April News 2016

March in Review

March was a short but active month. We finished up the Visual Arts Theme with a memorable Art Show on March 4th. Thanks to all of you for attending. The children worked so hard and were very proud of their work and what they had learned. We then began our physics theme of Simple Machines. The students have thus far been introduced to wheels and axles, inclined planes and wedges. The children have learned that Simple Machines make life easier and that more complex machines are made up of more than one simple machine. While learning about wheels and axles, the students learned it was easier to move Ms. Baker when she was on wheels than without. They were presented with the idea that gears are wheels with teeth and made an invention using gears with a team. They discovered that the gear that turns the other gears is the “driver” and several gears put together is called a “train.” During inclined planes the children experimented with different materials to determine which would be faster on a slide. The children tried foil, paper plates, cardboard, waxed paper, tissue paper and bubble wrap. They also used an inclined plane (a ladder) to write their names on the ceiling. The idea of the inclined plane led to the presentation of the wedge. The children learned how a wedge has one fatter side and one side that is thinner to cut through things with tools like scissors, knives and axes and they realized they have their own set of wedges, their teeth. We finished up March learning about pulleys and levers and enjoyed using catapults to paint beautiful art!

In April…
In April we will be shifting from Simple Machines to Aeronautics to Animal Life Cycles. We will end the Simple Machine Unit with screws, levers and pulleys. We will finish the theme with creating egg protectors and dropping eggs off of our climber outside. In mid-April we will go into our Aeronautics Theme and learn about flight. We will learn how air has power and makes planes stay afloat and we will discuss speed, lift and thrust as we launch our own paper rockets. We will then go into our Life Cycle Theme with a study of snakes and frogs. We will then move into our study of the butterfly as we raise our own Painted Ladies from caterpillar to chrysalis to adult in May.

Also in April:

Language Arts:
• Handwriting and alliteration for Nn, Mm and Hh
• Rhyming sounds -oo (like school), -een and –ick
• Asking questions to gain information
• Writing: Where will you go and how will you get there?
• Journaling: One day my friend and I ____________.

Math, Social Studies and Science:
• Writing and Valuing: 15, 16, 17 and 18
• Observing: Geo shapes
• Sensing: Textures
• Discovering: Simple Machines
• Creating: A water wheel
• Problem Solving: How can you lift a teacher?
• Understanding: Balance

Specials News:
PE: Tumbling was the theme for PE in March. We concentrated on using tumbling to gain strength, agility, flexibility and endurance. The children rolled forwards ad backwards during a game of “Rock and Roll” and participated in a rolling obstacle courses. The students also practiced forwards and backward somersaults on a mat being spotted by Ms. Baker. In April we will concentrate on “Spatial Awareness.” We will use positional words such as over, under, above, next to, around and across using our bodies in certain directions. We will play directional games, games with hula- hoops, Lions and Bears and “I Spy” using our bodies. . ~Ms. Baker

Music: During the month of March, the students have been learning more about keeping the beat in music. Using percussion instruments such as: rhythm sticks, wood blocks, and maracas with songs and chants has been a fun way to practice different beats. We also practiced using hand bells and played, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, “Row, Row, Your, Boat”, and “London Bridge is Falling Down”. One of our favorite activities was echoing the beat the teacher made as she read aloud the book, ”Max Found Two Sticks”. Next month, we will be learning about feelings in music and dance. ~Mrs. Draper

Sign Language: This month, the students have been learning the signs for things around the home. Choosing an item and placing it in toy house was a fun way to practice. We reviewed some opposites signs such as: big-little, pretty-ugly, dirty-clean, etc. Reviewing food and manners signs was fun as we went grocery shopping with partners in our pretend store. The students also practiced counting 1-20 and by tens to 100. Using signs during singing time and rhyme time has been helpful practice too. Next month, we will continue reviewing and learn signs for feelings and emotions. ~Mrs. Draper

Art and Drama: Students met the impressionaists through books of James Mayhew and the adventures of Katie. We made dot paitings with q- tips in the style of impressionists. We reveiwed the color wheel and mixed white with all the colors to make pastel colors. In dance and movemet we have been learning Hawaiian dance and the grapevine step in circle dance. The children have been preparing for performance using theatre games and storytelling. ~Mrs. Ruth

March News 2016

February in Review
February was a very busy month…aren’t all the months? During the first two weeks of February we finished our Author Study Unit with Audrey Wood and Laura Numeroff. While studying about Audrey Wood we used our imaginations to explore what would happen next after the Napping House ended, create metaphors to go with I am as Quick as a Cricket and draw the never-shown bear in The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear. Laura Numeroff books led us to experiment with cause and effect. The children wrote their own book, If you Give a _______ a _________ and we participated in an experiment with sharp pencils and a bag of water. The students predicted what would happen when the pencils were inserted into the bag of water. What happened surprised them all as no water leaked out. We then went into the Visual Arts Theme. The children have learned that art is not just painting and that we all get something different out of art. The students have been experimenting with different techniques and mediums and learning about different artists. So far they learned about Georgia O’Keeffe and Piet Mondrian.

