April 29th, 2013

Mondays are always fun since we get to go to dance at Columbia Dance.  Today was our invitation to join Columbia Dance in their end of the year program on June 9th at the Durst Theater in the Vancouver School of the Arts from 2:10 – 2:30.  They are providing leoards for the girls and boys need to wear black or navy pants with a white t-shirt.  Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for children.

We started the day outside again brought them inside to talk about what they did over the weekend and what they would be doing for the day.  We had centers open with black paint and paper on one table to draw their own zebras and zig-zags,  wiki sticks, and stencils.  I left the roll the dice game out since they played it last week but they really didn’t want to do it today. Rory and Ronan also played the piano for us since they both participated in the piano recital this weekend at the Brickhouse.

At dance they got to create their own dance leaps, learned how to be an attentive audience, and learned what song they would be dancing to at the Durst.

In Music we danced the Zulu Warrior Dance and sang At the Zoo, a phonics song listening for the beginning sounds of animals at the zoo.  It was a piggy-back song sung to The Farmer in the Dell. After music we made Zeke the Zebras, which were very colorful.  We’re going to do this activity with the other class tomorrow.  Check out some pictures from the day:

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March 24th and 25th, 2013

Wednesday and Thursday have both been beautiful days.  We started both days outside. I was concerned this would throw them out of their routine and perhaps distract them but surprisingly, they were more focused.  Maybe not surprisingly.  The sun has that great vitamin D we need for all sorts of goodness.

Mr. Tom made a new water feature that we will be adding to .  We’re hoping to do something similar, although not as extravagent, as the Children’s Museum.  We went to the Rebuild It Center and purchased a couple of sinks that will be flowing into each other.  One is already set up next to the water pump.

Yesterday we had spirographs, tangrams, magnets, and a word building table with stamps and letter recognition dice rolling game out for centers.



The dice rolling game was about planting trees, which was appropriate for earth day, which we talked talked about in circle time.  Here is Alexander’s drawing of Earth:


Today we had lacing boards, magnets, a big drawing station, a felt board house, and monkey magnet board with shape match-up.

Yesterday and we sang the Saran Rap, and danced 3 folk dances with instruments, and sang a rhyme practicing syllable differentiation while the other group made Yaks.  Today the kids made yellow yarn block prints and added hand prints to one our group art project while the other group did yoga story-telling.

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Just for the heck of it, here is Jackson’s drawing of a knight.



We popped fresh popcorn in our popcorn maker and ate cheese sticks outside today and ate cucumbers, peppers, apples, graham crackers and cheese sticks yesterday.

April 23rd, 2013

Melissa (Bella’s mom) mentioned that she had seen one of her friends make vases out of yarn and cups.  Since we are doing “Yancy Yak” this week AND it’s spring we decided to give em’ a shot.  I have to say taking the time and energy to wind, and wind the yarn was another feat in coordination for the kids. I was very proud of them.  With a lot of encouragement and some help, they really did it!  Here are some of them:

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We again had the yo-yo’s out to trace, along with playdough, big beads to thread, and magnets.

During circle time we sang and danced Yankee Doodle, which we sang again in music time with a specific dance and instruments.  We also talked about spring and sang the different syllables of different flowers.  I’ve also been adding a new chant to some of my circle and music times, which is called the Saran Rap.  It gives each of the kids a chance to tell me their favorite food in rhythm.  They love it.

Today we made Y “yancy yaks” out of construction paper, beans, macaroni, and yarn.  I wish I had taken pictures of them.  It was in a group activiity and I thought the kids did very well. Cutting has improved since the beginnning of the year for sure.  Whenever possible, let your child experiment with cutting scrap paper and magazines or newspaper.  The more experimenting, the better they become and more prepared for kindergarten.

We had a feast of vegetables today for snack.  We had red peppers, cucumbers, celery, graham crackers, and cheese sticks.  It really was almost like lunch.

