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Classroom Plan for November 18-December 2, 2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan November 18-December 2 Elizabeth Lead Teaching

Overview: As we approach our final days of school before winter break, the classroom will support the closing exploration of a number of topics. In order to extend our ongoing investigation of faces and feelings, the children will have the opportunity to change the way they look as they engage in mask-making using paper mache. This will give them a chance to create new or different features and expressions based upon the face and emotions related vocabulary we have discussed over the previous 10 weeks. Additionally, additional memory games are added to our math center to provide ongoing experiences with matching, short-term memory, turn-taking, and other mathematical concepts the children have been practicing this year. Many other areas of the room remain unchanged to help support the self-initiated activities that the children continue to seek out. It will also be a time to talk about and prepare for change as we get ready to say goodbye to our wonderful student teachers and welcome new members to our classroom in January.



Expressive Arts
(paint, collage, clay)

Materials: primary colors (blue, red, yellow) at the easel with extra cups for paint mixing, paper mache materials for mask-making and paint for decorating, clay (pizza cutters, spatulas), markers,
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, to increase fine motor skills, to experiment with a new material while reflecting on appearance and strange facial features.

Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, self awareness and recognition of feelings

Sensory (water table)

Materials: Water with soap for washing classroom materials.

Rationale: to cooperatively work together while exploring a familiar sensory experience. To participate in the pro-social skill of caring for the classroom and classroom materials.

Skills: sensory awareness, large and fine motor development, cooperative play, social relationship building, sharing materials, hand-eye coordination, cause and effect relationships.

Science

Science
•Materials: mirrors, magnifying glasses, a slideshow with the children showing different emotions with their faces, various pictures of animal or other "silly" faces.
•Rationale: to support children's curiosity about themselves and others. To identify personal characteristics related to appearance. To build awareness of similarities and differences between self and others while engaging in beginning concepts of comparing and contrasting. To reflect on the emotions of self and others and begin identifying facial expressions connected to certain emotions. To note facial characteristics of non-human faces and compare and contrast them with our own faces.
•Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, making comparisons, emotion identification, hypothesizing, developing curiosity and identity

Dramatic Play

Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave with babies and baby clothes/bottles; doll house with furniture and dolls is also available near cave area, colored pencils.

Rationale: to allow for the expression of family life and to encourage social interaction and creative role-play while playing with familiar props, to foster care-taking role-play and allow for the discussion of emotions and feelings. To help support reflection on life experiences (e.g. getting a shot at the doctors).

Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, imaginative transformation, use of expressive and receptive language.


Math and Manipulatives
•Materials: puzzles, seriation stacker, stacking rings, balance scale, Mr. Potato heads and accessories, felt board with shapes suggestive of faces, boat match-up pictures, Memory Game
•Rationale: to encourage children to work with open-ended materials where they can develop understanding of size, shape, quantity, numerals, relative weight and facial features. To incorporate mathematical concepts of matching and spatial reasoning with the social skills involved in play a game with rules.
•Skills: color recognition, shape recognition, seriating (i.e. stacking largest to smallest), one-to-one correspondence, counting, sorting, fine motor development, geometrical awareness, comparison, weight, short term memory, spatial reasoning, turn-taking, persistence.

Language and Literacy

Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and magazine clippings featuring facial features, up-close pictures of children's faces, letter puzzles

Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle, and to give children the opportunity to create their own stories, writings, and correspondence. Children's pictures and magazine clippings are available to support interpersonal communication, the process of note and letter writing, and expression of feelings. To encourage familiarity with the shape and appearance of letters.

Skills: fine motor, pre-writing, letter recognition, symbolic reasoning, expressive language, eye-hand coordination.

Materials: the library continues to be stocked with new and familiar stories, both fiction and non-fiction, to support shared and independent literacy experiences.

Rationale: to encourage cozy reading time with friends and teachers as we build relationships and rapport, while building awareness about curriculum topics such as faces, feelings, and boats. To build a personal connection to the children's interests and experiences with boats.

Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building


Blocks

Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, translucent color blocks, peg people, wooden cars, wooden trains, carpet scraps for road/track building

Rationale: to support children's creativity and problem solving skills, to develop mathematical skills/awareness of geometry, and to allow for opportunities for social interaction as children collaborate and build together, to support imaginative and creative exploration. Wooden vehicles continue to be available for extended exploration of transportation concepts.

Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, spatial (3-D) reasoning, cooperative play, problem solving, mathematical reasoning (part-whole relationships, geometry, symmetry), reflection on everyday experiences, analysis and synthesis, imagination.


Large Motor

Large Motor
-Materials: Monkey bar swings, bumpy slide rope climb, A-frame with ladder bridge, uneven mat obstacle course, climbing wall, Pedalo. Outside there are shovels, buckets, bikes, and wagons.
-Rationale: Many changes have been made to the gym this week. The Pedalo was added to promote balance, coordination, lower body strength, and turn taking. The A frame obstacle course is set up as a ladder bridge suspended between the two A-frames, which are connected to a course of bolsters to walk across. A rope has been added to the rolling slide so children can climb up the slide. On the monkey bars we have added ropes for children to practice swinging. These new additions to the gym will provide opportunities to practice skills such as grasping, jumping, balancing, and even upper/lower body strengthening. The wall ladder will remain in the gym for children to practice climbing.
-Skills: Dynamic balance, lower body strength, spatial awareness, turn-taking, jumping and landing, sliding, upper body strength, grasping strength, risk taking, eye-hand/foot coordination, climbing, coordination, and climbing.

Snack

Monday: Popcorn and milk

Monday(11-23): Pasta and milk

Wednesday (11-25): Pretzels and apples

Weekly Lesson Plan: May 29-June 6, 2013

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Weekly Plan
Week of May 29, 2013
Elizabeth's Class

Overview:
It is hard to imagine that only two weeks remain of our school year! We will be wrapping up all of our rich investigations throughout the final 5 days of school, as we continue to support the children's interests and bring closure to the learning experiences we have shared over the past weeks. For example, as our shape-related curriculum comes to a close, a focus is brought to 3-D shapes (cones, spheres, cubes, cylinders, etc). This will be highlighted by our shape snack- ice cream CONES with SPHERES of coconut ice cream on top! In other areas of the classroom, games with rules continue to be a strong area of interest, as the children practice turn-taking, following directions, counting, cooperation, memory, and a variety of other useful skills. Memory games, Candyland, and other cooperative games are added to support this interest. Finally, as the year draws to a close, there will be a focus on saying goodbye to our classmates and teachers. As teacher Sam says goodbye on May 30, and we all say goodbye during our final class party on Thursday, June 6, it will be a time to talk about what is next (summer, kindergarten, a new classroom) and reflect on the feelings the children express about the coming changes. It has been a wonderful year, and the teachers are sad to see it come to an end. However, we all take pride and joy in the wonderful learning and growing that has taken place this school year!


Science
*Materials: Books about insects, wasp nest, cockroaches, mealworms, examples of different insects and their homes, bug containers with magnifying glasses, "Bug Bones" construction toys.
*Rationale: To allow for continued exploration of insects' homes/habitats- an area of great interest to many children. To support the children's ongoing interest in the different parts of insects, what makes insects different, and insect identification- "bug bones" are added to help children create their own bugs and practice identifying and labeling bug body parts in an open-ended and creative manner.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, topic-specific vocabulary, symbolic representation, creativity, fine motor.

Dramatic Play
Materials: Doctor's office materials (syringes, "medicine" bottles, stethoscopes, bandages, hospital gowns, scrubs•
Rationale: To support the children's strong interest in doctor's office play, community helpers, and caring for others. To encourage back and forth dramatic play interactions, symbolic reasoning, and awareness of health and wellness issues. To highlight a topic important in the lives of the class.
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, turn-taking, perspective taking, body awareness and identification.

Language and Literacy
Materials: paper, pencils, markers, alphabet stamps, computer with varity of games.
Rationale: to foster the children's ongoing interest in the written word, alphabetic principle, and symbolic representation. The computer continues to be offered to foster cooperation, teamwork, and computer skills. The doctor's office combines easily with the writing center, as children practice writing out signs for the office, "bills" and "prescriptions" for the patients.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, eye-hand coordination, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, keyboarding and mouse skills, planning and sequencing actions, cooperation, verbal communication.

Materials: Books on CD, Rhyming books, fiction and non-fiction books, books related to shapes.
Rationale: The classroom library continues to offer a variety of books that highlight a number of topics, foster the children's ongoing interests, and build awareness of new topics.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, awareness of technology.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, ropes, pulleys,
Rationale: to support children's ongoing interest in creating "inventions" and "machines" pulleys, ropes, and ramp materials are available in the block area.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, understanding of cause and effect, awareness of physical properties (momentum, gravity), perseverance, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, applying previously acquired knowledge.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: various "loose parts," string, tape, scissors- clay, rubber insects
Rationale: To support the children's interest in simple machines, various collage materials, loose parts, and fasteners are added to the art table. To highlight creativity, planning, and cause and effect. Rubber insects are reintroduced to the clay table to support children's recent interest in creating mealworms, snails, and other creatures out of clay.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sequencing actions, planning, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, self expression using a variety of media and tools, hand-eye coordination, creative problem solving, mathematic reasoning, spatial awareness, upper body strength.

Sensory (Soil Table)
Materials: water, tubing, syringes, water wheels
Rationale: This week we will return to our favorite sensory experience, water. To highlight the movement of water and the ways moving water interacts with other objects.
Skills: cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, sensory exploration, observational skills, indoor-outdoor connections.

