This past week we had a school-wide harvest carnival! I teach at a Christian school that doesn’t believe in Halloween so we do Harvest instead. To prep for the carnival we made Jack O Lantern bags (out of brown paper bags) that the children would use to put all their prizes and goodies in (yes, we are allowed to do Jack O Lanterns). Just seeing the bags completed and sitting on a table waiting for the big day made the kids super excited!
Then, the day before the carnival I stayed 2 1/2 hours after work to help set up and decorate for the carnival – that part was really fun! It didn’t feel like work at all! Then, the big day finally arrived! We had two hours where the children could walk around and play games, make an art project, and decorate a cookie! Since we were all in one big room (with all the teachers, administration, and plenty of parent volunteers) I let my children go wherever they wanted to – I wasn’t going to micro-manage them and take all the fun out of it!
We had lots of games: a bean bag toss, pumpkin bowling, hula hoop toss, clothes pin drop, a fishing game, and much, much more! The children had a blast! They were super excited – they talked about it all the rest of the week! We asked the parents to donate all the prizes and candy – and each child got a bag full – they had donated so much! I was soooo happy to see how well the parents responded! Everyone agreed that it was a big success! I just feel bad that I didn’t take my camera to work with me that day! I would have gotten some awesome pictures! Oh well, there’s always next year! I’m just glad that everything went so smoothly and we all had a fantastic day! 🙂
Also – I hope everyone has a very Happy and Safe Halloween!
Today we made doctor bags. I took a large piece of construction paper (I let them choose between black and dark blue), folded it in half, put a red cross on the front, and above that wrote “Dr. ________” (here I filled in the child’s name). For the handles I stapled on two die cut uppercase C’s. Inside each bag the children got to tape, 1 tongue depressor (jumbo craft stick), 2 gloves (the latex doctor kind), 3 cotton balls, 4 Q-tips, and 2 band aides. As the children tape the items in their bag, we talk about how doctors use the items. Sometimes I’m surprised by how much some children already know! They got such a kick out of me calling them “Doctor”. They would giggle and smile and repeat it a few times! Then, all morning long, I heard children calling each other “Doctor” – it was sooo cute! 🙂
This week was picture week. I have to say that I love, love, love the photographer our school uses! He is soooo good with the kids! Every age group – from the very small ones up to the Kindergartners – it’s doesn’t matter – he can make them smile. Not only do they smile, but many times they just burst out laughing! I love it! I noticed that even when a child started out crying or not sure, by the end they were genuinely smiling. Everybody in my class showed up for pictures – and they were all extremely excited! There was no problem getting my kids to smile!
When we went outside for our class picture, the children we super excited! Even though we had told them, I guess they still hadn’t understood that they would get a picture with ALL of their friends in it! lol At one point the photographer said he needed the most beautiful girl to sit in the front row – at first none of my girls moved an inch – then suddenly, they all rushed forward! It was so funny! Afterward he said we got an awesome shot – which made everyone even happier!
The past couple days we’ve used eye droppers to make fall leaves. We discussed with the children that many different jobs use tools that are very similar to eye droppers. Chefs use basters (which we said are basically big versions of the eye dropper) and scientists use eye dropper like instruments when doing experiments. Hey, I had to tie our theme into our art somehow – I know this was a stretch! 🙂
Anyways, so I die-cut white paper towels into oak leaf shapes and the children used red, orange, and yellow liquid watercolors (I love those things) to dye them to look like fall leaves. After they dried we hung them from the ceiling. They turned out awesome! They are simply beautiful and give the room a nice burst of color! I also have owls hanging from the ceiling (I cut owl shapes out of their car paintings) so they look nice together. We have pumpkins hanging on the wall (their toothbrush paintings) – so the room is beginning to really look like fall – my favorite time of year!
We’ve transitioned into a Community Helpers unit for the month of October. After we had learned more about each other it made sense to start talking about our families, the jobs our parents had, and other jobs within the community. Some of the art projects we’ve done are toothbrush painting (the kids got a kick out of using toothbrushes this way), car painting and easel painting for the first time. When the paintings were dry I mounted them and hung them in our “Art Gallery” – just like real artistes! Next week we are going to make doctor bags and do dental floss painting. We are also going to dress up as fire fighters and get our picture taken – then glue those pictures to firetrucks we’ve colored. Also, one of my parents is a fire fighter and he wants to bring his truck by the school (we are just waiting approval from Ms. Lezze-Faire).
I’ve also put various community helper clothes and props in the playhouse so the children can experience acting out different roles in the community. We’re also going to go outside and play Red Light, Green Light soon – it’s always fun to see who has the impulse control to stop running when the red light pops up! After they get good at the game I add a yellow light (means walk) to the mix. Should be fun! 🙂
We had our first rainy day together as a class this past week. It actually went really well – I was pleasantly surprised! Instead of going outside we had extra time for centers – something the children really seemed to enjoy! However, with fall in full swing, and winter just around the corner, I started wondering: “What do other pre-k teachers do in their classes on rainy days?” So, I put that question out to all of you teachers – what changes in your room when the children can’t go outside due to weather? I’m always on the look out for different activities or games that we can play on rainy days – and have a feeling that this is going to be a wet year! 🙂
This mornings bible lesson was about angles. We learned how angels protect us and they are messengers from God. We talked about how in the Bible God would use angles to tell people special messages – like when God wanted to tell Mary about baby Jesus coming. We talked about this for awhile – the children asking questions and us answering. Then, as a review, Ms. Bennet asked the class: “What do angels do?” Most of the children shouted “Protect us!” – which of course was correct. No one remembered the other answer that could have been given so Ms. Bennet asked: “Who delivers messages from God?” No one said anything immediately, and then one little girl yelled, “Fairies!”
I’ll admit it – I lost it here. I just started laughing out loud – couldn’t control myself. It had been a rough morning and this was the comic relief I guess I needed! But I broke my No-Laughing-At-Kids-Answers Rule. I like to respect their answers even if they don’t make sense – but it just came out! I stopped as soon as I realized everyone in the room was staring at me – but I could tell Ms. Bennet was trying to hide the fact that she wanted to laugh to! I love that they can give the most random, cute answers! Just another moment in the life of a preschool teacher! 🙂
I’m finally getting to write a post! I meant to Monday – but I got busy with errands. Then yesterday, I had a meeting! A teachers job is never done! 🙂 So here I am.
A new activity to my class this year is Wikki Stix Alphabet and Number cards. So far this seems to be something we do as a small group – with me sitting right there with them. This is the first time any of them have ever used Wikki Stix and so they seem somewhat unsure of themselves. At the same time, they really enjoyed learning how to make them stick and forming the letters and numbers! We’ve gotten this activity out everyday this week so far – it really seems to keep their interest – which surprised me! 🙂
The only problem I’m really having is how to store the Wikki Stix so they don’t ball up or get too stuck together. That part is frustrating me quite a bit. Any ideas would be helpful. Also, if any of your have Wikki Stix in your class, I’d be interested to hear how you use them. This is the first time I’ve ever had them, but I was thinking there must be other uses for them, right? Hope everyone is having a great week so far!