Sunday, February 23, 2014

"U"nited We Stand!

This past week was all about the good 'ole USA and we had so much fun studying about our country!  We started the week with an amazing activity.  This is an art project I have done before BUT it has evolved.  My class cuts extremely well for 3 and 4 year olds so I let them cut their very own stripes for our flags.
Cutting 7 red stripes takes a lot of patience but my class was up to the challenge!  Gluing down the stripes was fun too!

We added fingerprints for our stars and the results were beautiful!

I think Betsy Ross would be very proud!
We also started talking about The Constitution.  Now I bet I know what you are thinking . . . is she kidding???  NOPE!  And my little sponges loved it.  We really just focused on the Preamble, you know the part that says, "We the people . . ".  We couldn't actually recite the Preamble but at least we got the first few words AND their meaning.  After all these years my class can still amaze me! 
Wednesday was spent talking about our first president, George Washington.  I shared fun facts and read wonderful books about him.  We even made our very own "George" art project.

Thursday was spent discussing our 16th president, Abraham Lincoln.  The fact that he lived in a log cabin had everyone talking!  So, of course we had to make our very own log cabin and Abraham Lincoln.

This time I cut the strips and the children glued them on.  I'm going to veer off topic for just a second (skip down to the next paragraph if you don't want to hear me rant.)  Do you see the "dried glue" on these (and ALL) of my class' art work???  Do you see the smeared handprint on the bottom photo???  Do you see the crooked eyes and logs???  This is proof that my students do their OWN WORK!  I cannot stand to see children's art work that looks . . . hmmm . . . well . . . like an adult did it!  Because if it does, then the child did not do it by him/herself.  Children are messy and they should be!  I will NOT do an art project for my students!!!  I will guide them, I will cheer them on, I will support them with every fiber of my being but, I WILL NOT do work for them.  OKAY, I done.  Back to our week . . .

We also learned about what it means to vote.  On Thursday, we pretty much voted on everything.  We voted on what color we like best.

You can see blue won by a landslide!
We voted on what books we read too!  I think everyone liked voting because I was asked if we could "keep doing it"!  YEA!  Success!
I found these cute little "Pledge Badges" over at Little Miss Kindergarten.  I enlarge ours and each child colored them.  (I KNOW . . . "Mrs. Karen's class actually used crayons!"  SHOCKER!)  Everyone was very proud to wear them in carpool!  Oh, yes, everyone in my class can and does recite the Pledge of Allegiance each and every day!

Our "Fabulous Fun Friday" was turned into our Unusual Day!  We have done this for several years and I do believe each year is more fun.  The children came in to find new books.  All the books about our country and the presidents were gone!  In their place were Christmas books, books about Thanksgiving and even books talking about summer!  AND our blocks were gone too!  I traded them in for . . . .
well, I don't really know what they are but they sure were fun to build with! Everything we did on Friday was unusual!  We even drew pictures under the tables!!!

After our unusual art work was finished we gathered in one of our "large" rooms and played a little under the table game.

Everyone seemed to enjoy crawling under the tables and over the chairs! 
This was our "U" week (you know . . . for United States of America)!  We had to eat something fun . . . red, white and blue cookies?  NOPE!  Uhhhh . . . how about Ugly cookies!  YEP, that sounds better!  We headed to the kitchen . . .
we put drops of EVERY color food coloring we had into the bottom of little cups.  Next everyone got a spoonful of vanilla icing.   Here comes the fun part . . . . . we stirred it up and spread it on our cookies!


We had some rather strange colors but no one minded because they tasted so good! 
Thank you for stopping by!  I hope you come back again.  Next week is our Dr. Seuss week and I'm sure it is going to be even more fun!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's 2014

Wait a minute!  What in the world am I doing posting to my blog on at 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday??  Am I sick?  Is it a school holiday?  Am I playing hokey from school?  No, no and no!  Actually, we are having ANOTHER ice day!  Unlike last time, we received advanced notice and cancelled school for the day!  So, I thought I would take this opportunity to show everyone some of our wonderful Valentine fun!