Math and Manipulatives
Materials:Puzzles, Shape puzzles, Games with rules (Memory, Candyland, cooperative games), various 3-D shapes.
Rationale: To further support our understanding of geometric shapes, to emphasize the children's interest in games with rules, to allow time for turn-taking, following directions, simple math, and the social challenges associated with games.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, divergent thinking, awareness of shapes and shape names, comparing, matching, sorting, combining, turn-taking, cooperation, memory.

Large Motor

~Materials: Rolling slide and stairs, mini-trampoline, rope ladder, mini-peddallo, Bean Bag/Ring Toss, Beach-Ball Toss/Lava pit

~Rationale: To emphasize a variety of upper body strength challenges, including hand-eye coordination, catching, throwing, climbing and endurance. Lower body strength is also highlighted, including balance, pedaling, and jumping. All activities continue to focus on the important social skills of turn-taking, cooperation, and peer negotiation.


~Skills: Cardiovascular endurance, directional awareness, spatial awareness, catching/trapping, reaching, grasping, batting, static & dynamic balance, throwing, jumping, muscular strength and endurance, pedaling.

Weekly Lesson Plan: Week of May 6th, 2013

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Weekly Plan
Week of May 6, 2013
Elizabeth's Class

-Updated May 18, 2013-

Overview:
As the spring session continues, the children's varied interests continue to deepen and diversify. With the introduction of small groups last week, the already strong interests in Insects, Moving Objects, and Letters and Words continue to grow. The children "check in" with our classroom insects daily, always making sure they are fed and healthy. The writing center is constantly buzzing both with the children's interest in producing words with markers or rubber stamps as well as their new interest in using the computer for communication purposes. An email exchange with a classmate in France recently showed the children yet another purpose for technology. Additionally, the block area continues to be busy as balls, marbles, and cars all roll down child-made ramps and across the carpet. The block area is also home to rich dramatic play as the children recently began showing interest in pretending to be police officers and building police vehicles. Finally, our ongoing investigation of shapes and geometry appears in many of the areas of our classroom, and is currently being channeled into creative expression. This takes the form of combining Colorform shapes to create new images, as well as cutting and reassembling tissue paper squares in the art area (modeled after the children's book A Perfect Square). With only a few more weeks left in the school year, I am very excited to see where the children's love of learning will take us next!

Science
*Materials: Books about insects, wasp nest, cockroaches, mealworms, bug containers with magnifying glasses, food scraps for insects, microscope, pencils and paper.
*Rationale: To allow for continued exploration of insects' homes/habitats- an area of great interest to many children. The children continue to visit the science area daily to check on our classroom insects. They participate in both sensory investigation with the insects (holding, watching, etc) but also participate in caring for the insects-namely feeding them each day.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, using tools to gather information, using books as sources of knowledge, curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: Doctor's office materials (syringes, "medicine" bottles, stethoscopes, bandages, hospital gowns, scrubs
Rationale: To support the children's strong interest in doctor's office play, community helpers, and caring for others. To encourage back and forth dramatic play interactions, symbolic reasoning, and awareness of health and wellness issues. To highlight a topic important in the lives of the class.
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, turn-taking, body awareness and identification.

Language and Literacy (including 'nook' area)
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program, word books, Letter Stamps, We-Paint computer program. Nook contains transparant images related to familiar nursery rhymes.
Rationale: to foster the children's ongoing interest in the written word, alphabetic principle, and symbolic representation. The computer continues to be a source of interest for the children. In order to emphasize creativity, open-ended engagement, mouse skills, and cooperation, a computer "Paint" program and a "shape design" game are offered. Additionally, capital letter stamps and stamp pads are added to the writing center so children can explore alphabetic principle as well as using a new way of producing written language. The 'nook' area contains the light table with nursery rhyme transparancies so the children can retell their favorite rhymes and combine images to create new stories.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, eye-hand coordination, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, keyboarding and mouse skills, planning and sequencing actions, cooperation, verbal communication, phonological awareness, retelling familiar stories, story invention.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books. These books include nursery rhymes and other rhyming texts. Books on CD are also available.
Rationale: In order to support the children's growing interest in simple and easy to repeat rhymes, books that contain nursery rhymes or short poems are added to the book area. Other favorites also remain in the area, including many books on CD, to allow for child-initiated group story time.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, working memory, long term memory, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, awareness of technology.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, books about creating ramps, rain gutters, cars, marbles, police officer costumes, books about trucks and police vehicles, books about what police officers do.
Rationale: to continue to emphasize movement through ramp and track building. To foster more complex building and dramatic play experiences, additional books and props are added related to police play.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, imagination, negotation, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, understanding of cause and effect, awareness of physical properties (momentum, gravity), perseverance, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, applying previously acquired knowledge, using books as a source of information.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: Tissue paper squares, scissors, paper, glue. At the clay table-a variety of differently shaped tools (potato mashers, meat pounders, etc) that display different geometric patterns or textures.
Rationale: To emphasize the art of collage in combination with our ongoing exploration of geometry, while highlighting the art of a familiar children's book Perfect Square. To build awareness and understanding of geometric properties (e.g. how shapes combine to create new shapes). To allow for the creation of new shapes and textures on the surface of our clay creations as the children continue to engage with the clay and clay tools in a variety of representational and textural ways.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, awareness of patterns, awareness of literature, extending literacy experiences, working memory, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, self expression using a variety of media and tools, hand-eye coordination, mathematic reasoning, spatial awareness, geometric awareness, upper body strength.

Sensory (Soil Table)
Materials: Soil, buckets, rakes, shovels, insect figurines.
Rationale: To support children's ongoing interest in mud and dirt. To provide a rich sensory experience and highlight the change of seasons as the snow melts and the soil emerges.
Skills: cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, sensory exploration, observational skills, indoor-outdoor connections.

Math and Manipulatives
Materials:Puzzles, triangle "brain teaser" puzzle, Sight word boards, Shape puzzles, mosaic builder peg boards, colorform boards and shape clings.
Rationale: To emphasize creativity, cognitive flexibility, and collaboration as the children apply what they know about shapes in order to create symbols and images. To emphasize letter shape and matching, to continue to support fine motor development, hand control, and coordination.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, divergent thinking, awareness of shapes and shape names, comparing, matching, sorting, combining, creativity, communication.

Large Motor
--

~Materials: Monkey bars w/ connected slide and donut hole, a-frame balancing bridge and climbing walls Playground: wheelbarrows, shovels, wagons, tricycles and soccer balls


~Rationale: The children have enjoyed our new gym set. The A-frame balancing bridge and the monkey bars have been a hit this past week. The children will continue to explore the new set up. They will be able to challenge themselves physically to get to the top of the climbing wall, which they are eager to jump down from.
~Skills: Peer relationships, upper/lower body strength, dynamic and static balance hopping, jump/landing skills, propulsion skills,

Snacks:
Monday: Pretzels and dried apples
Wednesday: oven fries
Thursday: cucumber slices and crackers

Weekly Lesson Plan: Week of April 29, 2013

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Weekly Plan
Week of April 29, 2013
Elizabeth's Class

Overview:
Learning and exploring continue to take place in a number of exciting ways this spring. Our interest in shapes continues to blossom, as the children enjoy using different shapes in their painting, block building, clay sculptures, and even in our songs. This will continue this week, as we begin looking for shapes in the world around us (indoors and outdoors). Additionally, the children will be able to delve more deeply into some of their strongest as our small group projects begin. Three groups, focusing on Insects, Letters & Words, and Ramps will begin meeting this week, and will allow for more focused exploration and inquiry into these fascinating topics.

Science
*Materials: Books about insects, wasp nest, cockroaches, mealworms, examples of different insects and their homes, bug containers with magnifying glasses, food scraps for insects, microscope, pencils and paper.
*Rationale: To allow for continued exploration of insects' homes/habitats- an area of great interest to many children. To encourage in-depth investigation into the habits of insects, including eating patterns, movement, and behavior. This week children will be able to provide food to individual insects, observe their eating using our classroom microscope, and will be encouraged to reflect on their observations through drawing.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, using tools to gather information, using books as sources of knowledge, curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: "Coffee Shop" materials: cups, cup carrier, aprons, hats, pitchers, etc., children's photos of their favorite restaurants, menus, cash register, pretend money, credit cards, real coffee beans, plastic cupcakes.
Rationale: The children continue to use their imagination to act out the "coffee shop." New tools and pretend food are added to expand upon their pretend play, including "yucky café," where they create only yucky food!
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, turn-taking, numeric awareness, familiarity with print, expanding sense of humor.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program, word books, Letter Stamps, We-Paint computer program.
Rationale: to foster the children's ongoing interest in the written word, alphabetic principle, and symbolic representation. The computer continues to be a source of interest for the children. In order to emphasize creativity, open-ended engagement, mouse skills, and cooperation, a computer "Paint" program is offered to children. Additionally, capital letter stamps and stamp pads are added to the writing center so children can explore alphabetic principle as well as using a new way of producing written language.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, eye-hand coordination, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, keyboarding and mouse skills, planning and sequencing actions, cooperation, verbal communication.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, many of which emphasize the children's strong interest in fairytales and familiar stories. Books on CD are also available.
Rationale: A variety of rhyming books are added to the classroom library, including There's a Wocket in my Pocket which provide children experiences with phonological awareness in a humorous and engaging manner. Other favorites also remain in the area, including many books on CD, to allow for child-initiated group story time.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, awareness of technology.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, books about creating ramps, rain gutters, balls, marbles, bowling pins.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, especially those that focus on motion, stability, creating inclines, etc. Ramp building continues to inspire a number of building projects. This week, the unit blocks are also highlighted to allow for continued engagement with shapes and ways to combine shapes.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, understanding of cause and effect, awareness of physical properties (momentum, gravity), perseverance, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, applying previously acquired knowledge.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: paint and loose parts of different shapes. At the clay table-a variety of differently shaped tools (potato mashers, meat pounders, etc) that display different geometric patterns or textures.
Rationale: to allow for continued exploration of painting by introducing a new manner of using paint: printmaking. To build awareness and understanding of geometric properties (e.g. how shapes combine to create new shapes). To allow for the creation of new shapes and textures on the surface of our clay creations.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, awareness of patterns, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, self expression using a variety of media and tools, hand-eye coordination, mathematic reasoning, spatial awareness, upper body strength.

