Recently in Amy's Weekly Plans F11 Category

Overview
The children will use another medium to represent flowers this week, playdough. With each medium they use, we notice them adding new details to the flowers and expressing wonder about the parts they see. We will support this interest by adding diagrams to the art area and going deeper into the functions of each part. As you know, the children have been caring for their seedlings in the classroom and have a good grasp on how to keep their plants healthy. Now it is time to do some experimentation to see what other conditions will allow plants to grow, or not. The children helped design experiments as we test and make hypotheses about what will happen to a plant with light/no light, water/juice, sand/sun-butter/dirt! This week we will also introduce another dramatic play area, a kindergarten. The children who will be going to kindergarten next year helped make a list of things they thought a classroom should have and are looking forward to playing out this theme. Our hope is that this will help them process this transition by talking about it, asking questions and sharing mixed feelings that may accompany this big step in their lives.

Art
-Materials: Natural-colored playdoh, rolling pins, molding utensils, and flower inspirations. Easel and paint.
-Rationale: To provide the children with an opportunity to explore another medium, playdough. Flowers will be set out to connect it to our lessons and inspire the children to show details of flower parts.
-Skills: Sensory input, fine motor, creative expression, manual dexterity, symbolic representation

Math
-Materials: Legos, puzzles, rulers, unifix cubes, yard stick
-Rationale: The Legos encourage creative expression and provide an opportunity for the children to develop small motor skills. The rulers and yard stick will provide an opportunity to compare lengths of various objects around the room and track growth of our planting experiments. The unifix cubes provide a non-standard unit of measurement for comparison.
-Skills: Observation, constructing, measurement, creative expression.

Science
-Materials: Plant experiments, chicken eggs, incubator, egg growth chart, rulers, magnifying glasses, lady bugs, insects.
-Rationale: We are tracking the growth of our chicks in the eggs as we prepare for some (hopeful) eggs to hatch in the coming weeks! As we wait for this to happen, we have planted seeds in a variety of ways to experiment what will happen to plants with light/without light, in dirt/sun-butter/sand, and watered with water/juice. The children will be making hypotheses and tracking the growth of these plants.
-Skills: Experimentation, observation, comparing, measuring, hypothesizing, and conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, writing station, rhyming books, books on insects, chickens, egg growth, and spring, ABC magnets, notebooks, folders, worksheets, and a chalkboard.
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed using rhyming words in both stories and songs, so we will continue to highlight rhyming books and provide rhyming activities. The books provide an opportunity for the children to learn about a wide variety of plants, bugs, and animal growth. These books will help the children understand how the baby chicks are growing and how the insects live. As the year comes to the end, many children will be advancing to kindergarten. We have provided a classroom set up under the loft that will has the ABC's, writing worksheets, and a chalkboard to encourage these skills.
-Skills: Letter recognition, descriptive writing, alphabetic principle, listening skills, experience with formative and narrative text, phonological awareness.

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, step-by-step process pictures, fabric
-Rationale: The children have been busy making houses with the hollow blocks. The homes have been used in conjunction with the flower shop and many flower deliveries have been made.
-Skills: Creative expression, social skills, planning, spatial skills, large motor strength, and representational building

Dramatic Play
-Materials: Pretend flowers, gift shop window, order forms, aprons, baskets for delivery, vases, chalkboard, notebooks, worksheets, folders, highlighters, pencils, chalk
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed the flower shop and have continued to use their dramatic play in this area. As the end of the year approaches, many of the children will be continuing onto kindergarten! We have made a school area where the children will be provided with opportunities to use dramatic play to process this transition.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, and generalizing knowledge.

Large Motor
Playground
Materials: Balance beam, bikes, playground equipment, swings, shovels, rakes, buckets, scoops, hill, path, basketball hoop, basketballs, and swinging rope.
Rationale: To encourage children to move their bodies freely. Have room to run and exercise in the fresh air.
Skills: Cardiovascular endurance, balance, coordination, grasping, climbing, jumping, strength, flexibility, coordination, communication, large motor development, fine motor development, and cooperation.
Gym
Materials: Stepping pyramid, climb and jump, balance beam, monkey bars, slide, rope and bumpy ramp, wall ladder, hanging tetherball, trampoline, bean bag toss.
Rationale: To support and develop upper body strength and core muscles, balance and cardiovascular endurance.
Skills: Upper body strength, motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, propulsion skills, balance, depth perception, visual perception, lower body strength, physical endurance, turn taking, dynamic balance, cooperation, large motor development, and communication.

Snack
Monday - Apples & Graham crackers
Tuesday - Yogurt & strawberries
Wednesday - Pretzels & oranges
Thursday - Cucumbers & crackers
Friday- Popcorn & popsicles

Overview:
Last week the children were introduced to the mathematical concept of measurement and they were inspired to measure plants, toys, and people using rulers. To help them gain deeper understanding of this concept, we brought in a non-standard unit of measurement, the unifix cubes. The hands on process of connecting, counting and comparing the lengths of cube stacks helps them become more familiar with the measurement process. The children also really enjoyed making flower collages and recording their plant growth. This week we will introduce a flower shop to the dramatic play area so they can add another component to their play surrounding this theme. The life-size body drawings are now hanging in the hallway. This inspired the children to add more details to their portraits. As the weather continues to warm up the children will have many opportunities to explore the outdoors through sports, insect observations, and plant growth. We are going to have a busy, fun week ahead of us!

Art:
-Materials: Beads, wire, string, flower materials, colored construction paper, scissors, markers, tape.
-Rationale: This week we will focus on beading activities as a form of creative expression. In the loft we have provided the children with pictures of flowers, leaves, and insects for them to continue working on our classroom tree.
-Skills: Creative expression, fine motor, symbolic representation, social skills.

Sensory:

-Materials: Sensory table with sand, plants, wood, toy insects, cups, toy lizards, shovels, rakes, and funnels.
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the sand table for dramatic play. We will add some water to the table so they can create habitats for water dwelling animals.
-Skills: Sensory input, knowledge of physical properties, fine motor skills, small group interactions, creative expression, symbolic play

Math:
-Materials: Legos, puzzles, rulers, unifix cubes.
-Rationale: The rulers in the science area will provide children with an opportunity to measure plants. We will track the growth of their plants in their books. The unifix cubes will be another tool to use for measurement. The Legos encourage creative expression and also provide an opportunity to practice small motor skills.
-Skills: Observation, constructing, measurement, creative expression, matching.

Science:
-Materials: Plants, grass, chicken eggs, incubator, rulers, magnifying glasses.
-Rationale: We have been presented with the opportunity to have chicken eggs that will eventually (hopefully!) hatch into chicks! As we prepare for this event, the children will also still be engaging with the plants they planted and measuring their growth with rulers.
-Skills: Experimentation, observation, comparing, measuring, hypothesizing, and conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy:
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, writing station, rhyming books, rhyming activities, books on insects, chickens, egg growth.
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed noticing rhyming words in the stories that are read to them. Since rhyming is an important pre-literacy concept we will provide the classroom with more books with rhyming words as well as encourage the children to record their own lists of rhyming words. As it gets warmer outside, the insects have been more prevalent which has also sparked interest amongst the children. To help their exploration and understanding we will provide them with insect books. The chicks will be a main topic of discussion until they hatch, so these books will help them to understand how they are growing inside of their eggs.
-Skills: Letter recognition, descriptive writing, alphabetic principle, listening skills, experience with informative and narrative text, and phonological awareness.

Blocks:
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, step-by-step process pictures, fabric, musical instruments with labels and musical notation.
-Rationale: The children are continuing to build stages with the hollow blocks. There have been many musical shows and plays over the last week. These shows provide an opportunity for the children to increase social skills and are a great way for the children to express themselves.
-Skills: Creative expression, creative dramatics, musical expression, temporal awareness, social skills, planning, spatial skills, large motor strength, representational building.

Dramatic Play:
-Materials: Pretend flowers, gift shop window, order forms, aprons, baskets for delivery, vases.
-Rationale: The children have been planting plants of their own, and with the abundance of flowers in bloom, we thought it was a good idea to create a flower shop for the children to explore and create pretend play!
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, and generalizing knowledge.

Large Motor:
-Materials: Playground-bikes, shovels, bricks, kites, soccer balls, t-ball gear, basketball hoop, basketballs. Gym- stepping pyramid, climb and jump, balance beam, monkey bars, slide, rope climb up the bumpy ramp, wall ladder, scooters
-Rationale: The children have been enjoying playing sports on the playground. This provides an opportunity to practice peer negotiation and social skills. The gym will support and develop upper body strength and core muscles while providing challenging activities that foster their muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
-Skills: Upper body strength, motor coordination, hand eye coordination, propulsion skills, balance, depth perception, visual perception, lower body strength, turn taking, dynamic balance

Snack
Monday - Oranges & Pretzels
Tuesday - Graham crackers & milk
Wednesday - Celery and carrots & triscuit
Thursday - Cheerios & milk
Friday- Pasta with chopsticks

Overview:
Last week the children were introduced to the mathematical concept of measurement and they were inspired to measure plants, toys, and people using rulers. To help them gain deeper understanding of this concept, we brought in a non-standard unit of measurement, the unifix cubes. The hands on process of connecting, counting and comparing the lengths of cube stacks helps them become more familiar with the measurement process. The children also really enjoyed making flower collages and recording their plant growth. This week we will introduce a flower shop to the dramatic play area so they can add another component to their play surrounding this theme. The life-size body drawings are now hanging in the hallway. This inspired the children to add more details to their portraits. As the weather continues to warm up the children will have many opportunities to explore the outdoors through sports, insect observations, and plant growth. We are going to have a busy, fun week ahead of us!

Art:
-Materials: Beads, wire, string, flower materials, colored construction paper, scissors, markers, tape.
-Rationale: This week we will focus on beading activities as a form of creative expression. In the loft we have provided the children with pictures of flowers, leaves, and insects for them to continue working on our classroom tree.
-Skills: Creative expression, fine motor, symbolic representation, social skills.

Sensory:

-Materials: Sensory table with sand, plants, wood, toy insects, cups, toy lizards, shovels, rakes, and funnels.
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the sand table for dramatic play. We will add some water to the table so they can create habitats for water dwelling animals.
-Skills: Sensory input, knowledge of physical properties, fine motor skills, small group interactions, creative expression, symbolic play

Math:
-Materials: Legos, puzzles, rulers, unifix cubes.
-Rationale: The rulers in the science area will provide children with an opportunity to measure plants. We will track the growth of their plants in their books. The unifix cubes will be another tool to use for measurement. The Legos encourage creative expression and also provide an opportunity to practice small motor skills.
-Skills: Observation, constructing, measurement, creative expression, matching.

Science:
-Materials: Plants, grass, chicken eggs, incubator, rulers, magnifying glasses.
-Rationale: We have been presented with the opportunity to have chicken eggs that will eventually (hopefully!) hatch into chicks! As we prepare for this event, the children will also still be engaging with the plants they planted and measuring their growth with rulers.
-Skills: Experimentation, observation, comparing, measuring, hypothesizing, and conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy:
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, writing station, rhyming books, rhyming activities, books on insects, chickens, egg growth.
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed noticing rhyming words in the stories that are read to them. Since rhyming is an important pre-literacy concept we will provide the classroom with more books with rhyming words as well as encourage the children to record their own lists of rhyming words. As it gets warmer outside, the insects have been more prevalent which has also sparked interest amongst the children. To help their exploration and understanding we will provide them with insect books. The chicks will be a main topic of discussion until they hatch, so these books will help them to understand how they are growing inside of their eggs.
-Skills: Letter recognition, descriptive writing, alphabetic principle, listening skills, experience with informative and narrative text, and phonological awareness.

Blocks:
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, step-by-step process pictures, fabric, musical instruments with labels and musical notation.
-Rationale: The children are continuing to build stages with the hollow blocks. There have been many musical shows and plays over the last week. These shows provide an opportunity for the children to increase social skills and are a great way for the children to express themselves.
-Skills: Creative expression, creative dramatics, musical expression, temporal awareness, social skills, planning, spatial skills, large motor strength, representational building.

Dramatic Play:
-Materials: Pretend flowers, gift shop window, order forms, aprons, baskets for delivery, vases.
-Rationale: The children have been planting plants of their own, and with the abundance of flowers in bloom, we thought it was a good idea to create a flower shop for the children to explore and create pretend play!
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, and generalizing knowledge.

