January 2020, week 3 update

Dear Families,

Please find within: (1) school news, (2) parent participation information, and (3) last week’s (week two) lesson review.  This update has general information only; for all child-specific information and pictures of students’ play and work from last week, please go to Avalon’s private Facebook parent page.

News and Announcements

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, January 20th, but Avalon will remain open as this holiday is one of our special learning days.  If you will be taking days off this week or next for an extended weekend, please let us know ahead of time. (Thank you to those who already have.)  There is also a student’s birthday that day, which means we will be making cupcakes!

Parent Participation

This Thursday, January 16th, we will have a show-and-tell sharing for morning Circle Time based on what mom or dad does for work as we continue to talk about jobs.  We ask that your child bring an item that you use for your job along with a little note describing what you do and how the item is significant to your work.  The item should be something simple–if you work with cars, it could be some spare keys, or if you work with finances, it could be some coins.  If you need ideas or have any questions, please feel free to text/email/call.

Last week’s (week 2) Lesson Review:

Screen Shot 2020-01-12 at 1.23.10 PM

Circle Time (Mon-Fri)

I will try to do a FB live video of our Circle Time sharing topics because they are super cute and hilarious!  After taking attendance, we all take turns sharing something random with the group and then have a group conversation.  Children practice giving their classmates their attention and patiently wait their turn to share.  Sharing can be anything; here are my favorites from last week: “A dinosaur tried to eat my mom’s shirt when she was walking.” (two days in a row!), “Bikes! I love them!”, “Cars. I like cars. Vrooommm!”. Besides learning how to express themselves personally and participating socially, this is a fun way to develop language skills as I repeat back to them (when is natural) what they said in proper sentence structure.  We also had a theme-related story each day that is either interactive or rhyming (titles above).

After sharing and story, everyone gets up to go to the calendar.  We have a challenging pattern this month of three shapes: circle, square, and triangle.  I pose the “what is the next shape in our pattern?” question to the group so whomever is at that learning level can answer, while those still learning are able to identify individual shapes.  For the calendar, we vary how we count–sometimes we count backwards, sometimes we play “guess this number”, sometimes we find all the numbers with a “3” in them, or everyone gets a turn counting one week in a funny voice, and it goes on and on!

After calendar, all this week for Music and Performance, we have free choice of singing, playing instruments, and dance!  Last week they all chose singing songs like Itsy Bitsy Spider, ABCs, Old MacDonald, and Jingle Bells.

Sports and Recess 101

After Music and Performance, we grab waters and jackets to go outside for recess! Per the above lesson plan, we have a short group activity that I either facilitate by beginning or let them initiate.  These activities help gross-motor development and practice collaborative/coordinated play (play with others with individual roles for specific objective).  The rest of this period is supervised free play.

Nature-Based Learning

Sensory Table: Last week we had loose sand with mini rock “boulders”, mini wood “logs, and construction vehicles in addition to shovels and buckets.

Water Table: I kept the water table empty last week because I wanted to introduce the new the 64-color sidewalk chalk!

Garden: We are redoing our veggie garden, so only the pineapple thyme is left right now and it is getting a lot of attention as the children rub the leaves and smell it.

STEM + Arts and Crafts

This month is all about using role-play for learning (facilitated and self-directed) with special learning materials for each week’s sub-theme.  Last week was farm-to-table jobs, so we had fruit/veggie barrel sorting by color and spacial reasoning as children moved fruit/veggie objects from crate, to barrel, to basket, to shopping bag.  They also had a cash register to practice social studies as we exchange money for goods.  Props included a purse, wallet, credit card, shopping basket, receipts, and a Safeway paper bag.  We also had an ice cream parlor that was a GIANT hit! Please see the private parent’s FB page for pictures.

Story Time

Our monthly reading list can be found here. Children and/or myself choose 3-5 books to read after they have their 10-minutes of self-directed “reading”.

The rest of each day is dedicated to nap/quiet time, afternoon snack, outside play, and free time inside with Montessori and dramatic play materials.

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