April 17th and 18th

Yesterday we had more quiet assessments of sounds, signs, and letters.  We emphasized our new letter and character Xavier Fox.  Make and x with fingers and say “ks”.  We made Xavier Fox puppets today after reading the story “FOX” by Kate Banks.  We also read Max the Minnow

April 22nd, 2013

There is nothing better than a sunny day in preschool.  Our seedlings are starting to grow Ronan noticed today.  I’m sure tomorrow they will be even bigger.  Probably ready to plant by next week.

Today we had torn apart yo-yos available on the table over a large piece of butcher paper. We traced them and then colored them however we wanted to make different pictures.  We also made yarn stars.  This is always a challenge since winding the string is hard for uncoordinated little hands.  It requires wrapping and weaving each popsicle stick (several which are glued together to form a star) or weaving over and under each popsicle stick.  The pattern if done correctly looks pretty cool.  Here are a couple:

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At circle time we talked about Earth Day and had to each say what we loved about our earth.  I heard trees from Jackson, water from Zoe, and Santa from Thomas.  I loooooove circle time.  I always hear the best ideas and answers.  We also read an X,Y, Z book and just talked about our last three letters.  Next week we end our alphabet and then what?!!  Lots of fun-filled game review.

Snack was graham crackers and homemade apple sauce.

After outside time we had music and a small group activity.  In music we learned another folk dance about the Millwheel and incorporated the instruments, listening to the form and when they were supposed to play, and when not.  We chose to use the rainstick and metal instrument for the water, and sticks and cabasa for the Click, Click, Clack of the wheel.  Folk dances are so wonderful in so many ways.  Because of the simplicity the kids are able to sing, dance, and play them successfully.  The stop and go of actions help the kids learn self-control.

Miss Rebecca was here today since Miss Heidi is out of town.  She reread the book Do You Know Which Things Grow a small group?  We didn’t get to finish this activity last week so we finished today.  They took quite a bit of time talking about what the kids wanted to draw in their own book that could or could not grow.  Some drew kitties that grew into cats, princesses that grow into queens, and dinosaurs that cannot grow into firetrucks.



April 19th, 2013

Today was very imaginative. We started our day with the centers.  We had out fox puppets makings out and let the kids make them however they wanted.  Some became cheetahs, some became ninja foxes.  We also had playdough out and let the kids make x’s to finish words. We also encouraged them to make other letters and words.  Some of the girls got together and sounded out Rainbow….with a little help.  I also have mass amounts of stickers, foam core shapes, and miscellaneous objects.  The kids helped me separate and sort.  The boys played a mad game of Candyland and the girls, all of them, made rainbows at the light board.  We also had the Teacher pens and individual whiteboards available for drawings.

Circle time was a blast.  We played a game of zoo-phonics charades, sang and danced Wind the Bobbin again, and read the book, Except if, by Jim Averbeck.  This book is all about an egg that may become something  like a snake, EXCEPT IF, it becomes something else.  It led to a great discussion about fossils everyone had their own bit of information that they contributed.  Some of the kids knew stuff I didn’t know. I always love that.

We had a sharing and Ronan brought a crab he named Peter.  It was quite a hit and makes me think we need a class pet.  I think a crab might be the ticket.

At the end of the day we played an actual game of kid charades and read a book called Do You Know Which Ones Will Grow? by Tom Slaughter.  This book has different examples of things that can and cannot grow into other things.  It’s a great book for discussion and letting the kids think, debate and articulate…in their 4 and 5 year old way.  We let the kids make their own books drawing pictures of little things that grow into big things.

April 16th, 2013

Today we worked on X-fish as well, outlining hands and filling them in with black and making bones out of q-tips and glue.  Painting with the finer brushes is great for those little hands learning to write letters.

We spent some time outside putting soil in planter boxes, digging holes and planting seeds. The girls told me that they would take turns singing to the flowers and watering them so they could grow big and strong.