Large Motor:
-Materials: Playground-bikes, shovels, bricks, kites, soccer balls, t-ball gear, basketball hoop, basketballs. Gym- stepping pyramid, climb and jump, balance beam, monkey bars, slide, rope climb up the bumpy ramp, wall ladder, scooters
-Rationale: The children have been enjoying playing sports on the playground. This provides an opportunity to practice peer negotiation and social skills. The gym will support and develop upper body strength and core muscles while providing challenging activities that foster their muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
-Skills: Upper body strength, motor coordination, hand eye coordination, propulsion skills, balance, depth perception, visual perception, lower body strength, turn taking, dynamic balance

Snack
Monday - Oranges & Pretzels
Tuesday - Graham crackers & milk
Wednesday - Celery and carrots & triscuit
Thursday - Cheerios & milk
Friday- Pasta with chopsticks

Overview:
Last week the children many opportunities to celebrate themselves and the Week of the Young Child by creating unique art activities and exercising their bodies at Bierman Field! They began taking a closer look at parts of the body that are on the inside by examining models and diagrams. We will continue to learn about the body by looking at x-rays and listening to hearts and lungs with real stethoscopes. The children were thrilled to see how quickly their sunflower seeds began to grow and this week will begin recording the changes in their plants by drawing and measuring them. Springtime growth and life will be evident in the science center not only with the plants but also with the addition of mealworms and ladybugs for observation. One of the biggest changes in the classroom will come mid-week when we introduce chick eggs. All of these additions will provide hands-on experiences and opportunities to discuss life-cycles.

Art:
-Materials: Buttons, fake flowers, leaves, popsicle sticks, glue, paper plates, and paper will all be used to create collages. Green markers, green pastels, green colored pencils, green crayons, green paper, scissors, and leaf inspirations will continue to be available in the loft.
-Rationale: We have enjoyed making leaves and collages over the last week. This week we will encourage the children to try using collage to represent flowers, objects that they have become very familiar with by drawing them.
-Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, observation, fine motor coordination

Sensory:
-Materials: Sensory table with sand, plants, wood, toy insects, cups, toy lizards, shovels
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the sand table over the last week for dramatic play as well as for digging, scooping and pouring. We will add more animals and will also provide more tools for them to use as they continue to gain knowledge of the physical properties of sand.
-Skills: Sensory input, knowledge of physical properties, fine motor skills, small group interactions, creative expression

Math:
-Materials: Legos, puzzles, rulers, sequences for plant growth
-Rationale: The rulers in the science area will provide children with an opportunity to measure plants. We will track the growth of their plants in their books. The sequencing cards will continue to stay by the plants to help the children track their plant's growth. The Legos encourage creative expression and also provide an opportunity to practice small motor skills.
-Skills: Observation, sequencing, constructing, measurement, creative expression, matching.

Science:
-Materials: Plants, grass, rulers, seeds, plant sequencing cards, plant growth time lapse video, skeleton, body poster, organ puzzle, x-rays, stethoscopes, mealworms, ladybugs, chick eggs, and an incubator
-Rationale: The children will continue to care for, observe, and measure their plants. They will also draw their plants as a form of recording growth and change. We will continue learning about and discussing the inside of the body as we examine the models provided. Live insects will be available for observation and chick eggs will be introduced with a calendar to count down the days until they hatch.
-Skills: Experimentation, comparing, hypothesizing, observation, self-awareness, time concepts, measurement, and conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy:
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, markers, paper, new books about healthy living and springtime/plants, and books including rhyming.
-Rationale: The children are continuing to enjoy adding words to our dictionary. We have noticed that they are particularly interested in rhyming words so we will encourage adding rhyming words to the dictionary. We will bring in new books about the body and springtime that will encourage new vocabulary. Rhyming books will also help develop each child's phonological awareness
-Skills: Letter recognition, descriptive writing, alphabetic principle, listening skills, book structure, experience with informative and narrative texts, and phonological awareness.

Blocks:
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, step-by-step process pictures, fabric, musical instruments with labels and musical notation.
-Rationale: The children have started to build a stage with the hollow blocks. There have been many musical shows and plays over the last week. These shows provide an opportunity for the children to increase social skills and are a great way for the children to express themselves.
-Skills: Creative expression, creative dramatics, musical expression, temporal awareness, social skills, planning, spatial skills, large motor strength, representational building.

Dramatic Play:
-Materials: Doctor's office with exam room, reception desk, doctor kits, checklists depicting body parts, light table with x-ray pictures, and baby dolls. The symbolic cave has a pet shop including cats, dogs, fish and bunnies.
-Rationale: The children have continued to take on the roles of patient and doctor in the doctor's office. As we continue to learn more about the human body, the children will be able to use this information in their play.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions, social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, and carrying over knowledge from other areas of learning

Large Motor:
-Materials: Playground-bikes, shovels, bricks, kites, soccer balls, t-ball gear, basketball hoop, basketballs. Gym- stepping pyramid, climb and jump, balance beam, monkey bars, slide, rope climb up the bumpy ramp, wall ladder, scooters
-Rationale: The children have been enjoying playing sports on the playground. This provides an opportunity to practice peer negotiation and social skills. The gym will support and develop upper body strength and core muscles while providing challenging activities that foster their muscular and cardiovascular endurance.
-Skills: Upper body strength, motor coordination, hand eye coordination, propulsion skills, balance, depth perception, visual perception, lower body strength, turn taking, dynamic balance

Snack
Monday - Apples & graham crackers
Tuesday - Yogurt & granola
Wednesday - Pretzels & Carrots with ranch dip
Thursday - Oatmeal crackers & cucumber
Friday- Cheerios & milk



Overview:
Last week the children focused on what is on the outside of their bodies by tracing themselves and coloring in their clothes, facial features, and the myriad traits that make them unique individuals. Now we will shift focus to a study of what is on the inside of the body and build awareness of how the systems within work together to help us thrive and grow. The field trip to Ag Awareness day was a huge success as well (thank you parent volunteers)! They were genuinely interested in what the farmers had to say, the animals they got to see, and the seed planting activity. We planted seeds in the classroom as well, and will track changes as we observe the plant life cycle. This upcoming week is also one of the most amazing weeks of the whole school year, The Week of the Young Child. We will take advantage of this opportunity by providing novel art activities that allow the children to express their unique ideas as well as by having discussions of the many similarities they all share. We will culminate the week by taking the children on a field trip to Bierman Field where they will celebrate through large motor activity and fun with the children from UofM Child Development Center.

Art:
-Materials: Leaves from trees, green paper of different shades, green markers, green pastels, green pencils/crayons placed in the loft. CD's, paint, glue, seeds, metallic letters.
-Rationale: We will begin the week by using reflective CD's that capture light and will provide a surface for collage work using metallic letters and a variety of seeds. To continue adding to our springtime tree at the loft, we have moved the materials to the back of the room to make them more accessible.
-Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, observation, fine motor coordination

Sensory:
-Materials: Sensory table with sand, plants, wood, toy insects, and shovels.
-Rationale: To present the children with a chance to manipulate sand with their hands and tools. It also provides them with a miniature glimpse into the habitat of insects and plants and allows them to work together to create the habitat they see fit.
-Skills: Sensory input, generalizing knowledge, fine motor skills, small group interaction

Math:
-Materials: Seeds for sorting, sequencing for plant growth/harvesting, floor puzzles, board puzzles, and Legos.
-Rationale: Seed sorting and sequencing will allow the children to practice their mathematical skills, following a step-by-step process of growth, and learn more about plant life cycles. Legos provide a wonderful opportunity for creative expression while practicing fine motor skills, matching, and constructing.
-Skills: Experimentation, comparing, exploration, hypothesizing, observation, sequencing, matching, constructing, and creative expression.

Science:
-Materials: A variety of seeds, seed sprouter with alfalfa sprouts, plants, plant sequencing cards, body poster, skeleton, organ puzzle. The computer will show time lapse videos of plants growing.
-Rationale: The children will continue to observe and care for the seeds they planted and watch for signs of growth. The children have explored the five senses and the outside of the human body. Now we will take a closer look at what happens on the inside of the body.
-Skills: Experimentation, comparing, exploration, hypothesizing, observation, self-awareness, and conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy:
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, markers, paper, books about healthy living, books about springtime, books about plants/seeds.
-Rationale: The children are continuing to enjoy the literacy experience of adding words to the classroom dictionary. They also love being read to and discussing the stories and non-fiction books that they have been presented with. We will continue to select both types of books in order to enhance their language and literacy skill set, as well as advance their knowledge of our curriculum topics.
-Skills: Letter recognition, descriptive writing, alphabetic principle, listening skills, book structure, experience with informative and narrative texts.

Blocks:
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, step-by-step process pictures, paper, pencils, and farm animals.

-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the blocks for a variety of different reasons. Since our field trip on Tuesday, the children have enjoyed incorporating the blocks with their farm animal play and continue to represent their knowledge and experiences related to these animals. 
The children have also enjoyed creating stages out of the large hollow blocks, and these materials present them with the opportunity to put on "shows" for their classmates.
-Skills: Creative expression, representational building, social skills, planning, spatial skills, geometry, sequencing, construction skills, and large motor strength.

Dramatic Play:
-Materials: Doctor's office with exam room, reception desk, doctor kits, checklists depicting body parts, light table with x-ray pictures, labels for instruments, and baby dolls to practice on. Musical instruments are located under the loft.
-Rationale: The children have a preference for pretending to be doctors rather than patients. By adding the dolls there will more opportunities for extending the play since there will always be patients at the ready for the doctors to examine and care for. As the children learn more about bodies inside and out, they will be able to use this information in their play. 
The musical instruments will continue to be easily accessible as the children use them daily by pretending to be a band or to provide music for the plays they act out on stage.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions and social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, carrying over knowledge from other areas of learning.

Large Motor:
-Materials: Playground--bikes, shovels, bricks, kites, soccer balls, and basketball hoop/balls. Gym--Jump-the-gap, basketball, rolling slide, extended hopscotch, pitch-back, ladders, romper stompers, monkey bars, and rope-swings.
-Rationale: The children have been enjoying the large motor play that has been presented to them. The rope swings target their balance, propulsive skilss, coordination, and core strength. The children have just begun to engage in the sporting activities outside, and will continue to engage in organized play with more peers.
-Skills: Depth-perception, static and dynamic jumping, throwing/catching, hand-eye coordination, visual-perception, hopping on one foot, upper-arm strength, climbing, coordination, propulsive skills, balance, sequencing and patterns, organized play, and core-strength.


Overview
Last week our walk to explore spring using the senses of sight, hearing, and touch allowed the children to gather information about seasonal change. The observations they gathered will be incorporated into this week's focus on transforming the classroom tree to reflect the changes they see among the trees in their environment. We will also begin a planting project so the children will gain first hand experience with growing plants from seeds. Our field trip to Ag Awareness Day will be an opportunity to talk to farmers, ask questions, and find out more about where the foods we eat come from. We will continue learning about the human body by creating body tracings and encouraging the children to add the details they see on the outside of their bodies. It will be a celebration of the things that make each of them unique individuals yet acknowledges the many similarities they all share.

Art
-Materials: Oil pastels and contrasting paper, leaves from trees, green paper of different shades, green markers, green pastels, green pencils/crayons, easel with different shades of green paper, different shades of green paint.
-Rationale: As the season changes to spring, trees begin to bud with green leaves and so will our classroom tree in the loft! We will present a variety of materials that the children can use to represent what they see happening in nature.
-Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, observation, fine motor coordination, color experimentation.

Math
-Materials: Seeds for sorting, Construx, floor puzzles, sequencing games, interlocking puzzles, photo cards representing step-by-step process for building, photo cards representing step-by-step planting process and seed to plant growth, and spring bingo.
-Rationale: The children continue to build their skill in assembling the Construx. As their comfort and skill grows, so does the intricacy and creative design of their structures. The new spring bingo game will provide opportunities for matching and also will spark conversations about springtime change. The mathematical concept of sequencing will be incorporated into planting activities, which will require following a step-by-step process. The sequence of growth depicted on photo cards will allow the children to show the order of events as a seed grows into a plant.
-Skills: Sequencing, process skills, planning, construction skills, analysis, synthesis, ordering, fine motor strength and hand-eye coordination.

Science
-Materials: Tasting experiment with apples, peas, radish, and green olives. Musical instruments. A variety of seeds at the light table, as well as a seed sprouter with alfalfa seeds.
-Rationale: The children will explore their sense of taste by sampling a variety foods to compare the distinct flavors. The children have been enjoying using the musical instruments to explore their sense of hearing so we added a variety of instruments under the loft. As we dive deeper into learning about plant growth and spring, the children will sprout alfalfa seeds, taste them, and later in the week, plant their own seeds. -Skills: Experimentation, comparing, exploration, hypothesizing. observation, self-awareness, and conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, markers, paper, books about healthy living, books about springtime, books about plants/seeds, tape stories on top of the loft.
-Rationale: The children are enjoying the literacy experience of adding words to the classroom dictionary. They also love being read to and discussing the stories and non-fiction books that they have been presented with. We will continue to select both types of books in order to enhance their language and literacy skill set, as well as advance their knowledge of our curriculum topics.
-Skills: Letter recognition, descriptive writing, alphabetic principle, listening skills, book structure, experience with informative and narrative texts.

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, step-by-step process pictures, paper, pencils, and farm animals
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the blocks for a variety of different reasons. As part of our preparation for the field trip on Tuesday, we added farm animals to the unit blocks. We hope they will inspire the children to represent their knowledge and experiences related to these animals.
-Skills: Creative expression, representational building, social skills, planning, spatial skills, geometry, sequencing, construction skills, and large motor strength.

