, they used a star shaped hole punch to make 50 stars and placed them in the blue field.
 
 
 
  I love that we had the chance to use our city's paper to create our country's flag.
 
Happy Independence Day!
~Mrs. Karlie