Mrs. Barnes’ Class
Week of January 7-13, 2016
Our theme has been focused on Seasons this time around. The kiddos have been learning about our four seasons that we experience in Iowa. We have also been spending some good discussions on the weather that occurs with each season and how our weather this year has been off a little bit. During our calendar time we talk about the weather each day, the season, and we look at how the weather bear is dressed to determine if he is dressed for the weather or not.
Some of the activities we did in math were our geometric pattern blocks, building our knowledge of more complex patterns (such as ABB or ABC), sorting pictures according to their season. This month we have been focused on an ABB pattern at calendar (tree, snowman, snowman). We also continue to work on building our counting skills by ones and tens. (Objective met: Sorting, Patterns, Counting, Connects numerals with their quantities, classification, geometric shapes)
The dramatic play area has been set up as a hot cocoa stand for the past couple of weeks. The kiddos have enjoyed playing with the fake cups of hot cocoa and snacks that can be enjoyed on a cold wintery day. I even put a plastic coffee pot and some empty cool whip and hot cocoa mix containers in there for them to play with. Two of them work the stand while two others are customers who order and pay. That area has been full every day! (Objective met: Manages feelings, responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, makes friends, solve social problems, balances needs/rights of self and others, engages in conversation, sociodramatic play)
I am very pleased to see the improvement in my classes when it comes to fine motor skills. Most of the kiddos are now able to write their own name independently without the use of a nameplate or assistance from myself or Ms. Lisa. Cutting skills have also made noticeable improvement. Thank you for taking time at home to continue working with your children! (Objective met: Uses fingers and hands, uses drawing and writing tools, uses print concepts, and demonstrates emergent writing skills)
Our sensory table was another spot that was a HUGE hit for the kiddos. I decided to bring in a couple of large cans of hot cocoa mix and marshmallows for them to explore. If you noticed their arms and clothes looked really dirty it was just us having fun at preschool, sorry parents….Lol! I warned you that I am a VERY messy teacher. They were able to scoop, bury and dig up the marshmallows, and make mounds with the yummy smelling powder. We had a nice discussion about how the cocoa smelled really good and it was tempting to lick fingers and dip them into the cocoa mix, however once I explained all the germs that would be all over the cocoa they decided it didn’t sound that great. I also challenged them to earn hot cocoa for snack one day by not eating it. (Objective met: uses scientific inquiry skills, fine motor skills)
Some of the stories we read this week were, Bear in Sunshine which is a story about a bear that likes to do different things in different kinds of weather. Rain discussed how different animals in the story use their senses to predict a rainstorm. How Thunder and Lightning Came to Be was a tale from Choctaw. We discussed how this was a make-believe story that explains where thunder and lightning come from. The kiddos really enjoyed this story because it used many new descriptive vocabulary words. The story basically talked about two birds that used the clouds as a nest for their eggs. The eggs began rolling away (which sounded like thunder) and the daddy bird ran so fast to catch the eggs that sparks (lightning) appeared from his heels.
This past week was not playground friendly due to the frigid temperatures. We did have one really nice day last week that hit the 50’s. I know the weather is very unpredictable, but please continue to send those appropriate items for recess. In order to participate fully in recess activities, the kiddos must have the following items: Coat, hat, mittens/gloves, snow pants, and snow boots. The students are not allowed to play on the equipment or in the snow without all of these items. Again, this is not my rule but the school policy. You may check our school website for recess policies regarding attire and temperatures. Please continue to work with your child at home on those self-help skills with their coats, hats, and mittens. I am hearing many of the kiddos tell me they can’t do it by themselves. With 20 kiddos at one time it sometimes takes us 15 minutes to get everyone bundled up for outdoor play. That only leaves us about 5 minutes for playtime. I know that sometimes it seems easier to just do it yourself but in the long run it will save you time and help your child learn self-help skills if you encourage them to practice zipping on their own. I always have them try to zip by themselves first, then if they can’t I will start the zipper for them and encourage them to finish zipping it up the rest of the way. These are all things that are expected to be mastered for kindergarten readiness. Be sure to write your child’s name inside coats and sweatshirts as another student in the class may have the same one.
Again, please check your child’s backpack and folder daily. I continue to see some students with notes and items in their folders from weeks ago. I am also having some students come to class without a folder or backpack. Please send both of these everyday as we have notes and other papers that need to be sent home daily and it makes it much easier for the students to have something to put them in. Thank you in advance.
January 28th: Cheer clinic (this does include pre-k if you signed up)
February 5th: Grandparent day
February 10th: 3-yr old Valentine’s party
February 11th: Preschool parent night 6 pm (for the upcoming year)
February 12th: Valentine’s parties (4 year olds)
February 15th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm
February 16th: Parent teacher conferences 4-7 pm
February 18th: No School (Parent teacher conferences 1-8 pm)
February 19th: No School
February 23rd: 4 year olds field trip to Civic Center (Room on a Broom)