January 2020, week 4 update

Hello Avalon Families!

Please find within: (1) school news and preview of next week’s activities, (2) parent participation information, and (3) last week’s 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.

School News and Activities

We are saying goodbye and thank you to our old piano, which is sadly so old that our piano tuner said it could not be properly tuned anymore (it is a self-playing spinet nearly 50 years old).  If anyone knows a place or person who would like a piano to just to play around (I have over 15 music rolls for the automatic play), please let me know! However, it would have to be picked up before this next Thursday evening as our new piano is arriving on Friday!

Next week we have some special learning days:

Monday, January 20th, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day and also a student’s birthday! During Circle Time, we will be talking about how to be kind by sharing with everyone equally and watch a couple minutes of MLK Jr.’s “I Have A Dream Speech”. Then we will be continuing our birthday party tradition of making and decorating cupcakes for the birthday student and playing with party favors (bubbles, slime, balloons, etc.).

On Friday, we will observe the Chinese Lunar New Year (Year of the Rat) with traditional music, paper lantern making, and dim sum for lunch (catered/take-out) with organic, herbal (decaf) tea.

Tuesday through Thursday will continue January’s “Jobs and Money” theme with this week’s sub-topic of “Police and Firefighter jobs“.

Lastly, our Parent Night Out (PNO) has been moved to Saturday, January 25th, from 5pm to 10pm.  Please RSVP to reserve a spot.

Parent Participation Information

Next Friday, January 24th, we will be setting up our Avalon library for children to check out books for the weekend to read with parents.  For each book read and returned on Monday, children can earn a prize from the prize box.  P.S. I would LOVE to be emailed or texted family reading “selfies” so I can print and put them up near our reading area!

Last Week’s lesson plan and highlights

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 5.00.17 PM

Circle Time

Probably because playing doctor is one of their favorite things, the children have been especially interested in our Circle Time stories.  A favorite that I saw them choose during free time, almost every day, to look through was the Berenstain Bears Go To the Doctor.  Also, they’ve made huge progress in pattern recognition this week as we complete our third week of the circle/square/triangle pattern!

Music and Performance

This month is one of my favorites because we are just singing songs we practiced from last year and having free dance.  Some of the dance moves remind me of the Charlie Brown cartoons! The ukulele continues to be a favorite choice as well.

Recess 101 and Sports

Monday and Tuesday the children were busy riding the tricycle and car, so I just let that activity continue to flow!  Tag was chosen Wednesday, and Thursday’s rainy day recess was VERY active with each child having a balloon to toss, catch, and chase!  Not to mention that huge box that got climbed in and out over and over again!

STEM / Arts and Crafts

We are continuing to use interactive role-play as the learning methodology for jobs, money, and social studies. Our Wellie Wisher dolls and stuffed animals, you’ll be happy to know, have all been examined and all procedures successful! 😀  I’m pretty sure the highlight of the set-up was being able to play with bandaids!  Besides fine-motor skill practice, being able to manipulate/control this item helps children emotionally and mentally understand more about “boo boos” and how bandaids are used.  They also got a big kick out of our hearing tests and eye exams.  I kept having proud teacher moments this week seeing students select the x-ray pictures of bones and match it to their own body!!!

Nature-based Learning

The rain helped facilitate our learning experience as the water beads kept expanding each day (I left our table uncovered so we could see how much rain it collected) to the point that the beads barely fit into the gravity course by the end of the week!  Our water table soapy washing station had shark jaws (model) and rainforest animals to wash this week with cloths, sponges, brushes, and pouring cups–and warm soapy water of course.

Afternoon Story Time

Please see our reading list for January to view all books.  As of this Friday, we have gone through ALL the library books!  An absolute favorite is Have You Seen My Dragon? by Steve Light.  It is such a wonderful book that I purchased it for our school’s permanent library collection!  One book I could barely read without getting choked up and had to mentally pep talk myself through so I wouldn’t tear up in front of the children was My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo.  Beautifully written book about changes, sadness, and hope that is age-appropriate!  I’ll just put it into the tear-jerker category along with the Velveteen Rabbit, The Giving Tree, and Corduroy!

That is is for this week!  Thank you again to all parents who made our Show-and-Tell amazing!!!

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