Dramatic Play
-Materials: Doctor's office with exam room, reception desk, doctor kits, checklists depicting body parts, charts indicating body parts, light table with x-ray pictures, labels for instruments.
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed the doctor play over the last few weeks and have continued to extend their activities. As we learn about our bodies more, the children will be able to use this learning in their play.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions and social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, carrying over knowledge from other areas of learning.

Large Motor
-Materials: Playground--woodworking station, bikes, shovels, bricks, kites, soccer balls, and basketball hoop/balls. Gym--Jump-the-gap, basketball, rolling slide, extended hopscotch, pitch-back, ladders, romper stompers, and monkey bars.
-Rationale: The children have been enjoying the large motor play that has been presented to them, and in an attempt to further the play we have extended the hopscotch with a slightly different end pattern to keep them focused. The romper stompers will aid them in coordinating their upper and lower bodies as well as target their balance. We have begun to bring the sports out doors so they have more room to play with more peers and to initiate organized games with rules to their play.
-Skills: Depth-perception, static and dynamic jumping, throwing/catching, hand-eye coordination, visual-perception, hopping on one foot, upper-arm strength, climbing, coordination, balance, sequencing and patterns, organized play, and core-strength

Snack
Monday - Fruit salad & whole wheat crackers
Tuesday - Animal crackers (Field trip)
Wednesday - Sunbutter sandwiches & milk
Thursday - Yogurt & granola
Friday- Graham crackers & raisins

Overview
Our goals for this week are to bring the topics of healthy bodies and springtime growth into focus. To do so we changed the science center to include the senses of smell and hearing and will encourage the children to think about how their senses help their bodies. This includes participating in activities that emphasize using their senses to perceive and learn about seasonal change. We will focus on plants by encouraging children to search for new growth/change on the playground as well as by caring for classroom plants. The children drew many flowers over the past two weeks so we will add the new challenge of using clay to represent the flowers and plants that are reflective of the seasonal changes that they see in the natural environment.

Art
Expressive Materials
-Materials: Easel with pastel colors and small brushes, clay, flowers, oil pastels, chalk, contrasting paper
-Rationale: Mirrors have been placed at the easel to promote awareness of faces as inspiration for creative design. At the table we will provide oil pastels and chalk as a new medium for them to explore. We will also encourage children to get reacquainted with the clay. Flowers will be used at the center of the table for those ready to try representational molding with the clay. We will also encourage children to explore the human body with the clay by considering questions such as "How can I use my body/hands to change the clay?" or "Can a make the shape of my hand using the clay?"
-Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor strength/coordination

Math
-Materials: Construx, floor puzzles, sequencing games, interlocking puzzles, photo cards representing step-by-step process for building
-Rationale: The Construx are a builder with a lot of potential. Many of the children developed personal designs with both the Legos and Mobilos which can now be applied and extended by adding more detail with the Construx.
-Skills: Sequencing, process skills, planning, construction skills, analysis, synthesis, ordering, fine motor strength and hand-eye coordination.

Science
- Materials: Tape player with tape of different sounds, shaker sound matching game, large seashells, musical instruments, different types of herbs in containers, flowers, pine cones. Light projector located under the loft.
-Rationale: As the children continue to learn more about the 5 senses, they will begin to explore their senses of hearing and smell. Using materials from nature, such as the different herbs, plants, and seashells, will begin to build an awareness of the connection between their bodies and the outside world. The light projector will provide the means for them to experiment with light and shadows by creating body/body part shadows.
-Skills: Experimentation, observation, comparing, matching, generalizing, conceptual knowledge, self-awareness.

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, markers, paper, envelopes, staples, tape computer, and new books related to spring growth, and healthy body growth. Tape story listening center in the loft.
-Rationale: To provide children with an opportunity to expand their knowledge of letters and letter sounds they will be helping to create a classroom dictionary. We will be incorporating new vocabulary having to do with spring, body growth, along with familiar words. The listening center in the loft is a cozy space for listening to stories with peers.
-Skills: Letter recognition, alliteration, name recognition, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, fine motor dexterity and coordination.

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, fabrics, step-by-step process pictures, paper and pencils
-Rationale: The children have been building animal dens as well as space ships over the past two weeks. They have a desire to be completely enclosed so we have added fabric to use as a safe covering for their structures.
- Skills: Creative building, social skills, planning, spatial skills, geometry, sequencing, construction skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
-Materials: Doctor's office with exam room and reception desk counter, doctor kits, checklists depicting body parts, charts indicating body parts, light table with x-ray pictures, labels for doctor instruments with corresponding body part they are used for.
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed engaging in doctor play and have continued to find new ways to extend and add depth to their activities. Familiarity with the dramatic play center will present the children with an opportunity to incorporate the new knowledge we will be learning about our bodies. The checklists and examining procedure will continue to provide them with the means to practice sequencing and literary skills.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions and social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing, extending play, carrying over knowledge from other areas of learning

Large motor
-Materials: Playground--woodworking station, bikes, shovels, bricks, kites. Gym--Jump-the-gap, basketball, rolling slide, hopscotch, pitch-back, ladders, and monkey bars.
-Rationale: We introduced the children to woodworking late last week and are focusing on safety and proper tool usage. We are starting with hammers, nails, and sandpaper and will also help the children notice the different densities and textures of the wood pieces.
-Skills: Depth-perception, static and dynamic jumping, throwing/catching, hand-eye coordination, visual-perception, hopping on one foot, upper-arm strength, climbing, coordination, and core-strength


Snack
Monday - Whole wheat english muffin pizzas
Tuesday - Carrots & hummus
Wednesday - Apples & Cheerios
Thursday - Chex & milk
Friday- Bananas & whole wheat crackers


Overview
As usual when we start a new session the focus for the first week is to get acquainted with the new teachers. Peter and Stephanie both came to visit before the break so the process has already begun. We will continue to develop the over-arching theme of Healthy Living as we enter this last ten weeks of school. The doctor play that was initiated by the children last session will be extended through the set-up of a doctor's office in the dramatic play area. In addition, we will be taking a closer look at the human body through an exploration of the five senses in the science area. The construction skills that were enhanced through Lego play last session will be further developed with the introduction of a new building set, Mobilos. We will incorporate the mathematical concept of sequencing by providing step-by-step directions and diagrams to support building with Mobilos as well as the hollow blocks. The children's interest in letters and letter sounds will be enhanced by the creation of a classroom dictionary in which the children's names and new words will be added.

Art
Expressive Materials
-Materials: Easel with pastel colors, markers, colored pencils, paper
-Rationale: Symmetrical pictures will be provided at the easels to inspire the integration of this mathematical concept with creative design. The flowers, as a symbol of springtime change, will be placed at the table to encourage representational drawing.
-Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor strength/coordination, opportunities for conversations and discussions.

Math
-Materials: Sequencing games, interlocking puzzles, photo cards representing step-by-step process for building, Mobilos
-Rationale: The children thoroughly enjoyed building with the legos last session. The Mobilos are a new builder that will challenge the children's construction skills and ability to synthesize materials to create a unified whole. We will incorporate the mathematical concept of sequencing into building with Mobilos by providing pictures that show the steps necessary to build a particular object. Creative design will also be encouraged and we will support the children in developing their own step-by-step building plans to share with other class members.
-Skills: Sequencing, process skills, planning, construction skills, analysis, synthesis, ordering, fine motor strength and hand-eye coordination.

Science
-Materials: Magnifying materials, eye chart, a variety of glasses and sunglasses, texture matching game, sand letters, mirrors. Light projector, open-ended translucent/transparent materials for open exploration.
-Rationale: As an introduction to learning more about the human body, we will begin building awareness by taking a closer look at the five senses. To start, we will focus on the senses of sight and touch. The light projector will be in the back of the classroom to provide an alternative visual perspective and to allow for open exploration of light, translucency, transparency, and shadow.
-Skills: Scientific inquiry, experimentation, observation, generalizing, reasoning, matching, comparison, conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Classroom dictionary, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, computer
-Rationale: To provide the children with an opportunity to expand their knowledge of letters and letter sounds they will be helping to create a classroom dictionary. Not only will this enhance their literacy skills, it will give meaning and relevancy to their learning as they contribute their own names, drawings, and words to the dictionary. The computer has been moved to the writing center and will highlight literacy software and word processing programs.
-Skills: Letter recognition, alliteration, name recognition, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, technology, fine motor dexterity and coordination.

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks and step-by-step process pictures, paper and pencils
-Rationale: To extend the children's thinking about how to build, we will support the process by providing sequenced directions in photos. The paper and pencils will allow the children to design their own plans to refer to as they build.
- Skills: Creative building, social skills, planning, spatial skills, geometry, sequencing, construction skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
-Materials: Doctor's office with exam room, doctor kits, checklists depicting body parts, kitchen located in the loft.
-Rationale: The children initiated doctor play at the end of last session which we will support by creating space and additional materials for them to use to add depth to their play. In addition to providing opportunities to discuss what it means to be healthy/sick, the materials will also build literacy and math skills. Checklists labeling body parts as well as sequenced steps for examination procedures are available for the young doctors.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions and social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, sequencing

Large motor
-Materials: Playground--bikes, shovels, bricks, construction trucks. Gym--Stay tuned...the gym is being painted.
-Rationale: In addition to supporting active play on the playground, we will also draw the children's attention to springtime changes in the plants and trees.
-Skills: Depth perception, grasping, visual perception, risk taking, motor coordination and timing, propulsion skills, construction skills, dynamic balance and coordination, upper and lower body strength, and climbing.

Snack
Monday - Rice cakes & milk
Tuesday - Apple slices & milk
Wednesday - Oranges & graham crackers
Thursday - Animal crackers & milk
Friday- Edamame & triscuit


Overview
Our goals this week will be to extend to the topics the children have been so fascinated in. To continue the exploration of mixing colors, cellophane paper will be introduced to the children to create collages at the art table, as well as new materials at the light table. Based on the children's interest in symmetry, we will continue to explore symmetrical and asymmetrical concepts through manipulative and magnet boards. Recently, the children have been engaging in new dramatic play themes, such as doctor and a variety of doctor materials will be provided to the children to support their role-play. We will provide the children with stamps and envelopes as we engage in the opportunity to create invitations and then follow through with mailing them.

Expressive Arts
- Materials: Cellophane Collages - Red, yellow, and blue cellophane, glue sticks, transparency paper, construction paper. The easels have red, yellow, and blue paint.
- Rationale: The children will have the opportunity to extend their thinking about mixing colors by using a new material, cellophane. The children continue to enjoy painting at the side-by-side easels and share their thoughts and ideas with peers as they paint.
- Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, self-expression, sensory input, fine motor.

Math and Manipulative
- Materials: Magnet boards with shapes, Popoids, symmetry trays with wooden shapes, puzzles featuring symmetry, mirrors, folded paper and stencils w/scissors, Legos with wheels and people.
- Rationale: We will continue to explore symmetrical shapes, while also understanding what makes something asymmetrical. We will continue to engage in recognizing and creating symmetrical shapes and objects. The children have just recently been engaging with the popoids and discovering what they can create with them while using their imaginations and using them to support dramatic play.
- Skills: Imagination, creative expression, symmetry, construction skills, analysis, synthesis, ordering, positional concepts.

Science
- Materials: Colored water bottles, Bottles with red and yellow, blue and yellow, or blue and red colors in them, color mixing station, colorful feather match game, bird beak sorting game, wing-span/arm-span comparison chart with measuring tools.
- Rationale: To foster exploration and inquiry as the children mix colors, new combinations of materials have been added for experimentation. Investigation of the colors of different bird feathers will be supported with the colorful feather match game.
- Skills: Scientific inquiry, fine motor, experimentation, observation, generalizing, reasoning, grouping, comparison, conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy
- Materials: Stamps, envelopes, mailbox, materials for letter writing, photo and name cards, visual prompts for addressing letters, an assortment of writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, tape and staplers. New books related to colors and letter writing have been added to the classroom.
- Rationale: We will support the children's engagement with writing letters through creating invitations and following through with mailing them.
- Skills: Community building, letter recognition, name recognition, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, communication, and fine motor dexterity and coordination.

Blocks
- Materials: Pictures of the hotels and planes they have built, pictures of what they have built with the legos, legos, hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and large fabric pieces.
- Rationale: We will continue to support the children through their play with the hollow blocks. Recently, they have been working together to build hotels and planes. They have been interested in traveling and we will continue to expand their building by providing photos of what they have built in the past. The children continue to build with the legos each day and their structures have become more intricate and detailed. We will photograph these structures as well so we can stimulate their creativity and provide an opportunity to reflect on what they have done before, replicate it or change it.
- Skills: Reflection, symmetry, creative building, social skills, planning, spatial skills, geometry, knowledge of force and motion, physical knowledge, construction skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
- Materials: Doctor scrubs, doctor kits with a variety of doctor materials, popoids in the loft, bird costumes, and large fabric pieces. Under the loft are hibernating animals with fabric and pillows for making dens. In the cave there are stuffed raptor birds and wood pieces. Kitchen furniture, spoons, forks, knives, cups, dishes and cooking pots along with different fruits in baskets.
- Rationale: To support a new interest in doctor play, we have added scrubs and doctor kids to the dramatic play area.
- Skills: Creative building, role-play, symbolic play, creativity, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, fine motor.

