Monday, October 31, 2011

Texas Truck Trunk or Treat

I dressed as a fairy and my daughter dressed as a pirate. She didn't want to wear an eye patch or mustache due to sensory issues. But we had a great time at her friend's cowboy church Trunk or Treat where toasted marshmallows and hotdogs were offered around a huge bonfire out on the range.

Fairies can grant three wishes. What would you like to wish for? Here are my three:
1. Let children experience childhood.

2. Help children explore their fascinating world - play outdoors.

3. Snuggle and read every night with your children.

The following is an excerpt from my book:


HALLOWEEN - SPIDER WEB CEILINGS
 
It is becoming more common for schools to call Halloween a Fall Celebration in order not to offend any religious sect. If your school does not think it is politically, or spiritually, correct to celebrate Halloween, you might consider Character Day when staff and students dress as a character from a book. Whatever you call it, Halloween can be a time to celebrate, fantasize, and role play.

Many schools do not allow children to wear costumes to school. Yes, costumes can be distracting. Some parents let their precious Darth Vader come to school with a fake weapon and a scary mask. Little princesses want to wear glittery Dorothy shoes and angels want to wear large wings. Parents send notes asking that the shoes and wings not be damaged at school. Numerous notes have already been sent home stating that children need tennis shoes and appropriate clothing for recess and PE.

Our school’s solution was to have a Friday evening Fall Carnival/Fundraiser. Children could wear costumes leaving their masks and weapons at home. Parents could assure their children that they would have the opportunity to scare the neighbors later in full attire.

I always had a science theme in my classroom during October. We studied nocturnal animals such as bats, spiders,owls, raccoons, moths, coyotes, foxes, and tarantulas. I had a classroom pet tarantula the children named Leggy. Parents volunteered for the afternoon when the children dissected owl pellets wearing lab coats, goggles and gloves. Lots of glue was needed for gluing mice bones onto paper with a xeroxed mouse skeleton. Some children (and adults) were a bit squeamish at first but felt a sense of accomplishment and discovery by the end.

I bought fluffy spider webs and stretched them across the ceiling. The children made spiders by tracing a large and a small circle with chalk on black paper and cut them out. Then they fan-folded eight legs on pre-cut strips. This can be an interesting challenge for some. Children love squiggly eyes and they were encouraged to use lots of glue (a rarity) and patiently let the eyes dry, also challenging for some. They also traced bats on black paper. I hung the creatures from the ceiling using yarn and paperclips.

My class thought this was the most amazing ceiling. The children learned that spiders have eight legs and insects have only six. I learned that anything hanging from a ceiling enhances and lengthens the time kindergartners will rest. Some schools no longer have nap or rest time. My kindergarteners rested a short ten or fifteen minutes on towels they kept in their cubby after our lunch and walk time (extended PE). This took place while those who needed to use the restroom could. This short rest time gave me a few minutes to catch my breath and lay out the materials for the afternoon. It gave the children a chance to rest before a busy afternoon of adventure, exploration, learning, and play.

 The above is from the chapter "Celebrate the Holidays - Celebrate Life" in my book: KINDERGARTEN: Tattle-Tales, Tools, Tactics, Triumphs and Tasty Treats for Teachers and Parents.


What do Texas ghosts wear? BOOts! 

 Is this a zebra or a horse or a combination? 
It's a horse painted for Halloween.

2 comments:

  1. I know I keep saying this but can't you come be a teacher here? My kids need you!!! :-). That sounds really fun!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm going to Skype with a teacher's class next week. We may record me reading a book each month with a theme so it will be available on my web. Wish I could come visit! Know you're a fun dedicated mom. Hang in there - this will pass (literally, for real - te he). Hope you have plenty of diapers. Do you have Skype?

    ReplyDelete