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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

Science
• 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

Dramatic Play
• 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

Blocks
• 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

Large-motor
• 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

Announcements/Special Interest
• 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!

Snack
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 *

SPRING SESSION LP 5-14-2012

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: May 14-18, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: To say there has been an explosion of excitement revolving around the arrival of the tent caterpillars would be an understatement. They are seemingly endless in quantity, yet the children are as excited with catching the 1,000th caterpillar (which we've got to be close to now) as they were with catching the first! Not only are they "fun" to catch (as it depends on who you're asking: child or teacher/parent), they offer great opportunities for learning in all academic areas. We will incorporate the addition of the "catties" (as they have been referred to by some) all throughout the classroom during our three remain weeks of the school year (can you believe it!). One last quick note about the caterpillars, they do need to stay at school for two reasons: 1) it is a rule that the living creatures found at school stay here, "as it is there home;" and 2) (maybe most importantly) these little critters can be quite invasive/destructive, so to protect your neighborhood trees and keep them here! Outside of "caterpillar-mania," the small groups are picking up with their investigations: discovering/playing lots of new word games, building large-scale geo-boards for the class, and thinking about creating a garden for the end of the school year/summer school students. Be sure to check the website for further details.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: "cut-out" geometric shapes (pre-cut as well as uncut), scissors, tape, shape-collage books,
At the clay table: various lengths of wire, rocks, natural materials (nuts, shells, twigs)
• Rationale: Last week we added a new medium for making art: using trays filled with sand and having gems, rocks, sticks, and seeds available to arrange on top. After some demonstrations/modeling from the teachers, the children are becoming more and more intrigued. The supplies will remain with the addition of more "beautiful things," and we will let the creativity take over.
• 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: water, various toy animals that live in/near water, glass gems, rocks, small containers with lids
• Rationale: The water is changing color (thanks to daily additions of food coloring from the teachers...not dirty water!), boats have been added, and stories about sea animal families (and "sunken treasure") continue to thrive. These self-directed stories and play themes have offered support to the strong social climate that is thriving in the room currently - children are negotiating what the animals will do, whom they will live with, what they will eat, etc. However, it has also allowed the inclusion/creation of new playgroups. Even after nearly 30 weeks, new friendships are forming!
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, familiarity with materials, upper-body/hand strength, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation, support of new peer friendships/connections

Science
• Materials: wheatgrass seeds, pots, spray bottles, science journals
• Rationale: It is quite clear that the caterpillars are "hippest thing in town" right now, but soon we will get to observe the natural phenomena of metamorphosis, as the "catties" will start to form their cocoons. We've got hundreds safely contained in our room, however we will start to spot them outside, as well. Needless to say, observing and talking about life cycles will become our next main focus in the science area.
• 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: Conversations about shape continue to thrive in room, as children point out shapes the in books and in the art the create. The pair of shapes and drawing has been really fun to observe, as it has opened up many new perspectives on how to create by combing simple shapes! To "build" off of that, Ross' small group made some larger geo-boards that will allow the children to create pictures/stories on the boards using rubber bands. We are interested to see where the stories will go!
• 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: We have seen many more visitors to the writing table with the addition of the alphabet stamps! Children are making/writing letters for one another, for loved ones, as well as for their dramatic play structures. We have also seen some "how to write letters of the alphabet" lessons taking place - which has been really fun to watch: children helping/coaching one another on how to write the various letters of the alphabet!
• Skills: pre-/early-literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor strength/endurance, social interactions

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props, various loose parts
• Rationale: There is always daily a hustle-and-bustle in the "Best Candy Ever" store, with children making all kinds of sweet treats! We want to support that excitement by making real candy (as healthy as possible, of course) at school and "selling" it out of the store. We are investigating recipes, however if you have any culinary/candy knowledge to share and/or interest in joining us in the "kitchen," c'mon in! However, "Best Candy Ever" is not the only hot spot, we have also seen a resurgence of castle play in the back of the room. Children are writing plays and telling very elaborate stories. The teachers will continue to transcribe their tales - possibly leading to a storybook, however there are rumors of another performance. We'll see!
• 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

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: Going along with the castle play, castles and fortresses are been popping up in the back of the room. However, on Friday several children did some very "big building," as they built a giant rocket ship to take some children to the moon! The walls got so high, a ladder was needed to reach the top of the rocket! It was left up for Monday, so we'll see where the story picks up!
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: The gym has been tweaked just a little bit, with the addition of the A-frame bridge connecting the high-rise monkey bars to the jumping station. The children have really enjoyed climbing up the bumpy slide over the past week, however have also been very excited about the recent successes with crossing with monkey "all by [themselves]!" As much for as the gym is, however, we are spending more and more time outside; both on our playground as well as on Ayuko's playground during free play. That pattern will continue, but we will still make a few trips to the gym throughout the week!
• On the playground: Caterpillars. I could probably leave it at just that, but there are a few other things taking place - currently children from both classes are helping build another raised garden bed for the copious amount of garden groups we currently have amongst all the classrooms. With this nicer weather, we are spending more and more time outside, and children always find creative and fun ways to play while surrounded by nature! If you need to take a "personal/natural-health-restoration" day and join us on the playground, you are more than welcome to! (I figure one of those phrasings has to work for P.T.O., right?)
• 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

Announcements/Special Interest
• The Lab School camping trip is this upcoming weekend and we are very excited! Even if you're not one for sleeping outdoors, you can still join us for the daytime festivities on Saturday. Talk to Sheila for more details.
• Just another reminder: the End of the Year Picnic Celebration will be on Thursday, May 31. We will start in the classroom at 10.30a with a small snack and sing-a-long, as well as our formal good-byes. Then, for those that can stay, we will move to the playground at 11.15a for a picnic lunch (remember to bring your own!) and extra playground time with our class! For those that can't stay, regular pick-up procedures will be in place.

Snack
Monday - Apples & Graham crackers
Tuesday - Cucumbers & crackers
Wednesday - Yogurt & strawberries
Thursday - Pretzels & oranges
Friday- Popcorn & refrigerator pickles (made earlier in the week)
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

SPRING SESSION LP 4-30-2012

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 30 - May 11, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: It was a busy week in the community over the last few weeks, with many fields to local areas around campus. Seeing the surrounding community and all that it has to offer kept the children excited and interested in learning! With the start of small group, it's quite possible that more "field work" will need to be completed soon. With a gardening/planting group, a letters/early reading group, a tools/building group, as well as an all-school aquarium group (made up of members from all the classrooms), the children will have many great opportunities to learn and share a plethora of new information! We are also hoping to keep up the excitement with venturing outside when the temperatures climb back up. We will start using half of the toddler playground as an auxiliary extension of our classroom during free-play to give us some much needed room! The back door of our classroom will be our Narnia-esk link from the classroom to the playground...and we're very excited to use it! As you can tell, the energy is simply buzzing in the classroom.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: "cut-out" geometric shapes (pre-cut as well as uncut), scissors, tape, shape-collage books,
At the clay table: various lengths of wire, rocks, natural materials (nuts, shells, twigs)
• Rationale: The shape collages have been a great catalyst for a boom in representational drawing taking place at the art table. Whether using the pre-cut shapes, drawing and cutting out their own shapes, or simply drawing freehand, the children and been busy creating at the art table, and we will continue that focus through next week! At the clay table last week, we brought back the tools and open-ended materials, inviting the children to revisit the clay with idea to freely create and use the clay as a vehicle for story creating/telling. We saw interesting pizzas, animals, and other sculptures. We will see what creations "come to life" next week.
• Skills: concepts related to shape/geometry, using/understanding what a "line" is/can be, artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, creativity, connections/expressions of the observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: water, various toy animals that live in/near water, glass gems, rocks, small containers with lids
• Rationale: The water table was very popular last week, just as we anticipated! The children really enjoyed creating stories using the animal and scuba-diver toys - with many of the stories mainly revolving around the collecting of treasure (the glass gems). We will keep the table and materials the same and see where the stories take us this week!
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, familiarity with materials, upper-body/hand strength, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: wheatgrass seeds, pots, spray bottles, science journals
• Rationale: After only a week, the wheatgrass has shot high to the sky, already stretching 4-5in! It truly grows quick and the children have really enjoyed checking in on the pot every day; commenting and recording the changes, as well as making sure it gets watered daily to "keep it growing taller." The Gardening group has also started some new seed-growing investigations, and hopefully they can share some of the findings with the class as we continue our exploration of the plant life-cycle.
• Skills: scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, data collection/recording, hypothesizing, exploring/revisiting life cycles

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Parquetry blocks (another multi-shape puzzle set) and pattern cards, geo-boards, multi-colored tan-gram puzzles (using a square, rhombus, and various sized triangle pieces to form/create different shapes and images), magnetic shapes and magnet boards
• Rationale: The shape exploration still proves to be a hit! The children now proudly point out shapes they see around the classroom as well as in nature. The parquetry block pattern cards are also fun for many, however some of the children have started brainstorming about how to design/draw their own images for the pattern cards. The teachers will work with children interested in this, showing them how to trace the shapes to make their own images.
• 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: With all the busyness last week, the ABC stamps never made it to the table, however they will be added this week...and we anticipate an explosion of stamping taking place at the writing table! (Don't worry, it's all washable ink!) The teachers will continue to support the recent interest in using invented spelling for many signs/letters being delivered around the room. It is also quite possible that the Letters small group may help with some of these new labels!
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props, various loose parts
• Rationale: The selling of candy continued to be a very popular activity last week, however with no centralized bins or means of collecting payments, it got to be quite messy in the block area. With the help of the children (in both our class as well as in the afternoon class), we plan to create and arrange our own candy-store within the dramatic-play house! With the inclusion of the children, the sense of ownership will be huge, as will the connection/communication with the children in the afternoon.
• 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

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: The children discovered new elements of building last week; making raised and slanted roofs that spanned between houses, making covered "walkways." The "neighborhood" is growing in the back of the room, with the inclusion of more and more children, as well as stronger negotiation of space and materials between the children.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
In the gym: A new gym set-up is ready and waiting in the gym for the children on Monday - some of you might have already seen it when visiting the Green Market. The bumpy-slide has been attached to the climbing bars and will now be ascended via a climbing rope. We have also created a mat-pyramid that the children can climb to reach the raised balance beam that connects to the climber/jumping station. When jumping, the children will be challenged to land in specific spaces (hula-hoops, taped shapes, etc.). Finally, the monkey bars have been raised slightly to get more practice with hand-to-hand crossing of bars that aren't as high or as far apart as those on the playground. Connected to that, is a plank slide for added fun/incentive to cross the bars!
On the playground: The plants are growing, the bugs/insects are waking up...life is thriving on the playground! The children continue to find countless ways to play and have a blast while outside. Quite a few are "re-finding" the fort amongst the trees and have really started to create some involved stories in there. Games of "chase" and "capture" have become popular (as your child may be talking about), however know the games are under close supervision and have clearly agreed upon rules by the children and teachers. Research shows the importance of big-body/rough-and-tumble play, especially in early childhood, and although there are chances for bumps and bruises, we want to make sure this kind of play is done as safely as possible. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to ask!
• 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

Announcements/Special Interest
• Thanks to all those that contributed/helped out at the Green Market last week. I hope you all were able to get some great new items for your child(ren). If you have any feedback/ideas for future markets, please let myself or Christine (Ellie's mom) know!
• The final PAC meeting will be this Wednesday night, May 2, from 7-8.30p. A flyer is posted on the Lab School mainpage, however this is an important meeting for wrapping up this year as well getting plans/improvements ready for next school year. We hope many of you can make it, and will share your great ideas for improving the Lab School!

Snack
Monday - Pasta Salad
Tuesday - Yogurt & granola
Wednesday - Birthday snack provided by Charles
Thursday - Oatmeal crackers & cucumber
Friday- Trail mix & milk
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 23-27, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: This spring session is flying by - it is hard to imagine we are already almost half way through! The caliber of the play and the interest in learning/exploring new things continues to increase every week. Related to the play, the teachers see richer extensions on existing stories; revisiting, adding, and extending to play themes from the previous day (more detail in the dramatic play section below!). As for the learning taking place around the room, the children continue to ask thoughtful and relevant questions to go deeper into the topics we are investigating: i.e. "What/how do plants eat?" "What shapes do I use to draw...?" "How fast will these seeds grow?" It appears the children are ready for new small groups, which will start next week! Being that this will be the third time around, the groups will dig in to their topics more quickly than the previous two sessions, however still using the interest and conversations from the children to help guide the focus of the groups. We will send out the group topics and members soon!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: "cut-out" geometric shapes (pre-cut as well as uncut),scissors, tape, shape-collage books,
At the clay table: tiny flower pots, pine needles, thick wire, gems
• Rationale: We wrapped up the plant drawing last week, and began a new focus on using shapes to help draw familiar images. During large group, the children listened to a draw-and-tell story that ended in a night sky and a very tall flower; consisting of rectangles, an oval, a crescent (moon), small stars, bent lines, and many straight lines. It inspired many to try and recreate it during free play. We will continue with the stories but also look at other books (as well as objects around the room) and begin using simple shapes to help us draw the different images/objects.
• Skills: concepts related to shape/geometry, using/understanding what a "line" is/can be, artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, creativity, connections/expressions of the observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: water, various toy animals that live in/near water, glass gems, rocks, small containers with lids
• Rationale: Allow the was a resurgence with the sand last week, it was unfortunately our time to share the sand table with another class. However, we will be bringing back the ever-popular water table with some new water-related toys to create new, exciting stories to continue the rich dramatic/symbolic-representational play at the water table!
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, familiarity with materials, upper-body/hand strength, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: wheatgrass seeds, pots, spray bottles, science journals
• Rationale: It only took a few days (3 to be exact), but the grass seeds have already started to sprout! Thanks to daily watering (at the appropriate amount - 5 sprays), time in the windows to collect the sun light, and a rather warm room, green sprouts are shooting up in nearly all of the pots! We will continue to observe and care for out grass as it growers taller and taller. We have also added other seeds to the table, and will begin to hypothesize what these seeds may grow into. We may also add a seed-matching game later in the week as we continue to investigate the different seeds made by various plants/foods.
• Skills: scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, data collection/recording, hypothesizing, exploring/revisiting life cycles

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Parquetry blocks (another multi-shape puzzle set) and pattern cards, geo-boards, multi-colored tan-gram puzzles (using a square, rhombus, and various sized triangle pieces to form/create different shapes and images), magnetic shapes and magnet boards
• Rationale: The children continue to be enthralled with investigating shapes. Last week, we talked about 5-sided pentagons, 6-sided hexagons, and 8-sided octagons. The children will point on various shapes they see around the school. To build on this, we may create a few "shape-scavenger-hunts" for around the school, however we may also send a little "homework" project home to find various shapes around the home. We will also continue to pair shapes and art, hopefully helping the children make the link between combining shapes and having that lead to representation figure drawing.
• 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: A handful of children have found the books on CD and have enjoyed snuggling up in the nest to list to a book or two. We will keep that around to have that cozy spot for children to practice their pre-/early-literacy skills. We will also add some alphabet stamps to bring over some new visitors to the writing table. We will connect this to the practice of writing by encouraging the children to make the stamps, then trace the letters they made.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props, various loose parts
• Rationale: Last week, we saw an explosion of rich stories and play themes revolving around "candy stores." The children used the various loose parts from the block shelf, and began building candy stores - selling (actually kindly giving it away) to any and all that were in need of a sweet treat! We will add more "candy-related" loose parts, as well as some new containers and shelves to the area, and see where this goes next week.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, supporting opportunities for relationships and using various social skills, symbolic representation, memory skills

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: As mentioned about, there was quite a buzz about the new "candy stores" moving in, and we will encourage their continued "expansion" throughout the week. We will also encourage the children to make their own signs and menus for what they will be selling each day. Another popular activity from last week was the creation of a "ballet-dance/gymnastics area." The children used the plank blocks to make a "blocked off area" that would be safe for the tumbling practice (under close supervision of a teacher, of course). If this continues, we may try to invite members of the gymnastics and/or dance teams to come in and show us some real moves!
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: With the GREEN MARKET taking place next week, the changing of the gym will be gradual. The plans are still in discussion, but the final products will be posted in next week's lesson plan, however anticipate some propulsion-related scooter board activities, moving the bumpy slide to the climbing wall, and some elevated monkey bars!
• On the playground: With all the rain last week, there were quite a few children interest in hunting for insects, bugs, and worms. We will continue our quest by flipping over more logs and rocks around the playground next week. And albeit not a huge structural change, a gigantic batch of brand new woodchips/mulch was added to the swings last week...and it smells amazing! It just makes it really feeling like spring on the playground, and with the temperatures climbing back up, expect that we will be getting outside earlier!
• Skills: Propulsion skills, grip strength/endurance, upper-body strength, large-motor/locomotor skills, static and dynamic balance, lower leg strength/coordination, jumping/landing skills, emerging skills related to propelling self (on the swings/trikes)

Announcements/Special Interest
• Thanks to all those that contributed to our classroom basket, as well as brought in other items for the Soiree! Your generosity was, is, and always will be greatly appreciated! Thank you all for helping make it a very special evening.
• This is the week of field trips! For those that got the notice about the aquarium field trip with Sheila and I (it was only a few from our class, so if you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry, you didn't miss something in a previous email!), we will be heading to Twin Cities Reptile on Monday. If your child is not going on this trip, they may be asked to join for another trip. However, we will all be heading to Bierman Athletic Field on Friday to celebrate "Week of the Young Child." It will be similar to GYM JAM!, in that the children will get to run and play, however we will make our presence known as we walk through Dinkytown: letting the surrounding community know that we are a part of the University, too! See the permission slip for details.
• Be sure to bring in your old games, toys, etc. for the GREEN MARKET, happening this Thursday and Friday. Just think, you'll finally be able to get rid of those stale books, games, and toys while being able to replace them free of cost!

