Friday, November 30, 2012

preschool Christmas book -pg 1

I have a post started to share the entire Christmas book our preK class is making, but I couldn't wait to share these darling angels!  

We took this longer Christmas Story book that I made up for my own kiddos a few years ago and shortened it into a 6 page piece that was more practical to complete in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

 (favorite holy angel.  clown.  angel.)

So, for each page, we have a little art project for the kids to complete.  I think all the classes are working on this project at some capacity.  I think the others are letting the kids free draw all the illustrations.  I just felt that at 4 and 5, most of our particular kiddos would do better with a little guidance towards a illustration that makes sense for that page.  I'm usually a process art person, but I just wanted these to look really nice.  product.  guilty.

I cut out all the pieces and showed them sort of how they went together, but the kids really added their own to each. 

I'll get this full book posted soon, but here's the longer version, page by page in the meantime. I don't have it up as a download because I still can't seem to figure out google docs properly.  I am more than happy to email it out though.  Just leave me a comment here with an email or contact me though using my contact info on the tab above.

These little angels make me so happy that I teach at a school where we can share Christmas right from the bible. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

random preschool

Here are several random preschool related items.  

I'm just so in love with this journal entry.  I think this is why I go to school a lot of days. 

Next item.  I found this 9 piece puzzle at a garage sale and it's been perfect for a behavior plan for one of our little friends.  He earns pieces for good behavior and when all 9 are earned, he earns a prize at home.  Some days are five piece days, others not so much.

The 'vet' stuff is at school this week.  The kids are loving it! Last month we had the mail center out.  

The fixed light board has lasted so far.  Beats the old record of one day.

We set out the jars and glass beads for the sensory box.  It was loud.  They filled and dumped and refilled those jars.  loudly. 

The kiddos collected can goods in November.  Our room collected 198!  One of the preschool grandma's happens to be the leader from the group we collected for.  The kids helped her load up the van.

Oh my goodness, our friends are loving the Pete the Cat books. Those books get read and read and read.  They can read it themselves now.  I come a lot of days for that too.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

green eggs and ham- preschool style

We had a fun green eggs and ham day at school.  This snack is actually from Bee's book party, but isn't it perfect for this day?

My co teacher taught this day, but I just loved all the things she did with the book.  Here, the kids are doing an egg experiment.  They made predictions about how high the block tower would have to get for the egg to crack when knocked off.  They guessed low.  We tried it and added more blocks and tried again and added more.

Until we got to 25 and I had to help hold the tower.  Then the egg finally cracked when flicked off the top.

Then we cooked green eggs and ham.  I had good fresh green farm eggs at home but didn't even think to bring them in to show the kids.  They probably haven't seen green eggs.  

The kids all sat around and watched as we cooked them up on an electric skillet.  Green food coloring was added to make them green.  Chopped pieces of ham were added to make them... hammy. The kids liked them.  They liked them in a box and with a fox.

Mostly unrelated, but on my Gg day, we played with green gak.  It's an easy recipe.  I chose to make it up ahead of time, but it could be made with the class.  

Here's the quick version of how you make it- there are some great tutorials out there, if you need photos in your directions. 


Mix equal parts water and white school glue (can use the gel school glue too).  I made 2 c each.  Mix this well. 

Mix warm water (about 2 c) with 2 T borax.  Stir well until dissolved. Borax is with the laundry supplies at the store.

In small batches, like 1/3 cup at a time, pour the glue mixture into the water and borax mix.  Each time, working that glue mix up and kneading it and removing it prior to adding the next 1/3 cup of glue.  Keep using that same borax and water solution.  Add food coloring to the gak mixture if desired.  Store nicely in a baggie or airtight container.  

That mix made up enough for 20 baggies.  I included a safety note with mine since i sent it home when we were done playing. 

Will remove varnish from wooded chairs!  Just saying!

Friday, November 23, 2012

easy growing

I found these old pictures from this summer in a draft post.  It's cold outside, so I', just going to enjoy them today.  With a cup of hot chocolate. And slippers on my feet.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

last minute turkey things

Here are a few last minute turkey and Thanksgiving things from preschool this week.  These have been two of my favorite Thanksgiving books so far.  Neither are Pilgrim and Indian stories, but both are about giving thanks to God.  

