Friday, March 3, 2017

Ms. Denise and Ms. Sandy MWF 3's Plus at RCC

Happy March Preschool Families!  The months seem to fly by so fast.  We have been busy working on our fine motor skills as well as writing our names, counting objects, number recognition, measuring items using a nonstandard form, estimation, letter identification and letter sounds.  We are having so much fun learning and the children, Ms. Denise and I are enjoying every single minute. The past two weeks we have been discussing friendship and the wonderful pets in our lives.   Look out parents, if you don’t already have a pet, your little one may soon be talking you into a new addition for your family!

Giving pet dinosaurs a bubble bath

In language arts the children learned a new song, “Friends, Friends, 1, 2, 3”.  See if your child can teach it to you.  They are such wonderful singers.  They have been working very hard on using their eye-hand coordination to trace and write their names.  This takes patience and plenty of practice.  The children were introduced to the letters C and D and the sounds these special letters make. We also came up with words which begin with letters C and D; cat, cup, cookie, caring, dinosaur, donut, dinner, dog and dad were some of their fabulous brainstorming words. To help aid in the formation of these special letters, the children used dot art to create these letters. During a small group activity the children needed to identify what letter their name began with.  Next, they glued yellow hearts to their letter.  During this time, we discussed what sound the first letter of their name sounded like as well as coming up with words which also began with their special letter.  We then wrote the words which began with their letter on their yellow hearts and we said all of the words together.  We had so much fun working on the many different skills and we didn’t want this small group time to come to an end.  Another fun activity that the children enjoyed was molding playdough to create letters of the alphabet. For this activity they needed to follow multi step directions, use good eye-hand coordination and have nice control of their fine motor movement.  The children had an opportunity to listen to two beautiful stories about fish, Rainbow Fish written by Marcus Pfister and Swimmy written by Leo Lionni.  Rainbow Fish is about a beautiful fish that learns the meaning of sharing and having the gift of friendship.   Swimmy is a delightful little fish that teaches the other fish about believing in themselves and the power of trust in teamwork.  After listening to both stories they shared what the two stories had in common and how they were different.  Many of the children enjoyed listening to these two meaningful and beautifully written stories. 

Creating letter C using dot art.  What words begin with letter C?

Increasing fine motor skills while using play dough to
create letters

I'm forming letter D using dot art.  Let's begins with letter D....

In art the children experimented with paint.  During our first week, the children created fun hearts.  The children received a shirt box, paper cut out of a heart and marbles dipped in paint.  It took great control to move the marble over the paper by moving the box from side to side and wriggling it different ways to help the marble move.  This was so much fun to watch, especially when the marble “jumped” out of the box and “made a run for it”.  To see the children quickly jump from their seats and “hunt” for the runaway marble was such a delight.  They also had the opportunity to paint with a friend using their fingers.  Finger painting has so many developmental, educational and creative benefits and finger painting helps the body and brain integrate information which helps children express their feelings and ideas. Just to have the opportunity to share a piece of paper and paint with a friend was priceless.  The children also created their very own “rainbow pets”.  They were given a piece of white paper, which was folded in half.  They chose different colors to create their fish.  The colors were added in the crease of their paper.  Once the paint was in the crease of their paper and folded over, they gently smoothed the paint by pushing the paint from the crease to the edge of the paper.  When they opened their paper, a beautiful rainbow pet appeared.  Many “Ewwwwwwww’s” and “Ahhhhhh’s could be heard throughout the classroom. Some of their pet creations included a pet tree, fish, butterfly and frog. 

Painting with a special friend is so much fun!

My butterfly is going to fly somewhere very warm

During math the children worked on estimation, 1 to 1 correlation, color/shape recognition and sorting.  Using colored hearts and an empty egg carton the children sorted conversation hearts by color.  A fun activity that the children enjoyed was using colored hearts to measure lengths of stems on heart flowers.  First the children were asked to estimate how many hearts they thought it would take to create the “stem” of a flower.  Next, they used the hearts to create the stem.  Lastly, they counted how many hearts it actually took to create the “stem”.  This was such an enjoyable way for the children to be introduced to a nonstandard form of measurement. The children also liked going “deep sea fishing”.  Each fish that the children “caught” was constructed of a different color.  On one side of the fish was a written number; on the other side of the fish were different shapes.  What a fun activity this was that encompassed color, number and shape recognition.  To further the learning in this activity the children were also asked to find something in the room which had either the same number of sides as the shape on the fish or to find something in the room which was the same shape on the fish within the room.  Fun and learning go hand in hand within our classroom!