Sensory (Soil Table)
Materials: Soil, buckets, rakes, shovels.
Rationale: To support children's ongoing interest in mud and dirt. To provide a rich sensory experience and highlight the change of seasons as the snow melts and the soil emerges.
Skills: cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, sensory exploration, observational skills, indoor-outdoor connections.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials:Puzzles, triangle "brain teaser" puzzle, My First Book of Shapes, Sight word boards, Shape puzzles, mosaic builder peg boards, light table with multi-shaped blocks- inspiration pictures of parquetry and mosiacs.
Rationale: To continue to build on our knowledge of shapes and experiment with different ways to combine shapes to create new images. To emphasize letter shape and matching, to continue to support fine motor development, hand control, and coordination.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, divergent thinking, awareness of shapes and shape names, comparing, matching, sorting, combining.

Large Motor

~Materials: Rolling slide and stairs, mini-trampoline, rope ladder, mini-peddallo, Bean Bag/Ring Toss, Beach-Ball Toss/Lava pit

~Rationale: To emphasize a variety of upper body strength challenges, including hand-eye coordination, catching, throwing, climbing and endurance. Lower body strength is also highlighted, including balance, pedaling, and jumping. All activities continue to focus on the important social skills of turn-taking, cooperation, and peer negotiation.


~Skills: Cardiovascular endurance, directional awareness, spatial awareness, catching/trapping, reaching, grasping, batting, static & dynamic balance, throwing, jumping, muscular strength and endurance, pedaling.

Snacks:
Monday: Pretzels and milk
Wednesday: Biscuits and maple syrup
Thursday: Celery and sun butter

Elizabeth's Class Weekly Plan: April 15, 2013

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Weekly Plan
Week of April 15, 2013
Elizabeth's Class

Overview:
The spring session is off to a busy beginning, as the children dive into a variety of interests in the classroom. A sudden invasion of Boxelder bugs into our classroom has made our exploration of bugs and bug habitats come alive. This week, we will continue to delve into the things we might need in order to keep the bugs safe and happy while they are visiting from the cold outdoors. Last week, we began our investigation into geometric shapes. The children built awareness of shapes by using a variety of geometric blocks and puzzles. This week, we will continue discussing different shapes and their characteristics during large group, and begin exploring them through print making in the art and clay areas. Finally, the computer continues to be a strong interest to the children, as they have found new games to play. This week, we will encourage the children's turn-taking, social communication, and helping behaviors that we have seen so beautifully practiced already.

Science
*Materials: Books about insects, wasp nest, cockroaches, mealworms, examples of different insects and their homes, bug containers with magnifying glasses, I-pad, small boxes to create Boxelder "habitats."
*Rationale: To allow for continued exploration of insects' homes/habitats- an area of great interest to many children, to encourage children to draw connections between different living things, to use technology and the written word as a source of information, applying the information they have gathered.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, using tools to gather information, using books as sources of knowledge, curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: "Coffee Shop" materials: cups, cup carrier, aprons, hats, pitchers, etc., children's photos of their favorite restaurants, menus, cash register, pretend money.
Rationale: to emphasize the different establishments present in our own community, to focus on jobs in the community and how to perform them, to allow children to act out familiar experiences and exchanges from their lives.
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, turn-taking, numeric awareness, and familiarity with print.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards, books with alphabetic themes, various computer games.
Rationale: to foster the children's ongoing interest in the written word, alphabetic principle, and symbolic representation. In addition to a continued interest in writing and reading familiar words, many children show an interest in using the computer for a variety of purposes. Most recently, they have worked together to complete different computer games. This continues to be available as the children continue to practice computer skills as well as turn-taking (a special sign-up board is added so children can monitor turn-taking and grow in their familiarity with their names and the names of others) and collaboration (spontaneous helping behaviors, teamwork, giving advice, engaging in back and forth communication).
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, eye-hand coordination, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, keyboarding and mouse skills, planning and sequencing actions, cooperation, verbal communication.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, many of which emphasize the children's strong interest in fairytales and familiar stories. Books on CD are also available.
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To emphasize the telling and retelling of familiar tales. Over the first two weeks, a few favorites have emerged. These include Pirate Jam, The Selfish Crocodile, and No David. The children enjoy reading or listening to them, and engage in conversation about the plot of each story.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation, prediction, comparing and contrasting.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, books about creating ramps, rain gutters, balls, marbles, bowling pins.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, especially those that focus on motion, stability, creating inclines, etc. This week our ramp exploration will continue as the children apply their knowledge of ramps and try to solve a problem: "how do we get the ramp to turn?"
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, understanding of cause and effect, awareness of physical properties (momentum, gravity), perseverance, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, applying previously acquired knowledge.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: paint and differently shaped cookie cutters. At the clay table-a variety of differently shaped tools (potato mashers, meat pounders, etc) that display different geometric patterns or textures.
Rationale: to allow for continued exploration of painting by introducing a new manner of using paint: printmaking. To build awareness and understanding of geometric properties (e.g. how shapes combine to create new shapes). To allow for the creation of new shapes and textures on the surface of our clay creations.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, awareness of patterns, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, self expression using a variety of media and tools, hand-eye coordination, mathematic reasoning, spatial awareness, upper body strength.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: Water, boats, Styrofoam, rocks.
Rationale: To allow the children to continue to inquire about sinking and floating. Rocks and other heavy objects are provided so the children can experiment with sinking boats or large pieces of Styrofoam. They will keep track of how many rocks can be put in each boat before it sinks.
Skills: cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, observational skills, making predictions, counting and number recognition, comparisons, creating theories about scientific properties.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials:Puzzles, triangle "brain teaser" puzzle, My First Book of Shapes, Sight word boards, Shape puzzles, mosaic builder peg boards, light table with multi-shaped blocks- inspiration pictures of parquetry and mosiacs.
Rationale: To continue to build on our knowledge of shapes and experiment with different ways to combine shapes to create new images. To emphasize letter shape and matching, to continue to support fine motor development, hand control, and coordination.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, divergent thinking, awareness of shapes and shape names, comparing, matching, sorting, combining.

Large Motor






~Materials: Rolling slide and stairs, mini-trampoline, rope ladder, mini-peddallo, Bean Bag/Ring Toss, Beach-Ball Toss/Lava pit


~Rationale: To emphasize a variety of upper body strength challenges, including hand-eye coordination, catching, throwing, climbing and endurance. Lower body strength is also highlighted, including balance, pedaling, and jumping. All activities continue to focus on the important social skills of turn-taking, cooperation, and peer negotiation.



~Skills: Cardiovascular endurance, directional awareness, spatial awareness, catching/trapping, reaching, grasping, batting, static & dynamic balance, throwing, jumping, muscular strength and endurance, pedaling.

Snacks:
Monday: Rice cakes and orange slices
Wednesday: Carrot muffins
Thursday: Corn tortilla crisps and black bean salsa

Weekly Plan
Week of April 1, 2013
Elizabeth's Class

Overview:
Welcome back to the spring session! This week, the classroom provides materials that both support play begun in the winter session and introduce new experiences. The children's interest in bridges and ramps is facilitated in the block area by the addition of marbles, different tubing, and bowling pins. Meanwhile, the art area shifts from a focus on wood sculpture to the stringing of beads, buttons, and other materials. Our ongoing exploration of homes and habitats continues this session, and the science center contains hand's-on experiences related to insect homes. Additionally, the children have an opportunity to reflect on an aspect of their own habitats or communities, as the dramatic play area is set up as a neighborhood coffee shop.

Science
*Materials: Books about insects, wasp nest, cockroaches, mealworms, examples of different insects and their homes.
*Rationale: To emphasize a new type of animal home/habitat, to encourage children to draw connections between different living things.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, using tools to gather information, using books as sources of knowledge, curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: "Coffee Shop" materials: cups, cup carrier, aprons, hats, pitchers, etc.
Rationale: to emphasize the different establishments present in our own community, to focus on jobs in the community and how to perform them, to allow children to act out familiar experiences and exchanges from their lives.
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, turn-taking.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards, books with alphabetic themes, various computer games.
Rationale: to foster the children's ongoing interest in the written word, alphabetic principle, and symbolic representation. In addition to a continued interest in writing and reading familiar words, many children show an interest in using the computer for a variety of purposes. Most recently, they have worked together to complete different computer games. This continues to be available as the children continue to practice computer skills as well as turn-taking and collaboration.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, eye-hand coordination, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, keyboarding and mouse skills, planning and sequencing actions, cooperation, verbal communication.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, many of which emphasize the children's strong interest in fairytales and familiar stories. Books on CD are also available.
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To emphasize the telling and retelling of familiar tales.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation, prediction, comparing and contrasting.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, books about creating ramps, rain gutters, balls, marbles, bowling pins.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, especially those that focus on motion, stability, creating inclines, etc.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, understanding of cause and effect, awareness of physical properties (momentum, gravity), connection to the natural world, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: An assortment of beads, metal washers, buttons, wire, string, clay, clay tools, plastic insects.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and provide a focus on patterns and pattern-making. To foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, awareness of patterns, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: Water, items that sink and float.
Rationale: As we switch from frozen water to liquid water, the children are given more chances to reflect on the properties of water and how other materials react with water.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength/ hand strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, observational skills, making predictions.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials:Puzzles, triangle "brain teaser" puzzle, My First Book of Shapes, Sight word boards, insect seriation stacker, light table with multi-shaped blocks.
Rationale: To introduce a variety of shapes and shape-related vocabulary into our classroom exploration, to emphasize letter shape and matching, to continue to support fine motor development, hand control, and coordination.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, awareness of shapes and shape names, comparing, matching, sorting and divergent thinking.

