Happy New Year! Lots of exciting things have been happening in our classroom since the start of the new year! Over the past few weeks, the children have been learning about Winter. They’ve been learning about the thermometer and graphing the weather each day, creating many snowflake and snowman art projects, and even making and tasting delicious snowcones!

Math (Numeral Identification): During our winter unit, the children have been very interested in discussing when the snow will fall and if it will be a large snowstorm. As a result, we decided to make our very own “snowstorm” in our classroom with paper snowflakes. The children put numbered paper snowflakes on a white bed sheet. Then they all stood around it and grabbed hold of the sheet with two hands. Once everyone grabbed on, they worked cooperatively to move the sheet like a parachute. (This activity also helped to strengthen their gross motor control.) The movement caused the snowflakes to flutter high and then fall to the ground. Once all of the snowflakes had flown off the sheet, each child gathered several from around the room and brought them back to our circle. Then each child identified the numerals on their snowflakes. We play the snowstorm game several times over several days. The children loved playing it and just couldn’t get enough!

Language Arts (Dramatizing Literature): The children have learned they need to wear many extra items before going out in the snow during the winter. They get lots of practice putting on hats, mittens, scarves, and boots each day before going out on the playground. It’s no surprise that The Mitten and The Hat, both written by Jan Brett, have become two of our classroom favorites this month! The children were able to act out both books and became a part of the stories. When we read The Mitten, the children pretended to be the animals in the story and climbed into a giant white mitten (aka our multipurpose bed sheet). When reading The Hat, children once again pretended to be the animals and wore silly “hats” from the clothesline, just like in the story. These meaningful dramatizations of beloved picture books provided the children with many additional learning opportunities. They aided in comprehension, provided kinesthetic learning, and supported character recognition as well as visual cues for the beginning, middle, and end of the story. The children gained these valuable skills while listening to and acting out great literature. They request The Hat and The Mitten again and again!
Upcoming: After finishing up our Winter unit, our next theme will be Polar Regions. We will be learning about polar animals, igloos, and ice. Also, conferences are coming up! They will be held January 31st- February 2nd. Please sign up for a time slot outside of our classroom. There will be no classes on those three days.
Reminders: There is no school on January 17th in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Also, please check your child’s box of extra clothes in our classroom. Make sure to swap out any summer items for winter items. You never know when a messy accident might happen and we want to make sure your child can be changed into weather-appropriate clothing. Finally, please bring snow boots, snow mittens, snow pants, and a hat for your child each day to school. (Make sure they are well labeled with your child’s name/initials.) We will be going outside each day as long as the  the wind chill is twenty degrees or higher by 11:15am/12:30pm. Thank you!!