The boys are quickly getting settled back into school! We have started our Winter Wonderland unit, which is always a favorite! This week we discussed winter weather and clothing. It was amazing that we started the week in the high 60’s and ended it in the low 30’s! This was an excellent opportunity to discuss with the boys what winter weather is like around America. The boys also made some delicious homemade hot cocoa Friday. This was an excellent activity for math concepts and real-life science concepts. The YK1 classroom accidentally used salt instead of sugar, so the boys were able to have that hands-on experience of cause and effect. They quickly learned the importance of following a recipe and how salt affects something sweet!
Just a reminder that we will be starting conferences at the end of this month. Please make sure you schedule your conference time.
Wow! We cannot believe that we have almost reached Christmas break! Every year it is incredible how much the boys develop and grow just from the first day of school up until they leave for Christmas break. We have gotten to know each of these sweet boys in these first few months and can’t wait to continue to see them grow into these amazing young men. Just today as we read the book “Gingerbread Baby” we discussed afterward how the boys would catch the gingerbread baby themselves. It was amazing to see how much their critical thinking skills have developed as well as their creativity! This week we have continued to get in the holiday spirit by working on some fun Christmas themed crafts as well as sitting down with the boys and discussing the real reason we celebrate Christmas. The boys have been working very hard on a few special Christmas crafts for you all, and they have been practicing for their performance we will have during our classroom Christmas party! Please remember that next Tuesday, December 17th at 9 a.m. we will be hosting our classroom Christmas party. All are welcome! We have sent out emails and reminders in the folders about what the boys need to bring for the party and also relevant information on after-school care next week. Wednesday will be our last day, so we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! We will see everyone back January 7th!
Wow! What a fun week in YK! We finished our first week of our camping unit. The focus this week was on camping gear and the big discussion was about what we would bring with us on a camp out! Throughout the week the boys went on a bear hunt, explored our indoor and outdoor tent, made animal tracks, and explored a “dark forest” with lanterns. For these activities the boys really had to use their imagination. Pretend play is so important in child development. So when we went on our bear hunt throughout the school and when we took our lanterns around our dark classroom forest the boys were building skills in many essential developmental areas. When the boys are engaging in these pretend (or dramatic) play activities they are actively experimenting with the social and emotional roles of life. It is helping to teach them the important moral development skill of empathy by pretending to be different characters, which gives them that experience of walking in someone else’s shoes. It also helps them understand the power of language. It’s amazing to hear them as they engage in their pretend play because you might hear some words and phrases you never thought they knew! We are also always working towards fostering a culture of thinking in our classroom. Pretend play provides your child with a variety of problems to solve. Many times we see boys wanting to play the same role or searching for the right block to make the roof on their house made for a mouse, during these moments we are seeing the boys using important cognitive skills that they will use in every aspect of their lives, now and forever
What a spooktacular week we had in YK! The boys finished their Down on the Farm unit and began A Camping We Will Go unit today! To celebrate all their hard work during the Down on the Farm unit we had a fun filled Hoedown. During the Hoedown, Mr. Hancock stopped by to play his violin for us which was a hit for the boys as always. We bobbed for apples, made caramel apples, herded barnyard animals back into the barn, and so many other fun farm themed activities. Our Down on the Farm unit was ideal for incorporating a cross-cultural unit into our curriculum. Many cultures celebrate a harvest time or festival with which many children can identify. Children have some familiarity with this topic including farm animals, vegetables, animal products, and animal sounds. This unit provided a great opportunity to introduce new knowledge while combining it with something familiar to the boys. We discussed the purpose of farms and various types. A common misconception at this age is that farms are where animals live. They were so surprised to find out some farms do not even have animals! This was also a great way to discuss with the boys healthy food choices by studying various fruits and vegetables that come from farms. During our corn week we gave the boys ears of corn and green beans. During centers they practiced shucking the corn and shelling the green beans. Not only was this an excellent fine motor activity, but it also facilitated a child- directed and process- oriented creative experience.
The boys have loved Spanish class with Señora Watson! Below is the integrated curriculum she has been working on with the boys!
YK boys have been learning simple greetings in Spanish such as: "hello" (hola), "goodbye" (adios), "good morning" (buenos dias), "good night" (buenas noches).
At the beginning of each class we sing a song called "Buenos Dias, Como estas?".
Our current unit is "Farm Animals" (Los Animales de la Granja). We sing songs and imitate the sounds made by each kind of animal, while we sing. I also read a couple of books aloud to the class to practice our vocabulary.
I love it when the boys greet me with “hola” or “adios, always with a happy face, when we see each other outside of the classroom.
I'm looking forward to lots more fun with these sweet boys in the coming months.
Happy Fall (Feliz otoño )
A few reminders, please remember that Monday is a student holiday and there will be no school. We will continue with our Camping unit on Tuesday! In a few weeks we will have a fun pretend camp out that allows the boys to wear pajamas to school that day. We will make sure to send reminders about that! We hope you all have a fabulous weekend!