Snack
Monday - Sunbutter sandwiches
Tuesday - Field trip/birthday snack
Wednesday - Apples & pretzels
Thursday - English muffin pizzas
Friday - Yogurt & granola
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

SPRING SESSION LP 4-16-12

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Hosta+Sprouts+.jpg


Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 9-13, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: Last week we put a strong focus on shapes and the world of geometry - and the children really enjoyed it! Over the course of the week, we looked at many different shapes (square, rectangle, triangle, circle, oval, star, and heart): comparing the number and lengths of the sides, as well as what kind of lines are needed to draw different shapes (i.e. straight, bent, zigzag, or wavy lines). They had a blast thinking about where they can find these shapes in the real world. The children also really enjoyed the drawing activities that went along with the exploration of shapes; practicing their drawing skills related to creating the various shapes. Along the "lines" of drawing, the children have really enjoyed watching all the growing plants, both inside and outside the classroom. We will begin to shift our focus to observing/participating in the life cycle of a plant, starting at the science table and eventually making its way to the raised planting bed on the playground. We are very eager to get planting and put this learning into motion!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: budding and blossoming plants and flowers, pencils, ultra-fine tip Sharpie markers, art/drawing reference books, "cut-out" geometric shapes (pre-cut as well as uncut)
At the clay table: tiny flower pots, pine needles, thick wire, gems
• Rationale: The drawing has continued to "blossom" at the art table, as we see more children looking closely at the flowering plants and drawing what they see. We will begin to connect their drawings to the discussions about shape and line we have had recently. We hope this will help open up the world of representational art by helping the children think more intentionally about their drawings. At the clay table, some of the children have enjoyed creating their own plants with the wire, clay, and tiny pots, and this week we will do more demonstrations about how to build vertically while keep the sculpture balanced (as several of the "plants" kept tipping over).
• Skills: concepts related to shape/geometry, using/understanding what a "line" is/can be, artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, creativity, connections/expressions of the observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: LOTS more sand, shovels, shells, mini-spoons, wood blocks, small plastic animals/trees
• Rationale: At the beginning of the week, we were dangerously low on sand, which lends itself to very low inspiration for building. With the addition of 100lbs of sand (!), we have seen a resurgence with building at the sand table! "Brown Sugar Mountain" was created last week, and by the sounds of it, we will see more building this week.
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, familiarity with materials, dexterity, hypothesis creating/testing skills, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: wheat grass seeds, pots, spray bottles, science journals
• Rationale: Although the Decorah eaglets are now much bigger and moving about the nest, the children have moved on to the world of plants and observing their growth. We would like to do some richer exploration and inquiry investigation related to observing the plant life cycle as we will invite the children to plant their own pot of wheatgrass seeds. According to several plant enthusiasts, we should see some sprouts by the end of the week! Because these plants will be at the science table every day, the children will have the chance to do daily recordings of their very own plant. I have a feeling we will have tons of fun "watching grass grow!"
• Skills: scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, data collection/recording, hypothesizing, exploring/revisiting life cycles

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Geo-boards (rubber band shape makers), multi-colored tan-gram puzzles (using a square, rhombus, and various sized triangle pieces to form/create different shapes and images), magnetic shapes and magnet boards
• Rationale: The shape exploration really took off last week, with the new favorite activity being the shape-making Geo-boards. The children use the rubber bands and stretch them around the pegs on the board to make various shapes. It has been very popular and thought provoking - as the children recreate a shape made by a peer or try to make their own.
• 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: paper, envelopes, pencils, blank books, magnetic alphabet letters and boards (at the "satellite table" in between the cubbies and reading area), books on CD/easy-reader books (in the nook)
• Rationale: One major change/addition we will be making to the literacy center is adding of books on CD/easy-reader books to the life-size eagle's nest made by the children (in the nook). We want to create a cozy place for children to explore their pre-/early-literacy skills that the children will also have ownership of. There also seems to be a rekindling interest in the self-written/self-illustrated books taking place. We will continue to foster this interest by reading these newly created stories throughout the day.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props
• Rationale: The house play continues to infiltrate the block area on a daily basis. Making phone calls has become very popular, especially when using the corded play phone. If any of you have an old, corded phone just collecting dust in the basement or the attic, we would gladly take it off your hands - as it is currently the most popular phone in the classroom!
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, supporting opportunities for relationships and using various social skills, symbolic representation, memory skills

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: With the focus on shapes last week, the teachers highlighted that many of the same shapes could be found on the unit block shelf. This led to plenty of small-block building snaking its way amongst the hollow block houses. We saw many long trains (some spanning nearly wall-to-wall), stations, and "bad, mean witch" castles. The hollow blocks continue to be quite popular, but an equalizing interest has popped up with using the unit blocks as it has shown the large-block builders the versatility of building with the smaller blocks.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: We had so many visitors join us in the last week (leading yoga and raptor/bird activities) that we did not have much time to explore the new changes made to the gym last week. The gym and the equipment will remain the same for another week, and then look for some new changes! The teachers will continue to introduce new and fun games to play throughout the week!
• On the playground: Similar to the gym, the cooler temps and strong winds/rain kept us from getting a lot of time on the playground last week. If weather permits, we will definitely try to go outside for longer amounts of time - working on adding more sticks to the fort as well as searching and discovering the new plants popping up all around!
• Skills: Large-motor/locomotor skills, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, emerging skills related to propelling self (on the swings/trikes)

Announcements/Special Interest
• The Spring Soiree is only a week away and our "Night on the Town" basket is looking at bit sparse. Any and all contributions would be very-much appreciated! If you would like to add some to the basket, but are unsure about what that could be, please ask Ross and he will gladly share some ideas!
• We have a field trip to the Ag-Awareness Day event on Tuesday. Sounds like a lot of fun and hope some of your can join us!
• With "spring showers" probably persisting intermittently for the next few weeks, please send along your child's raingear (if you have some) on those wetter day, as we will try to get outside (at least for a little bit) most days. We do have rain panchos for those families who don't have their own rain jackets.

Snack
Monday - Sunbutter sandwiches
Tuesday - Field trip/birthday snack
Wednesday - Apples & pretzels
Thursday - English muffin pizzas
Friday - Yogurt & granola
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

SPRING SESSION LP 4-16-12

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Hosta+Sprouts+.jpg


Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 9-13, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: Last week we put a strong focus on shapes and the world of geometry - and the children really enjoyed it! Over the course of the week, we looked at many different shapes (square, rectangle, triangle, circle, oval, star, and heart): comparing the number and lengths of the sides, as well as what kind of lines are needed to draw different shapes (i.e. straight, bent, zigzag, or wavy lines). They had a blast thinking about where they can find these shapes in the real world. The children also really enjoyed the drawing activities that went along with the exploration of shapes; practicing their drawing skills related to creating the various shapes. Along the "lines" of drawing, the children have really enjoyed watching all the growing plants, both inside and outside the classroom. We will begin to shift our focus to observing/participating in the life cycle of a plant, starting at the science table and eventually making its way to the raised planting bed on the playground. We are very eager to get planting and put this learning into motion!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: budding and blossoming plants and flowers, pencils, ultra-fine tip Sharpie markers, art/drawing reference books, "cut-out" geometric shapes (pre-cut as well as uncut)
At the clay table: tiny flower pots, pine needles, thick wire, gems
• Rationale: The drawing has continued to "blossom" at the art table, as we see more children looking closely at the flowering plants and drawing what they see. We will begin to connect their drawings to the discussions about shape and line we have had recently. We hope this will help open up the world of representational art by helping the children think more intentionally about their drawings. At the clay table, some of the children have enjoyed creating their own plants with the wire, clay, and tiny pots, and this week we will do more demonstrations about how to build vertically while keep the sculpture balanced (as several of the "plants" kept tipping over).
• Skills: concepts related to shape/geometry, using/understanding what a "line" is/can be, artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, creativity, connections/expressions of the observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: LOTS more sand, shovels, shells, mini-spoons, wood blocks, small plastic animals/trees
• Rationale: At the beginning of the week, we were dangerously low on sand, which lends itself to very low inspiration for building. With the addition of 100lbs of sand (!), we have seen a resurgence with building at the sand table! "Brown Sugar Mountain" was created last week, and by the sounds of it, we will see more building this week.
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, familiarity with materials, dexterity, hypothesis creating/testing skills, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: wheat grass seeds, pots, spray bottles, science journals
• Rationale: Although the Decorah eaglets are now much bigger and moving about the nest, the children have moved on to the world of plants and observing their growth. We would like to do some richer exploration and inquiry investigation related to observing the plant life cycle as we will invite the children to plant their own pot of wheatgrass seeds. According to several plant enthusiasts, we should see some sprouts by the end of the week! Because these plants will be at the science table every day, the children will have the chance to do daily recordings of their very own plant. I have a feeling we will have tons of fun "watching grass grow!"
• Skills: scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, data collection/recording, hypothesizing, exploring/revisiting life cycles

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Geo-boards (rubber band shape makers), multi-colored tan-gram puzzles (using a square, rhombus, and various sized triangle pieces to form/create different shapes and images), magnetic shapes and magnet boards
• Rationale: The shape exploration really took off last week, with the new favorite activity being the shape-making Geo-boards. The children use the rubber bands and stretch them around the pegs on the board to make various shapes. It has been very popular and thought provoking - as the children recreate a shape made by a peer or try to make their own.
• 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: paper, envelopes, pencils, blank books, magnetic alphabet letters and boards (at the "satellite table" in between the cubbies and reading area), books on CD/easy-reader books (in the nook)
• Rationale: One major change/addition we will be making to the literacy center is adding of books on CD/easy-reader books to the life-size eagle's nest made by the children (in the nook). We want to create a cozy place for children to explore their pre-/early-literacy skills that the children will also have ownership of. There also seems to be a rekindling interest in the self-written/self-illustrated books taking place. We will continue to foster this interest by reading these newly created stories throughout the day.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props
• Rationale: The house play continues to infiltrate the block area on a daily basis. Making phone calls has become very popular, especially when using the corded play phone. If any of you have an old, corded phone just collecting dust in the basement or the attic, we would gladly take it off your hands - as it is currently the most popular phone in the classroom!
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, supporting opportunities for relationships and using various social skills, symbolic representation, memory skills

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: With the focus on shapes last week, the teachers highlighted that many of the same shapes could be found on the unit block shelf. This led to plenty of small-block building snaking its way amongst the hollow block houses. We saw many long trains (some spanning nearly wall-to-wall), stations, and "bad, mean witch" castles. The hollow blocks continue to be quite popular, but an equalizing interest has popped up with using the unit blocks as it has shown the large-block builders the versatility of building with the smaller blocks.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: We had so many visitors join us in the last week (leading yoga and raptor/bird activities) that we did not have much time to explore the new changes made to the gym last week. The gym and the equipment will remain the same for another week, and then look for some new changes! The teachers will continue to introduce new and fun games to play throughout the week!
• On the playground: Similar to the gym, the cooler temps and strong winds/rain kept us from getting a lot of time on the playground last week. If weather permits, we will definitely try to go outside for longer amounts of time - working on adding more sticks to the fort as well as searching and discovering the new plants popping up all around!
• Skills: Large-motor/locomotor skills, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, emerging skills related to propelling self (on the swings/trikes)

Announcements/Special Interest
• The Spring Soiree is only a week away and our "Night on the Town" basket is looking at bit sparse. Any and all contributions would be very-much appreciated! If you would like to add some to the basket, but are unsure about what that could be, please ask Ross and he will gladly share some ideas!
• We have a field trip to the Ag-Awareness Day event on Tuesday. Sounds like a lot of fun and hope some of your can join us!
• With "spring showers" probably persisting intermittently for the next few weeks, please send along your child's raingear (if you have some) on those wetter day, as we will try to get outside (at least for a little bit) most days. We do have rain panchos for those families who don't have their own rain jackets.

Snack
Monday - Sunbutter sandwiches
Tuesday - Field trip/birthday snack
Wednesday - Apples & pretzels
Thursday - English muffin pizzas
Friday - Yogurt & granola
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

SPRING SESSION LP 4-9-2012

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Springtime-17-575x359.jpg


Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 9-13, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: The past two weeks have flown by! The children quickly settled back into the routines of the classroom and were ready to pick up right where they left off. There is an excited, yet focused, energy buzzing around the room. The children are really diving into the areas in the classroom and revisiting themes and stories from the days before - elaborating on previous activities and taking them farther: for example the eagles nest in the nook has continued to grow in detail and thoughtfulness with the addition of a second room to the nest "so more birds could live there" as well as varieties of beautiful ribbon to tie the branches together. We have seen similar focus growing in the block, art, and science areas, too! We want to continue this self-guided learning while creating meaningful segues to related topics facilitated by the teachers to promote the learning and discovery of new things - specifically related to planting and caring for our own seeds, as well as breaking down the medium of drawing by exploring the question, "What is a line?" We're excited to see where these areas and questions take us!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: budding and blossoming plants and flowers, pencils, ultra-fine tip Sharpie markers, art/drawing reference books
At the clay table: thick wire, gems, clothespins, rocks
• Rationale: This past week, we introduced a "planted garden" that had a variety of plants and bulbs in it that would grow and change quickly over the week. We invited the children to draw their observations each day to reflect on the changes they saw. Several children became very interested and wanted to check if "any new flowers bloomed." We will use their drawings as an introduction to representational drawing and use them to look at lines in art. At the clay table, the children are ready for a new focus, and we will use the blooming flowers as a motivator to create new, vertical sculptures.
• Skills: artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, imagination/creativity, connections/expressions of the observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: Spray bottles, shovels, mini PVC pipes, mini-spoons, wood blocks, pieces of cardboard
• Rationale: Last week we added some animals and trees to sand table to create opportunities for more symbolic/dramatic play. The new additions brought new life to the table, so to continue the new stories being told, we added "spoon people" - drawing faces on the mouths of the mini-spoons. The children have seemed to really enjoy creating their own people. We will see where the stories go this week!
• Skills: symbolic representation, storytelling/dramatic play, familiarity with materials, dexterity, hypothesis creating/testing skills, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: the rats, various examples of bird nests, nest-building materials (i.e. sticks, string, yarn, ribbon), the computer streaming the Decorah eagles (and eaglets, hopefully!)
• Rationale: We shared two of our not-so-baby rats with Ayuko's class last week, and recalled the pet-care knowledge we learned in the winter with their class so they could take of care their new pets. That means: we are officially down to two rats! They will be our permanent pets from here on out. And now that we've got our two rats, they need names! Both our class, as well as the afternoon class, will get a chance to name the rats this week. The Decorah eagles also continued to be an attention grabber as we watched them each day; noticing how big they got over the past week! The focus on growing/getting bigger continued as the children noticed how the flowers in the art area changed every day last week. On the topic of watching plants grow, we also invited each child to pick out an "unknown" plant (a hosta) in front of the school and will be observing its changes over the next few weeks. There has been a ton of data observing and collecting as of late!
• Skills: scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, generalization skills (connections between animals that make nests).

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: various jigsaw puzzles, a Montessori fraction puzzle, multi-colored tan-gram puzzles (using a square, rhombus, and various sized triangle pieces to form/create different shapes and images), magnetic shapes and magnet boards
• Rationale: The math table continues to be a popular spot for many, with children stopping by throughout the day to challenge their spatial planning skills as they try to fill the boards with as many tan-gram pieces as possible. We will start a more focused exploration of geometry as we begin to look at the number of sides each shape has, as well as examine the concept of symmetry.
• 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: paper, envelopes, pencils, blank books, magnetic alphabet letters and boards (at the "satellite table" in between the cubbies and reading area)
• Rationale: As we fly through the last 10 weeks of the school year, we while begin to put a stronger emphasis on letter awareness, phonemic awareness, and other pre-/early-literacy skills related to on-set of early reading. We will do this through various letter and sound games both at the writing table as well as throughout the day (i.e. during large group and snack time). Games such as "Tell me a word that starts with the letter B (or ...with an mmm sound)" as well as simply sight word picture/spelling matching games will become available: eventually being made by the children, we hope!
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes from the "Princesses in Powerland" play), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props
• Rationale: The house play has officially moved to the blocks! The house props (i.e. food, dishes, babies, pets, tables, chairs, etc.) start in the playhouse and eventually make their way to the new and improved blockhouses in the back of the room. It has lead to rich, elaborate stories involving large families and communities (with "neighbors") that have all been child-directed. It has been really neat to see the stories unfold each day!
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, supporting opportunities for relationships and using various social skills, symbolic representation, memory skills

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: The blocks are very popular, with ALL the large hollow blocks being used every day to make several different kinds of homes for princesses, wolves, kitties, and most recently...ninjas! While all this large block building is taking place, we also have a group that has found the loose parts tray on the unit-block shelf, and have continued to make very detailed castles, peg-people homes, and trains. We will continue to add new and interesting loose parts to add to the detail of the creations being made.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: The gym will continue to have the "lava-river" jump, bumpy slide, monkey bars, basketball hoop, and climbing wall. One addition that we will make is an extension on the hopscotch course, adding more squares and numbers to challenge the children to go farther and count higher! We will also encourage the practice of the one-foot-two-feet pattern to build lower body strength/coordination/endurance. However, because it is continually getting nicer outside, we will spend less time in the gym and focusing more of our large-motor time on the playground. Look for the "No-gym" or "Choice-gym" card on the door.
• On the playground: The playground is quickly becoming a favored spot and we want to celebrate the arrival of spring! We will plan to get out earlier on the nicer days to get ample time outside! Currently the children have really enjoyed digging extremely large holes, cruising around on the trikes and wagons, as well as practicing the "big" monkey bars!
• Skills: Large-motor/locomotor skills, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, emerging skills related to propelling self (on the swings/trikes)

Announcements/Special Interest
• The Parent Ed. discussions led by Amy Susman-Stillman are this week! The details and info can be found on the website.
• If you have donations for our class' "Night On The Town" soiree basket (or any other gifts/donations), please bring them in and drop them off with Ross or Sheila so they can be correctly recorded and valued.
• There are still a few spots left for both the 4-week exploration and 2-week focused summer camps. Sign up today!
• There are also a few spots left for the all-school camping trip (including in the lodge). Sign up with Sheila and join the fun! If you're not interested in staying the night, you're welcome to join the Saturday daytime activities (any and all can come for that!).

Snack
Monday - Chex cereal with milk
Tuesday - Whole wheat cinnamon toast
Wednesday - Carrots & hummus
Thursday - Edamame & whole wheat crackers
Friday - Apples & Cheerios
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

SPRING SESSION LP 3-26-12

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water+droplets+on+leaf+bud.jpg

Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: March 26-30, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: HAPPY SPRING AND WELCOME BACK!!! Amazing to the think that it's still March, as the climate outside would have us all believing otherwise. There have been many changes taking place around the school, as well - both inside and out. Plants are sprouting, the grass is green, but the classrooms and the gym have received new, warmer, fresh coats of paint as well as new safer treads on the stairs leading into the Lab School. Amongst all the physical changes taking place, we will be picking up right where we left off in the classroom at the end of the winter session. Subtle changes and extensions have been made to the areas around the room. One continued extension that we will continue is our focus on growth and change - as Mother Nature has provided us with some of the best/most interesting resources right outside our doors and windows! The spring is always a magic time for growth and development to take place, both outside in the natural world as well as within the children, and I'm looking forward to jumping into all the learning that awaits us during these final 10 weeks!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: an assortment of collage materials (seed pods, acorns, wood shavings, leaves, sticks, etc.), empty boxes, scraps of yarn and string (to revisit the possibility of building nests), pencils, markers, beads, pipecleaners.
At the clay table: thick wire, gems, clothespins, rocks
• Rationale: Coming back from two weeks away, lots of changes have taken place in the natural environment and we want to offer plenty of supplies to allow/inspire the children to share their observations of what they see taking place outside. We have also added more materials to encourage more elaborate/detailed creations, with the intention that children might be able to find the piece that is "just right" for what they are trying to create. At the clay table, we want to revisit the creation of the eagle nest, as the first of the three eggs should be hatching any day now! We saw some great focus with creating the nests before break and found that having a focus at the table was a strong motivator to bring the children to the area and begin sculpting.
• Skills: artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, imagination/creativity, connections/expressions of observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: Shovels, mini PVC pipes, mini-spoons, wood blocks, pieces of cardboard
• Rationale: At the end of the winter session, the house/structure building really took off; with the children thinking/drawing their ideas of what they wanted to build on the "planning sheets" next to the table, and then carrying out the building while using their "blueprint." We will start with that focus at the sand table, helping the children see the possibilities of going higher: potentially adding second and third stories to the buildings (possibly using a "card house" style of building with the cardboard).
• Skills: sensory input, familiarity with materials, dexterity, hypothesis creating/testing skills, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: the rats, various examples of bird nests, nest-building materials (i.e. sticks, string, yarn, ribbon), the computer streaming the Decorah eagles (and eaglets, hopefully!)
• Rationale: Some buzz had developed as the children talked about the eagles and when they were going to hatch. We want to come back to that as there should be some new "activity" happening down in the Decorah nest. We will continue our focused investigation of nests: taking a closer look at the various kinds of nests birds make, as well as figuring out what other animals make nests. Speaking of other nest-making animals, the baby rats are still around, however they're not so baby-sized anymore! We are down to five babies, as seven have found new homes. As the session gets going, we're going to talk about sharing two of the babies with Ayuko's class, as many of the children in her classes have been very interested in coming over to see our rodent friends!
• Skills: scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, generalization skills (connections between animals that make nests).

