4/5s Classroom Newsletter
Week of September 21, 2015
As many of you may have already heard, we will be welcoming a new friend to our classroom this week. The children thoroughly enjoyed working on a “Welcome!” sign which proudly hangs in our classroom. They all shared something they want our new friend to know about our classroom and they all made a point of helping to decorate the sign.
Another first for this week was that we held our first “Town Meeting.” Town Meeting is an all-school gathering that will happen every Wednesday morning at 9:00. During each town meeting we will sing a gathering song, welcome any visitors, enjoy a share activity, listen to any announcements, and end with a goodbye song. This week we sang “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” in round, looked closely as the 5/6s and 6/7s shared their paintings, wished two children a “Happy Birthday!”, and ended with the song, “Adios Amigos.” Each classroom will have an opportunity to host Town Meeting and will be responsible for choosing gathering and closing songs and checking in with other classrooms to see who has something to share. As the youngest group, we will have several weeks to watch the older kids before we get the exciting job of hosting.
In the classroom, some children made creations out of pieces of card stock paper, stickers, and glue. There were tall creations, creations with layers of paper, and even 3-D creations. As we had just read a book about airplanes, many of these creations were in fact Superjumbo jets.
I have learned that, in general, this is a group that likes the feel of things on their skin. Our first experience with stamps and stamp pads turned into an exploration of how the ink feels on a fingertip and then on the palm of the hand. I think there were more fingerprint and handprint stamps on the paper than dinosaurs! In other past painting experiences, paint inevitably has gotten all over hands. Knowing this, I told the kids it was fine to paint on their skin. Many had paint all the way up to their shirt sleeves! That was quite a clean up for me, but such a satisfying experience for the children. Some paint managed to make its way onto the mural paper, the product of which hangs above our pretend play area.
During other times of the week, children made cap pictures, built towers and houses out of magnatiles, and played with blocks.
Some children like to make piles of blocks, others like to see how many smaller blocks fit on a larger block, and others like to create an outline and fill in the space. Another popular activity this week was gears.
Not only was it a good fine motor activity, but the children loved experimenting with how to put the gears on the boards, how to connect them, and how turning one gear could make all the other gears turn as well. Again, it was fascinating to watch how the children used this material. Some built one line of gears, some built two or three complete layers of gears, and still others built vertically with their gears.
Meeting times were full of songs and stories. We sang “Going for a ride in my _______,” where we rode in different vehicles and imitated the sounds they make, and “Little Red Wagon” where we used different tools to fix the wagon. “Tommy Thumb” and “Where is Thumbkin?” were also popular but challenging finger plays. Isolating fingers is harder than one may think, but by the end of the week many children had figured it out! Some of the books we read included Clap Your Hands and Down By the Station. The children had great fun noticing the various characters driving different types of vehicles.
We were also very busy outside. They were airplanes on the swings, took turns racing up and down the slides, and did lots of digging in the sandbox.
The children took turns being wheelbarrows, where they walked on their hands while I held their feet. Some found this to be easy, while most found it to be quite challenging and could only go a few steps.
The big blocks were once again kitty houses, balance beams, and package delivery trucks. I’m amazed by how they can pull their bodies up a very steep incline in order to get on the tallest of the blocks. They also discovered the challenge and joy of swinging from the hanging tree.
Later in the week, we went for a nature walk around the school property. The children collected various items including leaves of differing colors, sizes and shapes, flowers, twigs, and cattails. This was an activity enjoyed by all, and one which we will do many times throughout the year. What a great way to study our surroundings and to notice the changes that take place throughout the year!