Hello 4-Day Families,
This week finally began to feel like spring! The students started the week with an icy, snowy playground that has now transformed into a wonderland of mud, stones and newly discovered tools and toys. It was an exciting week in many ways and the students have begun to settle into the new season and the quickening pace of things that naturally occurs this time of year.
On Monday, although I was not at school, the students had a great morning building rocket ships with different geometric shapes, singing with Miss Katie and learning all about the word "atmosphere" and how having one or not having one makes a big difference to a planet. Monday was also "Mercury Day" and student learned about the closest planet to the sun and what it might be like to travel there. They were also introduced to our "Family of the Sun" song, which we will be adding to each day as we add planets to our bulletin board.
On Tuesday the students began their day together on the blue rug but were quickly dismissed to their free play activities. These activities included galaxy slime play, making sun catchers and playing in our Space Station. Students were also prompted to write about a place in the solar system that they would travel if they could fly their own space ship anywhere in the solar system! Some would choose to travel to Mars while others wanted to check out a nebula up close. We also added Venus to our solar system board and learned a new verse of our song.
On Wednesday the 4-Day Class celebrated the filling of our kindness jar with a very special day. Im not sure if the kids were more excited about wearing their PJ's or the fact that the classroom had been transformed into a darkened space! While using our flashlights we learned how to play space bingo, made some more plastic wrap planets and explored the slime some more. On Wednesday we added our planet, Earth, to our solar system and learned it's song verse. This verse talked about how to keep our Earth healthy by not adding pollution to our environment. This opened up a conversation about what pollution is, what adds pollution to our Earth and what pollution might do to our bodies. We then began the Bill Peet book, The Wump World in which invaders from another planet come to the Wump's world and pollute it so badly that they can't live there. This is a long book so we only read part of it on Wednesday.
Rounding out the week we had a big visit from the Hanover Fire Department. They came in and spoke to us about fire safety and what we would do in case of a fire at school. After a great and age appropriate discussion they pulled the fire alarm so that the students could hear it. The students also practiced lining up in a timely but safe fashion. They all did a wonderful job! We also read some more of the Wump World but didn't get a chance to finish it so we have place a "to be continued" on it until next Monday.
That's all for now...
Hava a great weekend!
Hello 4-Day Families!
It has been a while since I last posted and I apologize for that. With the snow days and in-service I think this was our first full week of school in about a month. It was good to be back into a normal routine and the kids are just loving our space unit. They are really enjoying both the exploration and imagination that go along with it.
We began our space unit on March 14th and in that very short week we got started with some really fun free form art projects. The students finger painted on large sheets and then we cut out both circles and stars to finish off our new dramatic play Space Station. Students also experimented with bubble painting, where we mixed bubble mix with water color paints and then blew bubbles onto paper to form crater-like patterns. Next the children cut the circles out of this paper and glued them on to a black background. The contrast of colored circles and black background really gave the appearance of space.
Books from this short week:
There's No Place Like Space By: Tish Rabe
Mousetronaut By: Astronaut Mark Kelly
Okay so now from this week....
On Monday students finished up their cutting and gluing for their bubble painting and had a chance to add to their draw & write journals. After music with Miss Katie we watched a short youtube video on Nebulas. Here's the link so you can know as much as your children do about these really cool space phenomena: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJVy9P3XSVE
Next, we sat down at the tables together and made jar nebulas. I'm sure you have all seen these by now. They were so fun to make but the most impressive part is that there really are a lot of steps to making theses calming creations and the students did amazingly well following directions and coming away with something really fun to take home. I was very proud of them.
Tuesday began with an intense puzzle building session. We put together a 100 piece space puzzle, as a class, in about 25 minutes! The kids didn't know it had 100 pieces until about half way through the project and then most of them were even more determined to finish it. After this we attempted to make a backdrop for our new solar system bulletin board. The results weren't so great but the students had fun spraying diluted fabric paint onto a large sheet of black felt. We also had a nice discussion about the seasons (because it was the first say of spring) in which we explored how our planet moves through space and how that movement creates our seasons.
On Wednesday we experimented with another painting technique to make some more planets which will become a part of our classroom planet book (hopefully). After looking through our planet cards and deciding which planet to make, some students put globs of paint on a circular piece of paper and then we covered it with plastic wrap. Then came the fun part...they got to use their hands to squish the paint around under the plastic wrap. This created not only a neat feeling but a product that really did look like many planets. We also worked together on Wednesday to make our constellation tubes. These are small pieces of paper with dots printed on them that students poked with pins to make it so that light could go through. When finished poking students taped these to a toilet paper tube and we went into the bathroom, where it was dark, shined a light through the tube and were amazed to be able to star gaze at school!
