Saturday, April 21, 2018

Week 32: Almost April Break!

April 16-20

Last week (April 9-13)

Dear Parents,

Don't forget that there is no school Monday as it is April Break.  This week we counted dow to April break, continued with the Biology Unit, explored some writing activities with the writers, created a lot of maps with the mappers, and try out some different art forms.  We are challenging those with math books to finish them before the school year ends and reviewing sensorial lessons with a focus on body control.

Monday:  Two hour delay.  These are perhaps my favorite days as we jump right into the work cycle. Instead of group snack, we try to have optional snack since some people trickling in at 10:30 might have that natural work drive, while others are just hungry.  I also decided (for better or worst) that we could have a longer end of day recess but based on the work habits of most children around 11 that mid day break wasn't needed.  This allowed for productive work cycle to be had for all.  I was particularly impressed by the first years, as many of them chose challenging three part matching cards and others were driven to try out all the works on the shelves.  A particular three year old who previously showed no interest in three part matching Animal Cards, was inspired by a few of his friends and made an effort to learn the lesson (A big challenge in coordination, organization, concentration, and independence.)  Popular works include: Geometric Solids with matching cards, Stamp Game Addition, Creative Writing: Story cubes, Asia Puzzle Maps, Coloring by Name, and Van Gogh painting.  I would also like to thank C*** for his book donations to the school.  We enjoyed reading, Chickens May not Cross the Road: and Other Crazy but True Laws, by Kathi Linz.  This was especially fun to do as a state search, where friends found the location of state with a particular law from the book.  We also went over the calendar and classroom rules.

Tuesday-  Today we had a quick morning circle to touch base and review the date and calendar.  We had to go over what we were sharing at community meeting and get a bit of work done in too!  We also had Sra. Rosa come in and teach us spanish fruits.  Community meeting was hosted by the Upper elementary class, who read us some poetry.   We shared our some of our hard works like "Starting Pea Seeds" and "Planting Pea Seeds," Multiplication (Ax) books, "Bob Books" and "Creating Maps." Popular works included the lessons mentioned above, as well as wooden pipes, brown stairs,  Stamp Game addition, and Coffee Grind.

Wednesday-  We began the day with the date and calendar.  We continued talking about Plants and had a three part lesson on Roots as well as snuck in a lesson on kindness and respect.  We had Music with Mr Wolfe and had a good time with him playing songs on the guitar and singing/dancing along.  Other popular works included: Map making, Painting inspired by Van Gogh, watching the seeds grow, Wooden elephant puzzle, sound works and reading.  We also touched base in the afternoon and brainstormed what we wanted to do when we hosted community meeting next month.

Thursday- We began the day with date and calendar.  We highlighted the days to vacation, days we'll miss of school (a whole week) and how many days till we return to school.  The weather was much nicer to us, so we managed to get out and really enjoy it.  We brought in some discussions on what signs of spring we are seeing, how it changed from a week ago and predicting what plants they may become.  Popular works included Spring Flowers, Flower Families, Parts of a Turtle, Bank Game, Red Rods, The How Many game (Ie how many marbles do we have for the atomic board work? and then they count the 133 marbles), and Bob Books.

Friday- Started the day with date and calendar, reviewing that we will be on break next week.  Then we had our special Art lesson with Ms. Melissa on Renoir.  She summarized Pierre Auguste Renoir Paintings That Smile, by True Kelley and gave a lesson on painting using tones.  Today's work cycle was busy with people humming around the baby plants, working on Stamp Game, Sandpaper letter extensions, Atomic Board, Wooden Pipe build, Root matching cards, and Parts of different Animals sets came out.   It was exciting because it was Pizza Day and the weather was really nice for afternoon recess so some friends explored what is growing, while others took nature walks around the playground.  Looked at the baby plant seedlings left in the bag as an experiment and did a second lesson on the parts of a plant seedling. We ended our day with an afternoon story:  Up, Down, and Around by Katherine Ayres.

I hope everyone has a safe break!  I hear the weather is suppose to be great, so get out and look at nature.  I'll see you all again April 30th!
Ms Becky and the Preschool Staff

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Week 31: Countdown to Arts Night!

Week 31: April 9 to 13th  Countdown to Art's Night

This Week:

Last Week:

Dear Parents,

This was a very exciting week as we prepared ourselves for Arts' Night.  We practiced our songs a lot this week, as well as worked hard on some artwork inspired by some famous painters.  We also took some time to enjoy the spring weather, looked for birds and some creatures, and start a Biology unit.  We also welcomed Ms. Katie back to our classroom with our new class baby Everett!

