Although January was great, we sure are excited for all that FEBRUARY will bring! Heart cutting, card making, drawing and more have been popular choices in the classroom this week. We also decorated our "mail bags", which was another favorite. They had a wonderful time creating collages on their bags with cut out hearts and stickers. The bags are officially up for mailing! Feel free to let your child bring in their valentines at anytime, but please have them here by Monday, February 13th. Thank you!
The room L53 Post Office is officially open! We have turned our dramatic play area into a "post office". The children have been writing notes to each other, stamping them and sending them off for delivery. At the end of the day, we have helpers deliver the mail. They are loving this new addition to the classroom and it is encouraging them to share kind and thoughtful words with each other. The children have done an excellent job of using their knowledge of letter sounds to write as well!
Dice games are wonderful in encouraging one-to-one correspondence and simple addition. Dice games also help children build subitizing skills, which is the ability to see a small group of something and know the amount without having to count it. Rolling a number five on the dice and knowing it is a group of five without having to count each dot, would be an example of subitizing. Mathematical activities that include dice help children build skills in this area. This week they enjoyed a valentine dice game where they had to roll two numbers, add them together and color the number.
Marble painting is too much fun! The children dipped marbles in different colored paint and explored motion as they maneuvered the marbles around the box in order to create designs on their paper.
We learned more about the symbols that make our state of Minnesota unique. So far they have learned about our state bird the loon, state fish the walleye, state drink which is milk, state rock the agate and our state muffin which happens to be blueberry! We continue to add and label all of our state symbols on our classroom Minnesota map. It is starting to get full! We also learned about Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. They were fascinated by the "tall tale" of this giant lumberjack and his pet ox and how their large footprints created the 10,000 lakes of Minnesota. We read the book The Bunyans, which had some very interesting "tall tales" about this man and his family. The children loved it! We had a great discussion about what a "tall tale" is.
They have also enjoyed observing Minnesota artifacts and playing a "Minnesota memory" game, which reinforces important Minnesota symbols and places. Plus, they love the teamwork aspect of playing games in partners and memory games are wonderful "exercise for the brain" as children work harder to concentrate and remember where specific pictures are.
We use group read aloud time to focus on building concepts of print, reading strategies, comprehension, vocabulary and more. We will often time read the same book a few times, so the children can make new connections and build familiarity with literacy concepts. This week, one of the favorite books we studied was Pete the Cat-I love My White Shoes. Since the start of the year Pete the Cat has been a favorite character among the preschoolers. They especially love the song and rhyme throughout these stories. They quickly picked up on the pattern throughout this book, as Pete the Cat steps in different things that change his white shoes to different colors. We are in the process of creating our very own class book based off of Pete the Cat-I love My White Shoes and the children each thought of something they wanted Pete to step in that changes his white shoes to a different color. They were very creative! So far Pete has stepped in carrots, lollipops and cherries to name a few! We will add this to our "room L53 book collection", which are read daily by the children. A couple examples...
We started a new collaborative challenge in the project room this week that involves creating a group mural. Throughout the last month, the preschoolers have been learning all about the season of winter in Minnesota. We have discussed everything about this season from what it looks and feels like, what the animals are doing, our favorite winter activities and more. What better way to display what they have learned than working together to create a winter mural! One group put all of the paper together, created the "lines" of our initial image of winter and the second group started adding paint. Next week we plan to work together to add details through collage art with other materials. This might include winter trees, animals, animal tracks, winter activities and frozen lakes. More to come next week!
Our CARE theme for the month is Stewardship. It is being defined in Lower School as caring for myself, others and our world. We will be learning more about stewardship and how we can demonstrate this important trait among our community.
Dates to Remember:
Tuesday, February 14th- Valentine's Day Celebration (***A friendly reminder to have valentines at school by Monday, February 13th. Please do not include candy or other food items.***)
Friday, February 17th- Faculty Workshop-No School
February 20th- Presidents' Day- No School
A Look Ahead:
Thursday, March 2nd- Conferences- No School
Friday, March 3rd- Conferences- No School
Thursday, March 16th- Field Trip to Westwood Nature Center
Saturday, March 18th- Sunday, April 2nd- Spring Vacation- No School
Monday, April 3rd- School Reconvenes
Have a great weekend!