2-Day Tales

A Peek Inside Our Preschool Classroom

Mrs. Drew and Mrs. Nier's Tuesday/Wednesday Class January 2014

The New Year is off to a super start!

Seems like a good time to touch base...we've just officially finished our Winter Unit and are about to move on to The Rainforest Unit. This new unit is school-wide, and the special project we make will be kept at school and displayed in the Art Show in May.


(I've tried to include pictures this time, but I can't promise I'll be able to do that with every newsletter...so enjoy!)



good friends

The children play so nicely with each other. Throughout the classroom, the children are learning to interact with each other more cooperatively. In the kitchen area, for example, there's usually a group of students playing restaurant or cooking for each other. Playing babies is also quite popular. The Noah's Ark playset was out for the first time this month, and it provided a nice opportunity to work with the children on sharing and taking turns. Here we see Leah and Claire M. playing nicely with the Zip Track and battery-operated cars.

Show & Tell

We had our first Show & Tell this week. Aubrey did a terrific job showing and telling us about her white rabbit. We encouraged the children to listen, and then ask questions and gave some examples of questions they could ask. This is a bit challenging, as they tend to want to tell us about their toys, so we coach them along using question words like: who, what, where, when, do, how, etc.



ZIPPER CLUB

The children seem quite determined to learn how to zipper their jackets...they're doing a great job. It's very sweet to see some of those who are in the zipper club help those who are still working on this skill. This will continue throughout the month of January.


OUR SONGS AND POEMS ABOUT WINTER

We sing:

(To the tune of Hot Cross Buns) Hot Chocolate, hot chocolate, it's so yummy, for my tummy, hot chocolate! Marshmallows, marshmallows, soft and sweet, good to eat, marshmallows!

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Dance Like Snowflakes (to the tune of Frere Jacques),

Dance like snowflakes, dance like snowflakes, in the air, in the air, whirling, twirling snowflakes, whirling twirling snowflakes, here and there, everywhere! (Legend has it that singing this song will make it snow...it worked last Friday!!)

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(To the tune Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes) Boots, mittens, scarves and hats, scarves and hats, boots, mittens, scarves and hats, scarves and hats...we won't get cold if we put on all of that...boots, mittens scarves and hats, scarves and hats. (It's most fun when we change the speed at which we do this one...super fast is our favorite!)

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Put on your tall boots, left and right, put on your tall boots, left and right, put on your tall boots left and right, are we ready to go -- "NO"!

Next is your warm coat, zip it up, next is your warm coat, zip it up, next is your warm coat zip it up, are we ready to go -- "NO"!

Put on your fuzzy hat, pull it down, put on your fuzzy hat, pull it down, put on your fuzzy hat, pull it down, are we ready to go -- "NO"!

Last are the mittens, snug and tight, last are the mittens, snug and tight, last are the mittens, snug and tight, are we ready to go -- "YES"!

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Poem:

I can build a snowman, make him wide and tall, let's see if we can hit him with this round snowball!

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(to the tune of Did You Ever See A Lassie)

(Standing, pretending to skate)

Have you ever gone ice skating, ice skating, ice skating

Have you ever gone ice skating then WHOOPS you fall down (we fall)

One minute you're standing (we stand up)

The next you are landing (fall back down)

(stand up pretend to skate) Have you ever gone ice skating then WHOOPS you fall down!


our centers so far this month...

Playdough Table: Glittery white snow play dough with lots of accessories for cutting, rolling and pushing, along with accessories for building and decorating snowmen (we use Mr. Potato Head accessories). We saw lots of interesting creations!


Sensory Box: Faux snow....dried mashed potatoes; styrofoam "snowballs", snowflakes, shovels and clear marbles (ice). Here we see Maisey and Chase playing in the "snow"!


Project Table: On our return to school, we began with snowball painting (with golf balls covered in white paint; the children dropped 2 or 3 of these into a box and moved the box to make the balls roll around to paint their papers (which we used as backdrops for the hot chocolate projects). The hot chocolate craft, cutting and gluing pieces of brown paper (chocolate) and batting (whipped cream) onto mugs - can be seen in the hallway. Then, lots of sensory fun with shaving cream and glue mixture to "paint" paper plates to make snowballs - these are hung up in the hallway as well. In addition to these art projects, the children completed a winter-themed counting and number identifying worksheet today. All 13 children sat at the tables, and we completed this as a class. This involved lots of listening to directions, waiting, pencil skills, counting and number identification (1-5).