In March they will be exposed to Jackson Pollack, Monet, Picasso and Michelangelo. The children also enjoyed a trip to The Concrete Couch in Manitou Springs. They were able to see the different studios and explore the distinctive artistic tools and materials. The children also made a tile out of clay that will help decorate a wall at the downtown library. They had a wonderful time visiting with artist Steve Wood.In March we will be ending our Visual Arts Theme in grand fashion. On March 4th the students will have an Art Show that will begin about 3:30 and end at 4:15. Please plan to come by and see what your student has been doing. Families are encouraged to admire the art that will be displayed and read about the children’s journey to the creation of that piece. It will be a wonderful
time. Cheese, fruit and juice will be provided.
After our Visual Arts Theme we will begin our physics theme of Simple Machines. The children will learn about wheels, axles, gears, levers, wedges, pulleys, inclined planes and screws. This theme will include a trip to Fire Station #9 on March 29th to see how simple machines make everyone’s life easier especially for the first responders.
Also coming up:
Language Arts:
 Handwriting and alliteration for Nn, Mm and Hh
 Rhyming sounds -oo (like school), -een and –ick
 Asking questions to gain information
 Writing: Where will you go and how
will you get there?
 Journaling: One day my friend and I ____________.
Math, Social Studies and Science:
 Writing and Valuing: 15, 16, 17 and 18
 Observing: Geo shapes
 Sensing: Textures
 Discovering: Simple Machines
 Creating: A water wheel
 Problem Solving: How can you lift a
teacher?
 Understanding: Balance

Specials News:
PE: During the month of February we worked on Dexterity and Control in PE. These skills help students to draw and write with control and build with small blocks and use self- help skills like zippering jackets. The children enjoyed activities such as dropping clothes pins into a container, maneuvering a magnet on a “track” and stringing cereal.
In March, we will concentrate on tumbling to gain strength, agility, flexibility and endurance. The children will enjoy activities such as rolling forwards and backwards, crawling through tunnels, doing the camel and bear walks, dancing the bunny hop and going through obstacle courses. ~Ms. Baker

Music: This month the students have been learning about instruments, orchestras, and musical scores. We have learned about the four music families and made a chart showing that most of the instruments in our school belong to the percussion family. After listening to instruments playing alone and together in an orchestra, we listened to Peter and the Wolf. Everyone was in suspense waiting for the ending. It was fun using our school instruments and adapting them to our own version of Peter and the Wolf. Next month we will focus on keeping the beat and hopefully learn how to play a few songs with hand bells! ~Mrs. Draper

Sign Language: During the month of February, the students have been learning the signs for different types of transportation. They enjoyed working together as teams while playing a board game using the transportation signs. We also reviewed family and animal signs. The students have been learning question word signs that we hope to use during our Friday show and tell times. Signing songs is always fun and we began learning the signs to one of our favorites, “Four Seasons.” Next month we will be reviewing things around the home and learning machine and technology signs. ~Mrs. Draper

Art and Drama: Art and Drama students have been drawing and painting and using their imaginations to play theater games. Their favorite is “Wax Museum” where one player, the custodian, sets the theme (like rock stars or animals)
and they must be still like wax museum statues. The children then “melt” if the custodian sees them move. The last child standing gets to be the custodian the next time. Other games included storytelling, improv ad pantomime. We continued to read about Katie and her adventures in the museum as she visits the Mona Lisa and the Sunflowers. by Vincent Van Gogh. After reading Kapono and the Turtle, are students created ocean paintings using “cool colors” and blue, green and purple were added. by Vincent Van Gogh. After reading Kapano and the Turtle, are students created ocean paintings using “cool colors” and blue, green and purple were added. ~Mrs. Ruth

