oh dear…

howdy all,

as you may have noticed, the website has not been updated for quite some time…

my reasons being that this site WAS free for teachers, but i have used up all of our storage space, and am now being coerced into spending money on it.

also, there have been some coding issues and stuff is just getting run-down and sloppy looking, so…

i feel somewhat conflicted about this.

which is why i haven’t updated anything.

so, my apologies and love…there will be a major overhaul of the site this summer, and then we’ll be back in business again! thanks for understanding. –ms. amy

Winter Session Update!

JANUARY: If you check the archives, you’ll see “The Cat in the Hat” was one of our first books of the new year.

Needless to say, when the Cat comes back, it is quite the event.

catinhatcomes.jpg

The glorious Chicago weather cooperated beautifully and dumped about four inches of snow just in time to coincide with the book…which is about the kids having to shovel snow, and that crazy Cat in the Hat making all sorts of mischief, the least of which are “snow spots”. We all helped read at story time, especially the ABC review near the end of the book. (oh, and ‘Voom’…must’nt forget the ‘Voom’!)

In honor of this story, we do all manner of crazy things, including our own “snowspot snowflakes”:

using white crayon to make “clean spots”, we put secret white crayon all over our paper, then waterpaint the snowflake picture all crazy, like the Cat. because of the wax resist, the white crayon keeps the “snow spots” off…a fun and almost magical painting process!

we also created our own doorhangers, which is an interesting and novel concept for preschoolers: one side says COME ON IN, COOL CAT and shows the Cat walking into a clean room, the other says ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK showing the kids amongst a huge mess…interesting to discuss with them who lets their room get messy and who’s room is always clean! ; )

ILLINOIS LEARNING STANDARDS:
STATE GOAL 1:
Read with understanding and fluency.
Learning Standard A:
Apply word analysis and vocabulary skills to
comprehend selections.
BENCHMARKS
1.A.ECa Understand that pictures and symbols
have meaning and that print carries a message.

Learning Standard B:
Apply reading strategies to improve understanding and fluency.
1.B.ECb Begin to develop phonological awareness
by participating in rhyming activities.

“So you see!” laughed the Cat,
“Now your snow is all white!
Now your work is all done!
Now your house is all right!
And you know where my little cats are?”
Said the cat.
“That Voom blew my little cats
Back in my hat.
And so, if you ever
Have spots, now and then,
I will be very happy to come here again…”


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OLIVIA: These books are so great for getting kids into acting. i’m adding the link i use for free inspiring Olivia activities, games, and worksheets, all of which are free…

Opening Activity included making circus hats that featured a picture of Olivia in HER circus top hat…sequins and feathers also made this extra fancy and fun. Some of our students chose to create their own tiaras or neck-ruffs as well and had extra goodies to take home to use for imagination play.

Storytime included the books “Olivia and the Missing Toy” and “Olivia Saves the Circus”. To keep students engaged and to help them focus on the wonderful illustrative work, we use “clues” during the second book to help them focus. Pictures of items they MIGHT find in the story (downloaded from the link above) such as a scooter, a trampoline, a top hat, etc. are shown before the story begins. Students then point out any picture matches within the story as they occur, keeping them engaged and reinforcing the idea that the text and illustrations carry meaning and purpose.

Creative play included playing Olivia’s Acting Game…we made an impromptu stage out of risers and with Olivia-themed charades picture-cards, each child acted out on the stage one of the activities, such as walking a tight-rope, juggling, brushing your teeth, singing opera, etc. (cards for game also from link listed)…we also talked about the role of the actor and the audience, and discussed how it is sometimes difficult to only be able to SHOW an activity without using your words or sounds. they all loved it and did GREAT!

ILLINOIS LEARNING STANDARDS:

Learning Standard C:
Comprehend a broad range of reading materials.
1.C.ECb Respond to simple questions about
reading material.

STATE GOAL 25:
Know the language of the arts.
Learning Standard A:
Understand the sensory elements, organizational principles and
expressive qualities of the arts.
BENCHMARKS
25.A.ECb Drama: Investigate the elements of drama.
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FROG AND TOAD/VERDI

CHINESE NEW YEAR