f is for fire

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this week was full of safety rules, fire facts, and dramatic play.  i used to have a tape of fire safety songs by jim post called “learn not to burn.”  ironically, this tape was lost in the fire of our preschool in 2002.  so i sung the ones i could remember (usually just the chorus!).

the state of kansas sent us a curriculum that we used bits and pieces from.  most popular were the drawings of children crawling low under smoke and a firefighter wearing a mask (and then putting our hands over our mouths and breathing…and yes, there were a few darth vader comments from those with older siblings). : )

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we drew self portraits and glued black strips above our drawings to symbolize smoke.  i always enjoy seeing self portraits and how dramatically they can change in a school year.  this was a great project to emphasize the spatial terms “above,” “below,” “next to,” etc.

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there was plenty of fire fighter play.

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we all got in on the action and used our playground picnic table as a fire truck.  the sirens would blow, we’d run and put out the fire, then race back to the fire truck because another call came in. i considered this my work out for the day. : )

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we practiced writing our letter F and it was handy how we used the same shapes to make a ladder!  this was also a great opportunity to practice holding our crayons the “school way” and press hard to make fire.  so often preschoolers will write so lightly it is hard to see their work.  not in fire drawing!

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we played a game using little fire fighter figures (oh the puzzle those were:  “hey!  how are these army guys without any guns?  maybe these army guys don’t fight!).

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with a handmade dice, we worked on numeral recognition.  there were little dots to count in case the numeral was too tricky.  like that sneaky 6 that looks like a 9.  we work on number recognition and writing every day in our calendar time and it was fun to see some preschoolers look over at the calendar after they rolled the dice.

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i work hard to create an environment where “winning” is not the goal.  i also want children to be comforatble seeing others do more, do different, do stronger than them.  so it was fun for me to truly “win” at this game one round…i had WAY MORE fire fighters than anyone else. : )

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a special snack came assembly required.  as you can see, it was quite exciting!

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and we are looking forward to a cozy classroom this winter with our new fireplace (made from leftover fall leaf shapes!).

e is for painted eggs

found at the thrift shop we used these life-sized clay eggs for painting.

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we talked about the tradition at easter of decorating eggs and we looked at this picture on my computer of colored bird eggs:

then they had the freedom to paint as they liked.

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e is for egg shells

thanks to many families (and panera) we had enough egg shells to crush and glue on cardboard eggs.

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the crushing seemed really therapeutic.

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the freedom to use as much glue as needed was fun (in one morning we used 4 bottles).  this is reminiscent of the nut piles we made last year.

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this activity was clearly an emphasis on the process (though the end product is pretty cool) and we were able to extend our conversation of our 5 senses as we worked.

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we could see the egg shells, feel them, hear them crunch, smell them (thankfully they were washed well) but we did not taste them (we tasted an egg earlier in the day). : )

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l is for letter

i dabble in the handwriting without tears curriculum.  mostly i am fascinated by the desire to make letter writing easily successful for children.  one thing we do that is handwriting-withou- tears-ish is give craft sticks or wide gross grain ribbon strips to form the letters. here we have a 5 stick capital E:

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