y is for yellow brick road on k is for kansas day while we talked about the wizard from o is for oz : )

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yes, technically it is O week, but with it being the week before kansas day, we incorporated a “wizard of oz” theme.  and we had fun all week with a load of bricks.  thanks, families!

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we started the week playing with bricks.  amazingly no one got hurt.  and incredible team work was in action (seriously, this was a VERY heavy load)!  i love the confidence of preschoolers.  i love that they put themselves out there, grab on to help, don’t wait to be invited, put themselves at the back of the wagon and BELIEVE they are making it go.  awesome.

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we left the bricks with the blocks and saw some interesting sculptures.

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later in the week we told the kids that since our bricks were brownish red, we were going to have to pretend they were yellow when we “followed the yellow brick road.”  little did they know mr rob and i already painted them (note:  if you plan to paint bricks and you assume that enamel glossy paint will cover, get ready for the bricks to SOAK UP the first couple of coats).  good thing the wizard of oz left a note telling us he took the bricks to paint them and we took off to find them!

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then we sat on them, balanced on them, then made a long skinny road to walk along…

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we followed the yellow brick road, we followed the yellow brick road, we followed, followed, followed, followed, followed the yellow brick road!

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happy kansas day!

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k is for kansas day (again)

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we painted a BIG piece of paper yellow to use for our sunflowers along with some leftover paper from M week.

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crinkly cut scissors and glue and lots of layers made our sunflowers.

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we read about laura and mary, ma and pa, baby sister carrie and good old bulldog jack.  the book was later used as a backdrop for these corn husk dolls found at the thrift shop last year.

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log cabin building with some donated sticks with notches cut out.

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and we finished our days with a little state song singing and playing, home on the range.

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oh, so sorry there isn’t an audio version for you.

 

k is for kansas day!

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complete with a tornado, shoes turned ruby with glitter, a big map, wizard of oz tunes and sunflowers we honored our state’s 150th birthday!

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the children were invited to draw with chalk on our map…more trips taken as the week goes on.  we took it as an opportunity to introduce the concepts of north, south, east and west.  there were a lot of trips to an area northeast of hays, as you may see.

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oh, and a pink princess party to the east of manhattan.

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it’s been a week full of fun activities…stay tuned.

s is for school family conversation

that is what we call it….every time.  it’s quite a mouthful, but it has stuck.  when we sit for snack time, there is a lot of straggling in as kids finish washing hands, then we all settle and it’s loud.  then we announce what food there is more of and what has been given all out, etc.  then we announce that it is “school family conversation time.”

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mr rob or i will ask a question or pose a “what would you do if…” scenario.  sometimes we’ll simply invite children to tell us whatever they would like.  it brings a warm smile to my face to hear children talk who started they school year with very few words.  in fact, the older kids catch on too and recognize the new surge of language.  such is the joy of a multi age class.

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dare i say this can feel a lot like home for me?  it can be hard to listen to each other and to save our ideas, but it is important.  we started passing something around to “talking stick” style…for us it was the magic mushroom.   and really, when i hear a preschooler ask for “school family conversation time,” i remember the purpose.

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s is for salt table

not in my plans (how many times have i said that?!?!), but when i was emptying out our i spy table (which is technically a light table, but i had a piece of clear plexiglass made so that when we take the lights out, we have an i spy table), we had a bit of exploring time.  i had used salt as snow with all our wintery christmasy things.  so far there hasn’t been pain with salt in wounds or eyes.  we’re holding our breath a little.

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this really is the best design for a sensory table (it isn’t intended as one).  it’s deep and small with the opening being smaller than the table.

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we have a lot less salt out of the box than we usually do.  and wow, it has been a busy spot!

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i’ve never been a teacher who determines how many people can do a center or activity at a time.  i’ve tried doing so after seeing it happen in other classrooms, but i can’t stick with it.  just last week i was sure that i would want to have the children take turns painting since we only had two trays of watercolor paint.  but as soon as more kids gathered around and one of the children who was painting asked for a paintbrush for a child who was waiting, i brought more out.  without a doubt the children are learning great things in navigating those situations…and teachers learn patience.

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m is for (happy birthday,) dr. martin luther king!

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after our march, we had hot warm chocolate in honor of dr. king’s birthday.  we really needed to warm up ourselves.

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a sweet ending to the day.

m is for martin luther king jr wrap up

UPDATED 1/11/12 to add a copy of the printable!

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anyone remember the book brown is beautiful?  in the spirit of that book, we brainstormed things that are brown.  some made us giggle.

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we made collage faces again this year starting with group painting a paper covered table.

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we stepped over to another table to make hand prints (and sneak a moment with the book).

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yes!  lots of brown paper:  just what we need to make our collage faces the next time we come:

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we ended the week with watercolor painting.

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i had some of these little people sticks that seemed good for this week.

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(tip:  when we use these kind of watercolors, i have some that are kept “clean” and some that are mixed.  some children simply are not ready to rinse each time.  we talk about “dancing the brush on the bottom of the cup” in between colors.  then a quick rinse under the tap has them all clean again.)

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how honored i am to have 68 little hands in my life each week.

m is for martin luther king jr march

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first of all, just like in my childhood experiences of peace vigils on friday afternoons,  know that all children had the option not to participate. all children knew they could drop out at any time.  with that being understood, we prepared for a walk towards the nearest busy street a couple of blocks away.

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after reading one of our dr. king books the children chose what message they wanted on their sign.

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we framed it by asking the children to think of something they liked to do with grown ups or something they don’t want to have happen to them. admittedly, when mr rob put on this year’s theme song in the background, i almost got pretty teary:

don’t hit me
don’t push me
walk with me
share with me
keep the earth clean
don’t be naughty
play with me
be nice
don’t call me names

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we pretended that we were walking with the hundreds of thousands of people who walked before, we waved and smiled at passing cars, and in our little town, i think we confused some people.

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confusion can be good sometimes.

 

c is for calendar art

again, old calendars were brought out to use as preschoolers liked.

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some kids simply removed certain pages to take home as posters for their walls.  that was a new one. : )