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Friday, September 30, 2011

Double Award!

So, I don't know if this is considered cheating, but I am going to combine my 2 award posts into one to save some time and since I am going to be giving both awards away to some of the same people.

Happy Heart of Mine awarded me the Versatile Blogger Award. Thanks sooo much for the honor especially since you said it's for moggers (mommy bloggers) which is technically not what this blog is, although I do have a mommy blog. Anyways, here is the button:

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the person who shared the award with you. 
2. Pass this award to 15 recently discovered blogs and send them the button.
3. List 7 things about yourself.

Here are my nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award.

1. Patience, Pupsters and Pre-K

2. The Corner on Character

3. I Heart Crafty Things

4. The Very Busy Kindergarten

5. Miss Kindergarten

6. Frogs, Bees and Under the Seas

7. I can Teach My Child

8. Preschool Alphabet

9. Sweetwater Style

10. Questing to Raise a Greener Family

11. Embarking on the Mommy Adventure

12. 52 Baby Steps

13. Imagine Dream Create Learn

14. Oceans of First Grade Fun

15. Pocket Full of Kinders


Loving Life (AKA For Love of Cupcakes) awarded me the Blog on Fire Award and I am so honored!! (Thank you so much!!) So I am passing it on to 10 of my Bloggy Friends who I think deserve this award! :o) Oh and I have to say 7 things about myself. If you've been awarded this too, you should do the same!

I am Awarding this Blog on Fire Award AND the Versatile Blogger Award to 10 of my Favorite Bloggers:

1. Happy Heart of Mine

2. The Corner on Character

3. I Heart Crafty Things

4. The Very Busy Kindergarten

5. Miss Kindergarten

6. Frogs, Bees and Under the Seas

7. I can Teach My Child

8. Preschool Alphabet

9. Sweetwater Style

10. Questing to Raise a Greener Family

7 Things About Me

1. I have a sweet little baby boy.

2. I have been married for 10 years.

3. I have my Master's in Education

4. My sister is also a teacher.

5. I am an OSU alum.

6. My favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

7. Right now I am reading The Night Circus on my Nook Color.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thinky Linky Thursday

Preschool Teacher

TBA's Ultimate Linky Party

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday:Oceans of First Grade Fun

This week's guest blogger is from Oceans of First Grade Fun. Check out her blog, she has tons of great ideas and I especially love all the photos she uses to show exactly what she's talking about!

Hi! Ms. A here from Oceans of First Grade Fun.
We live in a technology savvy world and I want my students technology savvy too. As I thought about this post and my wishlist, the item that sits high atop my list is to be able to have I-Pod Touches for all of my students. As I've blog stalked I've come to covet these wonderful creations. Think of the possibilities!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Facebook Page

Just a reminder for all my followers, Cachey Mama's Classroom has a Facebook page! Please click here and like my FB page to get updates. Also, here is an awesome Facebook Linky Party by The Lesson Plan Diva divided by grade level.

Motivational Monday

Just a little funny about Pinterest:

But here is the serious post:
Think about it!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Storytime Sunday: Family

It's FAMILY WEEK in Cachey Mama's Head Start Classroom! Here are some Todd Parr books that are great to learn about families:

Need I say any more about these awesome books? Well if that's not good enough for you, check out these reviews of Todd Parr's books.

Also, we are reading the book What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best by Laura Numeroff.

There are many more wonderful books about family. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but will see how this goes and go from there. Happy school week, friends!

Friday, September 23, 2011

My 5 Senses

This week we are studying our 5 senses. Here is the post with the books we read and here is the Texture Sequencing Sticks activity that we worked on. We also had the kids do tree bark rubbings, a chart in our science observation notebook about how different items feel and each day we made a list for one of the senses. For example, Wednesday we named something you can hear with your ears. This was used also as a great transition tool as when the child names something, they can choose an area or go wash their hands. We also sang the Peanut Butter and Jelly song and the Make a Pizza song during which we discussed how each flavor tastes and what toppings we would put on our pizzas. During mealtimes we also discussed how different foods tasted. We will most likely be breaking down this topic into individual lessons on some of the senses, especially hearing as the children love to play musical instruments and sing!

And, if that's not enough content for you to begin your 5 senses unit, here is a great resource with TONS of ideas.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thinky Linky Thursday

This is a new feature I am starting called Thinky Linky Thursday. Your link can be about anything you do in the classroom to get your students (or children) thinking. So in other words, almost any classroom activity. Please link up and have fun!
Preschool Teacher

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday:The Corner on Character

Hello Friends! This week's guest blogger is Barbara from The Corner on Character. Her blog is truly inspiring and helping to make the world a better place. Please take a moment to check out her blog which always finds a way to put a positive spin on things. Just reading her posts cheers me up every time!

