Sunday, December 5, 2010

I am so proud!!!!

Yes, I confess, it feels so good to see children progress and develop. :D I have a child in my classroom who has finally, after almost three months in my class, took her first steps. She had some gross motor challenges and through hard work and lots of love and patience on the parts of the parents and her physical therapist (and us teachers :D) she is doing a wonderful job! My little one was so determined. She hated being carried. She came into my class scooting on her bottom. After some time (with a lot of guidance from her PTs) we managed to get her to crawl on her hands and knees more. We (my co-lead teacher and I) let her walk holding our hands more even though it took the class an extra minute to get outside. We encouraged her to use push toys instead of scooting and crawling around the playground. Last two weeks, she has been trying to stand up on her own. She was also able to walk along side of the furniture in the classroom. Last week, she began walking only using one hand for support. Last thursday, she walked up a ramp holding onto the rail all by herself. But last friday she shocked us all. She took four itty bity steps by herself, she was able to stand for quite a while by herself before falling to the floor. She was so proud of herself! We were proud of her too. I am guessing it wont be long now before she is able to walk!!! and even run! :D

Friday, November 12, 2010

This for that - Redirection

I confess, saying "no thank you," "don't touch," "get down," does not always work on the very young. For some, they need something in place of of what is being taken away, they need a permissible action/behavior in exchange for the action/behavior you are trying to correct. In my class, I have a very lively bunch who love to climb on their tables. I can't tell you how many times I have told the to get down, feet on the ground, you are going to hurt yourself......! Only to turn around a minute later and they are at it again. I also have a little one who is fascinated by all the contraptions on teacher's desk. She is finally just tall enough to touch the key board and mouse or other item that are to close to the edge. Grrrrrr! She is constantly pulling things down! Well, about a week ago i got my aha! moment. I don't know why it took me this long, but I'm really excited. For the climbers, I not only tell the to get down, but I tell them where they CAN climb. They not only get down but they stay down (for a lot longer than before.) for the reachers, I found a high cabinet that I pit a bunch of books and fun item on, now, when they/she reaches up on my desk, I tell her/them to go to their "desk" to reach up on. So fr so good. They all immediately respond to the redirection when given an equally fun alternative.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Book Review: Eight Spinning Planets

This week our center book fair landed during "Our Solar System" curriculum week. When I saw this book, I HAD to get it. Along with fun rhyming information about the planets, great illustrations, it had bubbled planets that the children loved touching. Talk about being in the right place at the right time! :D This book gets all the stars in the universe :D

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Books and Technology

Where will the digital world take us?I confess, while sitting here checking email, updating my facebook status and reading tweets, I came across a tweet that asked, "what will libraries look like?" in the future as we move to move forward and e-books become more popular and accessible. I realized that it has been ages since I set foot in a library, this coming from a girl who was practically raised in our small town library. Granted, the last time I went to the library, which wasn't that long ago, was in search of some board books for my classroom, but I'm talking about sitting down amongst thousands of books and spending hours reading.

The thought brought back floods of memories and sensations. I can almost remember the smell of my hometown library. The smell of the books, the carpet under my feet (yeah, I used to take off my shoes when the librarian was not looking :D), the hard seats when the more comfortable chair was already taken, the smooth covers of the books as I shelved books and the goosebumps I'd get when it got a bit too cold. The only sounds heard were the hushed whisperings of patrons, tapping of typewriters and the turning of pages. Being home-schooled allowed me an opportunity to spend hours and hours at the library. On a good day, I spent more than four hours. I even learned how to use library system to help others check out books, input returned books and even shelve returned books. It was such a great experience.

Then comes technology, giving us the e-book. Not sure how embracing I am of the thought of e-books. I love holding books, smelling books and the simple sensation of turning pages. Just how will e-books transform the library culture and way of life? What will they look like? I can only imagine some hallowed room with nothing but glass and colorless, streamlined computer stations where people can hook their ipads, kindles, laptops and other e-readers to charge and download books, information and even automated librarians. The room will have a more sterile smell due to problems dust can create for the library mainframe. There will be no intimacy between person and book or person and library. People will interact with machine instead of other humans.

