h is for halloween

pumpkin faces

it’s been a happy one!  in getting ready and in celebrating!

halloween week iihalloween week iiihalloween week iv

surely, we’ll have a lot of school family conversations based on costumes and candy.

class trick or treating

i’m ready!

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d is for dinosaur

IMG_1354it seems that our pictures (of painting and cutting and gluing and taping and making a big dinosaur and making baby dinosaurs to meet big mama “daisy dinosaur” and adding her clothespin spikes on the marker dots and telling you that we loved this book) will speak for themselves.



it was a dino-tastic time!

n is for new movie…and new things in the classroom…and new perspective for me.

we made another movie.

the way we make most of our movies is by having the photo booth’s video camera running and then later splitting it into smaller clips. with the movies being many minutes long, i think we all forget that we’re being recorded. that’s what i want.

what you’ll see in this movie:

a new friend at preschool…already a special friend of mine…this was so sweet.
a new seating plan…there are little self photos on the back of their chairs. it’s interesting to see how children look to find themselves, if they move their chair, if they don’t.
a new circle time plan…we’ve never sat in chairs before at circle time. the next phase is that anyone who prefers a chair can get their chair. then there is the need for a whole bunch of “situational awareness” when preschoolers are hauling chairs around. i’ll make a movie of that.

and for me: a new perspective of how i teach. i am comfortable with and confident in my intentions and my passion to be a kind and effective teacher. but i am amazed at how many things i see that i wish were different. i don’t wait as long as i thought i did. i ask questions that seem silly. i don’t answer kids as quickly as i thought i did. i fill in the blanks too often in conversations with kids.

in general, i seem to have an impatience that is rooted in nothing but enthusiasm. since i’m not cranky, maybe i’m just eager. i guess. i want to work on that. some teacher friends of mine suggested that video taping oneself for this exact purpose is a common practice. it was sure effective for me.

so, enjoy the newness and the humility of seeing me do many things i wish i hadn’t done:

c is for coin, cutting and {robot} cat


we used a wonderful little coin drop slot spinner thing taped onto an empty oatmeal container with real coins!



it was a busy, busy spot.


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we did coin rubbings for our journals.  i hot glued coins on a bit of cardboard so they were easier to keep track of.


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cutting on lines = good kindergarten practice.


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and this little robot cat came to visit (thank you, naomi!).


with very real movements and meow sounds, robot cat seems like a real friend.


you can hear her live on one of our videos (click here).

c is for cookie


i have several kids who LOVE worksheets.  i think i would have been one of those kids too.  kind of like how i like to fill out forms…the order, the finality of it…i love it.  so, those kids loved our journal cookie worksheet offered this week.  there is a list of the letters at the bottom for children to find and circle the letter of the week.

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meanwhile there were cookies being made, sold and “eaten” from cinnamon spice play-dough (regular play-dough recipe with a bit of  cinnamon vanilla added).


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there was also some cookie sprinkle cutting going on.  this was fantastic scissor practice!


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then to frost our paper cookies, we didn’t use paintbrushes, we didn’t use our hands, we didn’t use toothbrushes (all guesses from the children)…we used knives!  just like we were really spreading frosting!


then a trip across the room to “mr. sprinkle” who added the previously snipped sprinkles to our wet paint.


good cookie times!

let the children lead us

i come from a long line of people who can make something out of nothing…nothing out of seemingly everything…see redemption in almost anything… get teary at the simple re-telling of meeting a stranger, telling each other, “hey…there’s a sermon in that…”, i’ve also been told i can blow sunshine up places not appropriate to mention here…and i know i can spin reality to a level of decency that it doesn’t deserve…but it comes from a genuine place.  so when i watched this clip of a video from last week, i noticed my little friend in the orange shirt.

she doesn’t see herself, it’s clear.   other children are discovering themselves on the screen, making eye contact with themselves, laughing, dancing. she looks to me, worried? i can see you, i tell her. then 21 seconds into the video and…she sees herself!

i can’t help but make something out of it…thinking of times i felt like that, wondering where i was and who i was when the world around me knew already, wishing that we could all find ourselves and that when we did, we’d express such joy.

happy sunday, friends. let this child’s joy at finding herself lead you too.


c is for {playing with real} coffee

get ready, there were two WHY oh WHY oh WHY have we not done this before moments last week.

so, when i realized it was National Coffee Day and it was C week, we painted with left over coffee. we have done that before. back when we were making our treasure maps (AAAARGH!).

i moved one of our real coffee pump pots over so I could easily refill the cups with more coffee. that was fun.  using real coffee mugs for the coffee…funny.


and then…oh mama. stroke of genius number one:  we moved a pump pot of water over for the colored water and marker station.  awesome.  of course!  great idea.

they could refill with clean water, color it, mix it…awesome.


but that pales in comparison to stroke of genius number two:


i watered down the left over coffee (so we had more), got rid of the worn out markers, quickly emptied out a cream container, mixed up some white paint and water and WOOOOO-EEEEEEEE…we had some coffee play props.

what, you’d be afraid that someone might drink it?


someone did. but the paint was non-toxic and she claimed, “don’t worry-i like coffee.”


we had a little school family conversation about the fact that i didn’t make a plan with families to let them drink coffee or paint that day…so no more sips.


these are the moments of my job i love.