Saturday, January 18, 2014

January 7th - 10th and January 14th - 17th

National Hat Day was so fun seeing all the kids in some of their favorite things!  We had sparkle, we had camo, we had baseball hats, and we had animals!  Above all, we had FUN!

In the Art center we were able to explore and practice our fine motor skills as our students used clothes pins to pick up pom poms (of three different sizes) or cotton balls.  Then they dipped it into yellow paint to dab and make a moon. (Full moon, crescent, and half moon were the popular ones)

Graphing is still a part of our daily schedule.  One of our jobs that the students look forward to having is the chart counter.  They are in charge of leading the class in tallying the totals and writing the numbers beside each column.  Then, with Miss Jamie's help, they discuss which item had the most, least, or tied votes.

When the weather isn't cooperating with us, at times we do gross motor play indoors.  In this activity, our students worked together to build a track from their "rocket ship" around the planets (tables) to explore and then back to the rocket ship.  Practicing balance, teamwork, organizing, and execution; our students did an amazing job!

It wouldn't be outer space week if we didn't make a rocket that they could launch!  Their faces were priceless when they found out they were able to take them home!  Of course, because of the size of these, Miss Shelly and Miss Jamie had to put them together.  When we started using them, their goal was to blow the rocket into the cup on the other side of the hallway.  After they would make it, they were encouraged to take a scoot back and try again.  But they couldn't wait for us to let them just blow them where ever they wanted to blow them!


It's also Winter outside, so we've also been discussing the snow and the weather.  This week, we had small pieces of a snowman (hat, two stick arms, carrot nose, eyes, and a scarf); while the children played with play doh, they were able to use these small pieces to make their own snowman.  At times, our little ones become frustrated due to their fine motor skills.  Having a hard time picking up something small, moving a small piece to another location, etc.  The more we practice having them use these skills while doing something they love the better they're becoming!

We have been working very hard on some gross motor skills throughout our time in Pre K.  I hope you see a world of difference in some of your children as we gallop (step and slide), skip (step and hop), jump on two feet, hop on one foot, walking backwards, bear crawl, and crab walking.  I remember very well at the beginning of the year, when some of our students could not grasp this idea of combining the "step and hop" and to see them moving as fast as the wind now gives us great joy!  One of our activities this week that showcased these different tasks was our Planet hop.  While we placed each planet's name around the room, the first letter of the word was underlined.  The music would play, when it stopped, Miss Jamie would be located by one planet and Miss Shelly by another.  We would call out one planet, example "Jupiter" and the children would have to look at the word to recognize the letter sounds within the word.  (concentrating on the beginning sound).  This was a great letter sound connection combined with gross motor. . . Learning without realizing!

In the afternoon class, one of our friends brought in their parachute!  We had a "meteor" here in our solar system that we needed to bounce off.  Counting how many shakes it took to bounce it off was a load of fun.  But their favorite will probably always be "The Three Little Pigs".

We also ended our unit making martian hats.  As they taped their pieces onto their hats, using their fine motor skills, and then gluing on their eyes (in any way they chose); it was fun to see some glue 10 eye balls on one eye and others choose to be more modest in their decoration and want only one.  Personalities come out when we're doing projects.

The next two weeks we will become Scientists and do an experiment a day, documenting our hypothesis, outcomes, and sharing our thoughts with our friends in small groups.  Get ready for some fun conversations!

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