Give Thanks to the Lord is by Karma Wilson.  It's about a little boy celebrating Thanksgiving pretty much Norman Rockwell style.  He's thankful for the cousins and the warm cozy house, his dog and the leaves, etc.  The pictures are lovely.

Thanks for Thanksgiving  is by Julie Markers.  It's the shorter and simpler of the two, but we read them both to both age groups.It's a similar sweet story about all the great things about a family thanksgiving.

This was a fun activity.  I cut out a simple brown turkey with added beak and legs (made last minute from post it notes) and slid him under a sheet of contact paper (sticky side up).  The contact paper is taped to the table.

 The kids added feathers to the top of the sticky contact paper and decorate the little guy.The feathers are easily removable and the turkeys slid out unharmed.  I'll be setting it up again Wednesday. 

Our leader parent brought this fruit and veggie turkey.  We had a cute one last year too.  If the kids and I get around to it, we might make one for the day after Thanksgiving too. They're so fun.  The students are every bot of him, the pear, the honey dew melon (even the skin) and the peppers. 

Lastly, here's a craft from this past week.  The kids used water color paint to decorate a coffee filter.  You could do many variations.  The kids could color with marker and then spray it with water, they would water color on an already wet coffee filter.  Here they did some circle sponge painting using diluted liquid water colors.  The turkey body and face are added later. 

We have preschool on Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but my own kids are out of school.  Not fair.  I'm going to try to be really quiet and let them all sleep in.  I want everyone in a happy mood for our travels.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

October's book

I added our read for October to our master book list.

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NimhFinally!  Back to a really really good book.  I can't believe I have never read this.  We all couldn't wait for the next chapter.  We even got baths early several nights so that we could read extra.  This is a great one for boys and girls both, even daddies!  It's starts with the story of a mother mouse trying to save her children and ends with an exciting adventure of super smart rats setting up their own self sufficient habitat. 

We had two not so great reads prior, so it was good to get back to something really great. 

On a side note, we saw the video on netflixs and watched it.  Not a good book to movie film.  It's animated, it strays far from the main story line.  The kids were just as disappointed as I was.   It had this weird element of magic and talking to the dead.  They also took a good character and turned him bad, trying to kill off the rat leader.  It was just sad what they did to a great book.  Lou kept saying, "I don't remember this part!"

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Mayflower craft

We made this cute Mayflower craft at preschool this year.  The kiddos painted blue ocean water waves (some added lots of water).  It's funny how their perspectives are so different.  Some saw as I did that the blue paint was the water and the light blue paper could be the sky and we were looking at a side view of the water, sky and boat.  Others saw it from a top view, the water needed to cover every inch becasue the boat should be in the middle of the ocean. 

Anyway, they painted waves, I helped them stamp their hand as the Mayflower.  Then they washed and came back and added three precut sails, which were glued on with elmers.

If you aren't familiar with working with kids hand print artwork, here's how we do it.  It's the least messy way (as compared to having a pie tin of paint and having the kids dip their hands in it and then stamp their hands).  We paint the hand.

Then help them stamp. 

We did this craft with both the 3s and the pre-k and the bigger hands made for a taller ship, which really looked more boat-like.  This is a 3s hand print.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dolls and clothes

 This explains the crazy noise from the garbage disposal!  Poor Polly.

Speaking of dolls, the kids requested new doll outfits.  Lou's doll got a cameo hunting outfit. Right before I took this picture, Lou realized that he had a splinter.  Thankfully I'm a surgeon and was able to dig it out.

I made my own pants pattern from a pair of existing pants.  The shirt pattern is from Trillium.  I must not have printed it our big enough, it had to be turned into a vest.  I also thought this outfit was for Boy, but Lou changed his mind.  Boy can wear the same size as an American Girl (minus some length).  Boy also had a Diego bag

Bee's girl got a new dress.  The doll dress pattern is from My Cup Overflows. 

Bee says she wants a matching dress, but I know she won't wear it.  I would like to make them both more outfits for Christmas, but we'll see what gets done.  

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tortilla shell Teepee

 At Bee's book harvest party, they made these cool teepees out of tortilla shells.  They've been talking about Native Americans in social studies.

The kids drew on the half shells with sharpies.  They also had ink pads and glitter available.  

The kids looked off a sheet of Indian symbols for ideas.