Peace On Earth by Barbara Gruener 

It’s Wish List Wednesday and I’m going to go all out and wish for peace.  Peace on earth.  Peace in my back yard.  Peace of mind.  I know, I know, it’s a lofty goal, but don’t worry, I have a plan.  Here’s what I’m thinking are some of the essential ingredients that we’ll need as we make PEACE a reality.  If only we could add these virtues to our Core Standards recipe somehow, we’d be cooking up a whole generation of Peace Makers!  

P – A scoop of Purpose and Patience

E A heap of Empathy and Enthusiasm
A – A dollop of Acceptance and Apology
C – A generous helping of Compassion and Charity
E – A dash of Encouragement and Energy

Patience and Purpose:  As we teach children to navigate their way through life, we need to be intentional; to do things with purpose.  Let’s not leave anything to chance.  Help them figure out where they belong.  Then teach them to be patient and give themselves (and others!) the gift of time.

Empathy and Enthusiasm:  Help students learn to put themselves in each other’s shoes so that their empathy will grow.  Look for elevating experiences to share with them.  Foster enthusiasm in students by sharing their joy when they make good character choices.

Acceptance and Apology:  Teach students to accept – celebrate and champion even! – one another’s differences and to apologize when they stray from the path of character choices to put us that much further down the road toward peace on earth.

Compassion and Charity:  Show your students how to think with their hearts and they’ll find themselves in the service of others.  Build that capacity for caring and compassion so that inner and outer peace naturally follows.

Encouragement and Energy:  Encourage literally translates into empowering with courage.  Help students find the courage to do the right thing; it will positively energize tomorrow’s leaders as they make footsteps worth following.

You may be wondering if I have a favorite teaching tool for this intangible concept, and the answer is an unequivocal YES!  Check out the book entitled Shhh! by Jeanne Willis.  In this treasure chunk full of onomatopoeic words, a little shrew has something important to share but the hustle and bustle of the world around him drowns out his voice and keeps him from being heard.  He’s got a secret; wanna know what it is?  If you don’t already have a copy on your shelf, put it on your Wish List.  In the meantime, sing it with me:  Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me!  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Storytime Sunday: 5 Senses

This week's study topic is The 5 Senses. Here are the books we will be reading. Again, all big books.

I love how this book uses such great descriptive words.

Love the rhyming words in this book!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Texture Sequencing Sticks

We are going to be starting our lesson on the 5 senses next week. Here is an activity I made that teaches sequencing while adding a sensory aspect by using materials with different textures.
These are very easy to make with the jumbo craft sticks and make sure you use a hot glue gun! (The number 6 is the rough side of velcro) There are many materials with different textures that I'm sure you can find just laying around your classroom. I like having the kids write down or draw pictures of their observations in the class science journal. Have them describe in detail how each one feels, compare the materials and see if they can figure out what each is made from (metal, plastic, etc.). Have fun!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday:The Very Busy Kindergarten

This week's guest blogger is Sue! Her info is below, so check out her blog. It is a great resource and I especially love her Theme Pages. Here is a wish from her wishlist:

Thank you, Lori, for inviting me to dream on your blog and share with your readers.

My name is Sue from The Very Busy Kindergarten, I am new to blogging this year but not new to teaching.

As a teacher of many years, I have accumulated a lot of things over the years and so my classroom is not lacking any resources. The parents where I teach are extremely kind, generous, and are willing to provide the absolute best for their children.

But given the opportunity, I am not above wishing, dreaming, and wanting to improve the experience I am providing my little learners.
Right now I am looking at ways to improve my aging listening center.

My tape player is older than the hills and believe it or not the cassettes are starting to fall apart, some are over 20 years old.

So I think that I need to upgrade……… Will books on CDs be on their way out soon?

Nooks, Kindles, ITouch, IPads ..books online are the new thing..
So I am thinking about upgrading to the IPad2.

However, I sure love the feeling you get when you open that Scholastic box with all the new books.
Thanks for dreaming with me,

My Memories Giveaway Winner!!!

Congratulations to the winner of My Memories Suite software!

Entry number 14 was Oana! Congratulations!!
Thanks to everyone who participated. Keep the followers coming because I will be having another giveaway when I hit 100!

