Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dramatic Areas: Spotlight on Preschool 2 (Newton)

I was inspired by my recent visit to Kena's Preschool 2 classroom in Newton and I wanted to share it with you as well!!  I actually could have picked any number of classrooms in Pine Village to do a spotlight on the dramatic area, but I picked Kena's since it really demonstrates how you can use simple materials to make one space look and feel different on a monthly basis! It just requires a little bit of creativity with the use of your materials to set up a fun invitation to play.  Check it out!!

Theme: Todo Acerca de Mi

Theme: El Transporte

Homemade fire hydrant (out of a box and rolled up paper!)

simple props including a box fire truck, hat, coats etc...

Theme:  La Granja

 Theme:  El Invierno

stirrers, cups and lids

tea kettle, hot chocolate box etc..

Friday, November 15, 2013

Science Area

The Science Area is an area in your classroom that can easily be changed out on a monthly basis with simple materials.  Here is a highlight of how Pre-K teacher, Eliana in Porter Square, changes out her Science Area each month!!




No puedo esperar a ver lo que mas va a agregar durante el ano!!


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Sensory Play for Children

Anoche 20 maestras de Pine Village vinieron a la oficina para participar en un entrenamiento acerca de actividades sensoriales para ninos.

Aqui estan algunos de los comentarios de las evaluaciones del taller!

"Aprendizaje con cosas sencillas. Se pueden crear maravillosas experimentos para los ninos"
"Recomiendo que dieran estas clases constantemente.  Son excelentes"
"Perfecto que desarrollen estos temas.  Son de mucha habilidad para manejar actividades.  Espero que tengan mas para nosotros."
"En particular me gusto la actividad de pegamento y la espuma de afeitar y color."
"The workshop was very excellent!"
"Please make this a MANDATORY TRAINING!!"
"Favor de volver a realizarlo!!"
"Deberia ser obligatorio especialmente para toddlers"
"This training should be MANDATORY!!"

Asi que nos entretuvimos mucho anoche!!  Hicimos muchas recetas nuevas y puedo compartir ALGUNAS con uds. aqui.  Hicimos todo eso y mucho mas!!!!  Muy divertido!!!

(Gala  - preschool teacher in Needham & Esmeralda- float teacher in JPC)

White Bread and & Craft Dough

4 slices of white bread (remove the crusts)
2 tablespoons of white glue

What to do:

Tear up the bread into small pieces and place in a bowl.  Mix the white glue into the bread, mixing with a fork.  The texture should be slightly moist and tacky(i.e. sticky.)  If it seems wet and mushy you will need to add a little more brread.  Once you've achieved the desired texture, begin kneading the dough with your hands.  Squish and squeeze it and roll it between your palms.  The texture will become more smooth and pliable as you work with it.  

Note that this dough will begin to dry out if you work with it too long, so it is best to have some idea of possible projects before you start.  For example:  make beads for jewelry (poke holes before it dries all the way) pendants into which you've pressed an image or small sculptures.  

(Lucy - toddler teacher in Needham)

Puffy Paint:

Shaving Cream
a few drops of white glue

What to do:

Mix all of the ingredients together and have the children paint!!  Dries overnight.

(Darling  - Float teacher in Porter Square)


Equal parts of Cornstarch and water

Variation:  Mix Ooblick with Shaving Cream

(Karina - Preschool teacher in the South End)

Baby Oil and Flour:

The basic ratio is 1 cup baby oil to 2 cups of flour.  Increase as necessary!!  A very creamy substance that washes off very easily.  Makes your hands very soft.  Try it with a lavender sent and let children play with it before nap to relax them.

(Kena - Preschool Teacher in Newton)

Shaving Cream and Water:

Fill a clear large container with water.  On top of the water put shaving cream.  Drip drop primary colors onto the shaving cream.  What happens when you put two primary colors on top???  Excellent science experiment!!!

(Joana - Pre-K teacher in JP Centre)
Magnet Jar

Create a magnet jar for your science center by placing pipe cleaners, paperclips and other items that a magnet attracts to in a large clear jar (like the one seen above.)  Give the children some magnet wands to experiment!!

Magnet Painting
Drip drop some paint on a paper plate and add some paperclips IN the paint.  Using the magnet wand UNDERNEATH the plate, move the paperclips through the paint and watch the colors mix!

(Marisol - Preschool Teacher in JP Centre)

Microwave Playdough

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
food coloring

What to do:

Mix all ingredients and cook on high for 3 minutes.  STOP after each 1 minute and stir well.  

Sensory play should happen EVERYDAY!!!


Friday, October 18, 2013

Classroom Management Center Time Systems

Es importante que los ninos sepan cuantos ninos pueden jugar en cada area de aprendizaje en los salones.  Aqui estan algunos ejemplos!!

Check out how some of our teachers in the schools are dividing out their centers!!  It is an excellent classroom management tool for you to use in your classroom too!!!

Isabel - Pre-K in JP Revere

Marissa - Pre-K in Needham

 Fiorella and Gala - Preschool in Needham

Kena - Preschool in  Newton

Yannet and Joana - Pre-K in JP Centre

Lidiani and Gisane - Pre-K in South End

Be Inspired!!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Many of you have heard me talk about keeping the classrooms, schools and materials/toys organized.  Aqui estan algunas ideas de organizacion para las areas distintas en sus escuelas.


Kena's Preschool 2 classroom in Newton is kept organized with this beautiful shelf that is clearly labeled with pictures and the word in Spanish.  

Each column's label is organized by color too so if the box is removed, then we know where to return it to.  (Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple)


The art supply closet in Newton is also organized by colors so teachers know where to return the supplies when they are finished.  


By putting a photograph with the word it makes it very clear to find what you need to change out your sensory table each week.  

By keeping all of your sensory materials in one place, it makes it easy to have everything there when you need it as a resource.  

Keeping your toy shelves clearlof clutter and clearly labeled is one of the items on your Monthly Checklist.  If you haven't taken the time to label your classroom materials, now is the time to do it!!
(Isabel's Pre-K classroom in JP Revere)

I would like to see all of the materials in the classrooms have a photo and the word in Spanish to make it a print-rich environment.  

(Isabel's Pre-K classroom in JP Revere)

It is ideal to place the picture label on the actual shelf as well so that the children know where to place the items when it's time to clean up. 

(Marilyn and Julissa's Toddler Class in JP Revere)

(Zully and Janette's toddler class in JP Revere)
(Lidiani's Pre-K class in the South End)

(Lidiani's Pre-K class in the South End)


This is a beautiful shelf in the South End that has the photograph and the items stored.  The top of the shelf is inviting and not too overstimulating.  Take a look at your rooms and reflect on how you can make sure that everything is labeled as well!!  

(Lidiani's Pre-K class in the South End)

Check out how Luis in the Pre-K in Kendall Square adds this soft leaf fabric to the tops of the shelves to soften up the hard lines in the room.  

Pre-K classroom Mason Jar Storage

Claudia in the Preschool 2 classroom in Kendall has all of her art materials with a clear label and everything has it's spot.

The Brighton School has been really inspired by Reggio Emilia approach toward classroom design with clutterless shelves, and lots of natural materials (see the plants?)