Who knows what the future has in store for books and the library, but hopefully we still have a long time before the written word becomes obsolete. I'm a die-hard book fan and hopefully enough of us will keep the book and library culture alive. At least for the next 7 generations! :D

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Book Fair!!!

A book fair is coming soon to the Child Care center where I work. I confess, I'm really excited!!! For some reason, books and being around them make me happy. :) I have been searching the Scholastic website to see what books they have that I want for my classroom. Our center is also doing a coin drive to raise funds to buy books for each classroom. I look forward to that as well. I just may buy books myself! :)Books are a big part of my classroom. While most books we keep up in the teacher trove, we have all the kiddies favorites on a mini bookshelf that they have access to all day long. We love sitting down reading together. I always know when a book is a favorite when it is read a gazillion times (in one or two sittings) and loved to bits and pieces!:) With the coming of another book fair, we get to throw out the tattered, battered and chewed books and replace them with all new books ready to be loved! I love book fair season! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


... for another successful transition!!! :) My new toddlers are adjusted to their new classroom. A couple are still a bit cautious but they are beginning to explore their classroom, watch their friends and most importantly, laugh and smile!!!! There is nothing cuter than a baby's giggle and smile. Precious!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Cool art project for toddlers....

If you don't mind a messy clean up, this was a really fun and cool (or should I say 'cold!'" art project for one year olds. We froze water colors into small cubes of ice. We used a thick canvas type paper for them to draw on. It was really cute how they had to figure out how to use the cubes to color with. One of the little ones looked up at me and said "cold" as she held her cube. They had a good time playing with their cubes both on the paper and on themselves! It was not only a great creative expression experience, but also a wonderful science and sensory experience for them.

*Pics coming soon*

It gets sweeter.....

I confess, i love when my toddlers love me, even more so when they transition to an older classroom and they still adore me! Thursday, a teacher from the twos classroom stopped by to tell me just how much one of my littles ADORED and LOVED me. She stands by the gate of the twos playground and yells my name and saying "Hi" to me, even if I'm not outside. It's sad thinking about it but oh so cute. If I walk past the window of their classroom, they all pause to point and shout my name. How I adore my job and caring for children. They are indeed a precious blessing. Now, I have four new children to love, adore and teach. :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Book Review: The Jolly Postman or Other People's Letters

For "At the Post Office" week, I read this book to my toddler classroom. It was a bit over their heads but they loved it anyway. The story was more appropriate for them as the illustration captivated them. They also loved the fact that there were letters in all the envelopes. Only a couple of the children cared to listen to the letters and soon lost interest, but when I read the story without the letters, they were able to make it to the end of the book. =) The story basically follows a postman as he delivers mail and packages to different people in the town. He also has a cup a tea at everyone's home that he delivered to. I personally liked the letters and think older children (Pre-K) would enjoy the letters and the humor in them. I give this book 3.5 stars! (only because it is better suited for a Pre-K classroom and not a toddler classroom)

At the Post Office

This week, we learned all about the post office. We looked at pictures of mail rooms, postal clerks, mailboxes, mail truck and more. The children made mailbox collages, colored letters and envelopes, and colored a picture of a postman. =) I even made a cardboard box covered with blue construction paper to look like a mail box. We stuffed their "letters" in the envelopes and pretended to mail their letters in the mailbox. The children really enjoyed stuffing the mailbox and then emptying it again so they could do it all over again! :D

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To raise a reader.....

1.Read aloud every day to your child.

2. Be a reader yourself. Children learn from what they see.

3. Make reading a special time; get excited about the new books and illustrators that are out there.

4. Find special author’s to follow whose work you both like.

5. Go to the library, book store or start a book club/swap for children your child’s age.

taken from

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

At the end of the day....

It's funny, no matter how hard a day was, how stressful a situation was or how difficult the children may have been, at the end of the day, when they are all tired and want to cuddle in a teacher's lap, they are at their sweetest cuteness!! :D The room is quieter, the children are calmer (with an exception of a few,) and the room seems more open for them to find a spot to call their own. Well, today was one of those days.