Large Motor
- Materials: Gym - soccer balls and net, balance beam, rope swing, climbing structure, stairs and balance beam. Outdoors - I spy game, fort building, bikes, climber, boot skating and belly sliding.
- Rationale: The children have thoroughly enjoyed trying the new equipment in the gym. We will continue to support the children's skill development while using the materials. When using the soccer net we will provide support to the children to kick the ball to utilize visual perception, propulsion, and depth perception, rather than using their hands to throw the ball into the net. Balance beams in the gym will allow children to practice balance, climbing, and their risk taking abilities
- Skills: Depth perception, grasping, visual perception, risk taking, motor coordination and timing, propulsion skills, construction skills, dynamic balance and coordination, upper and lower body strength, and climbing.

Snack
Monday - Pretzels & celery
Tuesday - Rice pudding
Wednesday - Cheerios & raisins
Thursday - Granola bars & milk
Friday- Popcorn

Overview
Last week the children were introduced to the concept of symmetry using mirrors, magnet boards, and by cutting folded paper. To continue this exploration we will encourage the children to look for symmetry in the environment as well as by creating their own symmetrical images with open-ended materials. Based on the children's interest in observing the birds at our feeder, we will create individual bird feeders to hang in the trees around our window and on the playground. We will continue to support role-play using legos as well as introduce another manipulative builder to inspire new creations and support a recent interest in space. The children's exploration of color mixing will be extended with new materials in the science area. Their interest in the topic will also be supported through crayon melting at the art table. The easels will continue to be available as many children engaged in painting and color mixing at the side-by-side easels with red, yellow, and blue tempera paints during the previous week. We will provide visuals for addressing envelopes, examples of messages, and photo name cards to support ongoing letter writing.

Expressive Arts
- Materials: Crayon melting- warming trays, paper, crayon shavings, crayons. Side-by-side easels - red, yellow and blue tempera paint.
- Rationale: The children will have the opportunity to continue experimenting with crayon melting and discovering what happens when they add heat to crayon shavings. Many children enjoyed painting at the side-by-side easels and sharing their thoughts and ideas with peers as they painted.
- Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, self-expression, sensory input, fine motor.

Math and Manipulatives
- Materials: Magnet boards with shapes, Popoids, symmetry trays with wooden shapes, puzzles featuring symmetry, mirrors, folded paper and stencils w/scissors, Legos with wheels and people.
- Rationale: We will continue to practice recognizing and creating symmetrical shapes and objects. The addition of the Popoids as another building material will give the children an opportunity to extend their building ideas as well as support a recent interest in spacecrafts and outer space.
- Skills: Symmetry, construction skills, analysis, synthesis, ordering, positional concepts.

Science
- Materials: Bird feeders- Sun Butter, birdseed, pinecones, string. Colored gems, color recipes, translucent color pieces, color-mixing station, colorful feather match game, bird beak sorting game, wing-span/arm-span comparison chart with measuring tools.
- Rationale: To support the children's interest in the birds at our feeder, we will be creating individual bird feeders to hang in the trees and around the playground. We will watch to see if birds come and can also check to see if any seed is missing to tell if the birds were there while we were away. Investigation of the colors of different bird feathers will be supported with the colorful feather match game. Children are encouraged not only to sort the colored feathers but also to think about why birds might have different colored feathers. The children's interest in color mixing continues to grow as they mix colored water, use translucent color pieces, and record their individual "color recipes". The children also have opportunities to experiment with color mixing at the easels with the red, yellow, and blue paint as well as with the crayons and warming trays.
- Skills: Scientific inquiry, fine motor, experimentation, observation, generalizing, reasoning, grouping, comparison, conceptual knowledge.

Language and Literacy
- Materials: Mailbox, materials for letter writing, photo and name cards, visual prompts for addressing letters, an assortment of writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, tape and staplers. A variety of books have been chosen that relate to our curriculum.
- Rationale: We will continue to support the children as they exchange messages of friendship, practice pre-literacy skills, and contribute to building a sense of classroom community.
- Skills: Letter recognition, name recognition, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, communication, and fine motor dexterity and coordination.

Blocks
- Materials: Legos, wooden cars, hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and large fabric pieces.
- Rationale: We will support the children as they continue to expand their building with the legos. Recently, they have begun building tracks and bridges with the unit blocks for their lego vehicles. The children have also worked together to build large symmetrical structures with the hollow blocks.
- Skills: Symmetry, creative building, social skills, planning, spatial skills, geometry, knowledge of force and motion, physical knowledge, construction skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
- Materials: Popoids in the loft. Bird and bear costumes, and large fabric pieces. Under the loft are hibernating animals with fabric and pillows for making dens. In the cave there are stuffed raptor birds and wood pieces. Kitchen furniture, spoons, forks, knives, cups, dishes and cooking pots along with different fruits in baskets.
- Rationale: To support a new interest in spacecrafts and outer space and expand children's building ideas, we will introduce Popoids in the loft as a new building material.
- Skills: Creative building, role-play, symbolic play, creativity, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, fine motor.

Large Motor
- Materials: Gym - soccer balls and net, balance beam, rope swing, climbing structure, stairs and balance beam. Outdoors - I spy game, fort building, bikes, climber, boot skating and belly sliding.
- Rationale: The new rope swing will provide opportunities to enhance grasping abilities, upper body strength, motor coordination and timing, as well as propulsion skills. Balance beams in the gym will allow children to practice balance, climbing, and their risk taking abilities. Visual perception, propulsion, and depth perception will all be utilized as children engage in kicking soccer balls into the net.
- Skills: Depth perception, grasping, visual perception, risk taking, motor coordination and timing, propulsion skills, construction skills, dynamic balance and coordination, upper and lower body strength, and climbing.

Snack
Monday - Corn Pasta & milk
Tuesday - Grapefruit & Graham crackers
Wednesday - Celery & hummus
Thursday - Peaches & granola
Friday- Triscuits & milk

Overview
Our main goals for the week ahead are to add extensions to the topics we have already been exploring. Now that the children have experimented with adding heat to ice, they can see if the same results occur when heat is added to crayon at the art table. Mixing colored water, which was so fascinating in the science center, will now be extended to the easels with red, yellow, and blue tempera paint. Our study of birds will also incorporate color by looking at colorful feathers and inspiring wonder about why some birds are colorful while others aren't. The lego building will now include lego people and vehicles to support the role-play that began last week and to allow the children to add more depth to their lego creations. The mailboxes that were introduced last week set in motion a flurry of writing and exchanging messages of friendship. We are ready for the week ahead with a fully stocked writing center complete with visuals for addressing envelopes and photo name cards in order to support pre-literacy skills.


Expressive Arts
- Materials: Crayon melting- warming trays, paper, crayons. Side-by-side easels - red, yellow and blue tempera paint
- Rationale: To add new experiences that will not only allow for creative expression, but will also contribute to the children's understanding of melting and color mixing. A second easel was added to foster communication and shared discovery among the children as they paint next to one another.
- Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, self-expression, sensory input, fine motor.

Math and Manipulatives
- Materials: Puzzles featuring symmetry, mirrors, folded paper and stencils w/scissors, Legos, seriation materials that feature the dimensions of size, color, and shape.
- Rationale: We will introduce the concept of symmetry this week by using mirrors and folded paper. These are very clear ways to show the line of symmetry and convey the idea of "same on both sides."
- Skills: Symmetry, construction skills, seriation, analysis, synthesis, ordering, positional concepts.


Science
- Materials: Translucent color pieces, color-mixing station, colorful feather match game, bird beak sorting game, wing-span/arm-span comparison chart with measuring tools
- Rationale: The children's interest in color mixing continues to grow and they have begun to create many new hues and shades. To foster this interest and provide a wider range of activities to contribute to their understanding we have added red, yellow, and blue paint to the easel and will also encourage them to record their "color recipes" in the science center.
- Skills: Scientific inquiry, fine motor, experimentation, observation, generalizing, reasoning, grouping, comparison, conceptual knowledge

Language and Literacy
- Materials: Mailbox, materials for letter writing, photo and name cards, visual prompts for addressing letters, an assortment of writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, tape and staplers. A variety of books have been chosen that relate to our curriculum.
- Rationale: Exchanging messages of friendship, while contributing greatly to classroom community, also provides a child-centered opportunity to practice pre-literacy skills.
- Skills: Letter recognition, name recognition, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, communication, and fine motor dexterity and coordination.

Blocks
- Materials: Legos, wooden cars, hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and large fabric pieces.
- Rationale: The children brought their Lego cars to the ramps last week so we will continue to support their experimentation with force and motion by encouraging them to design new pathways.
- Skills: Creative building, social skills, planning, spatial skills, geometry, knowledge of force and motion, physical knowledge, construction skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
- Materials: Bird and bear costumes, and large fabric pieces. Under the loft are hibernating animals with fabric and pillows for making dens. In the cave there are stuffed raptor birds and wood pieces. Kitchen furniture, spoons, forks, knives, cups, dishes and cooking pots along with different fruits in baskets.
- Rationale: The creative dramatics and role-play will be extended with the addition of musical instruments to capture the emotion and intensity of the story that is being acted out.
- Skills: Creativity, role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning, music and movement.

Large Motor
- Materials: Gym - tricycle track, mats, hurdles, rope, climbing ladder. Outdoors - I spy game, fort building, bikes, climber, boot skating and belly sliding
- Rationale: Propulsive skills are enhanced by the opportunities to use the tricycles in the gym and on the playground. The ice outside allows the children to practice coordination and dynamic balance as they boot skate on large patches of ice. Large branches that were trimmed from the trees late last week began a fort building project that will continue as a collaborative project between our class and Ross'
- Skills: Propulsion skills, construction skills, dynamic balance and coordination, upper and lower body strength, climbing, dynamic balance, and cardiovascular endurance.


Snack
Monday - Sunbutter sandwiches & milk
Tuesday - Cucumbers & mini triscuit
Wednesday - Oranges & rice cakes
Thursday - Carrots & pretzels
Friday- Cheerios & milk

Overview
Last week the children began to write and act out stories with Frances. This week, we will guide the children and support their interest in acting out and composing stories. The warm weather and lack of snow has affected some of the areas in our classroom. In the sensory table, rather than snow, we will continue our exploration of flax seed using tools and introducing new materials to the table. We will continue our work with ice melting and introduce a warming tray to extend the possibilities for exploration. The children have also shown interest in experimenting with colors and we will continue to provide opportunities for the children to engage with a variety of paints, color-mixing stations, and possibly snow and ice coloring.

Expressive Arts
- Materials: Watercolor painting - coffee filters, droppers, liquid watercolor paint. Easel - new paint colors, brushes, paper. Beak making - paper head pieces with a variety of "loose parts" which could be used to represent the wide range of beak shapes.
- Rationale: Many of the children have enjoyed using the watercolor paints. To give the children a new way to use the paints, materials including droppers instead of paintbrushes and coffee filters will be introduced. As requested by the children, two new paint colors will replace the blue, white, and brown for the children to use while painting at the easel. Beak making will continue as the children create new types of birds, naming them and describing their traits and habits.
- Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, self-expression, sensory input, fine motor.

Sensory
- Materials: Sensory table with flax seed, shovels, wheels, shakers, baking trays, funnels.
- Rationale: To provide the children with an opportunity to explore this new material and use it in a variety of ways. Exploring its properties such as how it feels, sounds, and how they can manipulate the flax seed.
- Skills: Sensory input, knowledge of physical properties.

Math and Manipulatives
- Materials: Small legos and wheel pieces, new seriated materials, nesting cups, seriated cylinders, themed interlocking puzzles featuring winter, animals, and birds.
- Rationale: The addition of wheels and other vehicle pieces to the legos will expand the possibilities from homes and buildings to more complex construction. New seriation manipulatives will be provided that allow the children to sort by size and/or color.
- Skills: Construction skills, planning, seriation, matching, sorting, classification, ordering, positional concepts.

Science
- Materials: Color trays and droppers, ice trays, salt, forks, warming tray, wing span poster, measuring tools, beak diagram, beak-like tools, stuffed pheasant, and magnifying glasses.
- Rationale: The children have begun to experiment with coloring mixing with paints as well as colored ice and snow. Further exploration of colors will be supported by the addition of color mixing trays at the light table. Our investigation of ice melting will continue as the children experiment with the new warming tray. The wingspan poster has provided the children with a new way to measure themselves as well as an opportunity to compare their 'wingspan' to those of different birds. The bird beak activity will continue as the children tools to practice acting like birds with a variety of beaks.
- Skills: Scientific inquiry, fine motor, experimentation, observation, generalizing, reasoning, grouping, comparison, conceptual knowledge, knowledge of the natural world, descriptive language, heuristic language, informative language, symbolic representation, peer interactions.