Also, don't forget, everyone is actually a winner because you can use this code to save $10 off your purchase of the My Memories Suite software and a $10 coupon for the store!!! Just use the code STMMMS8389.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Book Giveaway on The Mommyhood Chronicles

Win a Howard B. Wigglebottom book from The Mommyhood Chronicles blog. Click here or below to enter!

Motivational Monday

Simple, yet elegant. Happiness is a choice!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Storytime Sunday:Fall Leaves

Lots of changes are coming to Preschool Teacher blog! First of all, I've purchased a domain name:! I am so excited! Right now I am just redirecting to the blog, but eventually I may make a website as a HQ for everything Cacheymama like the blog, my etsy shop, geocaching, etc. Also, my Etsy Banner is done thanks to Kampie Mana. It is displayed at the top of this blog, so please click and check it out!!! Also, Kampie Mana is working on the new design for Preschool Teacher blog. She is a wonderful artist, so please get in touch with her for custom graphics and designs!

Ok, on to storytime! Well, it may not be fall yet, but it won't be long until those leaves start to change and fall. So, here are some books about leaves!

This book is great! It shows leaf animals you can make for an art project. It goes into detail about many artistic concepts in a child-friendly way such as size, shape, contrasting colors, edges, and layering. It is more than a craft because it teaches the kids how to think about the art they make and what types of media they want to use and make their own choices about how they want it to look. It also talks about other projects you can do with leaves and the life cycle of a leaf. 

It tells about different seasons.

There is a field guide in the back to help the children identify leaves they find. Great science activity!

Here are a couple other fall leaf books I love:


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Helping Children Understand 9/11

10 years after the terrorist attacks on September 11 and it is still fresh in a lot of our minds. But for the children we teach, they were not even alive when it happened. So how do we go about answering their questions when they hear about it on the news, parents and maybe even other kids talking about it? "We will never forget" has been the popular slogan referring to 9/11. So what will you choose to do? Will you forget or will you honor those that lost their lives by passing the message on to generations to come so that we will always remember? Here are some ideas of ways to talk to your children about 9/11:

Tips on talking to your children about 9/11 from the site where you can reserve a visit to the memorial.

This is a list of books for teaching about Patriot Day (9/11)

Here is a video with children reading a book about 9/11 aloud:

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Parent Resources

Here are some resources that I thought might be helpful for you to hand out to parents especially at the beginning of the year when they have a lot of questions. I would suggest NOT giving these all out at one time, but I find them really useful and I think your parents will too.

10 Ways to Help Your Child Do Well in School

  1. Show you care.  Your child needs hugs and words of support.  Ask your child about school each day.

  2. READ, READ, READ!  Read with your child, or have him/her read to you every day.  Make it fun and talk about what you've read.

  3. Make home a place for learning.  Help your child practice reading, writing, math, and science skills.  Stimulate your child's creativity!

  4. Promote healthy habits.  Make sure that your child gets plenty of sleep and exercise and eats healthy well balanced meals.  Schedule regular check-ups.

  5. Be a role model.  Your child learns from you.  Be positive about education and show you enjoy learning.

  6. Encourage independence.  Allow your child to make mistakes and learn to accept their consequences.  Give your child responsibilities, such as household chores.

  7. Create a study routine.  Set a time and a quiet place for your child to work every day.  Do homework activities together.

  8. Get involved.  Attend school events and help out at school if you can.

  9. Build success.  Help raise your child's self esteem by setting reachable goals and praising your child's efforts, not just results.

  10. Make school important.  Insist on good attendance and punctuality. 

I soooo love this one because is all the things we do as preschool teachers, but are sometimes hard for us to explain to parents. This list is pretty much all the things that provide a good foundation for children to learn and be productive not just now, but for the rest of their lives.

20 Tips for Parents from Preschool Teachers

Five teachers with a combined 90 years of experience share tips for parents of 2- to 5- year olds.

