Tuesday, November 27, 2012

It's been an exciting past couple of months! We wanted to share with you a couple of the fun things we have been doing in class recently:

Steamed Pumpkin Cake
The week before Thanksgiving the children made a delicious steamed pumpkin cake! The children had been talking a lot about pumpkins after we had made pumpkin soup earlier in the month so we decided to test out a new recipe the teachers had discovered. Making the steamed pumpkin cake was not only a delicious activity, but was an activity that helped build math skills (measurement and counting), social skills (turn taking and cooperation), and fine motor skills.

Here is the recipe if you would like to make the cake at home:

1 1/2 Cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 Teaspoons baking soda
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 Cup butter, melted
2 Cups packed light brown sugar
3 Eggs, beaten
1 (15 ounce) cans solid-pack pumpkin

1. Grease 2- 1/2 quart souffle dish or baking pan that fits into slow cooker
2.Combine flour , baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cloves in medium cloves; set aside
3. Beat butter, brown sugar and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture.
4. Spoon batter into prepared souffle dish.
5.Fill slow cooker with 1 inch hot water. Make foil handles by tearing off 3 (18X2 inch) strips of heavy foil, or use regular foil folded to double thickness. Crisscross foil strips in spoke design in bottom of slow cooker. Place souffle dish on center of strips. Pull foil strips up and over the dish. This allows for easy removal of souffle dish.
6. Place souffle dish  in slow cooker. Cover; cook on high 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until wooden toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
 (This recipe was found on http://www.food.com)

Rock Salt Art
The children made colored salt crystals! We used rock salt and small pipettes filled with liquid water color to create purple, pink, and blue salt crystals. We let the salt crystals dry and observed that they looked similar to other crystals that we have in our science area. After making observations about the salt crystals, we glued them on paper to create crystal art. This activity supports fine motor skill development, scientific observation skills and artistic creativity.

Preparing For Our Stone Soup

After listening to the story Stone Soup we decided to make our own Stone Soup! We asked the children which ingredients they would like to go in the soup and then the teachers put out a sign-up sheet for the parents. The day before our Stone Soup party we took the children in small groups to our "big kitchen" in the gym. It was very exciting for the children to discover this kitchen that they had never seen! Then each child took stood in front of their own cutting board and helped cut the vegetables. This is a great fine motor development activity.

Thank you to all the parents who contributed to our soup. The children, parents, and teachers all enjoyed the delicious soup! Thank you Jenny for cooking the soup!

Water Color Painting
An ongoing experience in the classroom has been using watercolor paints. We have watched as the children's drawings and writing has evolved. The children have now been showing an interest in drawing and painting their families so we will continue to talk to the children about their families and the details in the people they draw. Drawing and water color painting are great at developing the children's fine motor skills, creative expression, and language in conversation when describing their paintings.

Upcoming EventsDecember 13th: Christmas Performance at 7pmDecember 19th: Last Day of School Early Dismissal at 12pmJanuary 7: First Day Back to School