Language and Literacy
- Materials: Mailbox, materials for story writing, laminated short stories, photo and name cards, visual prompts for addressing letters, an assortment of writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, tape and staplers. A variety of books have been chosen that relate to our curriculum.
- Rationale: The addition of a classroom mailbox will give the children an opportunity to write each other letters and other messages. We will continue to discuss different types of messages and have examples posted in the writing center. The children have also started to write and act out new and familiar stories. We will provide materials for story writing as well as short stories for the children to act out.
- Skills: Fine motor, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, and letter recognition.

Blocks
- Materials: Legos, wooden cars, hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and large fabric pieces.
- Rationale: Last week with Frances, the children began writing stories and acting them out in the block area. They worked together to plan and build the stage/set with hollow and unit blocks, wood boards, and the large fabric pieces.
- Skills: Creative building, social skills, planning, role-play, spatial skills, geometry, knowledge of force and motion, physical knowledge, construction skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
- Materials: Next to the loft, we have the bird and bear costumes, and large fabric pieces. Under the loft are the big bears, mice, raccoons, bunnies, and pillows. In the cave there are stuffed raptor birds and wood pieces. Kitchen furniture, spoons, forks, knives, cups, dishes and cooking pots along with different fruits in baskets. There are also construction tools near the block area.
- Rationale: We have arranged the costumes, fabric pieces, and other story materials so they are easily accessible and inviting to children who want to engage in storytelling and acting.
- Skills: Creativity, role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing, planning.

Large Motor
- Materials: Gym - tricycle track, mats, hurdles, rope, climbing ladder. Outdoors - sleds for pulling, shovels, and buckets.
- Rationale: The lack of snow has prevented us from sledding while outside. This week we will provide the children with other activities to engage in while outside such as a scavenger hunt. The tricycle track provides opportunities for the children to continue to develop their propulsive skills.
- Skills: Propulsion skills, upper and lower body strength, climbing, dynamic balance, jumping, and cardiovascular endurance.


Snack
Monday - Galette de Rois
Tuesday - Bananas & graham crackers
Wednesday - Oranges & rice cakes
Thursday - Alphabet soup & crackers
Friday- Edamame & pretzels

Overview
Last week the fresh snow allowed us to open up the hill on the playground for sledding. There was even enough snow for us to bring into the classroom sensory table where digging and snow mountain building ensued. This coming week we added an ice melting station to the science table to build on the children's interest and observations of melting both inside and outdoors. The Bell Museum field trip was another highlight from last week and certainly added to the children's enthusiasm for learning about birds. We will continue to explore the physical characteristics of birds by focusing on the relationship between beak shape and the food they eat.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Watercolor painting - paper, brushes, liquid watercolor paint. Beak making - paper head pieces with a variety of "loose parts" which could be used to represent the wide range of beak shapes. Easel- brushes, paint, paper.
-Rationale: As the children learn more about a bird's physical features, they will be given the opportunity to create their own beaks. The variety of materials provided will allow the children to express their creativity while representing their understanding of a bird beaks. They will be wearable so will compliment the wings that many made last week. The watercolor table will give the children an opportunity for creative expression and symbolic representation with a new medium. As an extension, we will invite the children to bring the liquid watercolor outside in the cold to experiment with freezing. Once the paint is frozen, the children will bring it back in to experiment with melting.
-Skills: Self-expression, fine motor, creative expression, sensory input, symbolic representation

Sensory
-Materials: Sensory table with snow, ice, colored water, eyedroppers, and shovels -Rationale: To provide materials for children to explore snow and ice while providing them with materials to discover colors and what happens when colors and snow or ice mix. - -Skills: mixing of colors, sensory input, knowledge of physical properties,


Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Small legos, seriated cylinders, nesting cups, themed interlocking puzzles featuring winter, animals, and birds.
- Rationale: The legos have been added as an additional construction material near the unit blocks, which have been used daily for building. Seriation will continue to be explored as the children will be provided with manipulatives that can be sorted and ordered by size.
-Skills: Matching, sorting, classification, ordering, seriation, positional concepts, construction skills

Science
-Materials: Ice cubes, salt, forks, wing span poster, beak diagram, animal tracks (birds and mammals), stuffed pheasant, and magnifying glasses.
-Rationale: An ice melting experiment that uses salt will be added to the science table for investigation. The children will be able to investigate, discover and wonder about what causes ice to melt. A poster of an eagle's wingspan has been added to the wall for the children to visualize the size of the wingspans of birds in comparison to their own arm spans. Images of bird beaks will also be placed in the science area for children to explore and discover some similarities and differences in beaks.
-Skills: Scientific inquiry, experimentation, observation, generalizing, reasoning, grouping, matching, comparison, conceptual knowledge, knowledge of the natural world, descriptive language, heuristic language, informative language, symbolic representation, peer interactions

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Photo and name cards, visual prompts for addressing letters, an assortment of writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, envelopes, tape and staplers. A variety of books have been chosen that relate to our curriculum.
-Rationale: The words used in addressing letters have been displayed in the writing center for children to refer to as they write to peers and family members. We will also continue our discussions of different types of messages: invitations, get well cards, thank you cards etc.
-Skills: Fine motor, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, fine motor, and letter recognition


Blocks
-Materials: Legos, wooden cars, hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces
-Rationale: The children have been engaged in building sledding hills and ramps to roll wooden cars down. By adding legos and the wooden cars to the blocks area the children will be able to build their own cars and other obstacles. The legos and cars will provide them with more opportunities to practice construction skills.
-Skills: Creative building, spatial skills, geometry, role-play, knowledge of force and motion, physical knowledge, social skills, construction skills and large motor.

Dramatic Play
-Materials: In the loft, we have clipboards with paper, pencils and bird books to motivate children to express their thoughts and ideas about birds. Under the loft, we have bird costumes, big bears, raccoons, bunnies, and pillows. The cave has stuffed raptor birds and wood pieces. Kitchen furniture, spoons, forks, knives, cups, dishes and cooking pots along with different fruits in baskets. Near the blocks there are construction tools. -Rationale: By adding the clipboards and paper to draw the children will be given an opportunity to develop fine motor skills while expressing their creativity and observations of birds.
-Skills: Fine motor, creativity, Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing.

Large Motor
-Materials: Gym- tricycle track, mats, hurdles, rope, climbing ladder. Outdoors-sledding, shovels, and buckets.
-Rationale: The trike track provides opportunities for the children to continue to develop their propulsive skills. Outside the children have thoroughly enjoyed the sledding hill. It has been an exciting and unifying experience.
-Skills: propulsion skills, upper and lower body strength, climbing, dynamic balance, jumping, and cardiovascular endurance.


Overview
The children are clearly glad to be back and have embraced all that that the classroom has to offer. In particular the mounted birds, birds at the feeder, and nest making video have intrigued them. We will pursue this topic by viewing additional birds at the Bell Museum, observing behavior, and by trying to make nests of our own. Now that the temperatures have dropped again, we will investigate how non-hibernating animals survive in the winter. We will compare what we learn to the ways humans adjust to colder temperatures, how they stay warm and healthy.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Watercolor painting - paper, feathers, brushes, watercolor paint. Clay- clay, utensils, nest materials. Easel- brushes, paint, paper.
-Rationale: As the children become more adept at using the clay and clay tools to represent their creative ideas, we will begin to incorporate nest materials into the clay area to promote discussion and creation of nests. The watercolor table will give the children an opportunity for creative expression and symbolic representation with a new medium. The feathers at the watercolor table may encourage children's thinking about different types of feathers as well as inspire paintings using a variety of colors. The addition of a new paint (brown) to the easel will give the children a way to extend their paintings and thinking about winter.
-Skills: Self-expression, fine motor, creative expression, sensory input, symbolic representation.

Sensory
-Materials: Sensory table with gravel, rocks, shovels, small earthmover trucks
-Rationale: To provide materials that allow the children to recreate the changes they witness at the work site across from the school.
-Skills: Sensory input, knowledge of physical properties, connection between indoors and outdoors.

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Seriated cylinders, nesting cups, button mosaics, themed interlocking puzzles featuring winter, animals, and birds.
-Rationale: We will introduce the concept of seriation by providing manipulatives that can be sorted and ordered by size. This will allow the children to use previously acquired skills such as matching and sorting according to size, and foster further growth of their mathematical concept development by practicing ordering from largest to smallest.
-Skills: Matching, sorting, classification, ordering, seriation, positional concepts, patterning, one-to-one correspondence and whole/part relationships.

Science
-Materials: Nests, animal tracks (birds and mammals), stuffed crow and pheasant, feathers, and magnifying glasses.
-Rationale: A variety of bird nests will be added to the science table for investigation. The children will be able to discover what kinds of materials are used to make nests as well as discuss ideas such as the purpose of nests and how nests are constructed. The light dusting of snow has led to the discovery of animal tracks on the playground. We added a track matching game to the light table to foster growth of the children's ability to discriminate the differences between animals based on the marks they leave. We will extend this learning to the playground and attempt to identify the animals that share our outdoor space.
-Skills: Scientific inquiry, observation, generalizing, making use of appropriate sources of information, reasoning, grouping, matching, comparison, conceptual knowledge-knowledge of the natural world, descriptive language, heuristic language, informative language, symbolic representation, peer interactions.

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Photo and name cards, an assortment of writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, tape and staplers. A variety of books have been chosen that relate to our curriculum.
-Rationale: We added photo and name cards for each child in the class to foster the children's independence in writing their own name or the names of their classmates. We introduced the idea of writing letters to one another during morning meeting and as a group, addressed a letter to Ross' class before delivering it. Not only are writing letters and drawing pictures for classmates great ways to practice writing and promote literacy, they also enhance feelings of friendship and build classroom community.
-Skills: Fine motor, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, fine motor, and letter recognition.

Blocks
-Materials: Construction helmets, construction vests, hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces.
-Rationale: The children have been intrigued with the demolition site outside of the preschool. Along with visits to view the changes at the site, these dramatic play props will encourage and inspire the children to create their own construction site with the blocks.
-Skills: Creative building, spatial skills, geometry, role-play, knowledge of force and motion, physical knowledge, social skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
-Materials: In the loft, we have stuffed raptor birds and squirrels. Under the loft, we have bird costumes, big bears, raccoons, bunnies, and pillows. The cave has plastic animals, photos depicting hibernating animals, and wood pieces. Kitchen furniture, spoons, forks, knives, cups, dishes and cooking pots along with different fruits in baskets. Near the blocks there are construction tools.
-Rationale: The addition of the bird costumes under the loft will give the children the opportunity to extend their thinking and represent what they are learning about birds. The dramatic play materials encourage children to engage in make-believe play, to support conversations related to animals and their habitats and provide opportunities for self-expression, imagination, and creativity.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing.

Large Motor
-Materials: Gym- monkey bars, A-frame ladder bridge with jumping station, climber with rolling slide, and ladders. Outdoors-playground equipment, shovels, buckets, construction vehicles.
-Rationale: The gym equipment fosters a overall strength and balance. There is an open area that is used for group games that focus on specific skills such as isolated body movements, stretching, and spatial awareness. Outside, the children will have opportunities to enjoy the cold fresh air. We will draw their attention to birds and signs of animals.
-Skills: Balance and coordination, endurance, upper and lower body strength, depth perception, climbing up and down.

Snack
Monday - No School
Tuesday - Oatmeal & orange juice
Wednesday - Cucumbers & Pretzels
Thursday - Saltine & sunbutter sandwiches
Friday- Cornbread muffins

Overview
Welcome back to school! This first week back will be a period of readjustment. It won't take too long however, for all of us to settle back into our routines. The children may express some concern about having new teachers Julia and Emma. If your child is having reservations about the changes please let me know and I will provide extra support. Our focus for this week and next will be on classroom routines, establishing relationships with the new teachers and getting reacquainted with friends. The curriculum includes revisiting the topic healthy living by talking about the importance of our relationships with one another. The classroom has been set up to foster interaction and cooperation and will have plenty of familiar materials as well as some new arrangements and materials to pique their curiosity.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Easel- brushes, paint, paper. Winter collage-an assortment of materials along with glue and tape. Clay-clay and utensils.
-Rationale: There are opportunities for creative expression and symbolic representation by "creating winter" using collage materials. We will work with small groups of children to get reacquainted with the clay and clay tools so they can become more adept at using it to represent their creative ideas.
-Skills: Self-expression, fine motor, creative expression, sensory input, symbolic representation.

Sensory
-Materials: Sensory table, snow (or ice if it doesn't snow soon!), molding materials.
-Rationale: To connect to the outdoors by providing opportunities for the children to learn about the properties of snow/ice through play. We will encourage the children to build with the snow/ice and these ideas will also be extended to the playground.
-Skills: Creative building, sensory input, knowledge of physical properties, connection between indoors and outdoors.

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Button mosaics, lacing beads, themed puzzles featuring winter, animals, and birds.
-Rationale: We have provided specific materials that can be used for patterning, an important pre-mathematical skill. Teaching and learning about patterns will take place not only in small group interactions with teachers, but will also be incorporated into large group activities and discussions.
-Skills: Patterning, concept knowledge, one-to-one correspondence and whole/part relationships.

