Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Fall is in the Air in Room B With Apples and Owl Babies - Teacher Marah

We have had apple activities going in Room B! First we did apple tasting to see which color and kind of apple we liked the best!

More friends in the older class liked the red and yellow, Gala apples the best. More of the younger class friends chose the yellow apple, Yellow Delicious. We made a graph and then we counted up the dots at group time to see the results.

To take this activity to the next step in the Older Class, we made apple sauce with the Gala apples that they chose. First on our recipe was to wash our hands. Then we helped cut up the apples and the grown up put them into the skillet to cook. All we had to add was add a little cinnamon. We let it cool and ate it at snack time. It was delicious!

In the Older Class, we played Apple Alphabet Bingo, matching letters of the alphabet on the apple shaped bingo cards.

We read Little Mouse and the Apple in both classes and then moved it over to the flannel board where friends have had fun retelling the story.

For Art, the Younger Class made Apple Print pictures. Did you know that there is a star inside of an apple?

In the Older Class, we read the Dr. Seuss book Ten Apples Up On Top. We had the children make a print of themselves and then they put however many apples “up on top”. We had from 2 all the way to 17! We have them on display in the hall, but when we take them down, we will make them into a book to put in our book area so they can read “Small Friends Apples Up on Top”. A fun way to bring math and literacy together through art!

We have apples, a barn, animals and wagons for rides in the seed table. We had red play dough with cinnamon at the play dough table. Pumpkins, spiders and Halloween are starting to creep into the classroom, now.

A favorite book to share with the Younger Class is Owl Babies. After reading it, the next day we made our own Owl Babies. It’s amazing how with a pine cone, googly eyes, feathers, beaks and feet that they can each have their own personality. They are in our display case in the hall.

Another great fall activity is to plant bulbs in our garden so that we will have beautiful blossoms in the spring! We took advantage of a sunny day to plant daffodils and crocuses.

Along with the Activities that parents help us with, we are still having fun playing at the other areas in the classroom. These pictures show the art easels, light table, the book area, the seed table and our big wood table.

There is always something exciting and fun going on in Room B!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Clowns and Spiders and Bats - OH MY! Teacher Lisa

The past two weeks have been filled with circus and Halloween fun. As Jennifer mentioned in her blog, we did a variety of circus-related activities in preparation for our ice cream social and BJ the Clown. This was the first time we've tried a circus theme and we loved it!

The week of our ice cream social we added some clown wigs to our dress-up area.

We explored silly faces with the Potato Heads. We also put a variety of faces and facial features out on the magnet boards for the children to use.

Our younger class created clown face collages using a variety of basic shapes.

Our older class did a directed-draw activity which involved drawing a clown face, painting it with water colors and then adding elements for collage/texture.

As an extension of the stories we read a week earlier, both classes helped make a collage "Elmer" at our self-help table. He is now residing on the shelf with some of our other favorite book characters.

To continue our work with shapes in the younger class, the children played a shape jumping game and experimented with shadow shapes on the light table.

Our older class practiced counting and graphing with two different Tiddly Winks games. They are learning how to organize/interpret information in graph form and are also working hard to write their names!

Both classes enjoyed the magna-tiles on the rug and the shape button sorting activity that was available near the writing area.

Both classes also got to learn about the circus by participating in our very own circus obstacle course! There was a balance beam tight rope, hoops to jump through like tigers, bikes to ride on like clowns, a ring toss, stilts to walk on, a cannon (tunnel) to crawl through and more! (Unfortunately, our camera didn't cooperate that day and we lost our photos).

In addition to the obstacle course, our older class was literally "under the big top" one day when it was too rainy to go outside to play.

Of course we read lots of stories about the circus and about animals that might be in a circus. Both classes read a story called The Tiger Who Came To Tea which we then re-created in our water tub.

The younger class extended that story by learning "Polly Put the Kettle On" and used tea bags to create an illustration for their nursery rhyme collection.

It wasn't long before the tea bags made it over to the water tub which led to some very interesting experiments!

Our older class read Caps for Sale and had a wonderful time acting that out. Our little monkeys couldn't wait to climb up our "loft tree" to say "Tsk, tsk, tsk" to the peddler. We also enjoyed reading the sequel, Circus Caps for Sale in which the peddler had much better luck selling his caps.

Our younger class got to be monkeys too, as we acted out "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed."

After all of that play time with circus animals and silly faces, it was time to decorate our own faces at the ice cream social and then again during the school days that followed. We hope you all enjoyed coming to our annual event with BJ the Clown. We loved hearing the shrieks of laughter coming from your children at his silly tricks and jokes!

Then the circus left town and our room was filled with spiders and bats! 

Our younger class focused on spiders, playing a spider ring counting game, making spider biscuits and learning a song called "There's a Spider on the Floor."

They learned The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Little Miss Muffet. They worked with a friend to create a marble roll spider web illustration for their nursery rhyme books.

They used water colors to paint over taped spider webs. The tape came off, the spiders went on and the webs are hanging in our classroom.

Our older class did their second directed-draw project, with bats instead of clowns. We are impressed with how well they are doing with this technique! They also did a sponge painting project using stencils to create positive/negative space. These are hanging with our younger class' spider webs in a fantastic silvery display!

Both classes enjoyed wrapping bugs in the spider web on our flannel board and sending spiders down the water spout in the water tub. 

Our older class enjoyed a couple of spider activities, spinning small webs on craft sticks and playing in a giant web on the rug. One day they even caught Teacher Jennifer! (Luckily, they let her go.)

While both classes read lots of spider/bat stories, our older class also took a look at some non-fiction books. They learned that bats are nocturnal, have hand-like wings, hang upside down from their "thumbs," and use echo-location to find their food. Here they are hanging upside down waiting for the sun to set so that they can begin to fly around and hunt for food.

At the end of last week, our older class made splat monsters by blowing paint through straws. Watch for more monster projects in the days to follow!

Whether we are performing under the Big Top, getting caught in spider webs, or just hanging around upside down, we thoroughly enjoy our days with you and your children. There's nothing spooky about teaching at Small Friends and we appreciate every moment!