Tuesday, June 6, 2017

With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibilty [Spiderman]

Here it is! Here it is! I did not forget to tell you what your “not so tiny anymore” kiddos were up to last week! We read the book Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett, illustrations by Jon Klassen, which Tess and I loved right alongside them! The magic of this book’s tone is built around an enchanting but outwardly simple, tiny, charcoal box of never-ending, yes never-ever-ending yarn! Which, I’m sure you can imagine, was a charming and whimsical experience with our class of dreamers!

Annabelle, our earnest protagonist, begins with a simple sweater, and then another, and another! Her special yarn box keeps giving and giving her more yarn! Soon, thanks to her dedicated and generous attitude the charcoal colored town is full of her classmates, teachers, neighbors and even furry friends delighting in the bright and beautiful sweaters. We got to talk about how Annabelle was such wonderful person to have such a special gift. She was so kind and thoughtful with the special gift magical yarn box- what a good example she is for us in how we use our gifts and treat others! To quote Spiderman, this books is a great lesson that; “With Great Power, Comes Great Responsibility!”

            The activities of this week were so unique and fun- we painted individual pieces with yarn, and we practiced our fine motor skills with a great yarn sewing activity. This week I have been thinking about who your amazing children were when they hesitantly and skeptically walked through the door to my class and how fortunate we have been to get to walk alongside your family in this year of preschool for them! What amazing people they are, I can’t wait to see more of them! Thank you for the opportunity to be in their lives, we are so thankful.


Friday, May 19, 2017

Journeying to Our Inner Storyteller

This week in Miss Emily’s class we challenged ourselves and worked together to find our inner storytellers with the help of the two books we read for the week. We focused on two books this week, “Journey” by Aaron Becker and “Quest” which is also by Becker!

These whimsical and captivating books are actually part of a series by Becker that… wait for this, has NO WORDS! They are visually compelling, with full pages of Becker’s lovely artwork and illustrations. This series is very special and these stories are one of my favorites to teach because of the unique space they create for learning and creating! “Journey” and “Quest” were so fun because your children were able to collaborate and connect their understanding of the images they saw and interpreted with those of their peers.

During our group time, building stories and telling them together, gave our class a chance to practice their own storytelling, imagination and communication skills. It was so gratifying to hear what they came up with for the different images and how they saw the stories play out, some days the translations were very similar and some days presented more diverse and varying renditions of the same images!

We practiced looking for finer details used by Becker in the elaborate illustrations that these stories utilize to narrate the events. The characters partake in wild adventures in far off lands that we can only dream of! Their magic chalk opens up new doors and is used to carry the plot of adventure, and crusading. By the end of the week, they were telling so much of the story, and I was able to take a backseat, which was so fun and reminded me how much they have grown this year!

We paired the readings with supported activities related to these books. We made the magic bird with glue, water color and salt, which was great fine motor art practice and cognition as it related to the character. We did fizzing chalk art during outside play, which connects the chalk from the story to a very fun sensory activity. Our class created and colored a story path which had representations along it of key parts of the stories. Main characters, important settings, and main events were represented in chronology as they occurred in the reading. Overall it was such a fun and full week in Miss Emily’s class. Thanks for reading, see you next week!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Sensing Our Way Along

This week in Miss Emily’s class we read “Seven Blind Mice” by Ed Young, our lessons focused on using our different senses to learn about the world. We practiced touch, smell, listening and talked about the other senses that we have. Our class learned about using these senses to decide what different objects are and decide how they work and what we notice about them.
The book we read is about a troop of mice who all work together to figure out what a big object might be. They all take turns observing only a part of the big object and missing out on some of the info. It finally takes the last mouse spending more time and observing the WHOLE object, to finally figure out that it is an ELEPHANT! We practiced learning what to call the five sense: 1sight, 2 smell, 3 hearing, 4 taste, and 5 as touch! We also spent time talking about the different things we can smell, the things we can see, and what we hear. We can learn so much about the world by practicing observing in all of these very different ways!

This week’s story and lessons gave us a fun opportunity to practice sorting and understanding more about what we can learn through smelling, touching, tasting and seeing. We did a variety of description activities with different smelling, tasting and touching materials. Many of your kiddos already have a good idea about coffee and laundry soap based on how well they sorted and described these objects from touch and smell. It was a great week of practicing these important skills, it is always a joy to see the students acquiring new tools for talking about the different materials and objects they encounter every day.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Home is...

This week in Miss Emily’s class, we spent our time at school, reading about HOME! More specifically, we read the book “Home” by Carson Ellis. This book is both beautifully illustrated and fanciful in the author’s depiction and presentation of a WIDE variety of homes.

This book gave our class a fun chance to imagine homes we might enjoy, it opened up conversation space in our classroom to talk about our own homes or “mommy and/or daddy as well as grandparents and others home’s.” Sharing descriptions of our homes, as well as comparison and contrast was a neat tool for our class to get to tell others about their homes and learn about one another’s as well.

We also enjoyed the parts of the book where Ellis takes the homes to a more whimsical, and curious place, with lairs, underwater homes, and hollow tree homes. The book’s elaborate images and brief, concise text open up space for student participation, input and imagination. We took to our own home canvases in selecting a home we would enjoy to decorate and color. Some students picked wigwams, ships and shoes, while others chose palaces or even buses.


We have made some recent changes and additions to our outside play space, including a very “crabby sandbox” and a corn hole game space. We have enjoyed spending time outside with our class as the weather has warmed up this week. We are excited to start practicing very soon for our end of the year performance, it’s coming up!