Science
-Materials: Stuffed crow and pheasant, feathers, nests, magnifying glasses, sorting cards. Fish.
-Rationale: Another way we will pursue the topic of healthy living is through examining birds and other animals in terms of how they survive cold winter temperatures. The children can share their "homework" bird observations as well as watch bird behavior at our classroom feeder. The death of our tadpole will provide us with the opportunity to discuss animal life cycles.
-Skills: Scientific inquiry, observation, generalizing, making use of appropriate sources of information, reasoning, grouping, conceptual knowledge-knowledge of the natural world, descriptive language, heuristic language, informative language, symbolic representation, peer interactions.

Language and Literacy
-Materials: An assortment of writing materials such as pens, pencils, paper, tape and staplers. A variety of books have been chosen that relate to our curriculum.
-Rationale: We have set-up several writing areas in the classroom. One is located in the front of the classroom near the bird feeder to spark children's interest in writing and/or dictating what they observe there. We will use the writing center in the back of the room to support the sign and prop making that often accompanies dramatic play. The books we have selected are meant to accompany, inform, and expand on children's explorations in the different areas of the classroom. We also have a variety of old favorites for the pure enjoyment of reading!
-Skills: fine motor, descriptive and creative writing/dictation, fine motor, and letter recognition.

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks, unit blocks, ramps, wood boards, and big fabric pieces.
-Rationale: Block building provides opportunities for social interaction as well as problem solving and creativity. Last session the children were inspired by the ramp small group and began building ramps using the wood planks. We will provide photos of their previous work so they can add depth to their creations and experiment with ramps in new ways.
-Skills: creative building, spatial skills, geometry, knowledge of force and motion, physical knowledge, social skills, and large motor.

Dramatic Play
-Materials: In the loft, we have stuffed raptor birds and squirrels. Under the loft, we have big bears, raccoons, bunnies, animal costumes, and pillows. The cave has plastic animals, photos depicting hibernating animals, and wood pieces. Kitchen furniture, spoons, forks, knives, cups, dishes and cooking pots along with different fruits in baskets. Near the blocks there are construction tools.
-Rationale: To encourage children to engage in make-believe play, to support conversations related to animals and their habitats and provide opportunities for self-expression, imagination, and creativity. The construction tools have been provided in light of the big demolition project near the school. As they engage in play around this theme, it will give them a chance to talk about, and make sense of the changes they observe.
-Skills: Role-play, symbolic play, peer interactions, support general social skills, problem solving, sharing.

Large Motor
-Materials: Gym- monkey bars, A-frame ladder bridge with jumping station, climber with rolling slide, and ladders. Outdoors-playground equipment, shovels, buckets, construction vehicles.
-Rationale: The gym set-up is basic and familiar. Outside, the children will have opportunities to enjoy the cold fresh air. We will draw their attention to birds and signs of animals.
-Skills: Balance and coordination, endurance, upper and lower body strength, depth perception, climbing up and down.

Snack
Monday - No School
Tuesday - No School
Wednesday - Graham crackers & milk
Thursday - Saltines & raisins
Friday- Cereal mix & milk

Overview
With the end of the session upon us, our focus until winter break will be to provide closure to the topics that we have developed over the past ten weeks. We will finish our classroom tree project as well as share small group work with the whole class. We will continue making cozy places for the classroom animals to hibernate and rest while we are all at home over break. The children are very excited to have you all visit at the end of the week. They will be making a special snack to share with you at the party.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Table top easels with paint. Cardboard, construction paper, tacky glue, scissors, markers, leaves, sticks, "expandos", small wood pieces, fabric pieces, string, paint, bark pieces
-Rationale: The children will be able to continue their collage work as well as try painting at the easels.
-Skills: Self-expression, fine motor strength and control, formulating and expressing ideas, imagination, planning

Sensory
-Materials: Sand table, shovels, pails, sifters, woodland animal figurines, sticks, wood pieces, small rocks
-Rationale: We will continue to provide the animals at the sand table as it has promoted small group interaction and opportunities for the children to express what they have learned about animals.
-Skills: Fine motor control, observation, familiarity with physical properties, familiarity with simple objects, formulating and expressing ideas, dramatic play

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Peg boards, puzzles that highlight animals and their habitats, patterning games, objects to create patterns (colored caps, small plastic disks, ribbon pieces, jewel stones, etc)
-Rationale: The children continue to notice patterns on clothing and experiment with making patterns of their own. We have begun to introduce more complex patterns for them to extend.
-Skills: Problem-solving, fine-motor control, planning, patterning, grouping, matching, prediction, experimentation

Science
-Materials: Animal furs and balancing scales
-Rationale: The children have been exploring the animal hides and guessing what animals they come from. The teachers have been using the furs to spark conversations and help children make connections to previous learning about camouflage and the things animals do to prepare for, or survive the winter months.
-Skills: Observation, generalizing, hypothesizing, analyzing

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Fiction and nonfiction books about forest-dwelling animals, paper, scissors, markers, tape, staplers at the writing table, labeled pictures of animals and trees
-Rationale: To expand on the children's interest in animals, we will introduce a variety of books about them to be read individually and during story time. We will add labeled pictures of animals and trees to encourage expression of their ideas about these topics.
-Skills: Enjoyment of/familiarity with books, accessing appropriate sources of information, interest in/awareness of print, phonological awareness, comprehension, self-expression, fine-motor control

Blocks
-Materials: Pictures of forest dwelling animals in their homes/habitats, small wood pieces, sticks, logs, bark pieces
-Rationale: The children are very interested in playing with the animals, so highlighting photographs of these animals in their natural environment may serve as inspiration to deepen their play. The incorporation of natural materials both by the unit blocks and the hollow blocks in the back of the room will provide opportunities for the children to express their learning about these animals both in their play with figurines and in their own dramatic play.
-Skills: Self-expression, observation, planning, fine-motor control and strength, large-motor control and strength

Dramatic Play
-Materials: Maple leaves the children have painted and cut, branches for the tree, and materials to use for attaching them. There are also stuffed woodland animals in the upper loft as well as below.
-Rationale: The classroom tree is nearly complete! The children will continue adding details over the course of the week. The stuffed animals provide an opportunity for dramatic play in the "forest."
-Skills: Self-expression, role-play, large-motor control and strength, communication, creativity, social skills, planning, problem-solving

Large Motor
-Materials: Pedalo, A frames with metal bridge in between/donut, steps with rolling slide, bean bag toss, monkey bars
-Rationale: To support the development of balance, upper and lower body strength, coordination, and healthy risk-taking. The materials on the playground provide "real-world" physical activity in the form of raking, digging, pulling/pushing wagons and wheelbarrows and help to connect the children to the natural world.
-Skills: coordination, propulsion, leg strength, turn taking, depth perception, balance, climbing, jumping into the donut, flexibility, grasping, throwing, hand-eye coordination

Overview
The children have continued to be very interested in the woodland creatures and have spent a lot of time making environments for them out of the clay and natural materials. They have also continued to incorporate these animals into their dramatic play, and we will be transforming the back of the room to be more conducive for animal dramatic play. We will rotate the loft to face the block area in order to encourage construction ideas for their play. Various animal-inspired fabrics and costumes, natural materials, and woodland stuffed animals will also be moved underneath the loft. This transformed environment will provide the children with materials and opportunities to deepen their play and better express their growing knowledge.

In addition, we will be creating our own class tree on the loft to accompany the tree that has been started by the afternoon class. The children will work together to brainstorm, create, and assemble the necessary parts and materials. Along with providing another opportunity for collaborative artwork, creating this forest environment will help to encourage the woodland creature dramatic play.

The children will be able to extend their "leaf hunt" field trip experience this week as well. The type of tree that we create as a class will be determined by a class vote on their favorite type of tree from the trip. In addition, the children will be creating smaller scale trees from the leaves they found on our walk, and various activities in the science, math, and literacy centers will also provide them with opportunities to express their learning in this area.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Cardboard, construction paper, tacky glue, scissors, markers, leaves, sticks, "expandos", small wood pieces, fabric pieces, string, paint, bark pieces
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed creating animal habitats in the block area and with the clay, so these collage materials will provide them with another way to express their ideas and create three-dimensional animal habitats that can be saved and incorporated into play. In addition, some of these materials will also be used for creating our "tree loft" in the back of the room.
-Skills: Self-expression, fine motor strength and control, formulating and expressing ideas, imagination, planning

Sensory
-Materials: Sand table, shovels, pails, sifters, woodland animal figurines, sticks, wood pieces, small rocks
-Rationale: The children have really enjoyed using the sensory table in earlier activities, so the sand table provides another sensory experience that they haven't had in the classroom yet this year. We will begin with basic sand toys for them to explore the new material, then later, the animals and natural materials will be incorporated in order to encourage another outlet for habitat building and animal dramatic play.
-Skills: Fine motor control, observation, familiarity with physical properties, familiarity with simple objects, formulating and expressing ideas, planning

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Puzzles that highlight animals and their habitats, objects to create patterns (colored caps, small plastic disks, ribbon pieces, jewel stones, etc.), symbol matching, matching leaf shapes, weight and balance scales
-Rationale: The children have enjoyed puzzles, so highlighting those that picture animals will extend their learning about habitats. They have also been busy creating patterns, so by introducing and rotating new materials, we hope to expand their explorations in this area. The leaf matching will be an extension of our "leaf hunt" field trip last Friday. The use of the balance scales was very popular, so we will now bring in a weight scale as well to extend their experimentation and discovery.
-Skills: Problem-solving, fine-motor control, planning, patterning, grouping, matching, prediction, experimentation

Science
-Materials: "I Spy" game that includes animal habitats, tree/leaf/seed matching activity, leaf poster and leaves to match, pictures from our "leaf hunt"
-Rationale: The children have been very interested in the animals, so we hope that the habitat game will help to extend their knowledge about how and where the animals live. The tree materials will be an extension of the children's discoveries on our "leaf hunt" field trip.
-Skills: Observation, generalizing, hypothesizing, analyzing

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Fiction and nonfiction books about forest-dwelling animals, paper, scissors, markers, tape, staplers at the writing table, labeled pictures of animals and trees
-Rationale: To expand on the children's interest in animals, we will introduce a variety of books about them to be read individually and during story time. We will add labeled pictures of animals and trees to encourage expression of their ideas about these topics.
-Skills: Enjoyment of/familiarity with books, accessing appropriate sources of information, interest in/awareness of print, phonological awareness, comprehension, self-expression, fine-motor control

Blocks
-Materials: Pictures of forest dwelling animals in their homes/habitats, small wood pieces, sticks, logs, bark pieces
-Rationale: The children are very interested in playing with the animals, so highlighting photographs of these animals in their natural environment may serve as inspiration to deepen their play. The incorporation of natural materials both by the unit blocks and the hollow blocks in the back of the room will provide opportunities for the children to express their learning about these animals both in their play with figurines and in their own dramatic play.
-Skills: Self-expression, observation, planning, fine-motor control and strength, large-motor control and strength

Dramatic Play
-Materials: We will rotate the loft to connect more to the block area and add animal inspired fabrics, forest dwelling stuffed animals, natural colored pillows, and natural materials to encourage dramatic play. On the top of the loft, we will focus on birds with various scarves, bird print fabrics, and pictures of birds. We will also provide materials for adding to our tree (such as string, tape, sticks, and the leaves that they've painted) on the top of the loft for them to add during their play.
-Rationale: By rotating the loft toward the block area, we hope to open up the space to inspire deeper dramatic play. Our class tree will also help work toward this goal. The children have displayed a lot of interest in animals, so by providing them with these natural materials and fabric pieces, they will have the opportunity to express their learning and excitement about animals in a very active way.
-Skills: Self-expression, role-play, large-motor control and strength, communication, creativity, social skills, planning, problem-solving

Large Motor
-Materials: Swings, slide, balance beams, wall climber, donut slide, jumping track in the gym. Rakes, tricycles, shovels, buckets, wheelbarrows, and wagons out on the playground. Animal movement songs in the classroom.
-Rationale: To support the development of balance, upper and lower body strength, coordination, and healthy risk-taking. The materials on the playground provide "real-world" physical activity in the form of raking, digging, pulling/pushing wagons and wheelbarrows and help to connect the children to the natural world. The movement songs in the classroom not only extend their learning about animals, but also provide a means for developing large motor strength and coordination.
-Skills: Large motor control and strength, coordination, static and dynamic balance, endurance, propulsion skills, spatial awareness, locomotion skills, flexibility

Snack
Monday - Toast & pumpkin butter
Tuesday - Orange slices & animal crackers
Wednesday - Graham crackers & milk
Thursday - Rice cakes & milk
Friday- Trail mix & milk

Overview
The children enjoyed the process of cutting open the pumpkin, toasting and eating the seeds. They even helped cut the pumpkin itself to dehydrate and toss in sugar for another tasty snack. This coming week we will add new vegetables to the science area for exploration and also incorporate conversations about the foods that contribute to healthy living.

The children have also shown keen interest in the woodland animals by making homes for them and using them to act out various dramatic play scenarios. We will add the leaf mobile and tree trunk that the children created as a collaborative project, to use along with these animals as they continue to explore animal habitats.

