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What a year it has been. I started the year late with a shy sweet group of children, and I am ending the year with thoughtful creative group of students. There has been so much growth this year. The grit that these children have will take them far in life and I feel so blessed to have been apart of their lives. I think back to when the class visited Opportunities Inc. to sing Halloween songs; the children were so small and timid. Then reflecting on the Christmas program, the children impressed everyone with the ability memorized all of the songs, lines, and movements. Comparing those events to the Talent Show the class just performed, I am blown away. This is just one facet of growth the children have undergone this year. I can’t describe the progress the class has made with recognition, writing, and social skills. We’ve had so many fun trips. The class enjoyed going to the Perot, Julie’s Deli, FWD Fit, Dog Patch, Boogie’s Barn, and Cornerstone. There is always so much to do and fun to be had in Pre-K. I am blessed beyond measure to have a job that brings me so much joy and love. Thank you for allowing me to be apart of your child’s life. I have had a wonderful year and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this wonderful group of children.
The last two weeks have been busy, and that is an understatement. The class visited Dog Patch pet store and to Boogie’s barn. We have had a visiting class fish, Violet the beta fish. All of this fun learning has helped the children learn about new pets, how to take care of pets, and other interesting facts about pets. We’ve had pets visit the class and have had the opportunity to set free a turtle and a toad. The children are so sweet. They loved setting the turtle free into the pond. Precious memories they will never forget.
To celebrate the end of a fantastic year, I threw the class an ice cream party! They could choose any (or all) toppings. Add an extra recess to the party and you have a happy class!! I will miss these darling faces and pray they have an amazing summer break.
What a week! We wrapped up our Bread study by making the muffins that were served at Muffins for Moms. Baking, especially for others, is a terrific way to teach the children many things. The children learned about different ingredients, how those ingredients are combined and become something else, following a recipe, the importance of being clean while cooking, sharing utensils, and practicing patience. It was a good way to show the children, on a very small scale, how things work in the food service industry. The children had to clean their hands and wear gloves. I stressed the importance of keeping germs away from the ingredients, because it is very easy to spread germs. The most special part about baking the muffins was how excited the children were about making something for their moms. What better way to teach the importance of serving others than to make something for moms? The class couldn’t wait to tell their moms about the muffins at Muffins for Moms. The pride the children had was remarkable; it was a great experience to reinforce working hard and sticking with a project until it is done. The bread study has been fun, even during this busy time of year. Now, on to the Pet study!
Have a blessed Mother’s Day weekend!!
We’ve delved deep into the bread study this week. We started the week with a wonderful field trip to Julie’s Deli. Such a kind and thoughtful staff! Abby and Jennifer gave the class a tour of the bakery, demonstrated how to make biscuit dough, and put the class into groups to make monkey bread. The children rolled dough into balls and covered it in a cinnamon-sugar mixture. The class liked making the monkey bread, but I definitely think eating the bread was more fun!
Early in the week the children had the opportunity to make pasta. It was a first for all of us! As a class we looked at the recipe and the list of ingredients and then we got started. The children broke eggs, poured flour, watched the dough mix, rolled the dough out flat, pressed a design out with cookie cutters, and they even ran the dough through the pasta attachment. The children were very busy, but they loved every minute of it! Since the ingredients for pasta are similar to that of cookie dough, the class made cookies too. How could we not? The children poured all of the ingredients into the mixer and watched them combine. As usually, the tasting was the children's favorite part!
The children were able to see concepts that we have been discussing for weeks. Getting to see a bakery, become bakers, knead and bake several recipes has enabled the children to learn on a deeper level. By experiencing learning in this way, the children make connections that will stay with them and allow them to bridge their learning to other areas, like science and math.
The class has had a week of hands on learning with bread. We ended the week with a science experiment. The class is investigating how long bread stays fresh. We have three slices of bread: a plain slice, a slice with water, and a slice with oil. The children have hypothesized which one will stay fresh the longest and which will mold first. Now, we wait and see!
Have a blessed week,
Throughout the Exercise Study I have read Guacamole: A cooking poem by Jorge Argueta and Margarita Sada to the class. This is a story that explains how to make guacamole in English and in Spanish. It is so beneficial for the children to see bilingual books and have exposure to the Spanish language. The class has Spanish two days a week and they have absorbed so much from Mrs. Rowe. I am amazed at how quickly the children have learned numbers, colors, animals, fruits, and colors in Spanish. The class has enjoyed the book so much, I decided it would be a fun experience to make guacamole. I can say without a doubt the children had more fun making the guacamole than eating it! Out of the 13 children about 3 liked how it tasted. All of the children gave it a try and liked eating the chips. I love watching the class taste, smell, and feel the different ingredients. Cilantro was the strongest of ingredients. Some were brave enough to give it a taste! It was a lot of fun to bring the book into reality and a great way to head into our new study of Bread!
