Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Sending out wishes to all for a wonderful, healthy, and loving new year! Enjoy reading the linked blog post on a new year's list for tired parents.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Singing among snowflakes! The teachers and Board of Directors wish all of our families, current and past, a wonderful holiday season!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Keeping active during cold weather

It's fun to walk like a crab!

It's been awhile since I've posted here. We've been so busy doing lots of fun things! We celebrated Thanksgiving with lots of fun activities! Recently the weather has been very cold and that keeps us from going outside to play. We have to find fun things to do inside that will stretch our large muscles and use up some of that "holiday" energy! We're very lucky to have had a visit from a local gymnastics coach for children. He did some great activities with the children to burn up some of that excess energy while focusing on their listening skills and following directions.

This is our last week of school before winter break. The children will soon be delighting the parent audience with some winter tunes at our annual winter concert! It's so hard to believe that the first semester is nearly over! Looking forward to a fun, educational, and adventurous second semester!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fun with Science!

Cornstarch and water is so much fun!

Playing with helium balloons and weights.

Our four's class has been investigating science this week. They've studied gravity and air, solids and liquids, and chemical reactions. We've mixed cornstarch and water, played with vinegar and baking soda, and had one of our dad's come in to explore gravity with the children! It's been a busy week!

One of our favorite activities this week was making Irish Soda Bread. After exploring what happens when you mix vinegar and baking soda together, we made the bread. If the bread turns out right, which ours did, then the children will see holes in the baked bread very similar to the holes left in the baking soda after dripping the vinegar onto the soda.

Irish Soda Bread


1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vinegar

2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Mix milk and vinegar in cup and set aside for about 10 minutes. This will curdle the milk.

In the bowl, stir together the flour, salt, and baking soda.

Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until smooth.

Scrape the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface.

Form dough into disk shape and put into pan.

Bake for approximately 15 minutes.

Have the children observe the air pockets in the bread. Discuss how the mixing of the baking soda and vinegar created bubbles. The bubbles in the bread happened to become stuck in the dough.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spiders, Spiders, Everywhere!

It's always fun to build a human spider web!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Busy October!

We've been having lots of fun this October! All of the classes have visited the local pumpkin patch/apple orchard. The 3's and the 4's classes visited the local fire department's fire safety activities during the first week of October. They had lots of fun watching and participating in the puppet show, learning about crawling low in smoke, practicing stop, drop, and roll, and many other activities.

In the 4's class we spent the entire week learning about fire safety, doing science activities about fire, and lots of art! One of the science activities the class enjoyed was taking a candle, lighting it, and putting a jar over it to watch the fire go out. Really demonstrates to them that oxygen is one of the things needed for fire to burn. They really liked when the jar was pulled away just as the fire is going out only to magically re-light!

The next big event for the school is our annual Halloween party! Should be lots of fun!

Ending the month will be a visit from the Champaign County Forest Preserve doing an enrichment activity on "Trees". All of our classes will participate in this enrichment presentation.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Shaving cream!

Gotta love shaving cream in a preschool classroom! So many wonderful things to do with shaving cream! You can use the shaving cream as mortar between unit blocks, put it in your sensory table, fingerpaint with it, mix it with glue and paint for puffy paint pictures, and my very favorite (thanks to the "Ooey Gooey Lady" for this great science idea) is shaving cream on water in a clear container and take eye droppers of liquid watercolor and drop the liquid watercolor in the shaving cream. Fun for the children doing the dropping and fun for the children watching the liquid watercolor break through the cream into the water. Pretty cool!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Good Beginnings!

What a fantastic turnout for our Good Beginnings playgroup last week. Good Beginnings is a parent/child playgroup sponsored by The Cooperative Nursery School. A parent with a child/children between 6 weeks to 5 years attends one morning per week from 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. We currently have playgroup on Wednesday and Friday mornings. Our Wednesday morning group is full for this first session. We may have a few openings in our Friday morning session. Please call the school, 384-1128, for more information!

The playgroup is a great introduction to preschool but with the security of having mom or dad close by! There is a teacher that facilitates the playgroup. The teacher sets up an art activity for the parents to do with their child, she also conducts a short circle time with songs, fingerplays, and stories. The parents take turns bringing snack for the class each week. There is a small fee for this class.

Visit our website,, for more information about our school!

Children, parents, and teachers working together!

Friday, September 10, 2010

School starts!

What a great first week we've had! It was busy and fun! Thanks to all the parents that cleaned and made our classrooms sparkle! Parent orientation went smoothly! And the Welcome Back to School picnic was so much fun!

The children are getting to know each other and their teachers. We're having fun playing while we learn. So many fun things to do in each classroom!

Friday, August 13, 2010

A little bit about our teachers!

Anna Cech, Director-4/5's Teacher

I joined the staff of Co-Op in September 2003 as the Four/Fives class teacher. In December 2004 I assumed the role of Director and continue to teach the Fours and Fives class. Previously to joining Co-Op, I owned and operated a family childcare business in my home for 13 years. I believe that preschool should provide an educational, safe, loving, and fun environment for children. The main focus of the classroom should be on social and emotional development with individualized academic instruction so that all children grow and learn at their own pace.

Brenda Carter, 2's and 3's Teacher

I graduated from Eastern Illinois University and Majored in Family Services with emphasis on Early Childhood. I began at Co-op in the fall of 2004. After working in the full time child care centers I decided to work part time so I could spend time with my own children also. I have worked in the child care field for 26years and have taught a variety of ages. Cooperative Nursery School is a great place for children and families who like to be involved with their children's education. In my classrooms I provide a safe, interesting learning environment for children and their families.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Welcome to August!

We're gearing up for a great year! The first day of school is Tuesday September 7 at 9 a.m. We still have a few openings in each classroom, so call today for a site visit! The new Board has some exciting ideas and look for a few subtle changes coming to Coop in the future! This is a great time to become involved in your child's education!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Children, Parents, and Teachers working together!

The Cooperative Nursery School still has a few openings in each classroom for the 2010-2011 school year. If you want a truly unique and wonderful learning environment for your child, then Co-Op is perfect for you!

For more information or to schedule a site visit:

Visit our website:
Contact us: coopnursery@ or 217-384-1128

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone had a safe and fun 4th of July! We are currently on summer break. Lots of things to do, time to relax and have some fun!

We're looking forward to a great 2010-2011 school year!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

School's out for summer!

What a great year we've had! School is officially over! We had a wonderful end of year picnic at a local indoor playground and a very touching promotion ceremony! The children sang two songs, one with spanish words and the other one they wrote some of the lyrics! The children were each given a certificate and the graduating 5 year olds were given a certificate and photo album while wearing some very cute graduation hats that they made that morning! It was a great day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The 4's class had a local children's author visit today for an enrichment activity. It was wonderful and the children were such good listeners. After she was done she asked if anyone had questions. There were some questions. But what was really great was when one of the students asked if she could read her the story she wrote in her journal. And, of course, the answer was yes! And what made it even better was the author read her story! She was so proud, as was I! The children's journals are available to them everyday in my classroom. Some draw pictures, some write stories, whatever they feel like doing!

A second girl decided to tell the author her story!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Block building is so much fun!

Hard at work!
Such a great imagination! These two boys built desks out of the blocks! Then they got the appropriate materials to make an office environment, including a telephone! They did all of this with absolutely no coaching from any adults present. Block building is such an important part of the daily curriculum in my classroom!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Back at it!

Spring break is over and we're hard at work in the classrooms again! It's hard to believe that there are only 8 weeks left for school this year! Wow! Time surely does fly by!

All of the classrooms are busy! The Four's class is learning all about Spring! The three's class will be starting a construction unit soon and the two's class is learning about night and day! Our new music teacher started today! She did a great job with the 2's and 4's today, despite a few nerves! Tomorrow she'll be enriching the 3's!

There are so many fun activities for spring time!

Sink and float with plastic eggs. We put water and plastic eggs in the sensory table and gathered small items that would fit in the eggs and guessed which items would make the eggs sink or float. One boy discovered that if all the weight was on one end of the egg, the egg stood up in the water! This fascinated all the children so off they went trying to get their eggs to stand up too!

Today we made lily pads. We started by fingerpainting with blue and yellow paint. After it dried we cut out a lily pad shape. We then used eye droppers and liquid watercolors with small coffee filters to make our lily. Tomorrow we'll make a jumping frog to put on our lily pad out of construction paper and accordion folded legs.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Spring Weather!

It's been a beautiful week of weather in our part of Illinois! I believe the adults have had as much fun playing outside as the children, maybe more! My class visited the Spurlock Museum on the University of Illinois' campus last week. We've been studying Native Americans and the storyteller at the museum was fantastic! They also made a talking stick craft too! This community has so much to offer!

Next week is Spring break! We'll take the time to regroup and get ready for the final two months of school! This year is flying by!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Another great field trip!

The 4's class had a great trip to the Parkland College Planetarium earlier this week! They learned all about the stars. The 4's will be learning about Outer Space for the next couple of weeks and then will do a unit on Native Americans with another field trip to a local museum. We are truly blessed in this community to have one major state university and one junior college that offers us many opportunities for learning!

