Upcoming Events—Conferences: Please sign up for a conference if you have not already done so. There is a sign-up sheet outside of our classroom door. Conferences will be held on Monday, January 31st, Tuesday, February 1st, and Wednesday, February 2nd. There will be no school on these days. During conferences, we will look through your child’s portfolio, hand out report cards, and address any questions you may have. We have a very full schedule, so we will try to keep conferences to a maximum of thirty minutes. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all!
Show and Share: We will be having Show and Share on February 3rd and 4th. Your child may bring in one item to show to the class. They will have a chance to tell their peers about it during our Meeting that day. Peers will then ask questions or give comments. Show and Share is an excellent opportunity for children to strengthen their verbal communication skills in a meaningful context!

Valentine’s Day: We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day the week of February 14th. Over the course of several days, we will be having guest readers, sharing special treats, and passing out Valentines. Please look for a note to come home in your child’s backpack about the festivities. Also, if you’d like to help out, check out the donation lists hanging on the whiteboard outside of our classroom. Thanks!

ART—Painting Snow: With winter in full-effect, the children were very interested in learning about the season. They were fascinated with the snow, in particular. On several occasions we brought tubs of real snow into the classroom. After feeling and describing the snow, the children then worked together to create a snowy masterpiece. They used liquid watercolors, eyedroppers, and various paintbrushes to transform the dull, white snow into a colorful work of art. Not only did the children really enjoy the art experience, they also got many other benefits out of the activity as well. The children experimented with primary color mixing. They also tried out new tools, art mediums, and ways of making marks. They guessed what would happen to the snow over time and then watched the result throughout the day. Finally, the children also practiced their cooperative play and fine motor skills while participating. Painting snow was one of the children’s favorite activities so far this year!

EXPLORATION AND DISCOVERY—Polar Bear Blubber: After learning about winter and snow for several weeks, the children began talking about animals that were often associated with snow. This naturally led us into beginning a unit on Polar Animals. After spending several days discussing the many ways that polar bears keep warm, we conducted a “blubber” experiment to further investigate one way in particular. We first filled a sensory tub full of icy water. Then we talked about blubber being a thick layer of fat. We used two zipper bags full of Crisco to imitate a polar bear’s blubber. We then wrapped the “blubber” bags around one hand of each child. The other hand was left bare. The children then guessed which hand they thought would be warmer when placed in the icy water. Both hands were submerged in the water for a moment. The children were asked which hand felt warmer. The hand without the “blubber packs” always seemed colder. This experiment was a great hands-on way for the children to get a better idea about the benefits of blubber for polar bears in extremely cold temperatures. They felt first-hand how blubber can protect them from the cold. This made it much more meaningful to the children!