k is for kansas

kansas turns 149 today (and no, i did not stay up until midnight to post this…i usually do a bunch of posts and schedule them for later).

butter time

our  kansas celebrations this week include making butter to eating zweiback brought by families.  its such a simple process, i don’t know why i don’t do it more often.

we used fancy local cream that came in a glass bottle, poured it in another jar and shook, shook, shook.

butter time

butter time

suddenly you hear a thunk, thunk, thunk and you know the butter is flopping around in there!

butter time

we sang happy birthday by “candlelight” (thanks for the inspiration, tom!) and enjoyed our feast.

butter timebutter timebutter time

it’s been a cozy week.

s is for sunflower


all i could find was a slightly neon-toned yellow paper.  we put out yellow crayons and pens to soften the color a bit.


then snowflake style, we offered the preschoolers a paper folded in fourths with one petal shape drawn on.


some thought they worked better as airplanes.


then gluing them around a center and adding an O shape for the middle with a cardboard stem.


our state flower!

k is for ketchup paint

in anticipation of christmas projects, i wanted some painted paper that looks like fire.  since it was k week, we started with red paint (in a ketchup bottle).  this is almost as funny as this.



we added a new color each day:  red, yellow, orange.

the yellow was glitter paint!


the first day we painted paper taped to the table.  since i had to clean the table anyway, we switched to painting the actual table and making prints of their work.


here is proof that they were wearing paint shirts.  i don’t think any of their clothes stayed clean, though:


k is for key


keys and locks (that really worked together!) and a lock box brought by a friend (thank you, micah!).


all sorts of things got locked up in that lock box.  i think i’ll get one of my own.



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we used the same beads as last week plus some key rings and made key chains.


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we traced keys in our journals…woa, tricky.


t is for tattle tale

we finished pre-k conferences last night…a time when i think of each child in a new way.  when i imagine them in a new setting, usually in a more traditional classroom setting.

and i get protective….and feisty.

2008-2009 graduates

my simple requests:

i ask now that none of these kids be considered a tattle tale.

i ask that when a child brings a concern, it is met with eye contact and attention.

i ask that when a child tells you that someone’s pencil dropped on the floor, you thank them for letting you know.

i ask that when a child tells you that someone is being mean to someone else, you take that as a sign that you can do more in your classroom.

i ask that when a child cries and whines about the same thing everyday, you receive that as his hurt that needs your attention.

i ask that you remember it doesn’t take much to help a child feel safe.

i ask that  you don’t consider children tattle tales.  even if they are just “trying to get someone else in trouble,” doesn’t that point to a need in the so-considered tattle tale?

tattle tale

oh, i get defensive of these children as they prepare to leave the nest.

i know there are wonderful, wonderful teachers in traditional classrooms.

i know there are always different ways we can care for the children in my classroom.

i know i do not have all the answers.

but i also know these children and from the depth of me, wish them well.

okay, stepping down from the soap box now.

r is for rainbow kite

actually, i thought of these as wind-catchers, but the preschoolers exclaimed things like, “oh yeah!  a kite!”…so they became kites.

the first step was cutting a hole out of the center.  any kind of hole.  i learned quickly (and should have known!) to poke the scissor through first (thankfully we avoided hurt children).

rainbow streamer kitesrainbow streamer kites

then was the tricky work of choosing streamers and gluing them on in rainbow order.  oh, tricky.

rainbow streamer kites

rainbow streamer kites

we had beautiful weather these days…great for kite flying.

p is for pink

to the tune of “if you’re happy and you know it…”

when you mix red and white you get pink

when you mix red and white you get pink

when you mix them you will see

a new color magically

when you mix red and white you get pink

red + white = pink

with a squirt of red and a squirt of white in a sealed baggie, we squished and squashed them.

red + white = pink

red + white = pink

red + white = pink

then we snipped the ends and squirted out the pink paint (kind of like frosting!).

red + white = pink

there were lots of different brushes and rollers to choose from (and extra bathroom clean up after handwashing). : )

red + white = pink

also discovered was that the other end of the paintbrush can be used to “write” in the paint.

red + white = pink

in this color blending experiment, we discovered what happens with extra red….

red + white = pink

red + white = pink

when the paper dried we cut hearts from it!



some of the hearts went to the valentine station and some of the hearts were turned into valentines for the grandma and grandpa friends.

by the way, my favorite moment was when i brought out the ketchup bottle from k week (with red paint in it…which i highly recommnend…as well as yelow paint in a mustard bottle, white paint in a milk jug, etc.) and poured it on the paper. oh, funny stuff. some of the preschoolers gave a preschool version of rolling their eyes at me.

red + white = pink

o is for orange

oh, my kids were hopeful when i brought home a box of orange koolaid singles.  but no, it was for preschool.  to which eliza beamed at the older two.

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we didn’t drink it, though!

i had it out on our project table but didn’t draw specific attention to it.  when we went to circle time, we discussed colors a bit and then colored a paper plate with different shades of orange.

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we listened to raffi sing “apples and bananas” two times and had to color the WHOLE time he was singing.  (this song was perfect for O week as we remembered the letters that are vowels.)

then i asked if anyone had noticed anything else orange in the classroom that we might use.  it was fun to see the light bulbs go off as some called out and some ran over to get the kool aid.

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we tasted it, smelled it, wrote with our finger in it when it was poured on a plate.
then we glued it on a circle-O shape of glue.

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k is for kansas

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we had a week of celebrating kansas and nature around us.

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we used our fingertips to make the seeds in the center of a sunflower shaped paper.

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it is harder than it seems to make our fingers go up and down instead of round and round.

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we made preschool-versiona of kansas seals in several steps.

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painting (including fingernails for some), pressing on paper shapes, then adding a real wheat sprig.

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we used old “kansas barns” calendars as coloring sheets. or as cutting and taping and gluing sheets.

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kansas week would not be complete without a wagon ride. much softer and smoother than way back when, but fun. we were taking out show and tell basket on a visit the grandma and grandpa friends.

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