Fourth Center: Varied -- Snowball throw (tossing stuffed white balls, rolled up socks and styrofoam balls through holes in a bean bag game board - which Mrs. Nier covered in white paper to make a snowman!); mitten matching (shape and color match); hot chocolate shop (using tongs to pick up brown foam "chocolate" pieces to put in cups, and cotton ball whipped cream); hammering golf tees into white styrofoam "icebergs"and placing snowballs (golf balls) and winter animals on top; writing and drawing with chalk on dark paper. Today, we set out trays with frozen blocks of ice. The children added arctic animals to the scene, as well as little trucks (to show how slippery the ice is)...they took turns with the "blubber glove" (Crisco filled sandwich bags) to see how that protected their hand from the cold ice (like the seals and polar bears)...they saw the ice melting to water, and even helped the process along with a bit of salt...

Other optional activities which we've also set out for our Winter Theme included: a couple of felt scarves with strips of felt to make striped scarves (patterning); "Ollieblocks" with pictures of children in various winter clothing to mix and match; number strip puzzles (1 - 10) depicting winter scene; and polar bear shape match activity.


Circle Time Exploration....

Yesterday, we looked at pictures and talked about animals in winter: hibernating, migrating and adapting.


Today we talked about LIQUIDS, SOLIDS, water, ice, FREEZING and MELTING. We saw how liquids can be poured and take the shape of the container (we used round containers and clear plastic bags) and the SOLID ice did not change...we passed around 2 balloons, one filled with water, the other was frozen; the children talked about the differences, or identified which was the liquid, which was the solid. To demonstrate how arctic animals keep warm in icy waters, we put on a blubber glove (crisco shortening sandwiched between 2 ziploc baggies) and compared how the ice felt with our bare hands versus covered in blubber.


We've added another element to our circle-time business...

...the days of the week! We sing (to the tune of Oh My Darling Clementine): There are 7 days, there are 7 days, there are 7 days in a week...Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.



Next month, we'll add the beginning of the Pledge of Allegiance.

books we've read...

The After-Christmas Tree, Linda Wagner Tyler

Snowballs, Lois Ehlert

Snow Day, Barbara Joosse

Snow Bears, Justin Waddell

When It Starts To Snow, Phyllis Gershater

games we've played...

"Snowflake, Snowflake"...in this gross motor game, I say: "Snowflakes, Snowflakes falling down, snowflakes, snowflakes _______ around." I fill in the blank with a variety of movements like: jump, hop, crawl, dance, robot, etc. After performing the action for a little while, I sound the drum, the children STOP, and we go again, changing the movement each time....very silly!

we're saying a new blessing before snack

We thank you for the world so sweet,

we thank you for the food we eat,

we thank you for the birds that sing,

we thank you, God, for everything.

Amen.


Today, Mrs. Nier provided some nice warm hot chocolate with marshmallows for a special snack time treat...yum, yum...thank you, Mrs. Nier!

A New "Hello" Song, just to keep things interesting....

We stand and sing:

"Who's here today, who's here today, jump up, turn around, who's here today?"

Then, each child takes a turn answering with his/her name:

"(Suzy) is here today,

(Suzy) is here today.

Jump up, squat down

(Suzy) is here today.


It's a good morning workout before we sit and listen at Circle Time!


inside recess...

...the weather has kept us in the gym for indoor recess...the bikes and scooters are out, a rocking boat, hula hoops, bouncy balls, basketball...the children have lots of fun and get lots of activity.


STILL TO COME IN JANUARY:

  • Vision screenings -- permission slips have been sent home. Please let us know if you need one.
  • New Enrichment Session begins week of January 27th.

looking ahead to February...

I'll have calendars ready by the end of January, but here's a heads up...

  • Pajama Day is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 5th; more info to follow.
  • Our class Valentine's party will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 12th. This party is for students only and takes place during our snack time. More info to follow.

looking even further ahead to march...

Our class will have a field trip to the Bucks County Children's Museum, New Hope, PA http://www.buckskids.org/ on Tuesday, 3/25/14...details will be sent home in a flyer at a later time....just wanted to give you some advance notice.