Monday, November 6, 2017

Happy Halloween and Welcome to November!

Turkey feathers due Wednesday, 11/8!
We finally made it! Preschoolers in L54 had been anticipating "Costume Day" since the beginning of the month. On Halloween, children excitedly arrived to the classroom dressed up. It was heart-warming to watch them interact in such a kind way; I was impressed with how the children greeted each other with compliments such as "I like your costume!" and "You look great!".

Scarlett, Anderson, Charlie
Arke
Wonder Women!
Maren and her mom
Sabrina, Maren, Charlie
Sam, Arke, Finn, Max, Dobby
Sylvia and Greta
London


The excitement continued as we watched, and then joined, the Lower School parade that led into Anderson Gym. Mrs. Bailey, Mrs. Preissing, and Mrs. Wright led us in a sing-along of spooky songs the children have been practicing in music class all month with Mrs. Mazion.

                                                              Zander and Arke waiting for the parade to start!
Despite needing to eat our partly-frozen yogurt treat in bowls with spoons, our classroom party was a success (we were able to use that experience to practice RESILIENCY, our C.A.R.E. theme for the month). Children played "Halloween Twister" and "Pin the Smile on the Skeleton" (the favorite game by far!). 

Halloween Twister!
Dobby, Greta, Max, London
Sabrina

Max

Prior to Halloween, all preschool students spent time planning for and then creating individual haunted houses that they then arranged into a haunted village for all Lower School students to view. The process involved Room L54 students viewing a variety of kid-appropriate images of haunted houses. We brainstormed a list of characteristics that were the same in the images; children agreed that all of the houses were black and had lots of glowing yellow windows, creaky porches, "slanty" roofs, and spooky creatures like ghosts, bats, and black cats lurking around. 

Upon entering the project room, students were introduced to the variety of materials that could be used for haunted house construction...boxes, toilet and paper towel tubes, packing foam, milk jugs, popsicle sticks, etc. Children excitedly created individual plans for their houses by making a materials list and constructing a plan. Then we got to work building and painting. The decorating happened the next day!

Finn

Anderson

Sam

Max

Laila
Greta and Sylvia

Sabrina

Scarlett

London

Zander


Our Haunted Village!

Our Haunted Village!
Our investigation of the pumpkin ended today with L54 students completing our counting of our pumpkin seeds (570 altogether!). Using ten-frames, students used skills of one-to-one correspondence up to ten. Higher level thinking challenges included counting by fives and tens as well as the concept of place value. 

We used ideas from the book How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin as our guide...

Arke and Dobby

Max

London

"Scooping the goop" was not a favorite activity for all, but allowed for a fantastic sensory experience. Sensory play includes any activity that stimulates a child's senses: touch, smell, taste, movement, balance, sight and hearing. Sensory activities facilitate exploration and naturally encourage children to use scientific processes while they play, create, investigate and explore. Sensory experiences, like playing with play dough, scooping sand or dry corn out of our sand table, AND scooping the goop out of a pumpkin, for example, allows children to use their senses creatively in order to make sense of the materials in their own way, at their own pace.

Laila

Scarlett

Charlie and Arke

Maren, Anderson, Charlie, Mr. Ginsberg


Room L54 scientists have been studying the life cycle of the pumpkin. With the help of picture book read alouds such as It's Pumpkin Time by Zoe Hall, we learned that there are certain stages that occur between when a seed is planted and the orange pumpkin is ready to be harvested. 





After spending time sequencing the life cycle stages, our class traveled to Ms. Thorne's classroom, where her second graders' pumpkin plants have growing since the end of September. We were able to examine the seed and vine leaves of a pumpkin, a green pumpkin, and several yellow flowers. We also learned a bit about pollinators, like bees, and how they help plants by carrying pollen from one plant to another. 
Ms. Thorne shared cuttings of her class' plants with us



Maren and Sam

Sam, investigating a leaf

Sylvia

Scarlett, Anderson

Max investigates what's left of a flower.

Finn shows off his vine leaf!
L54 students are already awaiting the first sprouts from their own planted pumpkin seeds, which are in our Grow Lab. 
Charlie
Zander

Maren
Sabrina


Dobby

Laila

 Students continue practicing academic skills throughout our day. We start our day by practicing our names in a variety of ways. Children recognize their names on their name rocks as they walk in the door in the morning and then move to the sign-in chart to practice spelling and writing their names (still challenging skills to many of our learners!). 


Learning names is the springboard for literacy learning in preschool! Children’s names are the most important words to them, and learning them leads to all other types of learning. With repeated exposure and practice recognizing their own and each other’s names, the children begin to identify letters, spell their own names, and finally write their own names. Practice recognizing, spelling and writing those names in a variety of creative and playful ways is important for preschoolers!
Sign-in Rocks


Greta
Dobby

Zander


Charlie

You'll find this month's name activity outside of our door...
Students have another chance at Morning Meeting to look for and recognize their own names and the names of others when we read and answer our daily question as well as play name games and sing name songs. 
Our Daily Question allows us to practice all Room L54 names!
Center Time/Quiet Explore is the time in our classroom right after lunch when we break up into groups of 3-4 to practice in a fun and playful way preschool skills in the areas of literacy and mathematics. A favorite addition to our centers has been the iPads, on which students have been practicing forming both upper- and lowercase letters and numbers. 
Max
Arke
London
Anderson

Greta

Dobby

Sabrina

Sylvia

Finn

Charlie

Laila and Max
Charlie
Maren
Scarlett
Sabrina
Greta


We are excited about the upcoming visit from Minneapolis author and illustrator, Nancy Carlson, who will be here on Friday. Nancy will read from her published collection (https://nancycarlson.com/) as well as draw for the students. We have talked much as a class about the jobs authors and illustrators have. Through a Helen Lester (https://www.helenlester.com/) author study, Room L54 students learned how to identify the main and "helper" characters in a story. 

This week, we will read quite a few of Nancy's books in preparation for her visit and expand our reading repertoire; students will learn ways to identify the setting of a story. We will also compare the stories' characters, settings, and illustrations to look for similarities and differences. Hopefully, our discussions will lead to wonderings about Nancy's work that we can share with her on Friday.

Dates to Remember:
  • 11/8    Turkey Feather Due
  • 11/10  Book Orders Due, Nancy Carlson Visit
  • 11/13  Guest Teacher for Ms. Schoenborn
  • 11/23  Grandparents' Day (watch for more info)
  • 11/24,25  Thanksgiving Holiday