The teepees get held together with a toothpick.  Within just a few hours, the tortilla is dry and gets really hard. 

They added wooden rods in the center for a teepee look, but those are not necessary or needed for it to hold up.   Bee and Lou both made one and they are sitting on our kitchen table.  I figure they'll mold at some point, but we can probably enjoy them through Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Book Character Days

(Sorry the format is all messed up here... I can't figure out what's gone wrong... )

The kids celebrated book characters at school last week. Lou's class dressed up as a favorite book character. Here he's a karate kid from Karate Tornado. It's a fictional book we made up to avoid a tantrum after a last minute costume change. It sounds like a real book. Don't judge. (We were going with Karate Mouse, which is a real book, but then on the way out the door, he decided that was not a 'cool' title. I panicked and told him about another book called Karate Tornado.)

They partied in their classroom and then paraded through the school, including our preschool.

Bee's second grade class dressed as bible characters and gave 2 minute oral reports in character. She chose Hannah from the book of Samuel. They partied in the classroom (and made these teepees) and enjoyed some book themed snacks.


Then they went to a wax museum put on by the third and fourth graders.

There were so many good ones.

The kids dressed as a non-fiction book character and when you pressed their golden spray painted mouse, they gave a 30 second speech about their character.

All of them did a great job. Bee and Lou's school does so many of these really cool things that make me realize I underestimate what the kids are capable of.

The trifold poster must have been part of their assignment requirement.


Anne Frank may have been my favorite. I'm partial to her story though, I got to be Anne Frank in a high school play. I had to sing, it wasn't pretty. The singing part wasn't pretty... the rest was really good!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

finally a yes

Lou finally got his yes.  He comes up with these grand plans.  Often they are so big, they aren't something we can feasibly do, build, or make or conjurer up.  He wants a wooden car that we can roll down the hill, a wooden play house that he can build, a climbing wall and tree house.  Sure, we could feasibly build those things.  I could not however make them on the spot with materials on hand, as he thinks should happen.

One of his items finally got a yes.  A yes, right now. 

We made a climbing 'wall' on one of the trees. He and Bee chose on their own to wear their helmets.  The rope just happens to be there from another 'yes' activity.  We'll have to climb up higher to untangle and remove it.

The 'climbing wall' needs a few more strategically places hand and foot holds for them to get to the top mark.  We didn't plan it out very well.   Another day I suppose.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

F fish day- preschool style

 I've done ocean day in years past, but 'fish' day was new to me. 

We set this fun activity on the tables in the morning.  We spread contact paper on the table, sticky side up.  The kids can position and reposition shapes cut from foam paper directly on the contact paper.  The pieces come off easily to be saved, when the play is over.  One of our friends from class shared extra fish his mom ended up with after a birthday party.  It worked out great.

I started our circle time out with this little rhyme:

I used these numbered fish cutouts as I said it.

Then we danced to Laurie Berkner's, The Goldfish. The fish in the story brush their teeth and ride their bike and do lots of swimming. It's a good one to dance to. 
Then I read One Fish, Two Fish by Dr. Suess.  I skipped a lot of pages!  I dislike reading Dr. Suess. 

We played this number matching game.  I put the paper bowls on the flannel board and passed out the fish.  The kids took turns matching their numbered fish to the numbered bowl.  You can print off the fish (unnumbered) here.  (I am trying to figure out google drive for document sharing.  Hopefully this works.)

Then we looked back at some of the opposites in the book.  I made up more examples and let them say what the other fish would be.  Hot fish/ ______ fish,  soft fish/ ______ fish,  nice fish/ ______ fish, tall fish/ _____ fish. 

We sorted a little cup of colored fish crackers using this page.  The new 'natural' colored fish are short one color.  This sheet is from PreKinders.

We then rolled the dice and added that many fish to our bowls. Each child had a little half fish printed with a bowl.  The kids were pretty done at this point and several just started eating them.  One friend turned to me and said, "I'm think I'm just going to go play over there."  I wrapped it up pretty quickly.

At the very end of the day, I used this felt set borrowed from my co teacher to sing along with Octopus (Slippery Fish) by Charlotte Diamond.   It's a fun food chain song.  It's has a catchy little tune and will stay in your head.

Here's the f journal page for the week.  You can print it here. Hopefully.