Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Week 15: Making plans!

Week 15: 

Dear parents,

So the forecast is predicting snow this week (possibly Tuesday), so make sure everyone has warm mittens, hats, and jackets.   A second reminder is that our winter break begins Friday December 22nd. Solstice Celebration is on Thursday December 21st.  If the weather looks bad for Thursday, we’ll hold the celebration on Wednesday the 20th.  So check your emails for weather updates!

This week, our students prepared works for community meeting and started making gifts.  As a class we started talking about amphibians, in particular frogs, and are still reviewing the water cycle. Some of the students continued practice their daily planning.  Many students enjoyed the watercolor works. 

Monday:  At circle we reviewed the water cycle.  Some students got a jump onto their daily planning goals immediately after circle, and others needs a gentle nudge during work cycle.  Many students have started holiday handwriting books, while many of the younger students are mastering the control of their hands with sewing, stenciling, and sandpaper letters.

Tuesday:  Began the day, reviewing the water cycle again and adding words (precipitation, condensation, evaporation).  Many big works were started today such as watercolor painting, 5 and 6 cube chain, and spelling works with fill in the blank sentences.  Today’s highlighted work is the watercolor painting.  This independent work includes preparation for the work (wearing aprons) and also cleaning up workspace afterwards.  We also enjoyed another Spanish Class with Sra. Rosa, and we’re making great progress at our continent song. 

Wednesday:  Today we have 12 days before our winter break, so we began the day reading the Twelve Days of Christmas, by Jan Brett.  Mr. Wolfe sang more holiday music during music class.  Popular works today include skipping counting books, watercolor, rolling pin, tracing with a stylus, map tracing, and cursive works.  Today’s highlighted work is the rolling pin work.  It gives a child the opportunity to explore how much pressure and wrist twisting one must use to roll out some play dough in a flat manner to then use cookie cutters to make shapes. 

Thursday:  At morning circle we began our next class of vertebrates, the amphibians.  New works include, 3 part matching external parts of a frog card set, matching frog story and fill in the blank cards.  This allows our entire class to have frog work at their level, whether it is just matching image level, matching label level (word base), and reader level (beginner and advance).   Another notable activity is that two students opted to participate in the school wide spelling bee.  We are very proud of them for gaining that academic and social experience, and trying their hardest among all the students in the school.  We ended the day finishing up our Mummies in the Morning book, and singing the 12 days of Christmas. 

Friday:   At morning circle, we had our lesson on clay ornaments.  Many students worked on their special projects.  Other popular works include stamp game, snake game, bell counting, watercolor painting, sand paper letters, and candy cane making.  Today’s highlighted work is bell counting, with uses attractive bells as ornaments to numbered Christmas trees.  A child has to match the number of bells to the numeric symbol on the tree. 

That sums up another week at GVS!  Thank you!

Ms. Becky and Preschool staff!

Important dates to remember are:

December 19- Community meeting
(Our class is hosting so hopefully everyone will be there)
December 21- Our Solstice Celebration 
(With a snow date for Wednesday Dec 20th)
December 22- Jan 2 – No School for our Holiday Break.
Jan 17- Family Night 6:30-8:00















































Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 14 Nov 27-Dec 1: The countdown begins!

Week 14:  The countdown begins!

Dear parents,

As the month of December arrives, I want to remind everyone that the children should have a warm jacket, a hat, at least one pair of mittens.  A family had generously donated some yard mitten holders as a work to sew mittens together.  If you are interested in having your child’s mittens sewn together, let us know by placing mittens in a bag with a written paper and we’ll create a work.  Other dates to keep in mind is that our Solstice celebration will take place on the day before Winter break (Thursday December 21).  However if the weather that week appears bad we will celebrate on the Wednesday before the break.  I will send out two emails (one on Monday and the other on the night before), reminding everyone that the children are welcome to wear their pajamas.

This week to summarize, we began our study on the water cycle.  The children enjoyed more winter works in the practical life and cultural sections.  And some of our students were given lessons on planning their day.  

Monday:  At circle time, we read the story In November, by Cynthia Rylant, which described the seasonal changes.  The wok cycle began as the children explored many of the new works.   Today’s highlighted work is the yarn spindle work.  A child using the work, described the work “like using a kite.”  The work is a long piece of yard attached to a thin cylinder that the child can unroll and reroll, strengthening their wrist turning motion and concentration.  Other popular works include baric tablets, knobless cylinders, letter writing, dreidel game, and the atomic board.

Tuesday:  At circle time, we marked the 60th day of school.  Today’s highlighted work Snowflake Stencils.  Like the metal insets, carefully tracing the snowflake insets increase the coordination and concentration while preparing the hand for handwriting.  Other popular works include clockbook, snowflake chopsticks, candy cane transfer, and color spinner.  We also enjoyed Spanish class with Sra. Rosa, and sang our continents song. 

Wednesday:  At morning circle we read The Water Hole, by Graeme Base, which using math explores what happens at a small water hole as more and more things depend on it.  Today’s highlighted work is the “faces” of the geometric solids.  This is a traditional Montessori lesson that sorts the geometric solids based on the 2-dimensional face of their sides.  It develops organization, concentration, coordination and independence as well visual discrimination as a child matches 3-d solid to a 2-d planar surface.  Other popular works include calendar making, North American map and puzzle, snowflake chopsticks, and scooping works.  We also enjoyed our music class with Mr. Wolfe and starting singing some traditional holiday songs.

Thursday:  At morning circle we talked about where the water went in yesterday’s story and brought out the water cycle mat.  Using wooden arrows and pictures we started our initial talk about water flowing into a lake or ocean, then evaporating into the clouds, then either raining or snowing back down to land.   We finished up with the “Water Cycle Boogie.”   Some students were invited to start on a weekly organizational lesson.  They still have free choice to choose their work, but I’m asking them to write down 2-3 challenging work goals which they want to try to accomplish that day. This valuable experience develops organization, concentration, coordination and independence.   Other popular works include cube chain, snowflake insets, letter making, geometric solids, beading candy canes and cursive writing.

Friday:  At morning circle we discussed the new month (December) and discussed our new weather chart that also has a countdown to Christmas.  We now have a lot of numbers we are keeping track of:  the date, the days that passed since the start of school, the countdown to Christmas, and the countdown till Ms. Katie’s baby could arrive.  Today’s highlighted work is beading candy canes.  It’s an early sewing work that is just fun for all ages.  Using pipe cleaners and pony beads, the children manipulate beads in a pattern and then bend the pipe cleaner into a candy cane shape.  I imagine everyone will have many candy canes decorations around their houses this year, based on how quickly the beads are disappearing and the joy it brings to the children to create their own ornament.

Well that sums up another week at GVS!  It doesn’t feel like December (to me at least) but the holidays are upon us.  Thank you!
Ms. Becky

Important dates to remember are:

December 19- Community meeting
(Our class is hosting so hopefully everyone will be there)
Decemeber 21- Our Solstice Celebration 
(With a snow date for Wednesday Dec 20th)
December 22- Jan 2 – No School for our Holiday Break.
Jan 17- Family Night 6:30-8:00

Also Special Photo credit to Ms. Melissa, who just got a new camera.