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SPRING LP 5-27-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class

Week of: May 27-31, 2013

Lead Teaching This Week: Laura E.

Overview:
Hello Families, we hope you enjoyed the long weekend! Last week we made the most of the rainy days by digging for worms in the soil and splashing in puddles! With help from Mother Nature the children's hostas marked by their popsicle sticks at the front of the school are in full bloom, much to the excitement of the children! In the classroom the children will continue to expand their dramatic play in the doctor's office through building ambulances and other medical machines with the blocks. The teachers are hoping E1's dad and I1's dad will stop by this week, giving the children an opportunity to learn more about real doctors in our community. We are starting to wrap things up during these last two weeks, and this will be our last week for small groups. The teachers are excited for the pizza party this Tuesday, and we hope to see you all there!

Sensory Table:
• Materials: Various sized rocks, paint, and brushes
• Rationale: Early this week the teachers discovered the soil didn't look as healthy and rich as it had the first day it was placed in the sensory table. The soil was replaced with different sized rocks for the children to paint. The children had the opportunity to mix colors and even put the paint on their hands to explore different ways to paint the rocks. This coming week the table will have a water movement focus. The teachers will supply funnels and PVC pipes and tubes to create new water movement puzzles for the children to solve.
• Skills: Fine motor skills, collaboration with peers, exploration of water movement, problem solving

Expressive Art (art table, easel):
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, plastic egg carton halves, paper; Art table: Paper, watercolors, water, egg carton halves, paintbrushes, white crayons
• Rationale: Last week the children explored combining crayons and watercolors, which led to the creation of secret messages! They made the messages by writing with a white crayon and painting over the message with the watercolors. The children remain interested in this art technique that teacher Frances introduced, therefore we will continue this activity and prompt the children to use their new secret messages for their spy kits. This could open doors for some dramatic play opportunities.
• Skills: recognition of colors, making patterns by using different colors, artistic expression, imagination/creativity, fine-motor

Science:
• Materials: soil, herb seeds, water, spray bottle, cartons, journals, pencils
• Rationale: Last week the children were given the opportunity to plant their own seed in a small carton. The children demonstrated great patience waiting for their seeds to sprout and persisted to water their seed everyday. As the seeds sprout the children will continue to nurture their own plant, learning the importance of water, sunlight and soil. They will soon have the opportunity to take home their plant to "transplant" into their own gardens.
• Skills: hypothesizing, making observations, exploring, recording data/information, strengthen understanding of plant life cycle

Math/Manipulatives (including The Nook):
• Materials: Shape puzzles, small build blocks in different shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles, geo-boards with rubber bands, number bingo
• Rationale: Last week the children were introduced to the geo-boards and enjoyed creating various shapes with the rubber bands. This week they will continue to explore the geo-boards and teachers will challenge the children to make various shapes and letters with the boards. This week the teachers will also introduce number bingo as an activity time center. The children have been enjoying the executive function games, therefore the teachers might add some more games with rules to our nook, which can become our "game room."
• Skills: shape/shapes recognition, symbolic representation (creating with blocks), fine motor, number recognition

Literature Center:
• Materials: Rubber stamps, markers, pencils, scissors, paper and white boards

• Rationale: This week the children will continue to use our literature center for writing and coloring. Many children are engaged in this center and teachers often use the hand over hand strategy to guide cutting and writing/drawing. Last week L4 and I1 came up with the idea of making "tiny" books with all of our extra scrap paper. The teachers will support this idea by gathering the scrap paper and providing the necessary supplies to create these books.
• Skills: Pre/early literacy skills, letter recognition, fine motor strength, phonemic awareness, creativity skills

Dramatic Play:
• Materials: "Doctors office" props (syringes, rubber gloves, stethoscope, band aids) dress up clothes (scrubs, doctors coat), body charts
• Rationale: This past week the teachers added body charts to the doctor's office which children have been using to figure out what part of their patient hurts. The teachers have taken many pictures of the children exploring the doctor's office, both as patients and as doctors. The teachers will print out these pictures and place them on the walls of doctor's office to prompt and guide more dramatic play. The children will also be given opportunities to make real life connections through meeting E1's and I1's dads, who are real doctors!
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, peer relationships, large motor skills, symbolic representation, connection to surrounding community/real-life experiences

Large Motor: Gym and Playground:
• Materials: Gym: monkey bars with connected A-frame ladder and triangle slide, climber with donut hole and regular slide connected, river jump made with mats and bean bags, bean bag toss, and the climbing wall; Playground: wheelbarrows, shovels, wagons, tricycles, soccer balls, Frisbee, and child built catapult for paper or soft balls
• Rationale: The gym has changed once again! The children will get the opportunity to practice their broad jumping and leaping skills over "the river (bean bags)", increase the "body-in-motion" (proprioceptive) skills as they slide down the donut slide and try to land on two feet, as well as foster their targeting skills as they throw beanbags into smaller cardboard targets. Our teacher's and Jaime's teachers collaborated to create the new gym setup and are excited to introduce the new areas to the children! Last week children were asking about building a catapult, so the teachers will look into a construction activity to throw some soft materials on our playground. As the weather improves the children have been engaging in dramatic play on the playground, and making good use of our stick house. There has also been great interest in riding the tricycles, climbing on the monkey bars, and practicing pumping on the swings.
• Skills: jumping/landing skills (dynamic balance), upper/lower body muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, hopping, propulsion skills, static balance (with bending, stretching, and throwing), creativity (catapult construction...including safety provisions!)

Additional announcements and reminders:
• We hope you can come to the Pizza Party on Tuesday! If you haven't RSVP'd, please email Amy Pieren and let her know how many members of your family will be coming so we can make sure to have enough pizza for all!
• Small group will be wrapping up this week. It's been exciting watching the group topics unfold and children's learning/discovery blossom.

Snack
Monday - No School
Tuesday - Popsicles for I1's Birthday!
Wednesday - Rice cakes & raisins
Thursday - Pretzels & applesauce
Friday - Popcorn & milk

SPRING LP 5-20-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: May 20-24, 2013
Lead Teaching This Week: Hilary

Overview:
Hello Families! Last week was truly a week full of spring, with all the nice weather we had... hopefully, this week will be the same ☺. Last week, we kept an eye on the children's hosta plants outside the classroom...and noticed some dramatic changes! We also planted our own seeds during large group, and we will continue thinking/discussing how to care for them throughout the week; especially, "Watering our seeds so they grow!" Another change we made to the classroom was in the dramatic play area, switching from a coffee shop to a doctor's office. This week we will explore aspects of a doctor's office and continue to add new materials with the help of the children: using their past experiences and visit to the doctor as a guide.

Sensory Table:
• Materials: Soil, plastic trees, shovels, rakes, rocks, plastic bugs
• Rationale: The soil table continues to be a hit, as the children continued to explore with the soil and bugs all last week. We started to use the bugs and trees to create forests and make our own stories. This week we will additional materials like plastic trees and other animals that eat bugs or live in the woods to introduce the concept of food chains and habitats.
• Skills: peer interactions/collaboration, problem solving, imagination/creativity, fine motor

Expressive Art (art table):
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, plastic egg carton halves, paper; Art table: Paper, watercolors, water, egg carton halves, paintbrushes.
• Rationale: Last week the children explored the new medium of watercolors. This week we will continue working with water colors and may add coffee filters to explore the differences in changing the type of paper we use as well as how the liquid color spreads and changes as it goes through/across the paper.
• Skills: recognition of colors, making patterns by using different colors, artistic expression, imagination/creativity, fine motor,

Science:
• Materials: soil, seeds, water, spray bottle, cartons, journals, pencils
• Rationale: Last week during large group we looked outside to see if our plants were growing along the front of the building, and boy, did they ever! The children noticed that some of their plants were even bigger than their popsicle sticks. Some of the children also planted their own seed to take care of in the classroom, as it turns out we had a bad bunch of soybeans...with no one's pouches resulting in germination. This week we will continue watching the plants outside and drawing what we see in our journals. We will also continue our seed planting and taking care of our plants by watering them every day and tracking the changes.
• Skills: hypothesizing, making observations, exploring, recording data/information, strengthen understanding of plant life cycle

Math/Manipulatives:
• Materials: Shape puzzles, small build blocks in different shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles, geo board
• Rationale: Last week the children continued to work on the puzzles with shapes, and this week we will switch out some of the puzzles to bring in some geo boards for the children to start exploring with. Geo boards work on fine motor skills and involved putting rubber bands on different pegs on the board. The children will create different shapes using their rubber bands.
• Skills: shape/shapes recognition, symbolic representation (creating with blocks), fine motor

Literature Center (including The Nook):
• Materials: paper, stamps, paint, white boards, markers light table, storybook pieces
• Rationale: The writing table continues to be a hit! Last week the children worked on making words by using letter stamps and drew lots of pictures! This week we will continue to provide paper and stamps for the children to use. The books on tape also seems to be a hit and we this week we may add some more books on tape to our collection. The children were introduced to new storybook pieces to use on the light table to create their own stories. We will continue using the storybook pieces this week and will add a few imaginative books to help give the children some ideas.
• Skills: letter recognition, pre/early literacy skills, imaginative thinking, symbolic representation, literacy skills

Dramatic Play:
• Materials: "Doctors office" props (syringes, rubber gloves, stethoscope, band aids) dress up clothes (scrubs, doctors coat)
• Rationale: The play in the coffee shop has started to fade this past week, so in collaboration with the afternoon class and a few discussions with some of the children we have decided to create a new dramatic play area. With the new change the children were excited to play in the doctor's office and made comments about a time when they went to the doctor. On Monday we will have even more new materials in the doctor's office!
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, peer relationships, large motor skills, symbolic representation, connection to surrounding community/real-life experiences.

Large Motor: Gym and Playground:
• Materials: Gym: monkey bars w/ connected slide and donut hole, a-frame balancing bridge and climbing walls Playground: wheelbarrows, shovels, wagons, tricycles and soccer balls)
• Rationale: The set up in the gym continues to be a hit! The children swing on the money bars with their feet and love trying to walk across the a-frame balancing bridge. After this week the teachers will be making some new changes to the gym. Also with the weather being so nice outside the teachers are going to open the toddler playground during free play to allow for larger motor/big body play. On the playground, we continue to bring out shovels, wagons, buckets, tricycles and soccer balls. We are seeing a lot of soccer games and digging in the sand to find treasure (gems).
• Skills: jumping/landing skills, upper/lower body, cardiovascular endurance, hopping, propulsion skills, static balance.

Announcements and reminders:
• This week, Laura E and Hilary will be gone on Monday, and Laura E will be gone on Thursday. Sheila will join us on Monday.
NO SCHOOL MONDAY, MAY 27 - In observance of Memorial Day
• Don't forget about the Pizza Party the following day - Tuesday night: 6-7.30p. We hope you can come!
Put in on the calendar - "End of the Year" Party on Thursday, June 6!

Snack:
Monday - Cucumbers & crackers
Tuesday - Rice Chex & fruit smoothies
Wednesday - Pretzels & dried apples
Thursday - Rice cakes & carrot sticks
Friday - Oven fries
**All snacks served with choice of milk or water, unless noted**

SPRING LP 5-13-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: May 13 - 17, 2013
Lead teaching this week: Team teaching

Overview/goals: Hello families! With all of the rain from this past week we are hoping the plants outside will continue to grow. Last week, the children placed a popsicle-stick with their picture on it next to the budding hostas in front of the building, and will get an opportunity to observe and record the changes. This may be something fun to look at on your way in each morning, too! The teachers also noticed the children spending less time in the classroom coffee shop; therefore real food and drinks have been brought in to reengage the children. The children have been given the opportunity to sell, make, and serve the food/drinks, giving them the connection of what a real coffee shop job is like. Next week the children will continue selling "kid tea" and receiving their snack from the coffee shop. The teachers are thinking of changing the dramatic play area this week, too, so the children will get an opportunity to give their ideas about what the next area could be! As we get closer and closer to the end of the session, we want to start bring closure to some of our classroom explorations that have taken place this spring, as well as over the course of the school year.

Expressive Art (drawing table, clay table, paint easel):

• Materials: Drawing table: Paint, paint rollers, Styrofoam plants, Styrofoam blocks; Clay table: clay, cutting tools, wire, branches; Painting easel: paint, paper, and paint brushes

• Rationale: Experimenting with different ways to transfer designs from Styrofoam onto paper continues to be popular at the art table, thanks to Liam's sister, Alma, whom introduced this activity to the children last week. Color mixing and collaborating at the easel has also continued. The children are mixing primary colors to create new colors. Black and white paint is also available to create different hues. Story telling will continue at the clay table, using the materials at the table to help act out stories. A pirate story was told last week, which included a princess and a queen. The children created pirate ships and castles to go along with their storytelling.
• Skills: Creative/artistic expression, social skills, symbolic representation, experimentation, fine motor skills

Sensory Table:
• Materials: Soil, plastic insects, rocks, plastic trees/plants, plastic shovels and spades, grass seeds
• Rationale: Last week the children enjoyed using their imaginations at the soil table, by creating different scenarios for the insects. They explored the soil and built different homes/buried the insects. Many children tried to bury the large rocks and then ask other children to try and find them. Some children created "bad guy" and "good guy" insects and played various games following that theme.
• Skills: Fine motor skills, collaboration with peers, exploration of components of soil

Math/Manipulatives:

• Materials: Fraction puzzles, various shape puzzles, alphabet puzzles, story telling vinyl pieces; the nook: story telling pieces

• Rationale: The fraction puzzles have continued to be a challenging one for the children to figure out. They enjoy the challenge and will sometimes work together to help put together the pieces. The 3D/spatial rectangle puzzle has also been a popular and challenging puzzle that challenges the children's spatial planning/problem solving. These puzzles will continue to be the main focus of our table.
• Skills: One-to-one correspondence, fine motor skills, learning about/comparing fractions, part-to-whole relationships, shape recognition, letter recognition

Literature Center/The Nook:
• Materials: Rubber stamps, markers, pencils, scissors, paper and white boards

• Rationale: The story pieces in the nook continue to be popular among the children. After watching Laura P retell the "Jack and Jill" nursery rhyme, the children have started using the pieces to tell their own invented stories. The teachers will continue to bring the story pieces to large group and tell new stories in hopes to spark the interest in some new storytellers. The literature center will remain the same since the children are still interested in using the rubber alphabet stamps to write messages.
• Skills: Pre/early literacy skills, letter recognition, fine motor strength, phonemic awareness, creativity skills

Dramatic Play:
• Materials: "Coffee Shop" props (to-go coffee cups, lids, mugs, pitchers, cash register, our "own" money), food "making" materials (beads, puff balls, small squares, bottle caps), kitchen/cooking props (hand mixer, plates, our "own" oven, pans), coffee beans, measuring cups/spoons.
• Rationale: We had lots of fun in the coffee shop last week; we decided to make our own "kid tea" this week and sold it in the coffee shop. The children took on roles like the cashiers, customers, and servers. This also got them excited to use the food making materials, again. In addition to using the materials to make our own food we decided to make our own "kid" tea this week and sell it in the coffee shop. This week we will continue to use these materials to make more food and also may bring in another food item to sell out of the coffee shop for our the possible "grand closing" of the coffee shop, as we also feel ready for a new dramatic play set-up.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, peer relationships, large motor skills, symbolic representation, connection to surrounding community/real-life experiences, math skills (measuring).

