g is for grrrrrrrrrr

i notice that some of our photos are “unavailable at this time” and i. don’t. know. why.

 

but it bugs me.

 

just thought i’d let you know that i know but i don’t know why.

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r is for raining hearts

so, this was a project that left almost nothing to the imagination other than the fact that we were still lost in this story:

this simple book remained a favorite days after valentine’s day.  so we made our own trees growing hearts just like the end of the story.  the hearts were scattered around the room for children to go pick up (one or two or three at a time depending on the number i called out) and glue on the tree limbs.

next year i want to do this.  from here:

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:: :: :: ::

but our preschoolers did come up with a little big body work of their own while waiting for the trees to dry.

moving the tables apart to move chairs in between them to stand on to reach the paper lanterns. : )

p is for personal space

it’s a tricky thing to figure out how to show affection to kids while respecting their personal space.  we want them to experience safety and contact at the same time.  we want them to feel nurtured and learn to pay attention to that “uh ho” feeling.  the language we’ve used is to not hit or touch friends (including teachers) in the areas that a swimsuit would cover up. we also suggest that when/if they are being touched there, that they can ask why.  then we equip families to continue the conversation (letting them know we started it and encouraging them to continue it).

(photo from way back in fall 2009)

but we are a hands-on preschool.  we hold the children, we pick them up, we wrestle, we cuddle, we rub backs.  we also listen and STOP when a child asks us to.  we model these boundaries when we ask children to not hit, poke or pat our bottoms (though we do understand that this is simply the funniest thing ever), etc.  only once can i remember evidence so clear:

busted.

m is for multiples

so, it seems to me that anytime there are multiples of a certain item, especially if they are small enough to fit in a tiny hand, there is increased interest.  we’ve had a tub full of rubber spiders, a basket full of matchbox cars, a box full of plastic eggs.  now we have a basket of 15 tiny babies and 15 small blankets (thank you, thrift shop, for what was thought to be a stack of washcloths).

my greatest lament is that all the babies look alike with their rosy pink skin.  i’m on the look out for tiny babies of other skin tones…any ideas?

 

r is for valentine rainbow

well, it is R week.  it is also our week to celebrate valentine’s day.  so, we present you with a valentine themed rainbow made of rectangles.

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we looked at a real rainbow online, read the definition of a rainbow in our dictionary, heard the concept of good old ROY G BIV, discussed shapes and tried to figure out which shape word started with that R sound,  then moved to valentine colored rectangles.

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a glue arch was made, covered with one color of their choosing, then another arch was made.  older preschoolers were succesful in taking leftover papers back when they picked up a new color, there was a bit of exercise added in.  sometimes i intentionally have things positioned far away so they simply have to walk farther!

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i also think it’s a good brain work out…to have to remember why it is you are walking past the blocks and puzzles….oh yeah, to get that pink paper.  i need more work outs like that.

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r is for rainbow, no matter the color scheme.

p.s.  we have officially moved to letting the children use sharpies to write their names just like the teachers would.  so far so good….i think…families, speak up if not!

i is for indoor ice skating

a silver lining of having to move furniture every friday in preparation for using the space as a church community on sunday is the wide open space we create.  if we do this at our regular end of the day clean up, we take advantage of the big room feel.

this week:  ice skating on paper plates.  by the time i got off my “skates” to get the camera, we’d moved on to a child invented technique of hands and knees skating.

mr rob would start the music, we’d skate.  he’d stop the music, we’d stop.  good times.

 

 

v is for valentine corner

this valentine corner of ours isn’t necessarily unique to our classroom.  we always have our “project shelf” stocked with supplies and when a different supply is requested, it’s usually offered…but this corner feels special.

maybe it’s all the doilies.  or stickers.  or envelopes.  or having the glitter table so close.  or free access to glue while chanting a tip from the comments last week:  a dot!  a dot!  a dot does a lot!

whatever it is, our floor is covered with glitter, the tables are bumpy with dried glue, and there are oodles of creations.

families, you’re welcome (…i say while cringing a bit knowing the amount of loose glitter that must be all over the place).

 

v is for valentine exchange

oh, goodness, we’ve had a good time the last two days.

as we’ve been anticipating, we’re having a whole week of valentine fun.  this way everyone gets in on it.  children are invited to bring valentines.  we save them in the teacher kitchen until our “party” towards the end of the day.  after all, we needed time for our recycled yogurt tub valentine holders to dry from all the glitter and glue.

then we bring each stack of valentines to the circle and find out who brought them.

then teachers help pass them out, there are a lot of ooooohs and aaaaaaahs and thank yous and even a few i love yous.

we’ll do this every day this week and i bet it won’t get old.

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v is for valentine quilt

we’re spending feb 14-18 celebrating valentine’s day, but we got a head start last friday.

 

it was q week and part of our day was quilt exploration.  earlier in the week we used some precut thrifted squares to make 9 patch quilt blocks in any fabric/color pattern desired.

this was after seeing a beautiful collection of carefully labeled quilt blocks from a preschool grandma:

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thank you again, mara’s grandma!

 

by friday we kicked it up a notch.  the children were given a template for another 9 patch quilt block.  but this time there were Rs and Qs in the squares.

R meant RED and Q meant QUESTION MARK which meant I DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO CHOOSE FROM THIS PILE OF RECYCLED VALENTINES SOMEONE DONATED.

the process and the result was fun.  again i was surprised at how excited some were at doing a very concrete step-by-step project.

after both teachers and a lot of preschoolers feeling sick much of last week, we’re gearing up for a very special week.