Large Motor (gym)
Materials: A-Frame balance beam, hopscotch, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, stairs and slide.
Rationale: Many of the children continue to be interested in balancing.To support the children's interest in balancing as well as offer an large motor experience the A-Frame balance beam is added to the gym. The hopscotch,tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, and slide help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what the can do with their bodies and simulate outdoor activities (playing hopscotch and dribbling basketballs).
Skills: Dynamic balance and static balance/standing on one foot (A-Frame Balance Beam), propulsion skills/throwing (basketball hoop with balls), receptive skills/catching and trapping (basketball hoop with balls), climbing (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall),
turn-taking (all), motor planning (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, wall climber), directional awareness (all),core muscle strength (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall), upper body strength (tumbling blocks with rope, basketball hoop with balls)body awareness (balance beam, tumbling blocks, tunnel), reaching (wall climber, tumbling blocks with rope), jumping (wall climber, hopscotch), turning (wall climber, balance beam), spatial awareness (climbing wall, balance beam,basketball hoop with balls, tunnel), landing (climbing wall, hopscotch)

Snacks:
Monday: Applesauce and granola
Wednesday: Bananas and rice Cakes
Thursday: Frozen peas and pretzels

Weekly Plan
Week of March 4, 2013
Team Teaching

Overview:
As we move into our final weeks of class before spring break, the classroom continues to be busy with creative play. The children's strong interest in arctic and antarctic animals continues, and has emerged in the creation of polar habitats in our science area. Additionally, an interest in sledding and penguin sliding has led to building ramps in the block area, as the children find the best ways to make different things slide down large block ramps. The art area provides a different opportunity for creative building, as wood sculptures began last week. This week they will continue, and already built sculptures will be painted. Finally, as our classroom explorations of winter and numbers wrap up, there will be plenty of chances to reflect on the things we have learned about numerals, counting, winter, and staying warm, in addition to discussion of our next season-Spring! Although there are only a few days left of our winter session, the teachers are committed to supporting all of the amazing learning that continues to take place each day.

Science
*Materials: White legos and lego boards, pictures and books of Arctic animals (seals, penguins, orca whales etc) as well as Arctic homes.
*Rationale: To continue to apply our knowledge about animal homes, especially those in arctic areas, materials are provided that will allow the children to represent what they have learned about polar habitats and climates.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, using tools to gather information, using books as sources of knowledge, curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave is set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items while the other cave is set up as a polar habitat (stuffed toys of orcas, polar bears, penguins, seals), home life props that contain numbers.
Rationale: to allow for the continued exploration of children's interests, both concrete and abstract. To provide opportunities for cooperative dramatic play and social interaction. To provide examples of numbers in everyday life (calendar, phones, etc)
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, storytelling, connection to the natural world, using books as resources, and early literacy skills.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards, books with alphabetic themes and a mailbox are available to the writing center to support letter writing and letter recognition.
Rationale: to foster the children's ongoing interest in the written word, alphabetic principle, and symbolic representation. The children continue to show interest in writing their own words, copying written words, and engaging in pretend writing. The computer remains available for word processing and computer literacy experiences.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, eye-hand coordination, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, keyboarding and mouse skills, planning and sequencing actions.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, many of which discuss different aspects of winter (snow, cold, winter clothes, etc), reflect the children's interests (penguins, orcas, etc) and have numeral themes (Five Little Monkeys).
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To demonstrate how to use books as sources of information. To have the opportunity to reflect on changes to the children's immediate environment (i.e. the winter season). To expand the children's exploration of polar animals and Arctic habitats books about penguins and whales are offered.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, pictures of polar animals, animal figurines (polar bears, seals, orcas), felt, wax paper, blue, white and gray pieces of cloth, books about creating ramps, balls.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, to allow the children to reflect on and interpret a number of different experiences involving buildings, transportation, etc. To encourage and expand both dramatic play and exploration with how to best make penguins slide, arctic animal materials continue to be available. To foster ongoing exploration of ramp building, and engagement in experimentation with momentum (balls, ramp books).
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, indoor/outdoor connection, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, understanding of cause and effect, awareness of physical properties (momentum, gravity), connection to the natural world, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: An assortment of different wooden pieces of different sizes and shapes, wood glue, clay, clay tools, toothpicks, small beads, fairy house book.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, and foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers.
To provide a building experience and support creative expression a selection of wooden pieces are added to the art table. Paint is also offered this week to allow for continued engagement with the same work of art over several days. To support 3-D sculpture and continued imaginative expression, toothpicks, straws, and small beads are added to the clay table. The Fairy House and Castle book continue to be available to support divergent thinking and extend imaginative house building in both clay and wood.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, establishing a connection as a member of a community, peer interactions, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: ice, snow, salt, water, animal figurines (penguins, orcas, and seals), buckets, and shovels, spray bottles with colored water.
Rationale: To encourage further discussion about the properties of ice and snow, both will continue to be offered at the sensory table. To support the exploration of Artic animal life and homes, animal figurines are provided. To continue interest in color mixing, water bottles are added for changing the color of the snow.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength/ hand strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, observational skills, symbolic representation, acting out previous experiences, comparing amounts.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials:Counting and stacking unifix cubes with trays, numeral recognition games, counting games, part-whole fruit puzzles, number bingo, Styrofoam blocks and Lightbright pegs, and K'NEX.
Rationale: To continue our exploration and discussion of numbers puzzles and unifix cubes are provided at the math table. To support investigation of part whole relationships fruit puzzles are offered. The pincer grasp and hand strength are emphasized as children use small Lightbright pegs to press into Styrofoam blocks. Number Bingo allows children to use their knowledge of numerals to play a familiar game.
To extend our exploration of construction building and support divergent thinking, K'NEX are added to the Nook. Pictures of airports, and airplanes will continue to be displayed as well as the addition of race car pictures to inspire group discussion, building and play.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, quantification, counting, numeric awareness, comparison, matching, sorting and divergent thinking.

Large Motor (gym)
Materials: A-Frame balance beam, hopscotch, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, stairs and slide.
Rationale: Many of the children continue to be interested in balancing.To support the children's interest in balancing as well as offer an large motor experience the A-Frame balance beam is added to the gym. The hopscotch,tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, and slide help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what the can do with their bodies and simulate outdoor activities (playing hopscotch and dribbling basketballs).
Skills: Dynamic balance and static balance/standing on one foot (A-Frame Balance Beam), propulsion skills/throwing (basketball hoop with balls), receptive skills/catching and trapping (basketball hoop with balls), climbing (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall),
turn-taking (all), motor planning (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, wall climber), directional awareness (all),core muscle strength (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall), upper body strength (tumbling blocks with rope, basketball hoop with balls)body awareness (balance beam, tumbling blocks, tunnel), reaching (wall climber, tumbling blocks with rope), jumping (wall climber, hopscotch), turning (wall climber, balance beam), spatial awareness (climbing wall, balance beam,basketball hoop with balls, tunnel), landing (climbing wall, hopscotch)

(Outdoors)
Sledding, tunnel building, snowman creation, tag, soccer, ice sliding: All of these activities continue to fascinate and challenge the children physically and creatively on the playground each day. As the weather begins to warm, the teachers draw attention to many different ways in which the frozen playground transforms each day.

Snacks:
Monday: Class-made soft pretzels
Wednesday: Oven fries
Thursday: Graham Crackers

Weekly Plan
Week of February 25, 2013
Megan Lead Teaching

Overview:
Time is flying by and March is just around the corner! The children continue to be interested in artic animals (especially penguins, orcas, seals and bears) and the homes they live in. To support their interest in polar animals the 'hibernation' materials are replaced with icy home building materials at the science table. Many children have been interested in using small tools to manipulate the clay and create homes for fantasy characters such as trolls and goblins. Beads and a fairy house book are added to support creative expression at the clay table. At the art table, we transitioned from finger paint to wood construction to support creative expression and symbolic representation using 3-D materials. In the Nook, K'NEX are added to extend our exploration of building and support divergent thinking. Our small group exploration of 'Water', 'Numbers' and 'Storytelling' will continue this week!