Block Area:
• Materials: Large hollow blocks, small shaped blocks, ramps, traction pads, wheels, keyboards.
• Rationale: We saw a plethora of TIVs, rocket ships, police cars, and stage building (to act out our own plays) in the block area last week. We have been busy working with the new materials that were added last week, like the wheels. During the play with the car building a few of the children used the wheels as fuel to put in their cars. This week we will continue to use these new materials to add onto the structures we build. With only a few weeks left in the school year we will start to wrap up some of these stories in the dramatic play area.
• Skills: Large and fine motor skills, problem solving, peer relationships.

Large-motor:

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

• Rationale: In the gym: The children have enjoyed our new gym set. The A-frame balancing bridge and the monkey bars have been a hit this past week. The children will continue to explore the new set up. They will be able to challenge themselves physically to get to the top of the climbing wall, which they are eager to jump down from. On the playground: A frisbee has been introduced on the playground and the children have created rules for taking turns when throwing it. With the more spring-like weather lately, there have been worm hunts and digging for worms as well. Hopefully as it warms up, tricycles and wagons will be able to be used every day.

• Skills: Peer relationships, upper/lower body strength, dynamic and static balance hopping, jump/landing skills, propulsion skills,

Announcements/special interests:
• The all-school camping trip is this weekend! For those not planning to spend the night, I hope you'll still be able to join us for the events on Saturday. See the flyer of the Lab School homepage for more information.
• It's our dish week next week, and we would really appreciate help from the parents one last time!
• Believe it or not, the end of the year is almost here, and that means we'll be celebrating in a few ways. We have the Pizza Party on Tuesday, May 28 from 6-7.30p. We also have our "End of the Year" party schedule for Thursday, June 6. More details will come in the next week about times and possible locations, so stay tuned!

Snack:
Monday - Bagel pizzas
Tuesday - Celery & Sunbutter
Wednesday - Carrots & rice cakes
Thursday - Popcorn
Friday - Applesauce & crackers
** All snacks served with a choice of milk or water, unless otherwise noted**

SPRING LP 5-6-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: May 6 - 10, 2013
Lead teaching this week: Laura P.

Overview/goals:
Hello families! Hopefully soon we will be seeing warmer temps, and spring will finally be ready to show itself, as we are ready to welcome it into our classroom (especially on the playground, as well)! In our class we have been focusing a lot on plants and the type of care that plants need in order to grow big and strong. Warmer temps and sunshine will help us emphasize this point. This week small groups are beginning to delve into more projects exploring more with numbers, letters and simple machines! Small groups will be introducing activities that will help foster deeper critical thinking skills of hypothesis creating/testing, and reasoning.

Sensory Table:
• Materials: Soil, plastic insects, rocks, plastic trees/plants, plastic shovels and spades
• Rationale: During large group, the children were shown how to plant seeds using soil. The importance of having rich nutrient filled soil was also discussed. In addition to this discussion, we also talked about how to care for our plants in order to help them grow. The children came up with a list of ways to help care for plants (e.g. not squishing, smashing or sitting on them. This week we will possibly bring in real grass seed to plant in a section of the sensory table that will be sectioned off.
• Skills: Fine motor skills, collaboration with peers, exploration of components of soil

Expressive Art (drawing table, clay table, paint easel):
• Materials: Drawing table: Paint, plastic shapes, plastic letters, receipt paper rolls, balls with designs, paper; Clay table: clay, cutting tools, wire, flowers/plants; Painting easel: paint, paper, and paint brushes
• Rationale: Mixing paints at both the drawing table and paint easel has continued to be a focal point of both art centers. The creation of stories and patterns has taken place at the drawing table expressed through the use of the stamping materials. A flower has been brought to the clay table to help inspire the children to create new clay structures. Interesting flowers and plants will be continually added to the table for inspiration. Frances will also we be in our class on Monday and Tuesday to help facilitate our print making activities.
• Skills: Creative expression, shape recognition, symbolic representation, experimentation, fine motor skills

Science:
• Materials: Rat home, insect homes, soybean seeds/pouches
• Rationale: The soybeans have relocated to the science center where children will be able to replant new seeds since our first trial did not turn out as expected. They will be able to compare and contrast the two different seeds and see which will bring more results. The children have hypothesized reasons why their seeds may not have been successful. They came up with reasons such as; there wasn't enough water, there was too much water and there was no soil. After bringing in the new larger rat home, the children have brainstormed ways to help the rats explore the heights of their new habitat. Drawings have been sketched in their journals and the hollow blocks have also been used to make smaller versions of what can be built in the rat homes. The soybeans have also relocated over to the science center where children will be able to replant new seeds since our first trial did not turn out as expected.
• Skills: Observation, data collection/recording, hypothesis creating/testing, making predictions

Math/Manipulatives:
• Materials: Fraction puzzles, various shape puzzles, alphabet puzzles; the nook: transparent shapes, people and worm pieces
• Rationale: Puzzles have continued to be a self-motivated activity in our classroom. The children have enjoyed the new shape and alphabet puzzles that have been brought in. The shape puzzles tie into the discussion we had about fractions, and the alphabet puzzles tie in with the small group of letters. New fraction puzzles will be added to help expand the children's understanding of the concept.
• Skills: Learning about/comparing fractions, part-to-whole relationships, shape recognition, letter recognition

Literature Center/The Nook:
• Materials: Rubber stamps, markers, pencils, scissors, paper and white boards
• Rationale: Last week the children showed an increase interest in the books on tapes, as well as looking at the books on the shelves on their own. New books will be added to the caves, where the bookshelves are currently located, while some of the children's favorites will still be kept in the classroom. Story pieces will also be added to the nook. Children will be able to tell their own story using these pieces from nursery rhymes that may already be familiar.
• Skills: Pre/early literacy skills, letter recognition, fine motor strength, phonemic awareness

Dramatic Play:
• Materials: Kitchen props (pots, pans, utensils, mixers, ovens, sink), to-go coffee cups, measuring cups/spoons, real coffee beans, food "making" materials (puff balls, beads, glass gems, bottle caps and small tile squares)
• Rationale: There has been a continually growing interest in using the open-ended materials to make food. The creation of food has expanded from coffee shop food to dog food and baby food for those children dressing up in the dramatic-play clothes and taking on roles such as animals, mommies, and babies. To bring back the interest/excitement to the coffee shop, we will serve real beverages (kid tea or juice) out of the coffee shop during open snack this week.
• Skills: Problem solving, peer relationships, creative expression, imaginative play, symbolic representation, measuring skills, counting skills

Blocks:
• Materials: Large hallow blocks, small shaped blocks, ramps, traction pads, and wheels
• Rationale: Creation of TIV's, rocket ships, and racecars continues to blossom and expand into more elaborate adventures. A new interest in creating stages for plays and putting on plays has also recently reemerged. The children dress up for their plays and often create the narrative themselves. These plays have been written down and recorded with the help of teachers. This week we will bring in more costumes and props for the plays (e.g. songs and books). Small marble ramps will also be added to help build on the high interest on ramps.
• Skills: Supporting social relationships, problem solving, large and fine motor skills

Large-motor:
• Materials: Gym: Monkey bars w/ connected slide and donut hole, a-frame balancing bridge and climbing walls Playground: wheelbarrows, shovels, wagons, tricycles and soccer balls
• Rationale: In the gym: The new gym set up has the children eager to head down to the gym! The children are just getting used to this new set up and have been exploring all the different areas. There are plenty of different stations and still room for group games. On the playground: Tricycles and wagons have been brought out on the warmer days, but with the weather constantly changing our time outside varies from day to day. We will continue to bring out shovels, tricycles, wagons and soccer balls as weather permits.
• Skills: Upper/lower body strength, hopping, jump/landing skills, propulsion skills, dynamic and static balance

Announcements/Special Interest
• We got a few most spaces for the all-school camping trip! If you're still thinking about it, put your name on the list, as time (and space) is running out! See the flyer on the Lab School website for details.
• Teacher Frances will join us on Monday and Tuesday to help expand the growing interest in the printmaking that took place at the art table last week. Alma (Liam's sister) will also join us for a bit on Monday, as it was she that was the catalyst for this exploration for this new artistic creation!
• Mark your calendar if they haven't been done so already: Pizza Party - Tuesday May 28 from 6-7.30p (rain date is set from the 29th, same time)

Snack:
Monday - Frozen peas & pretzels
Tuesday - Cucumber slices & crackers
Wednesday - Rice cakes & Craisins
Thursday - Granola bars (gluten-/dairy-free)
Friday - Bagel pizzas
** All snacks served with a choice of milk or water, unless otherwise noted**

SPRING LP 4-29-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 29 - May 3, 2013
Lead teaching this week: Laura E

Overview/goals:
Hello families! This week we will finally enjoy some snow-free weather! The main focus of the week will be spring and what changes we will see. The children will watch their soybean seed grow and sprout (hopefully!). The student teachers will also begin small groups this week. The topics include: numbers and fractions, letter and words, and simple machines. The student teachers will spend time this week introducing their topic through fun and engaging activities.

Sensory Table:
• Materials: Soil, spades, small containers, rocks, and plastic insects
• Rationale: After spending the last few weeks exploring "sink and float" at the water table, it is time to bring in a new sensory material. This week we will be exploring the living and non-living things found in soil. The children will get an opportunity to build homes for various insects.
• Skills: exploration of living and non-living things/the natural world, hypothesis creating/testing skills, and logical thinking

Expressive Art (drawing table, clay table, easel):
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, plastic egg carton halves, paper; Art table: paper, paint, number and shape stamps, and Styrofoam stamps. Clay Table: apple cutter, cutting tools, clay, and hammers
• Rationale: The easel will continue to be a quieter area for children to express their creativity. Experimenting with mixing colors is continuing to grow in interest. As we begin introducing fractions through measuring cups and blocks, we will incorporate fractions into the clay table as well. The apple cutter and various cutting tools can be used to gain awareness about halves, quarters and wholes. The drawing table will continue with shape and number stamps. The children will be given the opportunity to make their own stamps with Styrofoam, maybe with the help from the "creator" of the project - Liam's sister Alma.
• Skills: recognition of shapes and numbers, patterning, artistic expression, imagination/creativity, symbolic representation, and problem solving

Science:
• Materials: seeds, insect houses, new/larger rat home
• Rationale: Last week the children planted a soybean seed in a plastic bag with a wet tissue. We will continue to observe and record the growth of these seeds and eventually transplant the newly germinating seeds grow larger and larger...hopefully getting to relocate them outside on the playground! Last week the children put torn up newspaper in our new and improved rat cage! This activity motivated the children to think about what else we could add to our rat cage. This week the children will continue to design a multi-level platform for our rats and possibly start exploring with some real construction wood and tools.
• Skills: Observation, data collection/recording, exploration of life cycles, hypothesis creating/testing, and logical thinking

Math/Manipulatives/The Nook:
• Materials: Various Alphabet puzzles and vertical fraction puzzles. The Nook; transparent colored shapes and people
• Rationale: Many children enjoy challenging puzzles in our class, so we added new puzzles to the math/manipulative table this week. Last week in large group we began talking about fractions. The vertical fraction puzzle is a fun way to continue exploring parts of a whole. We have also continued talking about letters and words in large group. The alphabet puzzles will help the children with letter awareness.
• Skills: letter awareness, comparing fractions (part to whole relationships), imaginative thinking and problem solving

Literature Center:
• Materials: paper, rubber alphabet stamps, white boards, markers and notebooks
• Rationale: Last week the children became familiar using the rubber alphabet stamps. This week they will continue to use these stamps to write their names and other messages. The children will continue to use whiteboards and notebooks to draw plans for the rat cage and their soybean. Teachers will continue to encourage the children to write words that describe changes in the seed.
• Skills: letter recognition, pre/early literacy skills, fine-motor strength/endurance, dexterity, and creativity

Dramatic Play:
• Materials: "Coffee Shop" props (to-go coffee cups, lids, mugs, pitchers, cash register, our "own" money), food "making" materials (beads, puff balls, small squares, bottle caps), kitchen/cooking props (hand mixer, plates, our "own" oven, pans), coffee beans, measuring cups/spoons
• Rationale: There is a continued interest in "cooking" and "baking" the food in the coffee shop. To build off of that interest the teachers want to bring in some real cooking projects! This week we will have a group of children help bake some cookies or muffins to sell at our coffee shop! This will not only be a great opportunity to reintroduce fractions (while baking) but will also give the children a chance to make use of all the money they have created!
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, peer relationships, large motor skills, symbolic representation, connection to surrounding community/real-life experiences, math skills, and real baking skills

Blocks:
• Materials: Large hollow blocks, various shaped small blocks, ramps and vinyl gutters, balls, bowling pins, and wheels
• Rationale: The creative ideas for construction in the block area are endless! A new focus is simple and complex machines. The children will continue to explore the endless building possibilities (TIVs, Rocket Ship, helicopter, car factory, houses, and stages for plays)
• Skills: building peer relationships, group collaboration, problem-solving skills, symbolic representation

Large-motor:
• Materials: Gym: trampoline, bumpy slide, and rope ladder; Outside: Tricycles, wheelbarrows, shovels, wagons, and soccer balls
• Rationale: Spring has finally sprung! The snow is melted which allows the children to ride the tricycles, pull their wagons and play ball sports! The gym will remain the same this week with a large interest being the rope ladder. Children will challenge themselves by trying to reach the top without teacher assistance, and as you might hear the children say, "No help!"
• Skills: Large motor, peer interactions, teamwork and cooperation upper-/lower-boy strength, static and dynamic balance, jumping/landing skills, proprioceptive (body-in-motion) skills, spatial-/directional-awareness, propulsion skills

Announcements/Special Interest
• Spring is HERE! Now (assuming mother nature doesn't play any more cruel jokes on us), you can keep the snow gear at home! You may want to send rain boots along to combat the mud, however.
• Still a few spots left for the all-school camping trip coming up the weekend of May18th. It's a really fun time and hope many of you can join us!

Snack
Monday - Pretzels
Tuesday - Rice Chex
Wednesday - Whole-wheat crackers and raisins
Thursday - Celery and sunbutter
Friday - Home-made biscuits and maple butter
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

SPRING LP 4-22-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 22-26, 2013
Lead teaching this week: Hilary

Overview/goals:
Hello families! Just as we start to think about spring, we get some more snow. However, we did get the opportunity to see the snow melt and new buds growing on the playground. This week we will start to think about spring and what happens in the spring, specifically looking at how a seed grows. The student teachers have also been watching the areas of interest in our room to help gather children for our small groups, which will probably be starting sometime this week.

