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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks

The week of Thanksgiving we were so busy that it went by very fast! This was one of our first morning messages, and was probably the most popular. We talked about Thanksgiving words and the peas loved the word "cornucopia". Here they were asked to add a fruit (or veggie) to the cornucopia.
This is one bountiful cornucopia.
We also made a math craft involving, once again, sequencing! This is one of my favorites we do every year. The kids cut out Native Americans that are numbered one through ten and then then glue them in sequential order in their canoe.

Pre-K 2 listed what they were thankful for during one morning message. So sweet.
Pre-K 1 made these precious turkeys.
First, we painted during a center rotation. Each group covered butcher paper by mixing primary colors and white. We learned that white lightens colors. They did great painting! Then I cut the paintings out into feathers.
Next, we painted our feet for the body of the turkey. This caused SO many giggles since it tickled and it was cold paint. I love it!
Finally, we assembled our turkeys. They added all the features on their own and they turned out great.
We made mini readers about Thanksgiving this week. (These were taken on pajama day, too!)
Worked in small groups turkey counting...
And we made place mats for our big Thanksgiving feast on Thursday. The kids wrote what they were thankful for themselves. Their handwriting is really progressing!
A favorite game was Roll-A-Turkey. Ms. Amy found this game on Pinterest and it was really cute.

Here's a finished product. That's a plump turkey!
We read some great books, too! A couple favorites:
And of course... 
We had this lady in the pocket chart this week. We would read the book and feed her as we went. She's kinda got that crazy look in her eye. Probably from eating so many odd things. :)
Finally, we prepared for our feasts by getting our decorations ready. Pre-K 1 made hats to wear at the feast, Pre-K 2 made turkey centerpieces. (Which didn't make it onto my flashdrive, so I'll add a picture of them after the break!) Everything turned out adorable! Here's some hard work happening on the Pilgrim hats.
If anybody can rock a bonnet, it's this girl!
More hat making...
And finally, the feast! We had our tables set and our tummies ready! The special meal included turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls and fruit. It was a hit. Many parents joined us which was a treat!

Friday was filled with much anticipation for our holiday break, but also a little sadness as we said goodbye to the White family who are moving. We will miss our sweet pea with his amazing long lashes and his sweet hugs and smiles. We wish them luck on their new adventure together. We will be thinking of you often White family!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Halloween Fun!

So every year at the ECDC, we hold a pumpkin contest. Families enter the contest and get very creative. But this year? We had the most participation and the most amazing pumpkins to date! This isn't even half of all the ones entered, but here are a few because they are too good not to share!
Pumpkin Hamburger (1st Place)
Mike Lezowski! And that Texas Rangers pumpkin is so clever!
One of my kiddos did this one of the "ECDC Pumpkin Patch." I can not believe how much creativity these families have!
Spooky Pumpkin, Super Pumpkin and Cinderella's Carriage.
Minnie Mouse!
Spiderman and Monster Pumpkin
Also, every year each class designs and makes their own costumes for our annual Halloween Parade. This year Pre-K were kings and queens. We decorated crowns.
Here's one of the groups of kings and queens all dressed up and ready to trick or treat the building.
A few of the princesses. (They didn't have to pretend, they really are princesses.)
Our friends in the toddler room were the Very Hungry Caterpillar. They are so cute! Each person was a day of the week-but they made sure to tell us that several days of the week got sick, so they are a short caterpillar, lol!
Here's one of the wands the girls painted and decorated.
The boys had crests and crowns.
Then we partied! Our UH-MAZE-ING room moms completely planned and held the party. We are so blessed to have them.
The royalty enjoyed their treats. Don't those plates look delish?
Pre-K 2's party time!
A big thank you to all of our parents for all the help the last few weeks and participating in all of our activities. We had so much fun. Now all of our kids are on a countdown to Thanksgiving. They informed me today that we have 5 school days and then NINE days off! Don't we know it :) Hope you all have a wonderful countdown to Thanksgiving, too.

