Monday, January 18, 2016
Happy New Year to all! The children were so happy to see one another upon returning from the holidays! They have quickly gotten back into our routine. We spent some of our morning meeting time talking about the new year. We learned that part of celebrating a new year is thinking back about the year that has passed. We used pictures to help us remember our time together from August through December. We charted memorable experiences like our first day of school, making friendship fruit salad, learning how to work in centers, and learning about our families and homes. We remembered investigating pumpkins, collecting socks for Socktober, the visit from the Raptor Center, constructing our trees, and our field trip to Lanark. We also recalled the visit from the Montgomery Ballet, the puppet show, and our Christmas party. 2015 was really good! We are excited to see what we will learn and experience in 2016!
LET IT SNOW!
Since snow is a rare event here in Alabama, we decided to create some ourselves! We were lucky to have Sno Biz come and visit our classroom on Friday. They told us how they freeze water into blocks of ice. They showed us how they use their machine to shave the ice. We got to touch and experiment with the shaved ice and watch how it quickly melts. Then, we scooped some into cups and poured a little flavor over it to turn it into sno cones! They were cold and delicious! It was fun to enjoy a little bit of winter inside our classroom!
We spent our first week back reading some winter books--I Know A Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow, A Snowy Day, Froggy Gets Dressed, and Ten On The Sled. We used these stories to focus on answering key details about the story, making predictions and sequencing events. We continued to focus on these same skills last week, when we did an author mini-study on Jan Brett. We read The Mitten, The Hat, The Three Snow Bears, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. We also added four new sight words to our word wall: see, one, two, and three. We found these words in the poems, "I See", "Winter", "Mittens", "One Little Blue Bird", "I Have", and "Three Brown Bears". We added the poem, "Rainbow Snowmen" to our poetry journals. We looked for and highlighted old and new sight words in this poem.
One area of math focus this week was modeling shapes by building with various materials. We used toothpicks and marshmallows to create both two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. We took our favorite shape created and drew a picture of it and counted the sides and vertices. This was a favorite activity! Another area of focus was practicing some nonstandard measuring. We used "snowflake" rulers to measure winter objects. We counted how many snowflakes long each object was and compared objects to find longer, shorter, longest, and shortest.
After reading The Busy Tree and What Can Live In A Tree?, we brainstormed and webbed what could live in a tree. We then narrowed our favorites down to a smaller list and voted on what we would like to learn about next. The winner was ladybugs! So, we have begun a K-W-L chart on ladybugs (Know-Wonder-Learn) to guide our factual learning. We are reading and researching to find out the answer to our questions about these interesting insects. We are also observing the changes that happen in the life cycle of the ladybug. We were able to order ladybug larva which we have placed in a ladybug house. These larva came with food. We must give them water to drink. We hope to be able to observe the larva turn into pupa and then from pupa to ladybugs! We will keep you posted on the changes we observe.
We have started making a ladybug for our fact book. We use our writing to label its parts and write fun facts about ladybugs. We will also begin creating some ladybugs to add to our trees.
The children would like to turn our dramatic play center into a veterinarian's office. We have medical kits and a doctor's coat. We can use any of the following to help us with our set up:
- stuffed dogs, cats, hamsters, rabbits, birds, and plastic snakes
- pet supplies such as leashes, collars, dog bowls
- toy or real pet carriers (small size only due to limited space)
- children's books about pets
We will return borrowed items when our veterinarian's office closes. Thank you for you help in gathering these items! We will share pictures when we are up and running!
OUR CLASSROOM NEEDS . . .
With wintertime also comes cold and flu season. We do our best to keep our classroom clean and minimize our germ sharing. We are in need of soft kleenex, hand sanitizer, and clorox wipes to help us with this. Any contributions are appreciated!