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Category Archives: 39 and Still in Preschool

Green Eggs & Ham & Pepto

In a couple of months we will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday (which I think would be a really cool national holiday!)  When thinking about the author who has brought so much joy to the world in general, and me specifically I can’t help but recall a memorable Dr Seuss related incident that took place during my teaching days.

I am of course a big big fan of Dr Seuss!  As such I always made it a point to share my love of all his classic works with my preschoolers (whether they liked it or not!) My bookshelf was stacked with all my favorites and I spent many a story time reading them to my kids.  Eventually the Dr. Seuss vibe would spread and the kids would get excited when it was time for one of the books to be read.

One of my kids’ favorites was Green Eggs and Ham.  They may have loved it because of the silly characters, the dynamic rhyming scheme or the fact that I read it to them like 14,000 times.  In any case it was indeed a classroom favorite.

Interesting side story here, but Dr. Seuss actually wrote Green Eggs and Ham as a bet with a friend.  He was talking to a friend about writing, and the friend bet him he couldn’t write a book with just 50 distinct words. Sure enough he wrote Green Eggs and Ham which only has 50 words (repeated throughout the book)

Anyway, love of the book became so wide spread that kids started to talk in rhyme, made pictures and other works of art based on the book, and constantly requested that I read it to them.  One day I got a very cool idea. During circle time, I asked the kids if they would like to make actual green eggs and ham as a cooking project. The response was amazing!  The kids were very excited and wanted to start the project right then and there!I told them we would do it the next day and joy filled the room.  For the rest of the day, making green eggs and ham was the topic of conversation.

Finally the big day arrived.  I had the ham, the eggs, the food coloring to make the eggs green and 15 preschoolers eager to help out.  After a lot of prep work including hand washing, apron tying, more hand washing, and a speech about not using the eggs for anything other than cooking, we got to work. Eggs were cracked, eggs were scrambled, eggs were thrown (not everyone listened to the speech), and then the magic happened.  With a few drops of blue food coloring, the mixture was turned green, and their minds were blown. They were amazed and totally excited for the final product.

My assistant teachers took the kids to the playground as I went to the center’s kitchen to do the cooking. When I was finished, I put out a plate with green eggs and a piece of ham for everyone and awaited their arrival. They came in from outside and I said their green eggs and ham was served. I expected shrieks of joy and kids rushing to eat their Dr Seuss themed snack.  Instead, I got looks of horror and revulsion as they saw what awaited them.  The majority of them refused to eat it and wouldn’t even go near it.  Only three brave souls sat down at the table, and of them only one actually ate the green eggs.  Not being one to waste food, I ate pretty much the entire snack myself.  I asked my assistants for help, but they had the same reaction as the kids so I had to go it alone.

As I sat there later that day in pain from eating more eggs in one sitting than should be allowed, I realized that to a 5 year old the concept of green eggs is much more appealing than the real thing.  In the book they look like something you would eat with a goat or on a train or in the rain, but right in front of you they look like breakfast gone horribly wrong.

I never attempted to repeat the Green Eggs and Ham cooking project during my teaching days, and if ever the thought crossed my mind I remembered all the eggs and picked up a safer book like “Hop on Pop” instead

Green Eggs & Joe

Green Eggs & Joe

 
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Posted by on January 26, 2014 in 39 and Still in Preschool

 

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Mysteries of Preschoolers (Winter Edition)

Ah winter!  That wonderful time of year when the weather gets brisk and cold, the snow starts to fall, and preschool teachers lose their mind.  Winter is tough to deal with when you are a preschool teacher because not only do you have to deal with cold, ice and snow, you have to deal with getting small children ready and then take them out in cold, ice, and snow.

If you have a child, think how tough it is to get that child dressed and deal with going out in the winter.  Now multiply that by 18, add in a lot of crying, yelling and kicks to the shins and you get an idea of what it’s like to be a preschool teacher during winter.  I did it for 9 long years and to this day my eye still twitches every time the temperature drops.

What made it difficult for me and what makes it difficult for every preschool teacher is that beyond all the regular seasonal items we have to deal with, in winter preschoolers do things that defy logic.  Things that drive us crazy, things that make our head spin, things that are a mystery to us.

Here are some of those very vexing preschool winter mysteries…

– How do they lose so many hats, gloves, and boots? It is just simply astounding how hats gloves and mittens can simply vanish. I’m not even talking about playing outside and one of those items falls off and can’t be found.  I’m talking about standing there next to their winter clothes and suddenly something goes missing. It’s like a magic trick, one minute they are there and then “PRESTO” they are gone. I swear you can put a preschool child in a glass box with their hat and gloves and somehow they will make them disappear.

– Why is it they only need to go to the bathroom after you have stuffed them into their sweater, jacket, boots snow pants and gloves?

– How is it possible that when they put on their own boots they almost always put them on the wrong feet?  It is mathematically impossible that they get it wrong so many times and yet they somehow manage to.

– They can perform complex maneuvers, figure out how to open child proof containers and work an iPad like they have stock in the company yet the ability to work a zipper alludes them.

– They will fight and argue that they do not want to wear their hat and gloves (assuming they can still find them), you relent and 14 seconds outside they complain their head and hands are cold.

– I know the snowsuit is bulky, but when they fall down while wearing one, why can’t they get back up?  They lie there flailing away like an overturned turtle and will struggle until someone comes to pull them up.

– They can’t throw a ball of any sort with  coordination, but put a snowball in their hand and they can hit another child in the face with it from 20 feet away with pinpoint accuracy

– Yellow snow is NOT lemon flavored yet that will not stop them from testing that theory when they find snow while out on walks.

– In fact now that I think about it, for some reason they will gladly eat snow of any color except white!

– The child whose parents worry most about them getting hurt will find new and creative ways to injury themselves (such as sticking an icicle up their nose – true story) every time they step outside

– The colder and nastier it is the finer they are.  If it is a pleasantly mild winter day they will all complain about how freezing they are.

– Speaking of mild days, this mystery involves preschool parents:  Why is it that when the weather starts to turn and it gets warmer do some parents still insist on bundling them up like it is February in Fairbanks Alaska?  Just a little tip but if they say there is a chance the temps could hit 60 that day, you may want to peel off a couple of their layers so they don’t end up boiling through heat stroke while wrapped in a wool burrito!

– Snow is very cold yet that never seems to stop them from stuffing it in their jacket, hat, and pants.

– No matter how much their noses run, they will never seek out a tissue even to the point where they are covered in what can best be described as “snotcicles”.

– When you tell them “Please don’t throw ice” they somehow always fail to hear the word “don’t”!

– They wear 7 layers of protective clothing yet somehow end up getting wet all the way to their skin.

– It takes them 27 minutes to get into their winter clothes yet only 5 seconds to get them off.

– When they have taken off all their winter gear (and thrown them into a big pile that we have to sort through), there is always a glove or a hat or a boot that no one will claim ownership of. It could be they’re not paying attention or they don’t actually remember what their winter stuff looks like. Personally I think the unclaimed item actually belongs to a preschooler from another part of the country. My theory is when preschoolers lose something in one place it vanishes and ends up somewhere else.  That may not be the right answer but trust me some day I will solve the mystery!

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2013 in 39 and Still in Preschool