z is for zig zag

a couple of simple zig zag activities that were occupied much of the days.

a zig zag tape line was perfect for running on or driving cars on or lining blocks up on and finally for ripping off the floor in as long of pieces as possible.

zig zag lines drawn on paper were kind of tricky to cut…perfect!  in years past i’ve brought out pinking shears and other crafty scissors…but i couldn’t find them this year.  there was definitely a learning curve in figuring out where to store things in a new space.  next year will be a bit more organized.

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z is for zoo cages (on paper)

zoo cage project - 3

i had a bunch of animal cards that we use for sorting, classifying, etc.  i decided to sacrifice a few of them to make realistic zoo cages.

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we had a discussion of zoo rules that we know about or that we think should exist.  we talked about why animals are in cages which led to a broader discussion of respecting animals.  then we went outside and chose some animals to put in cages.

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this is simply taking an animal card, cutting off the name, gluing on the animal card, gluing bars over it, adding the animal name.  insta-zoo!

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b is for (do-it-yourself) balance bike

we altered this bike back when my own son, micah (now 8), was four and after watching eliza (now 5) teeter on the training wheels, we did it again.  the first step is taking off the training wheels.

then taking off the pedals.

now she’s working on balancing.  we’ve had fun remembing how micah flew around flintstone style.  there is a movie somewhere.

now imagine this magnified for preschool:  a bunch of these for kids to hone their balancing skills.

if you have an extra little bike to give preschool, we’ll do our pedal removing trick on them!

let me know.

g is for graduation decorations

we kept it fairly simple this year.  i tied one piece of fabric between two columns in the sanctuary.

decorating

then we had more strips of fabric for the preschoolers to tie on.  if tying was too hard, they could simply drape the piece over and someone else would come tie it (so cooperative!).

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it was stunning…but not nearly as stunning as nearly 30 preschoolers in rainbow sunglasses.  i bought them here.  we also stuck with our tradition of buying felt graduation caps for those going to kindergarten.  sweet sweethearts.

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the evening was finished with a popsicle pot luck.  the weather was perfect.  good goodness.

a is for azteca dancers

oh joy.  some preschool families were able to come to the thrift shop to watch a performance by the local azteca dancers.  these are all high schoolers (which means many have been my husband’s students…) who learn traditional mexican dances.

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it was stunning.

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and if you weren’t able to be there, i am posting enough pictures that it will seem like you were there.

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even more impressive is if you scroll down really quickly.  : )

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now start humming the “mexican hat dance” song…

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the preschoolers remember this dance where the men had wings like birds:

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the children were invited to come dance at the end:

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the girls sitting near me were talking about which color dress they would choose.  we found out that these dresses are purchased in mexico by the teacher and each dancer got to choose her color an style.

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thank you, azteca dancers, for inspiring some young ones!

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z is for classroom zoo

children were invited to bring stuffed animals to school.  first they stopped in here:

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then they chose a cage for their animals.  thank you, mr rob, for all your cage construction.

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big mama giraffe made her first appearance at our school this week.

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in case you are wondering, yes, there is room in her cage for friends.

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and yes, she is allowed out of her cage.

big mama on the move

mama giraffe

thank you, ronni, for sharing big mama giraffe with us!

t is for traditional

sometimes i worry that i haven’t “prepared children for kindergarten” enough.  in my gut i know i’ve done my best.  i know i’ve filled them up with love and promises that they are good (think “good” with a capital G).  but i hope that they enter the kindergarten classroom equipped with the skills to find the transition easy.

when i see pictures like this, i am hopeful.  hopeful that some of the traditional school skills have been honed.

the direction was to “find a partner.”  they did.

the direction was to “line up.”  they did.

onward, little ones, onward.  you’ve got this.

g is for graduation

i’m sharing the post i wrote on our home blog…it doesn’t seem right not to acknowledge our preschool celebration without these same thoughts…

:: :: :: ::

i’m not sure from which perspective to write this.

from mama of a graduating preschooler?

from teacher of 29 kids finishing a school year?

from coworker to two adults who made this year so fun and fulfilling?

from spouse who is turned toward home in a new way?

from director who actually made friends with preschool parents but has no schedule to see them now?

from mama who is recalling the years with the older two in preschool?

maybe from each perspective it is the same.  it is with bone deep memories that i offer this post.  for 12 years i have done my job with my own children wrapped in it.  jerry watches students who were my students make their ways in and out of his classroom at the high school.  every may i wander through my house a while trying to decide how i will spend my time.  i miss the energy of the classroom, i treasure the morning sun of my dining room.

my baby graduated.  i graduated.  we all graduated.

s is for summer

so, summer vacation is officially here.  part of my clean up is sorting through files of photos.  there are many, many projects and activities never shared here, so in the midst of picnics and summer fun, check back often.

yummy