Sensory Table:
• Materials: Toy boats, rocks, bottle caps, golf balls, yellow counting balls, glass gems, and nuts & bolt various "boats" (differently shaped/sized plastic containers)
• Rationale: The water table has continued to be a hit this past week as we continued to explore what items would sink or float. At large group, we continued to expand on our counting by seeing how many yellow counting balls it would take to sink different-sized "boats." This week we will be adding new materials to the water table to continue our focus on larger-quantity counting; using the laminated numbers to help us record the number of items we count.
• Skills: cause-and-effect, hypothesis creating/testing skills, rationale counting, making estimations, data collecting/recording

Expressive Art (drawing table, clay table, easel):
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, plastic egg carton halves, paper; Art table: Paper, paint, number and shape stamps. Clay Table: clay, wooden mallets, wire, sticks, plastic/rubber insects
• Rationale: Last week, after using stamps to create money, an interest developed in using stamps to also create stamped art at the art table. This week, we will provide paint and printmaking materials to continue the process of stamping and printmaking. At the clay table last week, children showed little interest in building bughouses. To bring the interest back, we will introduce new tools that will allow the children to create and combine smaller shapes to make larger objects/sculptures.
• Skills: recognition of shapes, patterning, artistic expression, imagination/creativity, fine motor, symbolic representation, familiarity with new materials, exploring a new art medium

Science:
• Materials: Seeds, soil, insect houses, new/larger rat home
• Rationale: Last week the children looked at our classroom pets and the kind of homes they lived in. The children showed a particular interest in our pet rats and what kinds of bedding the rats used in their cage. The children first brainstormed ideas about what kind of things the rats would like to "play" on. Next, we researched on the computer different types of rats and their home environments. We will continue our investigation next week, as well clean out the paper and put in aspen bedding. Also, even with the recent snow, we have seen some plants starting to sprout outside, and we want to take a closer look. We will begin to explore the lifecycle of plants: starting with a soybean.
• Skills: observation, data collection/recording, exploration of life cycles, hypothesis creating/testing

Math/Manipulatives/The Nook:
• Materials: Shape puzzles, small building (parquetry) blocks in different shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles, shape puzzles, simple-counting. The Nook; transparent colored shapes and people.
• Rationale: Last week the children started exploring more challenging puzzles with shapes, as well as participated in a cooking project with Sheila where they made muffins using measuring cups and spoons - which helped build further awareness for our focus on fractions. The concept of ½'s and wholes by using measuring cups to measure the amounts transferred into our coffee shop and the puzzle/math table, as the children explored the shape/fraction puzzles available. In the nook, children were introduced to new colored shapes like triangles, rectangles, circles and people. We will continue using these shapes and let the children use these shapes to "create" their own stories on the light table.
• Skills: shape/shapes recognition, symbolic representation (creating with blocks), measuring skills such as ½ cup and 1 cup (learning about/comparing fractions /part-to-whole relationships), imaginative thinking, symbolic representation, shape recognition

Literature Center:
• Materials: paper, rubber alphabet stamps, white boards, markers,
• Rationale: Last week the children worked on making words by using letter stamps and learned a new game called guess the word (similar to Hangman, but without drawing of people/pictures, just a "guess and write the letters" game). This week we will provide small white boards so the children can play their own game with words and use the letters stamps to continue working on letter recognition.
• Skills: letter recognition, pre/early literacy skills, fine-motor strength/endurance, dexterity

Dramatic Play:
• Materials: "Coffee Shop" props (to-go coffee cups, lids, mugs, pitchers, cash register, our "own" money), food "making" materials (beads, puff balls, small squares, bottle caps), kitchen/cooking props (hand mixer, plates, our "own" oven, pans), coffee beans, measuring cups/spoons.
• Rationale: We had lots of fun in the coffee shop last week and continued to use the materials we added to our own coffee shop. The children had fun using the materials to create "marshmallow soup" and sandwiches using our new felt pieces. While creating the food, the children are invented new recipes and thinking specifically about the ingredients they need to add - now using half and whole cup measurements! This week we will continue to use these materials to make more food and will start focusing on measuring and adding materials to our recipes - continuing the exploration on the abstract topic of fraction by asking the children to incorporate more into their play (which is how they internally sort out and make sense of the world).
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, peer relationships, large motor skills, symbolic representation, connection to surrounding community/real-life experiences, math skills (measuring).

Blocks:
• Materials: large blocks, wood molding, sections of vinyl gutters, balls, small blocks, ramps and Pathways building book
• Rationale: The block area continues to be a hit in the classroom! Ramp building is the main focus, and the children have started looking at books to come up with ideas for their ramp building projects. This week, we hope to have the children start drawing their own building plans/"blueprints" to show others how to recreate their structures, as well as make improvements on the previous day's creation. Children have also started to build submarines and airports. This week we will add a book about building to help further our ramp and imaginative building.
•Skills: building peer relationships, group collaboration, problem-solving skills, symbolic representation

Announcements and reminders:
~ We hope you all can attend the David Walsh lecture on Monday night from 7-9p. See the website for more details.
~ The music students will be coming back one last time on Thursday. The children have really enjoyed their visits, actively participating in all the songs/activities the students have shared.
~ We will have students from my motor development course join us in the gym on Monday and Friday of this week. They are bringing in some fun activities for the children, and we're excited to have them join us!
~ Spots are still available for the all-school camping trip happening on the weekend of May 18th. See the email sent by Amy P. last week for further details.

Snack:
Monday - Pretzels & carrots
Tuesday - Rice cakes & raisins
Wednesday - Chex cereal & orange slices
Thursday - Crackers & cucumbers
Friday - Bagels & jam

SPRING LP 4-15-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: April 15 - 19, 2013
Lead-teaching this week: Team teaching

Overview: The snow seems to be staying, and the only people that seem to be excited about this are the children; getting those last chances to sled, make snow sculptures, and throw snowballs. At least the children are making the best of the unpleasant spring weather! Thankfully, the weather did not stop us from making it to the Purple Onion last week. The children really enjoyed taking a closer look at all the details of the coffee shop, and brought many of those ideas back to our classroom coffee shop. There was the addition of a "real" kitchen for cooking the food, a collection of new ingredients to help make all the different food in the "real" kitchen, as well as a group that created the menu using the new ingredients that could be cooked in our "real" kitchen! It's been a very busy place, needless to say. The coffee shop has also supported many areas of development, and the teachers are thinking of ways to tie in the foci of numbers, letters/literacy, and life cycles into the existing play. Over the next few weeks the student teachers will expand on this topics, incorporating them into the various areas and activities throughout the classroom - helping the children's understandings of these concepts to grow!

Expressive Arts (easel, art table, clay table)
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, plastic egg carton halves, paper; Art table: White paper, markers (thick lined and thin lined Sharpies); Clay Table: clay, wooden mallets, wire, sticks
• Rationale: Last week, the children worked on creating "beautiful drawings" for the Spring Soiree and this created a new interest in representational drawing. This week, we will again provide drawing materials and look specifically at the details of what we are drawing; focusing on the elements of lines (i.e. curved, straight, and zigzag lines used to create various shapes). At the clay table, children showed interest in building bughouses. We will continue using clay this week to create and combine smaller shapes to make larger objects.
- Skills: recognition of shapes, patterning, artistic/ creative expression, imagination/creativity, fine motor skills, symbolic representation, experimentation, color recognition

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: Toy boats, rubber ducks, ping-pong balls, rocks, corkscrews, bottle caps, golf balls, abacas, and yellow counting balls
• Rationale: The water table has some frequent visitors as we have continued our exploration of sink and float: now thinking about the reasons why these items actually sink or float. To expand on the aspects of counting, we added an abacas to keep track of our large-quantity counting. After materials were used to sink a boat, we counted the materials one by one using our abacas to keep track. To help "collect/record the data" of how many items it takes to sink each boat, the question; "How many ____ does it take to sink this boat?" will be posted on the shelf next to the water table. The children will be able to place laminated numbers and items such as rocks, balls etc in the blank spots.
• Skills: Problem solving with peers, making estimations, cause and effect, counting, early concepts of addition and subtraction, grouping, comparing amounts,

Science
• Materials: Our classroom pets (mealworms and hissing cockroaches), wasp nest, insect books, magnifying glasses and if/when the weather improves, the natural environment of our playground!
• Rationale: The children have a growing interest in living things such as the insects that live in our classroom. We will continue exploring the insect homes within the class and learn further information about insects through books and online research. When the weather improves the children will bring notebooks to the playground and investigate what insects they can find on the playground.
Skills: learning about our insects: their anatomy and how to care for them, scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world through exploring the playground, generalization skills (connections between insect homes and other animal/human homes).

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Paper, pencils, tempera paint, vinyl rollers, plastic and Styrofoam blocks/stampers, enlarged pictures of real money, markers, Our class name book, staplers, tape,
• Rationale: Last week, teacher Frances joined us and introduced the idea of making our own money for the coffee shop. The children were immediately hooked and started rolling paint onto any and all rectangular pieces of paper. Upon a closer look (with a digital microscope), the children noticed all the details on the bills that made them special. We will definitely continue this exploration next week; adding more values/numbers to our bills as well as add our own "special" details for our money!
• Skills: Letter recognition, pre/early literacy skills, analyzing and synthesizing, symbolic representation.

Math and Manipulatives (including the nook)
• Materials: Shape puzzles, insect puzzles, small build blocks in different shapes such as squares, rectangles, and triangles
• Rationale: The children quickly figured out some of our puzzles and are able to solve them with on their own. New puzzles will be added to the area in order to give the children more of a challenge. We also brought in some small parquetry blocks that come in different shapes in order to help support our focus on shape recognition, as well as facilitate peer interactions. These blocks encourage children to work together in building a large, collaborative structure, working on problem solving to see how the pieces can fit together.
• Skills: One-to-one correspondence, part to whole relationships (with putting together puzzles), awareness of different shapes/shape recognition, symbolic representation (by creating with blocks)

Dramatic Play (including the caves)
• Materials: "Coffee Shop" props (to-go coffee cups, lids, mugs, pitchers, cash register, our "own" money), food "making" materials (beads, puff balls, small squares, bottle caps), kitchen/cooking props (hand mixer, plates, our "own" oven, pans)
• Rationale: We had lots of fun in the coffee shop last week and went on a field trip to the Purple Onion to see a real coffee shop in action; this trip helped the children create new ideas and gave them an idea of what we could add to our own coffee shop. Throughout the week we added our own money, menus, and materials to make food with in the kitchen. This week we will focus on adding to our menus and building on to our kitchen, we also will start to brainstorm ideas to come up a name for our coffee shop.
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, peer relationships, large motor skills, symbolic representation, connection to surrounding community/real-life experiences

Blocks
• Materials: Large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, ramps, various size balls, bowling pins (dominoes)
• Rationale: There was a continued interest in building houses and TIV's out of the large blocks. A new growing interest is ramp building. The children are using various sized blocks to create ramps and figuring out the best way to build them through trial and error. They have been extremely engaged in figuring out different ways to get the ball to go down the ramp. For example, some children attempted to get the ball to jump from one ramp to another and then knock over some bowling pins. We will continue to use our Ramps and Pathways book to inspire new types of ramps we can try!
• Skills: Large/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to building/balance/engineering, problem solving through peer interaction and logical thinking, and endless opportunities for dramatic play

Large motor
In the gym: There is a new gym set-up coming this week! We'll have our current set-up on Monday, and then a new set of games and activities on Tuesday! We will send up the updated information once the new arrangement is complete. On the playground: Well...the snow is back and it appears it will be here for a while, however it has not dampened the spirits of the children! They are eager to get back on the sledding hill. Because it has been so "warm" with all this snow, it has also created perfect snowball/snow-sculpting snow, which has also been the current favorite activity outside!

Announcements/reminders
~ Thanks so much to all of you for helping out, donating/contributing, and/or attending the Spring Soiree! It was a huge success, and a very fun evening! It is truly a very special event that has a monumental impact on the amazing community we (the teachers AND the families) work so hard to create! If your were unable to attend, we hope you can join us next year, but thanks for any and all help you so generously shared to make that wonderful evening come together!
~ Laura E will be back from her tennis tournament on Monday. Hilary will be out on Monday, and returning Tuesday. It will be great to have the whole gang back together again!
~ The music students will be returning on Thursday to expand on the songs/activities they shared with our class last week. The children really enjoyed the "A-tisket A-tasket" song they brought last Thursday!

Snack
Monday - Rice cakes & orange slices
Tuesday - Carrot muffins
Wednesday - Crackers & raisins
Thursday - Pretzels & carrots
Friday - Sunbutter sandwiches
** All snacks served with a choice of milk or water **

SPRING LP 4-8-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 8-12 2013
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: Although it seems spring may have left us by providing our group with some unseasonably cold temperatures, it did not stop us from having tons of fun our first week back! In the classroom, the children quickly reconnected with one another, although we had many children gone on trips still the week. The coffee shop was a very popular area, seeing many visitors each day. Eventually the teachers asked, "How do you make real coffee?" and brought a group to the kitchen to figure out how one actually makes coffee! There was also a strong interest in exploring the materials at the sink and float table - leading to some intriguing questions related to, "Why [do] some things float and some don't?" Meanwhile, on the frozen tundra that was our playground, the children had a blast on the "ice-slide," which was the previously known as the sledding hill. After a clean sheet of ice covered the hill, the children tried to figure different ways to safely propel themselves from the top to the bottom of the hill. The results were successful, and accompanied by shrieks of excitement! With all this inquisitive thinking and question asking, it's clear the children are eager to learn. To foster this higher-level thinking and hypothesizing, the teachers will continue to encourage the children to think about and test their answers to their interesting questions.

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: an assortment of shape-collage materials (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, etc.), carpet square platforms, pencils, markers, paper, scissors, tape dispensers, staplers
 At the clay table: clay, plastic insects, wood knives

• Rationale: The art table saw several visitors that quickly jumped into the creative story telling, using the various loose pieces to invent fanciful stories. The pieces will continue to be available this week, however there will be a temporary shift as the children work collaboratively on a special classroom project that will be available at the Spring Soiree this Saturday. Come to the event and you'll get a chance to see what the children have been working on. At the clay table, a group of children were very interested in using the clay to create elaborate insect homes for our plastic insects. We will continue to create various insect homes, while taking a closer look at the actual habitats of these creatures live in.
• Skills: recognition of shape, patterning, artistic expression, symbolic representation, sequencing of storytelling, persistence, imagination/creativity, connections/expressions of observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: plastic sieves, golf balls, ping-pong balls, corks, rocks, rubber duckies, toy boats 

• Rationale: The sink and float table saw several children discussing what makes the items stay atop the water ("Because there is air inside!") and what makes others sink to the bottom ("Because they're too heavy."). Also, toy boats were added last week to further fuel the sink and float debates and asking the question, "Now when that rock is in the boat, it doesn't sink...why is that?" We will continue these discussions this week, as well as figure out the load-capacity of the various boats we have!
• Skills: sensory input, familiarity with materials, dexterity, hypothesis creating/testing skills, cause-and-effect, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: our classroom pets (highlighting the mealworms and hissing cockroaches), wasp nest, "insect home" matching game, insect books/pictures/diagrams, magnifying glasses, children's notebooks
• Rationale: With the interest of making insect homes at the clay table growing, we will begin to focus on the various habitats of our creatures living at the science table: not only what their homes look like, but learn more about what things they actually eat, where they sleep, or do they actually sleep? Supplemental books and online resources will be used to help us gain a stronger understanding about our classroom creatures. • Skills: learning about our insects: their anatomy and how to care for them, scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, generalization skills (connections between insect homes and other animal/human homes).