During circle time we made use of the call-out cards and musical triangles. We decided that one “ding” on the triangle meant we rolled a ball to someone across the room. Two “dings” meant we all had to touch our foreheads to the floor. Three meant we all stood up and jumped three times; and four meant we blinked twice! We were amazed at how well the kids listened and how accurate they were with their skills.


For snack we had granola, edamame and little cupcakes brought to us by Bree for Kelwyn’s birthday.

April 15th, 2013

Today we outlined our hands and painted them in with black paint.  By the time we are done with dance today they will be dry and we will make x-ray fish!!  We also decorated our x’s with glitter, painted with watercolors and drew maps (x marks the spot).  Map-making has been huge in the class.  They love drawing pictures of their surroundings and hiding things for each other to find.

We will be planting our own seeds today in order to plant them in a couple of weeks. Over the weekend we went to Fred Meyers for their annual plant sale and loaded up on potting soil and fushia’s.  We will be planting tomato plants, peas, and whatever else the kids decide on today.

We read Alphabet Explosion.  In this class we are prepping the kids to recognize their alphabet out of order and taking away the zoo-phonics characters.  The goal is that they understand every letter and sound by kindergarten.  I made a file-folder game with all the zoophonics characters out of order. I’m working individually with the kids to see if they can match up the plain letter with the zoo-phonics letter.

In dance we talked about on and off balance and using tummy muscles to keep ourselves on balance.  Many of the activities included leaping and holding balance on one foot.

In music we are prepping for our end of the year performance.  The older kids this year are performing Anansi the spider, an Ashanti tale.  We are also singing their was an old lady who swallowed a fly to help the T/Th class with their play.

April 10th, 2013

Today’s craft of making a web with dots using little bingo markers and connecting with black crayons was really cool.  Each web was different and beautiful.  I was actually amazed at the outcome.  Check it out:

We also made a big web in circle time:


Centers also included putting letters and pictures on a magnet board and finding which sound went with which word and decorating big wings.

We started singing There was an old Woman who swallowed a fly.  We’re considering this for the end of the year concert.  We also sang Whether the Weather, listening for sound cues and Boa Constrictor since we’re reading The Boa Ate the Wash.

Snack: Waffles, Watermelon, and Apples.  Thanks to parents who have been bringing in snack.  If we don’t use it on the day you bring it, we definitely use it the next day.  It is VERY helpful to us:)

April 9th, 2013

Hope everyone had a great spring break!  It seems everyone was well-rested and had much energy. Yesterday we danced out all of our energy at Columbia dance.  Our favorite dance was having to form groups of 3, then 6, then 9, then all of us.  It was the most-focused dance we have ever done.  First they danced alone, then when the music changed, they had to find partners or groups to dance with.  Very cool, very cooperative.  I was very proud of those little ones.

Centers this week have been group watercolors(one large piece of paper that students can add pictures too at a whim), whacky puppets (their own puppets using ribbon, crepe paper, glitter glue, buttons, foam core, and whatever materials available in the art room), blocks, and stencils.

Group activity – making weather.  We’ve talked a lot about the rain cycle already, but Miss Heidi had a great project that we just had to do.  First, we poured water into a jar, topped it off with shaving cream, then poured blue food coloring over the top.  We then talked about how heavy the clouds get and when they are so heavy, it starts to rain.  We watched as the heaviness of the dye moved through the shaving cream and exploded into the water.  Here are some great pictures:


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We also got to make our own Weather crafts with yarn.  First we dipped string in a combo of glue and water then wrapped it around balloons to either make suns, clouds, or raindrops.  We also made designs on wax paper.  Can’t wait to see what they look like dry!!

Today we talked about Willie the Weasel and reviewed all of the sounds and signals we have learned so far.  Music time we sang, dance and acted “There was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe”,”Weather the Whether”, and “Willoughby Wallaby Woo”.


On Monday we had granola and pumpkin bars and on Tuesday we had Waffles and Watermelon.

Remember….our Art Auction is coming up on May 3rd.  Hope you all can come!!