Science
*Materials: White legos, blue trays, ice, water, salt, pictures and books of Arctic animals (seals, penguins, orca whales etc) as well as Arctic homes.
*Rationale: To continue our ongoing exploration of homes and habitats, and to focus the children's attention on artic weather and animals, materials are provided that will allow the children to hypothesize about what animals do in the cold snowy weather and where they might live. To continue our discussion of animals living in polar climates materials are provided to support construction of icy and watery animal homes.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, making comparisons, perspective taking (considering how animals survive in the cold climates), using tools gather information, and developing curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave is set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items while the other cave is set up as a Bear Cave (bear costumes, teddy bears, books about hibernation and bears, pillows), animal costumes
Rationale: to allow for the continued exploration of home-life, family-life, and previous experiences while children use their creativity, imagination, and social interaction skills. To juxtapose human needs (home-life props) with animal needs (hibernation cave) and allow for a variety of dramatic play experiences. Various animal costumes continue to be available to extend animal dramatic play (lions, cougars, polar bears).
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, storytelling, connection to the natural world, using books as resources, and early literacy skills.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards, books with alphabetic themes and a mailbox are available to the writing center to support letter writing and letter recognition.
Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle. We will continue to support the children's creativity with written and verbal language by giving them opportunities to dictate their stories and letters. Microsoft Word continues to be available to encourage letter recognition, emergent writing and typing skills. Alphabetic themed books are added to encourage emergent reading skills.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, emergent writing and reading, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, technological awareness, planning and sequencing actions.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, many of which discuss different aspects of winter (snow, cold, winter clothes, etc), reflect the children's interests (penguins, orcas, etc) and have numeral themes (Five Little Monkeys).
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To demonstrate how to use books as sources of information. To have the opportunity to reflect on changes to the children's immediate environment (i.e. the winter season). To expand the children's exploration of polar animals and Arctic habitats books about penguins and whales are offered.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, pictures of polar animals, animal figurines (polar bears, seals, orcas), felt, wax paper, blue, white and gray pieces of cloth.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, to allow the children to reflect on and interpret a number of different experiences involving buildings, transportation, etc. To encourage and expand the slipping and sliding of penguins down snow slopes and imaginative play with arctic animals, wax paper, water and snow colored pieces of cloth are added. To support some children's interest in castle building the book Castle is offered.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, indoor/outdoor connection, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning,connection to the natural world, analyzing and synthesizing, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: An assortment of different wooden pieces of different sizes and shapes, wood glue, clay, clay tools, toothpicks, small beads, fairy house book.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, and foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers.
To provide a building experience and support creative expression a selection of wooden pieces are added. Many of the children are interested in using small tools to manipulate the clay. To support 3-D sculpture and continued imaginative expression, toothpicks, straws, and small beads are added to the clay table. Some children are interested in fantasy characters such goblins and trolls and to support this interest a fairy house book is offered.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, establishing a connection as a member of a community, peer interactions, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: ice, snow, salt, water, animal figurines (penguins, orcas, and seals), buckets, and shovels.
Rationale: To encourage further discussion about the properties of ice and snow, both will continue to be offered at the sensory table. To support the exploration of Artic animal life and homes, animal figurines are provided.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, observational skills, symbolic representation, acting out previous experiences, comparing amounts.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials:Counting and stacking unifix cubes with trays, numeral recognition games, counting games, part-whole fruit puzzles, and K'NEX.
Rationale: To continue our exploration and discussion of numbers puzzles and unifix cubes are provided at the math table. To support investigation of part whole relationships fruit puzzles are offered.
To extend our exploration of construction building and support divergent thinking, K'NEX are added to the Nook. Pictures of airports, and airplanes will continue to be displayed as well as the addition of race car pictures to inspire group discussion, building and play.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, quantification, counting, numeric awareness, comparison, matching, sorting and divergent thinking.

Large Motor (gym)
Materials: A-Frame balance beam, hopscotch, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, stairs and slide.
Rationale: Many of the children continue to be interested in balancing.To support the children's interest in balancing as well as offer an large motor experience the A-Frame balance beam is added to the gym. The hopscotch,tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, and slide help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what the can do with their bodies and simulate outdoor activities (playing hopscotch and dribbling basketballs).
Skills: Dynamic balance and static balance/standing on one foot (A-Frame Balance Beam), propulsion skills/throwing (basketball hoop with balls), receptive skills/catching and trapping (basketball hoop with balls), climbing (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall),
turn-taking (all), motor planning (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, wall climber), directional awareness (all),core muscle strength (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall), upper body strength (tumbling blocks with rope, basketball hoop with balls)body awareness (balance beam, tumbling blocks, tunnel), reaching (wall climber, tumbling blocks with rope), jumping (wall climber, hopscotch), turning (wall climber, balance beam), spatial awareness (climbing wall, balance beam,basketball hoop with balls, tunnel), landing (climbing wall, hopscotch)

(Outdoors)
As we still have plenty of snow on the playground we will continue to provide sleds, shovels and snowshoes for playing in the snow! As always, we will monitor the weather and ice conditions daily to ensure the safety of the children on the sledding hill. The time spent on the playground is a balance of structured and unstructured activities. Last week, Sheila helped the children make a tunnel in the snow for the children to burrow in. The soccer balls were taken out and some children enjoyed kicking the ball through the snow tunnel. Hopefully with the abundance of snow we can continue building tunnels and other snow creations.

Snacks:
Monday: Clementines and pretzels
Wednesday: Blueberry muffins
Thursday: Whole wheat bagels and non dairy butter

Weekly Plan: Elizabeth's Class-Week of February 11, 2013

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Weekly Plan
Week of February 11, 2013
Megan Lead Teaching

Overview:
Last week we started our small groups (Numbers, Storytelling and Water) and continued our exploration of numbers and winter life! Many of the children continue to be interested in cold weather and animals, more specifically arctic animals. There were many penguins waddling down and sliding on their stomachs down the sledding hill this week! To support their interest in penguins, and polar bears we have added wax paper, and grayish-white materials in the block area to represent the homes of animals in cold climates. The dressing puzzles received a lot of attention so we added self-dressing materials to the math table to extend our discussion of keeping warm in the winter. Finger painting last week was highly engaging for many of the children. We added materials (sand, salt, and shaving cream) to the finger paint to encourage the exploration of textures and sensory awareness. Finally, in the Nook we transitioned from Legos to Mobilos to offer a new experience in building.

Science
*Materials: Woodland animal stuffed animals, tree, books about wintertime and hibernation, fur pelts, pictures of various animals with fur/wool, shoe box, batting, sticks, large seeds, acorns, computer for checking daily temperature and live web-cam feed of bear den.
*Rationale: to continue our ongoing exploration of homes and habitats, and to focus the children's attention on local weather and animals, materials are provided that will allow the children to hypothesize about what animals do in the winter and where they might live.To encourage discussion among the children about hibernation and how animals stay warm in the winter a live online feed of a bear hibernating in it's den will be streamed on the computer. Pictures of animals with different types of skin (fur/wool/hair) have been added to the science table to further children's thinking about how fur keeps animals warm. To encourage further discussion about the weather we will be checking the temperature daily and recording it on newsprint paper.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, making comparisons, perspective taking (considering how animals survive in the wintertime), using tools gather information, and developing curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave is set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items while the other cave is set up as a Bear Cave (bear costumes, teddy bears, books about hibernation and bears, pillows), animal costumes
Rationale: to allow for the continued exploration of home-life, family-life, and previous experiences while children use their creativity, imagination, and social interaction skills. To juxtapose human needs (home-life props) with animal needs (hibernation cave) and allow for a variety of dramatic play experiences. Various animal costumes continue to be available to extend animal dramatic play (lions, cougars, polar bears).
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, storytelling, connection to the natural world, using books as resources, and early literacy skills.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards and a mailbox are available to the writing center to support letter writing.
Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle. We will continue to support the children's creativity with written and verbal language by giving them opportunities to dictate their stories and letters. To support the children's interest in making signs, paper, markers and tape are added to facilitate emergent reading and writing skills. Microsoft Word is provided to encourage letter recognition and emergent writing and typing skills.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, emergent writing, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, reflection on community jobs, technological awareness, planning and sequencing actions.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, many of which discuss different aspects of winter (snow, cold, winter clothes, etc), and have numeral themes (Five Little Monkeys).
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To demonstrate how to use books as sources of information. To have the opportunity to reflect on changes to the children's immediate environment (i.e. the winter season). To encourage further thinking and discussion about numbers we added counting books to the class library.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, animal figurines (polar bears, seals, orcas), felt, wax paper, blue, white and gray pieces of cloth.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, to allow the children to reflect on and interpret a number of different experiences involving buildings, transportation, etc. To encourage and expand the slipping and sliding of penguins down snow slopes and imaginative play with arctic animal we added wax paper, as well as water and snow colored pieces of cloth.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, indoor/outdoor connection, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning,connection to the natural world and showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: markers, primary color paint for mixing, large paper for painting, scissors, butcher paper, finger paints, sand, cornstarch, salt, shaving cream, clay, wooden clay tools, toothpicks, straws, wire.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, and foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers. The children continue to be highly interested in using their hands to mix colors.To continue the exploration of group color mixing, blue, white, yellow, and red finger paint will continue to be available at the art table. To support sensory exploration with different textures sand, cornstarch and shaving cream are added to the finger paint.Many of the children are interested in using tools to manipulate the clay. To support 3-D sculpture, and to encourage self-expression, toothpicks and straws are added to the clay table.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, establishing a connection as a member of a community, peer interactions, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: ice, snow, salt, sand, water, acorns, molds, scoops, buckets, and small shovels.
Rationale: To encourage further discussion about the properties of ice and snow, both will continue to be offered at the sensory table. Elizabeth conducted an ice melting experiment with the children last week to investigate what matter melts ice the fastest. To support exploration and discussion of melting ice, salt, sand, water, and acorns are made available at the sensory table.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, observational skills, symbolic representation, acting out previous experiences, comparing amounts, and performing multiple steps, planning and carrying out a plan.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials:Counting and stacking cubes, numeral recognition games, dressing and number puzzles,number matching games, Duplos, threading shoelace cards, self-dressing materials, mitten numeral recognition game, Mobilos, pictures of airplanes and airports.
Rationale: To continue our exploration of numbers and winter dressing materials are provided at the math table. To support self-dressing and fine motor skills materials with buttons, zippers and fasteners are offered. To encourage investigation of counting, numeral awareness, and sequencing we have added a mitten numeral recognition game and a number matching puzzle.
In the Nook we have switched from Legos to Mobilos to further exploration of construction building and divergent thinking. Pictures of airports, and airplanes will continue to be displayed as well as the addition of race car pictures to inspire group discussion, building and play.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, quantification, counting, numeric awareness, comparison, matching, sorting and divergent thinking.

