Caution! Fun is being had in YK! The boys just finished their construction week and had a blast! We were busy making edible mud, exploring construction tools, creating blueprints and making those blueprints reality with our block station. This was also an excellent time for the boys to get out into our courtyard into our mulch pit with our oversized construction trucks! This week is always a favorite because it gives the boys more opportunities to explore, build, and tinker around. So much learning is happening in our block center. As the boys use their creativity and pretend to be architects or construction workers they supporting development across the board. We took the time this week to focus on structured block play. We discussed how construction workers build from blueprints put together by architects. We practiced this method by creating our blueprints and then using them to create in our black center. Research shows that structured block play can enhance cognitive flexibility. This is the ability to shift your focus from one relevant stimulus to another quickly. Construction play has also been linked to engineering skills, mathematic skills, stimulate creativity, divergent problem- solving, and spacial vocabulary.
This Friday the boys had the chance to participate in our EC STEAM day! This was all put together by the fantastic Cindy Brock and had the help from our awesome YK parent volunteers! The theme was Dr. Seuss, and the boys had a blast! Just a few reminders for next week, Wednesday the boys will dress up as their favorite community helper, Thursday will be our last day, and the boys are allowed to dress down in blue and red, and Friday will start our spring break!
Another exciting week this week in YK as we continue our Community Helpers unit! This week the boys studied dentists, and it has been one of our favorites so far! Dental health may begin at home, but it's up to educators to also make a point of focus in the classroom. We spent the week discussing why dental health is important and teaching the boys the best ways to brush and floss their teeth, which will help in the prevention of cavities and other dental health issues. Many of the boys were able to talk about their positive experiences of going to the dentist for the first time recently that helped support those meaningful group discussions! At the end of the week, Dr. Kepler, a YK parent, and a local pediatric dentist came to talk to the boys. He brought his special dragon with a set of teeth, a huge toothbrush, and pictures of healthy and unhealthy teeth for the boys to examine. Our boys are in a perpetual state of discovery and curiosity about the world. We feed that with our lessons and class experiences, but nothing beats real-life examples of what they’re studying! Having guest speakers come to talk during our Community Helper unit, has been so fun and so beneficial for the boys. Here is a quick excerpt from Senora Watson on what boys have been up to in Spanish class the past month!
During February, the YK boys continue learning about winter and the clothing that’s worn during the winter. We’ve played a game called “Que hay en mi Maleta?” (“What is in my suitcase?”) to practice our unit vocabulary and to review the colors they learned before. We also sing songs about winter and how to dress for the cold. Our next unit will be “Partes del Cuerpo” (“Parts of the Body”).
Next week, the boys will be participating in STEAM day on Friday! They are allowed to dress down for Friday! We hope you all have a fantastic weekend!
Paging doctor Young Knight! The YK boys have started their community helpers unit and this week was all about doctors! The boys love exploring the tools that doctors may use, and this was an excellent opportunity to talk to the boys about healthy habits and how to keep from getting sick. We discussed various types of sad germs, such as the rhinovirus, and the importance of washing our hands with soap and water! This unit on community helpers is not only the boys’ favorite but its very important we prepare the boys to recognize and trust community helpers who are charged to serve and protect, like firefighters, doctors, nurses, and the police. The boys are learning that community helpers are those who work together to make the community a better place for everyone. This week it has been so fun watching the boys and listening to their conversations as they play “doctor” and take care of our classroom dragon, whose seems to have been very sick all week long but has made a quick recovery!
The boys have had so much fun in Mandarin class the past month, here is a quick little note from Mrs. Zheng on what they have been working on, “We have talked about four colors in Mandarin, which are red, blue, green and white. Also, We discussed something about a snowman. Boys can count from 1 to 5 with me.”
A few reminders, next week we will be having our Valentine’s day class party so please send in Valentines by Tuesday. The Monday/Wednesday/Friday boys will exchange on Wednesday. We would also love for you or a family friend to come to talk to the boys during our community helpers unit! If you know any doctors, nurses, dentists, dental hygienists, mail carriers, chefs, police officers, firefighters, construction contractors/workers, or any other community helpers, please let us know. Have a great weekend!
* We also need a few more volunteers for our EC STEAM day Friday, March 1st! *
What a fabulous week in YK! We have continued our Winter Wonderland unit, and the boys love it! This week we discussed various animals who thrive in the cold weather. One animal in particular that the boys were particularly drawn to was the emperor penguin. By Wednesday the boys were constantly talking and asking questions about the penguins, so we spent the rest of the week reading and learning more about this fascinating arctic bird. When the boys find an interest, it leads to more meaningful learning and engagement. It is also a great way to increase positive language and literacy outcomes. Our group discussions this week on the emperor penguins have been very lively, and the boys were extremely engaged. They loved how the baby egg is passed along to the daddy to keep warm. In a center this week the boys even practiced walking like a penguin holding a small ball in between their legs as if it was a baby penguin egg. This made for a super fun center with lots of laughs.
The boys have continued Spanish class with Mrs. Watson and absolutely love it! Here is a little excerpt on what they have been doing.
Nos encanta la nieve! (We love snow!) Our unit for this month is “El Invierno” (“Winter”). During the last few weeks, we’ve talked about the weather during this time of the year. One day I brought some homemade “snow” to class, and the boys had the opportunity to touch it and describe it. They’ve practiced saying words like “blanco” (“white”) and “frio” (“cold”) in Spanish.
One of my favorite books to read for this unit is “Un dia de Nieve” (“The Snow Day”). Reading this book aloud is a good way to listen to our vocabulary words for this unit. After finishing the book, we sang “El muñeco de nieve” (“The Snowman”).
In addition to our unit on winter, we continue practicing to count in Spanish from 1 to 10.
Just a few reminders! We will start conferences next week. We can’t wait to share with you all the fantastic things your son is doing! Next Friday, will be a student holiday! We hope you all have a great weekend!