Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: May 21 - June 1, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross
Overview: It's hard to believe, but we've completed 28 weeks of school! It seems like we just came back from spring break and it's already time to start wrapping things up for year. That's what the next two weeks will involve - bringing closure to our activities and investigations. Small groups will be finishing up this week: culminating with the production of storybooks, a raised garden box, and plants to go in the box. Activities and investigations within the classroom will also be wrapping up with utilization activities that will challenge the children's newly acquired knowledge about shapes, plants, and life-cycles. Finally, we hope to "sell" some really sweet-treats at the Best Candy Ever store! If you get a chance, do try to stop in and join us in the room/on the playground, as we would love to have you visit one last time before the year comes to a close!
Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: "sugar sand," glass gems, oyster shells, seed pods
At the clay table: small animal toys, glass gems, seeds, rocks, various lengths of wire,
• Rationale: The sugar sand has revitalized the interest in the creating interesting and beautiful patterns in with the gems, rocks, and shells. Not only does it feel great and offer a therapeutic sensory experience, it allows for a strong contrast between the materials being used and the sand - bringing the focus to the gems rather than sand itself. We have also reintroduced the clipboards and colored pencils to invite the children to represent their creations on paper.
• Skills: artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, creativity, connections/expressions of the observed world, fine motor strength/endurance, conversations about "abstract art" vs. "representational art"
Sensory (water table)
• Materials: bubbles, water, scooping nets, various toy animals that live in/near water, glass gems, rocks,
• Rationale: We will reintroduce a favorite classroom material/activity at the water table this week: BUBBLES! The other water animals and nets will continue to be available, however we anticipate the games will revolving "finding" various items in the water. Next week, we hope to capitalize on the bubbles and use them to wash the toys in the room - as it is another one of the children's favorite activities.
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, familiarity with materials, upper-body/hand strength, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation, support of new peer friendships/connections
• Materials: wheatgrass seeds, pots, spray bottles, science journals
• Rationale: We will begin wrapping up our conversations/investigations of the caterpillars, as they are started to form the cocoons outside. We will think about what they will turn into, and use some helpful resources (books and science websites) to help us see what the final leg of their life-cycle looks like. We will also continue to care for the recently planted soybeans, hopefully bringing home some decent sized sprouts next week!
• Skills: exploring/revisiting life cycles, scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, data collection/recording, hypothesizing
Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Perfection shape-matching game, parquetry blocks (another multi-shape puzzle set) and pattern cards, large "home-made" geo-boards, fractional shape puzzles
• Rationale: We will wrap about our investigation of shapes with some new puzzles...however these puzzles will hopefully be made by the children! Using their new knowledge of different shapes and how they can come together to create an image, we will ask the children to create their own puzzles and add them to the table.
• Skills: concepts related to geometry/shape/symmetry, part-to-whole relationships, one-to-one correspondence, counting, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.
Language and Literacy
• Materials: alphabet stamps, ink pads, paper, envelopes, pencils, blank books, magnetic alphabet letters and boards, books on CD/easy-reader books (in the nook)
• Rationale: To utilize the pre-/early-literacy skills we have focused on this year, the children will be asked to write in all areas of the room - hopefully working towards creating a little memory book of their year. With help from the teachers, the children will work writing/illustrating the pages for a "My Year At Preschool" book.
• Skills: pre-/early-literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor strength/endurance, social interactions
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props, various loose parts
• Rationale: There is no slowing down the activity in the candy store! Everyday there are cooks working hard to come up with the tasty delicacy for their classmates. One goal the teachers have for the end of the year is to "sell" some real candy from the store during the day. If any parents would like to come and be a part of that (making and/or selling of healthier candy options), please talk to Ross!
• Skills: ownership/responsibility of play area, community building with the afternoon class, imaginative/creative play, supporting opportunities for relationships and using various social skills, symbolic representation, memory skills
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: The building is non-stop! Building new rockets, castles, and cat-houses continues to fuel the building themes in the back. The level of discussion and planning taking place is really exciting to listen to - with many thoughtful inclusions of other's ideas (as well as additional classmates). I have a feeling these themes will carry us out to the end of the year!
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play
• In the gym: The bridge and monkey bars continue to offer plenty of challenges for the children, as they are figuring out how to cross them backwards and "upside-down." This week we will add the scooter boards for more cooperative games as well as a chance to play "Blast Off!" (going next to the wall and "blasting off" by pushing your feet!).
• On the playground: The playground is in full bloom and we will be spending plenty of time out there enjoying all that it has to offer. With the added time, please be sure to put sunscreen on before coming to school. We want to make sure everyone stays healthy out there!
• Skills: Upper-body strength, propulsion skills, grip strength/endurance, large-motor/locomotor skills, static and dynamic balance, lower leg strength/coordination, jumping/landing skills, opportunities for big-body/rough-and-tumble play
• With our increased time outside, it would be very helpful to send a water bottle with your child each day. We will have cups and water always available, however having your own child's bottle reduces the day-to-day waste, as well as helps them get their water anytime on the playground. If you don't already have a bottle, that's perfectly fine, just let the teachers know and we will be sure to bring a cup outside for them.
• Pizza Party - Tuesday - 6-to-7.30p! If you haven't RSVP'd yet, please let Ross or Sheila know as soon as you can. Take a look at the website for details.
• End of the Year Party - Thursday, May 31 - starting at 10.30a in the classroom - followed by a picnic lunch and playground time starting at 11.30a. We hope you can come!
Monday - Apples & Graham crackers
Tuesday - Applesauce and granola
Wednesday - Fruit & yogurt smoothies
Thursday - Pretzels & pickles
Friday- Kettlecorn & raisins
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *