s is for a real snake’s return visit

snake!

snake

if you’ve read our blog for the last while, you’ve seen this guy before.

snake

cooper has grown older just like us.

snake

i practiced calm and strength and carried him from his cage to circle time.

snake

snake

he really is a sweet snake.

snake

clever and funny too!  when at circle time, he’d move quickly to our chalkboard and slither down the chalk track.

snake

thank you for coming again, cooper!  and thank you, john david, for sharing. :)

snake

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s is for sense of smell

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smelling jars

i love this activity.  the surprise and the guessing and the freedom to explore further.

smelling jars

this time we had cinnamon, lemon oil, vanilla and dill.  after we passed them around at circle time, we left them out for friends to keep on smelling and guessing.

smelling jars

smelling jars

smelling jars

later in the week we added black pepper and vinegar.  mmmmmmmmm!

smelling jars

l is for listening tubes

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hearing tubes!

{imagine you are hearing me whisper this entire post into a tube pressed to your ear.}

hearing tubes!

after we decorated different sizes of cardboard tubes with mini strips of duct tape, talked about the delicateness of the human ear and needing to keep it safe from too-loud of sounds, the classroom got really quiet.

hearing tubes!

we listened to classroom sounds like our water ball and the clock ticking:

hearing tubes!

we listened to a friend whispering in our tube:

hearing tubes!

hearing tubes!

hearing tubes!hearing tubes!

we listened to the radio that was only one number 2 out of 40 volume:

hearing tubes!

we listened to anything we could hear:

hearing tubes!

hearing tubes!

s is for snake egg

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snake

we used plastic easter eggs, strips of making tape and parts of paper bags to make mini versions of our big mama snake.

snake

at the beginning of the year i mentioned that in the spring, mama snake (who hangs in our classroom all year) would have babies.  the preschoolers remembered!

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

snake

yeah, mama snake!

snake

mama snake had 44 babies that week…and all 44 were adopted and went to new homes.

snake

s is for sticker art

we’ve done quite a bit of this lately…drawing and dictating.

sticker art

this day we had some stickers as “starting points.”

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we talked about what our cat or dog might need and headed to the “scribble tables.”

sticker art

fellow teachers and parents and those who visit with children know how awkward the glance can be if a child is asked, “what is it?” and they don’t know.  so we say things like, “what do you want to pretend this is?” or “do you have ideas of what this is?” or “anything you want me to say about this blue circle shape?”

sticker art

sticker artsticker art

sticker artsticker art

the other things that these draw and dictate times allow for is teacher/child bonding.  we have those one-on-one moments to visit and make eye contact while in close proximity of each other.

sticker artsticker art

sticker art

and note:  if these kids are ever in charge of a cat or dog, they have it covered!

sticker art

w is for we wish you well, kindergarten-bound friends!

tonight is kindergarten pre-enrollment (aka kindergarten round-up) for our local school district (7 pm at the elementary school that your child will attend in 2012-2013).

wishing stones

at preschool today, one friend brought these stones to show and tell and said, “they are for everybody since you are going to kindergarten!”  i have yet to find out if that was a family plan or one that evolved from our conversations about tonight’s events.  we sent the wishing stones around the circle until all had been held by the warm crayon-smudged hands of the preschoolers.  by the end, the stones were warm and there were lots of smiles.

wishing stones 3

the afternoon class has a couple of friends who will attend kindergarten in a neighboring town and they already had their kindergarten round-up.  they reported a good time with movies about a caterpillar, coloring and round-up being short.  there are a few friends in our afternoon classes who will be homeschooled and we figured out that every day is like kindergarten round-up since they will be at home!

and there are other friends who weren’t here today but will come to preschool later in the week.  their stones, warmed and breathed upon, will be waiting for them.

now we all have a tangible reminder of those who are moving on!

wishing stones 2

be brave, children and parents!  breathe through those growing pains.

e is for egg carton challenge!

we joined in on tinkerlab’s creative challenge…there are oodles of egg-celent ideas over there!

our post-easter-pre-earth-day plans include making another BIG cooperative collage like we did with ellie the elephant a couple of years ago:

egg-celent fun - 01 by you.

egg-celent fun - 07 by you.

then we painted them with white and black paint.

elephant - 02

we used leftover paint to paint paper and recall the concept of a “math sentence”

elephant - 04

then with painted egg cartons, a big piece of cardboard, silver and black duct tape, black crayons, gray crayons and scissors….we made ellie the elephant!  since her initial photo was taken, more paint and crayon has been added.  she still stands guard over the block corner (to watch her baby elephants in the animal tub, of course).

spider web  - 2

 what’s all that yarn she’s stuck in, you ask?

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a giant spider’s web that she went out to play in one day!

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thank you, tinkerlab, for the motivation to firm up the plans!