Sunday, February 24, 2013

Where do the animals go in the winter?
We began this week by reading the book, below, Stranger in the Woods.  This prompted a discussion about what the animals do when it is cold and snowy.  We learned the word Hibernation and Habitat (and also practiced writing "H"'s since both of these words begin with "H"!).

We created many, many habitats this week for our classroom animals using a wide variety of materials.

A tissue makes a nice blanket for a bunny and we made "caves" for our plastic bears out of salt dough...

Noe and Summer really focused with the glue, scissors, cardboard and paper to make habitats!

A cozy bear...

We also created homes for our animals in the sand in our big, black bin.  Summer couldn't help getting in the bin!  We also went on a walk and looked and listened for signs of animals - we did not detect a lot - this will be interesting to compare when it gets warmer out.

And then it REALLY snowed!  Yay!!!

Jill went to her favorite bookstore, The Bookies, and got us some new readers.  Below, this reader fit in with our animal habitat study and the repetition makes it a great introduction to reading a book on their own!

I also purchased some new sand timers that are exactly a minute - we will do some fun math activities with these.  Friday, Bridget brought a baby for each child.  Nabil eventually really enjoyed playing daddy.

A very busy, productive week with so many types of learning!  Good job, kids!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

 Hearts Everywhere!
  We drew and located and thought about hearts all week!  The children became quite adept at drawing or tracing hearts on their own!

We read this cute story about a little girl who places hearts all over her house.  Afterwards, we found hearts all over the room . . .

Then we sorted them by size and color and put them in order from largest to smallest.  It's great to be able to use whatever holiday is at hand to teach the children some math skills. . . 

and then it turned into an art project as we used the hearts we found to make some pictures.

We decorated bags to keep and deliver our Valentines in.

We made a map of what is "in our hearts."  This began with a discussion of who and what we love; including people, pets, toys, places and food!  This also led to a list of what we "don't like."  I was very impressed that the children each had a very specific book to mention as a favorite!

As a fun surprise, each class received a new tea set that we could paint, each of us having our own cup and saucer to make into our very own.  We collaborated to paint the little tea pot!

They did a great job.

We took advantage of some of the candy around everywhere and read "Five Little Candy Hearts," which points out the words printed on this candy and also calls on us to count.  Then, each child received a handful of the hearts and we counted them and sorted by color.  This was a good way for me to assess the children's current counting skills, as well as abilities with one to one correspondence, which is a milestone for this age group.

On Valentine's Day, we decorated cookies, delivered and received Valentines (a learning experience in itself - thank you for the parent support in making Valentines!) AND we were able to use our new tea sets with some "Sweetie Pie Punch".

Receiving Valentines was almost like Christmas all over again!

In other events of the week, it was very important for Bridget to carry the snack basket to the table one day and some of us worked very hard on continuing to count and place counters well into 10!  Good job!

Outside is a whole other realm, where the children are (mostly) in charge of the play.  We have been loving the teeter totter and playing "airport" - the children insist that ALL play.

Thanks for the group-shot, Erica!