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

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