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: various jigsaw puzzles, a Montessori fraction puzzle, multi-colored tangram puzzles (using a square, rhombus, and various sized triangle pieces to form/create different shapes and images), magnetic shapes and magnet boards
• Rationale: Puzzles have been popular all year, so we have collected some "seasonally appropriate" puzzles in honor of the early spring! We will be moving to more jigsaw-style puzzles; challenging the children to focus on the pictures coming together rather than simply matching the shape of the piece - helping the children see the connection between a whole and its parts. We have also introducing the tangram puzzle pieces to help build academic concepts related to geometry while challenging the children to see these pieces differently - potentially using the pieces to create an image (e.g. a sailboat, a fox, a larger square)
• Skills: concepts related to geometry/shape, part-to-whole relationships, one-to-one correspondence, counting, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: paper, envelopes, pencils, blank books, magnetic alphabet letters and boards (at the "satellite table" in between the cubbies and reading area)
• Rationale: The excitement of writing letters/notes to classmates remained high through the winter session, and we want to continue that interest with growing intention as well as pre-/early-literacy support by encouraging children to use the letters of the alphabet and the names of their classmates when creating letters/drawings for one another. We will also introduce magnet letters as another interest-/awareness-builder related to literacy skills and the alphabet. The children will have many opportunities to practice writing, as the "Words We Know" wall got taken down during the repainting!
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, costumes from the "Princesses in Powerland" play), play phones, jewelry, sunglasses, dramatic playhouse props (i.e. dishes, food, babies, pets)
• Rationale: The house play continued to facilitate/support strong social interactions and opportunities for children to play collaboratively. The costumes from the play at the end of the winter session were also a huge hit as we wrapped up. We will continue to have these materials available and let the children revisit the existing stories - stimulating their long-term memory skills as the recall previous stories from weeks ago while promoting their creative imaginations as new themes develop.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, supporting opportunities for relationships and using various social skills, symbolic representation, memory skills

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, tray of "loose parts"
• Rationale: The block area has been truly child-directed all year - with children coming up and facilitating their own building projects over the past 20 weeks. Rich, supportive building props will continue to be available to see if the children revisit existing themes/topics or are inspired to create new structures.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to balance, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: The gym will be going to back to a simpler set-up: having the step-climber and slide, jumping stations, the climbing wall, and lots of teacher-facilitated games. With the warmer weather (hopefully) here to stay, we will begin visit the gym less and spend more motor time outside. A heads-up for this week: THE GYM MAYBE BE CLOSED ON MONDAY DEPENDING ON THE STATUS OF THE PAINT ON THE WALLS.
• On the playground: Nature is blossoming and blooming all around and we want to take advantage of that! We will be spending more time outside, and have all the sheds open for the children - allowing them to have ample resources to explore the outdoors at their fingertips. The shovels, buckets, play dishes, trikes, hollow blocks...it will all be coming/staying out during this session!
• Skills: Large-motor/locomotor skills, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, emerging skills related to propelling self (on the swings/trikes)

Announcements/Special Interest
• Be sure to stop down and introduce yourselves to Emma and Sarah (if you don't know them already!). They've very excited to come back and get to know the wonderful, outstanding, intelligent, charasmat....you get the picture...the children in our class!
• Keep an eye on those plants and trees around your house - we'll be revisiting our "trees" that we observed from the fall and see what's happening with them as they begin to wake up from their long winter slumbers.
• NO NEED FOR SNOWSUITS!! Dressing will go much faster, however it may still be chilly out there so please send a spring jacket with your child - better to have it and not wear it than the reverse situation!
• Just a reminder to line up the babysitters for April 21 so we can see you all at the Spring Soiree - invitations should have been delivered over break.

Snack
Monday - Rice cakes
Tuesday - Apple slices
Wednesday - Oranges & graham crackers
Thursday - Animal crackers
Friday- Edamame & Triscuits
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

WINTER SESSION LP 2-27-2012

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class

Week of: February 27 - March 2, 2012

Lead teaching this week: Molly

Overview: This week, we will be focusing on wrapping up our small group projects. Due to this we have some exciting events taking place including a performance by the storytelling group, a bowling trip for the numbers group, and a presentation by the rat group. We are bringing attention to the growing interest of the bald eagle we've been observing on the web for the past week and a half. Due to these observations, we are going to be infusing eagle-like materials in the room to expand on their current knowledge level of eagles. This should tie in nicely with our animal family theme since the eagles have laid an egg in their nest! The classroom materials will remain mostly the same this week and we are excited to see what new developments will come, as we anticipate new and bigger changes.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)

• Materials: Art table - watercolor painted paper "mosaics" pieces, markers, crayons, colored pencils. Clay table - clay, wood tools, wire, and wooden materials (toothpicks, popsicle sticks, etc). 

• Rationale: Seeing as how our class amaryllis plant continues to flourish, we have decided to make use of the many exploratory watercolor paintings we have collected over the past several weeks. Last week, we introduced mosaic making with pieces of then paintings and allowed for exploration of the new material. This week we plan to utilize this exploration for creating a mosaic design on the box for the amaryllis plant to sit in. The focus of the clay table will continue to be based around the nest making that was of interest last week. We plan to add new "natural" materials to make the symbolic representation more concrete.
• Skills: Creativity, fine motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, observation, intrinsic motivation, and opportunity for social interaction/discussion.

Sensory (sand table)

• Materials: Sand, rocks, pipes, shovels/scoops, cardboard squares, mini spoons, demolition trucks, "drawing boards," and sand castling building molds. 

• Rationale: With the construction project wrapping up across the street, we plan to shift the focus of the sand table in a new direction. At the beginning of the week, the focus of the sensory area was based around the construction of the concrete box. As the week progressed and the construction site slowed, the children began to take interest in the construction of different structures. Many of the children spent their time at the table building house-like structures. To piggyback on this idea, we will be bringing attention to the possibility of making sand castles in the table!
• Skills: Comparison, critical thinking/reasoning, prediction making/testing, opportunity for cooperation/collaboration skills, fine-motor strength/coordination, and social interaction/discussion.

Science

• Materials: Amaryllis plant, classroom pets (cockroaches, mealworms, salamander, rats), nest making materials (sticks, straw, etc.), live feed of eagles nest, and the new "Wingspan chart!" 

• Rationale: With the baby rats growing everyday, this has presented the classroom with the opportunity to allow the children to physically experience the rats by holding them. While the rat cave became a favorite spot for the many of the children last week, we anticipate more children will join them this week. To introduce a new focus to the changing amaryllis plant, we plan to place it in the easel painting area to encourage representation in a new art form. This will also help create connection and flow between the art and science areas. Finally, to bring more attention to the eagles, we will be making a wingspan chart for the children to measure/compare their own wingspan to the wingspan of the bald eagle. This will help to refocus attention to the height chart we worked on early in the semester. While we do not know when to expect the hatching of the eagle eggs, we are looking forward to the excitement it will produce in the classroom! We will also have a nest making station in the science area which will connect with the house theme that was been circulating throughout the classroom!
• Skills: Prediction/hypothesis testing, data collecting, exploration, observation, comparing/contrasting, and fine-motor strength/coordination.

Math and Manipulatives

• Materials: Challenging sequence (life cycle) puzzles, sequencing cards, opposites puzzle game, "Tetris-style" block/problem solving game, and unifix cubes. 

• Rationale: The math area will be experiencing little change this week, since we are still seeing development the areas of sequencing and ordering concepts. By keeping the sequencing cards and Montessori puzzles in the room, we hope to see an onset of understanding of both mathematical areas. We will continue to point out sequences the children experience daily (schedule, question of the day, growth of the rats, etc). We will also continue with the language expansion of both concepts (i.e. biggest-smallest, and first, second, third, etc).
• Skills: Problem solving, critical thinking, observations, 1-1 correspondence, sequencing, rational counting, and order recognition.

Language and Literacy

• Materials: Writing materials (pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc) letter making materials (envelopes, postcards, stamps, address stickers), mailbox, Our Alphabet Book, construction paper story-books, "Words We Know" wall. 


• Rationale: Letter writing continues to persist in the classroom as a favorite activity! We hope to accomplish out letter to home project, since we did not get around to writing or mailing the letters last week. We still feel this is valuable for the children because they have continuously remained interested in the sending and receiving of letters within the classroom. With the addition of writing your own book this week, many of the children have delved into the creativity of writing their own stories (drawing illustrations for the body of the text). We plan on expanding on this excitement by inviting the children to ask one of the teachers to combine the illustrations with real words so others can read their stories as well!
• Skills: Letter recognition/awareness, fine motor strength/coordination/endurance, supporting/fostering social skills, pre-/early-literacy skills, concept of print, awareness of print types, and creativity through literacy and story-telling.

Dramatic Play


• Materials: House furniture (sink, stove, refrigerator, table, etc), play dishes, food items, small door, mailbox, cell phones/walkie talkies, keys, jewelry, pets, pet supplies (leashes, dishes, brushes), mail-carrier materials, and fabric and dress-up! 

• Rationale: Since this is consistently one of the more popular areas, we plan to bring in different fabrics to inspire new characters. Since the "magical" characters have taken over the area, we plan to infuse new dress-up and fabrics to give the area a more fantastical feeling. We plan to make more connections to the literacy area by having the children write a story and then act it out in the dramatic area. We also anticipate this areas being closely related to the block area once again this week!
• Skills: Symbolic representation, strengthening the home-to-school connection, social skills, and imaginative/creative play.

Blocks

• Materials: Large hallow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, house-related props, and cube blocks.
• Rationale: The block area, once again, remains the source of many of the children's' self-driven play. As we continue to see more and more detail infused in the construction of the house and now castles, we plan to encourage the children to use influences from other areas (art, science, dramatic, literacy, etc). One of the biggest teacher-driven plans we have for this week is to build a life-size version of a bald eagle nest! We expect the children to be astonished with the fact that they too could fit inside the nest we observe daily!
• Skills: Large/fine motor strengthening/coordination, social skills, symbolic representation, spatial awareness skills, and imagination/creativity

Large Motor 

• Materials: Gym- soccer balls and net, balance beam, rope swing, climbing structure, stairs and balance beam. Outside- shovels, bikes, wagons, sleds, and snowman building! 

• Rationale: Last weeks gym changes have proven to be a hit with the children! Although the class favorite has been the rope swing, Molly plans to bring attention to the soccer area by teaching the children some fun soccer tricks this week! As for the playground, we can only hope the snow persists. The children have finally been able to sled after patiently waiting for weeks. As many of you saw, we also get to create a huge snowman last week! Hopefully we will have more opportunities for both of these activities, as well as (safe) snow fort building with the sticks we collect last week!
• Skills: Depth perception, grasping, visual perception, risk taking, motor coordination and timing, propulsion skills, construction skills, dynamic balance and coordination, upper and lower body strength, and climbing.

Special Interest/Announcements

• The offer to take home your very own baby rat remains on the table for anyone who is interested! They grow bigger and more fun to watch and play with everyday!
• Just a reminder, the "Good-bye" party for Molly and Addy will be next week on Thursday (March 8) at 10.30am! We are very excited for the chance to connect with the families before completing our time at the school! So please come join us for the farewell get-together!

Snack

Monday - Pretzels & hummus
Tuesday - Grapefruit & graham crackers
Wednesday - Rice pudding
Thursday - Granola bars
Friday- Alphabet soup
** All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted **

WINTER SESSION LP 2-20-2012

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: February 20-24, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Addy


Overview: Things are continuing to change quickly in our classroom! The amaryllis has bloomed, and is continuing to bud. The baby rats are starting to open their eyes and move around, and the construction theme has made its way back into the classroom. This week we really want to expand on the themes of growth and change in the classroom. A live feed of an eagles nest has been playing on the computer to bring attention to a new life cycle, and new planting activities will give children a look at the growth and change of other plants.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: Art table - watercolor paint, markers, crayons, colored pencils, collage materials (dried out plants, sticks, and leaves), painted paper "mosaic" pieces. Clay table - clay, wood tools, wire, glass gems.
• Rationale: We are excited to see what the children will paint now that the amaryllis plant has bloomed! Using pieces of unclaimed water color paintings, we plan on starting a class mosaic to represent the amaryllis plant. This community project will give the children a more concrete idea of what exactly a mosaic looks like/is. Last week, some of the children were working on a replication of the rat home. This week we will continue to work on that piece, and hope that the children can start modeling the rats. As they have gotten bigger and the children have had more opportunities to see them, there is a lot of potential for sculpting and modeling.
• Skills: Creativity, fine motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, observation, intrinsic motivation, opportunity for social interaction/discussion.

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: Sand, rocks, pipes, shovels/scoops, cardboard squares, popsicle sticks, demolition trucks, "drawing boards."
• Rationale: The children have really enjoyed digging and playing in the sand. Trucks and pipes have allowed children to revisit the world of construction and we hope to continue to facilitate the exploration this week. We will be adding cardboard squares, popsicle sticks, and smaller pipes to the sand to extend the play. With these additions, we hope to see more in-depth replications of the construction taking place outside our windows. To aide in planning skills, we have also added "drawing boards" to the bathroom stalls that allow the children to draw out their ideas prior to building.
• Skills: Data recording, observation skills, comparison, critical thinking/reasoning, prediction making/testing, opportunity for cooperation/collaboration skills, fine-motor strength/coordination, critical thinking/reasoning.

Science
• Materials: Amaryllis plant, "How tall am I?" chart, classroom pets (cockroaches, mealworms, salamander, rats), nest making materials (sticks, straw, etc.), live feed of eagles nest
• Rationale: The "pinkies" aren't so pink anymore! The children have noticed the change in skin color, and growth of fur as the rats are moving more and more. After the rat group cleaned out the rat cage, it is a lot easier to watch the mother and her babies adjust to their new environment. This week we are hoping to add clipboards to the table in the rat cave so that the children have the opportunity to draw what they are seeing. The amaryllis plant finally bloomed as well! This week we are hoping to shift our focus from the growth of the plant to how it is changing. We plan on looking at the life-cycle of plants to really bring attention to the changes plants go through from the time they are planted until they bloom. A live video feed of an eagle's nest has many of the children excited about watching another animal grow and change. To help build on some of this excitement, we have added nest making materials to the science area.
• Skills: prediction/hypothesis testing, recalling prior knowledge, exploration, observation.

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: challenging sequence (life cycle) puzzles, sequencing cards, opposites puzzle game, "Tetris-style" block/problem solving game, unifix cubes
• Rationale: The new sequencing materials in the classroom have many of the children noticing the order of things. This week we plan to continue bringing attention to order and sequence. We will keep the sequencing cards at the table for the children to work with. We also plan on pointing out sequences in our classroom (birth of the rats, or daily schedule, blooming plants, etc.), in hopes of teaching the specific language associated with order and sequencing (i.e. first/second/last).
• Skills: problem solving, critical thinking, observations, 1-1 correspondence, sequencing, rational counting

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Writing materials (pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc) letter making materials (envelopes, postcards, stamps, address stickers), mailbox, Our Alphabet Book, construction paper books, "Words We Know" wall. 

• Rationale: The excitement of letter writing has continued! This week we plan on keeping the literacy center focused on letter writing and mailing. We also hope to finally get to sending a letter home to raise awareness of the process of the mailing system. Many of the children are still excited about telling stories, so this week we also plan on adding construction paper books to the writing center so that children with story ideas can make a book out of them. At large group we will hopefully have a chance to show the children how to staple their own books together for an added element of learning.
• Skills: letter recognition/awareness, fine motor strength/coordination/endurance, supporting/fostering social skills, pre-/early-literacy skills, concept of print, awareness of print types

Dramatic Play

• Materials: House furniture (sink, stove, refrigerator, table, etc), play dishes, food items, small door, mailbox, fabric, dress-up materials, cell phones/walkie talkies, keys, jewelry, pets, pet supplies (leashes, dishes, brushes), mail-carrier materials, construction props. 

• Rationale: The dramatic play area continues to be rich in self-driven play. For this reason we plan on keeping it the same, and using conversation to assist the children in extending their play. Princesses, knights, animals, and super heroes have taken over the houses that continue to become more detailed and elaborate. Everyday new elements of play are introduced by the children, and we are excited to see where they can take it on their own. To enhance literacy and art in the area, we are encouraging children to make their own signs/art for their structures using paper and markers.
• Skills: symbolic representation, strengthening the home-to-school connection, social skills, imaginative/creative play

Blocks
• Materials: Large hallow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, house-related props, cube blocks, observation window. 

• Rationale: As with the dramatic play, the block area is full of self-driven play. Each week we see more detail as houses are getting windows, doors, roofs, and closets. The children are also taking notice of the construction across the street and becoming more intention in their own construction. Although they are building houses rather than heat-pipe enclosures, each block is placed with purpose and intention. This week we hope to watch as the children continue to be so focused on the construction and design of their houses.
• Skills: large/fine motor strengthening/coordination, social skills, symbolic representation, spatial awareness skills, imagination/creativity

Large Motor
• Materials: Gym- soccer balls and net, balance beam, rope swing, climbing structure, stairs and balance beam. Outside- shovels, bikes, wagons
• Rationale: We've made some big changes in the gym this week! The new rope swing will provide opportunities to enhance grasping abilities, upper body strength, motor coordination and timing, as well as propulsion skills. Balance beams will allow children to practice balance, climbing, and their risk taking abilities. Visual perception, propulsion, and depth perception will all be utilized as children engage in kicking soccer balls into the net. Outside we will continue to build forts, dig holes in the sand and do penguin slides on the ice.
• Skills: Depth perception, grasping, visual perception, risk taking, motor coordination and timing, propulsion skills, construction skills, dynamic balance and coordination, upper and lower body strength, and climbing.

Special Interest/Announcements
• The baby rats are still in need of homes and the offer has been released to the whole school. If you're still on fence about whether are not you're interested in bringing one home...stop in and take a look! They're wonderfully cute and very loving pets, and might be snatched up soon - so talk to Ross quickly while they're still available!
• Just a reminder, the "Good-bye" party is on Thurs. March 8 at 10.30a. We hope you can make it in to wish Addy and Molly well as they move on to the next stage of their educational futures!

