A quick post while the kids are playing in P.E. I hope your children shared with you that on Friday we had our first art class! I put the word “Art” on our schedule for the first time this year, and many children had the same question – “What’s Art?” They were thrilled to learn that for five weeks we are getting a special class in the Art Room taught by one of our own classroom parents, Mrs. Allison Jason. Allison is not only going to be doing art with Kindergarten, but for all K-2 classes. Yea! What a great holiday treat! Art work from Friday’s class will be coming home in the backpacks tonight.
Just a quick post to highlight the projects and activities we have been working on this past week. We have read several versions of the classic story, The Gingerbread Man. Children have been making “text to text connections” between the stories as well as a writing piece with the question, “What would you run away from?” during plan board time (which is center time, more on that in a later post.)
Catch Us If You Can!
We made several art projects to go with this theme during the holiday season. Last week each child “sewed” their own gingerbread man and decorated them. Then this week we transformed our classroom door into a gingerbread house! Children created candies and other goodies to decorate the door. What fun! Thanks to our Thursday mom helpers for all their DIY decorating and putting together of our house door! We will be seeing our 6th grade buddies tomorrow and give them a special holiday gift we made for them.
We also hit another milestone this week in our Kindergarten year – day 70 of school. It’s hard to believe that 100th Day (Ms. Purdin’s favorite Kindergarten holiday) will be here before we know it! They are all changing and growing and learning so much – I hope you are noticing this at home as well.
Our Gingerbread Doorway
On Friday afternoon, my good friend and fellow early childhood educator got together for a little fun and holiday shopping at the North Shore Mall. While we were there, we happened upon the coolest new store that made me think of my students and their families. It’s called Marbles The Brain Store. It’s located in the “new hallway” in the mall. It is really neat because it is full of games and activities that stimulate brain development, teach critical thinking skills, logic and improve memory. I wanted to mention this in a post since lately we have been putting out games at choice time and the children are really enjoying classics such as Chutes and Ladders, Checkers, Connect Four and Dominoes. This store takes many classic games and refreshes then in new and unique ways. There are games for young children, games appropriate for families to play together and of course, games difficult enough to challenge the most inquisitive adults! I love a good game night, don’t you?
On Friday, I wasn’t in school because I attended the Massachusetts Teachers Association’s Just for New Teachers Conference. The conference sponsored by the MTA’s New Member Committee, which I was appointed to this fall. It is comprised of teachers from around our state who are in their first 10 years of teaching. We had 200 new teachers within their first four years attend this year. At the conference, I helped to facilitate some of the courses. One course I helped out in was called, “Keep them Engaged….all of the time!” This is certainly a tall order at this time of year, when so much is going on in a child’s life – whether it’s family gatherings, special outings, or just the mention of the man in the red suit. As adults we are trying to get everything done, and it can be a joyful but stressful time. I am planning many fun learning experiences for our class over the next three weeks that I think will keep them engaged!
This week, we will begin our study of The Gingerbread Man. I use this story to teach important comprehension skills such as retelling, and how to compare and contrast different versions of this beloved story. Of course, there will be some art and writing components as well.
Other plans include going to the Jesmond Nursing Home to sing holiday songs to the residents (date TBA) and the Tanglewood Marionettes will be coming to do a show for the lower grades on Dec. 21.
See you at conferences on Tuesday and Wednesday!