f is for feast

throughout the week, children were invited to bring their favorite food to show us, tell us about, and even taste.

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our feasts definitely grew in size over the week.

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eating our ice milk from i week and tasting ms. vilia’s indonesian food was a special treat.

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after reading and counting along with feast for ten, we praciticed thanksgiving feast table manners.  quiet voices, pleases and thank yous abounding, and lots of brave tasting of new foods.

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happy thanksgiving, all!

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c is for candlestick

i didn’t even realize that we had over 50 candlestick holders (i thought they were just random wood knobs, etc) in the box from the thrift shop.

so i threw out the project plans i had and we decorated candlestick holders for our thanksgiving feast table.

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we colored them with crayons and painted them with watercolors.

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the candles were made by rolling and taping a piece of construction paper.

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then after we washed hands and came to the table, we took a piece of tissue paper and lit the candles!

candlesticks for feast table 0809 - 1 by you.

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T + H is for THanksgiving

My own son, Micah, a first grader, thought since we didn’t have a letter of the week, i should teach the kids the chunk TH.

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good idea. for chunks and compound words, we use our fists and chant:

this is T, this is H, pound them together TH (here we make the sound)

in honor of thanksgiving, we make turkey hands. i don’t know how many years we’ve done this, but it is so fun to see how different they all look!

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the child picks the color of paints to use and the teacher paints her hand. this is naturally an intimate way for the teacher and child to connect. for the child who doesn’t want her hand painted, we trace it with pencil and then paint it in.

then the teacher turns the handprint into a turkey with a few strokes of the marker and a red paint blob!

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we have our little poem printed on the paper as well:

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this poem has turned into a big body experience with our hands up over our heads and we say “so many feathers on our back” instead of “4 little feathers….” when we say “…and then i take a nap” the children fall to the floor and act like a sleeping turkey until the alarm clock rings.

i love being able to call them my turkeys.

h is for hooray

i love finding “proof of learning” in the classroom or hearing about it from families.

i found this on the table one day…completed by a young three year old during work time.  ahhhh.


i is for igloo

with rolls of thrifted white fabric, we turned one of our cozy corners into an igloo.

igloo sign

the roof didn’t last terribly long, but that way there was more fabric to be used as “snow blankets.”

snow blanket girls

we also did a 2 part project one day.

ice block work

when children arrived, they come to the project table to help snip white strips of paper.  we made the strips wide enough so that it would require more than one snip to cut off a piece.  if we saw children struggling with this, we cut the strip the long way so all they had to do was make one snip and ta-da!  an ice block!

then later in the day, we glued the ice blocks into an igloo shape.

igloo work

some igloos were just the outline and others were filled in completely.

igloo work

v is for vowel

we took advantage of i week to talk about the concept of vowels.  we sang this song (to the tune of “bingo”):

aeiou by you.

then i had each vowel written on a piece of paper and when i took one (or more) away, we clapped in its place.

aeiou by you.

these preschoolers got pretty good by the end of the week!  and they liked knowing that they were talking about something that big kids still talk about. : )

i is for instrument

tubes by you.

thank you families for bringing cardboard tubes for show and tell.  again, much counting (one day we were able to count in 5 languages…english, spanish, indonesian and then my dad who was visiting added german and french).

check list by you.

we used duct tape, more foam strips, masking tape, old rice, stickers to make shakers and blowers. we had a checklist for preschoolers to notate when they finished each of their instruments.

instrument by you.

it was fun watching preschoolers design blowers with more than one end for the sound to come out of.

toot toot by you.

and how fun it was to discover that a many-times-folded paper touching the tube will vibrate when we hum in the open end.  i think we may have been a little much for some of the tired grandparent friends on our instrument parade (which is really like yelling through a tube).

rain stick instrument by you.

we also made a few rainsticks with the wrapping paper rolls…holes cut for craft sticks to be pushed through, then tape up one end, pour in rice, tape up the other end.  it sounded surprisngly rainstick-ish.

i is for indonesia


what a treat to have someone from across the ocean to give us new perspective.

i is for indonesia

ms. vilia is from indonesia so we looked at our maps again, drew some land shapes, then practiced writing.

writing indonesia

some of the preschoolers were satisfied making their i shapes while others went on to add 8 more letters!  when preschoolers are in their pre-k year, we help them complete these kind of tasks…for the others it is optional.  it is clear when writing is interesting to a child.  we’ve had preschoolers who looked pained everytime they held a crayon or pencil who are now impressive writers!

writing indonesia

again, we plant the seeds and provide opportunity and encouragement.


i is for ice milk

we had a fun time measuring and counting making ice milk. quite simply this is chocolate milk and strawberry milk poured in ice cube trays with mini craft sticks set in. we have some made with water for those who can’t drink milk because “if i do i will be sick.” they are in the preschool freezer as i write! we’ve added a picture note on our calendar so we remember to taste it on the right day.

making ice milk by you.

making ice milk

we offered a simple drawing project during work time. when given a page with a paper cone glued on, preschoolers drew circle shaped scoops. then of course there is the writing of words, the counting of scoops, the making up of flavors, the color recognition, the color blending, and adding a cherry on top so we know when the ice cream cone is done.

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we continued with the ice milk theme for our journal time. we practiced at circle time first using two short craft sticks and one regular craft stick to make a capital i. then we went to our journals and glued them in as a capital i shape.

stick is

ice milk stick i

journal work