Snack
Monday - Corn Pasta & milk
Tuesday - Grapefruit & Graham crackers
Wednesday - Celery & hummus
Thursday - Peaches & granola
Friday- Pancakes (made by the children with Molly)

WINTER SESSION LP 2-13-2012

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: February 13-17, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Team Teaching

Overview: Things are growing and changing all around! We are anxiously waiting for the quickly growing amaryllis plant to bloom. Our baby rats ("pinkies") are also beginning to show noticeable growth and change. After only a week of life, they are growing and wiggling. The children are excited to see more action in the very quite "rat cave" hidden in the back of our classroom! Across the street, many of the children have noticed that the demolition site has changed into a construction site. During large group last week, we exchanged letters with the workers across the street to find out what they are working on. This week we are hoping to keep the excitement about all the change high by infusing it in all areas of the classroom.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: Art table - watercolor paint, markers, crayons, colored pencils, collage materials (dried out plants, sticks, and leaves). Clay table - clay, wood tools, wire, glass gems.
• Rationale: The new watercolors have inspired many interesting pictures of the growing amaryllis, so we will continue to have the children represent the plant in their paintings. This week we are also hoping to bring back some collage materials that could be added to the pictures the children are currently working on. By reintroducing these materials, the children will have to opportunity to combine media that might inspire more in-depth ideas and understandings. The clay table has facilitated the real-life representation of the baby rats. Some of the children have also made homes, sculptures, and beds for the rats using the clay. We will continue to challenge the children to represent the rats' growth with the clay, and plan to bring the amaryllis plant over for some inspiration a couple days as well.
• Skills: Creativity, fine motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, observation, intrinsic motivation, opportunity for social interaction/discussion.

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: Sand, rocks, pipes, measuring cups, demolition trucks.
• Rationale: With the recent change in activity from demolition to construction across the street, we have decided to jump at the opportunity to revisit the construction idea. We finally got our hands on a sand table and will be switching out the water for sand this week! We will be placing the mini demolition trucks from the block area in the table to try and support the exploration of how the trucks move, lift, and transport sand around the site. We will also be supporting measuring skills with the cups by seeing how much of the sand the trucks can move and then recording the different amounts with truck charts.
• Skills: Data recording, observation skills, critical thinking/reasoning, prediction making/testing, opportunity for cooperation/collaboration skills, fine-motor strength/coordination, critical thinking/reasoning.

Science
• Materials: Amaryllis plant, "How tall am I?" chart, classroom pets (cockroaches, mealworms, salamander, rats)
• Rationale: With the recent birth of our new "pinkies," the science area is booming with excitement! We have been taking pictures of the rats, and noticing the changes in skin color and size as they have grown to be over a week old already! This week we hope to continue looking at the changes taking place with the rats. The children are also excited that the amaryllis plant is growing by the inch every night. We plan to continue making predictions and caring for the plant so that we can watch it bloom and grow.
• Skills: prediction/hypothesis testing, recalling prior knowledge, exploration, observation.

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: challenging sequence (life cycle) puzzles, "Tetris-style" block/problem solving game, unifix cubes
• Rationale: Although patterns have stuck around in songs and throughout the classroom, most children have moved on to new games at the manipulative table. To tie in the exciting growth and change taking place in the classroom, we plan to change our focus to sequencing and ordering tasks this week. While most of the materials at the table will remain the same, we will use more intentionality with sequence. A song we created last week with Frances follows the order of events with the new rats in our classroom. As we learn more about our new pets, we hope to continue adding to that song.
• Skills: problem solving, critical thinking, 1-1 correspondence, sequencing, rational counting

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Writing materials (pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc) letter making materials (envelopes, postcards, stamps, address stickers), mailbox, Our Alphabet Book, "Words We Know" wall.
• Rationale: Last week we were able to generate a lot of interest in the literacy center with the mail carrier and post office props. We even wrote a letter to the construction workers and delivered it to the construction site! Since the children have demonstrated a growing interest on letter making and sending, we plan to have a letter writing and sending day where each of the children have the opportunity to write a letter to themselves (or their parents) and send it to there house. This will help to make the concept of sending and receiving letters more concrete.
• Skills: letter recognition/awareness, fine motor strength/coordination/endurance, supporting/fostering social skills, pre-/early-literacy skills, concept of print

Dramatic Play
• Materials: House furniture (sink, stove, refrigerator, table, etc), play dishes, food items, small door, mailbox, fabric, dress-up materials, cell phones/walkie talkies, keys, jewelry, pets, pet supplies (leashes, dishes, brushes), mail-carrier materials, construction props.
• Rationale: The dramatic area remains to be one of the more popular areas in the room, we will be leaving the area very similar to its current state. Although we continue to see similar trends in the themes of the play (princesses, mail carriers, super heroes, etc), the themes are continuing to evolve each day. With the resurging interest in the construction site returning, we plan to infuse more construction props into the dramatic area. Since we already have hard hats in the area, we plan to bring in several tool-like materials to encourage more "building."
• Skills: symbolic representation, strengthening the home-to-school connection, social skills, imaginative/creative play

Blocks
• Materials: Large hallow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, house-related props, cube blocks, observation window.
• Rationale: As previously mentioned, the interest in the construction site has reemerged in the classroom. Due to this, we plan to bring back the "observation station" to try and spark interest in the construction once again! Hopefully this will encourage the children to begin building their own construction sites within the classroom. In the observation station we plan to put pictures of the workers progress, documentation clipboards to allow the children to record the changes happening, and various construction books to encourage literacy building. We hope to connect the block area, the sensory table, and the dramatic area with the common thread of construction.
• Skills: large/fine motor strengthening/coordination, social skills, symbolic representation, spatial awareness skills, imagination/creativity

Large Motor
• Materials: Gym - climbing wall, racetrack, tricycles, wheel-slide, trampoline. Playground: bicycles, shovels, saws, wood branches, sleds (hopefully!)
• Rationale: Now that the children have become familiar with the gym set-up, we have noticed that the most popular item in the gym is the tricycles. To encourage use of other items in the room, we are planning to make minor but interesting changes in the gym. First, we are going to be removing the triangle slide connected to the wheel slide. This subtle adjustment will encourage the children to slide and land on their feet rather then slide and land on their bottom. We also plan to bring out the trampoline more this week. This will support the children's development in jumping, hopping, and landing if a new and fun way. On the playground, a couple new and interesting activities emerge at the end of last week. Seeing as how the prospect of snow seems far off, we plan to use the materials that have presented themselves to us on our very own playground. For start, there has been a recent influx of ice, which can be used for penguin sliding! We also we collected the extra branches from the trimmed trees and are demonstrating to the children how to saw wood. We hope this project will evolve into fort building and possibly some woodworking - with the use of real tools!
• Skills: lower-body strength/coordination, dynamic/static balance, depth perception, eye-to-hand/eye-to-foot coordination, directional/spatial/temporal awareness, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength/coordination, social interactions (turn taking)

Special interest/announcements
• Just a quick reminder about Valentine's Day, we will not be doing an official card/gift exchange.
• The baby rats are getting bigger (and cuter)! But it's true, we can't/won't keep them all. They're not ready to leave their mother yet, but if you or your child are curious about the idea of bringing home a new pet, talk to Ross for more details!
• We will have school on President's Day.
• Our last day of the session is Fri. March 9 and our "Good-bye" party for Addy and Molly will be on Th. March 8 starting around 10.30a. We hope you all can make it!

Snack
Monday - Sun-butter sandwiches (made by the children)
Tuesday - Cucumbers & mini Triscuits
Wednesday - Oatmeal & raisins
Thursday - Carrots & pretzels
Friday- Chocolate chip muffins (made with Addy for Ross' birthday snack)
** All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted **

WINTER SESSION LP 2-6-12

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: February 6-10, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Molly

Overview: We are hoping to see some pretty dramatic changes occur over this weekend. Our amaryllis plant is well on its way to blooming and our class rat will be giving birth any day now! Our plan for this week is to bring those real world instances to the children's attention in order to encourage a deeper understanding of the life cycle. We have a lot of returning themes for this week, mostly in the dramatic and math areas. Although we will be replacing some of the materials in both areas, the children are just beginning to show interest in patterns so we will be infusing more of that theme throughout the room. Both the plant and the rat will be influencing some of the changes happening in the room (science, dramatic, art, etc). Lastly we are making an effort to expand and increase the level of letter making in the literacy table to reach all areas of the classroom.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
Materials: Art table - watercolor paint, markers, crayons, colored pencils. Clay table - clay, wood tools, wire, glass gems.
Rationale: Seeing as how the collage making has slowed in the room, we thought this would be a good week to use some new art materials! Last week, we introduced the proper process of using watercolors to the children. This week, we hope to expand on this excitement by utilizing representation of the amaryllis plant with the paint. Seeing as how the rat is expected to give birth over the weekend, we hope to use the clay to create actual size representations of the baby rats (sculpt, dry, paint).
Skills: Creativity, fine motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, observation, intrinsic motivation, opportunity for social interaction/discussion.

Sensory (sand table -- coming mid week)
Materials: Sand, measuring cups, demolition trucks.
Rationale: With the recent re-birth of the demolition site, we have decided to jump at the opportunity to revisit the "demolition" idea. We will be switching out the water for sand and placing the mini demolition trucks from the block area in the table. By doing this we are trying to support the exploration of how the trucks move, lift, and transport sand around the site. We will also be supporting measuring skills with the cups by seeing how much of the sand the trucks can move and then recording the different amounts with truck charts.
Skills: Data recording, observation skills, critical thinking/reasoning, prediction making/testing, opportunity for cooperation/collaboration skills, fine-motor strength/coordination, critical thinking/reasoning.

Science
Materials: Amaryllis plant, "How tall am I?" chart, classroom pets (cockroaches, mealworms, salamander, NEW: Rat!)
Rationale: Last week, we introduced our newest pet to the room, the mother rat. Seeing as how she is just about ready to pop (expected to give birth over the weekend) this will provide us with an exciting opportunity to witness the life cycle up close and personal. We plan to turn the current marble cave, into a dark and quiet rat cave in which the children will be able to observe the mother and her babies. We plan to expand on their previous knowledge of animals by exploring pets and their babies. We are also hoping that our amaryllis plant will make large gains over the weekend to begin making observations and predictions on what the flower will look like when it blooms.
Skills: prediction/hypothesis testing, recalling prior knowledge, exploration, observation.

Math and Manipulatives
Materials: challenging sequence (life cycle) puzzles, "Tetris-style" block/problem solving game, unifix cubes
Rationale: Since many of the children last week have begun pointing out patterns throughout the classroom last week and interest has been building around the math table, so for the most part we will be keeping the table the same. With the classroom changes in life cycle (plant/rats) we plan to select challenging puzzles that encourage understanding of how plants and animals grow and change with age. We also plan to revisit pattern making during large group in some pattern making songs when Francis joins our class.
Skills: problem solving, critical thinking, 1-1 correspondence, representation of patterns, rational counting

Language and Literacy
Materials: Writing materials (pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc) letter making materials (envelopes, postcards, stamps, address stickers), mailbox, Our Alphabet Book, "Words We Know" wall.
Rationale: Last week we used the "Question of the Day" to encourage the further knowledge of rhyming and the introduction of the class "Words We Know" wall. We had noticed a recent influx of questions about how to spell certain words. We decided to take advantage of the situation to encourage more writing and sharing of words. We also want to take advantage of the recent interest in letter writing by introducing postcards and stamps to the classroom. The biggest addition we will be making this week (dramatic area) are the mail-carrier props. By adding the mail-carrier materials (hat, mailbag, etc) we are hoping to connect this area to the literacy table.
Skills: letter recognition/awareness, fine motor strength/coordination/endurance, supporting/fostering social skills, pre-/early-literacy skills, concept of print

Dramatic Play
Materials: House furniture (sink, stove, refrigerator, table, etc), play dishes, food items, small door, mailbox, fabric, dress-up materials, cell phones/walkie talkies, keys, jewelry, pets, pet supplies (leashes, dishes, brushes), mail-carrier materials.
Rationale: Usually this area is always productive and the children are very engaged. The favorite area continues to be the kitchen area and the puppy cave. For these sections of the area, we plan to add other baby animals to the cave. Once the rat gives birth, we are expecting the children to have a jolt of enthusiasm in babies in general. Skills: symbolic representation, strengthening the home-to-school connection, social skills, imaginative/creative play

Blocks
Materials: Large hallow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, house-related props, cube blocks, marbles.
Rationale: Last week, the same themes continue to surface in the block area. The biggest themes are trains, planes, houses, wolf caves, and volcanoes. To foster further growth in these areas, books pertaining to these themes will be placed in the block area. Also, the measurement small group has been doing a lot of work in this area as well with stacking blocks to make towers to their individual height. They have created several charts that will be in the block area to encourage more measuring and counting. Due to the rats being moved into marble caves, we will be moving the marbles to the block area to foster awareness in the way of ramps and marble tunnels.
Skills: large/fine motor strengthening/coordination, social skills, symbolic representation, spatial awareness skills, imagination/creativity

Large Motor
Materials: Gym - climbing wall, racetrack, tricycles, slide-climber with triangle/wheel-slide, jumping hurdles Playground: shovels, sleds (hopefully!)
Rationale: As the children are still getting used to the new gym set-up, we will be encouraging the children to explore more of the set up than the tricycles, which are the obvious favorite. To foster this variety of options, we will be adding onto the slide-climber by attaching the large donut slide to the triangle slide to add a new and exciting layer of difficulty. Playground - Although we are desperately hoping for snow, the forecast for this week does not agree. That being said, we will be placing digging props in the sand to offer alternative activities for the children while they anxiously await more snow for the sled hill!
Skills: lower-body strength/coordination, dynamic/static balance, depth perception, eye-to-hand/eye-to-foot coordination, directional/spatial/temporal awareness, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength/coordination, social interactions (turn taking)

Snack
Monday - Sunbutter & honey sandwiches
Tuesday - Oranges & rice cakes
Wednesday - Pudding & graham crackers
Thursday - Pretzels
Friday - We will be making "stone soup!" we will need everyone to bring ONE of your child's favorite soup ingredients on Thursday so we can prep the soup Friday morning! This is a great opportunity to support the classroom's community building, while allowing the children to take ownership in the classroom cooking project!

WINTER SESSION LP 1-30-2012

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: January 30-February 3, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Addy

Overview: The children continue to be busy both inside and outside this week! The long-awaited snow has allowed us to finally start sledding, and the children are loving it! With small groups starting, the children are excited and talking about the things that will come in their small groups. Our groups this session will be exploring rats, numbers, and storytelling. After only one day of meetings, the children are already excited to share what is taking place with one another. As we continue to take a closer look at growth and change, some of the children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of a new pet rat. We will watch our new pet grow and change alongside our amaryllis plant that is finally coming to life!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: Art table - ¼"-1" ceramic tiles, collage materials (cotton balls, dried out flowers/plants/leaves, sticks) mosaic materials (ceramic tiles, mirror tiles), paints, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue. Clay table - clay, wood tools, thick wire, glass gems, small planting pots
• Rationale: With the continued interest in mosaic pictures, we have decided to continue working with the ceramic tiles. This week we will explore what mosaics look like and the materials that are used in mosaics. We will encourage the children to move away from gluing their tiles to paper, and start making their mosaics on larger ceramic tiles. With that, we're still willing to take those old tiles off your hands! In addition to the mosaic materials, we are also going to offer wintery-collage materials for children to continue collage work with. The new winter-materials will allow the children to create things that they might be seeing. At the clay table we will continue to ask the children what the amaryllis plant will look like, and are saving their creations to compare to the growing bulb.
• Skills: creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, prediction/hypothesizing, artistic expression, symbolic representation, opportunities for social interaction/discussion

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: items that "sink and float" (golf balls, small wiffle balls, bottle caps, rocks/glass gems, bolts, etc.), plastic containers and bowls (boats), a checklist of items, abacus, paper/pencils, ice cubes/blocks
• Rationale: The children have remained interested in what things sink and float. We have been exploring how many glass gems, rocks, or bolts it takes to sink various plastic containers. Last week we put up signs that ask the children to count how many bolts/rocks/gems it takes to sink the boats, and record their findings. The abacus was moved to the sink/float area to help the children keep track of the numbers. The challenge to discover what sinks/floats and "why" will continue this week.
• Skills: prediction/hypothesizing, critical thinking/reasoning, problem solving skills, data recording, observation skills, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration skills.

Science
• Materials: "How tall am I" chart, amaryllis bulb (and growing/observation chart), the new pet rat
• Rationale: We are so excited that our amaryllis plant is finally growing! This week we will continue to monitor it's growth. The children will compare their predictions with the actual plant and continue to make predictions about it's height, as well as what the plant will look like when it is taller. We are also going to bring some of the plants from around the classroom to the science table for the children to examine and learn about. The children are also still excited about their heights, and we are going to begin checking our height every Monday morning during check-in. Many of them have noticed that their growth it much slower than the plants. Going along with the interesting in growing "bigger," we will be introducing our new pet rat on Wednesday. She is pregnant (shh, don't tell the children!), and we are hoping that the surprise birth of her babies the children will give us the chance to watch the baby rats grow and change.
• Skills: data observation/recording, prediction/hypothesis testing, comparison between charts, recalling prior knowledge, making measurements

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Fruit pattern games, NEW challenging puzzles, mosaic pattern blocks, "Tetris-style" block/problem solving game, unifix cubes
• Rationale: We have continued to infuse noticeable patterns throughout the classroom (blocks, marble ramps, art materials, Question of Day, etc.), and it is clear that many of the children are beginning to catch on! In large group we made patterns with our seating arrangements and voices, as well as with our trail mix during snack on Wednesday. The children have also been challenging one another to continue their own patterns. This week, teachers plan on bringing in some new materials that will continue to support patterning, and begin to extend into more complex patterns (ABCA, ABBA, etc.) to challenge children's thinking. We also hope to continue the peer interaction by bringing in games and activities that take more than one child.
• Skills: 1-to-1 correspondence, recognition of patterns by various characteristics (e.g. color, shape, size, etc.), rational counting (one number for each item), problem solving, critical thinking skills, social interaction

Language and Literacy
• Materials: writing supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc), pictures of each child, Our Alphabet books, various mail materials including a mailbox, book making materials, word cards, word wall
• Rationale: The addition of a mailbox to our literacy center has brought excitement about writing and delivering letters to classmates. To encourage children to begin using more words in their letters, we will be adding a "words we know" wall next to the literacy center. We will have the children write the words they know/have learned on precut cards and tape them to the wall. Children will also be encouraged to draw a picture to go alongside their word for children that do not yet know certain words. This week the children will also find construction paper books in the literacy center to encourage the storytelling that has been taking place throughout the room.
• Skills: pre-/early-literacy skills, concepts of print, letter/word awareness/recognition, supporting/fostering social skills, fine-motor strength/coordination/endurance supported by writing

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (sink, stove, refrigerator, stove, etc.), play dishes/food items, small door, fabric, dress-up materials, cell phones/walkie-talkies, keys, toy jewelry, pets, and pet supplies (leashes, dishes, brushes)
• Rational: The dragon and wolves play has taken over the dramatic play area! Children are using the dramatic play materials to enhance their wolf dens, and fight evil dragons. Volcanoes and tornadoes have also made their way into the play and have got children running for cover. With the children's imagination's running wild, we plan on leaving the materials as they are and seeing where the children will take it on their own. This week teachers will continue to introduce ideas and characters while supporting the children's play.
• Skills: storytelling, imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, social skills (negotiation, cooperation, awareness, inclusion)

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, house-related props, work trucks, construction helmets
• Rationale: As the ground has frozen, so has the demolition across the street. We will be taking the observation area down this week and replacing it with something related to the exciting stories we are hearing about wolves, volcanoes, dragons, and princesses. The blocks have continued to be the homes of wolves and princesses fighting for good. Many of the children are still interested in the trucks and helmets, so we hope to keep those around to support the rich play that has been taking place throughout the classroom. Teachers again hope to extend play by adding props/plot challenges to the play.
• Skills: symbolic representation, imagination/creativity, spatial awareness skills, socials skills (collaboration, negotiation, communication), large-/fine-motor coordination/strength

Large Motor
• Materials: Gym: climbing wall, race track, tricycles, slide-climber with triangle-slide, jumping hurdles
Playground: shovels, sleds (finally!)
• Rationale: We are excited about the new gym set up! Last week we moved the mats to the middle of the gym and created a racetrack (complete with "tunnel"). The addition of tricycles will allow the children to work on their lower body strength and coordination, which is often difficult in the winter months. On the mats, we replaced the rolling slide with the triangle slide. We will also have jumping hurdles, and a bolster climbing challenge as an alternative to taking the stairs to the slide. We also plan to bring in beanbag/ball tossing games to work on throwing/catching skills with the children. Outside, sledding continues to be a hit, as nearly all the children make their way to the top of the hill every day. However, the wolves and dragons (from the block area) can sometimes be spotted lurking on the playground, as well!
• Skills: lower-body strength/coordination, dynamic/static balance, depth perception, eye-to-hand/eye-to-foot coordination, directional/spatial/temporal awareness, muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, upper body strength/coordination, social interactions (turn taking)

Special Interest/Announcements
• Small groups will be in full swing this week...be sure to ask your child about their group, and if you have any talents/personal interests that you feel you could share (related to any of the topics), please let the teachers know!
• The Parent Discussion groups are happening this week (Wednesday at 1.30p and Friday at 9a). More details on the flyer found on the Lab School main page!
• Conferences are coming soon. If you have not yet done so, please sign up for a time. Also, you are always welcome (and encouraged to hop in the booth to observe your child in action before we meet.

