February 2020, week 2 update

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.


This will be our last week of dinosaur-era activities for February’s ‘Time and Travel’ theme.  We will also be working on decorating our Valentine’s Day boxes and our parent gifts starting on Wednesday.

If you have any spare shoe boxes or empty tissue boxes to donate before Wednesday, we would be very appreciative!


Friday is our Valentine’s Day party! We will be exchanging cards in the morning and having a special tea party with macarons, petit fours, scones, and tea sandwiches.  Fruit-flavored herbal, organic tea will be served along with milk.  No need to dress up because we will be playing outside for most of the day to run off the sugar! 😉 

This week, please help your child prepare Valentine’s Day cards by writing on each card who it is for and who it is from.  Then, on Valentine’s morning, you can help your child delivery his/her cards to each child’s box.  

We love Valentine’s cards that are both homemade and store bought, but please keep in mind that they need to fit inside the box opening that is about 4-5 inches long.  Also, feel free to include a little candy treat if you wish.


Screen Shot 2020-02-09 at 11.22.26 PM

(Yellow highlight is parent participation project)

Circle Time

The objective this week has been to challenge the children with their developing phonological and phonemic awareness.  Our Dinosaur A-Z book has helped by breaking large words into syllables in addition to picking out sounds of specific letters. The Discovery: Rumble with the Dinosaur’s book has helped with the same things with the addition of more interactive fun as children match the dinosaur on the page to the dinosaur button that makes its sound.

Our calendar this month has an A/B pattern: a heart that alternates between light pink and dark pink.

Music and Performance

This week has been all about performance!  With dinosaur hats on, each day we made sounds, movements, and behaviors of different dinosaurs!  Not only does this guided improv help improve their coordinated group play, but it also helps them develop a keen awareness of signals and rule-based games as we play out according to the parameters of the game.  While it is a school rule to use “gentle” voices (no screaming or yelling inside or out), we made an exception during this period–since they were dinosaurs–and they had a blast roaring as loud as they could! 🙂

Recess 101 and Sports

Please see above lesson plan for daily activities.  We are continuing learning how to kick the soccer ball towards a goal and to another person.   The older ones have taken to using marker cones to practice dribbling and goal kicking too!

STEM / Arts and Crafts

I combined these two periods as our experiments required more time and a lot of one-on-one assistance.  The details of each day are in the lesson plan pictured above.

Last week we began our sub-topic on Dinosaur’s as we start to learn about time.  Time is an abstract concept that is both mathematical measurement and culturally-based, so the objective is to introduce children to simple vocabulary and ideas that can help them develop an ongoing understanding.  As we play and participate in dinosaur projects, children learn that dinosaurs lived “a long, long time ago, before people” and that there are no more dinosaurs alive, so all people find our dinosaur bones.

We dug out fossils in kinetic sand, excavated fossils from ice using warm water and droppers, and excavated fossils in earth (plaster) using a child-safe hammer and chisel (a dust mask and goggles were also used).  We explored spatial understanding as they practiced how to put a 24-piece dinosaur jig saw puzzle together, a set of 15 two-piece jigsaw dinosaur matching puzzles, and the absolute favorite: dinosaur footprints with mommy/daddy footprints and then sticking feet into gooey paint to put on top of the parent foot prints!  I had the primary colors out they could choose from, which gave us a chance to remember how the tertiary colors are made.

Nature-based Learning

Our sensory table was filled with kinetic sand and–instead of the model dinosaurs–I put in small dinosaur fossils that they could keep digging for and hiding.

Our water table was filled with water tools like buckets and paintbrushes, droppers, sieves, and pouring tools.

Also, you may have noticed in the FB pictures that we have a new succulent garden.  I made to be like a plant petting zoo!  There are fuzzy, pokey (but not sharp), and squishy succulents for them to feel and care for.

Afternoon Story Time:

Afternoon story time begins with 10-minutes of self-directed “reading” as rest mats are set up.  Then 3-5 books are read to children (see monthly reading list).  This past week, I kept the books from January as the children seemed to be especially interested in them! They have been changed out over the weekend with new ones from Avalon’s library (reading list to be in a separate post).

Thank you families! I hope you all have a wonderful week!

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