Happy February!! The winter weather has defiantly hit Naperville!! Although it is cold outside, it is warm and sunny inside our classroom!! The children have been busy experimenting and creating together. Oh my, how they have changed since the beginning of the school year. They are so at ease within the classroom, their confidence is soaring and friendships are blooming.
Forming a curvy line!!
Over the past two weeks we have been discussing cold weather, snow, clothing we wear and the wonderful activities the winter brings. In language arts, we have been working very hard on recognizing uppercase and lowercase letters/sounds. During circle time we talked about how these letters appear and the sounds they make. We also brainstormed on all the words we could think of that began with these letters. We have also been working hard on improving our fine motor and pre- writing skills by tracing straight, curvy and zig zag lines. An activity that the children enjoyed was using one of their fingers to create the first letter of their name in shaving cream. What fun!! Look out moms and dads, we will be soon writing our names all by ourselves!! We also discussed what opposites are and we spent some time working on a puzzle in which the children had to match pictures of two opposites. For example, on one puzzle piece there was a picture of a jar which was full; they then needed to look for the puzzle piece which portrayed an empty jar. It was a fun activity that was enjoyed by many of the children. Letters I and W were introduced to the children. We worked daily on the sounds these special letters make and words that began with these letters. Some of the words the children thought of were: it, is, ice cream, icicle, inside, itchy, wet, wiggle, we and wow. During a small group activity the children played a game called Ice Skating Peek-a-boo. Each ice skate card had an uppercase letter on it. The children were asked to close their eyes. When their eyes were closed, a snowflake was hidden under an ice skate card. When they opened their eyes, they took turns guessing under which letter the snowflake was hidden. They needed to share what the letter name was and the sound it makes. Such a fun and engaging activity to help the children work on letter/sound recognition, taking turns, waiting patiently and following directions. The children did not want the game to end. A favorite winter activity of the children was also discussed during a small group activity. They took turns sharing their favorite winter activity and a special memory that correlated with their activity. Many of their stories included going sledding with a special family member and creating a snowman. One little girl shared that her favorite activity that involved winter was making/drinking hot chocolate with her mom. So sweet! Another little boy shared that he doesn’t like going out in the snow because it takes way too long to put on his snow clothes and when his snow clothes are on, he can’t move in the snow the way he would like because he is “stuffed into the snow pants”. I love the stories they share. When they are sharing the stories their faces light up and their little voices get higher and higher with excitement! We have also started show-n-tell in our room. It’s a wonderful opportunity to have the children strengthen their language skills and confidence in a large group setting. They have been doing such a great job sharing and describing what makes their item special.
Creating the shape of letter "I" using cheerios
Under which letter is the snowflake hidden?
Creating letters in shaving cream
In math we worked on estimating, connecting numbers to quantities and ordering/sorting objects. An activity that the children liked was playing a game called Feed Mr. Snowman. During small group the children took turns rolling a die. After rolling the die, they then had to count how many black dots were on the die. Then they fed Mr. Snowman the correct amount of snowballs (cotton balls). It was so exciting to see them learning and enjoying the game. The children also had fun working with an enrichment called Ice Cream Number Match. Ice cream cones with chocolate chips were spread out on the table. The children needed to count how many chocolate chips each cone had and then find the correct numeral to correlate with the cone. This helped the children work on one-to-one correspondence. Throughout the weeks the children also appreciated puzzles, putting snowflake cards in order from 1 to 10 and taking part in estimating how many snowballs (cotton balls) were in a container. We also worked on shape recognition, the number of sides on each shape has, if the sides are all the same length and what is similar/different about each shape.
Let's see...how many sides does a rectangle have?
We wish we were counting real chocolate chips in ice cream!
We experimented with creating our very own snow in science. During small group we mixed baking soda and hair conditioner to form “beautiful white snow”. We used our sense of sight, touch and smell to take part in this experiment. Many of the children sat for a lengthy period of time creating and talking about how the “snow” felt. We also discussed the changes in the weather/nature compared to when we first began school. How are the trees different now, then when we first began school? The sky? What animals do you see? We also discussed/observed how salt affects ice. Ice cubes were put into two separate clear cups. In one cup, salt was sprinkled on the ice. The other cup was not manipulated. The children were asked to predict what would happen in each cup. Which ice cup would melt faster/slower? When mom’s and dad’s pour salt on the ice outside what chemical reaction might occur? A few children predicted that when the salt touched the ice cubes, the ice cubes would explode. Other children thought that when the salt touched the ice, the ice would begin to melt. Some little ones thought that the cup that was not manipulated would melt faster. As the experiment continued many of the children noticed that in the cup with ice/salt, the ice cubes were sticking together and that a thin layer of frost was forming on the outside of the cup. At the end of the experiment everyone agreed that when salt is added to ice, it helps the ice dissolve.
What will happen when the salt is added to the ice?
How does the "snow" look, smell and feel?
In art we put our fine motor skills to work creating snowballs by cutting out circles from white paper. The children also used their communication skills/vocabulary to describe snowballs/snow. Using scissors properly is challenging for many children. Please keep your junk mail so the children can practice. It’s not important that they can cut on a straight line but what is important is learning how to hold the scissors properly and the stability of their wrist as they cut. They also created unique pictures by using ice paint and snow paint. Sometimes the children’s most valuable and enjoyable work is done when they are sitting down at the table creating all by themselves, no directions and no samples to view. Please make sure to take a few moments to view our Favorite Winter Activity Class Book. It is located just outside our door, next to our calendar.
Creating a page in Favorite Winter Activity Book
Working on fine motor skills
Over the past two weeks, the children have been enjoying experimenting with different items in the sensory tub. They particularly enjoyed using the measuring cups to experiment with water and using cotton balls to create a big fluffy snowman. We also added our fake snow to the tub. The children were delighted. We mixed 2 ½ cup of baking soda and one half cup hair conditioner to form the snow. Who says you need real snow to have fun!
During our gross motor time we used our bodies to act out how a snowflake gently glides down to the ground when it is lightly slowing and when there is a blizzard outside. We also had some fun ice skating. Using two pieces of wax paper under our feet we “ice skated” in our classroom. What a fun activity it was! There is a new addition to our Gross Motor Room, we now have basketball hoops. Oh how the children have been enjoying them. Future MBA athletes in the making!
Please go in...please go in!!
Ice skating is so much fun
Thank you to all of the families for saving toilet paper/paper towel rolls, water bottle caps and grocery sale paper ads. Your donations are greatly appreciated!
Have a fun and relaxing weekend!
Ms. Sandy & Mrs. Denise
Feb 14th No School- Teacher Institute Day
Feb 20th No School- President’s Day