m is for martin on m


with hundreds of tiny photographs of dr. king, preschoolers covered a capital M. First was the work of making a capital M shape with four strips of paper (how clever that it first looked like a lowercase L, then an upside down V, then a crooked capital N, then finally a capital M!).


then choosing and gluing dr. king all over the M. there were three different poses and most children were very specific in which they choose…the smiling one, the thinking one and the listening one (descriptions determined by the TTH class).


m is for martin

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“martin looks almost exactly like me” (said by a blond, blue eyed girl

“martin has every part of the face like me…except for the moustache”

“martin smiled even though there was so much to be sad about”

“i am making martin have a sad face because i am sad for him”

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we made collage faces of martin luther king jr. using the paper from last week (which was a combination of every skin tone paint) as the face, we looked at photographs of dr. king and added the appropriate features.

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perhaps the most fun part for the kids was giving him a haircut. we glued the face on a square of paper, then trimmed away!

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m is for martin

m is for milk lid

preschool families and friends have been collecting milk lids for us.

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thank you!

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since it is m week we’ve been sorting by color. we’ve noticed that in the tens of milk lids there are, there is only one brown lid. come on, let’s drink some chocolate milk!

the next phase of this activity is arranging them into words, letter groups, abc order, etc. for some of our kids we explored spacing between letters. learning that when there is a “finger space” between letters that means they are different words. sometimes it was fun to do that on purpose. like a joke. hee hee hee.

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we noticed how many letters can become other letters simply by turning them.

kevin can become keviz and can easily become kevin again! more funny stuff.
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keep bringing those milk lids…we have more projects in mind!

r is for raise your (left) hand!

we played a version of simon says using left and right commands. oh, but how to remember which is our left? which is our right? especially when ms. kristin is standing in front of you and she is a mirror image? or when she turns around to stand like you so you turn around too? what do we do?

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we put on wristbands from the thrift shop. since it was l week, we put them on our left hand. very handy.

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l is for left

the concept of left and right is one that we may not see the grasping of during preschool. it is a common phrase among preschool educators to refer to “your other left” or “your other right” because many young children simply haven’t mastered it!

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we did some finger painting one day in preparation for a martin luther king jr project and made handprints of each set of hands. we referred to their hands as left and right as we did it and wrote the words for them.

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y is for year

i told the kids that when they came back from school after christmas, it would be a new year. when i would refer to “next year” there were several kids who raised their eyebrows and scrunched their noses to tell me, “sorry, i won’t be here. i’ll be in kindergarten next year.”

one of the concepts we worked on for L week and the first week of 2009 was left and right. we arranged and rearranged the numerals 2, 0, 0, 9 several different ways. i modeled reading left to right (and then right to left…funny stuff).


one activity we did was finding one 2, two 0s, and 1 9 in the room. they were pre-cut from outdated calendars (which means each is the size of a calendar page). once each child arranged them in correct 2-0-0-9 order, we glued them on!

happy 2009! happy new year!

l is for letter

i dabble in the handwriting without tears curriculum.  mostly i am fascinated by the desire to make letter writing easily successful for children.  one thing we do that is handwriting-withou- tears-ish is give craft sticks or wide gross grain ribbon strips to form the letters. here we have a 5 stick capital E:

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l is for line

one of the school concepts i introduce the children to is “standing in line.”  like most of the skills and concepts , i don’t expect mastery.  a spontaneous game of store during work time was a great opportunity to practice.

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i made a path of colored duct tape that was only wide enough for one child.

p.s.  for sale in this store was anything in the classroom, including kleenex. : )

t is for tree

techincally this should be a is for apple tree, but we make these trees for many reasons during a school year.

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one class made the trunk, one class made the leafy top, and then we added apple print apples.

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this was the first painting project of the school year.  i intentionally gave brushes, but gave no instruction on whether to use hands or not.  most of the children used their hands and some of the children were vocal about being grateful they didn’t have to!

after painting, the children carry their brushes to the bathroom sink to “help” rinse them out.  as is true with many things, it may be easier (and neater) to have a teacher wash them all at once but their ownership in completing the process is clear.