Saturday, July 7, 2012

Book Review: Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres

Title: Up, Down, and Around

Author: Katherine Ayres

Illustrator: Nadine Bernard Westcott

Publisher: Candlewick; March 13, 2007

Age: 2 and up (But my one year olds love it!)

Topic: Vegetables, Opoposites, Healthy Foods, Gardening

In the dirt we'll dig a row, drop some seeds and watch them grow.

From seeds dropped into soil to corn bursting from its stalks, everything in this garden is on the move! Join in this rollicking good-time celebration of gardening.

Teacher guide for the book. One Book has a very extensive activity guide for a variety of age levels.
Kid's Wings has some fun activities and web extensions to go with the book.

Why I like this book:
A cute book that shows a garden come to life as children learn about a variety of vegetables, some of which grow above the ground, some underground and others still that grow around and around! Children are taken from the very beginning of planting seeds then watching as the plants grown to the finale, a fun picnic in the garden featuring the vegetables in the book. My toddler classroom really enjoys the book. It helps that I have the BIG book edition where they can see the wonderful details of the plants and bugs :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Book Review: I Love My Mommy Because......... Laurel Porter-Gaylord

Title: I Love My Mommy Because...
Author: Laurel Porter - Gaylord
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile, March 30, 2004
Ages: 1 +

I love my mommy because she reads me stories.

Book Description:
In this book young children learn to appreciate how phrases and actions from their own experiences also apply to animal babies. This book begins with an affectionate scene between a human mother and child, but moves on to care giving in animal families. "She listens when I talk" shows a mother cat and her mewing kitten.

My Review:
This is such an adorable book. My toddler classroom love this book as well. As we go through the pages, we name the different animals and what they are doing in the pages. The illustrations are just wonderful and captivating. My toddler students often like to gaze at the different creatures in the book. The sturdy pages has allowed the book to survive at least three transitions of new toddlers in my room :) 

Five Stars!!!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Book Review: The Big Red Barn Margaret Wise Brown

Title: The Big Red Barn
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Publisher: HarperFestival, January 6, 1995
Ages: 1 +
By the big red barn
In the great green field,
There was a pink pig
Who was learning to squeal.
Book Description: Follow a family of farm animals as they spend a typical day on their farm.

My Review:  
This is another classroom favorite. It is usually one of the first books the children reach for when we sit down for circle or one on one bonding time with the children. I often find the children off on their own flipping through the pages looking at the pictures of the animals. The Big Red Barn is fun to read because of the rhyming. It has quite a few words for a board book in a young toddler classroom but it flows so smoothly and the illustrations keep them captivated as listen to the story. This book is great for learning about farm animals and animals sounds.

Five Stars!!!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: In My Flower Sara Gillingham

Title: In My Flower

Publisher: Chronicle Books; Board book edition (December 30, 2009)

Book Description: Turn the colorful die-cut pages of this irresistible board book to discover just what makes little butterfly's flower so cozy. Bright pictures, sweet reassuring messages, unique layered pages, and an adorable finger puppet combine to create interactive reading and playtime fun!

My Review:Show More

 My toddlers love this book especially when I stick my fingers in the butterfly puppet and make it fly. This book was added to our spring curriculum as we talked about flowers and things associated with flowers. The last page reinforces family as the butterfly is seen with her family. The thick pages are great for young hands just learning how to turn pages (and teething). It is colorful and simple to read, which is great because it will quickly become a favorite and you will have to read it over and over and over again! :D
Five Stars!!!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Science: Watching Daffodils Bloom

A part of the spring curriculum, I brought in some daffodil stalks for the children to explore and observe bloom. Over the course of a few days the stalks blossomed. Every day, I would point out the different stages of the daffodils and the children learned how to touch them gently as they bloomed.

Daffodil stalks on our observation table

I kept the flowers down low but still out of reach of the children for observation purposes and safety. Through out the day they were given plenty opportunities to help with changing the water and handling the daffodils.

Daffodils in full bloom along with some daisies that were added to the observation table

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Spring is Here

Yes, it is finally here! This week we are learning about spring through gardening. We watched daffodils bloom, planted Zinnias and watched them sprout. I filled the classroom with silk flowers for the children to play with. We went on a nature walk/ stroller ride and looked at the blossoms and buds on the trees. And we have lots of art to show for all the fun we had. Still to come is creating our own bottle green house :D I love spring!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Science: Observing Craisins in Water

Results after half an hour

Young toddlers are natural little scientist. They love to observe and watch how different things act and react. Today we watched how craisins behaved in water. We filled three bottles with water. In one bottle we added salt. In another we added sugar and the last one we added baking soda. The children observed what the craisins did in each bottle.

After about an hour or more, the baking soda caused the craisins to darken and rise to the top of the bottles.

The sugar did not do much after an hour, but at the end of the day, the water had turned reddish in color and the craisins looked redder also.

At the end of the day, many of the craisins had floated to the top of the bottle with salt. Not much color change.

The next day, all the craisins had expanded and floated to the top of the bottles except for the bottle with baking soda, they all sank back down to the bottom of the bottle.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Are you a child of the library?

Are you a child of the library? I was practically raised in the library. It was literally my second home. I was there so much, the head librarian use to let me check in/out books for other patrons. I was officially an unofficial assistant librarian (since I was too young to be one officially :D) Please enjoy this song and the message it gives shares. It certainly brought up some wonderful memories of my own childhood library days!

Keep libraries open!! Support your local library.