Monday:  We reviewed the seasons and talked about what happens in Spring in terms of the amount of daylight, the weather, Animals coming out of hibernation and began talking about plants.  We had a "Spring Flowers Lesson," which is a three part matching in a circular form that gives the spring flower names to some common plants.  We also are activity looking for signs of spring outside on our playground and some friends are counting/looking for the sprouts in the garden.  Other popular works include abstract painting project,  free drawing, Creative writing: Postcards,  Coffee Grinding, Lacing, Flower Families, Early Writing on Dry Erase Board and Stamp Game Addition.

Tuesday:  We began the day reviewing the date and calendar and then talked about the Parts of a Plant.  We talked about how Stems hold up a plant, bring nutrients to leaves and flowers from the roots, and stems determine the height of a plant (and how much sunlight it can get).  We did a quick experiment using paper to demonstrate capillary action inside the stem of a plant.  And then we cut a white daisy flower and put it in green water to see what will happen.  At circle, we pointed out that Art's Night was coming up and what we needed to do to prepare for it as a class.  We decided that we need to practice all our sings each day and choose student role models to lead the singing.  Through out the day we practice lining up on "stage" and singing without teachers.  We also had Spanish Class with Sra. Rosa, where we talked about types of fruits that we eat.   In the afternoon, we read A Place for Birds, by Melissa Stewart and talked about ecology in terms of what we can do to help our bird friends and how they are important to our environment.

Wednesday:  We started the day with our Seasons Mat to celebrate a Birthday Walk.  Happy 4th Birthday H****!  During the work cycle a new geography work was placed out, which categorized some trees to different continents.  It can be used as a three part matching initially, and then tree families and geography/history research can be extensions.  We also had Music class with Mr. Wolfe.  It is great to hear our songs put to music.  He reviewed how we would stand on stage and we practiced taking a bow.    We observed our white daisy flower, which had a little green coloring around the center of the flower and started bruising green spots.  Some friends added their own flowers to the water mixture to see if theirs would do anything else. Other popular works included:  Ribbon tying, knobbed cylinders, brown stairs, sweeping works, puzzle maps, and word problems.

Thursday: Another birthday walk started our day!  Happy 5th Birthday M****!  Thank you for the beautiful donation of flowers to our classroom!  Everyone seems to be super excited by the warmer weather or maybe by Arts Night so we're doing a lot of group motion activities,as well as practicing our songs today.  Popular works include Life Cycle of a Pea, Starting a Seed, Knob-less cylinders, Sound Cylinders,  Stamp Game Addition, and Bead Math Multiplication.  We observed that some seedlings were popping out of their testa and we had a lesson on planting a Seedling. We decided that we'd plant a few and also leave one or two in the bag to see what is going on under the surface of the dirt.   Later in the afternoon we read Condor's Egg, by Jonathan London which is a poetic and beautifully illustrated book about a Condor's egg, which lead us to talk again about endanger birds and what we can do to help them.

Friday:  Pizza Day!  Today we reviewed the date and calendar.  Then we had an Art lesson about Vincent Van Gogh, and used the beautiful sunflowers that M brought us to inspire a painting work.  It was a *Beautiful* warm day which allowed us to enjoy recess without jackets!  (Teachers and Parents  alike do a happy dance that this may be the end of snowpants!) We are also very excited that tonight is Art's Night, so we practiced our songs several times.  Other popular works include Flower Families, Early Handwriting on the Dry Erase Board, Coffee Grinding works, Bank Game 4 digit addition, Free Coloring, Letter Writing, Painting Sunflowers, Journaling and labeling parts of a story, and reading out loud.

Later on Friday:  (Art's Night)   The kids did wonderful waiting for the show to start.  We played "Bug in a Rug" a few times, made sure everyone had gotten their water and bathroom breaks and then we lined up to go on stage.  Despite everyone's excitement to perform, we held a silent line for 10 minutes!  Then we walked out to the stage and sang our little hearts out.   We started with "Puff the Magic Dragon," then "Down by the Bay," and ended with "I'm a Clever Tea Pot."  We even got to take a bow on the stage and then find our parents in the audience.  I hope all our friends and families got to walk around the galleries and find our hard work on the walls.  It was a fun night had by all!

Well I can't wait to see everyone on Monday!  Thanks for a great week!
Ms. Becky and the Preschool Staff!