February News 2016

January in Review:
Wow, time really flies and as we plan for new adventures to come it is hard to believe we are already planning for end-of-the-year projects and field trips. January was a very busy month. We finished our Arctic Unit with many fun activities. We were able to use this theme to learn to sequence the events in a story, learn about hibernation, adaption and migration and understand more about polar bears. We enjoyed many opportunities to learn about camouflage. The children discovered how this is a survival mechanism for most animals. They enjoyed being given an animal to create a matching environment to help the animal camouflage. We then started our Author Theme and learned about the writings of Eric Carle and Kevin Henkes. Eric Carle uses children’s curiosity in animals to get them interested in reading. As a child he often took walks with his own father to observe nature. He then writes about these things to help young children discover the joy of Mother Nature. We supported Eric Carle’s works with specific art projects and animal-based math activities. The children enjoyed ladybug math and seahorse math that emphasized matching numbers or math sentences with dots and spaces. The children also had the opportunity to spend “dollars” to make decisions on what they were willing to buy for their hermit crab shell. Kevin Henkes introduced us to his characters who are primarily mice. He uses storytelling to talk about social situations children may encounter and he empowers his readers by giving them ideas and support. With his works, we were able to incorporate a lot of cooperative learning opportunities. The students also added pages to their journals with writings such as “I was brave when_____” and “I want to be _______.” Bicycle day was planned to support Henkes’ book Chester’s Way. In the book, Chester and his best friend, who ride bikes together, had to find a way to include a new girl who moved into their neighborhood.In February we will continue our Author Theme with the works of Audrey Wood and Laura Numeroff. The books by Wood will encourage abstract thinking such as creating the bear that is NOT seen in the book, The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear and Numeroff will help us with the scientific idea of cause and effect as she is famous for writing If you Give a _____ a ______ stories.
After concluding the Author Unit, we will move into our Visual Arts Theme. We will be studying art forms and artists and learn that art is not just painting a picture. We will learn about the works of artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Mondrian, Jackson Pollack and Monet and create art based on books like Olivia, Why is Blue Dog Blue? and Lines. You will NOT see any of this art or the works of the children until the Art Show on March 4th. Then we will have a big reveal. There may be some pictures available on Facebook, but the specific art will be presented during the Art Show. We can be sneaky that way….
Also in February:
Language Arts:
 Journal writing “I am as quick as a _________”
 Drawing a Big Hungry Bear
 Thinking about “what happened
next” after a story ends
 Making a class book: “If you give a
_____ a ______”
 Writing a letter to Laura Numeroff
 Listening for rhymes for –ee, -art, –
ou and -ush
 Review letters Gg, Jj, Qq, Uu
 Handwriting and alliteration for Bb,
Pp, Rr
Math, Social Studies and Science:
 Estimate the number of chocolate chips in a cookie
 Muffins on a plate math activity
 Science experiment that involves a
bag of water and sharpened pencils
 Add and subtract piggies
 Color mixing
 Finish the shapes
 Spatial awareness
 Numbers 13, 14, 15

Specials News:
PE: For Physical Education in January, we have been focusing on crossing the midline. The midline is an imaginary line down the middle of the body. Bilateral integration (the ability to use both sides of the body at the same time) helps the two hemispheres in the brain to work together to perform tasks such as tying shoes, riding a bicycle, climbing stairs, writing and reading. Activities such as Miss Mary Mac, windmills, placing marbles in cups on opposite sides of the body and the scissor walk helped exercise this vital skill. In February, we will work on Dexterity and Control by playing with play dough, balancing pennies, cutting and sewing and threading. Soccer Buddies continues on Wednesday mornings with Coach Luke (**Coach Luke asks that children have tennis shoes on Wednesdays**). ~Ms. Baker
Music: January has gone by quickly as we have explored the musical elements of pitch, tone and dynamics. We have learned how to sing using high, medium and low voices as well as loud and soft voices. Our favorite activities involved using instruments to listen to different levels of pitch. The students especially liked using the triangle and hand bells. Next month we will learn about musical instruments and musical scores that tell a story. ~Mrs. Draper
Sign Language: This month we have learned signs for community helpers and talked about what we might want to be when we grow up. We have also been learning sport signs and had fun playing “What sport is in the box?” In February we will review opposites and learn signs for transportation and instruments. ~Mrs. Draper
Art and Drama: The book Katie and the Impressionists has been the guide for the students in art in January. Katie, the little girl in the book, wanted to give her grandmother flowers like the ones she has seen in paintings by Monet, Degas, and Renoir. As Katie did, the students explored mixing colors and even created their own “Starry Night.” ~Mrs. Ruth