Tag Archives: valentines

where we left off and other updates

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The last time I posted I was talking about our valentine grandparents tea and that went off without a problem and everyone had an awesome time!  Even Ms. Lezze-Faire made an appearance and seemed to enjoy herself!  The children made little flowers with sucker centers for the favors…we had enough left over to give each teacher one!

The rest of that school year went fairly well with the majority of my students being more then ready for Kindergarten.   That left me feeling good for what this year would bring.  But, being the buzz kill she is, Ms Lezze-Faire came to me literally days before school was to start and told me that I basically sucked at doing my job.

She said that a certain parent (and that parent’s kindergarten teacher) had complained that the child wasn’t ready for kindergarten because I hadn’t done my job properly.  She said they had complained that the child couldn’t sit still for long periods of time and couldn’t color correctly.  She said this was due to the fact that I didn’t do worksheets in my class.

Um, hello?  Are you serious?  First of all, if the only 2 complaints they had were about attention span and coloring, I think that’s pretty good.  Secondly, some children will always have a hard time sitting for long periods, especially if what is being done doesn’t hold their attention.  Thirdly, who cares if they aren’t perfect at coloring?  It’s coloring…not brain surgery.  Duh.

So anyway, she told me that I had to do worksheets or that she’d fire me and find someone to replace who would do them.  So there.  That’s what I got 2 days before school started.  Fine.  I’ll do what I have to do to keep my job.  No one wants to be out of work in this economy.  So i started scouring the internet for paperwork I liked…which wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

Let me be clear on this:  I am not against paperwork…I’m against worksheets.  They are different.  I don’t like the thought of children tediously tracing something or counting pictures and circling a number.  I don’t like the thought of children drawing a line to match two pictures on a paper.  It’s just too passive…and doesn’t really engage the child in learning.   I have no problem if the children are doing an activity and recording their findings (that’s what real scientists do after all).  I also have no problem with my children creating books and filling in letters or stamping a certain amount of items or something similar.  So for a lot of my paperwork, that’s how I set it up…the children are simply doing a hands-on activity and recording what they find (much easier with number activities…letters, not so much).  It has seemed to work so far.

This year I have 10 children showing up consistently.  I have 12 on my roll.  I only have 3 girls…and lots of wild crazy boys!  Sooo….I’m trying to find ways to keep them interested and engaged…which is not as easy as it sounds.  So far, I have done okay…but I think I can do better.

Mid year progress reports have just gone out and most of my kids are right where I want them to be…so I’m happy.  I’m hoping they continue to progress over the next 5 months…and hopefully the ones who are behind start to catch up.  Now that I know where they are all, I know who to spend more time with and what area they need extra support.  I look forward to telling you all stories of our days together…it feels good to be back.

party favors

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Well, we finally got the okay from Ms. Lezze-Faire to do our Grandparents Tea for Valentine’s Day.  We’ve gone to the dollar store to pick up tablecloths, cups, plates, etc.  I’ve also printed out some songs for us to pick from for the kids to sing.  All we need now is an idea for party favors.  We want them to be made (as much as possible) by the children.  We also want to keep them as low cost as possible.  Any ideas or suggestions?  It would be greatly appreciated!  🙂

tea party

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I’d like to do something different for our Valentine’s Party this year (if I can convince Ms. Lezze-Faire to let me use a specific part of our building) and have a Grandparents Tea.  I ran this idea by a couple of my fellow teachers and they liked it so much that they asked if all 3 of our classes could join together!  I told them it was fine with me!

Anyway, I’ve been trying to gather ideas online for everything from decorations, simple menu items, maybe a simple project, and even a valentine they can make their grandparents – basically, ideas for all aspects of this event – none of us have ever had a grandparents tea before!  So i thought I would put a quick post about it together so that you, my readers, can contribute any ideas you have!

So, I’d like to hear your thoughts…what should we do or have at our Valentine Grandparents Tea?  Any and all comments and ideas are welcome – I’m always open to suggestions!  🙂

valenine gift

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For this years valentine gift to my preschoolers I decided to make heart shaped crayons.  All my kids like to color so I thought this would be a neat idea and would be something different for them to use at home!

I took crayons that I found around the school that were old, broken, or about to be thrown away.  I took them home, peeled off the paper, cut them into small pieces using an old pair of scissors, put the crayon pieces in a heart shaped silicone mini muffin container, and placed them in the oven on a baking sheet at 275 degrees for about 15 mins.  I took them out when they were completely melted.  I checked on them 10 mins in and checked again every few minutes after that.

Once they were cool I took them out of the pan and put them into little baggies to give to the children!  They loved them!  🙂

celebration

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I try to keep things as organized and simple as possible on party days.  I know from past experiences how quickly things can get out of hand – and I would prefer that not to happen!  We started out our party by playing a simple game called “I Love…”  Basically we go around in a circle and each person get to say who or what they love.  The sentence always starts off “I love _______ because…”  We went around our circle 2 times because the children kept wanting to say who they loved and why!  I loved hearing what they had to say!

Then Ms. Bennet read, “Valentine Mice” to the class!  We’ve been reading at least one valentine book to the class everyday this week.  After reading this book they requested to hear “Happy Valentine’s Day, Mouse” once again so Ms. Bennet obliged their request!

While we were playing the game and reading the stories I had 2 parent helpers prepping snack (during the stories I went over to help).  For our party snack we had heart shaped cucumbers, heart shaped Jello Jigglers, a heart shaped piece of bread with strawberry jam on it, a valentines cookie, and a juice box.  The parents helped me cut the bread and cucumbers into heart shapes, open juice boxes, plate the food, and pass out napkins and plates once it was all done!  The 3 of us managed to do this very quickly!  🙂

After snack the parent volunteers, Ms. Bennet, and myself helped the children pass out their valentine cards.  Then we took the children outside to play and run off their energy!  Trust me when I say – they really needed this!  lol  At this point in the day one of my volunteers had to leave while the other stayed inside to hide various sized hearts all around the room!  Our next game was going to be a Heart Scavenger Hunt where each child has to find 3 hearts!  This is pretty much the same as an Easter Egg Hunt!  When the children came inside we played this game – and as usual they loved playing it and asked to keep their hearts!

The last thing we did was let them look at all the cards and goodies they had in their valentine boxes!  I think this is always their favorite part (even though they don’t admit it)!  They were not allowed to eat anything but they could look at it – and when they were done we put everything away and got ready for lunch!  It was a great party and I heard a lot of children say that this was the best party ever!  🙂

be mine

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As I was looking for valentine activities on my favorite blogs and websites I came across this post from Kristin at Preschool Daze.  I saw it and immediately thought, “I have got to do that in my class!”  And so we did – and the children loved it!  I’ve done this before (with red and yellow) but I’ve never painted as a group on large piece of paper before (and while we don’t have a large rectangle table where a lot of children can be at once, I used a circle table and had 4-5 children paint at once).In the past each child gets their own piece of large paper to paint – but I loved this community painting!

After reading that post I went on and found this post (from last year) and more recently this post!  You can only imagine my excitement!  So after cutting our pink paper into hearts and savaging around the school for anything and everything we could use to make our own valentines, i dedicated a table in our room to this purpose!  Unfortunately this area was only open for 1 week (it took me awhile to gather up items and such) but the children immediately fell in love with creating valentines!  Next year this will be an activity for the first two weeks in February!  I adored seeing the children so excited and creating such wonderful valentines for everyone they love!  🙂  Who could ask for more?