Have a blessed day!
The class has discovered a treasure on campus! All year, on our way to Spanish, we have been walking past the lower school science lab. The children always peer through the door and window trying to get a glimpse of the fun the older children get to have in that room. One day we were early for Spanish and the science lab was empty. I decided to venture in at let PreK see what is in store for them – they loved it! There are wonderful manipulatives that reinforce the geometric shapes we have been learning, scales for measuring, rocks for investigating, and all sorts of great items to increase learning in math and science. We’ve made a couple trips back to the science lab and will continue to soak up learning whenever we get the chance!
We have been continuing our study on exercise and the children get more engaged daily. One morning I had the children draw their favorite exercise on a big poster. Once everyone had completed his or her drawing, they took turns standing in front of the class describing the favorite exercise. It was very interesting to see and hear the children talk about exercise.
This week the class visited a local gym, FwdFit, to celebrate our learning about exercise. A big thank you to Jessica Rich for allowing 12 prek students to explore FwdFit! The children LOVED the dancing class and stretching in the yoga room, they couldn’t pick a favorite between those two activities. This was a great way to bring our learning of exercise, the body, and healthy living together.
Have a blessed day!
It is hard to believe it is almost March. There is so much learning and fun going on in PreK; we can barely keep up with the time! On Valentine’s Day the class took turns playing a new math game. On a large piece of paper I drew a big heart and wrote numbers, ranging from 1-25, around and inside the heart. Each child had three beanbags to toss at the numbers. After each toss the student had to tell me what number the beanbag landed on. This activity was a fun way to reinforce number recognition and help the children hand eye coordination.
Another activity the children were excited about was Huff and Puff. This activity had the children on all fours blowing cottons balls across the carpet. Making it a race made it all the more fun to the class. The students had to figure out the best way to get the cotton ball to move forward. It took some trial and error, but everyone was successful. It takes focusing to get the cotton ball to move in the direction you want. I was impressed with the student’s determination to get his or her cotton ball moving.
We have started our new study this week - Exercise! This is the most excited I have seen the children over a new study. Having a trampoline and child size weight bench in class make it pretty exciting! This is an awesome opportunity to help the children learn about living a healthy lifestyle. We will be learning about different exercises, sports, jobs that pertain to exercise (athletes, coaches, trainers, etc.), and healthy eating habits.
Have a blessed day!
February has gotten off to a fun start in PreK! Groundhog Day inspired a science lesson about shadows. I underestimated how interested the class would be in shadows. The class and I discussed that shadows are formed when an object is blocking light. We used a box wrapped on one side with white paper and a flashlight to display different shadows of letters and objects. Then, I held the flashlight and let the students come up and make their own hand shadow for the class to see. For more fun, I turned on the projector and let the children play together and make shadow puppets together.
The children have held a contest to see who could build the tallest tower. As a class we built a very tall tower; it was even taller than me and that tickled the kids!! After the children built the towers they had to count the boxes in each tower, tell me which one had more, and which was the tallest. The best part for them was knocking it down when we were done!
Recently, the class has been figuring out different ways to move boxes. Aside from pushing, pulling, dragging, and carrying boxes we have learned about pulleys, carts, and dollies. Once we learned about the different equipment to move boxes around, we needed to find the best way travel with the equipment. So, we went on a ramp hunt. We walked around school and looked for ramps and different equipment that would help us to move big and heavy boxes.
The fun is going to keep coming in PreK, spring semester is full of exciting learning and things to see!
The class has been studying boxes for several weeks now. We know there are many things you can create with boxes, jobs that involve boxes, and different functions boxes are used for. For one of our math activities this week the children used the box collection we have in class. Each child picked a box, then as a group the children had to line up the boxes from smallest to largest. By lining the boxes the students are learning about size differentiation and putting items in order. The children had to use communication skills to accomplish this task. I am constantly teaching the children how to use their words in appropriate ways to communicate their needs. Teamwork exercises are a great way to teach the children how to exchange ideas.
