On Thursday, our community celebrated solstice a little early. The students shared a fingerplay about snowflakes, one of our circle dances, and songs in English and Spanish. Then we ate and talked together, enjoying the ambiance of the Gallupville House. Each year we always sing "This Little Light of Mine." As the kids are illuminated by their candles, I think about the lights that they each hold and how they will bring their lights into the world.
Morgan's PK and K Class
*Explored hair gel in zip lock bags. Then moved the gel around to get it into the picture that was drawn on the bags. The kids said things like "it's so squishy," "can we open it!?" and "mine has little bubbles."
*Worked on their "holidays around the world" packets and learned facts about different countries.
*Used bingo dabbers to make different winter pictures.
*Worked with legos and building blocks to create different structures!
*Used q-tips to work on fine motor skills to make snowflakes.
*Used Hanukkah cookie cutters to play with playdough. Then used them for stamping into paint.
*Had the last mini course for the month of December.
*Worked really hard on the songs and dances for the winter party.
*Read books on Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, and Kwanzaa.
*Worked with the bigger kids on finding letters hidden outside, then put the letters together. The mystery message was "popcorn party". The children seemed to really enjoy the popcorn and using a map to find the hidden letters.
*Decorated wooden ornaments and cards for friends and families.
Tracy's 1st - 4th Class
Measurement was a common thread across the grades in math this past week. In second grade math, we were measuring crooked paths and using inches and centimeters. Third grade math included measuring line segments to the nearest half inch, and fourth graders were using their decimal work for metric measurement.
In writing, we worked more with suffixes and prefixes. Everyone also spent time making holiday cards, so keep an eye on those communication folders if you haven't already gotten a card.
In reading, we are trying to finish up all of our longer books before the holiday break. We should be fine as long as we don't have any more snow days. As we're reading we continue to build phonetic skills, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension.
Theme Time: Geography
As Morgan mentioned, the children practiced using maps of the schoolyard and made connections between their papers and the actual landscape. The preK kids got to find the "treasures" hidden on their maps by the older kids (with backup as needed from the older kid who did the hiding). We talked about what other features might have been helpful on the map, and a number of kids felt like having it in color would make it more useful.
Glenn also helped our kids improve our local geography by working on tiling a particularly muddy part of the wild field with rocks. They were rightfully proud of the real work they did to make the path safer.