Snack
Monday: Multigrain crackers and cucumber slices
Tuesday: Pretzel sticks and oranges
Wednesday: Pasta and red sauce
Thursday: Cheerios and raisins
Friday: Making waffles with Addy!
** All snacks served with a choice of milk and water unless otherwise noted **

WINTER SESSION LP 1-23-12

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: January 23-27, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Team teaching

Overview: The temperatures may have dropped by the energy remains high in the class! The social connections/relationships continue to blossom in the room as rich, inventive play themes continue to unfold. With the demolition seemingly wrapped up for the time being, we will bring closure to the focus for the time being - taking a closer look at the areas of growth and change happening at the science table; specifically looking at ourselves as well as the new plants in the room. We will also extend this focus of how things grow and change to our small groups, which will be starting very soon. The teachers are still discussing potential topics/ideas, but will be decided within the week. An email will come out with further details about the group topics, teachers, and members...keep an eye out!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: Art table - ¼"-1" ceramic tiles, collage materials (gravel, rocks, sticks, bottle caps, corks, spools), markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue. Clay table - clay, wood tools, thick wire, glass gems, small planting pots
• Rationale: The demolition collage has wrapped up, however during the process the children begin intrigued by the array of tiles available at the table. Some children even took it upon themselves to make a "mosaic picture" using just the tiles. To build off this interest (while supporting our focus on patterning), we will begin to explore the possibility of creating mosaics using various materials, but first taking a look at various pieces of art to figure out just "what is a mosaic exactly?" On the topic, if you have extra small tiles from various home projects, we'd be glad to take them off your hands for you! At the clay table, there as been a growing interest in representing the ideas of what the amaryllis plant will look like. To support this, we will add small planting pots to the area.
• Skills: creativity, supporting intrinsic motivation, prediction/hypothesizing, artistic expression, symbolic representation, fine-motor strength/coordination, opportunities for social interaction/discussion

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: items that "sink and float" (golf balls, small wiffle balls, bottle caps, rocks, etc.), containers and bowls, a checklist of items
• Rationale: The children have remained interested in what things sink and float. They have been collecting items from around the room to test in the water table, including items from the dramatic play area and the manipulatives area. In the past week the teachers have begun to ask the children about why some items sink and others float. The charts and challenge to discover what sinks/floats and "why" will remain this week.
• Skills: critical thinking/reasoning, problem solving skills, data recording, observation skills, prediction making/testing, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration skills.

Science
• Materials: "How tall am I" chart, amaryllis bulb (and growing/observation chart)
• Rationale: Big observations taking place in the science area last week. Molly invited a group of children to observe the amaryllis bulb that we planted and asked the children to make a "prediction" on how tall the plant will grow. They were also given the opportunity to watch a time-lapse video of an amaryllis bulb grow, bloom, and then die (to give them more information). This week we will continue with having the rest of the class plot their prediction on the chart. Hopefully over this next week the plant will grow and change enough to encourage the children to document the changes that occurred while they were away from school. We also introduced the height chart. The children were really excited to compare and contrast their heights after marking them on the chart. We will continue to check in with our heights to see if we are growing as fast as the amaryllis bulb Molly and a few of the children planted last week. As the week continues, we hope to notice that our bodies change much slower than the plant.
• Skills: data observation/recording, prediction/hypothesis testing, comparison between charts, recalling prior knowledge

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Fruit pattern games (I GRABBED THEM THIS WEEKEND), challenging puzzles, mosaic pattern blocks, "Tetris-style" block/problem solving game, various shaped/colored rocks for sorting and pattern making 

• Rationale: Over the last week, we began infusing various noticeable patterns throughout the classroom (block arrangements, organization of art materials, Question of the Day, etc). We spent time during large group discussing what a pattern actually is and then followed that up by having each Question of the Day support the expansion of their knowledge based on this topic. For next week, we plan to encourage the children to notice patterns that are around them daily (snack table arrangement, etc). We are also planning on creating patterns during large group with the seating arrangement to help them create a pattern during every-day life.
• Skills: part-to-whole relationships, 1-to-1 correspondence, recognition of patterns by various characteristics (e.g. color, shape, size, etc.), rational counting (one number for each item), problem solving

Language and Literacy
• Materials: writing supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc), pictures of each child, Our Alphabet books, various mail materials including a mailbox

• Rationale: Letter writing and picture drawing still are the continuing driving forces for the literacy area. Over the last week, we had many questions about how children who were absent due to illness would know about what was happening in the classroom. We encouraged them to write letters to the absent children. For further encouragement, we plan to add a mailbox into the literacy area to encourage more letter writing. We also might see the addition of the mail-person of the day next week to help deliver all the day's letters!
• Skills: alphabetic letter recognition/awareness, pre-/early-literacy skills, supporting/fostering social skills, concepts of print, fine-motor strength/coordination/endurance supported by writing

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (sink, stove, refrigerator, stove, etc.), play dishes/food items, small door, fabric, dress-up materials, cell phones/walkie-talkies, keys, toy jewelry, pets, and pet supplies (leashes, dishes, brushes)
• Rational: Lots has been happening this week in the dramatic play area! While meals, houses, and parties have continued, some new play themes are unfolding. The children have assumed the role of Peter Pan characters and introduced dragons/wolves into their stories, as well. We hope to continue this storyline by leaving the materials as they are. The teachers hope to introduce additional characters and provide children with opportunities and space to continue their self-driven play.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, social skills, storytelling

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, demolition observation station, house-related props, work trucks, styrofoam "demolition" site, construction helmets
• Rationale: As the week has progressed, we have noticed a shift from houses to castles and dens/caves. The children are now using the hollow blocks and other props to extend their dramatic Peter Pan storyline. The demolition continues to be a popular activity with the unit blocks. The addition of the construction helmets has added an element of safety and precaution as they children build and destroy structures. This week we will continue to foster the demolition activity, although it may die down now that the weather seems to be coming into season. We will also continue to invite the children to extend their Peter Pan storyline using the various blocks/props.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor coordination/strength, symbolic representation, imagination/creativity, spatial awareness skills, socials skills (collaboration, negotiation, communication)

Large Motor
• Materials: Gym: climbing wall, jumping station, slide-climber with roller-slide, "rickety bridge," and bowling alley Playground: shovels, sleds (finally!), and snow building blocks
• Rationale: We've made a few modifications to the gym. Last week, we clipped together a few large bolsters to create the "rickety bridge" that challenges children's balance and core strength. We connected this bridge to the rolling slide this week to encourage more climbing and balance. We brought back the donut beneath the jumping station. We also brought the addition of bowling into the open space on the side of the gym. This is being used to foster skills related to various throwing and kicking activities, as well as the practicing of taking turns. For next week, Molly has planned to bring in different yoga and plyometric activities to show how our bodies grow and change (by getting stronger) as we get older.
• Skills: core strength, dynamic/static balance, depth perception, eye-to-hand/eye-to-foot coordination, lower body strength/coordination, spatial skills, body awareness, turn taking, social interactions (turn taking)

Special Interest
• Due to all the business (and bitter cold), we will have our fire drill on Monday
• The GYM JAM was a blast! Thanks to all that could make it. There are still shirts available to purchase with Sheila
• Parent Discussion Group: talk by Pete Ralston about relational aggression and how parents can deal with it.
Wednesday Feb.1 from 1.30-2.30p
Friday Feb. 3 from 9-10a

Snack
Monday - Oranges & pretzels
Tuesday - Trail mix
Wednesday - Cream of wheat & raisins
Thursday - Cinnamon toast
Friday- Applesauce & animal crackers
*All snacks served with milk/water unless otherwise noted*

WINTER SESSION LP 1-17-12

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: January 17-20, 2012
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: Well it's quite clear that the children were very excited to be back - with many quick reconnections between friends as well as the revisiting of many familiar play themes that we saw at the end of the fall session (specifically, building houses and building/traveling on planes to various destinations). However, a growing interest in the demolition site (as we realized they are not constructing anything) has manifested this week thanks to the field trips, continual discussions, and supporting materials we have added to the room. We will continue exploring the demolition site, and begin thinking about "what are they going to put there?" The children had discussions about "green spaces" and made a model that you can see in the daily docs section of our class webpage. This week we will also revisit the growth and change topics from the fall; with Addy taking a look at how the children will grow "bigger" be starting a height/weight chart, and Molly exploring the (hopefully) quick changes that will take place with our "mystery" bulb (the amaryllis stems have already started sprouting over the weekend!).
We're looking forward to seeing all that will be "growing and changing" this week!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: Art table - 3-dimensional "demolition" collage materials (gravel, rocks, sticks, bottle caps, corks, spools), markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue. Clay table - clay, wood tools, thick wire, glass gems
• Rationale: After our trips to take a closer look at the demolition site, we wanted to create several opportunities for the children to show us their interpretation of what was happening across the driveway. Various "demolition-esk" materials have been added to the art shelves with the intention that the children can recreate/show the changes taking place at the demolition site. In a related focus, the clay will be used to record/show the changes taking place with the amaryllis bulb that was planted last week. Each day the children will be invite to recreate the progress they see as the stem continues to grow taller.
• Skills: connecting real-life experiences and representing them through different mediums, prediction/hypothesizing, creativity, artistic expression, symbolic representation, fine-motor strength/coordination, opportunities for social interaction/discussion

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: larger containers, a plethora of items that "sink and float" (e.g. ping-pong balls, bouncy balls, wood pieces, rocks)
• Rationale: During the past week, the children have been very interested in figuring out what sinks and floats in the water table. The teachers have continued to provide new materials throughout the week, however are now inviting the children to collect and test items from around the room (under the supervision of the teachers, of course!). Charts have also been added to record the findings as the children conduct new tests.
• Skills: critical thinking/reasoning, hypothesis creating/testing, data recording, problem-solving skills, opportunities for collaboration/cooperation/negotiation

Science
• Materials: amaryllis bulb, "watch me grow" charts, the various classroom pets
• Rationale: Last week, Molly invited a group of children to plant the "mystery" bulb (as we described it at large group), and this week the children we get a chance to record its daily changes - recording how much taller it is from the day before. We will make a chart to shows it's growth and ask the children how tall they think it will get. The second focus of the area related to how tall things are will be the addition of Addy's height chart. Over the week, we will record everyone's heights and see if they grow as fast as the amaryllis.
• Skills: Scientific thinking, data observing/recording, hypothesizing/prediction, comparison, rationalizing (when discussing differences between amaryllis and themselves and their different growing patterns)

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: challenging puzzles, mosaic pattern blocks, shape-sorting game/stacker, "Tetris-style" block/problem solving game, various shaped/colored rocks for sorting and pattern making
• Rationale: The children have really enjoyed the new puzzles, often working with a teacher or classmate to help complete them. Now that the children have settled back into the daily routines, we want to start talking about patterns and "just what exactly makes a pattern." We will have several "Question(s) of the Day" related to patterning this week and will play patterning games in the gym as well as at large group.
• Skills: part-to-whole relationships, 1-to-1 correspondence, recognition of patterns by various characteristics (e.g. color, shape, size, etc.), rational counting (one number for each item), problem solving

Language and Literacy
• Materials: writing supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc), pictures of each child, Our Alphabet books
• Rationale: Letter writing and picture drawing continues to drive the literacy area. This week, we will start the "Words We Know" wall (rather than the book), as children have asked to spell various words/names while at the table. It will be a continually growing wall, and we will have slips of paper readily available so the children can add words at any time.
• Skills: alphabetic letter recognition/awareness, pre-/early-literacy skills, supporting/fostering social skills, concepts of print, fine-motor strength/coordination/endurance supported by writing

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (stove, sink, pantry, etc.), child-size door, fabric, dress-up shoes, capes, keys, scarves, play food/flatware
• Rationale: Meals, parties, and general good-times are happening in the dramatic play house. Every day, children visit the area and prepare/serve meals to one another - allowing great opportunities to reconnect with old friends as well as continue to make new friends. We have also noticed a considerable interest in the "pets" (various stuffed animals). We will add a few more pets, as well as a few more supportive pet-related materials, to the area. We also may begin to take a closer look at the real pets that the children have a home. Stay tuned for more details.
• Skills: social skills, imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, generalization, strengthening the home-to-school connection

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, work trucks, "rumble" and "cargo" blocks, demolition site observation station, small "house-related" pictures (e.g. windows, flower boxes, house address numbers)
• Rationale: The block area continues to be a very busy area! The house play sprawls to the hollow-block area daily, and to support it, we have added pictures to help "improve" the details on the children's houses. Another popular activity is - and you guessed it - related to the demolition. We had job sites built with both the small unit blocks as well as with the big blocks. We have added construction helmets to the area to ensure "maximum safety during any and all demolition projects." We will continue to invite/foster various demolition-related activities in the back to help strengthen the children's understanding of all that is taking place just outside out window!
• Skills: large-/fine-motor strength/coordination, symbolic representation, imagination/creativity, spatial awareness skills, social skills (e.g. communication, expressing feelings, negotiation, compromising, collaboration)

Large Motor
• Materials: Gym: climbing wall, A-frame bridge and jumping station, slide-climber with roller-slide, "rickety bridge," the "hamster wheel." Playground: shovels, buckets, large construction trucks
• Rationale: We've made a few modifications to the gym. We clipped together a few large bolsters to create the "rickety bridge" that challenges children's balance and core strength. We have also taken away the jumping donut and are challenging the children to jump and land on the feet - supporting their dynamic balance and lower body strength/coordination/balance. The donut will be flipped on its edge and be used as the "hamster wheel," challenging the children to crawl forward in order to move it (under close teacher supervision/spotting). The student teachers will also begin planning focused activities in the gym, so ask your child if they played any fun games in the game that day. As for the playground, the snow is (kind of) here, however the constructions trucks are in full swing - some days working on the demolition site, other days building a new building. We will continue to support this interest by facilitating conversations between the children. If they snow stays/accumulates, we will also take out the sleds...however we will need a few more inches until that happens.
• Skills: core strength, locomotor skills of walking and running, dynamic/static balance, depth perception, eye-to-hand/eye-to-foot coordination, lower body strength/coordination, spatial skills, body awareness, turn taking, social interactions

Special Interest (large group, music, cooking, fire drill, etc)
• NO SCHOOL MONDAY - in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• PAC meeting on Thursday from 7-8.30p. Hope you can make it!
• The GYM JAM is Friday from 6.30-8.30p! Check out the flyer on the website for more details!
• GYM JAM t-shirts (that's right, they're back!) will be available for pre-sale this week. Sheila will have them in her office and they're only $10! We've got child AND adult sizes available!
• The research project (that was sent out last week via email) will be starting this week. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask Ross
• We will have a fire drill this week. The sign will be posted on the door the day of the drill.

Snack
Monday - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday - Cucumbers & Pretzels
Wednesday - Saltine & sunbutter sandwiches
Thursday - Oatmeal & raisins
Friday - Cornbread muffins
*All snacks served with milk/water unless otherwise noted*

WINTER SESSION LP 1-3-12

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
January 3 - 13, 2012
Lead Teaching These Weeks: Ross

Overview: Welcome back everybody and happy 2012! I hope your time away from school was relaxing, restorative, and enjoyable! Because we have been away for quite some time, we will take the first few days back to get settled into our daily schedule as well as reconnect with one another: especially our new student teachers Addy and Molly. We will also have a regular volunteer joining us on Fridays, and his name is Andy. To make a comfortable and smooth adjustment back to school, we will have many familiar materials available: the airplane building props in the blocks, the house props and dress up clothes in the dramatic play area, and lots of open-ended collage materials. We will also continue our focus on "growth and change;" continuing to look at ourselves as well as our trees (and even our rotting pumpkin!), however we will also begin to explore/observe how other things grow and change: looking specifically at how plants and animals. We're excited to start our winter session and are glad to have everyone back!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: Art table - 3-dimensional collage materials (shiny wrappers, bottle caps, corks, spools, packing peanuts), markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue, an interesting collection of "loose pieces" from the Art Cart, Clay table - clay, wood tools, wire
• Rationale: The art table was a popular place last session, with the creation of many creative masterpieces. We want to continue that excitement by introducing new and interesting materials that allow for new opportunities for self-expression. Two-dimensional art was a heavy focus in the fall, so to start the winter we are highlighting the third dimension - bringing the art to a whole new "level." The clay will also be available, with new provocations and stories to retell - bringing the children back to the table to revisit this amazing material.
• Skills: creativity, artistic expression, symbolic representation, fine-motor strength/coordination, opportunities for social interaction/negotiations

Sensory (snow/water table)
• Materials: water, containers, funnels, hoses
• Rationale: Unlike last year (when we had 4ft of accumulated snow at this time), we've got little-to-no snow available. But worry not!...we will introduce it in the class as it falls. Until then, we will bring back the water table, however this time with materials to support water movement. Hoses, funnels, and jugs will be available for the children to explore various ways for moving water from one container to another.
• Skills: exploration of the physical properties of water, problem solving/critical thinking skills, opportunities for collaboration/cooperation/negotiation

Science
• Materials: prisms, kaleidoscopes, various hand lenses, the classroom "critters," rotting pumpkin
• Rationale: We will continue our exploration of growth and change in the science area as we revisit the topics of our bodies and trees. Over break, we all grew a little bit older (some of us having birthdays) as well as bigger/taller, and now we will begin record that information - seeing what changes over the winter session. We have also added various hand lenses and kaleidoscopes as we begin exploring our sense of sight and how it can change when we look through different things. In regards to our trees, I think it's safe to say they all look relatively the same by now, however we will use the information we gathered about how our trees grew/changed as we take a closer look at how our plants (and rotting pumpkin) have changed in our room over break.

