January brought a lot of fun new learning experiences for the Little Blessings. We came back from Christmas break ready to learn. All of the children adjusted well to the schedule again and were anxious to share what they did over the long break. To start our month we talked about the new year and how we can celebrate the change. We continue to practice saying "2017" at calendar time and still stumble every once and a while. Our next topic unit was the Gingerbread Man and all the variations of the tale. The class favorite was the Gingerbread Girl because she tricked the fox into being her pet! After a couple of weeks of focussing on this story it ended with the Gingerbread Man visiting our classroom and giving each child their very own Gingerbread boy or girl!
We ended January and began February with the circus. Our weekly read was Clifford at the Circus, all were anxious to share how they had read other Clifford stories before at home as well! The students enjoyed incorporating the circus theme in every part of our day; from building the circus in the block area to selling tickets in our dramatic play! For art experiences we made different foods you may find at the circus such as cotton candy and popcorn as well as clowns using different types of shapes.
This month also brought changes to our classroom! NDA's new partnership with LADC has helped vamp up our classroom with a new design and even new centers like a dramatic play area, writing table and science area! The Little Blessings love the new centers and are excited for the changes!
In the beginning of December we explored animals that live in the snow and those that migrate. We completed an activity as a group learning about camouflage where the preschoolers had to categorize animalas based on the color fur the animals had onto a brown or white piece of paper. We talked about why animals camouflage themselves and how it protects them. The next week we moved into "winter wonderland" where we talked everything snowmen. We read Snowmen at Night by: Caralyn Buehner which quickly became a favorite for the kids. The children tried writing their letters in a pan full of pretend snow (sugar), they played a game where they rolled a dice in order to build a snowmen, and even created a snowman by painting with marshmallows! Over the next couple weeks we will continue to with more activities in our winter wonderland unit and begin to prepare ourselves for Christmas!
We started November talking about Turkeys. The children dove in head first eager to learn. We have been reading the book Five Flying Turkeys by: Barbara B. McGrath and the students are beginning to remember the storyline to answer questions about the sequence of events! We have been making a lot of turkey art from Do-A-Dot Turkeys to turkey hats! We have also made a list on what we know about turkeys just like we did for pumpkins. Our answers ranged from the characteristics of turkeys to "they have meat inside them"! The students continue to impress me with how much they remember and how they are able to relate what we learn in group time to their free choice play! I am excited to continue the theme of thanksgiving over the next couple of weeks!
To wrap up September and to start October we continued to talk about apples and started discussing pumpkins. One favorite activity of the students was a story I told of a little boy looking for a red house with no windows, no door and a star inside. Eventually the little boy comes across an apple and decides to cut it open. At this point of our group time I cut into an apple for the students to reveal an star. They were in pure amazement that we found a "red house with a star!". Later that week I placed story cards and a cut apple at one of our tables so the children could take turns retelling the story if they chose. That was a favorite spot in the room and it was great to see them working together to make sure that each child had a part to play. We continued to learn about apples with a finger play: Five Little Apples. We explored singing the song in different voices as well as with the rhythm sticks.
Our next theme was pumpkins. We started the week by making a list of all we knew about pumpkins so far. We had a wide variety of answers, ranging from "orange", "you decorate them", "I lift them like this (with the motion to show)", "they can be a basket", and "they have stems". I was so proud that they were able to brainstorm so many ideas based on previous knowledge; I have a bunch of smart little blessings in my classroom! For an art activity I had the children decorate both paper and foam pumpkins. We talked about using different shapes to make the eyes, mouth, and nose. We had several unique creations between the eyelashes and silly mouthes I had to place them outside our classroom for the rest of the school to see!
This school year has flown by already! With September coming to an end we have already learned and explored so many fun things! After finishing our "All About Me" theme we moved onto fall. We covered the changing of seasons and what that will look like outside as well as what we have to wear as the temperature drops. The children got a hands on experience with leaves and other outside elements as they brought in their finds from their at home scavenger hunts. The pinecones and cattails were by far the favorites in the science area! We also went outside and looked for trees that were beginning to change color. For a fun math activity we categorized leaves by their colors and talked about our favorites. We are looking forward to talking about apples and pumpkins in the following weeks.
To end September we had a fun art activity of painting pinecones. The students loved mixing the paint and "being careful not to hurt their pinecones" by pressing to hard. Below you can find a few pictures from that project.
when we land on a Day 2 in our schedule we have no specials scheduled. To fill in that time I plan a sensory activity for the students. This past week we explored shaving cream! Some were hesitant to get messy but once their guards were put down they were all in. We talked about how the cream smelled like soap, how it was soft on our hands, and what we saw as we smushed it between our fingers! As they played the children brainstormed where they have seen shaving cream before and what it might be used for (besides play of course!). Towards the end of the activity I gave each child a few plastic toys to play with in their shaving cream. This was a popular activity that the children are eager to do again!
First week of school
What an exciting first week of school it has been for all of us! I as the new preschool teacher and the children, many being first time students. The children have begun to learn the routine of the classroom and are eager to explore their new setting. This month we will be focussing on the topic "All About Me" we will focus on the sub topics: my self, family, and friends. This theme will be present throughout our classroom in multiple centers. For example in our science center the children explored their fingerprints and we discussed how each individual has their own set of prints. In our block center the children will be encouraged to build their homes with different mediums such as wood and plastic. We are excited to keep learning about our school and one another.