We are in our second week of transition and the children are still getting use to their new classroom, teachers, classmates and new routines. A few did a lot of crying, a few took short naps, a few got into trouble with their classmates and the rest had just way too much energy! But around 4:30pm, numbers dropped and each remaining child grabbed a book and came and sat next to me to read. We read one book, "This is my car," that kept them entertained for a good 10 minutes!!! They also took turns sitting in my lap. :D As soon as one child got up, another took up residence.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quote of the Day: Speak kind words.......

~Speak kind words, and you will hear kind echos~

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What is your child reading today?

The 2010 Summer Read-a-Thon is here! check out the reading list & guidelines for more details at

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More Board Books!

YES, yes, yes!!! Now here is a site that is raising the profile of board books for toddlers!!! This article is raising awareness about the need for more quality and diverse board books which are usually a young child's first encounter to reading and literature. I can attest to that; I work with one year olds and the books we leave on the shelf for them to touch and "read" are board books. Their reading experience also becomes a sensory experience. Children learn and develop by using all of their senses. Board books last longer as young children learn to respect and take care of books but at the same time instill a love for reading and learning.

Summer is here!!!

Yes, the sun came out and it is hot!! Two afternoons in a row, we had to cool off the kids and our playground with a hose!! While summer can be lots of fun, it can be dangerous for little ones if safety precautions are not taken. Some tips to having a safe and fun summer at our center are as follow:

Plenty of sunscreen
Appropriate clothing for sun protection (hats, sunglasses, cotton clothing)
Plenty of water play
Plenty of drinking water available
Play in shaded areas as often as possible (limited direct sun exposure)
Watching for dehydration
Watching for heat exhaustion
Keep toys in a shaded area
Cool off toys/play area with water (if necessary)

Here's to having a great summer!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A book is a gift you can open again and again.

~ Garrison Keillor ~

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Bubble Frenzy!

Ah, the simplicity of life in the eyes of a toddler. Today was a ho-hum. We were late getting the children outside due to changes in float schedules and a late art project. So I figured, the only way to get them to expend their energy in a short amount of time would be to make them run, and run hard. Ha, making a toddler run and run hard is like trying to herd cats, or so I thought. I pulled out some bubbles to play with them after all my chasing games fizzled out. WOW! talk about a toddler frenzy!!!!! They loved the bubbles. They screamed as they chased the bubbles around the playground trying to catch them. They bumped into each and giggled as they fell to the ground only to jump up again and run after more bubbles trying to grab them. "More....more bubbles," they'd ask as I took a break from blowing. It is really easy to get light-headed after blowing for a while. But each time I got my breath back, they'd go into their bubble frenzy. It was such a delight to see something as simple as bubbles, brighten up their day, give them so much happiness and joy AND use up all that energy toddlers tend to have just before nap! :D

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Where did my ears go??

Cute classroom (playground) story. Yesterday, my classroom and I played out in the rain. Surprisingly, they loved it! Usually, they cry, whine and tug at my legs until we go inside, but not yesterday! They all found stuff to play with. It didn't pour on us for long, after awhile, it stopped. One of my littlest ones fell down and wanted to be held. After a a bit, she calmed down and just enjoyed being in my arms. She looked at me, first my eyes, then she pointed to my glasses and said, "ga ga" I said, "yes [child's name], glasses." She touched my nose and said, "o." "yes, my nose." She leaned over and reached for my ears and touched my scarf. She had a very confused look on her face. She could not find my ears. I asked her, "where are my ears?" She looked to the right and left of my head, still confused. I asked her again, "where did they go?" She looked down at the ground. She squiggled out of my arms and started searching for my ears (on the ground!!) I was tickled pink! This is not the first time one of my students have been stumped by my ears being hidden under my scarf, but they have all been able to find them. She is the first to not check under my scarf. My little dear one is still looking for my ears :D

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Quote of the Day: No substitute for books......

~There is no substitute for books in the life of a child~

May Ellen Chase

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Read the Printed Word

I pledge to read the printed word!

I am hoping the printed book will be around for a long, long time. In my classroom, books are loved (and taught to be respected.) We read books, look at the pictures and sometimes, even make up our own stories, the true joy of reading comes in holding it in your hands.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: Teaching reading......

"Teaching reading IS rocket science."

