l week

l was for LOVE, dr. martin LUTHER king jr, LOOK, LIGHT and it was a lovely way to ease back into preschool.


perhaps the sweetest moment was baby LUKE visiting with his big sister.

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it was only a few years ago that the big sister was the new baby for show and tell:

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we started our conversations about the work and legacy of dr. king.

this is the first year i didn’t offer the explanation of race as why the young martin luther king couldn’t go to certain restaurants, parks, schools.

i don’t know if it was right or not, i just know i looked at them as i started telling the stories and i couldn’t. i couldn’t stand the idea that i might utter words they hadn’t heard before that could instill fear or a lack of worth.

so instead, i spoke the words of what is worth fighting for, of what is decent and just. i spoke the words of what has been granted in part thanks to the work of dr king: the right for ALL people to show up and be treated justly and with respect and dignity. and that no matter what they hear on the news or from others in power, all people have this right. 

and as true as the air, it seems they KNOW this to be true.


we had unseasonably warm weather that made it easy to spend time outside, including our show and tell time!


 

 

breastfeeding spaces

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breastfeeding is welcome, accepted, honored, encouraged in our building, both during preschool hours and church hours, wherever parents want to breastfeed.

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we have many comfortable places for adults to sit and all of those can be considered “breastfeeding spaces.”

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we also have a separate nursery connected to the preschool classroom that is an option for a private breastfeeding/pumping space. this includes a glider chair, changing table (with pads and extra diaper changing supplies/spare clothing), bassinet, toys for older children, separate heating/cooling unit, adjustable lighting, speaker (for upstairs sanctuary), and electrical outlets. hand washing facilities and a refrigerator (for storing pumped breastmilk) are available near the nursery.

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gratitude to the the Harvey County Breastfeeding Coalition with funds made available from the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund for help in creating breastfeeding spaces.

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k week

k week merged with our last week before christmas which worked well for the annual “what makes a king a king” talk.


our alphabet box was a tricky one: four locks and 13 keys…tricky, tricky.

you can see it in action here:


this tape work kept some friends engaged for a long, long time.


and then we had the annual “which baby will be baby jesus for our games?” voting.


 

h week

h week brought new friendships expressed in heart cards, helping hand talks, paper hair cutting, and perhaps the greatest joy of all: a baby named harvey for show and tell.

as usual, the week is best captured in our work time movie:


and yes, we had a lot of talk about not cutting your ACTUAL hair or anyone else’s ACTUAL hair, just the paper hair of our hairy head paper friends:


and in the days following the evident division in our nation, this project was healing:


the weather made it easy to be outside, including an impromptu back step of the church show and tell. this photo captured the moment pastor derrick was spotted across the yard. he ended up squeezing in to see the show and tell goodness.


thank you to a mama for capturing our end of the day parachute leaf play.


fear not, these young children to how to make the world better, kinder, more peaceful:


 

j week

j week was full of jewels and candy canes that looked like the letter J and jingle bells. we jumped and juggled. and we watched the calendar change which means we finished with brown month and started with red month. whew!



we made baby jesus ornaments with the acorns from our november tub table.

and we started gathering our dolls and giving them cloth diapers in preparation for them being baby jesus. fozzie was a wonderful caretaker.


i wrote the conversation about “what we know about the christmas story” and underlined the J words. this evolved into spontaneous christmas story plays.


also, it got cold this week:


 

i week

 


i week

our alphabet box had white inch blocks and not pictured are the tongs we tried using to make an ice cube tower eleven inches tall!


i is for injury…i’m grateful a teacher reminded me about this journal activity:

body shapes, red crayon marks for blood and band aids to go on top. imagine the conversations and the fine motor work!

