January 30

In Literacy, we will be collaborating with Science to begin writing our animal storybook. We will learn to edit our stories and as authors, understand story sequence. We will do this by creating a beginning, middle and end to our writing.

In Math, we will continue subitizing. Using their new Do-A-Dot markers and dice, the children will choose a colored marker, roll the dice, and draw the number of dots that correspond to the number they rolled. Then they will determine which colors contain the greatest and the fewest number of dots.

In Science, we have been using blocks and a variety of materials to make large scale forests. We are working in small groups, so that we could have in-depth conversations. Each group has given their forest a name and started to tell stories about their creations. We will collaborate with Literacy to document and expand on the children’s stories.

In Drama, we will be celebrating the Chinese lunar New Year. The children will learn and create movement as lion dancers to bring good luck in the New Year. We will play instruments and have a parade through the classroom with a traditional lion head costume in addition to reading books about the lunar calendar of animals.

In Art, we will work together to convert our voting booth into an animal burrow for our winter animal habitat play area.

In Music, we will read the story of the Three Bears. We will play the drums and add slow beats for the big bear, quicker beats for the middle sized bear, and fast beats for the teeny weeny baby bear. We are also going to add scarves to the song from last week, Come Dance with Me. Fun stuff!

In ASL, we will review the signs: River, forest, leaves and trees

January 23

In Literacy, we will read the book, Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? by Bill Martin Jr, illustrated by Eric Carle. In our ASL and reading groups, we will play the Polar Bear Sound Game, to practice alliteration.

In Math, we will practice a new way of subitizing using Legos and dice! We will first roll the dice, then build with Legos to correspond with the number on the dice and count once we're done building.

In Science, the children have been playing games involving finding hidden animals in the classroom and charting the results. We will continue to play games about animals in winter habitats. The children have been actively playing with our plastic animals and nature objects to make a forest environment. We will expand this activity by moving our building and interactive play into the block area. Along with the blocks, we will use a variety of materials and photos of animals in winter.

In Drama, we will continue to create narratives for wolves and other forest animals including owls, hedgehogs, and bears. We will set up these animal environments including dens, burrows, and other habitats on a "moonlight walk" through the snow.

In Art, after we complete work on our collaborative winter forest/animal habitat mural, we will begin to consider, plan and create some “animal homes” for our play area.

In Music, we will dance in large circle formations!  We will walk in one direction holding hands to our acorn song (melody of Old Joe Clark) and then switch directions. The students will also get a chance to dance in the center of the circle with a partner to a traditional banjo tune called Come Dance with Me.  

In ASL, we will continue to review the signs: Winter, Animals, Fox, Wolf and Bear.

January 17

In Science, we will continue to focus on wolves and other forest animals and talk about how animals live in the winter.  We will play a game where the children will find hidden animals in the classroom and use charts to mark the animals they have found.

In Math, we will play a fun game called "Feed the Penguin".  Children roll dice, which determines how many fish they will feed the penguin. Once they have counted their fish, they will have to identify the numbers and shapes on the fish.

In Music, we will be playing two bear games that explore dynamic soft and loud movements and creative expression. We will sing Bear Went Over the Mountain, and the students will move to different tempos with stomping and walking and hopping and skipping. They will imagine what a bear would see over the mountain in winter time. These bears will then take a little hibernation, and we will sing the folk tune Grizzly Bear, with a simple, lovely, soft melody.  When we are woken up, we growl!  Are these bears polar bears? What kind of bear are you (teddy, brown, black bear...)?

In Drama, we will forge ahead with our winter unit focusing on forest animals. Incorporating narrative pantomime, we will reenact the Ukrainian folk tale, "The Mitten." The children will play various forest animals who need to make room for each other inside Nicki's lost mitten.

In Literacy, we will continue practicing our alphabet in sign language in our ASL and reading groups. We will also write stories to go along with our winter animal dioramas that we have been working on in the Art Center.

In Art, after we have put final touches on our winter animal habitats dioramas, we will begin work on a collaborative mural.  The objective for this mural will be to create a backdrop/set for a winter habitat play area in the classroom!

In ASL, we will learn the signs: Winter, Animals, Wolf, Fox, and Bear.

January 9

In Literacy, we will start our ASL and reading groups! We will practice our alphabet in sign language and read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault.

In Math, we will play the polar bear race game! The children will be utilizing their subitizing skills along with practicing their one to one correspondence as they match their polar bear moves to the dice they roll.  Just in case you did not know, subitizing is the ability to recognize a quantity of an object instantly (without counting), like the numbers on the face of a die or domino!

In Science, many of the children have shown an interest in wolves and foxes, and so we will focus on these and other forest animals and how they live in the wintertime.

In Drama, we will begin the New Year with cooperative games. This will lead into winter curriculum stories beginning with forest and Arctic animals. We will play a game called "We Are Dancing in the Forest." The children take turns being a lonesome wolf.

In Art, work has already begun and will continue on a winter wildlife diorama. Upon a small cardboard tray each child will assemble their own mixed media diorama.  Materials such as paint, glue, cotton, air dry clay and natural objects will be used to create this 3-D scene of animals in their winter habitat.

In Music we are going to sing songs and play games about animals!  I will put music to the book From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle and the students will act out all the motions of the animals as they say the positive message, "I can do it!"  The students will play shaker eggs and rhythm sticks as they listen to the old traditional fiddle tune Cluck Old Hen.

January 3

In Literacy, we will write stories of what we did with our families and loved ones and how we celebrated the holidays. Some of us may have visited our cousins over the winter recess. We will talk about how dogs and cats have cousins too. These will guide our family stories for the week!

In Math, after a warm welcome back from the holidays, we will talk about our families and how many cousins we have in our families. We will graph our cousin results to see who has the greatest and who has the fewest numbers of cousins. 

In Science, we will continue talking about animals, introducing the idea of classification. We will focus on animals that are distant relatives of each other. For example, dogs and wolves are cousins and cats and lions are cousins.

In Drama, after the holiday break, we will get back into the routine with some games such as "Who's Got the Idea." The children will choose found objects to represent other things and demonstrate how they are used. We will also work on some "Yes, and..." strategies that we will incorporate into storytelling.

In Art, in keeping with our animal theme, each child will begin to create a small individual diorama of a winter habitat.

In ASL, we will review the signs we’ve been learning.