~ Louisa Moats ~

Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Review: The Very Quiet Cricket

A cute book about a cricket that is really quiet. The children also learn about a variety of bugs and the sounds they make. My only problem with the book was the repetitive phrases that was repeated on each page the cricket met a new bug. It made the book a bit long and a few of my toddlers got bored. I had to improvise to keep their attention. The cool thing I liked about the book, however, was the cricket sound it made at the end of the story when the very quiet cricket met another very quiet cricket. They loved it! I would give this book a solid 3.5 :)

Bug WeeK

This week is all about bugs! We have set out a variety of bug books with colorful illustrations. We have so far made paper plate ladybugs and pom pom caterpillars. We will also make a bumble bee collage and play with a variety of bugs (toys of course) in our sensory table filled with sand. Naturally, with spring here, there should be live bugs outdoors that we can find and study up close.

Monday, March 15, 2010


Our grasslings at week one.

I love spring. It is a constant reminder that after hardship, comes ease. It is also a wonderful learning experience for young children to experience and explore changes in the world around them. Last week, we planted catnip and they have now sprouted. It was really fun. They filled their starter planters with soil. Then added seeds. Then covered the seeds with a little more potting soil. Every day, they watered their pots and watched for growth. As the season progress, I want to do more planting and gardening projects with them. :)

*Pictures coming soon*

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thursday Quote of the Day: teachers must never stop learning.

~Who dares to teach must never cease to learn.~

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Olympic Week Activities

The last week of February was a blast! We topic was toddler versions of "Olympic" winter sports and games. Our events included:
Hockey on our playground, one of our parents shared a hockey set with the class for the week.
Mountain Climbing, we stacked our classroom pillows under our futon couch mattress to make a mountain. We then covered it with a white cloth. They enjoyed climbing up, running/rolling and jumping on it. It was great for large motor skills development and expending a lot of energy!!!
"Ice" Skating around our classroom, we rolled up the large area rub in our classroom, took off our shoes and "skated" around the classroom. It helped that our floor had just recently been shined :D After watching a real ice skater on our classroom computer, the children joined me on our own "ice" floor.
Box sledding, we attached ropes to a medium sized box and took turns pulling and riding in the box. It was a great workout for the children pushing and pulling the box! :D It was also a great way to teach teamwork to the children, especially when one tried to go one way and another the other way.
Animals on Ice, I froze a large sheet of ice then placed it in our sensory table. I added a few animals into the table and let the children slide the animals across the ice.

As with all topics of interest, I love to incorporate art in our learning experiences. Some of our art projects included:

Team t-shirt, each child painted olympic colors onto their shirts. They then decorated it with glitter.
Ice cube painting, I froze different colored water color in an ice tray. Once frozen, the children used the cubes to paint white construction paper. The colors first looked really dark when wet, but as they dried, the colors were vibrant!
Gold medal art, instead of just giving them pre-made medals, we thought it would be more fun if the children participated in the making of their medals. They painted a precut card stock with yellow paint and gold shimmering water color. Once dried, we added the ribbon.
Olympic Rings coloring, was a fun activity for the children and a great way to develop fine motor skills.

On the last day of the week, we held a medal ceremony for the children. They each received their medal and took an olympic style picture next to our classroom banner. It was a lot of fun and the parents loved the photo documentation we kept of the week's events!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Book Review: No Mirrors in my Nana's House

What a wonderfully written book! I love the story of a child who lives and learns about the beauty of life and the appreciation of the life she has through the love and compassion of her Nana. Despite growing up in an unprivileged environment, she learns that there is beauty in everything around her, all through the eyes of her Nana. She did not grow up to judge her self based on what others looked like or had. I love the concept of no facial features in the illustrations. I was still able to feel the emotions of each word even though their faces did not show it. This book would be suitable for muslim families who do not approve of illustrations of human or living beings. I give it a 4.5 !!!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Book Review: Lucky New Year

I bought this book to add to my curriculum during our week of learning about Chinese New Year, traditions and festivities. This book was really neat. It was colorful and easy to read to the children. Its interactive features made learning a fun experience for them. It had flaps, a turing wheel, an orange to smell and shiny fire crackers they could touch. The finale was a beautiful pop-up dragon at the end of the story! I give this book a 4.5!