After lining the boxes from smallest to largest, the children stacked the boxes in two ways. First, the children worked together to stack the boxes from smallest to largest. Once that tower was built we discussed whether or not it was a sturdy tower. Coming to the conclusion that it wasn’t a sturdy tower, the children had to come up with a way to stack the boxes in a way that is sturdier. Every group decided it would be best to stack the boxes from largest to smallest. They did an excellent job helping each other stack and work through the challenge.
The class had a blast pretending to be Humpty Dumpty and falling off of the “wall” that they built. Dramatic play, or pretending, is an important part of the developmental learning process. Dramatic play allows the students to develop skills areas such as abstract thinking, literacy, math, and social studies, in a developmentally appropriate time. I think their favorite part was falling of the wall!
Have a blessed day!
We have started the New Year off with new things! Well, snow might not be new, but it is very rare and when we get the occasional snow, you have to enjoy it while it last! Our first week back at school and we had our first (and maybe only) snow of the year; I had to let the children bundle up and enjoy the beautiful snow. It is such a blessing to be at a school where there is such flexibility and we are allowed to let the children play and be children.
The class started a new study – BOXES. This will be a great study to aid in our learning of math skills. We will be able to measure, compare, discuss 3D shapes, geometry skills, contrast, count, stack, and do numerous things with boxes. The creativity is limitless; I see cars and castles in our future! To introduce the study the children took turns and painted a big box, then the children had to tell me what they wanted to do with the box. The class uses it now to help compare other boxes of varying shapes and sizes.
This week the class had a special Show and Tell where they brought their favorite toy from Christmas. There is something about Show and Tell that the children love; they enjoy sharing information with others. Public speaking and communicating information to others are such great skills to practice, especially at this age. The more comfortable the children are with sharing at this age, the easier and better they become as they grow.
I hope you all have had a wonderful beginning to your new year!
There are many things I love about St. James Day School, but the relationship built between the older and the younger students is one of my favorites. Without fail, every Tuesday the 4th and 5th grade students walk to the Pre School building and walk the children to all school chapel. The older students always greet the younger children, will help them with their coats, and calm them down if they seem nervous or scared. Beginning in November, the fourth graders have been taking turns to read to my class during library. My class loves this! The children thoroughly enjoy the “big kids” reading to them and it is great reading fluency practice for the older children. The fourth grade class also gave the class (as well as the entire pre school building) Christmas books. My class was so excited to receive the holiday books! The younger children look up to the middles school children so much; it is so nice for them to exemplify kindness and teach the young students what it mean to be a leader on campus.
To wrap up our music study, we combined musical instruments and art. The children painted with jingle bells. I love how the jingle art turned out. The class had fun rolling the bells around on the paper.
Anytime I get the shaving cream out is a good day! The children, as always, loved writing and squishing their hands in the shaving cream.
We are all so fortunate that at St. James Day School the children learn the real meaning of Christmas and last night the PreK classes gave their gifts to all of us. The children preformed the Nativity story and showed us the real meaning of Christmas. To watch four and five year old children act out the play and sing the precious songs is a magical experience. One that I love seeing every year.
Have a merry and blessed Christmas,
For Veterans Day the class made cards for veterans. The cards will be delivered to retirement home the class is partnered with for community service projects. St. James holds a special all school chapel to honor local veterans. The class made some cards for our visiting veterans too. It is so important to teach the children to be thoughtful and compassionate for others. I love that St. James holds a special service to honor those who have served our great country. What better way to teach our children to be thankful than to show them?
Last week, for a fun switch up to our daily routine, the children wrote under the tables. While this is fun for them, it is great for their upper body strength! By strengthening their upper body, the children are better able to control their core. This helps them to sit in chairs and balance better. If they can sit with ease, they are able to focus more on learning because they don’t have to focus on holding themselves up.
Occasionally the weather just doesn’t cooperate. On those days the kids use GoNoodle to have fun while burning energy. I love watching the class dance and laugh to the music. Each video directs the kids to do certain motions and repeat the lyrics. They help the children follow directions, listen, and to get moving in fun ways. Not all videos are fast paced, there are several that are calming videos that teach the children how to calm themselves and breathe slowly. There are options on a few videos to add questions that pertain to what you are studying. It is a great way to incorporate lessons into movement.
In our Music study we have been discussing percussion instruments, sound, and vibration. To help the children better grasp these concepts, the children made maracas. They were so excited! Each child added corn to their maraca and decorated them as they wished. When playing with their maracas, the children got to see first hand how the vibration of the corn kernels makes sound. They are looking forward to our music science experiments next week!
