Week of January 4, 2016
We had a terrific first week back at school! The children seemed happy to be back at school, spending time with their friends, playing with familiar toys, and participating in familiar activities. Turns out, coming back to school is hard, tiring work, as there were many nappers this week.
The week was full of revisiting familiar and favorite activities, songs, and books. New purple play dough and different cookie cutters captured their attention each morning.
There are a lot of builders in the group, so they played with duplos, Mobilo car pieces, Magnatiles, pegs, and blocks. Garages for cars were built, as were dino houses, curvy roads, and buildings for workers.
On Friday, there were only two children at school and my goal was for us to create a great big block structure, emptying the shelves of all the blocks. While some of the initial ideas were mine, the children joined in with my building and also created their own structures.
Our walls were looking a little bare, but no longer, as some children did easel painting and they all helped to create a different kind of gingerbread house. They measured and cut out the square base, triangular roof, and rectangular and circular windows. Thus far it is adorned with corn starch packing peanuts and we’ll continue to add to it throughout the upcoming week.
We read the book Leaf Hunt, by Steve Metzger, which was followed by a musical version of “Going on a Bear Hunt,” by The Learning Station. Additional books we read this week included the every popular Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss, If You Give A Moose A Muffin by Laura Joffe Numeroff, and a big favorite this week, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. I’ll have to bring in the sequel Pickles to Pittsburgh and see what they think of that.
The 5/6s, 6/7s, and 7/8/9s utilize a program called Handwriting Without Tears. In anticipation of the 4/5s moving into the 5/6s next year, I have begun using some materials that Handwriting Without Tears has created for preschoolers. At Morning Meeting I introduced some ABC flip cards that have a capital letter on one side and a picture of an animal starting with that letter on the other side. The alphabet is divided up into three groups and when you put the animal sides together, they create animal puzzles. We used the letters A-H this week. The children liked putting together the pieces, looking at the animals and capital letters, and talking about which letters we have in our names. My goal in using these materials is NOT for your children to be able to identify and write every letter of the alphabet. My goal in using these materials IS to familiarize your children with the letters of the alphabet in a fun way.
Perhaps the most exciting part of our week was playing outside in the snow! Before we could even get out into the snow, we all had to gear up. I created a simple sign showing the order in which children should put on their outdoor gear (1. Snowpants 2. Boots 3. Jacket 4. Hat 5. Mittens or Gloves). This sign was extremely helpful for the kids. They referenced it each day and they’ve just about got it down.
Once we did get outside we had great fun! On Monday they slid on their bellies down the hill. On Tuesday, they slid down on sleds. By the end of the week they were trying to find the fastest sled and go the farthest. They also used sticks to draw in the snow. Some drew cool designs while others wrote their names. The colder temperatures early on in the week did not discourage the kids, they were having a blast. We were treated to some warmer temperatures and the beautiful sun shining down on us later in the week. Here are a few pictures from our outdoor adventures.