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: new ("more challenging") puzzles, mosaic pattern blocks, shape-sorting game/stacker, "tetris-style" block/problem solving game
• Rationale: As we finished up the fall session, there was some discussion of making patterns. We want to revisit that topic and go further into exploring the questions, "What is a patter?" and "Where do I find patters in the world?" There are also new puzzles to challenge our young puzzle experts: one the specifically uses "tetris-style" shaped pieces that can fit into the board only with careful spatial planning!
• Skills: part-to-whole relationships, 1-to-1 correspondence, recognition of patterns by various characteristics (e.g. color, shape, size, etc.), rational counting (one number for each item), problem solving

Language and Literacy
• Materials: writing supplies (e.g. pens, pencils, markers, paper, etc), pictures of each child, the Words We Know and Our Alphabet books
• Rationale: We saw a lot of action at the writing table in the fall - with letters and pictures being made for classmates and family members. We also saw the creation of maps and signs for extensions of dramatic play. We want to continue supporting the interest in writing, as well as foster more intention with writing/using the alphabetic letters. To start, we will encourage the children to write their names, the names of the classmates, and simple words/labels as they visit the area - referencing the Words We Know and Our Alphabet books as needed.
• Skills: alphabetic letter recognition/awareness, pre-/early-literacy skills, supporting/fostering social skills, concepts of print, fine-motor strength/coordination/endurance supported by writing

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (stove, sink, pantry, etc.), child-size door, fabric, dress-up shoes, capes, keys, scarves, play food/flatware
• Rationale: The house was one of the most popular spots during the fall; seeing many visitors every day. We want to continue supporting the strong dramatic play taking place while helping the stories go further. We have moved the babies from the smaller cave to the larger cave: creating a "nursery," as caring for the babies was very popular. The smaller cave has transformed into the pet area: with stuffed animals and props to support pet-care play. We hope this rearrangement will help create new stories.
• Skills: social skills, imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, generalization

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, peg people, doll house, wood furniture, long/short planks
• Rationale: Like the dramatic play area, the block area was another popular spot. The play and discovery taking place was primarily child-directed: involving elaborate structures and complex storylines that were often revisited for days at a time. To foster/promote this intrinsic motivation for building after the long break, the airplane props will remain available. We will also facilitate more symbolic representational building with the unit blocks as the teachers use small-block structures to help create various stories in the block area - using the large doll house as a provocation.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor strength/coordination, symbolic representation, imagination/creativity, spatial awareness skills, social skills (e.g. communication, expressing feelings, negotiation, compromising, collaboration)

Large Motor
• Materials: Gym: climbing wall, jumping donut, monkey bars, slide-climber. Playground: shovels, buckets, sleds
• Rationale: We will be going back a minimal set up in the gym to let the children get reacquainted with the equipment (as well as help the student teachers get comfortable in the gym!). We will be leading several games this week: including Sleeping Children, several parachute games, and yoga. As for the playground, because we are at the mercy of Mother Nature, we will bring out materials based on the weather for the day. We had fun creating our own games as well as exploring the natural beauty of the playground during the fall, and we will keep that alive during the winter months, as well!
• Skills: locomotor skills of walking and running, dynamic/static balance, depth perception, eye-to-hand/eye-to-foot coordination, spatial skills, body awareness, turn taking, social interaction

Special Interest (large group, music, cooking, fire drill, etc)
• Be sure to stop in and introduce yourself to the student teachers - they're excited to meet you all!
• Even though the snow hasn't completely dropped, the temps have! Please send your child's LABELED snow gear every day, as it makes getting ready to go outside much smoother when we have everything accounted for. Thanks!
• REMEMBER - we start school on WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 4.
• NO SCHOOL on Monday, January 16 - in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• Mark your calendars - the ever-popular GYM JAM is on Friday, January 20th. Tell your friends and invite them to join us! Take a look on the school's main page for the flyer/additional details.

Snack
Monday - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday - NO SCHOOL
Wednesday - raisins and rice cakes
Thursday - popcorn (made by the children) and apples
Friday - trail mix
*All snacks served with milk/water unless otherwise noted*

FALL SESSION LP 11-21-11

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: Nov. 21-23, 2011
Lead teaching this week: Team teaching

Overview: There have been many exciting things happening in the classroom. The airplane and travel theme continues to be the focal point in the block and dramatic play area. Many children are building more elaborate planes as the week goes on, adding fabric and more blocks. To support our focus on building community/fostering social relationships and make the block building more collaborative, we will bring in two large pieces of cardboard that they can use as airplane walls. The children will have the opportunity to paint and decorate the walls to their liking. We also added large sheets of paper to the easel, inviting the children to paint collaboratively...as well as use up all the extra paint we've collected. With the fall session coming to a close, our major focus will be to solidify for friendships and relationships made this fall through continued group games and activities. We want each child to know their classmates and really feel like they belong to the classroom community before winter break starts. It's never to early to start thinking about possible play-dates for over break, so be sure to ask your child who they're playing with to get ideas of who to connect with while we're away.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: various natural and "beautiful" materials that have been collected around the school and the children's homes for collage, various bead and wire for necklace and bracelet making, glue bottles filled with red, yellow, white and black at the easel, egg cartons for paint mixing, markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives; and supportive materials: wire, clothes pins, etc.)
• Rationale: Art continues to be a popular spot for the children. This past week we introduced large, multi-person painting at the easel to help us use up extra mixed paint and to encourage children to collaborate on making beautiful things for our room. Clay has once again become a hot spot with children using wire to expand on their sculptures with stages, skyscrapers and spiders being built. We will continue to explore collage making this week with natural materials and some new, intriguing objects aimed at sparking the children's creative interests.
• Skills: creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills, persistence, imagination and invention, spatial skills, planning abilities

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: Water, pitchers, cups, various sized containers
• Rationale: The water table has proven to be a very well-liked area. The previous week, the children explored the physical properties of water as well as experimented with pouring water into pitchers and cups ranging from small to large, which supports hand-eye coordination. We will keep the area the same for this week, and begin incorporating more math and hypothesis creating/testing opportunities this week ("How many pitchers will it take to fill that big container?")
• Skills: large-/fine moor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, seriation (by staking the cups and funnels from biggest to smallest), scientific investigation, observational skills, critical thinking/planning skills (i.e. hypothesis creating/testing)

Science
• Materials: Tree notebook, various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, clipboards, feeding charts, seed growth box, pumpkin seeds
• Rationale: Previously, we cut open a pumpkin to see what was inside. After examining and using the seeds in a counting activity, we placed the pumpkin inside an aquarium. We will watch how it changes over the coming weeks. Each day a child will take a picture of the pumpkin to post on the computer. The picture slide show allows them to remember what the pumpkin looked like as it was decaying.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships, care-taking skills, scientific inquiry skills, data recording/documenting

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Abacus, Montessori stacking pegs and color gradation blocks, puzzles, stringing buttons, memory/matching games (color and painting), new puzzles
• Rationale: Children have been exploring the various manipulatives in the area. This week we want to focus on playing Memory - a game that not only builds children's working and short-term memory, but also their spatial skills. Furthermore, we hope to help the children develop an attention to detail as we will be using similar but distinct memory images. In addition to memory we will be introducing some new puzzles to reignite the area and encourage cooperative problem solving.
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, matching, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children, books, "Our Alphabet' and "Words We Know" books
• Rationale: The writing center is frequently used by the children, with many of them showing an interest in writing their name as well as drawing/writing notes and delivering them to other children. The children also continue practice writing each letter of the alphabet in the alphabet book. To keep the focus on pre-/early-literacy as well as continue the their interest in writing their names/notes to friends, we will add a "Words We Know" book.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children's hand muscles grow strong with holding writing utensils)

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Pilot/passenger props (suitcases, pilot coats, boarding passes, small trays, etc), cardboard for airplane walls, house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, and care supplies
• Rationale: Airplanes and travel continues to be the focal point in the dramatic play area with many flights taking place everyday to destinations around the world! The addition of the two large pieces of cardboard will support the collaboration as well as allow for more children to fly on one plane.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, reflection/interpretation, social systems understanding (understanding the world), fostering social relationships

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses, photos of different block structures, airplane themed props
• Rationale: Airplane building has been extremely popular over the last few weeks. The inclusion of luggage and pilot props last week encouraged children to begin building group planes rather than individual planes. As children continue to build their planes we hope to introduce a level of pre-planning to their work. The teachers will encourage children to plan out their planes by drawing their ideas before building. We hope this will lead to more intentional building while also introducing a literacy component to the area.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
In the gym: Due to the Book Sale late last week the gym will be getting a new look Tuesday. Monday we will head to the gym for some parachute games, and then we will have a new gym set-up created by the afternoon classes for Tuesday. Stay posted for additional details.
On the playground: Despite the cold weather the children continue to be enthusiastic about going outside each day. The swings are a popular area, with trikes and wagons being used almost daily. Our leaf pile, while dwindling in size, is as popular as ever. Children from both classes seem to enjoy interacting in the large open areas and we are looking forward to continuing to build the school wide community through outdoor play. We'll see what the weekend snowfall does to the playground...be sure to send your winter gear on Monday!
• Skills: Large motor skills, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, emerging skills related to propelling self (pumping) on a swing, social competence, and relationships

Announcements/Special Interest
• No school on Thursday and Friday of this week...have a safe, restful, and enjoyable holiday weekend.
• Small groups will be wrapping up soon: each group will culminate its experience this week or the following.
• Just a reminder: the "Good-bye" party for Kari and Rachel will be on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 10.30a. We hope you can all join us!
• The last day of the fall session is Tuesday, Dec. 6. Stay tuned for the Lab School winter break calendar with events/happenings taking place over break!

Snack
Monday - Frozen peas & crackers
Tuesday - Pretzels
Wednesday - Pumpkin Yogurt Smoothies (made with Sheila)
Thursday - NO SCHOOL
Friday- NO SCHOOL

FALL SESSION LP 11-14-11

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: Nov. 14, 2011
Lead teaching this week: Kari

Overview: There have been many exciting things happening in the classroom. The children have moved their airplane building into the large block area, with many of the children choosing familiar travel destinations to fly their plane to. To help support the airplane/travel theme in the dramatic play and large block area we will be adding a variety of pilot and passenger props. During arrival time the children cut open a pumpkin to discover what was inside. The children enjoyed exploring the seeds, which will be used for math activities including, counting, adding, and subtracting. In the last few weeks of the fall session, we will continue our focus on building community and social relationships by encouraging the children to initiate interactions with others more independently, as well as speaking directly to their peer(s) when negotiating/resolving conflict. The teachers will continue to facilitate these interactions as needed, however we feel the children are ready to start learning/practicing these rules of social engagement, as they have grown quite comfortable with each other.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: various natural and "beautiful" materials that have been collected around the school and the children's homes for collage, various bead and wire for necklace and bracelet making, glue bottles filled with red, yellow, white and black at the easel, egg cartons for paint mixing, markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives; and supportive materials: wire, clothes pins, etc.)
• Rationale: Recently, the art area has been extremely busy with various projects including collaborative painting, airplane construction, and much more. The children have shown an interest in necklace and bracelet making; wanting to share what they have made with their parents. To help support this interest, we will bring in various sized beads, wire, and string so that they are able to take what they have made home with them as well as to continue to foster fine motor skills and intentionality.
The easel is extremely well liked by all of the children - seeing many visitors each day. With all these artists comes a lot of paint. To help use up all of the "left-over" paint we will add textured rollers, balls, bottle caps, and other objects that will allow them to explore printmaking and large collaborative painting.
During the week airplane construction has transformed into airplane dramatic play, because of this we are going to bring the focus back to the natural and "beautiful" materials in the collage are. The children will help contribute to the collage area by collecting leaves, tall grass, and other items they find on the playground as well as any items they find around their home. Collecting their own materials allows the children to choose what types of materials they want to use for their collages.
At the clay table we will add supportive materials including wire, clothespins, and models of animals to encourage the children to begin building upwards and outwards with their clay.
• Skills: creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills, persistence, imagination and invention, spatial skills, planning abilities

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: Water, pitchers, cups, various sized containers
• Rationale: This week we will be switching out the sand table for a water table. We will add pitchers, cups, and various sized containers to encourage children to explore the physical properties of water as well as allow children to explore and experiment with pouring and prediction.
• Skills: large-/fine moor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, scientific investigation, observational skills, planning skills, creativity, imagination and invention

Science
• Materials: Tree notebook, various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, clipboards, feeding charts, seed growth box, pumpkin seeds
• Rationale: Previously, we had changed the tree chart into a tree notebook that will be placed in the science center. As the children continue to watch their changing trees and bring in their pictures we will be adding them to our tree notebook. This will allow the children to independently add their pictures and look at other children's tree pictures when they feel like it. We will also begin another on-going science experiment this week: "what will happen to a pumpkin if it stays in the classroom for a long time?"
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships, care-taking skills, scientific inquiry skills

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Pumpkin seeds, abacus, Montessori stacking pegs and color gradation blocks, puzzles, multi-colored pegs (with pegboard), sorting/counting animals, sorting trays, stringing buttons, color matching game
• Rationale: At the end of last week we cut open the pumpkin in our class. The children enjoyed scooping out all of its seeds. To help connect this experience to numeracy we will place the pumpkin seeds at the math table. The children can use the seeds to count, add, and subtract. The children have also shown an interest in playing memory games, to help support this interest we will be adding a memory game to help foster memory and language. As usual, puzzles continue to be popular and some children have begun to utilize their knowledge of color by sorting the Montessori color gradation blocks from lightest-to-darkest.
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, matching, numeracy/awareness of numerals, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children, books, alphabet book
• Rationale: Previously, we added the alphabet book to the writing area. Many children have eagerly made contributions to the book and were excited to show others what their letters look like. When the children were first introduced to the book they enjoyed thinking of words that started with each letter, including their classmate's names. To help expand on their alphabet interest we will make a "Words We Know" book.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children's hand muscles grow strong with holding writing utensils)

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Pilot/passenger props (suitcases, pilot coats, boarding passes, small trays, etc), house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, and care supplies
• Rationale: Due to the popularity of airplane construction in the block area we will add pilot and passenger props. This will allow the children to become pilots, flight attendants, and passengers as well as play out vacations that they have been on as well as pretend to travel to new destinations.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, reflection/interpretation, social systems understanding (understanding the world), fostering social relationships

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses, photos of different block structures, airplane themed props
• Rationale: With the continued popularity of airplane building, we will keep the books and cockpit themed props for the children to keep using. The children built elaborate planes, using the hollow blocks for the wings and body. To help the children become more thoughtful with their designs we will have airplanes books that display different types of airplanes, clipboards and pencils in this area so that the children are able to draw what type of plane they want to build before they start building. This gives the children who have been on an airplane a reminder what it looks like and helps the children who have not been on an airplane conceptualize what an airplane looks like.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
• In the gym: We will maintain the gym set-up, because the children are very active and enjoy using each piece of equipment. The children continue to think up new ways to get across the river (such as, hoping, galloping, and running), and have learned to adjust the pace over these movements to a drumbeat. The donut slide and rope swings continue to be well-liked. Turn taking/negotiation skills are continuing to develop with some children beginning to implement a timeshare system in which they count to a number and then switch
• On the playground: The children continue to be excited about outdoor time. They enjoy participating in chasing and running games, with some children thinking of "race rules." The swings, red wagons, and trikes continue to be a popular item. The children enjoy pulling each other in the wagon and doing laps around the playground on the trikes.
• Skills: Large motor skills, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, emerging skills related to propelling self (pumping) on a swing, social competence, and relationships

Announcements/Special Interest
• The dancers will return on Monday for one last visit to are large group. We look forward to their new, fun movement games!
• Rachel's small group will be taking a field trip to the Bell museum on Tuesday. Ross will join the group, and Sheila will be with Ross' group.
• Otto's 5th birthday is on Thursday, however mom will join us on Friday for a cooking project...sounds delicious!
• If you haven't cut down your gardens yet, please invite your child collect some "beautiful things" to add to our natural materials at the art area. Dead-head flowers, tall grasses, and daily-lily flower stems are just a few ideas!