Large Motor (gym)
Materials: A-Frame balance beam, hopscotch, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, stairs and slide.
Rationale: This week was our turn to set up the gym. Many of the children have been interested in balancing on the long blocks of wood in the block area.To support the children's interest in balancing as well as offer an large motor experience the A-Frame balance beam has been added to the gym. The hopscotch,tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, and slide help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what the can do with their bodies and simulate outdoor activities (playing hopscotch and dribbling basketballs).
Skills: Dynamic balance and static balance/standing on one foot (A-Frame Balance Beam), propulsion skills/throwing (basketball hoop with balls), receptive skills/catching and trapping (basketball hoop with balls), climbing (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall),
turn-taking (all), motor planning (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, wall climber), directional awareness (all),core muscle strength (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall), upper body strength (tumbling blocks with rope, basketball hoop with balls)body awareness (balance beam, tumbling blocks, tunnel), reaching (wall climber, tumbling blocks with rope), jumping (wall climber, hopscotch), turning (wall climber, balance beam), spatial awareness (climbing wall, balance beam,basketball hoop with balls, tunnel), landing (climbing wall, hopscotch)

(Outdoors)
As we still have snow on the playground we will continue to provide sleds, shovels and snowshoes for playing in the snow! As always, we will monitor the weather and ice conditions daily to ensure the safety of the children on the sledding hill. The time on the playground continues to be a balance of both unstructured and structure large motor activities. Much of the animal pretend play has carried over to outside time. There have been many cougars and bears prowling around the playground and penguins sliding down sledding hill lately.Some of the children have been experimenting with adding snow to slides to see how fast they can zoom down the slide. Hopefully the 'warm' weather continues so we can enjoy playing and experimenting with the snow!

Snacks:
Monday: Animal crackers and Raisins
Wednesday: Carrots and Triscuts
Thursday: Cheerios and Milk

Weekly Lesson Plan: Week of February 11th, 2013

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Weekly Plan
Week of February 4, 2013
Megan Lead Teaching

Overview:
Last week we started our small groups (Numbers, Storytelling and Water) and continued our exploration of numbers and winter life! Many of the children continue to be interested in cold weather and animals, more specifically arctic animals. There were many penguins waddling down and sliding on their stomachs down the sledding hill this week! To support their interest in penguins, and polar bears we have added wax paper, and grayish-white materials in the block area to represent the homes of animals in cold climates. The dressing puzzles received a lot of attention so we added self-dressing materials to the math table to extend our discussion of keeping warm in the winter. Finger painting last week was highly engaging for many of the children. We added materials (sand, salt, and shaving cream) to the finger paint to encourage the exploration of textures and sensory awareness. Finally, in the Nook we transitioned from Legos to Mobilos to offer a new experience in building.

Science
*Materials: Woodland animal stuffed animals, tree, books about wintertime and hibernation, fur pelts, pictures of various animals with fur/wool, shoe box, batting, sticks, large seeds, acorns, computer for checking daily temperature and live web-cam feed of bear den.
*Rationale: to continue our ongoing exploration of homes and habitats, and to focus the children's attention on local weather and animals, materials are provided that will allow the children to hypothesize about what animals do in the winter and where they might live.To encourage discussion among the children about hibernation and how animals stay warm in the winter a live online feed of a bear hibernating in it's den will be streamed on the computer. Pictures of animals with different types of skin (fur/wool/hair) have been added to the science table to further children's thinking about how fur keeps animals warm. To encourage further discussion about the weather we will be checking the temperature daily and recording it on newsprint paper.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, making comparisons, perspective taking (considering how animals survive in the wintertime), using tools gather information, and developing curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave is set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items while the other cave is set up as a Bear Cave (bear costumes, teddy bears, books about hibernation and bears, pillows), animal costumes
Rationale: to allow for the continued exploration of home-life, family-life, and previous experiences while children use their creativity, imagination, and social interaction skills. To juxtapose human needs (home-life props) with animal needs (hibernation cave) and allow for a variety of dramatic play experiences. Various animal costumes continue to be available to extend animal dramatic play (lions, cougars, polar bears).
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, storytelling, connection to the natural world, using books as resources, and early literacy skills.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards and a mailbox are available to the writing center to support letter writing.
Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle. We will continue to support the children's creativity with written and verbal language by giving them opportunities to dictate their stories and letters. To support the children's interest in making signs, paper, markers and tape are added to facilitate emergent reading and writing skills. Microsoft Word is provided to encourage letter recognition and emergent writing and typing skills.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, emergent writing, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, reflection on community jobs, technological awareness, planning and sequencing actions.

Materials: the library has a variety of non-fiction and fiction books, many of which discuss different aspects of winter (snow, cold, winter clothes, etc), and have numeral themes (Five Little Monkeys).
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To demonstrate how to use books as sources of information. To have the opportunity to reflect on changes to the children's immediate environment (i.e. the winter season). To encourage further thinking and discussion about numbers we added counting books to the class library.
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, animal figurines (polar bears, seals, orcas), felt, wax paper, blue, white and gray pieces of cloth.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, to allow the children to reflect on and interpret a number of different experiences involving buildings, transportation, etc. To encourage and expand the slipping and sliding of penguins down snow slopes and imaginative play with arctic animal we added wax paper, as well as water and snow colored pieces of cloth.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, indoor/outdoor connection, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning,connection to the natural world and showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: markers, primary color paint for mixing, large paper for painting, scissors, butcher paper, finger paints, sand, cornstarch, salt, shaving cream, clay, wooden clay tools, toothpicks, straws, wire.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, and foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers. The children continue to be highly interested in using their hands to mix colors.To continue the exploration of group color mixing, blue, white, yellow, and red finger paint will continue to be available at the art table. To support sensory exploration with different textures sand, cornstarch and shaving cream are added to the finger paint.Many of the children are interested in using tools to manipulate the clay. To support 3-D sculpture, and to encourage self-expression, toothpicks and straws are added to the clay table.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, establishing a connection as a member of a community, peer interactions, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: ice, snow, salt, sand, water, acorns, molds, scoops, buckets, and small shovels.
Rationale: To encourage further discussion about the properties of ice and snow, both will continue to be offered at the sensory table. Elizabeth conducted an ice melting experiment with the children last week to investigate what matter melts ice the fastest. To support exploration and discussion of melting ice, salt, sand, water, and acorns are made available at the sensory table.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, observational skills, symbolic representation, acting out previous experiences, comparing amounts, and performing multiple steps, planning and carrying out a plan.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials:Counting and stacking cubes, numeral recognition games, dressing and number puzzles,number matching games, Duplos, threading shoelace cards, self-dressing materials, mitten numeral recognition game, Mobilos, pictures of airplanes and airports.
Rationale: To continue our exploration of numbers and winter dressing materials are provided at the math table. To support self-dressing and fine motor skills materials with buttons, zippers and fasteners are offered. To encourage investigation of counting, numeral awareness, and sequencing we have added a mitten numeral recognition game and a number matching puzzle.
In the Nook we have switched from Legos to Mobilos to further exploration of construction building and divergent thinking. Pictures of airports, and airplanes will continue to be displayed as well as the addition of race car pictures to inspire group discussion, building and play.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, synthesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, quantification, counting, numeric awareness, comparison, matching, sorting and divergent thinking.

Large Motor (gym)
Materials: A-Frame balance beam, hopscotch, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, stairs and slide.
Rationale: This week was our turn to set up the gym. Many of the children have been interested in balancing on the long blocks of wood in the block area.To support the children's interest in balancing as well as offer an large motor experience the A-Frame balance beam has been added to the gym. The hopscotch,tunnel, basketball hoop with balls, climbing wall, tumbling blocks with rope, and slide help build children's upper body and core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what the can do with their bodies and simulate outdoor activities (playing hopscotch and dribbling basketballs).
Skills: Dynamic balance and static balance/standing on one foot (A-Frame Balance Beam), propulsion skills/throwing (basketball hoop with balls), receptive skills/catching and trapping (basketball hoop with balls), climbing (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall),
turn-taking (all), motor planning (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, wall climber), directional awareness (all),core muscle strength (bumpy slide, tumbling blocks, climbing wall), upper body strength (tumbling blocks with rope, basketball hoop with balls)body awareness (balance beam, tumbling blocks, tunnel), reaching (wall climber, tumbling blocks with rope), jumping (wall climber, hopscotch), turning (wall climber, balance beam), spatial awareness (climbing wall, balance beam,basketball hoop with balls, tunnel), landing (climbing wall, hopscotch)

(Outdoors)
As we still have snow on the playground we will continue to provide sleds, shovels and snowshoes for playing in the snow! As always, we will monitor the weather and ice conditions daily to ensure the safety of the children on the sledding hill. The time on the playground continues to be a balance of both unstructured and structure large motor activities. Much of the animal pretend play has carried over to outside time. There have been many cougars and bears prowling around the playground and penguins sliding down sledding hill lately.Some of the children have been experimenting with adding snow to slides to see how fast they can zoom down the slide. Hopefully the 'warm' weather continues so we can enjoy playing and experimenting with the snow!

Snacks:
Monday: Animal crackers and Raisins
Wednesday: Carrots and Triscuts
Thursday: Cheerios and Milk

Weekly Plan
Week of February 4, 2013
Sam Lead Teaching

Overview: The winter session is off to a fast start and it's hard to believe we are already entering the first week of February! We have made several changes to the classroom this week to support the children's continued interest in bears. As the children have begun to discuss how humans stay warm in the winter, fur is added to the science center to encourage discussion about how animals keep warm. We extend this theme into the block area by adding white covering to some of the hollow blocks to simulate snow covered bear caves. We continue our exploration of numbers and counting this week. Several number puzzles are added to the math center and books about counting are added to the classroom library. We are also continuing on with our color mixing exploration by introducing two new colors to the art area: red and yellow! Finally, this week we will begin small groups for this session. The children begin active exploration of Numbers, Storytelling, and Water this Wednesday and Thursday.