 



this book was a bigger hit than in years past. we seem to be more tuned in to feelings and conflict. this book’s illustrations offer a lot.

a few bits of significance:

the dog was mean because someone told him to be mean

when the dog was chasing the turkey family, the baby turkey was protected because his hat was over his eyes so he didn’t know there was a problem

the grandma was mad at the dog because his meanness made a lot of things happen and her pie was ruined

your face can show you are sorry

you can be together right after hard things happen if you want to be



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we had our annual “i like to eat…” thanksgiving feasts where people bring favorite foods! this is the information families are given:

In honor of Thanksgiving and the power of knowing ourselves, we will share favorite foods.

How it works:

  1. this is optional! no pressure to bring food!
  2. if you do bring a favorite food, bring enough so we can all have a taste: imagine a small serving for 20 people.
  3. have food prepared, but since we will serve it on plates, you don’t need to have it portioned out ahead of time.
  4. drop food off with your preschooler, we can reheat/keep cold as needed.
  5. children will not be required to taste things they don’t want to…but don’t be surprised if they tell you they licked or smelled something!
  6. please include an ingredient list or packaging so we can help keep our food sensitive friends safe.

 

the abundance was great.


 

g week 

true to history, when preschoolers (and teachers and dogs) show up in costume sometimes we have to guess who it is…then the masks come off and all is revealed. g week coincided with halloween so along with guessing there was giggling and games and goofiness.

the five the little pumpkins showed up outside in our little playground:


we had a birthday mama helper and pastor derrick visit. his costume was “a preschooler.”

families helped bring things for our parties: candy and carrots and dip and goldfish crackers and cheese sticks. and one mama works for a dentist who donated toothbrushes for all!

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there was a mystery question on Facebook earlier in the week…and here’s the answer:


one warm afternoon we walked to the big street to spread some child cheer. admittedly, our goal was to see how many honks we could get (i think fifteen was the final number). across the street is the public school administration offices and when they looked out the window to figure out what all the honking was for, they saw us. so then they came across the street and we practiced trick or treating with them! thank you, usd 373 workers!

(imagine the surprise for all the passersby…heeheeheeheehee)


thank you, parents for sharing some photos and video. the joy brings me continued hope.

e is for election 

UPDATED WITH POST ELECTION PHOTOS AND RESULTS……

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November 8: Election Day


As is our practice, teachers will not advocate for a particular candidate. We will discuss the facts of the election process, allowing children to voice opinions and questions in our traditional “what we know” style. These ideas will be recorded on paper and shared with families so you can continue the conversation at home. Here is a sampling from 2012 (click here for full post):

In our classroom, we will vote on several things throughout the day, experiencing voting privately, counting ballots and determining the outcome of issues such as: 


•which book will be read for Story Time 

•elevator or stairs

•glass cups or paper cups for snack

•Show and Tell before snack or after snack. 

Results will be posted as they are determined. 

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UPDATED:

f week

f week was fantastic, fabulous, fun and fast. here’s some work time action to show it:


some random images that speak for themselves:


show and tell continues to be fluid; sometimes children getting their own items from the basket, sometimes me setting up a stage for a show and tell performance. it is truly guided by what seems like the best way to get full engagement in the moment.


when our pumpkin patch moved to the tub table to make room for our “crawl low under smoke” corner, the big pumpkins still found their way back to the purple rug.


a “low drama” approach to fire safety was the theme of the week and oh, the joy!

we had a dalmation fire dog join us one day:

the F tray had blue stones for water, a couple firefighter figures and beads/pipe cleaners to thread.

another impromptu activity: cutting red felt and yellow duct tape to make fire for the classroom.

we used our paper from E week for a variety of “fire” projects:

all week we added to the “what we know about” fire chart.

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one of my favorite opportunities is to talk about the hot things that can be found at home, including cigarettes and lighters. and full disclosure: i will not tell children that those are bad or wrong. and it happened again, the look of relief on a young child’s face when i said, people who smoke are not bad.

yeah, they said, because my mom isn’t bad.

and the little guy who barely talks yet saying, yeah my dad good. my dad good. my dad ‘moke. my dad good.

it’s our job to let them know their truth. ❤️


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