One activity for outer space that all of my classes enjoy is using an older lite brite to make star consellations. I use black construction paper and the children push the colored pins through the paper. When they are done with their design, they connect the holes with white crayon and then name their constellation.

One easy way to remember the order of the planets from the sun is to teach the children a little rhyme.

My Very Eccentric Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Our enrollment open house is Thursday March 11 from 5-7 p.m. and Friday March 12 from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Everyone is invited to come and see our classrooms, meet the teachers and Director, talk with parents of children currently enrolled. We are accepting enrollment applications for the 2010-2011 school year. We have classes for two year olds, three year olds, and four-five year olds. Toilet trained is not required. For more information on our Co-Op, visit our website:

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Miss Sara is leaving

We were so sorry to hear that Miss Sara, our music teacher, will be leaving in March to move to Boulder, Colorado. Though we wish Miss Sara the best, we are going to miss her so much! Sara came to us from New Orleans via the library graduate program at the University of Illinois a year and half ago. Sara has done a fantastic job with music enrichment for our children! Good luck Miss Sara and keep in touch!

Friday, February 12, 2010

What is a parent cooperative preschool?

It's a wonderful learning environment for preschool children! There are different types of parent cooperative preschools. Some are full cooperatives like ours and others are partial cooperatives. Full participating cooperatives are truly parent owned and operated. Parents serve on the governing board, they assist the teachers in the classroom, they plan special events, organize and participate in fundraising activities, and maintain the school environment. Partial participating cooperatives usually have parents on the governing board, parents implement and organize fundraising activities, special events, and maintain the school environment. But the one thing that is lacking in a partial parent cooperative is the parents assisting in the classroom. I believe that the parents in the classroom everyday is what truly makes for a wonderful preschool environment! Parents bring their talents into the classroom which enriches the curriculum! They bring a natural caring and nurturing aspect into the classroom. They get to know their children's playmates and develop long lasting friendships with the other parents in the school. Research has proven the importance of parent involvement in their child's education. At our school parent involvement is an everyday thing! Parents that enroll their children in a cooperative preschool do work hard, but the hard work is all for their children!

Monday, February 8, 2010


February is only one week old, but we've had a lot of fun! A local percussionist and former Coop parent visited the school last week for a percussion demonstration for the children. They loved it! I heard kids drumming on things in the classrooms all week!

Our annual Valentine Disco Dance is this week! It's a fun party with music and dancing and of course, food!

We're all hoping for an early spring, though the groundhog is said to have seen his shadow! But there is nothing that says we can't hope!

In the future the classrooms will be busy learning about outer space, dinosaurs, spring weather, and many more things!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Busy January

Wow, we've been busy! The classes have been learning about winter and community helpers. The 3's class visited a local shoe store and learned all about how to make shoes and how to repair shoes, they had a great time!

The 3's and 4-5's classes visited a local Childrens Science Museum this week. They learned about reptiles, specifically a box turtle, two bearded dragons, and a corn snake. They spent the rest of the morning playing in the exhibits.

Next week a well known, local percussionist, and a former Coop parent and teacher, will visit the school for an enrichment activity on drumming.

February is looking to be just as busy as January!

Art Activity:

Hibernating bear in cave;
Paint a styrofoam cup brown and glue some cotton balls around it for snow. Be sure to make a small opening in the top of the cup for the cave entrance, glue the cup, upside down to a small paper plate and glue a brown or black pompom in the cave opening and you have a bear in a cave!


Bear Snores On written by Karma Wilson

Monday, January 18, 2010

I have a dream

I have a dream.
* Martin Luther King said these powerful words, “I have a dream.” I too have a dream. I dream of the day when teachers will be acknowledge, honored, and respected for the key roles they play in building the future. I dream of the day when parents will look at you who work with children and realize how important your work and your influence are in the lives of their children. They will respect you and want to work together as a team on behalf of their children.I dream of the day when lawmakers will respect you, the work you do and the difference you make in the lives of children, and hear your collective voice before making decisions that influence your lives and the lives of children. I dream of the day when the corporate world will acknowledge you for the key role you play in preparing their future employees.I dream of the day when you will walk inside a room filled with people and when someone says, “What do you do,” you respond, “I’m a teacher,” and they will applaud you and thank you for the important work you do. I dream of the day when students will come into your schools and classrooms with newfound respect passed on from their families and salute you as a huge difference-maker in their lives.Thank you Martin Luther King. Your words inspired us to dream, too. You inspired us to dream about the future as we build a better world for children.Have a great day and a wonderful week.* I have sent this message several years in a row. I pray for the day that this dream comes true.Maryln

copied from Maryln and More Blog, Applebaum training institute January 18, 2010

Design by Custom Blog Designs/FreeStyleMama Creations