Saturday, March 4, 2017

Mrs. C. and Mrs. Walsh Seager 3's March 3rd

            What a difference a week makes. Light sweatshirts one week and winter attire the next.

During the  last week of February, we talked about hibernation and animal skin structures.  Even though the temperature was in the upper 50’s, we all pretended we were hibernating.  Hibernating animals get their nest or dens ready, fatten themselves up and put on an extra layer of fur.  Our class put up a tent, wore their pajamas, brought a stuffed pet from home and mixed up a batch of pancakes to enjoy at snack time.  During our first circle they introduced their stuffed pet to their classmates and at the end of the day did some dancing with our pets.

In our den
Reading with our pets
Taking turns measuring and mixing pancakes

There were animal pelts, snake skins, a tortoise shell and bird nests in the science center .  The children compared and measured the pelts and observed the delicate design of the snake skins.  They used tweezers to count and place tiny eggs in the bird nests.

Observing animal skins
Smelling the skunk
At the writing center they practiced making the letter E on dry erase boards.   We read the story Elmer The Patchwork Elephant. The children dot painted their own colorful elephants.  The lacing beads provided some fine motor work and letter recognition.

In the sensory table, the children worked on matching letters using plastic eggs halves.  They worked on cutting straight lines and painted at the easel.

Matching egg halves

The second week, we expanded on the children’s love for building. A variety of different building materials were stationed around the room, not just in the block area. Large and small wood blocks, cardboard blocks, magnetic tiles and playstix.  We offered the children, pictures of famous structures, such as The White House, Willis Tower, The Golden Gate Bridge, an old train tunnel and The Pyramids. We added clipboards, rulers, flat carpenter pencils, measuring tapes and levels. We talked about the job of an architect.  First they think up a design and then put their designs on paper.  We showed them how to use a level to see if their structures were balanced, and they really liked using the “flat” pencils to draw straight lines.  Those flat pencils fit nice behind their ears and in their pants pockets! We challenged the children to build bridges out of small blocks, cups and popsicle sticks.

I built the Willis Tower

                                                                  Castles and bridges

So many things can be explored during block play. While building with blocks the children work a variety of math standards; learning about shapes, balance measurement and spatial relationships. They experience the engineering principals of gravity and stability. The children work on their language and literacy by building their vocabulary, communicating their ideas, and using writing supplies to document their ideas. Art also comes into play. They use their imaginations to draw designs and build three dimensional structures.   Social skills are really put to the test, working on cooperation, perseverance, logical reasoning, and problem solving. Children learn by making mistakes and learning what to try differently next time.

We began March by celebrating Dr. Seuss. We read  10 Apples Up On Top and One Fish, Two Fish.  The children filled their paper fishbowl with hand print fish and added silly eyes.   They stamped red apples on tall apple tree hats.  We put  out Oobleck, from  the Dr. Seuss book, Bartholomew And The Oobleck. as a fun sensory experience.  Oobleck is made from corn starch and water. It makes a substance that resembles quick sand.  It has the properties of a solid and a liquid at the same time. You can slowly dip your hand into it like a liquid, but you can also squeeze it into a solid ball.  

Dates to remember:

March 23rd spring tea

No school March 28- spring break starts and school resumes April 4th.

                                          Read an extra book or two this weekend!
                                                         Mrs.C. and Mrs. Walsh