b is for branches

it only took a bit of time to talk about “branches” instead of “sticks.” but since it was B week, we did it!

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we used black tape strips as branches on a black paper trunk.
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we painted real branches from outside and will use for another project during C week:

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the colors green and red and brown and orange and yellow were in full supply for the first week of autumn leaf painting:
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and after the process important task of covering whole papers with paint was dry, we cut them into “leaf” shapes:

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y is for yellow week


a short week gave us a chance to experience our color of the month, yellow!

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we painted and used glitter.
we cut yellow paint samples after determining that regardless of different shades,
they could all be called yellow!
after cutting the paint samples and the paint was dry from the day before,
golden suns were created!


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we hid in our cozy corner under a golden yellow light
( I put “bug lights” in our area lamps to give a warm glow).


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one of our yellow pieces of cloth became
the yellow magic cloth that we pulled each other around on
(tables pushed aside a bit for the week).


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the lite brite came out with the yellow pieces in the starring role.


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thankful for a donated sit n spin we got to work on our coordination.


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we worked on mixing yellow with blue
and yellow with red after some predicting of what would happen.
as I poured the paint into baggies with a slider
rather than the regular ziplock seal, I wondered how it would work.
the bag of red and yellow made it half way
around the circle before it exploded!
wow! exciting!
after cleaning up we read a preschool favorite book:
little blue and little yellow

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 and we ended our day in a yellow haze
with a yellow display of show and tell items.

9/11 for preschoolers

|| kristin ||:

I can’t hear the numbers “nine” and “eleven” in consecutive order without feeling a subtle stomach lurch and heart race. but those are my feelings and not necessarily anyone else’s, especially the humans who are a mere few years on this earth.

it’s another opportunity to consider our role as teachers, to be available and guide.

so in honor of tomorrow’s date, I offer these thoughts from a couple of years ago.

we’ll do it again.

Originally posted on preschool daze:

i won’t bring it up.  i won’t offer my memories.  i will help count out the number of days on the calendar.  i will say it is “september 11, 2012″ and i will remember what it was like to be 7 months pregnant in that exact classroom 11 years ago.  then we will paint.  with every color available in paint and all colors that could possibly be mixed.  we’ll use brushes and we’ll use hands.  we’ll listen to music and celebrate the freedom of childhood that is captured in our classroom.

then we’ll stick this little note on each painting…a gift for families:

“while we didn’t discuss the events of september 11, 2001, we talked about
the ways we can be kind, the ways we can solve conflict, the ways we can
change the world to be a better place. you adults who are reading this note
likely remember the moments of 9/11/01. may the colors created by a child’s
own two hands give you hope and reassurance of the goodness that is.”
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printable available:

View original

c is for candles in the classroom

20140827-085420.jpgI bought 8 of these flameless candles for the classroom, imagining how cozy snack time and story time and block building and boat riding and drawing could be with a little glow.
20140827-085209.jpgI’ve decided to keep the “try me” wiring for awhile and have them in the science corner. I taped them to a long board from the block corner and we’re set. 20140827-090848.jpg
fun. fun. fun.

my job saves me.

2014-2015 forms


get your keyboard ready (or see kristin for paper copies) and sign up!

click here for a link to our school calendar if you need it!

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want to bring snack?

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want to bring birthday treats?

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want to bring play dough?

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interested in volunteering? read more and sign up here:

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want your child to be in classroom photos? internet/photo release:

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required forms from the state of kansas:

click here and here to download.

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whew! now go outside and take a deep breath!


j is for journal

I just bought 40+ composition books…excited for another year of journal work.

here’s a post from years back…

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at the end of the school year each child took home a rainbow wrapped book of memories (and lots of dried glue).

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each child starts the school year with a blank journal.  we’ve used the “composition books” for the past few years.  their names and/or photo are on the cover.

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a guided activity is made available to preschoolers most days.  children are also allowed to work in their journal anytime they want to.

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one year we started each day with journal time.  one year we ended each day with journal time.  one year we had a journal table.  i’m not sure what next year will hold.

one thing that is unique about journal work is that a teacher is almost always very involved.   most of our activities are explained and demonstrated by a teacher, but then children are set loose.

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in this case, a teacher was there to help keep that quarter still.  we ended up taping the quarter in.  at the last day of school, one little friend found a quarter still in her journal!

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for this project it was holding the cookie cutter down while tracing happened.

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there are times we’ll save work and glue or tape it in journals as well.

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a self portrait (or portraits in this case) is always done.

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we practice number writing and letter writing too.

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teachers write dictations as children like it.  one way we ask the question is:  “is there anything you want to pretend this is?”  as many of you know, when asking a preschool child, “what is it?” h/she will often freeze up.  but pretending is often easier.

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i’ve got a new stash of journals, all clean and smooth waiting for another stash of preschoolers.

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