Goals: Since we are coming to the end of the school year, we will begin talking about summer regularly with the children. In order to prepare for summer, new play areas, such as a tent in the loft and fish and nets in the water table, have been added to help children get ready for summer activities. Another goal for the week is to have the children express their creativity by building on an activity they started with a teacher and expanding on it to make it their own.
*We will have collage materials available for the children to explore with 3D creations. We will encourage their creativity by allowing them to use materials such as empty film canisters, wood pieces, and cardboard pieces, to make 3D sculptures however they imagine.
*The art easel will have multiple paper color choices with different shades of blue paint for the children to use. The paper will have large shapes drawn on them by the teachers to encourage the children to build off of the shapes and create original pictures.
*New puzzles, such as fish puzzles and transportation puzzles, have been added to the manipulatives table. The fruit patterning activity will continue to be available.
The water table will continue to be available. Fish and nets will be added for the children to "go fishing." The tubes, buckets, and large funnel will remain in the water table for the children to explore water movement.
*We will be continuing the exploration with glurtch. The children have had the chance to color the glurtch with markers and cut it with cookie cutters. We plan to focus the children's attention on the way the glurtch moves, stretches and dribbles.
* We will add another aspect of weather awareness to the science table where the children can observe and explore tornados with plastic tornado bottles. This is being done because tornado warnings are common during summer and the children will be more aware of what a tornado is.
*We will have our fish next week! We will encourage the children's exploration and inquiry of our new pet and continue to have books about fish and their needs for the children to read. Questions will be asked, such as: what do fish eat, how do fish breathe, and why do fish live in water.
* Because summer is fast approaching and some children may end up camping this summer, a camping area has been created in the loft. The loft has become a tent and there are different camping supplies available for the children to use. There has also been a pond created out of fabric for the children to practice fishing and pretend to swim in.
*An area for building trains will continue to be available in the classroom. The children will be able to use trains and they will be able to create their own trains from blocks and chairs so they can be participants in the play.
Language and Literacy:
*The picture stories will still be available for children in the cave. There are different "scenes" set up for the children to add their picture to and to create a story from. They include a train, a play ground, a couch, and a fire truck.
*New books will be added to our book shelves to encourage the children's interest in the new pet fish. There will also be books available on the science table for the children to learn more about taking care of fish.
*Unit blocks and hollow blocks will continue to be in the classroom. The children will be encouraged to use the blocks to create train tracks and trains to ride on and engage in group adventures. Our group is well traveled and many suggestions have been made of where to visit on the train.
*The piano will remain in the classroom for children to play. Drums, maracas, sand paper blocks, and a harp will be placed near the piano in the music area. We will be having a guest visit the classroom to play drums for the children. The children will be encouraged to play along with the drum. Parents, if you know how to play an instrument and would like to play in the classroom, please let us know and we will make time for this to happen.
*The gym has a new set up. There is a running lane set up for children to practice speed, body control, and turn taking. There is still a bridge between the two A-Frame ladders but now the bridge is slanted which increases children's use of balance, coordination, and concentration. The jumping pit is still located at the bottom of one of the A-Frames which encourages risk-taking, motor planning, and turn taking. The monkey bars foster upper body strength, hand-eye coordination, and motor planning. The motor climber is also open, promoting upper body strength, risk taking, climbing, jumping, depth perception, and hand-eye coordination.
*A teeter totter will be added to the playground so children can work together on lower body strength or use it individually to work on balance while walking across it. Water will also be on the playground. Buckets of water and brushes will be available for "painting" the building. Once the children become comfortable with the use of water, they will be able to make streams with the water in the sand. The pinwheels and kites will stay on the playground for the children to continue their exploration of wind. Ribbons will be hung on the fences so the children can watch them blow as well. The children will continue to have opportunities to throw and catch balls outside in the playground with a basketball hoop being added.
Large group information:
*During large group, the children and teachers will discuss new topics such as the new class fish and tornados (because of the tornado drill at school) in the class. The children will also learn new songs and hear stories about these topics. Because of the new pet, the children will be encouraged to explain what the fish needs and we will learn about how to take care of the fish as a class.
Snack: Tuesday: Vanilla Yogurt, TLC crackers and Strawberries
Friday: Pretzels and Oranges
Announcements: We will have our Pizza party this Tuesday, from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. Bring a blanket and your family. Cost is five dollars per person. There will be face painting, The Teddy Bear Band plays on the front lawn, and the children can get their first introduction to the "big playground." If you can sign up for a 20 minute slot to staff some of these activities, we would appreciate it. None of them are too grueling.
Homework: Please write down a few things that you and your child are likely to do this summer. We will post these all together and read them over the last two weeks to solidify the idea that we will soon be changing to a new phase, summer vacation, when we will not be coming to Lab School but will have other things (visiting parks, lakes, camping, traveling, etc.) to look forward to.
Our "goodbye" snack will be held on Tuesday, June 1st at 10:30am. Come and join us to say goodbye to our student teachers and each other for the summer. Our final day will be Friday, June 4th.
We plan to use water on the playground if the weather continues warm. So shoes may get a little wet. We hope to have just a small trickle of water running that the children can use, (we're not imagining major hose sprinkling,) but some children are likely to get a little wet. While our playground is fairly shaded, and we do not plan to spend more than 30 minutes out during the morning, if you wish to have sunscreen put on your child, we recommend you do it before you come to school. It takes 20-30 minutes for sunscreen to become effective and will probably be easier to do at home. If you would like us to do a touch up, please provide us with sunscreen and fill out a form in Eva's office as DHS does not allow us to put sunscreen on without your permission.
Many thanks to Raya's mom who helped us with our recent fruit crisp cooking project, and to all the families who contributed ingredients. It was quite tasty. And thanks to Max's mom, Amy who helped us cook "wacky cake" a few weeks back. And as we come to the end of the year, thanks to all of you who have helped in so many ways. You have made our job so much easier with your support with laundry, ideas, hands on help, financial support of the school and general good cheer.
We have a large number of children who will be celebrating their birthdays over the summer months. While I know there is a practice of sometimes celebrating summer birthdays towards the end of the year in elementary school, I think for our situation, and the age of our children, this is less critical. What we will do in these last weeks, as we talk about our summer plans, and look at the calendar of summer months, is acknowledge the birthdays of our summer friends. I appreciate you feedback about this.