The children are proud to see the products of their collaborative artwork come together. This week will be filled with many collaborative activities with clay, sand, and fantasy play. Also, we will be going on a "tree hunt" at the end of the week. This group activity will focus on looking for specific types of trees as an extension of the leaf matching activity they have been doing in the classroom.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: clay, tree materials to make animal habitats collectively or independently. Paint, leaf shaped paper, markers, colored pencils, crayons, construction paper
-Rationale: We have many different materials accessible for the children to use for expressing their creativity and representing their ideas of what is being learned throughout the classroom.
-Skills: self-expression, fine motor, creativity, expressing new ideas, collaborating

Sensory
-Materials: sand, small animals, shovels, pails, sifters
-Rationale: The sand in the sensory table will be an opportunity for them to create different animal habitats. This also gives the opportunity for the children to gain physical knowledge about sand, how it moves and how one can form it.
-Skills: self-expression, motor control, hands on exploration, creating new ideas

Science
-Materials: Variety of natural materials. Matching activity with trees, seeds and leaves. Planted seeds from the acorn and apple seeds. Foods such as gourds and squash to facilitate learning about healthy living.
-Rationale: The children will be able to observe and explore the new foods that will be at the science table. This will initiate conversations about the differences between fruits and vegetables. We also will begin discussing foods that are good for our bodies.
-Skills: observation, exploration, providing thought provoking questions, comparison, reasoning about events

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: puzzles, matching leaf activity, leaf bingo, and found objects to create patterns (i.e. milk jug lids, plastic film containers, buttons etc.)
-Rationale: The children are developing their ability match and we are moving forward by matching patterns and extending them.
-Skills: one to one correspondence, matching, grouping, counting, creating and recognizing patterns, problem solving, games with rules

Language and Literacy
-Materials: Many different writing implements, paper, scissors, tape, and staplers will be available for the children to use. These will be available in a place under the loft as well as in the front of the classroom. Our library will have many different types of books available for the children to explore as well. The loft has a variety of books about trees and the animals that live in trees.
-Rationale: These areas will provide the children with many opportunities to observe and experience letters, sounds, and writing. Having the materials available will foster the children's literacy learning through different activities such as drawing and writing.
-Skills: language, letter recognition, sound recognition, communication, comprehension, symbolic representation

Blocks
-Materials: large hollow blocks, smaller wooden blocks are available in the back of the classroom to inspire collaborative building. One of the caves has smaller wooden blocks and tree bark inside to facilitate creating animal habitats.
-Rationale: To encourage the children to collaboratively create new habitat homes, create new ideas of how to build the homes and facilitate their construction skills.
-Skills: collaboration, self-expression, large motor control, cooperation, problem solving, spatial skills

Dramatic Play
-Materials: The vet materials, scarves, stuffed animals, and the kitchen materials will be available for the children to use during their free play.
-Rationale: The children are still showing large interest in animals and caring for them and keeping the vet supplies in the dramatic play area will keep fostering that play and interest.
-Skills: self-expression, communication, cooperation, problem solving, role play, turn taking

Large Motor
-Materials: Monkey bars, slide, balancing beam, climber, swings, climbing wall, donut are available for use in the gym. On the playground are rakes, bikes, shovels, buckets and wheelbarrows.
-Rationale: To support the large motor development that is taking place and to facilitate upper and lower body movements, motor strength and balance. To create opportunities for children to use their social skills and spatial awareness skills.
-Skills: spatial awareness, social, large motor control and strength, static balance, sliding, jumping, climbing, swing pumping, running, coordination

Snack
Monday - Animal crackers & spiced apple cider
Tuesday - Rice cakes & milk
Wednesday - Graham crackers & milk
Thursday - Carrots & raisins
Friday- Popcorn & milk

Overview
The children were excited to see the large pumpkin in the science center and many talked about pumpkins they have at home. All agreed that we should open up our classroom pumpkin this week. In addition to the pumpkin carving, we are introducing balancing scales for the children to use to further explore the crabapples, regular apples, and apples that are beginning to dry up. The mobile that began as a place for the leaves children brought from their homes, has transformed into a place to hang other items the children thought belonged there such as painted leaves, crabapples and sticks. After the children took a closer look at tree bark by making rubbings and clay impressions, they added their work to a tall cylinder that is becoming another collaborative project. The vet supplies we added to the cave last week inspired more in-depth play surrounding pet/animal care. In addition, the children have been interested in talking about what happens when they go to the doctor, and what doctors do to help people stay healthy. The week ahead will be a great opportunity to continue working on the collaborative projects and to develop these dominant play themes and topics of interest.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Tree materials (leaves, seeds, twigs, pine cones, bark etc.) to use for independent and collaborative art. Green, red, and yellow tempera paint, markers, colored pencils, and construction paper.
-Rationale: We have a variety of materials available so the children can express their creativity and represent ideas related to our topics of study.
-Skills: self-expression, fine motor strength and control, collaborations, creative risk-taking

Sensory
-Materials: Dried and fresh leaves, twigs, seeds, potato mashers, baskets and other containers in a variety of sizes.
-Rationale: Leaves in the sensory table provide a concrete way for the children to take in new information. They gain new knowledge about the physical properties of the leaves as they crush, crunch, pile, squeeze and pour them.
-Skills: hands-on exploration, observation, familiarity with physical properties, fluency with familiar objects, self-expression, motor control, formulating ideas

Science
-Materials: Matching activity that incorporates tree, their leaves and seeds. Planted seeds from oak, maple, and apple trees. Apples with balancing scales. A wide variety of natural materials gathered from nearby areas. Decomposing leaves and apples.
-Rationale: The children will continue to observe their experiments with the planted seeds and decomposing items. They can participate in a matching activity that incorporates the observations they have made about specific varieties of trees.
-Skills: Scientific thinking (observing, questioning, and investigation), reflection and interpretation, identification, comparison, fine-motor, hypothesizing, reasoning about events, measuring, prediction.

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Seed patterning at light table, puzzles, matching leaf shapes, Amy's class bingo, symbol matching.
-Rationale: We are building on the children's ability to match by providing samples of patterns for them to match. As they begin to see the patterns we will encourage them to extend the patterns as well as create their own.
-Skills: matching, grouping, counting, recognizing and creating patterns, fine motor control, one-to-one correspondence, synthesizing parts and wholes, problem-solving, games with rules

Language and Literacy
-Materials: A variety of writing materials, paper, and envelopes continue to be available, now under the loft as well as in the front of the classroom. Our library has a wide variety of books about animals, fall, and families. The loft will hold a variety of books related to trees, leaves, seeds, and apples. 

-Rationale: To provide children with many opportunities to enjoy the spoken and written world. Integrate our topics of trees, apples and community into literacy activities and encourage symbolic representation. Foster imagination as the children incorporate writing and drawing into their dramatic play.
-Skills: Letter recognition, listening and receptive abilities, fine motor control, awareness of print, familiarity with books, comprehension, fine-motor control, writing, symbolic representation

Blocks
-Materials: The cave near the unit blocks has woodland animals, logs, and "tree cookies" to use as inspiration for habitat creation. The hollow blocks are available with other open-ended materials such as clothes, scarves, and wooden cars.
-Rationale: By using the children's interest in animals as a provocation for building homes we hope to encourage their construction skills.
-Skills: self-expression, large motor strength and control, fine motor strength and control, communication, cooperation, spatial skills, problem solving

Dramatic Play
-Materials: The veterinary supplies have been moved to the back of the classroom and include bandages, x-rays, medicine bottles, and dress up clothes. There are stuffed animal patients as well as animal costumes to promote additional role-play.
-Rationale: Animal care has been a popular theme in the children's play each morning. We moved these materials to the back of the classroom so they can have more space and materials available to support the development of their play.
-Skills: self-expression, communication, cooperation, problem-solving, symbolic representation, role-play, memory, generalization

Large Motor
-Materials: Monkey bars with swing, slide, donut, A-frame with balance beam
-Rationale: To support upper and lower body coordination, strength and balance. To provide opportunities for classifying and identifying shapes and colors. To support social skills, turn taking, and collaboration.
-Skills: Running, dynamic and static balance, spatial awareness, core strength, turn-taking, climbing, visual-depth perception, jumping, sliding, coordination

Snack
Monday - Cucumber slices & Saltines
Tuesday - Oranges & pretzels
Wednesday - Granola bars & milk
Thursday - Apple chips & graham crackers
Friday- Pumpkin cooking project


Overview
Over the last couple of weeks, the children have been busy exploring apples and leaves. The apples led to a focus on seeds and we looked at (and planted) different kinds of tree seeds as well. The children have now started to show an interest in pumpkins, so we will be moving away from apples and introducing pumpkins into the classroom. In addition, we will start exploring another part of trees (the bark) and the different animals that use the trees. Sorting and matching experiences will be provided using tree materials that will highlight the presence of different kinds of trees.

Expressive Arts
Materials: Bark and crayons for making "rubbings" of the bark patterns. Tree materials (leaves, seeds, twigs, pine cones etc.) to use with clay by making impressions and/or three-dimensional sculptures. Dried leaf crumbles, seeds, sticks, and plastic "jewels" on light table to use for creative design in small clear trays. Green, red, and yellow tempera paint to inspire mixing and layering color similar to the colors they see in the natural materials they have been studying.
Rationale: As the children are learning more about leaves in the science area, it will be important for them to have the opportunity to explore the materials in different ways in order to become more familiar with them, to formulate ideas, and to express what they've observed. As we introduce pumpkins into the science area, providing paint that can be mixed to create orange may serve as an inspiration for them to express their ideas about pumpkins.
Skills: self-expression, fine motor strength and control, formulating ideas

Sensory
Materials: Dried and fresh leaves, twigs, seeds, potato mashers, baskets and other containers in a variety of sizes, and plastic woodland animals (squirrels, birds, chipmunks, etc.) in the sensory table.
Rationale: The children really enjoyed the leaf crushing activity a couple weeks ago, so we're introducing it again in the sensory area where they will have more space. We will also be adding other materials to the leaves in order to create a sort of "forest floor" for them to explore.
Skills: hands-on exploration, observation, familiarity with physical properties, familiarity with familiar objects, self-expression, motor control, formulating ideas

Science
Materials: A variety of bark samples; close-up pictures of bark on trees; pine and cedar branches; potted seeds; decomposing apples and leaves; pumpkins and gourds; labeled jars of different seeds, trays and sheets with visual cues for sorting them; baskets for sorting leaves; close-up pictures of tree branches with leaves and seeds
Rationale: The children have been exploring with leaves, so we will now move into examining them more deeply in terms of their different shapes and the significance of this variety. We will also begin to explore the connection between different seeds and leaves by sorting and matching these items. The children will continue to observe their planted seeds and decomposing items that they began last week, and we will introduce pumpkins to the area in response to an interest that we've observed among the children.

Math and Manipulatives
Materials: Matching game of children's pictures with their symbols to match with a large copy of their symbols; leaf matching with leaf outlines and laminated leaves; Amy's class bingo matching game; seed counting and patterning sheets and corresponding seeds; puzzles that highlight animals, pumpkins, and trees
Rationale: We are highlighting the children's symbols to provide practice with matching, memory, and sorting skills. The leaf matching activity will provide practice with matching and will tie into the science idea of the significance of different leaf shapes. The children have had some practice with exploring the seeds, so now we will start to incorporate them into math activities such as counting them and making them into patterns.
Skills: matching, grouping, counting, recognizing and creating patterns, fine motor control, one-to-one correspondence, synthesizing parts and wholes, problem-solving, games with rules

Language and Literacy
Materials: Class mobile of children's pictures and leaves from home; construction paper; paper with one or two lines on the top or bottom; markers and colored pencils; scissors; tape; staplers; hole punchers; books about pumpkins; books about trees and what they're used for
Rationale: We will create a class mobile of leaves from home labeled with the child's picture and name. This will be hung over by the writing center to provide inspiration for things to draw/people to draw for. Since we have been labeling and writing children's names on their papers so far, having paper with a couple lines on it may serve as a provocation for the children to try to label or write their name on their own creations. We will keep the scissors, tape, staplers, and hole punchers to assist in the creation of props for dramatic play, and our book supply will correlate with the topics that we're exploring in other areas to provide another way to search for information and explore ideas.
Skills: awareness of print, familiarity with books, comprehension, fine-motor control, writing, symbolic representation

Blocks
Materials: We will keep the logs and large pieces of bark by the hollow blocks and the small wood slices by the unit blocks.
Rationale: The children build with blocks everyday, so as we start to include bark in our discussions of trees, the availability of these materials by the block area will provide an opportunity for the children to work through and express their ideas. In addition, since block building is often a group activity, the tree materials will serve as a common area of knowledge for the children, thus providing a possible means for more mutually interesting and cooperative play.
Skills: self-expression, large motor strength and control, fine motor strength and control, communication, cooperation, spatial skills, problem solving

Dramatic Play
Materials: In the loft there are animal inspired fabrics and dress up clothes; forest stuffed-animals (squirrels, birds, bears, etc.); kitchen materials. The pet/vet cave will include doctor kits, pet checklists, wraps, pet care supplies.
Rationale: The children have shown an interest in pretending to be animals, so by adding more materials to support this, they will be better able to expand on their ideas. It will also tie into our discussions about the different things that trees are used for: by animals for shelter and food. The children have been caring for sick pets by using the wraps and bandages. The addition of new props will enhance their ability to extend the play and develop their roles as veterinarians.
Skills: self-expression, communication, cooperation, problem-solving, symbolic representation, role-play, memory, generalization

Large Motor
Materials: Slide, wall climber, jumping station, balance beam, monkey bars, circle seat, mats for climbing, and open area for games (e.g. tossing soft balls, "Over, Under, or Through" game) in the gym; shovels, buckets, wheelbarrows, tricycles, rakes, and wagons outside
Rationale: Having a wide variety of equipment in the gym will allow the children to practice many different skills and develop many different games or activities. We will utilize the open space to practice playing large motor games. The pieces of equipment outside reflect the observed interests of the children outdoors, particularly raking and collecting leaves using wheelbarrows, wagons, and buckets to make large piles in which to jump.
Skills: dynamic and static balance, propulsion and receptive skills, large motor strength, locomotion, endurance

Overview:
This week we will provide activities related to apples and trees that are extensions of the children's ideas and questions about these topics. For example, comparing tastes, exploring seeds, and observing decomposition. We have also introduced some new dramatic play props to support the pet care and veterinarian role play that we have observed.