Sorting hearts by color

How many hearts do you think it may take to create
the stem of the flower?

I caught a couple fish...yay!!!!

Over the past two weeks the children have enjoyed observing and participating in two different science experiments.  In one experiment, the children observed what would happen to candy conversation hearts in cups containing cold and warm water.  Ms. Sandy walked around the circle with the candy conversation hearts in her hand. The children took time to use their sense of smell and sight to observe the hearts. They so wanted to use their sense of taste in this experiment, so many of the children shared that the hearts smelled sweet and minty.  Many of the children noticed that letters were written on the hearts too.  While looking at the hearts the children discovered not only did the conversation hearts have words written on them but many of the hearts had symbols as well.  We discussed how a symbol, such as a smiley face, has meaning. We then discussed what they thought would happen to the hearts.  Many children guessed that the hearts in the cold water would grow larger and that the water in the warm cup would change color.  Yet one little boy shared that he thought the candy hearts would break into two pieces. We waited patiently, and we watched with great anticipation to see what really would happen.  We discovered with delight that the conversation hearts in the hot water had changed size, the hearts had shrunk.  We also discovered that the cup containing conversation hearts in warm water smelled sweet and turned slightly cloudy.  Much to the children’s disappointment the hearts held within the cold water did not change size and the water did not smell as “sweet” or “nice” as the cup containing hearts within warm water.  Our second experiment was called, “The Dancing Hearts”.  We used alka seltzer, sparkling water and conversation hearts.  First, the children placed four alka seltzers in a clear bowl.  Next, conversation hearts were placed on top of the alka seltzer.  Finally, we watched with curious eyes as the sparkling water was carefully poured into the bowl.  The children shared that they truly had no idea as to what might occur.  We watched and watched and waited and waited.  Minutes passed by.  Students and teachers sat around a large circle in great disappointment that absolutely nothing had occurred after the seltzer water was poured into the bowl.  In a room of complete silence one little boy spoke and said, “Maybe this experiment is just wrong”.  We discussed for a minute that sometimes experiments don’t always turn out exactly the way you hope or wish for.  Then the most amazing thing occurred, the conversation hearts began to “dance”.  They turned upside-down. The entire class cheered.  Once the cheers of excitement had subsided, we discussed that sometimes we need to wait and be patient for a longer period of time, teachers included.  J  We also experimented with mixing two different colors.  What happens when you mix blue and yellow together?  Or mixing red and white?  Learning is so much fun.
Do you see the hearts "jumping"?  How does the water smell?

In social studies we spoke about what it means to be a responsible pet owner and how we all can be kind and care for animals.  We also shared if we had a pet and what type of pet we had.  Some children shared that they did not have a pet but that they really, really want one.  Many children shared that it’s very important to take good care of our pets and that having a pet is so much fun. We also discussed how a veterinarian can be a community helper and the role they play in helping to keep our pets healthy.  Can you have a tiger, elephant or giraffe as a pet?  Thank goodness the children all said NO!!  We discussed how these animals are wild and how they would not make very good pets.  The children were also asked if they could have a pig as a pet.  They all shook their heads and answered defiantly not. Ms. Sandy shared with them that there is a new breed of miniature pig that actually could be a pet and live with them.  They eyes grew big and their mouths made a perfect O.  For now your safe parents even with this new information no child answered that they wanted a cute little pig as a pet.  J
A special visit from Dr. Miller and her associates

We were also very lucky to have a very special community helper visit our classroom.  Dr. Miller is a dentist practicing in Naperville.  She came with a few associates to talk to the class about how to take proper care of our teeth.  See if your little one can share what a sugar bug is. We greatly appreciated her joining our class for a short time and sharing her passion of healthy teeth with us!

Our castle is going to have six bedrooms!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ms. Sandy & Mrs. Denise

Spring Tea  M/W/F will be on Friday, March 24th
Spring Tea T/Th will be on Thursday, March 23rd