It seems that we all have survived the first winter blast of Cleveland this year! Even though the weather was perhaps a bit trying we certainly used it to our advantage during the school week. Last week we explored snow and the many different things we can do with snow. We brought snow inside our classroom and used eyedroppers to change the color of the snow with watercolors. Not only was this a fun activity because of the color mixing, snow melting, and chilly fingers, but it also allowed the children to build important fine motor strength by repeatedly squeezing the eye-droppers. Another wonderful moment in our classroom last week was when we dramatized The Mitten by Jan Brett. Each child was able to pretend that he or she was a character in the story and physically crawled into a pretend mitten in our classroom. This sort of dramatization allows the children to personally and meaningfully connect with the text.
This week our theme has been shapes. We have worked on introducing the shapes circle, triangle, rectangle, square, oval, diamond and heart. Many of the children already knew these shapes! We played a drawing game where the children had to listen to the words in the song, follow directions and then complete the task of attempting to draw the shape on their paper. It was a fun activity and everybody tried very hard. We also made shape books. Each child worked with a teacher to place stickers on the correct pages of their own personal shape book. This was such a fun task because the children were able to share their knowledge of shapes, continue to practice appropriate book handling skills (i.e. holding the book correctly, turning the pages one at a time, recognize print on a page, match the picture to the corresponding printed and spoken word), and practice working in a small group. Our sensory table had different shaped boxes in it along with several plastic shapes hidden amongst mini marshmallows. The children enjoyed filling the rectangle, circle and triangle shaped boxes with mini marshmallows and then pouring them out and observing what happens when you pack them too tight or a little looser!
One of the biggest accomplishments that many of our young friends have experienced has been dressing themselves for outdoor play. The weather has made it necessary for the children to wear snow clothes outside many days, which has provided the children with the perfect opportunity to practice dressing with teacher support. Some children have learned this skill quickly and are able to get their snow pants, coat, boots, hat and gloves/mittens on with little teacher support. Many are continuing to work on this important life skill. If the opportunity presents itself at home, please take the time to talk your child through the steps of dressing themselves so that they are better equipped at school when we are dressing the children for outdoor play.
On Monday and Tuesday of we will continue to study shapes. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday are reserved for parent-teacher conferences. We look forward to sharing information and observations on you child/children at that time. Be sure to sign up outside the classroom.