Math and Manipulatives
• Materials: shape-picture making game, seriated/nesting "bug" boxes, new insect and shape puzzles, parquetry blocks, Tana Hoban book Cubes, Cones, Cylinder, & Spheres
• Rationale: The children really enjoyed the new puzzles, especially the "really tough" city puzzle; resulting in many children discussing what pieces needed to go where and why! However, we want to add a bit more "manipulation" to the table. We will add larger parquetry blocks to allow for more building and construction while focusing on geometric shapes.
• Skills: concepts related to geometry/shape, part-to-whole relationships, one-to-one correspondence, counting, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Our Name Book, Our Alphabet Book, paper, envelopes, pencils, markers
• Rationale: With the coffee shop up and running, the writing table has been transformed into our classroom mint - creating/"printing" countless dollars to make sure everyone can purchase treats at the coffee shop. We want to take a closer look at the bills there are making and compare them to actual bills. Teacher Frances will be joining us on Monday and Tuesday to help with this, potentially facilitating a Styrofoam printing activity shared by Liam's sister Alma last winter - create a "stamp" out of Styrofoam and using ink or paint to print our own classroom currency!
• Skills: pre-/early-literacy skills, number/letter recognition, artistic expression, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: "Coffee Shop" props (to-go coffee cups and lids, mugs, pitchers, cash register), dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, play phones), baby-dolls, cribs, baby clothes
• Rationale: The coffee shop has been the hot spot since our return from break. Many children "go to work" everyday and make a variety of tasty beverages and treats. To expand on this interest, as well as make it more real for all the students, we will take a trip to the Purple Onion to see a real coffee shop in action! After comparing our shop to the Purple Onion, we will see what additions we can make to ours to ensure we have the best coffee shop possible for all of our customers!
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, connections to previous experiences/memory skills, promoting social interactions while foster new and old relationships, practicing various social skills, symbolic representation

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses made by children, ramps, balls, various sized wheels, bowling pins
• Rationale: There was continued TIV and house building taking place last week, however the really exciting new development happened on Friday. A few from the group found some pictures in the Ramps and Pathways book that was in the area, and eagerly wanted to build the ramp with the jump in it. Studying the pictures closely, they figured it out and got their ball to jump from one ramp to the next. These intrigued many classmates, and will be the continued focus in the area: what other kinds of ramps can we make!
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to building/balance/engineering, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: The current gym set-up still continues to be quite popular and challenging. We increased the slope of the triangle slide, now making it a challenging inclined plane. Also, the donut slide moved to become a "long jump" landing spot for those wanting to challenge their strong/confident jumping skills. And the scooter board track continues to change daily with new ideas for games coming from the children.
• On the playground: We had a very exciting "ice slide" last week, however the recent increase in temps has all but melted it away. Many new digging projects have started, however we will see how well those go - as the ground may be frozen each morning with the oncoming cold snap. • Skills: upper-/lower-boy strength, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, proprioceptive (body-in-motion) skills, spatial-/directional-awareness, propulsion skills

Announcements/Special Interest
• We have our class field trip to the Purple Onion on Wednesday. Please turn in your child's permission slip by Tuesday, and send them in their Lab School shirt on Wednesday!
• It's finally (almost) here! The Spring Soiree is this Friday!! We hope you all can make it. Thanks to the few that have already contributed to our "Outside Summer Fun" basket, however it is looking a bit sparse. If you're still wondering was to contribute, see Ross' email for more "summer fun" ideas! Again, we hope to have donations collected by Tuesday.
• You received an email last week about an upcoming speaker and I highly recommend checking it out. David Walsh's book No: Why Kids - Of All Ages - Need to Hear It And Ways Parents Can Say It has been nationally recognized and a resource we've shared with many families over the years. Please see the flyer, as well as the email from last week, for more information!

Snack
Monday - Black bean & sweet potato quesadillas (dairy and gluten free)
Tuesday - Carrots & crackers
Wednesday - Rice chex & raisins
Thursday - Grapefruit & pretzels
Friday - Popcorn & milk
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

SPRING LP 4-1-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: April 1-5, 2013
Lead teaching this week: Ross

Overview: HAPPY SPRING AND WELCOME BACK!! Although there is still snow on the ground, the temperature is rising and the days are growing longer...I think it's safe to say- spring is here! As for the action in the room, we will be picking up right where we left off at the end of the winter session. Subtle changes and extensions have been made to the areas around the room, allowing the children to revisit existing stories while exploring new materials to initiate new ideas and thinking. During the final 10 weeks, one major focus we have is to foster the intrinsic motivation to learn and discover that we find in all children. Spring is a magic time of year that lends itself to seemingly non-stop investigation of the natural world: with countless opportunities to observe the growth and changes taking place both outside as well as within the classroom. I'm looking forward to jumping into all the learning that awaits us in these final few months!

Expressive Arts (paint, collage, clay)
• Materials: At the art table: an assortment of shape-collage materials (squares, circles, triangles, rectangles, etc.), carpet square platforms, pencils, markers, paper, scissors, tape dispensers, staplers
At the clay table: clay, plastic insects, wood knives
• Rationale: To support our focus on shapes and geometry, as well as introducing a new medium for promoting symbolic representation, we will have materials that will allow children to create new pictures using many loose pieces. Initially, the children will be invited to freely explore the materials. However after continued exposure, we hope to help them see that when using many familiar shapes and materials, one can create a new, larger collage pictures! At the clay table, we want to support our investigation of insects, so we have added many toy insects to the table to accompany the clay. I anticipate many interesting creations for our creepy-crawly friends!
• Skills: recognition of shape, patterning, artistic expression, symbolic representation, persistence, imagination/creativity, connections/expressions of observed world, fine motor strength/endurance

Sensory (water table)
• Materials: plastic sieves, golf balls, ping-pong balls, corks, rocks, rubber duckies
• Rationale: Now that the ice and snow have (almost) melted away, we will revisit the exploration of water and introduce the concept of "sink and float." To start, we have an assortment of items to build the children's awareness related the concept; allowing the children to explore items that sink, items that float, and compare the two.
• Skills: sensory input, familiarity with materials, dexterity, hypothesis creating/testing skills, cause-and-effect, opportunities for cooperation/collaboration/negotiation

Science
• Materials: our classroom pets (highlighting the mealworms and hissing cockroaches), wasp nest, "insect home" matching game, insect books/pictures/diagrams, magnifying glasses, children's notebooks
• Rationale: To extend our focus on homes and habitats as well as re-spark interest in the science table, we will take a closer look at our 6-legged pets! We will look at the homes we have created for the mealworms and cockroaches, as well as have an array of other insect-related materials to invite children to explore these interesting creatures!
• Skills: learning about our insects: their anatomy and how to care for them, scientific/higher-level thinking skills, observing and interpreting information about the natural world, generalization skills (connections between insect homes and other animal/human homes).

Math and Manipulatives (including the "Nook")
• Materials: shape-picture making game, seriated/nesting "bug" boxes, new insect and shape puzzles, parquetry blocks (on the light box in the "Nook"), Tana Hoban book Cubes, Cones, Cylinder, & Spheres
• Rationale: We will be shifting our focus to the world of geometry and shape at the math table. Various shape-related puzzles and games will be available to start building awareness of many familiar (and some not so familiar) shapes. We will also have some new insect puzzles to tie in our exploration at the science table.
• Skills: concepts related to geometry/shape, part-to-whole relationships, one-to-one correspondence, counting, opportunities for collaborative problem solving.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Our Name Book, Our Alphabet Book, paper, envelopes, pencils, markers
• Rationale: The excitement of writing letters/notes to classmates as well as writing our own stories 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.
• Skills: pre-/early -literacy skills, letter recognition, phonemic awareness, fine-motor coordination/endurance

Dramatic Play
• Materials: "Coffee Shop" props (to-go coffee cups and lids, mugs, pitchers, cash register), dress-up materials (i.e. dresses, shoes, boots, fabric, play phones), baby-dolls, cribs, baby clothes
• Rationale: We had tons of fun in the play house during the fall and winter session, but thought we were ready for something new. We now have a coffee shop set up in the classroom, and anticipate many visitors each day! The "Bodies" small group made a trip to the Purple Onion at the end of last session, and watching the group gave the teachers the idea to bring in a new theme for the dramatic play. To help build the awareness for all the students, we will take a fieldtrip during the second week to see what other items our coffee shop needs to be the "real thing."
• Skills: imaginative/creative play, connections to previous experiences/memory skills, promoting social interactions while foster new and old relationships, practicing various social skills, symbolic representation

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, small multi-shaped unit blocks, peg people, wood houses made by children, ramps, balls, various sized wheels, bowling pins
• Rationale: Building ramps became quite popular at the end of the winter session. Many children worked together to create large ramps to roll various wheels and balls down in hopes to knock down as many mini-bowling pins as possible. We will continue support the creation of these ramps, and invite the children to start writing down the "rules" for the games they create. We also will have the children's wood houses available with the peg people in hopes to continue to "neighborhood" building that we started just before break.
• Skills: large-/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, concepts related to building/balance/engineering, supporting social relationships/interactions, opportunities for endless dramatic play

Large-motor
• In the gym: We will keep the same gym set-up that we had at the end of the winter session: with the large rope swing, donut slide, balance bridge, triangle slide, and scooter boards. The children really enjoyed that set-up and did not get much time with it before we finished our session. New/minor changes may happen over the next week to keep it exciting and fun. We will also start each day with a teacher-facilitated activity.
• On the playground: We have had some thawing and melting take place, however patches of ice and snow still cover the playground. This means, it's going to be messy out there! We will break out the shovels, buckets, and scoops to help facilitate some digging and "exploring" play, however it's quite possible that puddle jumping may become a quick favorite!
• Skills: upper-/lower-boy strength, static and dynamic balance, hopping (lower leg strength/coordination), jumping/landing skills, proprioceptive (body-in-motion) skills, spatial-/directional-awareness, propulsion skills

Announcements/Special Interest
• Be sure to stop down and introduce yourselves to Hilary, Laura E, and Laura P! They're very excited get started and work with our wonderful class!
• SNOWSUITS...we're going to need them! It's going to be messy on the playground. Please send along appropriate clothing will help keep everyone happy while playing outside. Also, please be sure your child has their extra change of clothes in the cubby, as it's possible we will need to do a wardrobe change during the "thaw" on the playground.
• Just a reminder to line up the babysitters for April 13th so we can see you all at the Spring Soiree - invitations should have been delivered over break.
• Speaking of the soiree, if you gathered any donations or ideas for our classroom basket (the "Outside Summer Fun" basket), feel free to drop them off with Ross any time this week. We would like to have all donations gathered by Tuesday, April 9 so we can have the basket finalized before the event! Thanks for you help and generosity with this!

Snack
Monday - Pretzels & craisins
Tuesday - Rice cakes & milk
Wednesday - Sunbutter on celery
Thursday - Pineapple chunks & rice crackers
Friday - Cheerios & raisins
* All snacks served with milk and water, unless otherwise noted *

WINTER LP 3-11-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: March 11-15, 2013
Lead-teaching this week: Avery

Overview: We had a week filled with snow and exciting small group wrap-ups. Those who braved the snow on Tuesday were able to enjoy over an hour of snowy fun out on the playground, and the snow fun continued throughout the week. Our small groups ended on Thursday and each group did a culminating project to bring together everything the children learned. Avery's group made their own baking soda and vinegar rockets and created a "how-to" video so classmates create and launch their own rocket. Megan's group explored DInkytown using their five senses, and ended with a hot and cold chocolate tasting at the Purple Onion. Veronica's small group created a game for the whole class to play in the gym and taught the other children how to play on Friday. This week is already our last week of the session, so we will be wrapping up various projects throughout the room and allowing the children to utilize the skills and knowledge they have acquired throughout the session.

Expressive Arts (easel, play-dough, wooden pieces)
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, plastic egg carton halves, paper. Clay table: colored play-dough, wire, plastic pizza cutters, rolling pins, arctic animals, letter cookie cutters. Art table: Cake box, paper, paint, paintbrushes.
• Rationale: At the easel, the children will continue to make their own colors using the bottles and egg cartons. This will allow the children utilize their color mixing knowledge learned throughout this session. We will also incorporate color mixing at the clay table this week, using two different colors of play-dough so the children can see color mixing using a new medium. At the art table, we will focus on finishing the wooden sculptures and creating a neighborhood by combining all the children's pieces onto a cake box.
• Skills: symbolic representation, self-expression, fine motor skills, utilization of color mixing knowledge, 3D art skills, peer socialization.

Sensory (water, ice, and snow)
• Materials: Ice, water, snow, buckets, arctic animals, spray bottles, snowball maker (plastic apple container)
• Rationale: The children continue to enjoy using the "snowball maker" and color the snow blue. This week, we will make sheets of ice to encourage more dramatic play with the arctic animals. The sheets of ice will contribute to the dramatic play that has been happening here with the arctic animals. The children made penguin slides last week, and the ice sheets will make the slide experience more successful.
• Skills: Cause/effect, peer negotiation/collaboration, scientific thinking and reasoning by exploring with color in the snow.

Science
• Materials: arctic animals, blue trays, ice, paper, pencils, white LEGOS, globe, pictures of arctic animals and homes, packing peanuts, salt
• Rationale: To renew interest in the arctic science table, the teachers will build the base of a large igloo out of packing peanuts. We will introduce this igloo at large group and facilitate more building of arctic homes with the packing peanuts. We will also tape pictures of arctic animals on the globe to show the children where the animals live.
• Skills: Concept knowledge (knowledge of the natural world), symbolic representation, comparing and contrasting, reasoning, 3D art skills, classification, fine motor skills.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Paper, pencils, markers, class name book, class ABC book, staplers, tape, envelopes, mailbox
• Rationale: This week we will re-introduce our class ABC book, as its first introduction was brief and the children do not seem to know what to do with it. We are hoping that each child will write the letters they know in the book, so each child notice that everyone's written letters look a little bit different, as well as provide an example for children who are still learning how to write the letters. One exciting thing that happened last week was writing all-class letters back and forth with Amy's class to communicate about playing together last Friday.
• Skills: Letter recognition, fine motor skills, pre/early literacy skills, sequencing for writing letters to Amy's class.

Math and Manipulatives (including the Nook)
• Materials: Unifix cubes, number book, matching game, puzzle, games to practice seriation and ordering, number bingo, K'Nex.
• Rationale: A select group of children continue to enjoy making magic wands with the K'Nex, while others enjoy building cars and other structures. The children enjoy playing number bingo, which is reinforcing number recognition and giving the children more opportunities to practice with the "tricky teens." They have also been challenging themselves with new, more difficult puzzles we have available.
• Skills: Number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, rational counting, ordering and seriating skills, peer negotiation/collaboration, problem solving.

