Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Fall, Setting the Table, and a Happy Heart!

First, what is it about 4-year-olds that makes them experiment HEAVILY with being kind to each other?  Are they bored?  Are they teaching themselves how to manipulate a situation with words and body language?  All of the above and more?  It is SO frustrating!  Just be NICE to each other!  I don't know how many times in a week I say "we are all friends, even if we don't want to play together"!  Holy Moly. 

I have tried a warm fuzzy jar, the jewel jar, 3 strikes and your out, and endless comments to the ones making the right choices.  This year is our jewel jar year - putting small jewels that have magnets on the back, onto a paper jar on our white board.  When the jar is full we have a fun day.  This is a good motivator for the whole group and works well.  Right now we have 4 left to earn until a hopeful pajama day - I'm hoping we get that done in order to have a PJ day the day after Halloween.  Because we will all most likely be in a candy coma.  Anywho...I still struggle with just a few friends that don't keep their hands to themselves or are SO mean to each other!  Then there are the sweet ones who almost never get in trouble.  So, we now have a Happy Heart.  I cut out a large heart from poster board.  We sat in a circle and I did the typical "this is what happens to my heart when you act like this" activity where I scrunch up a paper heart to show how words and actions can be damaging.  I then introduced the Happy Heart.  If friends catch each other following directions, being nice, being helpful, or overall just being good, they can use a dot marker to put a dot on the heart - which is on the front of my desk.  It went well the first day!  Then it became overwhelming.  SO, I have decided that I will now have a Dot Giver daily job.  Then one person is responsible for putting on the dots.  However, the Dot Giver can take recommendations from others :-).

Man I hope this works. 

Now just some random pictures of fun things we have been playing with in October! 

drink Coozies aren't just for cans!

make-up sponges painted like candy corn!  FYI - no matter how much your kids wash their hands, the white part tends to get dingy by the end of the season...

pumpkin scented cloud dough

fun Halloween stamps from Michael's

This is my lunch helper basket.  For years I have simply had them put out napkins and utensils.  We are slowly heading towards family-style lunch and this is a natural step.  The black and white stuff is shelf liner that I have cut into child-sized place mats!  We have Styrofoam trays we eat off of and these were measured to be just the right size.  I also have the basket of napkins, the basket for forks/spoons, and 2 centerpieces.  Yes, centerpieces.  We had a big discussion before I started using these about ones they may have on their own tables and how they aren't for touching or moving.  They are there to make the table pretty.  I'm planning to change them seasonally.  The lunch helper puts all of these items on our table(s) each day. 

Long post!  But I have the time as I am in a hotel room with my Husband in Asheville, NC while he watches his Precious Detroit Tigers play game one of the Superbowl.  I mean World Series :-). 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Adventures of Pete the Cat!

I knew before the summer started that I wanted to use Pete the Cat in my classroom a lot this year.  So, he became our Class Mascot!  Last year we used Scaredy Squirrel in the same way - although just as a take home friend.  Families would take Scaredy home and return him to school with a photo diary entry of his adventures with them.  It was a HUGE hit!  So, I knew that Pete would be just as exciting becuase the class LOVED Pete!  Since I work in a Child Care Setting - as a licensed early childhood teacher - I was going to have 6 kids returning to my class this year.  Anywho....on to Pete!  He has been home with one family so far and been on a field trip to a Pumpkin Farm with us.  As the year goes on I will absolutely document his adventures!  I bought the Mascot pack last year from Erica Bohrer's TPT site, but this year I made my own Pete book.  It appears I have forgotten to take a picture of this actual book, but i will!

Here is what I have in the book:

Pete the Cat, I Love My White Shoes
Pete the Cat, Rockin in My School Shoes
(And the stories/songs for both on CD)

Pete the Cat count and clip game
(Making Learning Fun)

The Adventure log - in the log I have directions for how to use Pete, everyone's entries, a blank "frame" for kids to color and place a picture of them with Pete for us to hang on the Wall of Fame. 

Pete the Cat stuffed toy

Here is Pete on our Field Trip!

Sunday, October 7, 2012


Several years ago my Mom taught me how to knit.  That sparked a new "crafty" spirit in me and I've been making scarves ever since!  My sister in law discovered Wright's Simple Scarf Mesh and introduced me to the woven scarf.  They are my best sellers by far.  But I do make some other unique scarves! 

 Two of my woven scarves.  On is black with hints of purple and turquoise.  The other is shades of pink/rose.  I can make them in tans/neutrals, blues, purples, reds, and a few other combos.  I am in a bit of a panic though...when I went to order more mesh forms I discovered the already discontinued store item is not really available online anymore.  Oh my what will I do!!!!!

These are new this year...Loopy scarves.  I use a main color with the accent "seam" color.  They are super easy and quick to make, AND cute!

A new trendy yarn to use this year makes these ribbon/lace like scarves!  I need to get more made ASAP!

My T-shirt scarves.  Something new I made last year.  I have a few left and tons of t-shirts to make new ones this year, I just haven't gotten to them yet. 

I'm part of an annual Craft Fair every year and the date just keeps getting closer and closer and CLOSER!  Yikes!  If only I could make scarves during the work day. 

October "Currently"

This is my first "Currently"!  I have joined a Linky Party - I'm so new to this people.  Oh Boy 4th Grade hosts these monthly and I'm excited to be part of it!  I've been reading these all summer! 

I even want to start doing this for the classroom!  Maybe weekly, maybe.  She has a packet for sale on her TPT store