Thursday brought a much overdue hike for the 4-day class. I was so glad that they were able to get outside for a good portion of the morning. Before sending them off with Miss Courtney though we repainted our solar system backdrop and it looks amazing!
That's all for now....have a wonderful weekend!
Books from the week:
The Reason for Seasons By: Gail Gibbons
Mousetronaut goes to Mars By: Astronaut Mark Kelly
If you Decide to go to the Moon By: Faith McNulty
March 2018 Newsletter
Hampshire Cooperative Nursery School
Happy Spring Everyone…I mean almost. We really are beginning to feel the return of the sun even if the clouds and the wind get in the way some days. I cant wait to celebrate the true return of spring with the kids this month and what better way to do it than with a unit on space and our solar system. We will also be finishing up our unit on local animal tracks, habits and stories about both forest and meadow creatures.
Between this week and next we will continue to learn about the animals that surround us every day. Deer, bobcats, woodchucks, moose, minks, beavers and many other local animal friends have been our focus for the past week and we will continue to learn about how these animals behave, interact and survive in our environment. I have also begun to incorporate some wonderful short stories written by Thornton W. Burgess that tell tales of theses creatures and their funny and often mischievous antics together. These stories are more in the vein of chapter book style in that they do not have illustrations so we will be making our own mural discussing the setting of the story and what they might imagine it to look like…next we will add the characters.
We will also continue to get outside and search for tracks as much as possible but my recent knee injury may put a damper on our hiking for the next week or so…ill brainstorm a way to make it happen though!
After we wrap up our animal tracks unit we will begin learning about outer space and our solar system. I am so excited to move into this unit and just know that your students will be engaged and full of questions about this vast topic. Our start date for the space unit is 2/13/18 and we will be teaming up with the 3-day class for part of this unit and hope to end this time with a combined star gazing night together. Date TBD.
Parent Teacher Conferences:
Coming up this month are our spring conferences. I will be putting out a sign up sheet next week so please be on the look out for that. Conferences will begin on Monday 2/19 and end on Friday 2/30.
This will be a time for you and I to discuss where your child is at in terms of social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language development. We will also have the opportunity to brainstorm goals for your child for the remainder of the year. I look forward to meeting with each of you to discuss your wonderful kiddos!
Hear’s to a great month!
It was great to get back to school this week and back into the swing of things with the kids. I hope that everyone had a great February vacation. It sounds like many kids had some really fun day trips and wonderful family time. As many of you know by now I injured my self while skiing on vacation and have been limping around the classroom since my return. I was also out for a day and a half this past week resting my knee and heading to the doctor to try to get some answers. I don't know anything definitive yet but I hope to be back to normal soon! The kids have all been so sweet about my injury. I have received several get well soon cards and gifts. Their sense of empathy really shows when they know that I am injured and are asking what they can do to help me!
On Monday morning we began the week with some journaling, marble painting, and play dough...some good old favorites to start the week off right. We also had another great session of music with Miss Katie and then preformed a really cool science experiment. As a class we made water xylophones. Some of you may have seen them in the classroom but for those of you who did not they are a series of mason jars filled to in creasing levels with water. Students then added food coloring to the jars. Next came the fun part, they got to play on them with a wooden stick. There were some great observations about how each jar sounded different and why.
On Tuesday we began to learn about different animals that live in our area and the tracks they might leave outside in the snow or mud. We read a book with some information about some of these animals and then student made their own tracks by having their feet painted and stepping onto a piece of paper. It was a lot of fun not only to see how the students' "tracks" were similar and different but also to see how different students reacted to having their feet painted. There was a lot of giggling!
I was out on Wednesday but I was told it was a great day and that Miss Meg took the students on a hike down into the lower field to look for tracks. They ended up finding a lot of beaver activity and got to see what beavers can do to an area when they are trying to make a new home.
The final day of the week brought an opportunity for the student to explore an idea that many children love to think about. "What animal would you be if you could change into another animal?" The magical idea for being something other than what we are is so fun to explore with children and it helps build their imagination while solidifying the traits and characteristics of the animals in the world around them. Students were not only asked what animal they would be if they could change into a local animal, they were also asked the ever important, why? Be looking around the room this week for these fun projects on display
That's all for now!
We made it...I mean, we did it..I mean, happy vacation everyone! It was a pretty high energy week in the 4-Day class this week and we had a lot of laughs mixed in with a lot of learning moments! Thats what its all about at HCNS, making the most of our joys and the most of our mistakes and moments of questioning. We work through problems together and recognize in ourselves those moments when we could have acted more kindly or thoughtfully. I am excited to announce that we have completed our travels around the world and your children sure did learn a lot. I hope you can take the time to debrief with them over the break.