Dramatic Play (including the caves)
• Materials: Dress up clothes and shows, dramatic playhouse props, play phones, keys, fabric, arctic animals, musical instruments.
• Rationale: The children engaged in a variety of dramatic play this past week, including: TIVs, dogs, and royal families. There was a lot of play with queens, princesses, and minstrels, who enjoy playing music with "found instruments" (plastic container, paper towel tube). To extend this play, we will add real instruments to our dramatic play area, and hope to inspire more music-centered dramatic play. The instruments also have the possibility of bringing the whole class plays back into action.
• Skills: Peer relationships, socio-dramatic play, symbolic representation, problem solving.

Blocks
• Materials: Large hollow blocks, unit blocks, steering wheels, key boards, fabric, cell phones, keys.
• Rationale: The children continue to work together building TIVs. They have recently started making them bigger which allow more children to build them and play in them once they are completed. There was even some underwater tornado tracking happening this week in the TIVs! The blocks also continue to be a large part of other dramatic play, including a forest in the "royal family" play.
• Skills: Peer relationships, large motor skills, peer negotiation/collaboration, symbolic representation, socio-dramatic play, imaginative play.

Large Motor
• Materials: Rope-swing, "Balance Bridge," donut slide, triangle slide, scooter boards, mini-trampoline
• Rationale: The new gym set-up is ready for action! Although the children get outside regularly and move their bodies quite a bit, mobility is still somewhat limited in snowsuits. Ergo, the theme for this new set-up is "big body movements." We added the smaller triangle slide of the edge of the climber, as well as the large donut slide to the side of the climber - challenging children to slide off the side of the jumping donut and land on their feet! We also added an inclined balance-beam bridge - adding a new level of challenge for those that enjoyed the bridge from the previous set-up. We put the scooter boards in the back of the gym, and we anticipate many new and fun games to be created over the next two weeks! Last, but certainly not least, we added the rope swing! A favorite of many, the large rope-swing challenges children to use many skills simultaneously in order to successfully swing back and forth!
• Skills: upper-body strength/endurance, grasping, pushing/pumping with feet (propulsion skills), spatial-/directional-/body-awareness (proprioceptive skills), jumping and landing, eye-to-foot coordination, static and dynamic balance, flexibility, agility, cardio-vascular endurance, cooperation/negotiation, "big-body" play

Special Interest and Announcements
• The new student teachers will come to visit next week. Hilary, Laura E., and Laura P. will be stopping by next week to meet the children. Laura E. will actually join us for two full days next week (Monday and Wednesday), as she will be missing two days in April for a national tennis tournament, as she is a member of the U of M tennis team.
• Class resumes on Monday, April 1st - have a wonderfully enjoyable spring break!
• There are still a few spots remaining for both summer school programs. Send your sign-up forms to Amy Pieren to get the last remaining spots!

Snack
Monday - Crackers & craisins
Tuesday - Birthday snack (provided by Zoe's family)
Wednesday - Pretzels & milk
Thursday - Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Friday - Trail mix

WINTER LP 3-4-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: March 4 - 8, 2013
Lead-teaching this week: Megan

Overview: We had a wonderful week with the warm weather! The children were able to get outside to construct slides, caves, and tunnels out of the quiznees. Small groups continued to be a fun time for everyone. Veronica's group continued to play games and enjoyed learning how to safely summersault from their guest gymnast that joined their group last week. Avery's group conducted vinegar and baking soda experiments, and eventually launched some rockets. Megan's group worked with their senses of smell and taste to created fruit pizza for the class. This week we will be wrapping up our small groups and getting ready for the end of the winter session. With the spring coming, we want the children to begin utilizing their newly acquired knowledge through the various areas in the classroom. The teachers will challenge these skills by leading challenging teacher-facilitated activities as well as intentionally selecting materials that will require the children to use their newly knowledge during child-directed play. We are looking forward to a week of learning and fun!

Expressive Arts (easel, play-dough, wooden pieces)
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, plastic egg carton halves, paper. Clay table: play-dough, wire, rolling pins, letter shaped cookie cutters, plastic pizza cutters. Art table: small wooden pieces, glue, collage material, cake box, paper, paint, paintbrushes.
• Rationale: At the easel, paint pallets (plastic egg carton halves will be added), allowing children to mix and create their own colors - utilizing their color-mixing knowledge learned during the past 10 weeks. Play-dough has been very popular in the classroom again. Children have created pizzas and cake with the plastic pizza cutters, wrote their names using the letters, and continued to build habitats. To ensure the play-dough stays stimulating, we will add art materials that can be used as toppings or home decorations. The children continued to add "beautiful pieces" to their wooden structures. This week, we will use a large cake box to construct a neighborhood with their wood sculptures. We will encourage children to build the neighborhood by asking children what their neighborhoods look like. We will add paint to this area to promote color recognition and the differences between houses. Neighborhood pictures will be placed around the table to prompt ideas to model what a neighborhood can look like.
- Skills: self-expression, fine motor skills, symbolic representation, creative expression, experimentation, color recognition, 3D art skills, social interactions.

Sensory (water, ice, snow table)
• Materials: ice, water, snow, buckets, arctic animals, spray bottles, snowball maker (plastic apple holder)
• Rationale: A "snowball maker" was added to the sensory table last week (thanks to Kassidy for bring it in!) and has been a hit in the classroom. Children used the "snowball maker" as a way to transport snow from one bucket to another. They also used snowballs to stack on top of each other as homes. The children continued to enjoy coloring the snow and we saw a lot of pretend play happening with the arctic animals. Sheets of ice will be added to support this play.
• Skills: Cause/effect, creative expression through play with the arctic animals, prediction, and scientific thinking and reasoning by exploring with color in the snow and building snow structures.

Science
• Materials: arctic animals, blue trays, ice, paper, pencils, white LEGOS, pictures of arctic animals and arctic shelters/homes, salt, packing peanuts
• Rationale: The shift to arctic animals has been successful in the classroom. The children began to use salt as snow and showed interest in constructing homes as seen in pictures. In order to sustain the children's interest in arctic homes, we will be adding more pictures of these arctic animals and continue to use packing peanuts as a material for habitat construction. The packing peanuts attach easily with a quick dip in water, allowing children to find news ways to stack and create their own, unique animal home.
Skills: concept knowledge (knowledge of the natural world), classification, symbolic representation, comparing and contrasting, drawing conclusions, generalizing, reasoning, knowledge of physical properties, fine motor skills

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Paper, pencils, markers, class name book, staplers, tape, envelopes, mail box, pictures of various maps (including treasure maps)
• Rationale: During large group this past week, letters were used in the mystery bag. Teachers used words with the same letter, in order for children to find the similar sound, and guess the letter. We will continue with the mystery letters this week and be making words with the mystery letters to promote the sound of letters together. Maps continue to be popular and we will use this skill to connect to the neighborhood at the art table.
• Skills: Letter recognition, pre/early literacy skills, analyzing and synthesizing, symbolic representation.

Math and Manipulatives (including the Nook)
• Materials: Unifix cubes, puzzles, number puzzles, letter puzzles, number and matching games, materials to practice seriation and ordering, and K'Nex.
• Rationale: The introduction to K'Nex was a hit! The children used the K'Nex to make all types of structures, including magical wands! We have also observed the children using the stacking blocks to create their own seriated towers: standing shortest to tallest. This week, the focus of large group will be on numbers. We will discuss differences and similarities of amounts, practice counting/finding out the number of objects we have, and listen to musical songs related to numerals. We are hoping to promote the math table and see new skills emerge.
• Skills: One-to-one correspondence, fine motor skills, symbolic representation, rational counting, seriation skills, ordering, number recognition, letter-recognition

Dramatic Play (including the caves)
• Materials: Dress up clothes and shoes, dramatic playhouse props, play phones, various fabrics, and arctic animals.
• Rationale: With the popularity of the sensory and science areas, we will be adding arctic animals to one of our caves. We saw a lot of bear pretend play when the bears were first introduced, and are hoping to encourage arctic animal play with the addition to the caves. Putting on plays also continues to be popular in the classroom and we will support this interest by adding props to the dramatic play/block area, as well as books and music, such as cat stories and fairy stories.
• Skills: Peer relationships, socio-dramatic play/imaginative play, symbolic representation, problem solving.

Blocks
• Materials: Large hollow blocks, unit blocks, steering wheels, key boards, keys, fabric pieces, plastic animals.
• Rationale: Last week, the children continued to facilitate and direct their own plays, reenact "Scamper", and build more elaborate TIV's. We saw cooperation skills and friendships growing stronger in the block area. Children worked together to build and divide the space up, in order for plays and TIV's to happen all at once. We will continue with construction and plays. Papers and markers will be close by to encourage sign making.
• Skills: Large motor skills, problem-solving, peer negotiation/collaboration, symbolic representation, peer relationships, socio-dramatic/imaginative play.

Large motor
We will be changing the gym on after school on Monday and will have a new set up on Tuesday! Rumor has it there may be a large rope swing and/or a tricycle track!
On the playground, the quiznees were a hit for all of the children! We saw a lot of building action as well as cooperation happening as the children shared the quiznees. The construction of the tunnels, slides, and caves will continue as long as the quinzees stay up! We will add colored ice cubes for decoration. The children have also been sledding on the slick hill, and we will continue to have sleds on the playground until the snow melts.

Special Interest
• It's our dish week once again. Thanks for your continual help with washing the snack dishes! We appreciate it!!
• Reminder about our "Good-bye" party: It's on Thursday, March 14 @ 10.30a. Hope you all can make it!
• There are still a few spots for both summer programs (4wk nature exploration; 1wk science camp). If you're interested, sign up quickly. See the updated summer school emails for details!

Snack
Monday - Birthday snack
Tuesday - Oven fries
Wednesday - Pretzels & raisins
Thursday - Fruit smoothies & Triscuit
Friday - Popcorn
** All snacks served with a choice of milk or water. **

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Weekly Lesson Plan For Ross' Class
Week of: 2-25-2013
Lead-teaching this week: Veronica

Overview: Due to the cold weather this week the children were able to stay inside and get some extra playtime! New dramatic play themes were acted out and the children's interest in block building continued to evolve. The children have been enjoying their small groups getting deep into their topic areas of group games, science exploration, and bodies (exploring the five-senses). On Thursday, a large group of children became interested in putting on a "Ballet Concert." It was great to see the children come together to build a stage and put on a show for us! We are excited to see the small groups continue to evolve and help the children practice collaboration, higher level thinking, following directions, etc. We are excited to see what kind of play themes the children surprise us with next!

Expressive Arts (easel, play-dough, wooden pieces)
• Materials: Easel: paint, paintbrushes, paper. Clay table: play-dough, wire, rolling pins, letter shaped cookie cutters. Art table: small wooden pieces, glue, collage material.
• Rationale: At the easel primary colors will continue to be provided, allowing the children to utilize their knowledge of color mixing and paint new creations. This week we will be reintroducing bottles and small pallets so the children can make their own colors as they paint. The children have responded well to the play-dough and it has revived the interest and creativity often seen at this table. This week we will add letter cut outs for the children to continue exploring letters and name writing, Last week there was an interest in making castles with play dough so we will provide a few supportive materials such as books and "beautiful items" to help with this process. The children have begun creating their wooden structures and some have begun to use the collage materials to decorate their "houses." This week we will continue to encourage children to add to their structures, and begin to put it all together to make one large "neighborhood."
• Skills: color recognition, creative expression through collage, letter/name recognition, making 3D structures, and fine-motor skills.

Sensory (water, ice, snow table)
• Materials: ice, water, snow, buckets, arctic animals, food coloring, spray bottles.
• Rationale: The children have been exploring color mixing in the snow for the past few weeks. We will continue to support the development of symbolic play in this area by providing arctic animals such as penguins and seals. We will also be adding ice cubes in the hopes of inspiring some "ice homes" or "igloos."
• Skills: Cause/effect, creative expression through play with the arctic animals, prediction, and scientific thinking and reasoning by exploring with color in the snow and building snow structures.

Science
• Materials: arctic animals, blue trays, ice, paper, pencils, white Lego's, pictures of arctic animals and arctic shelters/homes.
• Rationale: Although the children have enjoyed the scavenger hunts we have been conducting throughout the past two weeks, we feel the children would benefit from a new "theme" at the science table. In order to spark the interest of the children and make this area a desirable place to explore and learn we will be adding a new "theme" and materials to this table. The focus on animal furs and tracks will shift to arctic animals and the making of arctic shelters such as ice homes and igloos. There has been an interest in this area seen in the block area, and the "Quinzee" that was constructed on the playground has been of high interest to the children. The addition of blue trays to represent water, and ice at this table will hopefully inspire children to build their own ice structures.
• Skills: Observation, symbolic representation, creative expression, knowledge of the natural world, and focusing skills.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Paper, pencils, markers, class name book, staplers, tape, envelopes, mail box, pictures of various maps (including treasure maps)
• Rationale: We continue to encourage the children to practice their letters and write their names. Recently, many children have become interested in making maps. We have added a globe and atlas books to our room, and this has encouraged this new form of writing. Some children have expressed interest in making maps, but were unsure how to do so. Adding pictures of simple maps and treasure maps will hopefully encourage children to take risks making their own maps.
• Skills: Letter recognition, pre/early literacy skills, analyzing and synthesizing, symbolic representation.

Math and Manipulatives (including the nook)
• Materials: Unifix cubes, puzzles, number puzzles, letter puzzles, number and matching games, materials to practice seriation and ordering, and Kinects.
• Rationale: The math table has continued to be a great place to observe the many cognitive capabilities of the children in our classroom. Adding new materials each week is important in keeping the children challenged and interested at this table, while also keeping some class favorites. This week the addition of new puzzles and games will allow us to observe some new skills. We will be removing the LEGOS and Mobilo's from the nook and adding Kinects in order to allow for more detailed and refined building. The Mobilo's have been a great addition in order to draw children to this area, but the simplicity of this material is somewhat limiting to the children's interest in building more complex structures.
• Skills: One-to-one correspondence, fine motor skills, symbolic representation, rational counting, seriation, ordering, number recognition, letter-recognition, short/long term memory.

Dramatic Play (including the caves)
• Materials: Dress up clothes and shoes, dramatic playhouse props, play phones, various fabrics, and toy animals.
• Rationale: Dramatic play and block building have continued to intertwine. TIVs and weather watching have been an interest all throughout this session. However, this week the children became interested in stage building and acting out a "ballet concert" and "Peter and the Wolf" for the whole class. We hope to extend this interest into next week and support the children with their desire to story tell and put on shows.
• Skills: Peer relationships, socio-dramatic play/imaginative play, symbolic representation, problem solving.

Blocks
• Materials: Large hollow blocks, unit blocks, steering wheels, key boards, keys, fabric pieces, plastic animals.
• Rationale: The children surprise us in the block area every day! It seems something new is being constructed and acted out, while also staying constant with the interest in TIVs. On Friday the entire block area was dedicated to building the stage and props for "Peter and the Wolf." Chairs were set out and the children who were not "actors" enjoyed being in the audience and watching the show. This week we will continue to support the children in this interest by suggesting story ideas and following the children's lead, helping them express their ideas.
• Skills: Large motor skills, problem-solving, peer negotiation/collaboration, symbolic representation, peer relationships, socio-dramatic/imaginative play.

