Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Keeping Healthy and Special Ideas

This is the blog that should have gone out over the weekend.  The teachers had to make a special trip today to pick up the camera  left in school on Thursday in order to do this weekly review.
Our artist of study for the week was Rene Magritte and his painting the Son of Man.  The class loved learning how the Belgian painter made paintings of himself but did strange things like putting ordinary objects in unusual settings.  Things are hidden by what we see.  They also chuckled over his bowler hat.  Scattered throughout the blog are photos of friends painting a canvas to create a background that resembles the one in this famous painting.  Other friends are tracing and cutting the pieces to glue on to their canvas to make a version of the Son of Man.  Avraj just returned from being sick and is pictured making up last week's painting of sunflowers. 
Scented markers were extremely popular as you can see.  Nora is using them to create a get well card with the words Feel Better Soon for her sister's friend.
A group of our friends depicts the essence of team work by building with magnatiles while others are doing the same with our big wooden blocks.  According to the latter architects, this is Elsa's house.  These activities with magnatiles, markers and blocks took place during free choice time, along with the opportunity to play with our set of alphabots. 
Emma R. is trying to keep us all healthy by using hand sanitizer.  The teachers are requesting that every Whole Note member do this upon arrival daily, along with other needed times over the morning.  If everyone does their part, hopefully we can all stay healthy.
Brady presented the letter box for "U".  He was so excited that he could hardly wait for circle to begin so that he could show his treasures. You can see him pointing to the state of Utah on his US puzzle.  Finally Oliver is featured writing the letter of the week in his alphabet book and drawing pictures of objects that begin with "U".
Britta would have celebrated her 5th birthday with us yesterday.  We hope she had a great day and will have her party with us at a later time.

Home Entertainment:
We understand that it is difficult to keep busy with your families  Perhaps the following fun activities  will help you while you are housebound.
First is our recipe for homemade play dough.  You will need 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, 4 teaspoons of cream of tarter, 2 tablespoons of either canola or vegetable oil and 2 cups of water to which you can add a few drops of food coloring. Put all in a pot and cook over low heat, constantly stirring, until the mixture leaves the sides of the pot.  Take off of heat and let it cool.  Then roll into balls and shape, squish, pat, etc.  Store in a closed plastic bag in an air tight container.
Second:  make a fort with chairs and blankets.  Use flashlights.
Third: write the alphabet letters separately on pieces of paper.  Hide them and have a letter hunt.  Keep practicing the sounds and formation of letters.  Copy words.
Fourth:  use paper bags, crayons, markers and any scraps you have to make puppets.  Make a theater out of a box or use it as a stage.  Each of you act out the person or animal you created to have a puppet show.
Fifth:  build with marshmallows and toothpicks or pretzel sticks.  Try this with the play dough also.
Finally:  make family books.  Choose a subject.  Everyone draws a picture and dictates words of description.  Punch holes, tie pages together.  Read over and over.

Hopefully we will see you all soon.  Stay safe and be well.  Tell your children the teachers love and miss them.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Art and Science

On our blog you will see friends working on a painting of sunflowers.  These masterpieces are keeping in touch with the work of Vincent Van Gogh who was the artist of choice this week.  The group learned that although Van Gogh was a very sad man, painting pictures made him happy.  He created more than two thousand paintings in his lifetime.  One of his favorite choices was sunflowers as they make people smile.  Sunflowers, the class was told, stand for adoration and being a friend for a long time.  Over the week at circle we discussed how flowers are grown and cared for, along with becoming familiar with the names of many different flowers and the parts of flowers.  Some friends were actually able to read the names of flowers written on our white board.  The photos show different stages of our work and a friend doing a page in her journal for this week.  Each preschooler drew his/her choice of flowers, along with writing the names of the flowers in the journals.
Other children are shown writing titles and descriptive words for our bulletin boards.  This task is done by volunteers.  We accept everyone, no matter how far their printing skills have progressed.  In other pictures some Whole Notes are using a magnetic  game to find which objects will be picked up by a magnet.  Another child is using a sorting manipulative which offers a choice of sorting by shape or color.  Many friends are drawing together.  A set of dinosaur stencils was offered at free choice time.  This was a first for this drawing and tracing set.  It was very popular along with scissors for cutting and colored pencils for enhancing.
Mr. Perry was in again to do science with us.  This time he explained how to use a magnifying glass.  Do you move your hand to look at things or do you move the glass?  He brought a microscope with slides to study.  These activities are done in small groups and are a welcome addition to our program.
In between the art and science curriculum, you will observe Oliver who was this week's winner to have a second turn with the letter box.  His assignment was "T".  Oliver always dresses the part.  This time he has on a t-shirt with a Thomas Tank Train, a triple "T".  He is showing us a timer.
Next week we will be working hard learning the style of a French artist.  Out main focus will be on art work between now and the day of the art show.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Events of Our Week

