February 2020, week 3 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.

SCHOOL NEWS AND ACTIVITIES

Thank you to all the parents for the amazing cards and candies brought for our Valentine’s Day party! ♥♥♥♥♥

As we continue to travel through time, we leave the dinosaur era to learn about music, art, and forms of travel in Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, and the Wild West.  The objective is a hands-on and role-play experience of how art, music, and travel change throughout time as children work with clay, paint, and black and white photography.  We will also be listening to music from those periods and practicing dance styles.

PARENT PARTICIPATION

This Friday children get to check out a book from our Avalon library to take home to read with you for the weekend.  Please have them return their library book on Monday so we can chat about them during Circle Time; they also get to pick out something from the prize box when they return the library book!

LAST WEEK’S LESSON REVIEW

Screen Shot 2020-02-17 at 10.34.35 AM

(Parent participation activity highlighted in yellow.)

Circle Time

The emphasis on our Circle Time stories this week was non-fiction informational books about dinosaurs.  We worked on sounding out letters, syllables, and consonant combinations and vowel sounds—truly, dinosaur names are perfect for practicing speech!!!  We also continued our calendar counting, number identification, and heart-shaped color pattern (light pink/dark pink).

Music and Performance

All this week was performance as we stomped, stepped, flew, crawled, roared, squeaked, and overall embodied multiple types of dinosaurs.  This improv was amazing to watch as children took the queue (e.g. walk like a “big” dinosaur, roar like a “baby dinosaur”) and then expressed the multiple descriptions in their own styles.

Recess 101 and Sports

The children have started, on their own, to kick the soccer ball back and forth to each other!  We keep our sports learning play-based with minimal structure so each child has plenty of time to practice and refine skills within the joyful experience of playing with their peers.  The basketball was also a game of choice this week, along with tag and their favorite game, hide-and-go-seek.

STEM / Arts and Crafts

I continued to combine these periods as our projects were more time consuming and also required some one-on-one assistance.

Children hatched their very own dinosaur eggs (molded in baking soda, water, and food coloring) using vinegar and droppers.  I asked them open-ended questions to help them develop descriptive vocabulary.  This was also great-fine-motor skill practice pinching and releasing the droppers for the vinegar.

We spent more time practicing the 24-pc jigsaw puzzle and 15-set 2-pc jigsaw matching puzzle, letting children work out the spatial reasoning on their own until they requested help.  There was also a LOT of play with our small dinosaur fossil figures and larger dinosaur models.  A few of the children had the small fossil figures become “babies” to the larger dinosaur models! 😀

Spatial reasoning and fine-motor skills were additionally practiced as we created a dinosaur sticker landscape and air-dry clay dinosaur footprints.  For the sticker landscape, we talked about ground and sky and landscape features, then children got to choose where to place the dinosaurs.  LOL–most ended up being BBQ’d on the volcanos!  Our clay footprints also helped them learn how to place and press molds.

For our Valentine’s projects Thursday, children helped mix the dyes and chose white flowers to place in each dye color for capillary action to have the dye be brought up through the stems into the white petals, effectually dying the petals the same color as the water they were placed in.  They also had great fun gluing feathers, jewels, sequins, petals and putting heart stickers onto their Valentine’s bags.  The next day, children chose their flowers from the dyes to make bouquets for parents along with their love poem.

Nature-based Learning

Sensory bin: Dry sand with construction trucks, mini wooden “logs”, and mini rock “boulders” along with shovels, scoopers, and buckets.   Water table: Water with float or sink items (along with fishing rods/nets for floating and tongs/scoopers for sunken items).

This week we also did a tremendous amount of garden work, so children were enthusiastically digging in the dirt as we transferred and tilled the soil of our new garden beds.  The highlight for me was a full ten-minutes of them sitting in front of a newly dug dirt patch talking about the bugs they saw–all were just sitting there absorbed in their nature observations!!!  It was truly beautiful to watch.

Afternoon Story Time

Please see our February reading list.

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