February 2020, week 1 update and monthly newsletter

Please find within: school news and activities, parent participation information, and 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 parent Facebook page.

SCHOOL NEWS AND ACTIVITIES

February’s learning theme, Time and Travel, will be divided into two sub-themes to help cover this topic in a fun way: Dinosaurs and “time travel”.  Since children do not grasp the concept of time until around second grade, learning about time will be based on introducing and reinforcing vocabulary and concepts such as a calendar, numbers on a clock, ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, etc.), and more.  Our time travel component will use transportation, style, and music as a way to view history–skipping from dinosaurs to medieval castles to the 1900s.  Please be sure to read the Parent Participation Information section as there will be a lot this month!

I am also switching our learning methodology from last month’s role-play to both hands-on project-based and sensory interactive.  For example, children will be digging for dinosaur bones in small groups (project-based) and playing music games / dancing (sensory interactive) as we explore time through a variety of music genres from classical to 80s music.  Our theme-based materials will be a giant year calendar (using seasons and holidays/celebrations as time markers), dinosaur figures / books / puzzles, an interactive felt board for transportation, and vintage props as they are covered by our time travel.

Valentine’s Day, on Friday, February 14th, will be celebrated with lots of sweet treats!  As we get closer, I will send out and have flyers about Valentine’s Day cards that your child can bring.  We will spend a little time each day on the second week decorating a shoe/tissue box for our Valentine’s cards (giving them time to dry). If you have a shoebox or large tissue box to donate this week, it would be very much appreciated!

President’s Day, on Monday, February 17th, is a federal holiday that Avalon is closed for.

Parent Participation Information

I will keep you updated throughout the month via Facebook and take-home flyers for participation as it will be a bit more than usual this month!  Please keep in mind as you read below that the participation is meant to be fun and simple, taking no more than 10-15 minutes each week.

Here is a preview:  Week 1–Dinosaur footprint measuring. Children will be taking home a large dinosaur footprint to measure/compare size by tracing the outline of your foot and your child’s foot within the dinosaur’s footprint.  This helps them grasp the concept of a dinosaur’s size as well as practicing superlatives (smallest/largest).

Week 2–Valentine’s is about love, so children will be taking home a picture page to question you about some things you both love (with you writing down the answers and helping them determine the questions through picture comprehension).  We will be using this picture page for a V-day project when it is returned.

Week 3 and 4–Time Travel.  We will be dressing up and styling throughout these weeks as kings/princes and queens/princesses, cowboys and cowgirls, and then a tour of the 1900s: 20s/30s, 40s/50s, 60s/70s, and the 80s!  I will have more info on participation as it gets nearer.

5th weekend (going home Friday, February 28th): This year, on 5th weekends, I would like to start our Reading Weekend Adventures! Avalon has stuffed animals based on literary characters (Winnie the Pooh, Paddington Bear, etc.) and their books that children will get to select to take home for the weekend.  The Reading Weekend Adventure will have a canvas tote, the character and its book(s), some PJs and a blanket for the character for story time, and a scrap book to put pictures and notes in about their adventure together (keeping it simple, like story time together or being introduced to the child’s other toys/animals).  If you are unable to print out pictures at home for the scrapbook, you can text or email them to me so we can do it here on the following Monday, March 2nd, which happens to be National Read Across America Day / Dr. Seuss Day!

Last Week’s Lesson Review

Screen Shot 2020-02-03 at 6.53.12 AM

Last week wrapped up January’s theme of ‘Jobs and Money’ with Construction Jobs. The children enjoyed working with our wooden toy toolset, cardboard bricks (as you all saw each day!), and using their creativity with the castle block set (a more advanced block set to help develop spatial awareness, balance, and fine-motor skills).  They also explored “becoming” different jobs as they used the magnetic dress-up figure to change into job uniforms.

Month-end learning objective summaries will be sent privately by email for each child within the week.

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