Promoting Independence
While 3- and 4-year-olds still need plenty of parental help, our preschool experts agree that kids are typically able to do more than many of us think. Here's how you can encourage them:
1. Expect more. Most people have a way of living up (or down) to expectations -- preschoolers included. "At school we expect the kids to pour their own water at snack, to throw away their plates, to hang up their jackets -- and they do," says Jennifer Zebooker, a teacher at the 92nd Street Y Nursery School, in New York City. "But then they'll walk out of the classroom and the thumb goes in the mouth and they climb into strollers." Raise the bar and your child will probably stretch to meet it.
2. Resist doing for her what she can do herself. While it may be quicker and easier to do it yourself, it won't help to make your child more self-sufficient. Quick hint: Appeal to her sense of pride, suggests Donna Jones, a preschool teacher at Southern Oregon University's Schneider Children's Center in Ashland, Oregon. "Whenever I'm trying to get kids to dress, put jackets on, sit on chairs during meals and so on, I'll ask them: 'Do you want me to help you or can you do it yourself?' Those words are like magic," promises Jones. "The kids always want to do it for themselves."
3. Don't redo what they've done. If your child makes her bed, resist the urge to smooth the blankets. If she dresses herself in stripes and polka dots, compliment her "eclectic" style. Unless absolutely necessary, don't fix what your child accomplishes, says Kathy Buss, director of the Weekday Nursery School, in Morrisville, Pennsylvania. She will notice and it may discourage her.
4. Let them solve simple problems. If you see your child trying to assemble a toy or get a book from a shelf that she can reach if she stands on her stepstool, pause before racing over to help. "Provided that they are safe, those moments when you don't rush in, when you give children a moment to solve things for themselves, those are the character-building moments," says Zebooker. "It's natural to want to make everything perfect, but if we do, we cheat kids of the chance to experience success."
5. Assign a chore. Putting your preschooler in charge of a regular, simple task will build her confidence and sense of competency, says Buss. A child who is entrusted to water the plants or empty the clothes dryer is likely to believe she can also get dressed herself or pour her own cereal. Just be sure the chore you assign is manageable and that it's real work, not busywork, since even preschoolers know the difference. The goal is to make your child feel like a capable, contributing member of the family.
Winning Cooperation
Walk into almost any preschool class in the country, and you'll see children sitting quietly in circles, forming orderly lines, raising their hands to speak, passing out napkins and snacks. The question is: How do teachers do it? How do they get a dozen or more children under 4 to cooperate, willingly and happily? While there's no secret formula, most say:
6. Praise is key, especially if your child is not in a cooperative phase. Try to catch her being good. Kids repeat behaviors that get attention.
7. Develop predictable routines. Kids cooperate in school because they know what's expected of them, says Beth Cohen-Dorfman, educational coordinator at Chicago's Concordia Avondale Campus preschool. "The children follow essentially the same routine day after day, so they quickly learn what they are supposed to be doing, and after a while barely need reminding." While it would be impractical to have the same level of structure at home, the more consistent you are, the more cooperative your child is likely to be, suggests Cohen-Dorfman. Decide on a few routines and stick to them: Everyone gets dressed before breakfast. When we come in from outside, we wash our hands. No bedtime stories until all kids are in jammies. Eventually, following these "house rules" will become second nature to your child.
8. Lighten up. If your child refuses to do something, try turning it into a game. "Humor and games are two great tools that parents sometimes forget about in the heat of the moment," says Zebooker. When her own son, now 13, was in preschool, she used to persuade him to put his shoes on in the morning by playing shoe store. "I would say, 'Welcome to Miss Mommy's Shoe Store, I've got the perfect pair for you to try on today,' and I'd speak in a silly accent and he loved it." (I've had luck using this strategy with Sophie, who used to clamp her mouth shut whenever I tried to brush her teeth. Now we play the "Let's Guess What You Ate Today" game -- and she willingly opens up so I can search her molars for cereal, strawberries, or mac and cheese.)
9. Warn of transitions. If your child pitches a fit whenever you announce it's time to switch gears --whether that means shutting off the TV, stopping play to come eat, or leaving a friend's house -- it could be that you're not giving enough advance notice. "At school we let kids know when transitions are coming so they have time to finish whatever they're doing," observes Cohen-Dorfman. "If you need to leave the house at 8:30 a.m., warn your child at 8:15 that she's five more minutes to play, then will have to stop to put her toys away. Set a timer so she knows when the time is up."
10. Use sticker charts and rewards judiciously. "If your child is always working for the reward, he won't learn the real reasons for doing things -- that he should pick up his toys because family members pitch in," says Buss. Best bet: Reserve rewards for finite endeavors, such as potty training, but avoid offering them for everyday things, such as dressing himself or brushing his teeth.
11. Give structured choices. If, for example, your 3-year-old refuses to sit at the dinner table, you might offer the choice of sitting and getting dessert -- or not sitting and missing out on a treat. "At first, your child may not make the right choice, but eventually he will, because he'll see that the wrong choice isn't getting him what he wants," says Buss. Just be sure, if you want your child to choose option A, that option B is less attractive.
12 No ifs. Make requests in language that assumes cooperation. "If you finish putting away your crayons, we can go to the park," suggests that perhaps your child won't clean up his crayons. Try instead: "When you put your crayons away, we'll go to the park."
13. Prioritize play. Preschool teachers said over and over that kids today are less able to play imaginatively than kids of a decade or two ago. "Too much of their day is structured in supervised activities," says Haines. The antidote: Get comfortable saying "Go play." It's not your job to see that your child is entertained 24/7. Let her get a little bored. But make sure she has items like dress-up clothes, paint and paper, a big cardboard box, and play dough.
14. Do it to music. There's a reason the "cleanup" song works. "Set a task to music, and suddenly it's fun," says Sandy Haines, a teacher at the Buckingham Cooperative Nursery School, in Glastonbury, Connecticut. If you're not feeling creative, suggest "racing" a song: "Can you get dressed before Raffi finishes singing 'Yellow Submarine'?"
15. Encourage teamwork. If your child is fighting over a toy with another child, set a timer for five minutes, suggests Buss. Tell one child he can have the toy until he hears the buzzer, and then it will be the other child's turn.
16. Let your child work out minor squabbles. Instead of swooping in to settle disputes, stand back and let them work it out (unless they're hitting each other). You won't always be there to rescue your child.
Disciplining Effectively
It struck me recently that I've never met a parent who doesn't use time-outs, and never met a preschool teacher who does. So what discipline strategies do teachers recommend?
17. Redirect. If your preschooler is jumping on the couch or grabbing for her big sister's dolls, distract her by asking if she'd like to draw a picture or read a short story together.
18. Prevent good-bye meltdowns. If your child is nervous about spending time apart, give him something tangible to remind him of you. Let him carry your picture; kiss a tissue or cut out a paper heart and put it in his pocket. Having something physical to touch may help him feel less anxious -- and short-circuit a tantrum.
19. Involve her in righting her wrongs. If you find her coloring on the walls, have her help wash it off. If she knocks over a playmate's block tower, ask her to help rebuild it.
20. Don't delay discipline. If you must reprimand your child, do so when you see her misbehaving, advises Buss. "Sometimes I will hear parents say, 'Wait until we get home ... ,' but by the time you're home, your child has forgotten the incident." Similarly, canceling Saturday's zoo trip because of Thursday's tantrum won't prevent future outbursts; it will just feel like random, undeserved punishment to your child.

