Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Cool New Keyboard for Preschoolers and Awesome Websites to Try!





Over the summer I've been working on meeting requirements to open a licensed family childcare program in my home.  I'm so excited to begin this new venture, called Teacher's Pet Pre-K!  If you get a chance, visit my Facebook page and check it out!  I just posted about my new keyboard, and wanted to share it here as well. 

It's called the FunkeyBoard, and I purchased it from Amazon for $39.  I love it!  It's a color-coded computer keyboard geared towards helping children distinguish between vowels, consonants, numbers, function keys, and punctuation/symbols.  Even the little mouse is color-coded to help children learn how to right/left click and scroll!

My only pet peeve about having computers available for young children in schools is that they are often just plunked down in front of the screen with a game loaded up to play by themselves.  Are they learning anything?  Maybe, but not usually. 


The specific sites listed below will require minimum instruction for youngsters, yet will allow them true independence once they know what to do and how to use the tools (keyboard and mouse).  Best of all, these activities are easy and actually educational!  They reinforce valuable Pre-K and K literacy, language, and writing skills.  Everyone wins!

My favorite of all time is Storyline Online.  Children can watch, listen, and read along (if they have a copy) to classic books read by Betty White, Elijah Wood, James Earl Jones, and other members of the Screen Actor's Guild.

Next, children can practice writing the alphabet on an online writing pad and watch demonstrations by a cute spider on how to form the letters at: MeddyBemps.

Two other favorites (although there are many more) are found at the same site, ABCya:

Upper and Lowercase Letter Matching  

Alphabet Bingo


I hope you and your little one enjoy these activities! 




SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Monday, July 1, 2013

Liebster Award





Thank you to Wendy at A Daily Dose of Del Signore for this blog award.  It's a nice way to get acquainted with other bloggers, so go check out her site!


The rules, should you be nominated:

1. If you were nominated, post 11 things about yourselves.
2. Then answer the 11 questions the person who nominated you created.
3. Create 11 more questions to ask the bloggers you decided to nominate.
4. Choose 11 bloggers to nominate with less than 300 followers.
5. Make sure and let these people know you nominated them! No tag backs, so don't nominate someone who nominated you.

11 things about myself: 


1.  I was named after a country-singing, braid-wearing, original Mouseketeer:  Darlene.  Dee is my nickname.

2.  I received a D in 7th grade algebra, because I spent the entire year staring at the back of the head of a boy I had a crush on instead of listening to the teacher.  

3.  I am afraid of spiders and have a ritual of checking my ceiling, walls, blankets, sheets, and pillows each night before going to bed to make sure the coast is clear.  

4.  I am also afraid of wasps.

5.  I've been interested in the environment and buying organic foods for the past 20 years, somewhere between the hippie movement of the 60's/70's and the current green awareness.

6. I used to write articles for our local parenting paper with topics like, Kid-Size Compost and My Favorite Day Trips -- Local Libraries.

7.  I was chubby/heavy my entire life until I lost 100 pounds in my 20's and lived life for a few years as a thin person.  I regained the weight over the years, and it is much harder to lose pounds now.  

8.  I like movies and television set in different time periods, like Downton Abby and Mad Men.  Life seemed much simpler then.  

9.  I am obsessive about certain items/motifs, but try purposely not to collect them or would definitely become a hoarder.  These items are maps/globes, tins, birds, vintage stationery/paper/advertising/stamps.  

10.  When I was a child I dreamed of being a singer, until the fateful day my dream died when I heard my voice played back on a tape recorder.

11.  Writing this list was very personal, and the first time I've told anyone some of these things!


11 Questions for Wendy's Nominees:


1. What do you struggle with right now?


Losing weight at 50!


2. What's your favorite comfort food?

Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk Ice Cream

3. What can you do really well that's unusual?

It's not unusual, but I am a fast and accurate typist.  I went to secretarial school out of high school, before going to college for early childhood education.  I'm a terrible texter though, because I am used to using all my fingers to type on a regular keyboard!

4. What can you cook that everyone absolutely loves?

Apple Pie with Walnut Crumble Topping (modified from a Martha Stewart recipe)

5. What inspires you? 

Nature, Children, and the Creativity of Others

6. What do you see yourself doing in ten years?

Teaching young children



7. What's the best advice you've ever been given?

Just like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, we've had the power all along to do what it is we'd like to do.

8. What one word do you think describes you best?

Unique

9. What is your best feature?

Eyes (according to my husband)
 
10. What's your favorite time of the day and why?

Late afternoon to evening, because my energy/creativity is in full swing.

11. Where is your favorite vacation spot?

 Anywhere peaceful and coastal with sun and a water breeze






Questions for New England Nanny's nominees:

1. What was your original goal when starting your blog?  Has it changed?
 
2. What would you do with your life if money was of no concern?
 

3. Did your parents have any other names in mind when you were born?  What name would you have liked for yourself?
 

4. Do you collect anything?
 

5. Do you feel that life has taught you an important lesson?  If so, what is it?
 

6. Do you have any words of advice for a younger you?
 

7. What are your "spare time" hobbies?
 

8. Is there something you'd like to learn to do?
 

9. What is your favorite childhood book or movie and why?
 

10. Are you a cat person or a dog person? 
 

11. What is one thing you wish people knew about you?

 
I'm tagging some fellow blogger followers:

Kristen at Crafty Kris

Sharon at Sha the Nanny

Crystal at Wanna Be Balanced Mom 

Angel at Chasing Serenity

CJ at   Killing Superwoman

Judy at Coffee Jitters

Beth at Create Your Traditions  

Janette at Jan's Crafty Nest

Silvia  at Mama Latina Tips

RJ's Mama at My Baby RJ

Lindsay at Lindsay's Tea Party 






Liebster AwardSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rockin' Lullabies

 Rockin' Lullabies




 
After years of working with young children, there are just so many times I can listen to Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.  Recently while searching my library's statewide catalog for soothing music to play during mealtimes in my preschool classroom, I stumbled upon lullaby versions (instrumental) of music from Journey, Aerosmith, Queen, and the Beatles -- classic rock songs that I grew up with.

Somehow they've taken out the harsh drums and guitars and replaced them with gentle bells and other calming instruments, yet they retain the melody of the original.  I love them; the children love them; so it's a win-win.
 
I've gone back to the library catalog for more titles and found versions available for everyone from Green Day and Nirvana to Black Sabbath and Bjork!

You'll find all available titles at their website listed below, including sample tracks to listen to first. Remember to also check your library!

Rockabye Baby!

Rockin' LullabiesSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend