Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fish Tales 12/12 ~ 12/16

We celebrated the fourth birthday of the year by sharing photos and eating a yummy snack!

Decorating trees, both wooden and artificial, is a fun activity that also gives the children practice with their fine motor coordination. They not only decorate the trees, but also take the decorations off to get them ready for the next person.

At center time, the children used scissors to cut a diamond from paper that we had decorated with shaving cream and watercolors. 

They cut across the middle of the diamond transforming it into two triangles.
They last step to creating a six-pointed star was arranging it and stapling it together. 

Art activities often spark the children's creativity and imagination. This boy put two triangles together to create a diamond after cutting his star!
We visited Ms. O'Mullane's second grade classroom, where the second graders read stories they had written about their holiday traditions. After which, the second graders read us several books and sang the Australian version of Jingle Bells. We learned that their weather is hot during the winter and that it is a tradition to go the beach on Christmas day!!

We have 6th grade "Lunch Buddies" that volunteer and eat lunch with the children on most Tuesdays and Thursdays. This girl is reading Green Eggs and Ham during lunch one day.
They help with opening lunch items, ask questions to spark conversations, and read to the children. Our alpha students benefit from their service and the 6th graders develop leadership skills.

We walked next door to sing for our neighbors at the Winston Park condos.

Our holiday party was a huge success!! Many thanks to all that attended the singing in the theatre and the party. We really appreciate your help and we can not put a value on the meaning it has for the children!!

The children created Florida Snowman quiet bottles by drawing a face and filling them with goodies to look at.

We ate ice cream sundaes for snack and decorated cone shaped plastic bags and filled them with hot chocolate mix.
We created 2-D gingerbread houses and tossed bean bags into a snowman target!

January 3rd - Classes resume - We sent all of the clothing and shoes home from the cubbies so you can check sizes. Please return replacement clothing when the children return.
January 11 - Field trip to the Main Fire Station. Please email or write Mrs. Samuel a note if you would like to volunteer for this trip.
January 27 - Grandparents Day
February 14 - Valentine's Day Party
We would like to take the time and wish you all a safe 2012 filled with laughter, peace, and most of all love!!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Celebrating the Holidays

Decorating paper using lines, dots, and zigzags was an easel activity this past week. The teachers turned these painting into presents to decorate the classroom windows. The class has had a discussion about giving to others and the children are learning that "the best gift to give is love!!"

 Using our imaginations in the classroom "bakery" has been lots of fun and where we have observed conversations and situations where the children had to tap into their negotiating skills when they have to share muffin tins, cakes, and so much more.

Building with Dr. Drew blocks and miniature holiday characters is a very popular center.

Hammering in the gingerbread house provides another outlet for the children's imagination.
The children extend the learning and hammer the ABC blocks after spelling their names!!

How do 3 and 4 year old children vote for their favorite name for our fish? We brain stormed a list of names. The teachers narrowed it down to four. I placed the four names on chairs in different locations in the classroom. I read the names and the children walked to the location to cast their vote. The children decided to call the tetra fish in our classroom tank "Ziggy" and "Zachary!"

We decorated bags for our parents' gifts by glue washing tissue paper and adding glitter.
Decorating paper gingerbread girls and boys was a center time activity. They now adorn the bulletin boards. Please stop by to see their creativity.

Ms. O'Mullane was our mystery reader on Thursday. She read Snowmen at Night by Carolyn Buehner.
We love to build learning that a tall building needs a strong foundation!
We walked to the Athletic center to deliver the presents for our families.We
want to thank you for your overwhelming generosity!! Taking the presents to the distribution center helps the children to begin to learn about the process of giving to others that are less fortunate.

Our theme for exploring was celebrating Hanukkah! For snack, we grated potatoes for potato latkes!! MmMm good! Mrs. Gootson read The Chanukkah Guest by Eric Kimmel. This is a delightful story of an old grandmother, Bubba, making latkes for an old bear which she thought was the Rabbi! We played with a menorah, completed dreidel puzzles, and practiced spinning a variety of dreidels. Decorating a six pointed star by doing rock and roll painting was another exploring activity. Lastly, we created holiday headbands by coloring a variety of holiday symbols including dreidels, trees, bells, reindeer, menorahs, gingerbread boys, and so much more!
Dates to Remember: 

Wednesday - December 14 - Walk to Winston Park Condos to sing for our neighbors!!
Friday - December 16 - Holiday Sing for Parents - Janet Root Theatre - 8:30
Friday - December 16 - Holiday Party - 9:45
Tuesday - January 3 - Classes resume
Wednesday - January 11 - Field Trip to Fire Station - Please email us or write a note if you would like to help with this field trip.
Friday - January 27 - Grandparents & Special Friends Day - The children will sing  for their grandparents and give them a tour of our classroom and the school.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Holidays Traditions, Gift Drive, and Surprises!!

We started the week by reading Franklin's Christmas Gift by Paulette Bourgeois. This book helps the children begin to grasp the gift drive process and how important it is to help the needy.

Mr. Williams volunteered at the stars center  by encouraging the children to glue stars onto stars with control using "little dots of glue, whooo!"

We created holiday surprises for our Moms and Dads!
Decorating paper with shaving cream, watercolor, and a scraper was so fascinating as we watched the color transfer from the shaving cream to the paper.

STEP ! : Spread shaving cream on a tray.

STEP 2: Drop watercolor onto the shaving cream using medicine droppers.

STEP 3: Mix colors by "bunny hopping" a scraper in the colored shaving cream.

STEP 4: Print paper onto the shaving cream and scrape it off onto the table.
(Yes, there is a yellow scraper in this boy's hands)
Viola, you have beautiful paper that we will use for cards and stars.

The exploratorium loft has been transformed into a gingerbread house where the children  can "hammer" blocks in the workshop.

Mrs. Smay celebrated Jan Brett's birthday on Thursday, December 1st, by showing us a variety of books that she has authored. She chose to read Gingerbread Baby!
Then we headed to the exploratorium to mix Gingerbread dough!

We rolled out the dough and used cookie cutters to make a variety of shapes.

The themes for exploring on Friday were holiday traditions and mixing blue and yellow.

Decorating the gingerbread cookies with icing and a variety of sprinkles was our snack!!

Creating jinglebell necklaces give the children opportunities to practice their fine motor coordination.
We will wear these necklaces when we sing at the Winston Park condos next week and for the parents on Friday at 8:30 in the JR Theatre.

Singing and playing musical instruments with Mrs. McIvor celebrate the season!

Yellow + Blue = Green

Dates to Remember:
Friday December 9th - Holiday Gift Drive ends
Friday December 16th - 8:30 - Sing for parents in the Janet Root Theatre. Please drop your child off in car line and go and get a seat in the theatre.
              9:45 - Holiday Party PLEASE SEND IN YOUR CHILD'S YELLOW BAG ON THE 16TH
Please return the Grandparents Day form. If you need another, just email me or write me a note.