We began the week on Monday by learning a bit about the Chinese Zodiac calendar and each child started working on their Chinese drum which depicts their animal sign in both picture and symbol format. The drums involved a lot of steps and children really did an amazing job following directions and seeing these projects through to completion. We also explored some more with the panda bears, rice and black beans in the water table and some children found my weekend creation of rocks, sand and letter cards intriguing. We also had another very fun music session with Miss Katie on Monday.
On Tuesday we finished up our Chinese drums and children began to make Valentines Day cards for friends and family. We had a nice discussion at rug time about why we celebrate Valentines day and who to celebrate with. I also told the children the story of how Valentines Day came to be a holiday and about Saint Valentine the Roman bishop who married couples in secret because the evil king had banned marriage. They all seemed pretty fascinated by this story and wondered why anyone would ever tell people that they couldn't get married. You can find a full version of this tale on-line if you are interested in checking to out. The highlight of the day on Tuesday was the slime. Thats right...we played with slim for a good part of the week this week. There was cutting, stretching, twisting, adding sand, giggling, being stuck and being grossed out. It was a blast.
Wednesday brought the height off our energy for the week as I'm sure you can imagine. We began the day by putting Valentine's cards into envelopes (I hope you all received them) and continued making gifts such as bracelets, necklaces and cards for loved ones. We tried to get outside nice and early for sledding but the morning seemed to pass us by very quickly. When we did finally make it out it was far too icy to use our sleds so the 4-Day class used their great problem solving skill and slid on their bellies, bottoms, and knees down the hill. Hopefully we get some more good sledding snow this year.
Today we celebrated Chinese New Year (which actually begins tomorrow) by watching a short video about the holiday and it's history (link below), and by playing our drums that we made earlier in the week. Miss Meg also wrote each of the children's names in Korean and some children made mandalas out of colored pasta. We also had a special snack of noodles, tofu, mandarin oranges, and Moon Cake provided by Brigette and Susie! It was delicious.
Books From the Week:
The Great Race:The story of the Chinese Zodiac by:Dawn Casey
Tikki-Tikki Tembo Retold by: Arlene Mosel
Fortune Tales | The Story of Chinese New Year - YouTube
What a strange week! I hope everyone is enjoying the fresh snow even if it did come with some strange schedule rearrangements. I for one was bummed to miss school on Thursday as I has a super fun day planned. We will be sure to get back into the swing of things just in time for February break! Next week will be our last week before the break and we will spend it finishing our exploration of mountains and the continent of Asia and will fit in some Valentines day fun. On Thursday of next week we will end this section of the year by celebrating the Chinese New Year.
On Monday we had what I like to call a regroup day. We have had such a busy and task oriented last few weeks that I felt the children needed a low key day with some very open ended play. We had play dough out, watercolor painting and some of the students got caught up on their passports from all of our busy traveling! The results of the previous night's Super Bowl game were on the minds of many of the children and that topic took up a good deal of our conversation time on Monday morning. I had no idea there were so many Eagles fans in the area and it was really fun to hear the kid's reaction to the game. We also had music with Miss Katie on Monday and she continues to introduce the students to the new section of music. If your child has not listened to their CD that may be a great weekend activity.
On Tuesday we began our last "trip" to the continent of Asia. We will be staying in Asia until February break and learning about the animals, people and mountains of the continent. We did our last page in our passport book and they will be coming home next week. The students are particularly excited to bring their passports home, so make sure you check them out as they have all worked really hard on them. On Tuesday we also played with our new play dough which students pretended was a mountain for their pandas to climb and we began making our Chinese lanterns to decorate the room for Chinese New Year.
On our last day this week, Wednesday, we worked on our lanterns again and some students were able to finish them. They look wonderful hanging in the classroom and I can't wait till all of them are finished. Students also played in the water table with a mixture of rice, black beans, panda bears and blocks. The students' Draw & Write journals were also out on Wednesday and some of the children are really coming up with some great stories to put in them! We also watched a really neat video on the Himalayas that took the students on a quick journey from a city on India through the hills and up into the mountains all the way to Everest! I will include the link below so they can view it again. Some of the comments such as "that looks peaceful" , "wow" and "I be that's a 4000 footer" were priceless to hear from the students! The mountains of Asia, especially the Himalayas are truly magnificent, I love that they could recognize that.
Books from the week:
Coming soon! I don't have the list at home with me.
Have a great weekend and STAY HEALTHY!!