West Region Network Meeting

On Thursday, September 17, the west region held their first network meeting of the 2015-2016 school year at Zion in Marengo.
Special thanks to Sandee Dunker, Karen Bransky, Judi Dailey & Melodie Bailey from Zion Lutheran School in Marengo for hosting this first meeting of the NID West Region EC Network of the 2015 – 2016 school year.

“New Start New Believer” stories were shared.  Look for these opportunities to share Jesus with others.  A “New Start” starts often starts with just one individual meeting Jesus through our preschools.  We will be sharing these stories at the start of our monthly meetings.

Topic Discussion:
“Enhancing Learning Centers in the Early Childhood Classroom”

 General ideas-
a.         Check into having high school students who are taking child development classes come to your school and work one on one in your classrooms, especially with learning center activities.
b.        Check out the “Pick Your Plum” site   https://www.pickyourplum.com/#/ where you can purchase a variety of items for your learning centers at drastically reduced prices

Blocks Center Ideas-

a.         Foam Swimming Noodles:

·        Cut in half, lengthwise and use for ramps with little cars

·        Cut in small pieces and use in the block corner

·        More foam noodle ideas:

Math/Science Exploratory Center Ideas-

a.         Sensory bottles made out of water bottles with misc. items inside work well.  Best to use “Voss” or “Fugi” bottles due to their durability and smooth sides.   Great items to put in them:

·        Soft soap with hot water and very fine glitter or embossing powder

·        Pipe cleaners (inside) with magnets on the outside of the bottle

·        Acorns

b.        Dice:   Use dice with recording sheets and small “gem” rocks.  Roll the dice and cover the appropriate number of dots/etc with the “gems” on the recording sheets. 

c.         Pumpkin-  After Halloween, but your pumpkin in a  clear plastic covered tub and seal it well.  Watch it decompose as the year goes on.  It’s fun to watch and see the pumpkin get “Yucky”, but do not open the tub…ever!  Throw it all away at the end of the school year.

c.         “ Re-Growing” celery & other veggies.  Very easy to do.  Here’s a site that explains how to do it with celery and other veggies:  http://www.buzzfeed.com/arielknutson/vegetables-that-magically-regrow-themselves#.hdMRNQXQd

d.        Seeds in cups-  Put a variety of different kinds seeds in different cups and compare and contrast the different types of growth.

e.         Light Tables-  These tables, whether commercially purchased  or homemade (large clear plastic tub with a lid and Christmas lights inside), are very motivational and engages with students as they creatively explore colors, shapes, construction, etc.  Accessories, which are easily accessible at the Dollar Store, include colored cups, plates, straws, and unfrozen popsicle sticks.  Commercially made Magna-tiles and x-rays are great for light table explorations, too.  Small colored plastic beads spread across the top are great for the sensory experiences of creating, shapes, letters and numbers.  Lots of light table ideas on Pinterest :
Art Center Ideas

a.         Colored tape- Can be purchased through Discount, Dollar Store, Target.  “Washi” tape is great. Colored tape can be used effectively with specially designed tape dispensers.   Encourage donations of tape & other misc. supplies from parents via newsletters.  Also, retired “scrapbooking parents” often will share their misc. unused scrapbooking items like tape, stickers, etc.

b.        Use plastic kitchen sink or bathtub mats which often have imprinted shapes (shells, flowers, etc.)  on them.  Use a brayer and put paint on them and then make positive/negative prints by laying paper over them and making prints.

c.         “Poking”…a Montessori art activity

            1.        Have a small shape on a piece of construction paper

            2.        Put a dish towel or cork on the table and lay the construction paper on top of it.

            3.        Give the students a large knob push pin

            4.        Have them push holes along the lines of the shape

            5.        Can use the light table when done to show the shape

            6.        Here’s more info about this concept on Pinterest:             http://www.montessorinature.com/2014/10/pin-poking-activities-free-printables.html?m=1

d.        Picking up pompons, small erasers, plastic bugs etc, with tweezers are all great fine motor activities.

Dramatic Play Ideas:

                        a.         Shoe Store-  Add collections of various types of shoes for them to

match/pair up and pretend to sell.  Cash registers, measuring items like unifix cubes, bags, shoe boxes are great to add too.

            b.        Pet Store

            c.         Chocolate Shop- Include a variety of valentine’s day heart shaped

chocolate boxes, brown playdough, cash register, candy wrappers.  Be careful of items that have been exposed to nuts, though.

            Zion, Marengo Pictures
Bulletin Board
Lock Down Magnetic Strips
Welcome to School bulletin board

Jesus Time Rug

September Artwork

Homemade magnetic board


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