Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter Wonderland!

December continues to be an exciting month for the children.  When we complete our calendar routine each day, the children frequently ask to count down the days until Hanukkah and Christmas.  A favorite part of this week was finally seeing SNOW!  On Tuesday, the children were beyond thrilled to make snow angels, snow balls, and even sled on the playground.  Pure joy!


Weekly highlights...

Last week on our nature walk, the children collected pinecones to observe in the classroom.  This week, they painted pinecones and turned them into an ornament for our class tree!  They all found a perfect place to hang their special ornament.

How many triangles do you see?  Last week, the children were curious about triangles after noticing that evergreen trees are a triangle shape.  We explored a Montessori material that had the children  make discoveries with triangles of different sizes.  Through this activity, the children discovered that triangles don't always look the exact same, but they do always have three sides and three corners. They really liked putting all of the smaller triangles together to create one large triangle!


Later, each child decorated their own green triangle...


Once they were all finished decorating, we looked at how all of the triangles could fit together in order to create one large triangle, just like in the Montessori material we had explored.  The children helped decide how the triangles needed to fit, and got busy placing them on the paper.  They thought it was just like putting together a big puzzle!

In the end, we had our "Preschool Triangle Tree"!  Try many triangles YOU see!?

We used triangles in another unique and fun way.  The children counted how many letters were in their names.  After counting, they cut out the number of triangles that corresponds with the amount of letters that are in their own name.  They practiced letter formation and wrote each letter in their name on their triangles.  Once finished, we put them together to look like...EVERGREENS!  A few examples...



The children made and decorated their own stockings this week and are very proud of them.  The stockings hang nicely from our loft.  They keep asking if someone is going to fill the stockings...I guess we will have to wait and see! : )


"Run, run as fast as you can!  You can't catch me I'm the gingerbread man!"  We read a few different versions of the classic story of The Gingerbread Man this week.  We compared and contrasted the books through discussion.  The children love any opportunity to share in conversation about books.  We make predictions, connections, introduce new vocabulary words, and more during our group read alouds.

We also learned a new poem for our pocket chart that became and immediate favorite.  We turned into gingerbread people!  Just like our turkey poem from last month, the children changed the name in the poem for each child in the class.  They thought it was pretty funny to see their faces on a gingerbread cookie!  Along with our many daily read alouds, all of our name games, songs, and pocket chart poems continue to be wonderful tools for building foundational literacy skills.  Whether starting to read or just learning letter sounds/identification, these activities are great for all learners.


We completed our monthly glyph, which are gingerbread people.  The children answered questions about all of their holiday favorites.


Afterward, we interpreted the data and learned:

-We have 8 girls and 7 boys in our class (8+7=15)
-All of us have made cookies before
-10 of us like sugar cookies best and 5 of us like chocolate chip best
-Most of us like to run like the Gingerbread Man
-For our favorite holiday, 8 of us like Halloween best, 6 of us like Christmas best, and one of us likes Hanukkah best.

We read the story Pete the Cat Saves Christmas, which was an immediate favorite because the children LOVE Pete the Cat!  They ask to read these books frequently.  For this read aloud, we specifically listened for rhyming words, which the children know are words that sound the same at the end.  They did a great job of listening for rhyming words as I read and we stopped throughout to see if we could come up with other rhymes!  Afterward, we played a group rhyming match game.  Each child had a card and had to walk around the room and find their rhyming match.  They had fun talking to each other and finding their correct rhyming match.  Being able to identify rhymes, allows children to build understanding of language patterns and structures in written and spoken language.

Later, we practiced more rhyming a few other classroom materials...


As we read about and discuss different holidays, "give" is a recurring word.  We discussed how it is fun to receive gifts, but how important it is to give as well.  On Wednesday morning, we practiced the act of giving with our 3rd grade buddies.  The buddies decorated and wrote holiday cards together for  others who work in Breck School.


Next week brings our Hanukkah Celebration, Lower School Holiday Program, and a Holiday party and reading of Peef the Christmas Bear by author Tom Hegg!  The children have been practicing and preparing for the Lower School Holiday Program that will take place next Thursday, December 14th in the Chapel.  Please have the children in the classroom by 6:15!

SPECIAL EVENT:  It has also been officially decided that Tuesday, December 19th is a PRESCHOOL PAJAMA DAY!  All of the preschoolers are encouraged to wear their pajamas to school.  

Dates to Remember:

Monday, December 11th- Hanukkah Party

Thursday, December 14th- Lower School Holiday Program
*The Holiday Program will take place in the chapel at 6:30.  Please have the children in the classroom by 6:15.  Children are encouraged to wear semi-dressy attire.

Friday, December 15th- Preschool Holiday Celebration and reading of Peef the Christmas Bear by author Tom Hegg

Tuesday, December 19th- Preschool Pajama Day!

Wednesday, December 20th-Tuesday, January 2nd- Winter Vacation

Wednesday, January 3rd- School Reconvenes

Have a great weekend!