Snack
Monday - Clementines & pretzels
Tuesday - Whole wheat bagels & non-dairy honey butter
Wednesday - Fruit pizza (made by Megan's small group!)
Thursday - Corn chex & milk
Friday - Applesauce & graham crackers

WINTER LP 2-11-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
Week of: February 11-15, 2013
Lead teaching this week: Avery

Overview: We had a wonderful "warm" week, filled with sledding, snow angels, and more outside fun that the children have been missing with the recent subzero temperatures. Hopefully our winter fun outside will be able to continue this week. Last week, many children make binoculars and have been exploring with them all week; looking for animals and watching the snowfall. We plan to support this new interest, and a continuing dramatic play theme of "spies" by incorporating scavenger hunts around the school into our free play. This is promoting child-directed play that has led to strong critical thinking opportunities as children continue to figure out more difficult clues from teachers, and more recently, from their peers. In addition, all of the small groups have gotten off to a great start. We are excited to see what each group will evolve into and where the children's interests might take us! Be sure to check your child's small group update on the class webpage!

Expressive Arts (easel, play-dough, sand)
• Materials: Easel: Paint, paintbrushes, paper. Clay Table: Play-dough, wires, hammers, wooden knives, popsicle sticks. Art table (sand): Sand, trays, plastic people, beautiful things (such as gems, bottle caps, and corks).
• Rationale: At the easel this week, the children enjoyed finger painting with the primary colors. This allowed for exploration with the finger paint, as well as utilization of color mixing. To continue the challenge of making specific colors, we will encourage the children to replicate the color of their bedroom to prepare for pajama day! The clay table has unfortunately not seen much action this week with our current set-up. In order to get the children excited about this area again, we will introduce play-dough. The novelty of play-dough will be of interest to the children and hopefully invite exploration of a new material. At the art table, we have continued to practice writing on our sand trays, as well as make collages with our "beautiful things." This week, we will continue to have the sand trays and encourage children to practice writing their names and other letters.
• Skills: Color recognition, color mixing, cause/effect, fine-motor strength, creative expression, letter/name recognition.

Sensory (water/ice/snow table)
• Materials: Ice, water, snow, buckets, plastic animals, food coloring in spray bottles.
• Rationale: The children explored melting ice for the past few weeks, and with our recent snowfalls, we have decided to switch our sensory table focus back to snow. In order to initiate more symbolic play, we have added some plastic sea animals, such as seals and penguins. We will add an extra element of color mixing to the snow, as they have already seen color mixing with ice and water.
• Skills: Prediction, cause/effect, scientific thinking and reasoning.

Science
• Materials: Animal track pictures, animal fur, stuffed animals, paper, pencils, materials for binocular making, books.
• Rationale: Last week, children became interested in making binoculars and using them to search for animals as well as watching the snow fall outside our window. This week, we will add more structure to the binocular use by going on scavenger hunts around the school for stuffed animals or animal tracks. Our scavenger hunt will also incorporate elements of "spy" dramatic play that has been happening for a few weeks.
• Skills: Observation, searching/scanning, problem solving, sensory experience, focusing skills, knowledge of natural world

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Paper, pencils, markers, Our Name Book, staplers, tape, envelopes, mail box, children's pictures, books, relating to numbers and letters.
• Rationale: We continue to encourage the children to practice writing their letters, especially their names. With the start of small groups, the children have been writing and sharing fewer stories as they are getting used to the new routine. We will encourage the children to keep writing stories, by having story-telling days on Mondays and Fridays before snack. This week, we will encourage the children to use materials at the writing center to make props for the block and dramatic play. Veronica introduced a game using letters and letter sounds at large group on Thursday called "Musical Carpet Squares". To give the children more experience with this game, we will continue to incorporate it in our large groups this week.
• Skills: Letter recognition, phonemic awareness, pre-/early-literacy skills

Math and Manipulatives (Including the nook)
• Materials: Unifix cubes, puzzles, number puzzles, letter puzzles, number LEGOS, abacus, matching games, Mobilos.
• Rationale: The children have continued to show interest in the teddy-bear dressing puzzles, finding humor in mismatching the three bears' outfits. We also used the abacus for counting, as well as simple addition and subtraction problems. There have been several children building racecars and machines in the nook area this week. To continue the racecar theme, we will be adding Mobilos to the nook.
• Skills: One-to-one correspondence, fine motor skills, symbolic representation, rational counting, number recognition, letter recognition, short-term memory.

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Dress-up clothes and shoes, dramatic playhouse props, play phones, "spy cases" (plastic VHS boxes).
• Rationale: Last week, there was a lot of dramatic play and block play intertwining. There have been food deliveries from the kitchen to the TIV workers, spaceship builders, and princesses. Some children have taken an interest in dressing up as animals: specifically cheetahs. The classroom spies have also continued to go to work, finding lost materials in the room, as well as objects hidden by the teachers. We will continue with self-directed play in this area, facilitating and initiating play when necessary.
• Skills: Peer relationships, socio-dramatic/imaginative play, symbolic representation, problem solving.

Blocks
• Materials: Large hollow blocks, unit blocks, steering wheels, key boards, keys, fabric pieces, plastic animals.
• Rationale: The TIVs continue to take over the block area most days. There are usually multiple TIVs being built and played on, and with time, the children are becoming more skilled at building them. This week, there have been a couple very large TIVs that could comfortably fit five children! Children began incorporating small animals into their play. They enjoy feeding them, finding places for them in the block structures, and finding babysitters for them. We will continue with self-directed play this week, supporting the play when necessary. We will do this by adding scenarios for the children's play, initiating peer collaboration, and further developing the socio-dramatic play.
• Skills: Large motor skills, problem-solving, peer negotiation/collaboration, symbolic representation, peer relationships, socio-dramatic/imaginative play.

Large-motor
• In the gym: ~Materials: Crawling tube, bumpy slide, A-Frame with balance beam, hopscotch, scaling block wall, basketball hoop, basketballs and climbing wall

• Rationale: A new gym set-up was introduced on Friday, much to the excitement of the children. While many new pieces of equipment have been added, we have kept the bumpy slide as many children continue to enjoy experimenting with going down the slide in different ways and pretending they are rocket ships getting ready for "blast off." All of these activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, and support the children's exploration of what they can do with their bodies!
• On the playground: The children have been able to enjoy sledding this week with the recent snowfalls, which was a huge hit! The fluffy snow is not ideal for snow sculpting, but the children have found other ways to enjoy the snow, including: snow angels, shoveling, and throwing snow (at the building and trees!). We hope to be able to continue sledding and other snow play this week.
• Skills: Large-motor/locomotion skills, cardiovascular endurance, turn-taking, muscular strength, static and dynamic balance, jumping, hopping, throwing, spatial awareness, propulsion skills (throwing/shooting basketballs)

Announcements/Special Interest
• We will be a having a pajama day on Friday! Our intention is to build this up throughout the week with various activities relating to the children's bedrooms and their favorite pajamas.
• Veronica will lead a cooking project on Monday, making avocado and cheese sandwiches.
• Conferences are going very well! For those with conferences this week, please double-check your day and time.
• Summer school enrollment is now open! If you are interested, please see the emails send out last week for more information about how to sign up!
• This Friday, the our class and Amy's class will start our "Student Teacher Exchange" program - allowing each of our student teachers a chance to work with another teacher and teaching team for a day. This Friday, Veronica will visit Amy's class and one of their teachers named Taya will join us!

Snack
Monday - Avocado & cheese sandwiches (made with Veronica!)
Tuesday - Sunbutter on plain rice cakes
Wednesday - Vegetable soup & Triscuits
Thursday - Popcorn
Friday - Applesauce & crackers
** All snacks served with a milk and water, unless otherwise noted**

WINTER LP 2-4-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
February 4 - 8, 2013
Lead Teaching This Week: Megan

Overview: We had a cold end to the week, but this didn't stop the children from wanting to play outside! Hopefully the weather permits us to go outside this week and re-open our sledding hill with some fresh snow. We are seeing lots of friendships blossoming in the classroom through newly discovered common interests. To continue supporting these friendships while increasing the level of thinking and processing going on during the play, the teachers will closely observe the play and offer supporting materials to extend the stories created by the children.
At the end of the week, we started the student teacher small groups. We will continue to work with these groups on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays. Avery's group will explore the world of science, starting with a closer look at melting and freezing. Veronica's group will challenge the children's various content skills (color, number, alphabetic letter, etc.) through cooperative games. Megan's group will explore the many amazing things the body can do while also incorporating data collecting and recording.
Finally, a special thank you to Liam's dad, Dan, for coming into the classroom and enthusiastically teaching the children about static electricity. The children really enjoyed trying the different experiments.

Expressive Art (art table and clay table)
• Materials: Sand, trays, writing tools, beautiful things (such as gems, bottle caps, and corks), plastic people, wooden pins, clay, clay tools (rolling pins, wood knives, wood hammers), paper, pencils, plastic animals (bears, deer, moose, raccoons, squirrels, hedgehogs), finger paint
• Rationale: The sand table has allowed the children to explore with writing in new ways and making collages with the "beautiful things." This week, we will draw the focus on specific alphabetic letters that children can write in the sand and also use the sand trays as clues for the "mysteries" in the classroom. We have also added plastic people to the art table that will allow children to take their artistic creations to the third dimension. At the easel, color mixing has continued with red, blue, and yellow finger paint. We will continue to focus on color mixing with their hands and allowing the children to utilize their new knowledge related to mixing the colors red, yellow and blue.
• Skills: letter recognition, color recognition, cause/effect, fine-motor strength/coordination, creative expression

Science
• Materials: animal track pictures, stuffed bears, squirrels, and birds, bear books, paper, pencils, animal furs, computer
• Rationale: Last week, the children continued to work on animal homes at the clay table, and slowly evolved to creating an "animal playground." To bring attention back to the science area, we will be matching different furs with animal tracks. We will be using the furs to figure out which animal fits with the appropriate tracks. We will also shift the focus from many woodland animals bears, and learn about bear homes, their "everyday lives," and how their bodies change for winter. To help with that, we have found a live streaming video from Ely, Minnesota, showing a black bear and her newborn cubs. We will look through the website to learn more facts about bears.
• Skills: observation skills, sensory exploration, interpreting information about the real world about bears

Sensory (Ice and Water)
• Materials: Ice in various sizes, warm water, cold water, ice cube trays, Unifix cubes, buckets,
• Rationale: With weather changes from last week, the children were able to see how different temperatures affect the ice trays outside. This week, we will continue to explore melting and freezing of ice. As a provocation, we will freeze Unifix cubes inside of ice buckets and exploring the use of different temperatures of water to melt the ice and reach the cubes the fastest.
• Skills: Predicting, higher-level thinking/reasoning skills, cause/effect, scientific thinking and reasoning, concepts related to temperature,

Language and literacy
• Materials: paper, pencils, markers, Our Name Book, books relating to letters and numbers, staplers, tape, envelopes, mail box, children's pictures
• Rationale: As we continue our focus on writing and letter recognition, we will incorporate Our Name Book into activities throughout the classroom: for example, encouraging children to add more writing to their dramatic-play stories. Another recent popular activity is the stories/books created by the children. Over the week, the children continued to create stories, adding more detailed illustrations each day. They also are eager to share their stories with their classmates before snack. So far the stories have been about fairies, dragons, Arthur, and siblings/families. The children use their creativity to draw pictures and practice their writing. Lastly, we added number and alphabet books to our book cave to promote alphabet recognition and encourage the children to look at the letters in the words.
• Skills: Letter recognition, fine motor skills, creativity with stories, social interactions/peer relationships, pre-/early-literacy skills

Math and Manipulatives (Including the nook)
• Materials: counting and number matching game, paper, markers, Unifix cubes, puzzles, LEGOS, number cubes,
• Rationale: With the spy kits being so successful in the classroom, we have connected the math table to the spy play, making them the "math investigators". We will continue to connect math to the "mysteries" of the classroom with patterns, puzzles, and counting. From the "homework assignment" from last week, we were able to make a chart with the ages of the children in the classroom. The nook continues to be a busy spot for some children with the construction of LEGO cars, trucks, and racetracks. We will use these popular topics to bring these children to the sand table and create environments for their automobiles.
• Skills: one-to-one correspondence, data collecting and recording, number recognition, symbolic representation, higher level thinking skills, fine motor skills

Dramatic Play
• Materials: dress-up clothes and shoes, animal costumes, play kitchen furniture (chairs, refrigerator, table, cupboards, stove, sink), cooking utensils, dishes, aprons, chef hats, plastic lids and caps, pieces of fabric, baby-dolls, various sized teddy bears, phones, "spy cases" (of VHS plastic boxes)
• Rationale: Last week, we saw a combination of dramatic play mixing with the blocks. Some children worked in the kitchen and brought food to the hard working tornado fighters. The baby dolls are also being included in the tornado play by finding safe spots in the caves for them to go to, as well as finding babysitters to care for them. This week we will continue with the self directed play, and will be adding animal costumes to the dress up clothes. We will hope to see the baby doll play expand to baby bear play, as we will see in the live bear webcam.
• Skills: Social relationships, socio-dramatic/imaginative play, symbolic representation

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, long wood blocks, steering wheels, key boards, phones, keys,
• Rationale: The TIVS in the classroom are still a hit! Last week, we saw children working together to find tornadoes as well as make sure everyone was in a safe spot. Children also constructed ambulances that are used for injured people and animals in the tornadoes. This play has been self directed and very successful. With limited materials, we are seeing the children use their resources and create new keyboards and cell phones with blocks and wood boards. With the live webcam of the bears, we suspect the construction of bear homes will be popular and will be adding in white blocks.
• Skills: large motor skills, fine motor skills, problem-solving, symbolic representation, social relationships, cooperation, socio-dramatic/imaginative play

Large motor
Materials: Sleds, shovels, Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, jump-rope-swings, climbing wall
Rationale: The children continue to enjoy going to the gym every morning! With gym jam being so fun, we will be introducing new games to promote turn taking and social interactions. The bumpy slide has been a popular spot for the children, as they use their bodies to make a bridge that others can go under. Hopefully it warms up outside and we can re-open our sledding hill!
• Skills: pushing with feet/propulsion (pedaling), standing/balancing, grasping, climbing, turn-taking, directional awareness, core-muscle strength, body awareness/proprioceptive skills, pumping/swinging, jumping/landing, cardiovascular strength/endurance


Additional Announcements
• Conferences start this week! Be sure to double-check the time you signed up for, and please bring any questions or comments you have about your child. Ross is very excited to sit down with each of you and talk with you all.
• Small groups have officially started, which means the return of "Open Snack" on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday - allowing the children choose when they have snack during free-play.
• Thanks to all the families that braved the elements and joined us for GYM JAM last Friday! It was an absolute blast and hope you all had just as much fun as we (the teachers) did.
• Avery will lead a cooking project on Monday: making fruit salsa with the children.