Snack
Monday - Toast & fresh butter (made by the children)
Tuesday - Rice cakes & carrots
Wednesday - Animal crackers
Thursday - Sweet potato crisps & oranges
Friday - Granola and yogurt parfaits (made with Otto's mom, Anjula)
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

FALL SESSION LP 11-7-11

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class

Week of: Nov. 7, 2011 - Nov. 12, 2011

Lead teaching this week: Rachel

Overview
An exciting new interest emerged in the classroom this past week: children have become very interested in planes and airports. To support the children, our class has read books on the subject and is in the process of building an airport for our many created planes to land. As this interest continues to grow we want to encourage parents to talk to their children about various trips they may have taken and about what types of spaces are found at an airport. If the child hasn't been on a plane, trips in the car or other types of transportation are also good conversations to have - we've begun to explore travel and the children enjoy sharing their stories.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: glue bottles filled with red, yellow, white and black at the easel, egg cartons for paint mixing, various natural and "beautiful" materials for collage, markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives; and supportive materials: wire, clothes pins, etc.)
• Rationale: The children have had several weeks of experience mixing colors and now we want to move this experience over to the easel - with the use of paint bottles and egg cartons we hope to encourage children to create their own colors for painting. In the collage area we have begun to move towards 3D collage, with many different types of materials being used to build airplanes. To continue to expand into this new, third dimension, some supportive materials will also be added to the clay area. Through the use of wire, clothes pins and other objects, the teachers hope to encourage children to begin building upwards and outwards with their clay.
• Skills: color recognition, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills, persistence, imagination and invention, spatial skills, planning abilities

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: moldable sand, scoops/shovels, buckets, sand molds, sticks, shells, rocks and photos of sandcastles
• Rationale: Many children have taken inspiration from photos of sandcastles. To encourage additional children to join in the castle creation the teachers will be creating a "sand castle: how to" poster in which the children help to write the steps of creating a sandcastle. Each step will include a photo or drawing so that children can easily reference the instructions. The natural materials continue to be a draw for the children as well, with some children using more materials than sand to build!
• Skills: large-/fine moor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, scientific investigation, observational skills, planning skills, creativity, imagination and invention

Science
• Materials: various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, clipboards, feeding charts, seed growth box, pumpkin
• Rationale: This week the class will cut open and pumpkin and delve inside. The guts, seeds and rind will be investigated. In an effort to prompt the exploration of decay the pumpkin will be put in a container and left out over the weekend and the upcoming weeks. As the pumpkin begins to break down the teachers hope to spark conversations surrounding what processes are happening. The decay of organic material, in contrast to the growth of a bean seed will hopefully allow the children to see two different, but related, types of change found in the natural world.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships, care-taking skills, scientific inquiry skills

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Montessori stacking pegs and color gradation blocks, (new) puzzles, multi-colored pegs (with pegboard), sorting/counting animals, sorting trays, stringing buttons, color matching game
• Rationale: Many children have enjoyed using stringing buttons to create patterned necklaces and bracelets. As this activity continues to develop we may bring in some stringing activities which the children can then bring home - stay tuned next week. The intention of the stringing activity is to continue to foster fine motor skills, intentionality and some mathematical concepts such as patterning, one-to-one correspondence. As usual, puzzles continue to be popular and some children have begun to activate their shade knowledge by sorting the Montessori color gradation blocks.
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, matching, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children, books, alphabet book
• Rationale: Letter and message writing continue to be prominent in the classroom. To support this activity we will be creating an alphabet book for placement at the center. We hope to have the children help us make the book by having them provide examples of each letter in their own handwriting. By using children's print in this book we want to not only stimulate writing activities but also provide the children with various "options" for the form of each letter (rather than there being one "perfect" example). In addition we will be adding some books on airplanes, airports and travel in general to support the children's budding interest in this topic.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children's hand muscles grow strong with holding writing utensils)

Dramatic Play
• Materials: doctor props (stethoscope, lab coats, scrubs, etc), house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, baby-dolls, and care supplies
• Rationale: Doctor play has become very popular in the dramatic play area. To continue to capitalize on this interest we will be asking the children about their own visits to doctors, and what other props we may need (i.e. magazines for the waiting room, an eye chart, syringes to act as "shots," X-rays, etc.) We encourage parents to talk to their children about past doctor visits and the different areas of a doctor's office.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, reflection/interpretation, social systems understanding (understanding the world), fostering social relationships

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses, photos of different block structures, airplane themed props
• Rationale: Airplane building became popular last week with children creating larger versions of the planes created in the art area. We will be adding some cockpit themed props this week to encourage children's building and to bring in a dramatic aspect as well. Houses continue to be popular. Children have begun decorating their houses with scarves, carpet squares and other materials. With this popularity of scarce resources some students have begun building homes for more than one person, and we often see neighborhoods in which multiple children "live" within a small space.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
• In the gym: Children are enjoying the new gym arrangement. We recently introduced the use of music on the runway - hopping down the river to a drumbeat. The donut slide has been the sight of creative risk taking - some children have tried sliding in various ways while others are beginning to slide without a teacher hand to hold. Turn taking/negotiation skills are continuing to develop with some children beginning to implement a timeshare system in which they count to a number and then switch
• On the playground: The dishes added last week continue to be popular with children developing many restaurant themes. The Giant Leaf Pile from last week continued to be popular and children and teachers work together to maintain its fullness for optimal jumping conditions. Also, large decaying pumpkin was added to the compost area for children to observe and there has already been some interest in its demise.
• Skills: Large motor skills, motor coordination physical health and well-being by participating in a variety of physical activities, social competence and relationships

Special Interest/Announcements
- Dancers coming back on Monday and many children have been enjoying their movement activities. As we continue, be sure to ask your children about songs or dances they learn at school - dancing in the home is a great way to be physically active while releasing stress!
- Picture day Tuesday - be sure to bring your order forms with you if you plan on ordering pictures! If you are planning on sending your child in a dressy outfit, please consider sending along a change of clothes. While the teachers try to keep everyone clean, painting can become a colorful endeavor.
- The Oleanna Book Sale is coming: happening in gym on Thursday Nov. 17th and Friday Nov. 18th during school hours.



Snack

Monday - Popcorn & spiced apple cider

Tuesday - Rice cakes
Wednesday - Animal crackers
Thursday - Birthday snack made with Otto's mom Anjula

Friday- Oven fries

* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise *

FALL SESSION LP 10-31-11

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0511-0703-1315-1959_Fall_Colored_Leaves_and_Trees_clipart_image.jpg

Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: Oct. 31 - Nov. 4, 2011
Lead teaching this week: Team Teaching

Overview
Over the past week children have been very busy both inside and outside the classroom. We continued with our color-mixing experience and will begin to move from creating various shades to creating different colors. Small groups seemed to be a hit with the children, and will continue this week. As small groups progress each group with begin to narrow its focus as the interests of the group becomes clearer. Outside children have been enjoying raking leaves as well as playing throughout the playground. The "Leaf Extravaganza" last Friday was a lot of fun and we hope it sparks some new play ideas out there! The playground has also been the site for interactions between the children in both classrooms, with old friendships being maintained and new ones forming.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: primary color paint at the easel, glue bottles filled with blue and red paint at the art table, egg cartons for paint mixing, various natural and "beautiful" materials for collage, markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives), pumpkin.
• Rationale: The children have been very active at both the art and clay tables. At the art table, children have become extremely interested in recreating the various shades of blue they see around them. We also brought red paint to the table last week and invited the children to mix the two colors. We will continue exploring various hues of purple and "really think about" the amount of blue or red used and how affects the color of purple they create. As the children's understanding of mix the two colors grows, we will reintroduce the black and white paint; inviting them to recreate various shades of purple they see around them. At the clay table, the children used the clay to remake the story "5 little pumpkins". The children rolled the clay into balls in their hands or on the table and used the clay knives to make the lines on the pumpkin. They were also very interested in covering the pumpkin on the table in clay to create a mold. To assist them in creating pumpkin and other various molds, we will bring in different objects that allow them to wrap the clay around.
• Skills: color recognition, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills, persistence, imagination and invention.

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: moldable sand, scoops/shovels, buckets, sand molds, sticks, shells, rocks and photos of sandcastles
• Rationale: The children have continued to explore the moldable sand. The pictures have provided a stimulus for new castle ideas. This week we will add photos of children's creations as well as have the teachers model some simple forms. If any parents need a quick "beach vacation" feel free to stop by and help us build! Children also remain interested in burying materials and a popular clean up activity is searching the sand for hidden rocks and shells.
• Skills: large-/fine moor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, scientific investigation, observational skills, planning skills, creativity, imagination and invention

Science
• Materials: various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, clipboards, feeding charts, seed growth box
• Rationale: The animals continue to be a source of investigation for the children. Manipulation of various food sources has continued to be an interest. As part of our Growth and Change unit, we will be looking at a seed growth box. This see-through container will allow children to watch as seeds sprout and grow both up and down. Teachers will continue promoting curiosity through the examination of seeds during snack and other activities.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships, caretaking skills

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Montessori stacking pegs and color gradation blocks, (new) puzzles, multi-colored pegs (with pegboard), sorting/counting animals, sorting trays
• Rationale: In the previous week the children engaged in many exciting projects at the math table, including cooking and beading projects. To help bring to the focus back to math, as well as expand on our exploration of various shades of color, we will add Montessori color gradation blocks. This will allow the children to recognize that each color has various shades, as well as allow them to order colors from lightest to darkest. By adding a variety of color activities to this table the children are provided with more opportunities to become recognizing different hues of the same color.
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, matching, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children, books
• Rationale: Children continue to visit the writing center on a daily basis. Last week, the children were very excited to make thank you notes and pictures for "Jeff the painter," who has nearly single-handedly painted the entire Lab School over the last few weeks. To continue to expand the children's writing skills we will be adding additional writing utensils and various types of paper. We will also have some children create an alphabet chart for their classmates to reference as some studies have shown that children's print in the environment can serve as a strong motivator to encourage others to practice writing.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children's hand muscles grow strong with holding writing utensils)

Dramatic Play
• Materials: doctor props (stethoscope, lab coats, scrubs, etc), house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, baby-dolls, and care supplies
• Rationale: Dramatic play remains popular and self-guided for many children. Dress up clothes and fabrics are popular attractions for many children. To continue to capitalize on this interest, teachers will encourage the use of props in play - to possibly enhance and extend current themes.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, reflection/interpretation, social systems understanding (understanding the world), fostering social relationships

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses, photos of different block structures
• Rationale: Play in this area continues to involve building different types of houses (people houses, dog houses, and robot houses). The children have built their houses with the large hollow blocks and have used the multi-shaped unit blocks as "support" inside the larger blocks. To uphold this experience we will continue posting photos of the children with the structures they have built. These photos will continue to inspire the children to make similar or unique block structures.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
In the gym: A new gym arrangement was introduced late last week. The new equipment served as a motivator for many students. A new feature includes a runway/hopping lane with geometric shapes on the ground. Children have enjoyed jumping down the lane and the teachers hope to create new games along with the children to encourage the development of this skill. As part of gym the teachers are continuing to work with children on turn taking and negotiating for limited materials/space. Children seem to be growing in these areas and have been heard asking for turns.
On the playground: The children continue to be excited about outdoor time. They continue to play chase and have begun to use the various materials as part of their play themes. Trikes, shovels, and buckets will remain out again this week. We have added some dishes to the sand area and this has lead to an increase in dramatic play among several of the children.
• Skills: Large motor skills, motor coordination physical health and well-being by participating in a variety of physical activities, social competence and relationships

Special Interest/Announcements
• Last week, Kathy -a professor for the dance department on campus- stopped in and did some fun activities with our class during large group. On Monday, her undergraduate students will be joining us to lead the same fun activities. Be sure to ask your child about the dancers that came to large group and the fun things they did!
• A reminder about "Choice Gym" on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings: as your child enters the room on those mornings, they will get to choose whether they would like to go to the gym or stay in the room by placing their picture in the corresponding section. The teachers will be there to help them remember, as well.
• Thanks to everyone that came to the "Leaf Extravaganza." The collective raking made quick work and helped the creation of one gigantic pile of leaves and several other smaller piles around the playground. We anticipate lots more fun to be had with these piles later this week!
• The Oleanna Book Sale is coming! On Thursday and Friday of next week (Nov. 17-18), the gym will be filled with tons of great books at discounted prices! It's a great time to stop in and pick new additions for your child's library, as well as pick up a few titles to give as gifts during the holiday season. Plan to stop in during school hours or sticking around after pick-up and take a look at all the great books!

Snack
Monday - Salad
Tuesday - Oranges & pretzels
Wednesday - Apple chips & graham crackers
Thursday - Trail mix
Friday- Guacamole & corn chips (made with Kari)
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

FALL SESSION LP 10-24-11

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Raking_Leaves_2.jpg


Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: October 24, 2011
Lead teaching this week: Kari

Overview: As we get farther into the semester, the children continue to become more at ease with one another and have been forming many new friendships. Last week, the children experimented with creating various shades of blue by trying to recreate the blue that they see around them. The children's understanding of how to match different shades of blue grows stronger every day - deciding how much blue/white/black to add to "make it match perfectly." This week we are also getting ready to start our small groups. Small groups will give the children a chance to meet on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday to explore one of three topics (insects, music and movement, and bodies) with more intention and focus with help from their small group teacher.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: primary color paint at the easel, glue bottles filled with blue, black, white, and red paint at the art table, egg cartons for paint mixing, blue yarn and other blue materials, various natural and "beautiful" materials for collage, markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives)
• Rationale: At the art table, children have become extremely interested in recreating the various shades of blue they see around them. They enjoyed watching the blue change different shades when they experimented with the white and black paint. To help extend color progression and build awareness on how secondary colors are made, we will introduce red paint later this week, and let the children experiment with making different shades of purple and make a chart of how colors progress from light to dark.
• Skills: color recognition, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: damp sand, scoops/shovels, buckets, magnifying glass, whisk brooms, paintbrushes, trowels, sand molds, sticks, shells, photos of sandcastles
• Rationale: The children have continued to use the moldable sand to make detailed castles, using the shells, sticks, and rocks as decoration. They have also created games by using the sand to bury and dig up the building materials. To extend their interest in burying and digging we will continue the conversations about playing "Can you find it?" games, and adding supportive digging tools: hand brooms, trowels, and rakes.
• Skills: large-/fine moor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, scientific investigation, observational skills, planning skills, creativity, imagination and invention, reflection and interpretation (ability to think about events and experiences and apply this knowledge to new situations)

Science
• Materials: Assortment of various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, clipboards, feeding charts
• Rationale: The children are interested and curious about the seeds inside different fruits and vegetables. To build awareness and expand on their interest we invite the children to look for seeds around their homes. While cooking dinner or pulling the plants out of the gardens, highlight the "discovery" of various seeds. Eventually, we may ask the children to bring in one fruit or vegetable (pumpkins, squash, apples, etc.) so we can cut it open to examine the seeds different sizes and shapes. This activity will allow the children to think about and guess whether there are seeds inside the item that they brought to school. We will give you plenty of notice before we have the children bring in their fruit/vegetable to explore.
• Skills: scientific thinking (observing, questioning, and investigation), reflection and interpretation, patterns and relationships, fostering social relationships

Dramatic Play
• Materials: doctor props (stethoscope, lab coats, scrubs, etc), house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, baby-dolls, and care supplies
• Rationale: The dramatic play area continues to be used daily with the children frequently thinking up new story lines. Doctor play seems to be a recurring theme in our classroom. Later in the week we will add doctor props: including stethoscopes, lab coats, scrubs, and much more. By inserting these props and discussing how they are used in at doctor's office, children can gain a better understanding of how these props are used in a medical setting and take their play to new levels.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, reflection/interpretation, social systems understanding (understanding the world), fostering social relationships

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Montessori stacking pegs, (new) puzzles, multi-colored pegs (with pegboard), sorting/counting animals, sorting trays
• Rationale: Children have been very active sorting and counting the animals by color and size. To expand on sorting and counting we will provide the children with more opportunities to practice their abilities by adding new activities to the math and manipulatives table. We will add color matching games and Montessori color swatches, which will allow the children to identify and sort different shades of color, supporting our new focus on the gradation of color.
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, matching, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children, books
• Rationale: The reading area has increasingly become very popular. To help connect literacy to the other areas of the room, we will be adding some new books that will relate to the different centers, such as books on tiger salamanders, hissing cockroaches, trees, the doctor's office and hospitals, and one about our growing and changing body. The books will be available for children to read throughout the day.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children's hand muscles grow strong with holding writing utensils)

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses, photos of different block structures
• Rationale: Play in this area has continued with the children building different types of houses and simple machines. To continue to foster this experience we will continue posting photos of the children and some of the structures they have built. The photos will allow children to remember where they left off and will inspire others to build structures of their own.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
• Materials: Gym- scooter boards, cushioned blocks and semicircle, gym equipment (monkey bars, slide, jumping station)
In the gym: The children have really enjoyed the new set up in the gym and have become confident using each piece of equipment. To add more of a challenge we will raise the balance beam connecting to the slide up one rung and will introduce a new obstacle course game, where children will practice different physical skills, such as jumping, hopping, climbing, and crawling. We will also continue to use the scooter boards so that the children are able to pull each other back and forth on the gym floor, promoting additional core strengthening and stability skills, as well as creating great cooperative/relationship-building opportunities. It should be noted that the gym will potentially move to a new set up mid week. We will let the children know later in the week if it will be changing.
On the playground: All of the children really enjoy going outside and have been active on the bikes, swings, and using the shovels to dig in the sand. This week we will continue to bring out the bikes, shovels, and rakes so that the children who are still getting use to riding the bikes or using the shovels and rakes will have the opportunity to keep practicing. Also, on Friday we will have a "LEAF EXTRAVAGANZA!" Weather permitting, we invite any and all parents to join us on the playground to rake the remaining leaves into a giant puzzle. Details listed below!
• Skills: Large motor skills, physical health and well-being by participating in a variety of physical activities, social competence and relationships

Special Interest/Announcements
• With a very busy (and short) week, we will have our fire drill this week. A note will be outside the classroom.
• Small groups start this week on Tuesday! We're excited to jump into these topics and learn more! An email will be coming Tuesday informing you about which group your child is in as well as the other group members.
• LEAF EXTRAVAGANZA! on Friday starting at 10.45a on the playground...we'll meet you on the playground and don't forget to bring your rake!

Snack
Monday: Apples and pretzels
Tuesday: Birthday snack (making popsicles with Zachary and his mom!)
Wednesday: Rice cakes
Thursday: Animal Crackers
Friday: Chips and guacamole (made with Kari!)
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

FALL SESSION LP 10-17-11

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0511-1002-0704-4418_Basket_of_Fall_Apples_clipart_image.png

WEEKLY LESSON PLAN FOR ROSS' CLASS
Week of: Oct 17-21, 2011
Lead Teaching This Week: Team teaching

Overview: The "true" fall weather has arrived and we all are working hard at keeping warm outside! This week we will be constructing our tree and "growing up" charts. These charts, with their timeline-like features, will hopefully allow the children to see gradual transitions in a more concrete way. Thank you for keeping up on the homework, the photos bring a personal note to our explorations. This week is a short week and we hope to make the most of it before the long weekend!
Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: primary color paint at the easel, glue bottles filled with blue, black, and white paint at the art table, egg cartons for paint mixing, various natural and "beautiful" materials for collage, markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives)
• Rationale: At the easel, children are have been exploring primary color paint and show an interest in mixing the paint to make other colors. To help capitalize on their interest, we will start to focus on variations of a single color by adding different amounts of white or black paint to show how a color can change from a light hue or dark hue based on the amount of white or black paint that is added.
• Skills: color recognition, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: damp sand, scoops/shovels, buckets, sand molds, sticks, shells, photos of sandcastles
• Rationale: We switched out the sand from the soft 'sugar' sand to a wetter, more moldable play-sand. The children noticed the changes right away and were hooked. They used the new sand to make castles using different sized containers. To help encourage their creativity and expand on their interest in sand castles, we will add props including sticks, shells, and rocks as well as display photos of sandcastle to provide inspiration and spark imagination.
• Skills: large-/fine moor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, observational skills, planning skills, creativity, imagination and invention

Science
• Materials: various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, clipboards, feeding charts
• Rationale: The children have continued to observe the various animals in the classroom and have started to feed them tomatoes, apple peels, and other types food. We talked about what types of food the animals might like and whether they would eat the same food that the children do. As the animals ate the food many children noticed the seeds inside and were curious about them. To promote their curiosity we will start to look more closely at the seeds inside pumpkins, apples, and other types of fruit and vegetables and start to discuss their purpose.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, baby-dolls, and care supplies
• Rationale: The dramatic play area continues to be used daily. Because much of the play focuses on the kitchen area we will be integrating some of the experiences they've had in the classroom into this area, including adding pretend apples. By inserting these props children can recall the various cooking projects they've experienced with apples as well as creating a link the fall season.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Montessori stacking pegs, (new) puzzles, multi-colored pegs (with pegboard), sorting/counting animals, sorting trays
• Rationale: Children have been very active sorting and counting the animals. They have mastered sorting by color and by adult vs. baby. The children enjoy identifying the animals and picking out their favorites as they are sorting them.
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, matching, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children, books
• Rationale: Children have begun to become more intentional in their writing this week with some children taking additional time and care to construct letters and notes to their peers. In addition to the writing area, the reading couch has been very popular. We will be adding some new books to the reading area that will continue to expand on our theme of "Growth and Change." Books, as always are available for children to read throughout the day.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children's hand muscles grow strong with holding writing utensils)

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses
• Rationale: Play in this area has continued to expand and is starting to include many children in the building process. To continue to foster this experience we will be posting photos of the children and some of the structures they have built. The photos, we hope, will lend themselves to inspiration as well as recall - picking up where they may have left off the day before.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
• In the gym: The children have really been enjoying the new gym set-up. Over the course of the week, we've observed many of the children jumping and landing with more confidence from the "diving board" (as some of called it). The children are also fostering the balancing skills as the cross the balance beam to get to the "high slide," as well as while they see how many children they can get to stand on the "wobbly block." The open floor has also lent itself to great full-body activities such as "Mat Push," encouraging a group to push with all their might to slide a large folded mat from one side of the gym to another. We'll continue these activities as well as add scooter boards this week - promoting additional core strengthening and stability skills, as well as creating great cooperative/relationship-building opportunities
• On the playground: Nearly all the leaves have fallen and scattered across the playground. The children have enjoyed making large piles to jump in, as well as used them around the playground for various props to add to their play. And even though the temperatures are dropping, we are still going to be outside for as much as we can: riding the trikes, digging in the sand, and simply exploring the beautiful colors of autumn. Be sure to send the appropriate layers (including hats and gloves on those chilly/windy days) so we can keep everyone warm out there!

