Flowerville

October 18, 2015

 

Dear Families,

 

We continue to track the changing of the seasons by watching our favorite trees shed their leaves, feeling chillier temperatures, and noticing the lack of bees or other insects. Knowing that frost is on the way and will probably level much of the greenery this weekend, we could happily harvest lots of fall flowers to use as paint brushes today.

 

Theme: Flowerville

Flowerville was flourishing this week. There were a few house repairs, a parade, lots of mail, and a few meetings to solve issues as they arose. We discussed that jail time was not an appropriate consequence for being grumpy and came up with some other possible solutions for grumpiness. The volunteer firefighters were kept busy and had such a fast response time that no real property damage happened. Each child had a turn to make a short video talking about his or her peep, house, and profession. These will be part of our portfolio of work for the year. 

 

Literacy and Math

We have met more than half of our Alphafriends, and the children are all beginning to make connections between these sounds, reading, and writing. When we are doing individual or group reading, I see them using their knowledge of phonics to help figure out words. As I write our morning message, the class helps me to spell different words and predicts what word might come next based on a first letter. While I do not believe that phonics alone can get children to read, I do believe that a solid grounding in letter sounds can only help literacy.

 

You may have heard about "popcorn math" this week. We used a combination of counting, adding, and subtracting skills  as we ate our way through some popcorn. Children organized their popcorn in various ways by making arrays, something we have been playing with at other times of the day as well. Twelve pieces of popcorn could come in 3 rows of 4, 2 rows of 6, etc. The children enjoy trying to find unique combinations, but we also try to celebrate when multiple individuals have the same great idea.

 

Science

Why do scientists conduct experiments more than once? They need to be able to replicate their results. Everyone made a hypothesis about the number of pennies a plastic lid "boat" could hold. Then we tested them. And we tested them again and again. While they were enthusiastic through the whole process, some of the children wondered why we did it more than once. We could look at their data, see how it wasn't always exactly the same, and realize that just one trial might not give us the best answer.

 

Goodbye Restaurant. Hello Doctor's Office.

We are going to be switching dramatic play from its current role as restaurant to a doctor's office. I have a real stethoscope and doctor's coat from our friend, but I'm on the lookout for other possible additions. If you have something that might be good, please let me know.

 

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

 

- Tracy

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