Snack
Monday - Fruit salsa & cinnamon tortilla crisps (made with Avery!)
Tuesday - Cheerios & milk
Wednesday - Carrots & triscuit
Thursday - Pretzels & celery
Friday - Cranberry apple muffins

WINTER LP 1-28-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class
January 28 - February 1, 2013
Lean Teaching This Week: Veronica

Overview: Although it was a short week, we packed in a lot of fun and learning! The children continued to be interested in making animals and asking about animal homes. We have started to wrap up our focus on color mixing at the art table, and intend to continue supporting these concepts in other areas of the room. Also this week, we will begin implementing the student teacher curriculum topics of literacy, numbers, and color mixing throughout the classroom. These include the "gathering ages and numbers homework," color mixing with ice cubes, and literacy. Finally, we will discuss the start small groups this week; which may start as soon as this Wednesday.

Art Table
• Materials: Sand, trays, writing tools, beautiful things (such as gems, bottle caps, and corks)
• Rationale: Color mixing has been happening at the art table since the beginning of this session and is in the process of being wrapped up and moved to the painting easel. We will continue to incorporate color mixing into other areas of the room, but the art table will now be home to sand art. The children have been working on writing and in particular their names. The sand art will be a new sensory experience and be a way for the children to creatively express themselves through writing. The use of beautiful things to make a 3-D collage will support literacy skills, but also be a way for children to express themselves creatively.
• Skills: Creative expression, symbolic representation, memory, utilization, interest in and awareness to print, letter and name recognition.

Science and Clay Table
• Materials: animal track pictures, animal track making kit, clay, stuffed bears, squirrels, and birds, bear books, paper, pencils, plastic animals (bears, deer, moose, raccoons, squirrels, hedgehogs), clay tools (wood knives, wood hammers, rolling pins).
• Rationale: The children explored different animal tracks and recreated the tracks at the clay table (See "Science Weekly Documentation" for visuals) last week. The children enjoyed using the plastic animals to walk across their clay paths and make footprints with them, as well as making homes to keep the animals protected. Because of the cold weather, the children could not explore outdoors to look for more animal footprints, but we hope to venture outside this week if the weather permits. The children also showed interested in homes other than animals. They built apartments, houses, and "houses on wheels" in the block area. Next week, we will bring in materials so the children use the clays to construct homes for "people."
• Skills: Observing and interpreting information about the real world, concepts related to habitats, higher level thinking skills, peer relationships and social interactions, fine motor skills.

Sensory (Ice and Color Mixing)
• Materials: ice, warm water, cold water.
• Rationale: Last week the children continued to explore colors and color mixing by mixing and melting the colored ice cubes. The children became very interested in warm vs. cold water, and how the warm water affects ice. This week we will set up the water table to have both warm and cold water so that the children can explore temperature and melting ice.
• Skills: Predicting, cause/effect, scientific thinking/reasoning, concepts related to temperature and changing of physical states, hypothesis/creating testing.

Language and Literacy
• Materials: Materials: winter-related books, favorite story books, books related to colors and color mixing; at the writing table: paper, pencils, staplers, tape, envelopes, mailbox, children's pictures, Our Name Book
• Rationale: The addition of the name book has not prompted as much name writing as hoped. Teachers will facilitate name writing at this table throughout the week. We will also use this name book over at the sand art table as provocation to get children writing their names. We added books relating to color mixing to our book cave. Lastly the children continued their interest in story writing at the writing table, as we transcribed their stories about fairies and princesses. Next week we will continue this story creating/telling at the writing table, and ask the children to also write their names on their stories and illustrations.
• Skills: pre/early literacy skills, letter and name recognition, fine motor coordination/strength.

Math and Manipulatives (Including the Nook)
• Materials: puzzles, counting and number matching game, Unifix cubes, LEGOS, number cubes.
• Rationale: The children continue to be drawn to the puzzles, and especially love to stack the Unifix cubes. The Nook has also been a busy spot for some children, as we have seen the construction of TIV, spaceships, and cars. This week, Megan will use the information gathered from the "homework" that went home on Friday to make a table for the class containing information about age and numbers.
• Skills: number recognition, concepts related to quantity, counting, one-to-one correspondence, promote a sense of classroom community, symbolic representation, data collecting and recording.

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Materials: Play kitchen furniture (i.e. table, chairs, refrigerator, cupboards, stove/oven, sink), dishes, cooking utensils, aprons, chef hats, plastic lids and caps, dress-up clothes and shoes, pieces of fabric, baby-dolls, various sized teddy bears, phones, "spy cases" (of VHS plastic boxes)
• Rationale: Last week, we saw a relocation of the big dramatic play stories; leaving the house and moving to the blocks. However, when the kitchen was in use it was still being used for house play and cooking Spy play has continued to be popular and the children love using their spy cases to search for clues. We have been sending the spies on "missions" and there are a lot of secret meetings and hiding going on in the caves. Next week facilitate the spy play by giving clues and missions to complete.
• Skills: socio-dramatic/imaginative play, symbolic representation, social skills, promotion of new and existing friendships, acting out scenarios using memory, connections to the observed world.

Blocks
• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, cell phones, steering wheels, keyboards.
• Rationale: Oh the block area! This has been one busy spot this week. It is home to TIV machines, cars, spies, babysitters, ambulance drivers...the list goes on and on! At the end of last week, the children became very interested in building houses and apartments. They created a "neighborhood" where they "call" each other using their cell phones to warn each other about any danger (specifically "severe weather"). The danger is reported from the TIV driver, whom alarms the neighborhood if there is a tornado coming. The driver also calls the ambulance driver to help with any emergencies. There has been some great play going on in the block area, and next week we will continue to facilitate and extend the children's ideas: including the addition of streets and driveways to the neighborhoods
• Skills: large/fine motor skills, symbolic representation, problem solving, social relationships, negotiation, collaboration, socio-dramatic play.

Large Motor
- Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, jump-rope-swings, climbing wall
- Rationale: The gym continues to be a favorite place to visit every day. The only changes coming to this area will be the reintroduction of "Choice Gym" on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We will also continue to introduce new games each day! Outside: Somehow, we're loosing snow on the playground. But it's not stopping our fun! Soccer continues to be a hit, and others have found places to go "ice skating" on the playground.
- Skills: pushing with feet/propulsion (pedaling), standing/balancing, grasping, climbing, turn-taking, directional awareness, core-muscle strength, body awareness/proprioceptive skills, pumping/swinging, jumping/landing, cardiovascular strength/endurance

Additional Announcements and Reminders
- Liam's dad (Dan) will join us on Monday to do some fun science (static electricity) experiments with the children. It's should be a shockingly good time!
- Ross will be out of the classroom on Tuesday, getting ready for conferences.
- For those families returning next year, please return your enrollment forms by Friday

Snack
Monday - Corn Chex & milk
Tuesday - Apples & rice cakes
Wednesday - Pretzels & carrots
Thursday - Sunbutter sandwiches
Friday - Popcorn & fruit smoothies
** All snacks served with a choice of water or milk, unless otherwise noted**

WINTER LP 1-22-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class

January 22 - 25, 2013

Lead Teaching This Week: Team Teaching

Overview: Despite the quick warm up during the week before, winter came back in full swing and kept everyone inside; "Even the animals!" Last week, many children got excited to look for animal tracks on the playground, however upon finding almost none, it was agreed that maybe it was "too cold and the animals [were] all sleeping." These hypotheses will continue to drive our investigation of animal homes and animal behaviors during the winter months. We will also promote more hypothetical thinking throughout the room, as we begin to push the children's thinking to more investigative levels during the next several weeks. We feel the children are ready to further explore and investigate the questions they have raised. To support this higher-level thinking and question asking, we will also start thinking about forming new small groups - beginning in the next week or two.

Expressive Art (art table and clay table)

• Materials: color mixing materials (bottles filled with red, blue, yellow, black, and white paint; brushes; mixing pallets; color swatches), collage materials, earth clay, wooden tools, wire, woodland animals, animal track molds, and pictures
• Rationale: This past week, the children explored color mixing with red, blue, and yellow paints, as well as different shades of those mixtures by using black and white paint. We introduced a " Color Recipe Book" for mixing colors, where we invited the children to make new colors and record their "specific" ingredients (i.e. 3 drops of..., 2 seconds of..., 1 circle-full of..., etc.) so their classmates could replicate the newly-created color. This week, we will continue to extend on color mixing by using the "Color Recipe Book" while also exploring the influence of colored paper on the colors the children make. At the clay table: Last week, children were invited to begin constructing animal homes by using animals from the block area as prompts. The children were very interested in this, so extending this while also incorporating the animal print molds at the clay table will be a focus this week. We also began discussing animal homes and animal tracks. The children became especially interested in animal tracks after going outside and searching for them around the school. We will incorporate this growing interest into the play at the clay table, as well: using the toy animals to make their own tracks in the clay.
• Skills: growing understanding of mixing colors, color recognition, cause and effect, comparison skills, reasoning skills, fine-motor strength/coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, elements of storytelling
Artistic expression, imagination/creativity, and connections to the observed world.

Sensory Table (snow table)
• Materials: colored ice cubes/blocks, scoops/hand-shovels, buckets, castle and shell molds
• Rationale: Due to the near-absence of snow, we have switched our focus to melting ice using water. Last week, the children explored what will make the ice and snow melt the fastest. A new addition to this area in the coming week will be color mixing. We will melt different colored ice cubes into a bin of water and observe the changes, as well as create new opportunities to support our focus on color mixing.
• Skills: Utilization of color mixing knowledge from the art table, predicting, cause/effect, scientific thinking and reasoning, concepts related to temperature/texture/changing of physical states (i.e. melting from a solid to a liquid), fine-motor strength, hypothesis creating/testing

Science
• Materials: animal track molds, woodland stuffed animals, books about winter and animal hibernation, clipboards, pencils,
• Rationale: Last week, the children learned about winter habitats for animals. Small groups went outside and explored around the Lab School playground for animal footprints. Another group specifically focused on the squirrel nests found high in the trees, and ended up gathering materials from the art closet to recreate their own squirrel nests! The children seemed to really enjoy going outside to investigate the animals found around the playground. This week, children will continue to explore habitats by constructing homes, as well as learning more about distinguishing various animals by their footprints.
• Skills: observation and interpreting information about the real world, concepts related to habitats, high-level thinking/reasoning skills, symbolic representation, imaginative/creative play

Language and Literacy


• Materials: winter-related books, favorite story books; At the writing table: paper, pencils, staplers, tape, envelopes, mailbox, children's photos
• Rationale: Some children have become interested in writing and illustrating stories and sharing them at story time before snack. As the stories seem to be "works in progress," they ended each tale with the suspenseful, "To be continued." If your child is talking about book making at home, join them in the process and help transcribe their tale - we would love to share it with the class! Also with the budding interest in writing, as well as encouraging more name writing at the "Question of the Day," we will introduce a name writing practice book called Our Name Book. Each child will have a page in the book that has their name typed, as well as an area for them to write their name; letting the children see how others are practicing with writing their names, too.
• Skills: promote social skills and a sense of classroom community, pre-/early literacy skills, letter and name recognition, fine-motor coordination/strength

Math and Manipulatives (including The Nook)


• Materials: various puzzles, counting and number matching game, Unifix cubes, LEGOS, counting flashcard game
• Rationale: The math table has been very busy, as we have facilitated several different activities in this area last week. The most popular was the making of a Unifix cube tower, and seeing how tall they were by counting the cubes. The children then started using the chart to compare their heights; commenting on being taller or shorter then fellow classmates. This week we will continue our focus on number recognition and counting by invite the remaining children to come get measured. Also, due to a small repair job that closed the Nook last week, the children seemed to have forgotten about it. To get more action going there, we have added a canopy to the ceiling and will be incorporating the LEGOS into our dramatic play.
• Skills: number recognition, concepts related to quantity, counting, one-to-one correspondence, dexterity, symbolic representation, data collection and recording

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Play kitchen furniture (i.e. table, chairs, refrigerator, cupboards, stove/oven, sink), dishes, cooking utensils, aprons, chef hats, plastic lids and caps, dress-up clothes and shoes, pieces of fabric, baby-dolls, various sized teddy bears, phones, "spy cases" (of VHS plastic boxes)
• Rationale: Dramatic play is taking place all over the classroom! In the kitchen there is lots of house play, cooking for each other, and also cooking for the bears happening. We saw children snuggling up with the stuffed bears to have sleepovers and "pajama parties." Similarly, the baby dolls received quite a bit of TLC as of late - receiving lots of extra care and "putting [them] to sleep." The teachers have also observed multiple play scenes occurring in other areas of the room. The children have been interested in playing "village," "spies," and "puppy owners." Adding new props such as the video cases - as well as giving direction to the play; such as providing "clues" for missing materials - helped keep the focused. The teachers will continue to plant "clues" around the room this week. Also, we will encourage using hollow blocks around the kitchen to make it bigger and look more like a "village."
• Skills: socio-dramatic/imaginative play, symbolic representation, social skills (e.g. compromising skills, negotiation, conflict resolution skills, etc.), promotion of new/existing friendships, acting out scenarios using memory, connections to the observed world

Blocks


• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, pieces of white felt, steering wheels, keyboards
• Rationale: The blocks were very popular, with nearly all the hollow blocks being used to make space ships and tornado machines (specifically the TIV from Tornado Alley). The children's self-directed play and working together to locate tornados (and "finding a safe spot to stay") has promoted the formation of new friendships, as well as created ample opportunities to practice various social skills! To support this self-directed and cooperative play, the teachers will carefully observe the play and offer supportive materials throughout the week.
• Skills: large/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, problem-solving, social relationships, negotiation, compromise, collaboration, socio-dramatic play

Large Motor
- Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, jump-rope-swings, climbing wall
- Rationale: The new gym set up was a hit! Children really enjoyed rolling, hopping, and jumping down the rolling hill. They also tested their newly developing pumping and balancing skills on the jump-rope-swings. Finally, they formed a line every day to get a turn on the Pedalo. The only changes happening this week will be inclusion of teacher-facilitated games led by the student teachers. Outside: It's going to be a cold week, and if the actual temp or wind-chill are below 0 degrees, we will stay inside. However, on those few days that we might make it out, we will have the sleds for pulling each other around the playground, and (of course) the daily soccer match.
- Skills: pushing with feet/propulsion (pedaling), standing/balancing, grasping, climbing, turn-taking, directional awareness, core-muscle strength, body awareness/proprioceptive skills, pumping/swinging, jumping/landing, cardiovascular strength/endurance

Special Interest
• Please be sure to sign up for a conference time if you have not done so already: updated schedule on our class page.
• GYM JAM draws nigh - Friday, Feb. 1 (6.30-8.30p). Fun for everyone, including other families in your neighborhood! Invite others to join us on this very fun evening!
• Enrollment reminder--The enrollment forms that were emailed last week are due by February 1st.
• We will be finishing up our research project with Ru this week.

