Random Acts of Kindness

Random Acts of Kindness Week 2016 is Feb. 14-20.
We will be doing some Kindness Projects. Please keep a look out of notes being sent home.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Syrup anyone?

  We have three huge trees in our back yard.

They provide awesome shade!   Yesterday they provided an avenue for imagination and learning.

 Now I can't say I know exactly when or how the idea came to be.  I looked over to find two of the kids pushing a broom into the side of the tree. 

 My first thought is that they should not be doing this and I started to make my way over towards them.    Before I intervened I listened to the conversation between Big "A" and "D."  Big "A" was explaining to "D" that they were making a hole in the tree to get to the sap. From the sap they would make syrup and then sell it in the front yard. (Who needs a lemonade when you can get fresh syrup? :) )  

They hung a bucket under the hole to catch the sap. 

Later they nailed a piece of wood so the sap would run down into the bucket.

The gathered containers to hold the sap.

As they are working on it they were discussing how to make the sap into syrup.  One girl, "A", told them they would have to add sugar to it.  Big A said you had to boil it for a minute.
When "D's" mom arrived Big "A" told her what they were doing. She asked what kind of tree it was.  They decided it wasn't maple. After further discussion they decided it was an Oak tree and they were making Oak syrup.
I told them I didn't think it was an Oak tree.  "A" asked me to Google on my phone to find out what kind of tree it was. We are pretty sure it is a Linden tree.  So then they wondered if syrup can be made from the sap of a Linden tree.  We learned that the flowers from the Linden tree are used to make a syrup. We couldn't find anything about tapping the tree to use the sap for syrup.

Our day came to an end but the boys didn't get to sell syrup as they hoped.  They enjoyed trying and experimenting as they tried to complete their plan.  Everyone learned a little something about trees and sap as well. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Random Acts of Kindness & Valentine's Day

I'm slow at getting posts made of all the things we are doing in Preschool.  During Valentine's Week we focused on ways to be kind to one another. We talked about how something as simple as a smile can make someone happy.
Our first project was Kindness badges.  Each child decorated a heart which said 'I Am Kind."
We pinned these on their shirt to wear home. 
We put their pictures on doily hearts called our Kindness Hearts.  
Each day when we saw a child do something nice we gave them a sticker to put on their heart. Their nice gestures included things like comforting someone who got hurt, helping someone put on their coat, pick up the circle time mats for me without being asked, picking up toys they weren't playing with, etc.  As soon as they saw someone do a good deed they quickly started doing the same thing.  We told them we didn't want them to come tell us when they did something good. We suggested they tell us when they saw SOMEONE ELSE do something good.--kind of a reverse tattling.  It certainly made them more aware of doing nice things for others.

Last year we asked each child to choose someone to send a balloon and special note (a Smile Gram). This year we decided to literally send a smile. We took a picture of each child with their biggest smile.  We enlarged the pictures and cut out only the child's smile and glued them on red lips the children decorated with stickers.  
Once again the children chose someone to write a special note to (a SMILE GRAM) but we asked them not to sign their name.  We put the smile, Smile Gram and a couple poems in an envelope and mailed them to the recipients.  The first poem was printed on the back of the Smile Gram:
'Smiles are Infectious'
Smiling is infectious,
You catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today,
I started smiling too
I passed around the corner,
And someone saw my grin.
When he smiled I realized
I'd passed it on to him
I thought about that smile
then I realized its worth,
A single smile, just like mine
could travel round the earth
So, if you feel a smile begin,
don't leave it undetected
Let's start an epidemic quick,

and get the world infected!
[Author Unknown] 

The other poem I made up myself:

When I thought of you today
My mouth begin to smile
We took a picture real quick
To save it for a while
I put it in an envelope
To mail it right to you
I may not have signed my name
But can you guess who???
I am learning about being kind
I hope this brightens up your day
Please pass this along
It’s the Random Act of Kindness way!

It would be so neat if everyone who received a 'smile' passed it on to someone else.

We are planning to continue the Kindness Heart idea into March by giving each child a Pot. They will fill their pot with Gold with each kind deed. 

Floor Maze- taking it to the next level!

The Internet has to be one of the greatest resources early childhood teachers have.  I am amazed at the wonderful ideas I have found!  The original floor maze I found at the blog:   Hands on: How we Grow   http://www.handsonaswegrow.com/2012/01/counting-activity-maze-of-numbers.html  .)
I recently found another similar idea using tape on the floor at : http://www.teachpreschool.org/2012/02/everyday-math-in-preschool/

After seeing this I immediately thought it would be fun to make this into a life size board game.  I got my chance this week.

Today as we began our Dr. Seuss Week and the reading of The Foot Book, I thought what a great use of our feet!  I brought out the tape and started making tape lines across the floor.

 I extended this between two rooms. The picture above is in our Truck/Block center. 
  I added lines in between to make boxes.
These are the boxes in the House area.

As the boxes reach the doorway between the two rooms the children find an orange and green arrow. At this box the children will roll a die with green and orange arrows on it.  The arrow they roll will determine if they have to take the long route or the short cut to 'HOME.'  ( Another die with the numbers 1 to 6 will tell them how many spaces they go on each turn. )  
 You will notice the green route is the longest one. The orange route is the shortcut.

Now we haven't actually played a game on this yet.  The kids had fun jumping from box to box as I taped them down. Some rolled from box to box, others took giant steps being careful not to step on the tape lines, and some others just ran along the path.  A few children brought out the trucks and buses and drove them down the 'roads.'  They were just enjoying having something different.  The ideas are endless!!  
Since it's supposed to be cold and rainy tomorrow we should have time to try this out.  I will have to post a follow up blog with the new ideas the kids come up. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Floor Maze

(This was originally an idea I found on another blog:  Hands on: How we Grow   http://www.handsonaswegrow.com/2012/01/counting-activity-maze-of-numbers.html  .)

After last weekend's snow storm we found ourselves inside looking for something new to keep the kids busy so they wouldn't just run from room to room.  I had just 'pinned' this idea a night or two earlier and decided to try it.  I grabbed whatever kind of tape I could find and just started putting it down on the carpet. In my mind I was making a maze for them to drive cars in.

  The kids soon had different ideas. The red tape is the race track.
They added blocks for ramps for their monster trucks to jump. ( A couple boys had just been to a Monster Truck Rally that weekend)
They decided this table was McDonalds so we had to put the tape around it to be the drive thru.
These girls were taking orders.
Of course we had to make parking stalls too!

Some of the tape has gotten pulled up.  As they play they come up with more ideas and need tape put in different places.   It never seems to be the same game twice.  
I LOVE to see the kids use their imagination this way! 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Humpty Dumpty

This week is Nursery Rhyme week.  In addition to focusing on the rhyming words we wanted to had fun with the  stories behind the rhymes.  I love doing cooking and science type activities so Humpty Dumpty gave us a great opportunity.  Many of the children knew that Humpty is an egg.  What they hadn't thought about before is whether they could put an egg shell back together once it is cracked.  We decided to see if it was possible.
We started with hard boiled eggs.

A cardboard brick/block was our wall.

They got to make their Humpty Dumpty fall as many times as necessary to crack the shell.

Then they worked diligently to peel the little pieces off. ( We had already tried putting a shell back together during circle time with the egg I showed them).

Some children ate the white part, some tried the yoke, some just peeled the egg, some ate the whole thing.

They are already asking when we can do it again!