Science
*Materials: Woodland animal stuffed animals, tree, books about wintertime and hibernation, fur pelts, shoe box, batting, sticks, large seeds, acorns, computer or themometer for checking daily temperature
*Rationale: to continue our ongoing exploration of homes and habitats, and to focus the children's attention on local weather and animals, materials are provided that will allow the children to hypothesize about what animals do in the winter and where they might live. At large group, Megan discussed how we use clothes to stay warm. To encourage discussion among the children about how animals stay warm in the winter we will be adding fur pelts to the science table. We added a box to the science area for the children to create a bear den for hibernating. To encourage further discussion about the weather we will be checking the temperature daily and recording it on newsprint paper.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, making comparisons, perspective taking (considering how animals survive in the wintertime), using tools gather information, and developing curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave is set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items while the other cave is set up as a Bear Cave (bear costumes, teddy bears, books about hibernation and bears, pillows), animal costumes
Rationale: to allow for the continued exploration of home-life, family-life, and previous experiences while children use their creativity, imagination, and social interaction skills. To juxtapose human needs (home-life props) with animal needs (hibernation cave) and allow for a variety of dramatic play experiences. The children have expanded their animal play to include role playing as bears, cougars, and penguins. To encourage this animal related play we are adding animal costumes for the children to use in their play.
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, storytelling, connection to the natural world, using books as resources, and early literacy skills.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards and a mailbox are available to the writing center to support letter writing. A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats
Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle. We will continue to support the children's creativity with written and verbal language by giving them opportunities to dictate their stories and letters. A Letter to Amy by Ezra Jack Keats has been added to the writing center to serve as inspiration for the children as they continue to explore letter writing.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, emergent writing, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, reflection on community jobs, planning and sequencing actions.

Materials: the library has a variety of non fiction and fiction books, many of which discuss different aspects of winter (snow, cold, winter clothes, etc).
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To demonstrate how to use books as sources of information. To have the opportunity to reflect on changes to the children's immediate environment (i.e. the winter season). To encourage further thinking and discussion about numbers we have added counting books to the class library. To further expand children's discussion about bears we added books about a new type of bear: pandas!
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, animal figurines, felt, white covered blocks
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, to allow the children to reflect on and interpret a number of different experiences involving buildings, transportation, etc. To encourage and expand upon the construction of bear dens we added white covered blocks to simulate a snow covered cave.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, indoor/outdoor connection, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: markers, primary color paint for mixing, large paper for painting, scissors, butcher paper/ clay, wooden clay tools, wire.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, and foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers. To continue the exploration of color mixing, blue, white and black paint will be continue to be available at the art table. As the children continue their investigation of color mixing, red and yellow paint will be added to the art table for the children to discover new colors. Many of the children are interested in using their hands to mix colors. To facilitate these hands-on, group color mixing experiences, large sheets of butcher paper are being added to the art area. Clay continues to be offered for the children to engage in representational art and sensory activities.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, establishing a connection as a member of a community, peer interactions, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: ice, snow, salt, sand, water, molds, scoops, buckets, and small shovels.
Rationale: To encourage further discussion about the properties of ice and snow, both will continue to be offered at the sensory table. Salt and sand are offered to allow the children to discuss and explore different methods of melting ice. Water is also made available to the children as they have shown an interest in turning snow into slush.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, symbolic representation, acting out previous experiences, comparing amounts, and performing multiple steps, planning and carrying out a plan.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials: Puzzles, counting and stacking cubes, numeral recognition games, bear dressing puzzle, number puzzles and books, number Duplos, small lego set (including people, wheels, trees), pictures of airplanes and airports.
Rationale: Our exploration of numbers continues and this is reflected in the materials available in the math center. The children continue to show an interest in counting and stacking cubes. To encourage further discussion about counting we have added more number and counting puzzles. In the Nook we continue to offer legos for the children to engage in construction experiences. Pictures of airports and airplanes have inspired further discussion among the children. The pictures will continue to be displayed to serve as a conversation starter and an inspiration for building.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, sythesis and analysis, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, quantification, counting, numeric awareness, comparison, matching and sorting.

Large Motor (gym)
Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, rope swing, climbing wall
Rationale: The Pedalo, rope swings, and rolling hills were all exciting additions to our gym and the children have given a lot of attention to these new pieces of equipment. These activities, as well as the climbing wall and bumpy slide, continue to be offered in the gym this week. These activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what they can do with their bodies, and makes up for some of the things that we can't do outside during the winter time (such as rolling down a grassy hill).
Skills: Pushing with feet/propulsion (Pedalo), pedaling (Pedalo), standing/balancing (Pedalo), grasping (Pedalo, climbing wall, rope swing), climbing (bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), turn-taking (all), motor planning (bumpy slide, rope swing, wall climber), directional awareness (all), core muscle strength (bumpy slide, rope swing, climbing wall), body awareness (bumpy slide), rolling (rolling hill), pumping/swinging (rope swings), reaching (wall climber), jumping (wall climber), turning (wall climber), spatial awareness (climbing wall, rolling hill), landing (climbing wall)

(Outdoors)
Over the past two weeks we have received a great deal of snow and hope to re-open the sledding hill this week! We will monitor the weather and ice conditions daily to ensure the safety of the children on the sledding hill. As always, the time on the playground is a balance of both unstructured and structure large motor activities. The children continue to show an interest in shoveling and building with the snow on the playground. This past week, many of the children worked together to build snowmen as well as other snow structures. Classroom discussions and explorations continue to extend to the playground as the children discuss the qualities of snow and ice. Our color mixing activities also extended to the playground this week when Sheila led the children in an exciting snow dyeing activity. With rising temperatures in the coming week's forecast we hope to spend more time on the playground to encourage further exploration of snow and ice.

Snacks:
Monday: Kale Chips and Carrots
Wednesday: Warm, Dairy-Free Cocoa and Rice Chex
Thursday: Corn Salsa and Fresh Baked Tortilla Chips

Weekly Plan
Week of January 21, 2013
Team Teaching

Overview: It is hard to believe we are already moving into the 4th week of our Winter session, but it has definitely gotten off to a "roaring" start. In some instances quite literally, as the children's interest in animal habitats has transitioned into "bear-themed" dramatic play. This week, we will continue to support this play by introducing books and songs related to hibernation in our classroom's science center and during large group. Polar bear figurines and differently shaped ice pieces are also made available in our classroom sensory table to allow for symbolic representation and further exploration of how animals find shelter during the long, cold winter. Also this week, numbers and numerals come to the forefront. In addition to new number games in the math and manipulative areas, the children will be encouraged to engage in a number of counting activities during large group. Finally, our exploration of the color blue continues, as famous works of art, including several from Picasso's 'blue period,' are displayed in the art area. The children will also be encouraged to match blues they find in the classroom, on their clothes, and in the sky outdoors. It will be a busy week full of exploration and inquiry as the children find new opportunities to investigate their many interests in new ways.

Science
*Materials: Woodland animal stuffed animals, Tree, books about wintertime and hibernation, animal guessing game
*Rationale: to continue our ongoing exploration of homes and habitats, and to focus the children's attention on local weather and animals, materials are provided that will allow the children to hypothesize about what animals do in the winter and where they might live. As the children continue to show an interest in bears, stuffed bears have been added to the science center to encourage further thinking about bear habitats, hibernation, and winter survival.
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, making comparisons, and developing curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave is set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items while the other cave is set up as a Bear Cave (bear costumes, teddy bears, books about hibernation and bears, pillows).
Rationale: to allow for the continued exploration of home-life, family-life, and previous experiences while children use their creativity, imagination, and social interaction skills. To juxtapose human needs (home-life props) with animal needs (hibernation cave) and allow for a variety of dramatic play experiences. The children continue to integrate the dramatic play experiences by using the kitchen to prepare "bear food." Last week the children pretended to be bears, using the dress up fabric, which remains available, to represent their fur.
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, storytelling, connection to the natural world, using books as resources, and early literacy skills.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards and a mailbox are available to the writing center to support letter writing.
Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle. We will continue to support the children creativity with written and verbal language by giving them opportunities to dictate their stories and letters. As letter writing continues to be a popular activity in the classroom, children's names and pictures, a mailbox, and envelopes will remain in the writing center.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, emergent writing, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, reflection on community jobs, planning and sequencing actions.

Materials: the library has a variety of non fiction and fiction books, many of which discuss different aspects of winter (snow, cold, winter clothes, etc).
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To demonstrate how to use books as sources of information. To have the opportunity to reflect on changes to the children's immediate environment (i.e. the winter season).
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, animal figurines, felt.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, to allow the children to reflect on and interpret a number of different experiences involving buildings, transportation, etc. White felt has been added to the area to allow the children to incorporate snow into the construction. Polar bear figurines have also been added to offer the children more bear choices and extend their bear related play.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, indoor/outdoor connection, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: markers, primary color paint for mixing, Prints of paintings using the color blue, different blue objects, large paper for painting, scissors/ clay, wooden clay tools, wire.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, and foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers. To continue the exploration of color mixing, blue, white and black paint will be still be available at the art table. As the children investigate mixing blue with black and white paint to create different tones and hues, different shades of blue will be displayed in the art area for the children to practice matching. The clay is also once again available for the children to use for creative expression and sensory input.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, establishing a connection as a member of a community, peer interactions, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: ice, sand, water, molds, scoops, buckets, and small shovels.
Rationale: To explore what is happening outside of our classroom, ice is made available in the sensory table. Children can explore the properties of ice and use their senses to observe the many ways they can change the material. To support the children's interest in ice (based on what they have explored on the playground boat, playground and sidewalks) water, shovels and sand are offered.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, using varied science and sensory language, sensory exploration, symbolic representation, acting out previous experiences, comparing amounts, and performing multiple steps, planning and carrying out a plan.

