I can't seem to find time to do all that I need to do and keep my blogging up to date. In August I moved back into the 2's and 3's classroom at our daycare center. I have finished my Start a Preschool training by Joy Anderson and bought a new training called Open a Preschool. I have been continually working on training myself in this area so when I graduate with my ECE degree I will have the option to work from home as a family preschool owner or a public or private school teacher. In September I started my third semester at Western Governors University and my husband and I signed on as volunteers in the church youth class. In October we moved into a new house and celebrated my daughter's 8th birthday. In November and December we celebrated my two teenage son's birthdays and began prepping for Christmas. I also try to maintain my family blog over at www.noplacelikehome-lynn.blogspot.com . So it's been pretty busy. But here's to the little effort I can muster.
Unfortunately, TN has been hit hard with the flu. Our county is saturated with illnesses ranging from the flu itself to strep throat and gastroenteritis (aka "the stomach bug"). Despite surrounding myself with cute little runny-nosed munchkins all day at work (to expose my system gradually--not that I had much choice) and eating Airbourne vitamin tablets like candy, I still managed to catch something this week. I guess you can't take care of your own sick without catching the nasties, despite precautions like Bath and Body Works Hand Sanitizers at every corner (hey now, I know you're thinking any old Germ X would do but there was a SALE) and Lysoling the house down on an hourly rotation; it still got us. It hit us hard. At least my husband and one child and I were spared until after our church Christmas play. I remember feeling the tickly throat on Saturday night, knowing I had to help direct the play and sing a solo, and praying a desperate prayer, something like, "Please Lord, just help us get through the play tomorrow morning." We got through the play just fine; during the service my nephew fell ill and later that day my husband, mother-in-law, and I all got sick. Between hacking coughs exchanged on the phone by my MIL and I this morning, she informed me that the next time I pray, I might want to be a little more specific in my deadlines. lol
Anyway, it's been a busy month at daycare and loads of fun. We got three stars on our assessment (my first time to be assessed--thought I'd die from nervousness!). At least now I know more about what to expect from the ECCERS scale and what all this stuff means. Getting ready for assessment is always a good thing as we make new items for centers, revamp what works and what doesn't, and get a fresh start on the new school year.
I have been thinking as funny as our kiddos are lately, we should compile a little booklet with their sayings. I'll never forget how we'd been asking one little boy, "B." to work on recognizing his shapes for us at circle time. He just didn't seem all that interested until one day, we held up the flashcard of the octagon. Miss Amanda asked B. what shape it was it, and you could just see him trying so hard to think of it, when he excitedly yelled out, "Octopus!".
Another day we were on the playground, enjoying the fall weather and sunshine. Little Miss B. was twirling around and around the swing set pole by herself, spinning herself dizzy. After quite a few turns, she let go and looked at me and said, "Whew! Mrs. Lynn...I feel fizzy!"
I've been hitting Pinterest every couple of days for holiday ideas. We used The Elf on the Shelf again this year at daycare. Our class and the 4's and 5's class worked together to name our elf "Sneaky Charlie Snowflake". How cute!
We added three portable themed centers to our room just for December.
The first was the "Letters to Santa Mailing Center". This was a big hit and was made easily by using a three-drawer storage container. In the drawers were colored pencils, the fronts off of old Christmas cards, stencils, labels, leftover scrap booking paper, rubber stamps, ink pads, and holiday stickers. The 2's and 3's had a blast "writing" letters to Santa and their families.
Our second center was the "Decorate a Tree" center and it was also a hit. Just a Sterilite container with room for two children's name tags (we velcro ours to the center we're using) with a mini tree and some mini decorations inside. Voila! instant fun!
Our last center for December was the "gift-wrapping center". Co-teacher Amanda used two small jewelry boxes and some scraps of wrapping paper, safety scissors, plus mini bows, and tape in another Sterilite box. The children cut and wrapped the gifts over and over. They gave gifts to us and to each other and really used their imaginations! They were so excited when we opened our gifts and commented on the "beautiful diamonds earrings" we'd received. :)
To our art center we added winter-themed cookie cutters, and to our house center we added a mini gingerbread pan and some empty cookie tins to encourage holiday baking. I wanted to find time to make homemade Playdoh in peppermint and gingerbread scents but alas, too little time for so much fun.
This age is so neat to teach because they find pleasure in simple things and to them, learning is still fun.
What kinds of things did your class do to celebrate the holidays? I'd love to hear to from you.