Blog Archive

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yogurt Ideas

Kids LOVE yogurt! However young children will sometimes end up wearing the yogurt more than eating it. The Go-gurt tubes can be very nice for on the go however these can be very messy if the children squeeze too hard. 

I have found two ways that help the messiness of Go-gurt tubes.

One way is to freeze the tubes of Go-gurt. An adult will have to open the tube but it becomes a nice frozen snack which will not melt too quickly.  

 If your child does not like cold or if you just bought them, another way would be to cut the corner off  and place a straw inside. This way the hole is smaller and the child will have a harder time making a big mess to clean up. 

Monday, March 25, 2013


As a student to become an elementary educator I have really come to realize how important reading is. When making lesson plans for my class I have always incorporated a book with it. I feel that the children can never learn too many words. As they get older knowing a vast vocabulary will help them throughout their lives.

In the center where I work we have some children in first grade. They love to read! I am always finding challenging books for them to begin reading. The schools are now giving an incentive to read for example the first graders were telling me how their school participates in reading counts. (A program where the children read books that are worth different points and take tests on these books) The school where they attend are taking some of the kids with the highest points for a special lunch at Max and Erma's where they will be allowed to get dessert with their lunch. I feel that this is a great incentive to keep these children reading and moving forward.

Reading is used in every subject for example in Music the different notes have meaning and in order to know and understand these meanings you must first be able to read the words. Reading is also used in Math for word problems and in Science for the different plants and animals. In social studies we talk about houses and the different types these all have separate names and meanings. Without reading and understanding the children will have a harder time in these other subjects and may end up falling behind in school.

Reading does not begin in elementary school. Instead it begins in the infant stage when parents and caregivers read to the children and point to the pictures and give them names.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Daycare Ratio VS Kindergarten Ratio

In the state of Pennsylvania the ratio in a daycare for Kindergarten students is one teacher for every twelve students. However in Pennsylvania's schools, the class room sizes can go over twenty students at a time.  I wonder why is it different? These are the same kids that would be at a daycare for before/after school care.

They all have different abilities coming into the school. With this many students the teacher can not always teach to everyone if a majority is behind a select few.

I feel that we should test students before entering school then we would have a better understanding of their ability and would be able to teach them better. Then once we know where each child stands have a class separate with two teachers in order to reach each child and make sure they have the foundation for the rest of their schooling.

Class Size

In today's classrooms the school districts are putting more and more kids into each classroom. With more students in these classrooms it becomes harder for the teachers to give each student that one on one help that the student may need. With this lack of help the students will likely fall behind and become frustrated with school. These students will then be more likely to drop out of school and in turn cause problems in their society.

A huge reason this is beginning to happen is because of budget cuts throughout the country. Some districts will take the cuts in teachers rather than in their prized sporting teams. 

While I do like sports I do not think that they are more important than the teachers who are educating the future of this country. The districts should have many different people from different view points (teachers, parents and the coaches) sit down and discuss how they can rearrange the budget in order to keep the teachers and maybe get more to help alleviate the large number of students going into each classroom.    

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


At my daycare there is a little boy with severe allergies. (nuts, eggs, milk, dogs, etc). One day during snack I noticed he had Oreo like cookies when I looked closer I saw they were Oreo cookies. I was amazed that his parents sent that for him because I thought they were made with dairy. I decided to investigate this further and when I looked on the ingredients it said soy and not any form of dairy. 

This comes in very handy because Oreos can be used for this group in the classroom. The children can make the moon stages with them, make snowmen, spiders and other fun edible crafts for various occasions. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Teaching About Germs

 In school I heard a very good way to teach children of all ages about germs. For this lesson you will need lotion and glitter. Mix the lotion with the glitter and have one child put some on their hands. Then have the children continue to play normally. After about ten minutes have the children stop playing. Ask them to look at their hands to see who has glitter on them. Also show them how there is now glitter on several toys. You can explain how germs go around like the glitter did (without anyone knowing). You can then explain that germs can go on every surface.