Expressive Arts:
-Materials: Red, white and yellow paint with leaf shaped paper. Additional materials such as markers, crayons, colored pencils etc. are available for the children for their creative self- expression.
-Rationale: We will encourage the children to try mixing in yellow with the red and white paint to further experiment with color mixing and color matching.
-Skills: self-expression, fine motor control, try out new ideas


Sensory:
-Materials: Dry and soft leaves with a variety of tools.
-Rationale: Hands-on exploration will allow the children to take a close look at the properties of fresh and dry leaves.
-Skills: communication, observation, knowledge of physical properties, hands-on exploration, familiarity with objects, making comparisons

Science:
-Materials: Natural materials related to trees, such as bark, leaves and seeds. Leaves in various stages of decomposition. Apples that were brought in by the children, decomposing apple cores, apple seeds and the crab apples that were picked by the children last week. Magnifying glasses, photographs of trees and apples, a chart to record apple tasting preferences, pencils, clip boards, and different baskets for sorting. We are also introducing a bird watching station at the window.
-Rationale: These items represent the learning that is taking place within the classroom. Many of the materials were collected by the children. The personal connection they feel makes them intrinsically motivated to examine them further. The bird watching station will build their awareness of animals that live near the school.
-Skills: observation, prediction, communication, sorting, grouping, thought provoking questions, comparing, reasoning, expressing ideas


Math and Manipulatives:
-Materials: Symbol matching game, Amy's class bingo matching game, shape matching game.
-Rationale: By bringing in the symbol matching game and Amy's class bingo game, the children can connect with each other and relate to one another by learning each other's names and symbols. All of these games also enhance matching and grouping skills.
-Skills: matching, grouping, color and shape recognition, one to one correspondence, games with rules


Language and Literacy:
-Materials: Colored construction paper, markers, scissors, hole puncher, stapler, tape, colored pencils, puzzle making sheets, and long strips of construction paper, along with a variety of books in our classroom library.
-Rationale: Adding the puzzles sheets will motivate the children to practice their cutting skills before taping pieces together, a favorite activity for many. The paper and paper strips can be used for making props to support dramatic play.
-Skills: fine motor control, creative ideas, writing, letter recognition


Blocks:
-Materias: Large logs and bark have been added near the hollow blocks and unit blocks.
-Rationale: To allow the children to be creative and to problem solve while building. Developing community building and cooperation when creating large structures that accommodate many children.
-Skills: communication, cooperation, geometry, spatial skills, social skills, problem solving, construction, dramatic play


Dramatic Play:
-Materials: Kitchen materials, teddy bears, comfy pillows, dress up clothes (princess dresses, vests, skirts, bird wings, furry animal coats etc.) Books about trees.
-Rationale: We added new dress up clothes and tree books to the dramatic play area to help foster the learning about trees through dramatic role play.
-Skills: communication, social skills, peer interaction, creative imaginary play


Large Motor:
-Materials: slide, wall climber, open area for scooters, jumping station, balance beam, monkey bars, circle seat. The playground will have shovels, buckets, wheelbarrows, bikes, rakes, and wagons out for the children to use.
-Rationale: To develop gross motor abilities and allow outside creative play.
-Skills: large motor, balance, awareness of others, jumping, running, climbing, coordination, upper body strength, digging, pedaling


Snack:
Monday - Apples & Saltines
Tuesday - Graham crackers & milk
Wednesday - Rice cakes & milk
Thursday - No School
Friday- No School

Overview
This week will focus on building collective awareness of the topics apples and trees. Not only will we set up the environment to support exploration of these topics, we are also planning special activities to help continue the process of building classroom community. On Wednesday we will walk around the school to look at the wide variety of trees and changing leaves. The children will collect natural materials along the way then use them to create a collaborative collage.


Expressive Arts
-Materials: Red, white and black paint. Collection of natural materials from walk. Additionally, there are a variety of open-ended art materials that are always available for self-expression.
-Rationale: We will encourage the children to mix red with white and black paint to begin an exploration of "how many reds we can make." The children will use the natural materials they gather on Wednesdays walk to create a collaborative collage to display in the classroom.
-Skills: Self-expression, creative risk-taking, fine motor development


Sensory
-Materials: Water, cups, pitchers, bottles, and funnels
-Rationale: These materials have contributed to great social interactions at the water table. The children talk about what they are doing and share materials. One of their favorite activities is to work together to fill the largest containers.
-Skills: Experimentation, sensory stimulation and pleasure, fluency with objects, and beginning understanding of the concept of conservation


Science
-Materials: Natural materials related to trees that the children have gathered, photographs of trees and their parts, magnifying glasses, apples brought in from home by the children, small bins for sorting, clipboards and pencils for recording observations; thought provoking open-ended questions posted about the pictures and materials in the area.
-Rationale: It is important for the children to feel a personal connection to the materials they are investigating. By using self-selected items they are naturally more inclined to examine them more closely and talk about their observations. This active exploration will encourage greater interest in the natural world and questioning that can lead to deeper learning.
-Skills: Observation, inquiry, sorting, hypothesizing, beginning understanding of measuring/comparing dimensions, expressing ideas, asking questions, and reasoning about events.


Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Amy's Class Bingo, colored shape sorter/stacker, inset puzzles emphasizing color/shape, interlocking puzzles reflecting new themes of trees and apples, color and shape matching game, slot-a-rounds, duplos
-Rationale: We are introducing a Amy's Class bingo game that incorporates the children's names and faces. This will foster classroom connections by helping the children continue to learn each other's names.
-Skills: Color and shape recognition, matching, one to one correspondence, whole/part relationships, games with rules, and fine motor development


Language and Literacy
-Materials: A new variety of apple books set out in our classroom library as well as continuing with a variety of writing implements such as paper, envelopes, and a posting of upper and lower case alphabet.
-Rationale: Fiction and non-fiction books related to apples will provide opportunities for conversation as well as provide factual information.
-Skills: letter recognition, asking questions, fine motor, listening and receptive skills, expressive language and communication

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks and unit blocks with small wooden cars. Long planks and cove molding for ramp building.
-Rationale: A wider variety of ramp building materials will support the children's interest in creating ramp systems and racetracks for their cars. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation.
-Skills: Construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, creative problem solving, physical knowledge of inclined planes


Dramatic Play
-Materials: In the loft we added costumes and fabrics to represent animals that live in trees, blankets and pillows in greens and fall colors, books about trees including some with beautiful photography of trees.
-Rationale: With the changing of the seasons, the children have started to show an interest in the trees and leaves outside. By providing these "tree-inspired" materials in the loft area, we hope to inspire the children to bring their ideas about trees inside by expressing it in their dramatic play.
-Skills: Role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, creating imaginary scenarios, creative risk-taking, large motor development, fine motor development (when creating props)


Large Motor
-Materials: Slide climber, wall mounted ladders, monkey bars, mini-trampoline, and jumping station. The playground will be set up with shovels, buckets, bikes, and wagons. On the playground we will also encourage exploration of the natural areas and draw children's attention to the vegetable garden, plant and animal life.
-Rationale: A simple set-up in the gym is inviting and allows us to assess gross motor abilities and confidence.
-Skills: Risk taking, climbing, coordination, upper body strength, depth perception, balance, jumping and landing. On the playground there are opportunities for digging, hauling, pedaling, running.


Snack
Monday - Animal crackers & milk
Tuesday - Graham crackers & milk
Wednesday - Saltines & Sunbutter
Thursday - Pretzels & raisins
Friday- Apple crisp & milk

Overview
As we begin the school year the primary focus is to help the children feel comfortable with the transition to school. We do this by establishing routines and providing activities and materials that will be conducive to building relationships: child-child and child-teacher. The materials selected are meant to be familiar and appealing. The student teachers and I will be observing and recording developmental abilities and themes we see in the children's play. We plan curriculum by pursuing topics or themes that are rich with learning potential. We then incorporate individual and group goals, along with the children's ideas and interests, as the year progresses. This helps give children a feeling of ownership of their school experience. This year we will be exploring the topic of "Living Healthy" as it relates to the children themselves, the classroom, the school, the community and the world around them, including animals and the environment.

Expressive Arts
-Materials: Construction paper, markers, colored pencils, crayons, tape, staplers, and glue sticks.
-Rationale: To provide a variety of materials that will inspire expression of ideas and creative design.
-Skills: Self-expression, creative risk-taking, fine motor development

Sensory
-Materials: Water, cups, pitchers, bottles, and funnels
-Rationale: Warm water is a soothing sensory experience that is familiar and promotes social interactions as children negotiate sharing ideas and materials.
-Skills: Experimentation, sensory stimulation and pleasure, fluency with objects, and beginning understanding of the concept of conservation

Science
-Materials: Baby photos of each of the children, measuring tape, scale, blocks for weighing, chart for recording each child's height and weight. We also have two Betta fish and a tadpole.
-Rationale: We will be focusing on learning about ourselves: how we have grown and changed, what makes us different from peers, what makes us unique, and how are we the same? This is part of the process of getting to know one another and also beginning to think scientifically by making comparisons and formulating new questions.
-Skills: Observation, inquiry, sorting, weighing, asking questions, hypothesizing, comparing, interpreting and reasoning about events

Math and Manipulatives
-Materials: Colored shape sorter/stacker, inset puzzles emphasizing color/shape, interlocking puzzles reflecting children as well as animals and their babies, color and shape matching game, slot-a-rounds, duplos
-Rationale: We are starting with sorting and classifying by shape and color not only to emphasize recognition and labeling, but also to lay a foundation for later mathematical concept development.
-Skills: Color and shape recognition, matching, one to one correspondence and whole/part relationships, fine motor development

Language and Literacy
-Materials: A variety of writing implements, paper, envelopes, and a posting of the upper and lower case alphabet. A well stocked library with books about starting school, families, animals, and vegetables. Each child will choose a symbol to represent him/herself.
-Rationale: The library is placed near the couch for cozy reading time with new friends and teachers. Throughout the room there will be many opportunities to enjoy the spoken and written word. The symbols, in addition to helping the children learn about each other's preferences, are an introduction to using symbols to represent meaning.
-Skills: Letter recognition, listening and receptive abilities, fine motor control, familiarity with symbol systems

Blocks
-Materials: Hollow blocks and unit blocks with small wooden cars.
-Rationale: Children use creativity and problem solving while developing their awareness of geometry through building. Communal building with hollow blocks encourages cooperation.
-Skills: Construction skills, dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving

Dramatic Play
-Materials: Kitchen with dishes, fruits and veggies, and dress-up clothes. The loft has dolls with books and items to use to care for the babies. There is a dollhouse with furniture and small dolls representing family members. In the animal cave there are stuffed dogs and cats with pet homes and beds.
-Rationale: To encourage social interaction and the expression of children's knowledge of family life by taking on familiar roles. The cave provides a cozy close place that promotes small group interaction.
-Skills: Role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, creating imaginary scenarios


Large Motor
-Materials: Slide climber, wall mounted ladders, monkey bars, mini-trampoline, and jumping station. The playground will be set up with shovels, buckets, bikes, and wagons. On the playground we will also encourage exploration of the natural areas and draw children's attention to the vegetable garden, plant and animal life.
-Rationale: A simple set-up in the gym is inviting and allows us to assess gross motor abilities and confidence.
-Skills: Risk taking, climbing, coordination, upper body strength, depth perception, balance, jumping and landing. On the playground there are opportunities for digging, hauling, pedaling, running.

Special Interest
-Morning Meeting: Music and rhythmic movement will be used to help the children learn each other's names and the classroom routines. The morning meeting also emphasizes togetherness and fosters the building of classroom community.

Snack
Monday - No School
Tuesday - Graham crackers & milk
Wednesday - Graham crackers & milk
Thursday - Granola bars & milk
Friday- Sliced apples & crackers

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