On this week's blog (pictures are not necessarily in order of text) you will see our friends back to work and getting ready for the upcoming art show.  We are shown completing our clocks with paint and numbers so that we can move on from Salvadore Dali  and begin to learn the style of another artist this coming week.
Nora was the lucky winner when we pulled her name out of a bag.  She was the first Whole Note member to have a second turn to bring home the letter box.  She did a superb job for the letter "S" and is holding up a special toy that she gave a name to that begins with "S".
Sarika celebrated her fifth birthday with delicious cupcakes.  Both her Mom and Dad were here.  Sarika wore an appropriate  birthday t-shirt and came to school with a beautiful new back pack showing her name in sparkly letters.
Other friends were photographed while enjoying the good weather outdoors.  We hope to have more outside fun as spring is approaching.  These activities are great for gross motor development.
The class also does great things not necessarily shown on the blog.  One popular experience was doing science with Mr. Perry.  He helped the group to learn about gravity and friction with a relay manipulative  Seeing which objects could roll faster and why caused much excitement.  Ask your preschooler about it.  We hope to do it again soon.
Our other good times were creating lions and lambs from various shapes, along with scissors, crayons, cotton and the like.  These animals illustrate the theme of "March Comes In Like a Lion and Goes Out Like a Lamb".  They will be up on a bulletin board this week, giving you a chance to observe your youngster's creativity.  We turned the whole project into a science lesson by learning terms such as pride (a family of lions) and lioness, how lions eyes are blue when they are born and then change to amber, what countries lions live in and more.  The same was true for vocabulary about lambs such as ram and ewe.
The story titled "Dandelion" was a big hit and taught us the moral that it is always best to be oneself and not try to be someone we are not.  The book "The Lamb and the Butterfly"reminded us how some animals have one home but others can go anywhere in the world at will.  The Whole Notes love books.  You can hear a pin drop when a teacher reads to our class.  There is a  round of applause from the group when she is done.  That is it for the week!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

History and Science

The Whole Notes were busy right up until the end of the week when our vacation began.  Our focus was on the upcoming President's Day holiday, as you see in our photos (not necessarily in order).  We talked about George Washington: how  he was the first president but did not live in the White House, how he rode a white horse and fought for our country, how he wore a wig along with more facts that a preschooler could understand.  Even though the story of George chopping down the cherry tree with his new hatchet may or may not be true, we used it as an example of telling the truth, no matter what the consequences.
The children chuckled over the height of Abe Lincoln and his stove pipe hat, but respected how he walked for  miles to be able to read books.  Obviously the emancipation of slaves is beyond them, but in class we likened it to being respectful of each other , no matter what we look like.  Paper money and coins with presidents faces were shown.  Tracing, cutting and coloring (there are those fine motor skills again) created both a George Washington hat and Lincoln mask.  Pictures of log cabins were out for coloring along with Lincoln logs for building during free choice time.
A special treat was the visit from the "Mad Scientist" on Wednesday.  To everyone's delight she gave us an informative fun filled program of science experiments.  She turned water into a solid, magically changed the color of liquid solutions, made pretend snow and melted styrofoam cups with acetone.  For the big finish our scientist created rolling fog with dry ice.  The children were thrilled to say the least
Other pictures shown are Ariel presenting the letter box for "R".  He had to wait a long time for his turn since he was last.  There are not enough letters in the alphabet for everyone to have a second turn so for the rest of the time we will pick a name out of a bag each week.  No one will have more than two turns. 
David is shown as the leader of the day.  With that turn, the special helper puts the number on the calendar and and tells us the name of the day, date and year along with any hidden words appearing such as "on" in Monday or "we, wed or day" in Wednesday.  Daniel is shown picking out the letters of his name.  Both David and Daniel are using reading readiness skills.
Our week ended with a valentine party  including lots of cards and fun treats.  Thanks to all the families who sent in goodies per our request.  After vacation we will focus on our work for the upcoming art show.