Some parents may not realize their child is learning math already in preschool. Here is something you can show them to help them understand early math skills.

Preparing for Preschool Math

In preschool, math is an everyday experience for your child — find out how the teachers help children understand preschool math concepts.

Preschoolers do math even though they are not sitting at desks with workbooks or memorizing multiplication tables. Preschool math helps them make sense of the world around them and teaches them to reason and problem-solve. Teachers of preschool math build on children's prior knowledge and capitalize on their spontaneous discoveries to further their understanding of mathematical concepts.

The NAEYC and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics have outlined the following as particularly important parts of preschool math learning:
  • Numbers: In preschool math, children learn about numbers by counting objects and discussing the results. "You gave Chris six goldfish crackers. How many does Susie need?" Children count spaces on board games. They count the days until their birthdays. The teacher might say, "Yesterday there were 12 days until your birthday. How many days are there now?" Preschoolers read counting books and recite nursery rhymes with numbers.
  • Geometry and spatial relations: Children practice constructing shapes and discussing their properties. They see skinny triangles and fat triangles and upside-down triangles and gradually realize that they are all still triangles.
  • Measurement: Children compare the height of a block tower with the height of a desk or table. They measure each other and the distance from the kitchen corner to the water table. They learn that this block is too short to make a bridge over the road. Preschool math teachers reinforce children's findings by asking questions and making observations: "I wonder if this block is long enough to bridge the road. Let's try it."
  • Patterns/geometry: Children become aware of patterns in their clothes. They learn to recognize patterns of different colors and sizes in beads and blocks. They practice reproducing simple patterns by stringing beads and copying designs with colored blocks.
  • Analyzing data: Children sort objects by color, size, and shape, count them, and record the data on graphs and charts. These charts might reflect the class pet's growth, the number of rainy days in February, how many bean plants have sprouted, or the number of children with a birthday in March.

And an awesome resource I came across just yesterday, this blog called Books that Heal Kids. You definitely need to check it out!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Wishlist Wednesday:I Hart my Preschoolers

This week's guest blogger is fellow Head Start teacher! Alicia is so creative and I love the photos of her classroom. Her blog includes some great ideas for the classroom as well as many papercrafts and and other fun craft ideas. Check out her blog and see what you can find!