Happy December, Preschool Families! The month of November flew by so fast. The children had fun learning about healthy foods, leaves and being thankful. Many of the children have shared that, since it is the month of December, they are secretly hoping for lots and lots of snow. Let’s hope their wishes in regards to snow don’t come true!
Sharing a hug with a special friend
For the past two weeks the children have been learning about hibernation and penguins. In language arts the children were introduced to the letters H and P and the special sounds these letters make. We made a very special list of words that began with these two sounds and we also used dot art and shaving cream to form these letters. The children continued to work on their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination by working on prewriting skills by using a dry erase marker to trace all types of lines: straight lines, zig zag lines and curvy lines. The development of prewriting skills is so very important to your little one. Prewriting skills incorporate all the skills needed to help your child learn to write. We also worked on holding our dry erase marker appropriately while tracing the curvature of the letters in our names. Each time we practice tracing lines or writing our names, our technique becomes more comfortable and more enjoyable. Ms. Denise and I can hear the excitement in their voices and feelings of accomplishment when, after they are done practicing their names, you will hear, “Look Ms. Sandy/Ms. Denise….look at my name card.” Oh my, if you could only see the smiles on their beautiful faces! We also played a game called Mouse is Hibernating. On the table were different colored houses with letters written on each one. A little mouse was sleeping under a certain house. The children took turns trying to guess under which letter house the mouse was sleeping. Letter recognition/sound, taking turns, listening/following multistep directions and color recognition was incorporated into this fun game. The children had so much fun taking part in it that when it was their time to move to a different activity, groans could be heard! We also used shaving cream to create letters. Our activity started out forming letters, and then it quickly moved to making fun shapes and faces. We read many books that enriched our learning of hibernation and penguins, but one of the children’s favorite books was Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson. The children grew more and more excited with the story as the book was read. As the book was read, the sounds of the hibernating bear came to life for many of the children began creating snoring noises. Too funny!
Using dot art to create letter H
Let's see, is Mr. Mouse sleeping under letter H?
In math the children were introduced to AB patterns using color cubes, shapes and vehicles. With a little help and encouragement, the children quickly caught on to this concept. To help aid in number recognition and one to one correspondence, we played a game called Mr. Bears Cave. During small group time the children used a cave that they created out of a paper bowl. They took turns rolling a dye and then counting the dots on the dye. After counting the dots they were given the same amount in Teddy Graham’s to put inside their cave. Once they had had two turns they were able to count the total number of Teddy Graham’s within their cave and then, to their delight, they were able to eat the Teddy Graham’s. Such an exciting math activity! We also experimented with activities that involved number recognition, meaning and identifying shapes. We used playdough to create numbers, and we put penguin number cards in order from 0 to 10 and from 10 to 0. We also matched cards to form different shapes. Who knew math could bring so much excitement.
Creating AB patterns with friends
Working on 1 to 1 correspondence and number meaning
Matching cards to form shapes. How many sides does a triangle have?
In science we discussed how animals stay warm in the winter and how their environment is different from ours. One way the children were introduced to animals keeping warm was by participating in a “blubber experiment.” Two bowls containing cold water and ice cubes were placed on the table. The children took turns putting one finger in one bowl and another finger surrounded by lard in another bowl. The lard represented “blubber” on an animal. Did the finger with shortening stay warmer longer than the finger that was not covered? The children also used their senses to describe the lard. They shared that the lard felt soft, smelled like butter and was as white as snow. A fun activity that the children enjoyed was matching adult animals to their young. We also discussed the correct names of young animals. For example, an adult cat is called a cat but a young cat is called a kitten. We also used our communication skills to describe how we are alike/different from penguins. One little one said that we are both alike because we eat fish. Another little one shared that penguins do not cook their fish; they eat it uncooked. Our little ones are so very smart! We also took a little time to pretend to be hibernating bears and waddle as a penguin does.
Can you please help me find the mother to this foal
Which finger feels warmer, the finger surrounded in "blubber" or the finger
without anything on it?
Please make sure to look at our unique snowmen bulletin board outside our classroom. The children truly enjoyed creating the snowmen. They loved how the shaving cream and glue felt/smelled as they created the snowmen’s body. Next, they added eyes, arms, a hat, a smile, a nose and of course every snowman needed a heart! J We also began to work on a special project for Family Snow Day. The children painted a terra cotta pot white. On Family Snow Day you will then turn this white pot into something special. Any guesses? During art the children created bear caves using cotton balls, crayons and a paper bowl. Listen carefully when you look at their caves: you just might hear a bear snoring! As we have been learning about hibernating animals, the children had an opportunity to put their artistic skills to work by creating animal habitats. First they choose an animal sticker, and then they placed it on a white piece of paper. Next they used crayons, markers and colored pencils to create their animal’s habitat. Each one was so special. The children also had the opportunity to create a black and white collage using colored paper. First they had to tear the paper into small pieces and then they glued the pieces to a blue piece of paper. Tearing paper is an activity which helps promote the small muscles in their hands to help prepare them for writing. The children made such wonderful masterpieces. One little boy made a snowman’s face while another little girl said she was creating a snowstorm. One little guy sat at the table and asked me, Ms. Sandy, why we needed to tear the paper when we had scissors. I explained to him that we were using a different technique to help build the muscles in his hands. He looked at me with the cutest little smile and said, “Ms. Sandy, my muscles in my hands are so strong. I am strong just like Spiderman.” Too cute!!
How does the shaving cream feel?
Making unique bear caves
Creating black and white collages
In social studies we discussed how we can help others. One little girl said that she could donate the toys that she no longer plays with to other children. Other children added clothing as well. Even though they are small, their hearts are so big and so are their ideas and thoughts.
During gym we played a game called Hibernating Animals. The children would run freely and safely in the gym. When the word “hibernation” was called out, they would quickly and carefully fall to the floor (pretending to be sleeping brown bears). Father Penguin was another game we also played. Each child had the opportunity to place a ball (penguin egg) between their legs. They then had to waddle around the gym, mimicking the father penguin (In class we learned that while the mother penguin hunts for food, the father penguin keeps the egg in between his legs). So much fun!
Thank you to the parents who have spent snack time with us and shared a special book. Having you visit our classroom is such a special treat. We look forward to spending some time with you on Family Snow Day. The children have been working so hard on learning two new songs with finger movements. We are so very proud of their effort.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Ms. Sandy and Mrs. Denise
December 21st - Family Snow Day
December 23rd-January 9th- No School Winter Break