February, week 4 update

Please find within: school news and activities, family 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

This week we will be dancing, dancing, dancing!  Our time traveling month is finishing up in the 1900s, sampling music throughout the decades as we play music games and dance.  We will also be looking at photographs of transportation in this time period as we imaginatively transform a box into boat, train, car, and airplane.

FAMILY PARTICIPATION

Since we had some students out last week, I decided to move our Avalon library time to this week so everyone could participate.  Books will be going home this Friday for return on Monday, which happens to be Dr. Seuss and Read Across America day!

LAST WEEK’S LESSON REVIEW

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Last week we visited Ancient Egypt, Medieval Europe, and the Wild West!

Circle Time

This period continues to be one of the most important parts of our learning day as we first take attendance, take turns sharing with the group, and then participate in an interactive story before we practice our counting, number ID, and pattern for our calendar.  Last week we deviated from our normal story books with an art book and theme-related activities to immerse ourselves in the time-periods.

Music and Performance

Per above, listening to the music as we danced or played helped “bring to life” the experience of what is was like in different times and places. The western music was definitely their favorite!

Recess 101 / Sports

I let this period be “free play” since there was a lot of dramatic play already going on and am so glad I did because the children decided–each day–to extend their activities from Circle Time and Music into outside play as they searched for clues, played kings and queens (Frozen’s Elsa and Ana, of course), and rode on their ponies as they played cowboys and cowgirls.

STEM

I felt it important to facilitate this learning period of such an abstract concept as time/history by providing an environment that the children could explore on their own–rather than “lecture” or formal instruction, I would have a conversation about a topic and then let them lead with questions.  For example, Tuesday we talked about how nice it was to have paper to draw and write on, but that long ago people mainly used clay because paper was very difficult to make.  We then practiced using our letter stamps and drawing tools on clay to practice writing our names.  As they asked questions, like “Why didn’t they have paper?”, I would answer and then ask them a question back, “Can you erase what you stamped and start over?”.  They were able to see that we could mold and roll out the clay again to start fresh.

Arts and Crafts

We had a range of mediums this week: clay and woodblock stamps to write their name (I carved their names in Egyptian hieroglyphs underneath), stickers to decorate crowns with, and then black and white photography.  The first two activities helped with fine-motor development as they placed stamps down and peeled stickers, providing practice with hand-eye coordination.  The black and white photography, along with other photography activities this week (see above lesson plan) helped expose them to how photos can help us learn about things.

Nature-based Learning

Sensory bin: Gravity obstacle course (marble run) with water beads (instead of marbles), scissor scoopers and pouring cups. Water table: soap bubble washing with sponges, droppers, cleaning brushes, pouring cups, and items to wash and “clean”.

Garden: Since we are still working on filling the new garden beds with soil, the children continue to be enthralled with digging in the dirt!  We talk about the bugs they find as they proudly show me each discovery.

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:  February reading list .

Have a wonderful week families!

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