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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Happy Parents Week!!

The children love to use their imaginations as they build with blocks. This gives them an avenue for their creativity and an opportunity to develop vocabulary and language skills!

I spoke about the children's love of music on Parents Day and here they are making musical instruments from recycled items and singing into the OJ microphone!!

This boy creates with magnet shapes!

Building with a vast assortment of blocks gives the children opportunities to THINK, plan, develop, build, communicate, and negotiate!!

On Tuesday in conjunction with our discussions about REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLING, we tried to eliminate garbage by having a "TRASHLESS LUNCH!"


On Wednesday, we looked at the amount of garbage from Tuesday's lunch and found that we had only thrown away several milk & juice containers. We want to thank the parents for using reusable containers!! BRAVO! It takes extra time to think about what to purchase for your child to eat and how to send it to school. The lessons you are teaching your children are invaluable!!


We visited Dr. Levitt's dental office where he showed us how to brush and floss our teeth. He talked about importance of getting rid of the plack. Dr Levitt let us feel the air and water that he uses. We watched in awe as "Mr. Thirsty" drank a whole glass of water!!


The children filled insect-stamped gift bags with treasures they had created for their parents! 
They found their bag and opened it up themselves!
 The children placed a bookmark they had created into the bag!

The children rolled up their hand print flower banner and added that!

Next, the children added cards to the bags!
On Thursday, Mrs. Smay read us a book entitled, Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Rosenthal. This is delightful book that teaches the children to look closely. One of the narrators in the story thinks the illustration looks like a rabbit, while the other think it looks like a duck!!

After the children chose books, Mrs. Hensler's third graders read their books to them!!
On Friday singing for our parents was so exciting!! 

We had a mini-exploring after the Parents Day celebration!
Painting, puzzles, hammering, and printing with insect stampers were just some of the activities!
Ms. Fenech and I would like to thank the parents that attended the festivities on Friday and those that were with us in spirit. It is evident that the time you take with your children each day shines through in their growth in so many ways!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Celebrate the Arts Week!! 4/16 ~ 4/20

Some of the cast from The Sound of Music visited the Lower Division Morning Meeting on Monday. We listened to one of the songs from the show!!
After a quick snack, we listened to some delightful blue grass music. The Fantastic Fish have a natural sense of rhythm and they could be observed tapping their knees and clapping their hands! This lively music was enjoyed by all!
This student brought a grasshopper for sharing!
 

We decorated napkins for our trashless lunch on Tuesday, 4/24 using insect stampers and paint.

We celebrated a 4th birthday by sharing the birthday book and eating a healthy snack!!

We listened to two story tellers on Wednesday who used Spanish and humor to tell their stories!


CATERPILLAR UPDATE: We have had 3 caterpillars disappear from the classroom plants. Have they been eaten by an insect or a lizard? What do you think? One caterpillar was in the process of spinning the thread to attach to a leaf and it never developed. We were lucky enough to observe the emerging butterfly from the transparent chrysalis in Mrs. Mundell's classroom one day at lunch time!!

After seeing the butterfly chrysalis in Mrs. Mundell's class, the children placed their pompom caterpillar inside a TP tube and wrapped yarn around to create a chrysalis. We will place these back on our classroom tree.




The children have been working very hard to create surprises for you for Parents' Day!!



 One of our favorite manipulatives is the gears set, which gives the children an opportunity to mesh the gears together and shows them how one interlocks into the next and moves it.
On Friday, we went to two mini-sessions with Mrs. Mundell's class. The first was with Ms. Colleen who gave us scarves to dance to music with, and played musical instruments with, and pretended to be a variety of animals!


 Next, we pretended to be actors with Ms. Katie and "drove" cars, molded imaginary clay into something, and traveled to Alaska and back!


The children sang to the EC and LD parents and we all enjoyed a picnic lunch!!

DATES TO REMEMBER:
Tuesday 4/24 TRASHLESS LUNCH - please send all lunch items in containers. Caprisun drinks are fine because we recycle these pouches. If you order a school lunch, please send in a plastic plate, fork, and spoon. We will use the cloth napkins that the children decorated.
April 25 - Field trip to Dr. Levitt's Dental office
April 27 - Parents Day - Student Activity Center - 8:30. We will be done with festivities in the classroom by approximately 9:30 and we will have a mini-exploring after some time on the playground at approximately 10:30!
May 10 - Field Trip to the St. Pete Pier Aquarium
May - 25 - End of the Year Party - Exploring Schedule - 9:00 playground - 10:00 Party
May 30 - Last Day of School - Noon Dismissal

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fish Tales 4/6 ~ 4/13

This student was the "Principal for the Day" and filled those delightful shoes of our Lower Division Head, Dr. Bianco! One of her duties is to read to children. On Monday, she read Old Hat, New Hat by Stan Berenstain and led a discussion about opposites!!



Creating at the art center using Eric Carle paper was a favorite center time activity!




Creativity is encouraged in all areas of play. This boy used our stepping stones to support a hoola hoop to use as a target in his throwing game!


Floor puzzles provide opportunities for the children to practice their eye-hand coordination and spatial relationships. This particular puzzle is jars of bugs with corresponding numbers, which gave the students a chance to practice their counting to 20 and numeral identification!

Painting with cotton ear swabs and water color gave the children the opportunity to use a different tool and art medium.
 
Building in the exploratorium provides avenues for the children to create, collaborate, and converse. Building gives the children opportunities to take risks, solve problems, and discover!! These children created a '"walking stick" insect!!



Mrs. Smay read us a REAL story about a lion, Christain, the Hugging Lion!
Two men bought the lion at Harrod's in London and kept it until it was too large for their "flat."
They took it to a game preserve in Africa where it was taught to fend for itself. A year later, they went back to visit the lion. And after searching for awhile they found the lion and he came up and hugged the two men again!! Mrs. Smay spoke about how we do not approach wild animals and how unusual this story is!!

These children did a morning greeting with each other on Wednesday. They said hello, shook right hands, and asked their partner a question!

 We have been observing a web cam that is monitoring an eagle nest in Decorah, Iowa. This girl notices the adult eagles have flown from the nest. Go to Mother Nature Network to watch!! There are 3 eaglets in the nest.

DATES TO REMEMBER:
April 16 ~ 21 Celebrate the Arts
         ~ 19 - 21 Upper Division Production, Sound of Music, tickets available 4/16
         ~ 20 - 11:00 a.m. - The EC students and LD children will sing in the LD            Quad followed by a family picnic for lunch
April 23 - School is closed for the day
April 25 - Field trip to Dr. Levitt's Dental office
April 27 - Parents Day - Student Activity Center - 8:30. We will be done with festivities in the classroom by approximately 9:30 and we will have a mini-exploring after some time on the playground at approximately 10:30!
May 10 - Field Trip to the St. Pete Pier Aquarium
May - 25 - End of the Year Party - Exploring Schedule - 9:00 playground - 10:00 Party
May 30 - Last Day of School - Noon Dismissal