{Proud to be Drug Free} & {Pumpkin Patch} Week

Even though we have really littles, we joined the district in participating in Red Ribbon Week to show our support. The ECDC held a door decorating contest and we had a lot of fun finding ideas. Here are just a few of the doors, there were too many to post!
Pre-K 2
2's-"Our Class Leaves Drugs Alone!" 

PPK (1st Place Winner!) You can't tell from the pictures, but the windows actually open up with pictures of her class dressed up like goblins and monsters. It was SO cute.
Pre-K 1 (2nd Place Winner) Those are the kids handprints, so cute!
We also dressed up all week for Red Ribbon Week, this day was "Give Drugs the Boot" and we all wore boots. The girls wanted their picture taken with their boots on, and as you can see the boys were clearly disinterested. SO funny, 4 & 5 year old boys have no tolerance for posing pictures, lol.
Since we won 2nd place, we recieved a $50.00 gift card towards a classroom purchase. Since the election was right around the corner, we talked about voting and decided to hold a Toy Vote. First, the kids found things under $50.00 in a catalog I put in the Library. Next, we held a vote and took the 3 most popular items to hold a final vote. The kids got really into it! They lobbied for their favorite and used very persuasive arguments to point out why their choice should win. We used the opportunity to discuss that everyone had the right to use one vote, we respected everyone's choice even if we disagreed, and after the voting process, we accepted the results with happy hearts. It was a huge success! A cash register with fake money and toy phone won by the way by a 2 vote margin. :)
For Halloween decor, Pre-K 1 made a word ring from Halloween words. They wrote the word and then added a ring.
I LOVE Pre-K handwriting.
We made spider little books.
And added spooky spiders, jack o' lanterns and lima bean ghosts to the sensory table.
We continued to play games that teach us how to use a die and take turns. This was a witch's brew game where you add lizards, spiders, bones, bat wings, or worms to the pot until you don't have any left. It was pretty popular.

Pre-K 2 had a game, too with spiders and jack o' lanterns.
Love this morning message.
Pre-K 2 also did marble painting spider webs and added ring spiders!

Pre-K 1 made this cooperative witch for morning message. She looks pretty friendly!
Do you know the best Fall/Pumpkin story ever? It's this one:
If you ever buy a pumpkin book, make it this one! We added the words to the story in the pocket chart and the kids did it over and over by themselves!
We also built houses in block center to make them into Haunted Houses. Here's one in progress.
Each group built a huge house, then we printed them in black and white and added stickers for our book.
Each house turned out unique!

Each class had a pumpkin and did a pumpkin investigation. We did this chart in Pre-K 1 and a sweet mom pointed out that it was missing a "K", whoops! I fixed it, don't worry.

Our pumpkin had WAY more seeds than we would have thought. We took them out and placed them in cups by 10's.
The kids got to reach in and feel the inside of the pumpkin to describe how it felt.
Then we turned him into a happy Jack O' Lantern!
After drying the seeds we made mini jack o' lanterns with orange string and seeds inside!

Pre-K 2 sequenced the life cycle of a pumpkin after reading Pumpkin Cirle by George Levenson.

They drew pumpkin circles and then added seeds to the inside, too! Here is the birthday girl working on hers!

We also journaled about our pumpkins. I love this pumpkin patch with our big pumpkin in the center!
So sweet, friends helping eachother spell "pumpkin".
Ms. Amy had a snack craft for everyone to enjoy...pumpkin pies! These pies were really easy for the peas to put together. We crushed graham crackers for the crust, then added it to our bowls. Then we stirred together vanilla pudding and pumpkin pie mix (with the seasonings added.) We topped it with whipped cream. Yum!

One of our last pumpkin activities was making "Starlight Pumpkins" from this site. She has some amazing art lessons! We drew our pumpkins first, added lines, then used red and yellow paint to create orange. We also made green leaves using yellow and blue paint.
Afterwards, we cut them out and glued them to black paper. We made a chalk moon and stars and added our leaves and some vines. I LOVE these.
The kids really enjoyed all of our pumpkin activities and our busy and fun month continues!