Fun Activity: Chinese Lion

*Photos coming soon*

With the coming of the Chinese New Year, Year of the Tiger, our class had a little fun learning all about Chinese traditions and festivities for the new year. I bought a really cute book, "Lucky New Year," by Mary Man-Hon. The book had flaps, pop-ups and other sensory activities they could explore. They enjoyed the book as well as some different chinese outfits we borrowed from other classrooms. But the REALLY fun project was making a lion for our lion dance parade. I found a cute video on Youtube of a lion dance. They loved the video and it gave them an idea of what to do with their own lion. For our lion, we:

1. scrunched and rolled a long sheet of yellow paper (2 yards). (teacher assisted)
2. stuffed the paper with plastic bags to make it thick. (teacher assisted)
3. glued colorful feathers onto the body of the lion.
4. attached three handles onto the body (teacher)
5. glued orange strips streamer onto a paper plate (Lion head) and tail of body.
6. glued picture of traditional chinese lion head on paper plate.

After our lion was complete and dry, we went for a parade around our center! It was fun!

*Note, the lion body was a bit heavy for my students (one year olds). They ended up dragging the lion instead of holding it up. So, if you have young students, I suggest you don't add plastic bags to the body. *

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

top Five! Books!

Greetings teachers! Do you love to read, write? I do! I'm a teacher by day and a writer by night, noon, afternoon and fall! :D Last year, I did something I never thought was possible, write a novel length story! Short, children's stories are my passion, but this was a whole lot of fun too! While I'm in the long process of editing and revisions, what better way to improve my own understanding of what a good novel is than by reading good novels. So this year, I will do my best to read one novel a month (or two, I don't want to set myself up for failure!) Now, I love mystery novels, sci-fi novels, and historical fiction novels. However, my top five books I would like to read this year are:

1. Messenger of Truth, A Maisie Dobbs Novel ~ Jacqueline Winspear
2. The Gift ~ Zaipah Ibrahim
3. The Tale of the Hawthorne House ~ Susan Albert
4. Atlantis ~ David Gibbins
5. Nefertiti ~ Michelle Moran

Saturday, February 6, 2010

10 Tips to Inspire Young Readers

I read this really nice article, "10 Tips to Inspire Young Readers" by Suzan Woodard. It has some really good tips, most I use in my classroom of one year olds. I believe, it is never too early to inspire a love of reading in children. Books are wonderful! Grab one today and read it with your child(ren) or student(s)!

Happy reading!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sick Day!

Here in the NorthWest, we have fun days, off days, snow days and holidays. We also have, what we call in childcare, sick days. Sick days are unique in that each teacher takes them as they need them. Today was my sick day. There are lots of colds going around these past couple of weeks throughout the toddler and infant classrooms. I even had a child in my classroom go home with a low grade fever. Up until yesterday, I bravely fended off the spreading germs and viruses. But this morning I woke up with not only a really bad cough, sore throat, stuffy nose and head, but I also a fever! So, I took the day off to rest and get better. I hope to be better tomorrow to continue fending off colds for the remainder of the NorthWest winter!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thursday Quote of the Day

"One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade."

~Chinese Proverb~

Always think about how your actions are going to affect others!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sharing is Caring

It is never too early to teach our children to care for others. One of the greatest teaching tool a parent can use is their example. All over the news we hear about the plight of the people in Haiti. Parents, this is what teachers and educators call a 'teachable moment.' Now is the time to call to your child's attention the importance of helping others, giving charity and praying for others.

The images we see on tv of the devastation in Haiti can be a bit overwhelming and confusing to young children. Talk to them about earthquakes, the affect an earthquake can have on people and how to prepare for an earthquake. Talk to them about ways to help the people of Haiti affected by the recent earthquakes; let them see you care. Allow them to take part in the process of choosing ways they would like to help, be it giving money from their own allowances, raising funds to donate, passing out flyers to help raise awareness or even writing or drawing pictures to send to the people of Haiti to show they care and are thinking about them.

Teaching our children to love a care for those less fortunate will make their future better and brighter!

Please send donations to:

Islamic Relief USA

P.O. Box 5640

Buena Park, Ca 90622

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday Quote of the Day: God keeps you going!

Happiness keeps you Sweet, Trials keep you Strong, Sorrows keep you Human, Failures keep you Humble, Success keeps you Glowing, But Only God Keeps You Going!!!