Friday, January 29, 2016

January 29th, 2016

This week, we kicked things up a notch.

Beginning a new unit on weather, we started our Monday morning learning about clouds.  We read Sometimes It Looked Like Spilt Milk together...

...and then we painted our own clouds.

"Sometimes my cloud looks like binoculars."
"Sometimes my cloud looks like a tree."
"Sometimes my cloud looks like a big, blobby thing."

Then, we made it "rain".  By placing warm water in the jar and trapping it on the top with a plate full of ice cubes, we mimicked how moisture evaporates from bodies of water on the earth, collects in the cold atmosphere, and then forms rain droplets.

At the end, we created our first science journal entry.  Bam!  Kicked it up a notch!
Our science journals will increase in complexity over the next few months and eventually the children will be asked to print a few of the letters themselves, dictate their predictions, and afterwards, their conclusion.

We made our M-Moose...
M is for Moose!

...and our m-moon.
m is for moon!

We played with modeling clay...

...and we painted.

With water colors, too.

We also got really into storms and read a lot about them.

Especially tornadoes.

The highlight of our week was our tornado bottles.  Learning about funnel clouds and "swirly, whirly wind", we had an opportunity to examine the concept with water.

Funny story: The kids' questions regarding tornadoes were endless.  I explained that tornadoes are created when warm air from the south and cold air from the north meet and "fight", creating a circular motion.  Eventually, the air stabilizes and the tornado goes away.  For the rest of the week, the children asked one another to "stabilize" rather than argue. 

On Thursday, we had a wonderful visit with Ms. Katie and her newborn daughter.  We miss her and greatly look forward to her return.

I think she misses us a little, too.  Who wouldn't?

Friday, January 22, 2016

January 22nd, 2016

We took this short week as the halfway point in our school year and spent time reviewing some of the things we've learned so far.  

Reviewing numbers, we worked hard on our big project for the week.  Back in October, we created our 1-5 counting books.  This week, we finished things off as we composed
Volume II: A Complete Analysis of Numerals 6-10.

The highlight of the week, however, was playing a number recognition game on our interactive whiteboard.

Going over letters A-L, we built them in sand...

played with our A-L sound containers... 

traced letters A-L in shaving cream...

...and made our take-home books.

We also spent time each day examining shapes.  We used stencils...

puzzle blocks...

and finally shape cards.

Now, just in case my snapshots make my classroom look artificially peaceful and calm, I'll include one that shows what it really looks like.  We're a busy bunch, but we're definitely a happy bunch!

Friday, January 15, 2016

January 15th, 2016

We had a fun time in class this week!
L is for Lacing!
Early on Monday, we dove into our new unit on the Arctic, along with the Inuit people who inhabit it.

We watched an interesting clip on how igloos are made...

...and then used sugar cubes to begin constructing our own.

Each group took the task very seriously.

Admittedly, this is a stock photo from last year.  Our igloo this year looked very similar... until it collapsed about 30 minutes later.

We moved on to learning about aurora borealis.  We noted the colors as we viewed brilliant photos and time-lapse videos, but I stopped short of explaining the earths geomagnetic field lines to my preschoolers.
Finally, we also played with some Arctic animals.

Learning about various shades of brown this week, we had a chance to fingerpaint in the different shades we created...

...and trace L's in the paint.

We also used our messy hands to create a handprint wreath.

Which led us to beginning our Martin Luther King, Jr. unit.

It can be difficult to teach about Martin Luther King, Jr. and still keep the lessons preschool appropriate.  In my class,  we focus on his peaceful attempts to make the world a better place.  When creating our take-home book this week, I used the words from our song with which they are already familiar.

In language arts, we continued our word family segment and had fun with the __ET word family.

We also found time for our Ll's this week.  We laced our capital L's...

made our lower-case lambs...
l is for lamb

played with lattes...

and legos.

Then, we ended our week with an L show-n-tell.

It was a busy week, but we had fun working together.

Because that's what we do best.