Snack
Monday - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday - Oatmeal and raisins
Wednesday - Birthday snack (provided by Kassidy's family)
Thursday - Cucumber slices and rice cakes
Friday - Carrot sticks and whole-wheat crackers
**All snacks served with a choice of milk and water, unless noted**

WINTER LP 1-14-2013

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Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class

January 14 - 18, 2013

Lead Teaching This Week: Ross

Overview: We had a wet and wild finish to our week on Friday, but as you could probably tell from your child's thoroughly-soaked boots and snowpants, they had a great time outside: there were shrieks of excitement heard across the playground as the collective group sloshed and stomped through the puddles. The same excited squeals could be heard as many members of our class zipped down our sledding hill earlier in the week! Needless to say, our class is having a great time playing outside together, and the same can be said for the energy inside the room - the children have quickly reconnected with one another and have picked up right where they left off before winter break. It is also clear the children are ready to dive into learning some new content as well, with many eagerly joining their Activity Time groups "ready to learn." We will bring in more provocations to the various areas of the classroom with the intention of stimulating deeper critical thinking skills related to our current foci (color mixing, animal homes, changes in our own homes, as well as concepts of number and quantity).

Expressive Art (art table and clay table)

• Materials: color mixing materials (bottles filled with red, blue, yellow, black, and white paint; brushes; mixing pallets; color swatches), collage materials, clay, wooden tools, wire

• Rationale: After reflecting on discussions from large group last week, the teachers will continue to help foster a stronger understanding of color mixing: asking the children to help create a "Color Recipe Book" to help their fellow classmates know the "exact" amounts needed to make certain secondary colors (as well as various light and dark shades). We also hope to work on create a chromatic color chart to display outside the classroom, showing what we have learned about color mixing. At the clay table, a group of children have been very interested in creating various "locations" out of clay: one being a farm filled with animals, a house, and a barn; another being outer space, complete with flying rockets; and the last a junkyard, filled with a menagerie of broken-down "pieces of junk." We will continue to support the expansion of these "locations" by encouraging those interested to continue adding new pieces to the existing structure each day.
• Skills: growing understanding of mixing colors, color recognition, cause and effect, comparison skills, reasoning skills, fine-motor strength/coordination, symbolic representation, creative expression, elements of storytelling

Sensory Table (snow table)
• Materials: snow, scoops/hand-shovels, buckets, castle molds
• Rationale: We had snow...now we have started to run out. Thanks to spring-like temps, our snow supply has started to run low (...in Minnesota...in January?!?). However, the wet snow has lent itself to great sculpt-ability, so the teachers have added pictures of various snow sculptures to the area to inspire some new "snow castle" creating. The melting of the snow has also piqued the interest in explore different ways to melt snow. We will explore both the sculpting and melting interests more this week, and follow each interest as best we can with the supplies Mother Nature provides.
• Skills: scientific thinking and reasoning, concepts related to temperature/texture/changing of physical states (i.e. melting from a solid to a liquid), fine-motor strength (related to scooping/shoveling), hypothesis creating/testing

Science
• Materials: woodland stuffed animals, books about winter and animal hibernation, clipboards, pencils,
• Rationale: This week we will to a closer look at the question, "Where do the animals (around our homes and school) go in the winter?" Each day, a teacher will bring a group over to the area and develop some hypotheses related to the questions: possibly taking the groups outside and around the playground to see what evidence they can find. We may also invite the children to do some search for evidence of animals around their homes, as well. We will keep you informed as to the developments of this investigation.
• Skills: awareness building related to animal homes - where animals live in the winter, high-level thinking/reasoning skills, observations, symbolic representation, imaginative/creative play

Language and Literacy


• Materials: winter-related books, favorite story books; At the writing table: paper, pencils, staplers, tape, envelopes, mailbox, children's photos
• Rationale: As the children continue to draft and send letters and pictures to one another, the teachers want to capitalize on these great opportunities to have the children continually practice writing their names (and additional words, as each child is ready). We will make a small book with each child's picture and typed name. Then, over the course of the week, the teachers will encourage the children to write their name and add it to the book; allowing each child to see their own written name, as well as continue try again to add a new/update version written by themselves.
• Skills: promote social skills and a sense of classroom community, pre-/early literacy skills, letter recognition (with name writing), fine-motor coordination/strength

Math and Manipulatives (including The Nook)


• Materials: new puzzles, counting and number matching game, Unifix cubes, LEGOS
• Rationale: The counting and stacking with the Unifix cubes really took off this week! The children used them to count and match heights of stacks, measure various small items in the room, make ABAB color patterns, as well as do a quick survey of the class' favorite colors. To expand on these ideas, the teachers will have the children help record this "data" on various charts to help show all the information they are gathering about their peers.
• Skills: number recognition, concepts related to quantity, counting, one-to-one correspondence, dexterity, symbolic representation, data collection and recording

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Play kitchen furniture (i.e. table, chairs, refrigerator, cupboards, stove/oven, sink), dishes, cooking utensils, aprons, chef hats, plastic lids and caps, dress-up clothes and shoes, pieces of fabric, baby-dolls, various sized teddy bears
• Rationale: Last week, several different "potions" were made in our play kitchen: some that eventually became food to feed hungry baby-dolls; some used by fairies, princesses, and princes; and others to ward off tornados trying to "mess up the classroom!" It is clear making and creating "food" is becoming the favorite pastime in the kitchen - potentially leading us toward our restaurant play-theme in the very near future.
• Skills: socio-dramatic/imaginative play, symbolic representation, social skills (e.g. compromising skills, negotiation, conflict resolution skills, etc.), promotion of new/existing friendships

Blocks


• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, woodland animals, cotton/poly-fil (stuffed animal material), steering wheels
• Rationale: Related to the potion making - specifically the tornado potions - we have seen several TIV's (the mega-truck from the Science Museum movie Tornado Alley) assembled in the back of our room. The machines have been plenty big and able to hold several "scientists." This group is doing its best to collect information about the storms...as well as "make them disappear before they get to the classroom!" This is a fun and exciting topic for many in the room, however tornadoes and storms can be an upsetting topic for some children - as the separation between pretend and reality is still forming for some. We have kept the play more focused on the constructing and driving of the TIV's rather than the intensity/unsettlement that may come with finding any tornados. We are monitoring the play closely, but please let us know what things your child is saying about the play - especially if there are any feelings of unsettlement, as we want all children to feel comfortable and safe while at school.
• Skills: large/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, problem-solving, social relationships, negotiation, compromise, collaboration, socio-dramatic play

Large Motor
- Materials: Pedalo, bumpy slide, rolling hill, rope swing, climbing wall
- Rationale: We have a new gym set-up with a few old favorites: the bumpy slide and the climbing wall. In addition, we have brought out the Pedalo, created small swings with ropes hanging from the monkey bars, and built a rolling hill with the gym mats. These activities build the children's core strength, encourage socialization and cooperation, support exploration of what they can do with their bodies, and makes up for some of the things that we can't do outside during the winter time (such as rolling down a grassy hill). Outside: we opened our sledding hill last week and hope for more snow so that the children can continue to use the sleds! Also, many of the children have been shoveling and building with the snow; asking questions about and exploring ice and melting, and discovering how the winter weather effects the structures on the playground. Lastly, soccer continues to be a hit...even in the snow!
- Skills: pushing with feet/propulsion (pedaling), standing/balancing, grasping, climbing, turn-taking, directional awareness, core-muscle strength, body awareness/proprioceptive skills, pumping/swinging, jumping/landing, cardiovascular strength/endurance

Special Interest
• PAC meeting on Thursday, Jan. 17 (7-8.30p). All are welcome; we would love to have more voices there!
• GYM JAM is coming!! Friday, Feb. 1 (6.30-8.30p). Be sure to put it on your calendars now!!
NO SCHOOL: Monday, January 21 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• The research project mentioned last week will be starting this week. Ruxue (Rook-sue) will join us on Tuesday to meet the children and then begin her study on Wednesday. Please direct any questions about the study to Ross.

Snack
Monday - Clementines & crackers
Tuesday - Blueberry muffins (possibly made with Sheila)
Wednesday - Carrots & hummus
Thursday - Popcorn (made by the children!)
Friday - Black bean quesadillas
**All snacks served with a choice of milk and water, unless noted**

WINTER LP 1-3-2013

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14636215-snow-falling-on-the-background-of-tree-without-leaves.jpeg

Weekly Lesson Plan for Ross' Class

January 3 - 11, 2013

Lead Teaching This Week: Ross

Overview: Welcome back everyone and happy 2013!! 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 Avery, Megan, and Veronica. To make a comfortable and smooth adjustment back to school, we will have many familiar materials available: the playhouse and dress-up clothes in the dramatic play area, the color mixing at the art table, and LEGOS in the Nook (the smaller size versus the large size that we had at the end of the fall). We will also continue our focus on exploration of "homes;" continuing to look at our homes as well as animal homes - specifically what animals may do different to their homes during the winter months. We're excited to start our winter session and are glad to have you all back!

Expressive Art (art table and clay table)

• Materials: color mixing materials (bottles filled with red, blue, yellow, black, and white paint; brushes; mixing pallets; color swatches), collage materials, clay, wooden tools

• Rationale: To promote familiarity, as well as quick reconnections through favorite activities, we will revisit color mixing at the art table. However, while will focus more on utilizing our new knowledge about mixing various colors (including various shades of the same color) to create a beautiful documentation to display outside the classroom "showing what we know" about how to mix colors. At the clay table: The clay will be available; with new provocations and stories to retell - bringing the children back to the table to revisit this amazing material.
• Skills: artistic expression, creativity, fine-motor strength/coordination, symbolic representation, color recognition, cause and effect, comparison skills, reasoning skills

Sensory Table (snow table)
• Materials: snow, scoops/hand-shovels, buckets, castle molds
• Rationale: There is no mistaking it - winter is upon us! Unlike last year, we have snow on the ground and plan to bring it inside to explore its various physical properties (i.e. "How does it feel on your bare hands?" "How does the snow change once it's been inside?" "How many ways can we change the snow?"). True, the children will be able to play with it outside, however we are putting on out investigative hats, getting out hands "dirty" (or cold rather), and taking a closer look at snow!
• Skills: scientific thinking and reasoning, concepts related to temperature/texture/changing of physical states (i.e. melting from a solid to a liquid), fine-motor strength/endurance (related to scooping/shoveling), hypothesis creating/testing

Science
• Materials: woodland stuffed animals, books about winter and animal hibernation, clipboards, pencils,
• Rationale: We will continue our exploration of animal homes by asking the question, "What do the animals around our school do in the winter?" We will investigate this question by having conversations, looking at books, as well as possibly looking for videos about animal hibernation on the computer. We will also have a small (dead) orange tree at the science table, filled with woodland animals to allow the children the opportunity to carry out any of their own hibernation stories.
• Skills: awareness building related to animal homes - where animals live in the winter, high-level thinking/reasoning skills, observations, symbolic representation, imaginative/creative play

Language and Literacy


• Materials: books, "Book Cave," At the writing table: paper, pencils, staplers, tape, envelopes, mailbox, children's photos
• Rationale: To help foster the reconnection between the children, the teachers revisit writing letters with the children; specifically helping with the facilitation of addressing and signing of the letters. The teachers will also encourage the children to look in the mailbox and deliver letters throughout the day - helping the children recall the names of their classmates, as well as hopefully sparking new connections between peers.
• Skills: promote social skills and a sense of classroom community, pre-/early literacy skills, letter recognition (with name writing), fine-motor coordination/strength

Math and Manipulatives (including The Nook)


• Materials: new puzzles, counting and number matching game, Unifix cubes, LEGOS
• Rationale: One area with a new focus will be the math. To begin the winter session, we will explore numerals/number recognition and quantity. The games and materials in the area will challenge children to recognize the various written numbers and find the corresponding number of materials. In the Nook, LEGOS will be available for the children to build and create with...and knowing the popularity of this material, I have a feeling the Nook will be a very popular place!
• Skills: number recognition, concepts related to quantity, counting, one-to-one correspondence, dexterity, symbolic representation

Dramatic Play
• Materials: Play kitchen furniture (i.e. table, chairs, refrigerator, cupboards, stove/oven, highchair, sink), dishes, cooking utensils, aprons, chef hats, plastic lids and caps, dress-up clothes and shoes, pieces of fabric, baby-dolls, various sized teddy bears
• Rationale: The house was clearly a favorite area during the fall; seeing many visitors every day. We will keep the set up familiar for the first few weeks, however will observe their play closely to help bring in a new play theme. Restaurant was becoming popular at the end of the fall session, and may resurface during our first few weeks back.
• Skills: socio-dramatic/imaginative play, symbolic representation, social skills (e.g. compromising skills, negotiation, conflict resolution skills, etc.), promotion of new/existing friendships

Blocks


• Materials: large hollow blocks, unit blocks, woodland animals, cotton/poly-fil (stuffed animal material), steering wheels
• Rationale: The block area was another very popular area in the fall. We will have the basic building materials on the large-block side of the room; letting the children reenact stories from the fall or create new stories. To support our focus on animal homes during the winter, we will add props to the small-block side of the room and promote "winter habitat building." Supplemental books and pictures will also be in the area to act as a provocation.
• Skills: large/fine-motor skills, symbolic representation, connection to focus on animal homes, problem-solving, social relationships, negotiation, compromise, collaboration, socio-dramatic play

Large Motor
• Materials: In the Gym: monkey bars, "Bumpy Slide," climbing stairs, jumping platform, climbing bars. On the Playground: snow shovels, buckets, play dishes, scoops, sleds (for pulling around the playground - NO SLEDDING YET).
• Rationale: With the colder weather upon us, the gym will become a main source of our large-motor activity during the winter session. We will try to get outside every day, however with the dressing of 19 children in full snowsuits, we sometimes get less time outside then desired! As for our initial focus in the gym, we want to foster full body strength through climbing and jumping activities. We will also support proprioceptive and sensory skills as the children take turn-after-turn on the "Bumpy Slide." We will also continue to start each trip to the gym with a teacher-facilitated activity. Outside, the children will build plenty of strength as they trek around the snow-covered playground in their full snow gear! The sleds will come out after the first few days of returning, however only be used for towing and pulling one another around the playground. We want to make sure everyone, including our new student teaching team, feels settled and ready for the non-stop fun and excitement that comes with the sledding hill!
• Skills: balance, large-motor strength/coordination/endurance, eye-hand/eye-foot coordination, body in motion/space (i.e. proprioception), cardiovascular strength, depth perception, risk-taking, collaborative play, propulsion skills (kicking), social skills (i.e. negotiation, compromise, turn-taking)

Special Interest
• Be sure to stop down and meet our new student teachers; they're very excited to get started and work with your children!
• A reminder about parking: please remember to park your car in an angled spot (or parking meter) if you are planning to walk in with your child. Leaving your car unattended and parked along the curb during drop-off makes it extremely challenging to get the cars through our driveway.
NO SCHOOL: Monday, January 21 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
• Please send your child's snow gear with them every day! Some days it might warm up to just above zero by the time we plan to head outside, and it's always easiest to get your child into their own gear. Also, labeling helps ensure your child's gear goes home with them each day!

Snack
Monday - NO SCHOOL
Tuesday - NO SCHOOL
Wednesday - NO SCHOOL
Thursday - Pretzels and raisins
Friday - Rice cakes and apples
**All snacks served with a choice of milk and water, unless noted**

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