Math and Manipulatives (including the 'Nook')
Materials: Puzzles, counting and stacking cubes, numeral recognition games, bear dressing puzzle, number Duplos, small lego set (including people, wheels, trees)
Rationale: As we continue exploring numbers, the children will have more chances to use both the skill of counting as well as increased familiarity with the numerals that represent amounts. A variety of materials that encourage fine motor development and counting and matching with numerals are available, as well as puzzles that highlight continued investigation of part-whole relationships. Additionally, bear dressing cards are offered to support the children's emerging interest in dressing activities, and offers experience with matching, comparing, and sorting. Finally, exploration in the Lego nook continues as the children engage in collaboration while building a variety of different structures. Pictures of airports are added to provide further inspiration for their favorite building theme.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, quantification, counting, numeric awareness, comparison, matching and sorting.

Large Motor (gym)
Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, rope swing, climbing wall
Rationale: The children have done well easing back into the routines of school and have seemed to enjoy the familiar equipment we had set up in the gym. In order to sustain their interest in large muscle activities and to foster new skills, we have changed out some the structures and activities. The children will still have the opportunity to use old favorites: the bumpy slide and the climbing wall. In addition, we have brought out the Pedalo, created rope swings, and built a rolling hill with the gym mats. These activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what they can do with their bodies, and makes up for some of the things that we can't do outside during the winter time (such as rolling down a grassy hill).
Skills: Pushing with feet/propulsion (Pedalo), pedaling (Pedalo), standing/balancing (Pedalo), grasping (Pedalo, climbing wall, rope swing), climbing (bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), turn-taking (Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, climbing wall), motor planning (bumpy slide, rope swing, wall climber), directional awareness (all), core muscle strength (bumpy slide, rope swing, climbing wall), body awareness (bumpy slide), rolling (rolling hill), pumping/swinging (rope swings), reaching (wall climber), jumping (wall climber), turning (wall climber), spatial awareness (climbing wall, rolling hill), landing (climbing wall)

(Outdoors)
We opened our sledding two weeks ago and hope for more snow so that the children can continue to use the sleds! We will monitor the weather and ice conditions daily to ensure the safety of the children on the sledding hill. As before, our time in the playground is dedicated to both unstructured and structured large motor activities as well as scientific explorations and experiments. Many of the children have been shoveling and building with the snow, asking questions about and exploring ice and melting, and discovering how the winter weather affects the structures on the playground. We have been happy to see that they are making fascinating connections between the snow in the classroom and the snow on the playground!

Snacks:
Monday: No School
Wednesday: Oatmeal and raisins
Thursday: Birthday Snack and cucumber/carrot sticks

Weekly Plan
Week of January 14, 2012
Elizabeth Lead Teaching

Overview: The children have enthusiastically transitioned back to school, and are adjusting to both our new routine and new teachers. In order to support the children during this time of transition and ensure we provide a predictable and supportive learning environment, limited changes are made this week. Our outdoor environment continues to offer shoveling and sledding (weather permitting) as the children adjust to beginning their days on the playground. Indoors, minor changes are made to certain areas of the classroom to extend the rich play developed during the first week of school. For example, smaller and differently shaped molds are provided in the sensory snow table to facilitate deeper exploration of snow castle and snow villiage building. Additionally, new blue objects and images are added to the art area to provide an interesting challenge to the color mixing station as the children try to match different shades of blue. Most importantly, however, we will maintain a consistent and supportive learning experience and continue to emphasize a joyful and caring community of learners.

Science
*Materials: Woodland animal stuffed animals, Tree, books about wintertime and hibernation, animal guessing game
*Rationale: to continue our ongoing exploration of homes and habitats, and to focus the children's attention on local weather and animals, materials are provided that will allow the children to hypothesize about what animals do in the winter and where they might live. An animal guessing game was provided during large group last week, and is offered in the science center this week so the children can build awareness of local wildlife and practice identifying animals based upon different features (noses, color, ears, feet/hoofs)
Skills: observation, scientific investigation and inquiry, connection to natural world, applying previous experiences and knowledge, hypothesizing and extrapolating, symbolic representation, making comparisons, and developing curiosity.

Dramatic Play
Materials: housekeeping materials (furniture, dishes, food) and dress-up fabric and shoes; one cave is set as bedrooms with "beds," baby dolls, and baby-care items, Bear Cave (bear costumes, teddy bears, books about hibernation and bears, pillows).
Rationale: to allow for the continued exploration of home-life and family-life while children use their creativity, imagination, and social interaction skills. To juxtapose human needs (home-life props) with animal needs (hibernation cave) and allow for a variety of dramatic play experiences. The first week of school, the children blended the two dramatic play experiences by cooking food to take into the bear cave or bringing bears into their home to feed and care for. The book Bear Snores On will be read during large group to build awareness of hibernation as well as offer suggestions for increased role-play in the dramatic play area.
Skills: creative role-play, peer interaction, social problem solving, symbolic representation, reflection on previous experiences, collaboration and community building, storytelling, connection to the natural world, using books as resources, and early literacy skills.

Language and Literacy
Materials: the writing center has a variety of writing utensils, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, scissors, and computer/word processing program. Name cards and mailbox are available to the writing center to support letter writing.
Rationale: to foster experiences with the alphabetic principle. We will continue to support the children creativity with written and verbal language by giving them opportunities to dictate their stories and letters. To aide in letter writing, children's names and pictures, a mailbox, and envelopes are available. To support several children's strong interest in writing and mailing letters, books and sequencing cards about sending mail will also be offered in the writing center.
Skills: fine motor, letter recognition, emergent writing, curiosity, symbolic reasoning, peer interaction, reflection on community jobs, planning and sequencing actions.

Materials: the library has a variety of non fiction and fiction books, many of which discuss different aspects of winter (snow, cold, winter clothes, etc).
Rationale: to encourage the children's continued interest in sharing stories communally and individually. To demonstrate how to use books as sources of information. To have the opportunity to reflect on changes to the children's immediate environment (i.e. the winter season).
Skills: receptive language, phonological awareness, early literacy, listening, community building, expressive language, vocabulary introduction, scientific investigation.

Blocks
Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, animal figurines, batting,.
Rationale: to offer continued building experiences, to allow the children to reflect on and interpret a number of different experiences involving buildings, transportation, etc. Additionally, batting and animal figurines are offered with the unit blocks to encourage the building of animal habitats and allow for the incorporation of "snow" into the building experience.
Skills: large motor development, expressive creation, symbolic representation, cooperative play, indoor/outdoor connection, using a variety of media for self expression, problem solving, mathematical reasoning, and showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others.

Expressive Arts (paint, drawing, clay)
Materials: markers, primary color paint for mixing, Prints of paintings using the color blue, different blue objects, large paper for painting, scissors/ clay, wooden clay tools, wire.
Rationale: to explore with hands and tools to promote sensory awareness, increase fine motor skills, and foster social relationships as children observe and work together with their peers. As the winter session begins, paint is made available at the art table so the children can begin exploring the mixing of one color (blue) with white and black to create different tones and hues. To provide inspiration and challeng, different shades of blue are displayed in the art area for the children to practice matching. The clay is also once again available for the children to use for creative expression and sensory input.
Skills: fine motor development (strength, coordination), creativity, symbolic representation, sensory input, color recognition, cause and effect, hypothesizing and predicting, showing interest and respect for the creative work of self and others, establishing a connection as a member of a community, peer interactions, self expression using a variety of media and tools.

Sensory (water table)
Materials: snow, molds, scoops, buckets, small shovels, images of different types of snow castles and buildings.
Rationale: To bring a little bit of outside into our classroom, snow is made available in the sensory table. Children can explore the properties of snow and use their senses to observe the many ways they can change the material. To support the children's interest in building snow structures (based upon what they have already explored with sand in the sensory table and on the playground) different molds are offered.
Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, cause-and-effect, fostering social relationships, sensory exploration, symbolic representation, acting out previous experiences, comparing amounts, and performing multiple steps, planning and carying out a plan.

Math and Manipulatives
Materials: Puzzles, counting and stacking cubes, number puzzles, numeral recognition games.
Rationale: As we move into the winter, the children will have more chances to explore both the skill of counting as well as increased familiarity with the numerals that represent amounts. A variety of materials that encourage counting and matching with numerals are available, as well as puzzles that highlight continued investigation of part-whole relationships.
Skills: one-to-one correspondence, fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, part-whole relationships, quantification, counting, numeracy awareness, comparison, matching and sorting.

Large Motor
Materials: stairs with mat jumping station & donut jumper, wall climber, stairs with roller slide, balance rocker, monkey bars .
Rationale: To support social skills and cooperation; upper and lower body muscles, endurance, and to work on skills such as balance, jumping, climbing, and coordination.
Skills: Muscular strength, stopping, cardiovascular endurance, dynamic balance, static balance, upper body strength, lower-body strength, dynamic balance (jumping, landing), spatial awareness, turn-taking, and social awareness.

Snacks:
Monday: Clementines and Rice Chex
Wednesday: Snow Cones and Pretzels
Thursdsay: Black Bean Quesadilla's (Dairy free)

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