Special Interest (large group, music, cooking, fire drill, etc)
• We will have a fire drill this week. A note will be posted outside our door the day of.
• Conferences start this week...double check your time on the schedule and please bring/email me a copy of your completed questionnaire as it will help guide our discussion about your child. Also, please be sure to arrange childcare for our meeting time. I look forward to meeting with all of you!
• Creativity Night is almost here. Bring the family and have some fun! Tuesday Oct. 18th from 6-7.30p. We will be offering bead stringing/mobile making in our room. To build awareness, we will be lowering the large stick "mobile" above the math table on Monday, and invite the children to make some "improvements."
NO SCHOOL THURSDAY AND FRIDAY THIS WEEK! - STAFF DEVELOPMENT: Thursday Oct. 20 and Friday Oct 21

Snack
Monday - Apples
Tuesday - Pancakes (made by the children with Rachel)
Wednesday - Rice cakes
Thursday - No School
Friday- No School
* All snacks served with milk and water unless otherwise noted *

FALL SESSION LP 10-10-11

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Oak leaves.jpg


WEEKLY LESSON PLAN FOR ROSS' CLASS
Week of: Oct 10-14, 2011
Lead Teaching This Week: Rachel

Overview: The children are really getting into the swing of things and are seeming to enjoy the classroom and all that is in it (including their peers). We have started to explore our topic of "Growth and Change" and have had large group discussions surrounding this topic. To foster our home-school connection we will start looking at trees both at home and at school and discussing and changes we see happening. We have also begun to look at what changes about us as we get older. Look for homework surrounding this theme later this week!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: primary color paint at the easel, various natural and "beautiful" materials for collage (e.g. wood shavings, pinecones, seed pods, leaves, etc.), markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives)
• Rationale: Art continues to be a popular spot in the classroom. Many children have been exploring glue as both an adhesive and an art medium. Due to the continued popularity of collage making, we are still asking that materials be brought in and children are invited to continue collecting leaves, pinecones, small rocks and other natural materials.
• Skills: color recognition, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills, foster the home-school connection

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: damp sand, scoops/shovels, buckets, sand molds
• Rationale: After several weeks of pouring and dumping multiple children began to express an interest in building sandcastles. To capitalize on this interest, as well as contribute to our topic of change, we have decided to add damp sand to the area. The physical change from pourable to moldable will allow children different experiences with this medium.
• Skills: large-/fine moor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, math concepts related to volume and geometry, planning skills

Science
• Materials: various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, clipboards, feeding charts
• Rationale: Children have continued to show interests in the animals with mealworms being an exciting focus. In order to transition from observing the animals to caring for them, feeding charts will be posted in the area. These charts will let the class know if the animals have been fed yet. We hope to connect our topic of "Growth and Change" to the area through discussions of feeding as well as why living creatures need food.
• Skills: learn about living creatures and how to take care of them, scientific inquiry/investigation, hypothesis creating/testing

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, baby-dolls, and care supplies
• Rationale: Children continue to visit and interact within the dramatic play areas. Storylines with numerous children have begun to emerge and have blended with other areas including blocks, language and literacy center and art.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Montessori stacking pegs, (new) puzzles, multi-colored pegs (with pegboard), sorting/counting animals, sorting trays
• Rationale: Children have been enjoying using the puzzle both independently and cooperatively. We have added some new, more challenging puzzles for those who are ready to move up. We will also continue to explore the sorting/counting animals with teachers prompting the children to think of different ways to sort them. Sorting trays will initially have colors to assist in prompting children, but will later have other sorting themes (e.g. pet vs. farm animals, adult vs. baby, etc).
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, matching, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children
• Rationale: Letter writing continues to be very popular with the children. We are continuing to introduce the concepts of "to" and "from" as the children show a greater interest in the classroom pictures as well as sending letters to peers and family members. Teachers continue to provide support in this area through modeling.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children's hand muscles grow strong with holding writing utensils)

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses
• Rationale: Many children have been exploring and building with the blocks. Children are often seen working on structures together. Children have begun to branch out from house building to building more elaborate structures with multiple purposes, such as stadiums and schools.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
In the gym: We have a new gym set-up and the focus is on balance. There will be a balance beam for the children to cross to get to the A-frame slide. The landing donut has been removed from the jumping station to encourage/promote the children's dynamic balance (i.e. jumping and landing) as they develop the strength and coordination necessary to land solidly on two feet. The monkey bars will be available - fostering full-body strength/coordination/balance as the children flip themselves upside-down as well as cross the top (with teacher assistance, of course). Lastly, we will add scooter boards to encourage core-strength and balance as children ride independently or cooperatively (being towed by a peer)
On the playground: The bikes are out, the shovels are available, the rakes of constantly in use (thanks to seemingly never-ending supply of falling leaves), and the laughs/shrieks of excitement can be heard the moment we hit the playground! The children are really enjoying their time outside, and utilizing all their major muscle groups (as well as supporting their growing friendships within our class and those formed with the children from Amy's class). With this delightful autumn weather, we will capitalize on it and be outside as much as we can be "hibernation" sets in

Special Interest (large group, music, cooking, fire drill, etc)
• Looking at trees - don't forget to find a tree near your home which the children can watch/document its change. We will be discussing these trees in class and connecting them to our own tree at school.
• Thanks to those who have signed up for conferences....those that haven't, there are still times available!
• Starting this week children will be asked to bring in photos of themselves at different age. These pictures will be displayed and used in explorations/discussions about how we change as we get older - look for more information later this week!
• Creativity Night is almost here. Bring the family and have some fun! Tuesday Oct. 18th from 6-7.30p
• NO SCHOOL - Thursday Oct. 20 and Friday Oct 21

Snack
Monday - Trail mix with dried apples
Tuesday - Baked apples (made with Sheila)
Wednesday - Graham crackers
Thursday - Animal crackers
Friday- Birthday snack made by the children with Christine (Ellie's mom)
* All snacks served with milk and water unless otherwise noted *

FALL SESSION LP 10-3-11

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
October 3-7, 2011
Lead Teaching These Weeks: Team teaching

Overview: The year is underway and the children are quickly settling into the routines of the daily schedule. With the excitement of a new year, new friendships are forming fast while existing relationships are picking up where they seemingly left off! The children have also been very interested in the materials around the room. To help the children visit the different areas and become familiar with all the materials, the teachers are intentionally placing the children in areas after large group for what we are calling "activity time." The purpose of activity time is to increase intentionality with the materials in the room -- at times inviting children to revisit a topic/idea/activity from the day before; others times to introduce/highlight a new focus in the room, help foster social relationships, or help children become aware of the other areas/materials they may not typically choose during free-play. The children have responded positively thus far, sometimes staying actively engaged for most/all of free-play! As we continue into the fall session, we are going to explore the topic of "Growth and Change:" looking at how many things in the natural world do exactly that (i.e. people, animals, plants, insects, seasons, etc.). We will start exploring this topic this week, looking closely at ourselves, trees, and possibly the insects (due to the booming interest at the end of last week). Be sure to talk with your child about what they are doing each day (and use the lesson plan to help guide your conversations), as these discussions will help foster the home-school connection, and help them recall the details of their day.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: primary color paint at the easel, various natural and "beautiful" materials for collage (e.g. wood shavings, pinecones, seed pods, leaves, etc.) collected by the children, markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives)
• Rationale: The children have been very active in the art center! Last week, they made collages with the different natural materials and gained a strong interest in the glue - even using it as a medium itself! Due to the amount of collage making, we are quickly running out of natural materials. To foster the home-school connection we invite the child to collect and bring in leaves, seed pods, pine cones, and small rocks around their home.
• Skills: color recognition, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills, foster the home-school connection.

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: sand, scoops/shovels, funnels, and various shaped containers - same size containers with different scoop sizes and same size scoops with differing container sizes.
• Rationale: The sand was a definite hit last week! Children continued to come back to the area day after day and began exploring different ways to fill containers. Some counted the number of scoops while others came up with new techniques for filling. By continuing on this trend and controlling one variable we hope the children will begin to notice connections between size (volume) and number of scoops. Again, this area allows for children to interact and work cooperatively while counting/filling containers.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, math conceptions related to counting/measurement/comparing-contrasting, fostering new/existing social relationships

Science
• Materials: Various critters (tiger salamander, hissing cockroaches, mealworms), magnifying glass, and clipboards.
• Rationale: Throughout the week the children observed the animals, and action in the mealworm bin took off! We had many "investigators" learning about these fascinating creatures. To help strengthen interest and inquiry as well as allow for a better understanding of these animals, we will take a closer look at how to properly care for them as well as learn more about how they grow and change.
• Skills: Learn about living creatures and how to take care them, scientific inquiry/investigation, hypothesis creating/testing

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, baby-dolls, and care supplies
• Rationale: The house has seen many visitors and has helped facilitate many dramatic play storylines. We will continue to facilitate play in this area, intentionally inviting new members to join play to help children build new relationships as well as promote the skills related to initiating social interactions with peers
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: Montessori stacking pegs, (new) puzzles, multi-colored pegs (with pegboard), and sorting/counting animals)
• Rationale: these open-ended materials allow the children to sort, order, and arrange the materials in various ways. The introduction of new puzzles allows children to continue to expand and develop puzzle solving strategies, while the introduction of the more standardized sorting/counting animals allows children to continue to expand on a budding interest in patterns as well as classification skills. The nature of the materials allows for children to work together and collaborate on activities - this increases our sense of classroom community.
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting/classification, opportunities for collaborative problem solving

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape, picture labels of all the children
• Rationale: We have observed many children writing letters to the teachers as well as to one another, and to support this interest as well as help with "addressing" their notes to others, we will had copies of everyone's picture (from the picture page) to an organizer at the writing table. The teachers will model how to use the pictures to show whom the note is to/from.
• Skills: pre-/early-literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children hand muscles grow stronger with holding writing utensils)

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses
• Rationale: The block area has transformed each day into a busy building area: see the building of many houses (some very long, some tall, and a few very short!). These houses have promoted strong opportunities for children to work collaboratively as well as make new friends! The unit blocks have provided similar support, allowing the children to build houses on a smaller scale and use the peg people to act out different "coming to school" and "house" play themes. We anticipate lots more building this week!
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
• Materials: in the GYM: A-frame slide, jumping station with padded donut landing zone, monkey bars, climbing wall, monkey bars, trampoline
on the PLAYGROUND: climber, slides, swings, buckets, shovels, and (possibly) tricycles
• Rationale: The children have really enjoyed the gym, and we are figuring out our gym schedule day-by-day. Be sure to have your child check the "Gym Chart" on the day to see if it is their morning to go to the gym before large group (the group in the manila section) or stay in the classroom (the group in the white section). We have been playing many name games in the gym to help foster our growing sense of community and are seeing it carry over to the playground - with many children finding each other outside to play on the playground. We will continue these games as well as introduce new activities to continue building community while challenging the children's physical skills!
• Skills: large-motor strength/coordination/endurance, eye-to-hand and eye-to-foot coordination, body in motion (i.e. jumping and sliding), cardiovascular strength, depth perception, turn taking, social

Special Interest (large group, music, cooking, fire drill, etc)
• Family picture page - for those that have yet to bring it, please do so this week.
• PAC meeting Monday night from 7-8.30p. Your ideas/voice matter, and these meetings help keep our school moving forward! Hope to see you there.
• The Fall Conference sign-up sheet will be posted on the day please be sure to stop in (or email me) and sign up for a time to meet. Again, the purpose of this conference is to set goals for your child for the upcoming year. Please arrange childcare as necessary.

Snack
Monday - Animal crackers
Tuesday - Graham crackers
Wednesday - Wheat thins
Thursday - Applesauce (made by children with Ross!)
Friday- Popcorn (made by the children)
*All snacks served with milk/water unless otherwise noted*

FALL SESSION LP 9-20-11

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
September 20-30, 2011
Lead Teaching These Weeks: Ross

Overview: Welcome back everyone! As we get started this year, you may notice the room is filled (or rather, not so filled), with many familiar materials. At the beginning of the school year, I feel it's extremely important that the children feel comfortable with coming to school. Even the "veterans" of the Lab School sometimes need some adjustment time to get back into the routines of coming to school every day. That is why we start the year with many familiar materials. Also, I feel it is vital that the children begin connecting with one another rather than the materials in the room. A key element to supporting the learning in early childhood revolves around the social relationships of the child, and that is why building relationships is a primary focus of the fall session. Our goals for the first few weeks are to help your child be excited about coming to school, feel like the Lab School is a safe and fun place to be while they are here, and get to know their peers (hopefully establishing new or reigniting previous friendships). Again, welcome everyone and let's get the school year started!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: primary color paint at the easel, various natural and "beautiful" materials for collage (e.g. wood shavings, pinecones, seed pods, leaves, etc.), markers, crayons, clay (with supportive tools: mallets and wood knives)
• Rationale: we want to foster creativity and artistic express through the use of familiar and intriguing materials, as well as create opportunities for children to work together/observe the work of their peers; building social relationships
• Skills: color recognition, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, artistic expression, symbolic representation, social skills

Sensory (sand table)
• Materials: sand will be available with scoops/shovels, funnels, and various shaped containers
• Rationale: exploring the properties of sand is extremely engaging for children...and was a hit for many at the Open House! It also allows for many opportunities for children to play together; working cooperatively to fill containers, make large piles/"mountains," as well as create countless dramatic play storylines
• Skills: large-/fine-motor strength, eye-to-hand coordination, math conceptions related to counting/measurement/comparing-contrasting, fostering new/existing social relationships

Science
• Materials: various critters living in the science area (i.e. hissing cockroaches, mealworms, and a tiger salamander), magnifying glasses, clipboards, and pencils
• Rationale: during the homevisits, it was clear that there was a common interest in insects, bugs, and the critters that were in our classroom the year previous. To get the group excited about visiting the science area right away as well as foster the interest with scientific inquiry/thinking, we will begin learning more about our classroom "pets."
• Skills: scientific investigation and inquiry, observation skills, learning about the living creatures in our room

Dramatic Play
• Materials: house furniture (e.g. stove, fridge, sink, and cupboard), plates, pretend food, shoes, fabric, stuffed animals, baby-dolls, and care supplies
• Rationale: playing house is one of the most common themes for young children to play, as it is what they know the best. This will help support the children's growing comfort with school and each other as they can play with familiar props and storylines.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, symbolic representation, fostering social relationships

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: seriated Montessori beads, puzzles, and multi-colored pegs (with pegboard)
• Rationale: these open-ended materials allow the children to sort, order, and arrange the materials in various ways while allowing the teachers to ask specific content questions that help us learn more about what your child knows. They also create great opportunities for children to work together, which has been proven to show strong learning potential when children work in groups
• Skills: color recognition, seriation (i.e. stacking highest to lowest), patterning, counting, one-to-one correspondence, sorting, opportunities for collaborative problem solving

Language and Literacy
• Materials: pencils, markers, paper, envelopes, staplers, tape
• Rationale: many children have already shown an interest in writing during the homevisits, and the teachers feel it is imperative to support the pre-/early-literacy skills involved with writing. I also want to begin the year off with opportunities to tell and create stories with the children, and I want the writing center to feel like a hub for my (and ultimately the children's) stories to be created and come alive!
• Skills: pre-/early-literacy skills, letter recognition, introduction to storytelling, fine-motor coordination/endurance (as children hand muscles grow stronger with holding writing utensils)

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses
• Rationale: blocks (large and small) offer amazing opportunities for children to create and represent the world as well as how they make sense of it! The vast building potential allows for children to symbolic represent almost anything: planes, trucks, homes, planets, and even math problems! Blocks are also a seminal component to building/supporting social relationships with the children. The addition of the peg-people (a wood dowel with a picture of each child/teacher on it) help create great opportunities for the children to comfortably play/form relationships with others - using the peg people initiate their interactions.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts of balance, counting, comparing/contrasting skills, social relationships, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large Motor
• Materials: in the GYM: A-frame slide, jumping station with padded donut landing zone, monkey bars, climbing wall, monkey bars, trampoline
on the PLAYGROUND: climber, slides, swings, and lush grasses and tress provided by Mother Nature
• Rationale: the gym is another great venue to help the children get to know one another by observing peers try various equipment, participating in group activities, taking turns, and often finding someone who enjoys the same activities. The gym also lends itself to be a space for teacher-facilitated activities. To begin the year, we will play a few games during the week that will help the children meet one another. On the playground we will keep the buckets, shovels, and tricycles in the shed for the first few days, letting the children explore playground and discover all the amazing things it has to offer!
• Skills: large-motor strength/coordination/endurance, eye-to-hand and eye-to-foot coordination, body in motion (i.e. jumping and sliding), cardiovascular strength, depth perception, turn taking, social interactions

Special Interest (large group, music, cooking, fire drill, etc)
ENROLLMENT FORMS - if you still have any forms to turn in, please bring them with you on your child's first day.
• Just a reminder, there will be no curbside drop-off on Tuesday or Wednesday.
• With the cooler temps seemingly on their way, be sure to send the appropriate clothes with your child. Our room does stay warm, so having your children wear a few layers may help them stay comfortable as they travel from inside and out.

Snack (As we are still waiting for the last of the allergy information to come in this week, snack will remain quite simple...it will change for next week.)
Monday: NO SCHOOL
Tuesday: Graham crackers
Wednesday: Graham crackers
Thursday: Granola bars
Friday: Sliced apples and crackers
*All snacks served with milk/water unless otherwise noted*

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