Thursday, February 16, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

The biggest highlight of this week was celebrating VALENTINE'S DAY!  The children have been eagerly waiting for this holiday to arrive, counting down the days on the calendar each day.  On Tuesday morning, we had our class Valentine celebration!

First, we enjoyed a tasty snack and apple juice...

The most FAVORITE part of the celebration was finally getting to open their mailbags they have been watching fill up for the past two weeks.  We sat together in circle and opened our valentine cards from each other.  The children were so polite, thanking their friends for all of the special cards and messages.

Later in the day, we enjoyed some special valentine heart coloring...

We also made decorative hearts from pipe cleaners and beads.  They started by folding the pipe cleaner in half to create a letter "V" for Valentine.  Next, they put bead patterns and designs on each side of the "V" and in the end turned it into a heart shape!  A wonderful small motor activity.  What a fun day we had!



More highlights...

On Monday, we read and studied a wonderful book titled My Heart is Like a Zoo by Minnesota author Michael Hall.  It has beautiful pictures of animals that are all made out of heart shapes.  The children are drawn to the playful text, rhymes and new vocabulary words introduced throughout.  We stopped to look at each animal as we read and noticed the techniques the illustrator used to create different animals from hearts.  The children were all eager to create their own animals out of hearts after finishing the story, so that is what we did!  My Heart is Like a Zoo has been the favorite book to read this week and can constantly be found in a someones hands.  A few examples of our creations...

The children had fun playing with the "mystery box".  The box is filled with "mystery" objects and the children have to use descriptive words to explain what a specific object feels like...without looking at it!  It is a great activity that allows the children to build knowledge of descriptive words and practice expressing them verbally.  They LOVE it!

We enjoyed getting our brains thinking creatively in the project room this week.  They were given the question "What can a ball of clay be?"  This was a very open ended challenge that required them to construct and create with materials that included model magic clay, toothpicks and popsicle sticks.  We took time to share thoughts and ideas through discussion and then got busy working! They spent time using trial and error as they tested out different ideas, making appropriate changes as they went.  After they finished, they drew a picture of their creation and used their knowledge of letter sounds to give it a title.  Here they are working...


A few example names of our finished creations were "Music Land", "A Birthday Party", "The Biggest Bridge" and "Unicorn Land". Each child shared stories behind their projects and why they chose to create what they did and how they completed it.  It was fun to hear each child verbally explain their thought process and watch them use imagination to turn a single piece of clay into something unique.  This was a great introductory project to a bigger preschool project that will begin next week, which will involve the preschoolers thinking like "inventors"!  Here are a few examples of their work....

The children were elated to finally reach the letter "Zz" in our Minnesota alphabet books we have been studying since January.  They have gained so much information about our state through these books and made many personal connections as well.  We will continue to review and learn more about our state and continue to work in our "Symbols of Minnesota" book.  We hope to go exploring on our campus next week to see what is already is feeling like spring!

Dates to Remember:

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 long weekend!


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