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

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