I'm going to start with an activity that had everyone and I do mean everyone thinking I had lost my mind!  One of our letter this week is "H" and of course all the guys in my class loved telling me that "hammer" starts with "H".  Hmmmmm . . . . ok, let's hammer!?!?!?!  We made hammered hearts!
We started with a real honest to goodness hammer (thank you to my sweet hubby for allowing me to take it to school) and some chalk.  I sprayed the heart with a little water and laid the heart on a cutting board.  The children added pieces of chalk and then we covered it with wax paper. 

Then, I gave the child a hammer (and moved my fingers)!

WOW!  This was fun!  AND loud! 

After we hammered the heart, I sprayed our creations with hairspray (oh my goodness the "H" words) to keep the chalk from rubbing off.  Now this was a "H" week the children will not forget for a while!

We worked several days on our BIG Valentine surprise for our parents.  First we started off by painting a large piece of white construction paper with different colors.  Now, that doesn't sound very fun does it?  Well, it does when you paint it with "super fun" paint brushes . . . .

Everyone had a great time making our beautiful paper.  After it dried, we cut it into small pieces
and glued them to a giant heart.

OOH!  While our hearts were drying we wrote a little message to our parents.  Then, glue on our giant hearts.

But of course we did not stop here.  We took everyone picture holding their art work.
HOLD ON A MINUTE!  We're not done yet . . . . now we need a frame for this amazing photo.  My sweet friend and former co-worker, Martha, messaged me the other day on Facebook (yes, I'm on Facebook!) and asked me if I wanted some old silk roses.  WOW, she knows me ssssoooo well!  She arrived at school with the BIGGEST bag of silk roses I have ever seen!  I realized these would make our Valentine frames perfect.
I ripped the petals off faster than you could say "Valentines" and we were set!
The children added the lovely petals to our craft stick frames.

I picked up our lovely pictures and we will add them to our frames whenever we get back to school!

Wouldn't you love to receive this
(with your child's picture in it)
for Valentine's day?
Finally, no valentine's week is complete without our wonderful "Dancing Heart" girl and "Dancing Heart" boy.  I've been doing these for several years now and they are always a hit.
Can you see her hair bow?

The hair on this little fellow looks just
like the guy who made him!
Okay, I guess I better head off and do something productive in my house (not really, I'm probably just going to go and scrapbook some more wedding photos!).  I hope you try one or more of our ideas and if you do, please let me know how they turned out.  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, February 10, 2014

2014 Winter Olympic Day

Oh, what a day we had last Friday!  Since the opening ceremonies for the Olympics were to be televised Friday night, we held our very own "Preschool Olympics" at school!  Everyone walked in to find our classroom transformed into the . . . .

We had giant hula-hoops suspended from the ceiling (more on that later) and we referred to our classroom as "the Olympic Village" all day long.  We started the day by talking about the Olympic Torch and it's wonderful journey from Athens, Greece to Sochi, Russia.  Our art project of the day was to make our very own "Olympic Torch".   Everyone got busy cutting strips of red, yellow and orange scrap paper. 
Next, we put the strips into our "torch" (well, actually it is a party hat that we tore apart and staple back together.). 

We added a small paper plate around the top and . . . .

an "Olympic Torch"!  Everyone was so proud of their torches!

The rest of our day was spent playing wonderful Olympic games.  To be honest, I'm not sure "our" games are actually considered "sports", but they were fun!  First, we ran through the halls passing our "Olympic Torch" to one another.  Next, we played our version of "curling".  We threw bean bags onto an old hopscotch mat.  The object of our game was to tell everyone what number you landed on.  Ahhh . . . reviewing numbers!

Our next game was more like a maze.  We ran around cones and through the tunnel.
Remember those hoops . . . . 
well, we wrote numbers, shapes and colors onto old typing paper and wadded them up.  The children picked out a ball of paper.  After they "read" what was on it, they threw the paper through the hoops.
Our "Olympic" snack was so much fun!  Years (and years) ago my husband found a large container of cone shaped cups in his warehouse. 

This sweet man knows me all too well so he brought them home.  I've been using them for various project throughout the years and I thought they would make the perfect "torch".  We filled them with Cheetos and everyone agreed, they looked like our "Olympic Torch" and they were yummy!

I also found some leftover metals in our supply closet so everyone took home a gold metal.  It was a great "gold metal" day!
Thanks for visiting with us!  Next we will be talking about Valentine's Day, I hope you come back and see us.