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About Me
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Mrs. Ben (Bendixsen)


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Friday, August 29, 2014

"Do As I'm Doing"

     Our first week of school is done. Hooray! It's always the toughest week because everything is so new for our brand new students. Lots of anticipation, unsurety and things to learn but they did great!
     A child's play time is a child's work time. That's why one of our longest portions of the session is called 'worktime'. When I was at the Doctor's office last week, I was reading an article in the Parent's Magazine that really caught my attention. I almost asked the receptionist to copy it for me. It was about play-based preschools and how important they are to a child's development. One study they sited stated that children who attend a play-based preschool before kindergarten compared to children who attend an academic-based preschool have on average higher grades levels throughout elementary school. Now, that's not saying we don't do academics in our class because we do, but in a research-based, natural, child-directed way. That being said, in order for our students to be more familiar with the resources they can use during their 'worktime' in our classroom, we have been doing 'classroom tours' during small group. During this time we show them what's available and different ways they can use it. We will continue it this up coming week with 3 new areas in the classroom: Tool, Manipulative and Book (last week was Tool/Block, Kitchen and the Writing Center).

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Manipulative Area: Shapes, Magnets, Beading,
Mr. Potato Head, Star Builders, Gears and a few other items.

Friday, August 22, 2014

First Week!

We go over our message board everyday during Greeting Time
Welcome to a brand new year! I hope you all enjoyed your summer. For those that are new, this is where I will be posting weekly lesson plans so you can follow along with what your student is learning at school. However, this post you get a lot of extras as well. Here is our daily schedule:

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This is our small group weekly curriculum rotation. Typically your child's group will be based on a rotation letter. Red Group starts with 'A' on Mondays, Yellow Group starts with 'B' on Mondays and the Blue group starts with 'C' on Mondays. There will be a daily "Ask me what I did in Preschool Today" form that will also have a few things written on it to help you find and follow along in what group your child is in as well as what they ate at snack and did during worktime.

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For the curriculum rotations, there will be certain times (like right before holidays, the first few weeks of school, the last week of the year etc.) where the rotations will look a little different.

That being said, being the first week of school, our focus is teaching transitions, basic school rules, social skills and information about resources in the classroom, the second week will look similar as well. Here is our weekly lesson plan for the first week of school:

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We are all so excited for our first week of school! Feel free to call or email me at anytime you have any questions or concerns. Have a great week!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fall 2014 Open House

I'm going to mail out this information to you today but I thought I would post it as well for quick reference before then.

Willow Springs Elementary Open House 

Hello Preschool Parent! 
Our school is having our open house on
Thursday, August 21st, 
5:00-6:30 pm 

We will be there and want you to know about it!

Come see the classroom, meet our preschool team and find out more about your student’s class.

Hope to see you then!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Alphabet Hunt

Let's go on an Alphabet Hunt! What you need is a magnifying glass and some books. If you don't have a magnifying glass, you can use a ring from the lid of a mason jar. I recommend one of the following (LMNO Peas for developmentally younger kiddos and Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus for the older Kiddos):

Written and Illustrated by Keith Baker
Beach Lane Books, 2010

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus
Written and Illustrated by Mo Williams
Hyperion Press, 2003
Decide what letter you want to look for. You can even have a 'match card' where you write down the letter to look for. For older kids it'd be a great way to teach correspondence between lowercase and uppercase letters. Search for the letter on each page. For younger kids it may be a hunt all over the page, for older kids, follow the sentences as if reading. For our kids that are really ready for it, add a simple word to that word card, like 'the'.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014


Written by Leo Lionni
Dragonfly Books, (Reissued Ed.) 1973

Swimmy is a Caldecott Honor Book about a a fish full of bravery and ingenuity who uses teamwork to help a school of fish overcome their fears in the deep dark ocean. 

Create a 'Gel Aquarium' following the directions from www.teachpreschool.org to make a colorful sensory bag. Use blue and green food coloring for a 'sea water' look. Add fishes to your aquarium. Use a carton (like from milk or juice) to draw on fish and cut them out. If you want to add designs on your fish, use a non-washable marker so it doesn't bleed in the aquarium  
You can also do a Sponge Painting by cutting a sponge into a shape of a fish (or you can probably find them at the dollar store) making designs with all the little fishes.