Friday, April 28, 2017

Ms. Denise and Ms. Sandy T/TH 3's at the RCC

Happy Spring!!!

As the plants and trees are beginning to leaf out and bloom, so are your beautiful, amazing and unique children.  My, how they have grown and changed from our very first day of school.  We are so proud of their growth and the progress they have made.  It’s so hard to believe that in about a month they will be moving on to a new adventure.  We have been busy working hard in our classroom on our number/letter recognition and fine motor skills.  The past two weeks our activities have focused around all the wonderful things that occur in the spring.  We have talked about greenhouses, seeds, plant growth, gardeners, worms, butterflies and their life cycles.   We have been having so much fun while we have been learning and investigating these subjects.
Taking a moment to enjoy sweet friendships!

Searching for bugs in the dirt
In language arts, we have been focusing on how to hold a marker using a pincer grip while tracing/writing our names. The pincer grip involves holding objects between the thumb and the index finger.  Some children have learned this technique quite nicely while others are just beginning to use this grip.  To help promote the muscles needed to write with the pincer grip, we have been giving our fingers quite a workout while participating in various activities.  We also have been using our language skills and memory recall to share our knowledge regarding the types of things that are occurring in nature around us.  We were introduced to the word symmetrical, its meaning and finding items within our classroom that were symmetrical.  One of the children’s favorite books to listen to was The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  This book is about a caterpillar that eats its way through a variety of different foods before pupating and emerging as a butterfly.  We re-enacted the pupal stage and before you knew it, the most unique and stunning butterflies soon began flying around our room.  We also created our own class book, Hungry Caterpillar Book.  Please make sure to peek at it, it is located outside our classroom door.  The children’s illustrations and responses are priceless!

Creating the pupal stage of a caterpillar

Writing our names
Many of the art activities that the children participated in correlated to the language activities and science activities.  We decorated our own colorful greenhouses to hold our special seeds for a science activity.  The children are beginning to branch out and use more than one color to create masterpieces.  We also created a name caterpillar.  First the children wrote/traced the letters of their name on a different plate.  Next, they used paint to add a colorful splash to their caterpillar.  Oh, how they love to paint.  This one little guy was enjoying painting so much that he chose to put layer after layer of paint on one section of the caterpillar, when I asked him if he was ready to move on to painting a different section of the caterpillar he shook his head no.  A huge smile had formed on his face.  As I looked down at his plate I could no longer see the traced letter on the paper plate.  For a moment, I found myself disappointed because I had wanted his parents to see how nicely he had written his name.  The smile on this little guy’s face reminded me that it isn’t the final project that is so important; rather, it’s the process.  😊  The children also had so much fun creating special pictures using markers and stickers.  They truly enjoy taking a blank piece of paper and turning it into a work of art.  Free art entails following no directions, no boundaries, just the opportunity to use their imagination and fine motor skills to bring their thoughts to life.

Creating hungry caterpillars

Creating clouds during free art

During math, we spend some time working on number recognition and understanding the quantity that each number represents.  We used dry erase markers to trace numbers from 1 to 20.  We put our fine motor skills to work by creating numbers using pom poms.  The children used a pillow (cotton ball) to help the pinky and ring fingers sleep.  The cotton ball is placed behind these two fingers to help keep them stationary.  Next, they used their thumb, pointer and middle finger to access the tweezers.  The tweezers were used to pick up the pom poms to create numbers.  Using the “pillow” was a little challenging, but with practice we will soon be experts!  We also looked at different shapes and guessed whether the shape was symmetrical or not.  See if your little one can find some items around the house or outside that are symmetrical.  The children also had an enjoyable time playing shape/color bingo. 

Increasing fine motor activity

Building and sequencing with pegs

In science, we observed how worms move in soil and we discussed how tunnels that worms make help the soil and the environment underground.  No worms escaped, thank goodness!!  We also had a delightful conversation how to plant a seed and what it needs to grow.  We spoke about what a greenhouse is and its role in helping seeds and plants grow.  After we discussed the meaning of a greenhouse, we planted Mr. Lima Bean.  The children took turns wetting/wringing out their paper towels. Next, they unfolded the towels and placed three lima bean seeds in the center.  Finally, very carefully they folded the paper towel into a very small square and then the paper towel square was placed into a ziplock bag.  They were so careful to make sure the seeds were wrapped carefully.  As one little girl was engaging in this process, she turned to me and said, “Ms. Sandy, this is kinda like wrapping a baby in a blanket”.  My heart melted.  The lima bean greenhouses should be placed in a sunny window in your home.  The children were asked to check every day for growth.  Anything magical occurring?
Using a magnifying class to investigate seeds

Investigating live worms

We have been having so much fun playing and experimenting in our gross motor room.  We played Red, Light, Green Light and moving as our favorite animals do.  We also took some time and recreated how a worm moves in the soil.  This was more of Ms. Sandy and Ms. Denise’s speed!!
Moving like a worm

Building an airplane with friends

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Ms. Sandy and Ms. Denise

Important Dates:
May 4th and 5th- Parent/Teacher Conferences
May 22nd and 23rd- Last day of school