Another way to do this lesson would be to replace the glitter with glow in the dark glitter. After letting them play for ten to fifteen minutes have the children sit down all together. At this time turn off the lights and watch the “germs” glow. This will allow them to visually see exactly where all the “germs” are.

After seeing the “germs” have the children wash their hands until they are completely clean.

Hands on? Hands off

I have heard in every education class that I have taken that children learn best from hands on experience. When I have observed lessons I have personally seen just how effective hands on teaching can be for such young children. Working in a daycare for over three years now has shown me how hands on activities affect children in their growth and development.

Even though we as educators see and understand how effective hands on teaching is for these children we are still sending home multiple worksheets and drill like homework for our students. What are even worse are the tests in this country.  Schools are so focused on the test scores since that is how funding is determined. These tests are very hands off for the student. I know even as a college student that tests where it is a lot of memorization is last on my list to study for. If we are focusing on teaching children in a hands on way shouldn't we be testing them in the same way?

As we continue to progress forward with technology and new ways to teach; I hope that we may also come up with new ways to give hands on homework.  I also hope that through technology we are able to come up with some hands on ways to have tests. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quiet Book Page

While looking on Pinterest my coworkers and I found several different quiet books for young children. These books were either too expensive to buy or too difficult to make. Most of the pages I was finding needed a sewing machine and a bunch of fabric. I decided to make this counting page (shown below).

  1.    I got five pipe cleaners and cut them in half.
  2. Then I got beads for each one. (Counting one to ten) I put them in a pattern but they could be attached however you want to. Since the children that will be using this are from ages two to five and using it multiple times I made sure to secure them down on the paper. 
  3.  I took tacky glue and glued each end of the ten pipe cleaners over the ends.
  4.    I then took scotch tape and went over the ends of the pipe cleaners.
  5.    I then cut three pieces of paper to go over the tops and the bottoms of the pipe cleaners.
  6.    I glued these on with tacky glue and then glued numbers one to ten and the word counting onto the page.
  7. Finally once it was completely dried I pulled on each pipe cleaner to make sure it was sturdy enough. 

Circuit mat

I recently bought a circuit machine which I LOVE! However I became very disappointed with my cutting mat that came with it. After cutting for about three weeks and cutting around twenty words, the mat began to lose the stickiness. This of course happened when I was in the middle of a project for my dad. I was not able to go to the store and buy a new machine so I decided to try different things to make the mat usable for the last couple words that I needed. I ended up finding very stick packaging tape. I used this tape to go over the entire mat and it took off some tiny pieces of paper which were stuck to the mat. After removing the pieces I was able to finish the project and extend the life of my mat by several weeks.

Art With Toddlers and Infants

I have recently heard some news that disturbs me. People that babysit or have children that are two or under feel that they cannot do art with the child because they are too young.


Just because the child is younger does not mean that they can’t participate in doing arts and crafts. They might say “but they put everything in their mouth what if they choke or eat something?”
They make crayons that are in the shape of circular people and animals. These crayons allow the child to grip a toy and begin to color that way. Since they are big enough for small children to grasp and hold easily they are too big to fit into a mouth therefore the child cannot choke on this.
Also right on the labels of paint, markers, crayons, etc it tells you if it is non toxic. These ones are safe for kids to use even if it gets placed in their mouth. However, if something says non toxic but keep out of children’s reach this is probably something you do not want to use.
Children love to get messy why not let them paint. On top of regular paint they make a foam paint which is a texture like shaving cream. This not only allows the child to paint and get messy but it provides a sensory activity for the child. In a book for NAEYC accreditation it shows an infant in a diaper with paint on a piece of paper. The infant would crawl or scoot around and create art.
If you ever want to do art with younger children it is very possible. It may be very messy but the children will love it. These children can color, glue shapes onto paper, paint, and shape things out of clay, just to name a few.