We continued to have fun preparing decorations for our holiday sings, collaging an assortment of materials onto paper mitten shapes and concocting delicious-looking faux confections to adorn our cardboard gingerbread house. We celebrated the change of season by gathering around the classroom tree, creating the sounds of winter wind, and watching as our paper autumn leaves were released and allowed to fall to the floor. We worked together to hang snowflakes we had created from the branches. In the two-year old nest we enjoyed exploring painting at the easel this week.
In our drama groups last week, we told the story of the gingerbread man. We incorporated motif, call and response, and singing in this interactive storytelling format. The children enjoyed being in role as the sassy cookie, who in our version never gets caught and eaten.
This week in literacy we wrote, dictated, and illustrated holiday cards for people we love! We also made bookmarks to prepare for traveling or just reading at home during our upcoming winter break. In our pull-out literacy groups we received a new word of the week and worked on our word recognition skill - looking for the words we have learned in literacy groups.
This week, we used clipboards holding T-charts to look for and record data about animals that we found around the classroom. We looked for raccoons, squirrels, bunnies, bugs, and owls and used tally marks to represent how many we found.
This week, we’ve been working so hard to prepare for our Winter Sings. We’ve discussed how to use our biggest singing voices and the 3 and 4 year olds have been encouraged to support the 2 year olds, who will be singing with the “big kids” for the very first time! We can’t wait to share our songs with you next week.
This week at the science center children continued making maps of various places of interest. Some children made sea maps and others made North and South pole maps. We talked about all the different animals that live in these places and even discussed how penguins and polar bears don't live in the same place. We used a globe to help locate different places that the children have visited.
This week, the two’s participated in their first fire drills - they did wonderfully following the lead of the older children, working together, and staying calm. They visited the park and even took a brief walk in the snow on Thursday. We also had our second week of welcoming two’s duty parents (and grandparents!) into the classroom, which is an important step for the children as they continue to build independence. Lastly, the two’s attended puppet show at the end of each session with the three and four year old students to practice for the Winter Sings next week - they did a great job using their “big kid skills” during this closing meeting. Our favorite book this week was Bear Snores On, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman.
We have proudly added the final touches to our our hanging sculptures. The piece de resistance has undoubtedly been the thrilling application of… yes, you guessed it, ...glitter! This sparkling, insidious dust may have revealed itself by sneaking home on your child’s clothing:) We have also begun work on “gingerbread” decorations for our holiday sings: we did a measuring activity for construction of a cardboard gingerbread house. This structure was then sponge painted by several small groups, readying it for the decorations we will add next week. The paper gingerbread people that we have been “cooking up” look good enough to eat: we have been working with stickers, markers, crayons and a large assortment of collage materials.
In our drama groups last week, we began to talk about hibernation. The children reenacted the story of Possum's Harvest Moon, playing multiple characters of Possum and his friends, who are preparing for the winter. We explored some open-ended exchanges of dialogue between the various characters, as we surprised Possum at his last party of the season, and celebrated by dancing to Van Morrison's Moondance.
This week in literacy we played our new gingerbread rhyming game to pair with one of our favorite books this season, Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. We looked for the matching rhymes and practiced coming up with our own rhymes. In our pull-out-literacy groups, we practiced a new word-of-the-week and worked on a word recognition strategy in the book The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.
This week in the math center we learned all about Hanukkah! We played the dreidel game and practiced counting gold coins. We also counted our teeth after a visit from the dentist. We set up a mirror and the children counted their teeth while we recorded the results in list form. Lastly, we rearranged our center a bit to highlight the choice of activities: we now have a table dedicated to student-led manipulatives and a table dedicated to a teacher-led activity. We have many budding mathematicians among us.
This week, we learned about Hanukkah traditions and sang songs for the holiday. The children really enjoyed singing “Twinkle Twinkle Hanukkah Lights”, a fingerplay about a glowing menorah, and miming the motions for playing dreidel and eating latkes. The children have been practicing so hard for the upcoming sings. While practicing these songs in class, we also discussed tempo. We noticed that the more familiar we were with our songs, the faster and faster we could sing them!
This week at the science center the children have continued working on their maps, and we have been discussing different kinds of animals and where they live. Some of the questions that the children have been answering about different areas of the world are: What kind of animals live there? What was the weather like when you were there? What do/did you like doing there? We also removed the kinetic sand from the discovery box to prepare for something new. The children enjoyed filling cups with sand and dumping them in reusable bags. We counted 50 cups of sand.
Our two year olds have lovingly discovered our song box - a shoebox filled with cards depicting each of the songs we sing together. They have been asking to spend more time singing songs “using” the box - a request we have joyously honored. The children have been able to attend for much longer than they could at the beginning of the year - we are enjoying watching them grow in skills and abilities. On Monday, we went on a lovely walk where we spent time listening to the different sounds we heard. The kids heard birds, trucks, crying babies and honking horns! On Tuesday, we brought out the giant parachute to explore music, dance, and seeing our friends from different points of view. This week, the children read many stories, their favorites being I Can Help, by David Hyde Costello, and The Runaway Bunny, by Margaret Wise Brown.