Pre-K is always a busy place to be! Last week the class learned that circumference is the measurement or distance around something. The children took string and measured different spheres. The class quickly realized that it isn’t so easy to measure a round object, but they all persisted and did an excellent job completing the task.
To review our vocabulary about roads, the class built a giant road. The class road had obstacles, curves, bridges, do not enter areas, and many other features. This was a great way to review what we have learned and answer any questions the students had on their minds. Figuring the logistics of the layout was neat and I loved seeing the child come up with different ways to map out our road. The class has enjoyed the study of roads and to wrap it up we had a transportation day. The weather did not cooperate, so the class rode around inside the classroom. Luckily, St. James has spacious classrooms and with a little rearranging of furniture the children had plenty of space to ride around. Not only was transportation day fun and brought our study to an end, it was such great exercise for the students!
The children visited a local retirement/assisted living facility to sing Halloween songs to the residents. St. James is a huge supporter of community outreach. Every grade level, even the youngest three year olds, reaches out to the community multiple times a semester. Our class is partnered with this retirement home and the children will make crafts for the residents and will visit them from time to time. The residents love seeing the children perform and it is great for the children too. Not only are they practicing getting up in front of others to perform, but also this teaches the children to be caring people and to do things for others without want of a reward or recognition. It is a great way to teach empathy for others and to teach the children to be kind.
Until next time,
In an early childhood classroom it is easy to find math centered lessons and activities. The children have a natural interest in big and small things, how many items are in an area, the varying heights and lengths of things, and how manipulatives are similar or different. Many of these concepts also overlap in the scientific domain. Last week the children worked on an estimation activity. The class learned to estimate is to make an educated guess. To put our knowledge into action, the children looked at a bag of cubes and had to estimate how many cubes were in the bag. Some were hesitant to guess a number, but everyone was encouraged to try his or her best. After everyone estimated, I drew a number line on the board and I placed all of their estimations on the line. With this activity the class learned about estimating and practice number recognition. Using the number line also gave the students a great visual for number placement.
For the past several weeks the class has been studying roads. One of the terms studied is obstacle. What do you do if there is an obstacle in the road? What is an example of an obstacle? The easiest to point out to the class is water, which is why we have bridges. The children had a curiosity about tunnels. We discussed why we have tunnels and the process of going through something instead of over it. I set up a mini obstacle course in class and the children loved going through the tunnel. Not only did this activity help the children learn our road terminology it was a great way to strengthen their gross motor muscles. It is always great when learning is fun!
For Fire Safety Prevention the kind firefighters always come to the school to teach the children proper fire safety. It is always so much fun for the children to see the fire truck and watch the program. This year was so different! We are so grateful to the Texarkana Texas Fire Department for always making time for St. James.
Have a blessed weekend!
I am so happy to be back with my PreK class, we are going to have an incredible year! We have started a study about Roads. The children are so inquisitive about roads; I love seeing the look in their eyes when they are thinking of new ideas and connecting old ones. We traveled around campus to look for road features. We are very blessed to be on such a beautiful campus. The children investigated cross walks, speed bumps, traffic signs, a bridge, and different types of roads (straight, curvy, bumpy). By learning in a “hands on” way, the children are better able to soak in the information and lock it into long-term memory.
We played a game called “What is Missing?” in class this week. The objective of the game is to figure out which item is missing. The children look at all of the items, close their eyes while I remove an item, and then they tell me what is missing. This is an excellent activity for many reasons. It helps the children to practice taking turns; it takes a lot of self-control not to yell out when you know the missing item. This activity also encourages the children to root for one another in a group situation. “What is Missing?” also helps to develop the children’s memory and recall skills. I love a multifaceted activity!
The class is really growing fond of music class. They love getting to hold the poster and sing while Ms. Tipton plays the piano. In music the children have studies beat, time measurements, and explored many instruments. I think playing with the musical instruments would be the children’s favorite part of class.
Today was Donuts for Dads! The children have been anticipating this day for weeks!! Fun was had by all, such a special day.
I hope you all have a fabulous weekend!
Even though Mrs. Claire has not been with us, we have had a great start to our Pre-K year. We are an exceptional class.
We have been learning the names of the people who work at our school. We have also learned about emotions and painted and drawn our favorite emotion. Our next topic was rules: classroom, campus, and playground. Whew! What a lot of rules!
Patterns, sequencing, rhyming, matching, bean bag math, PE, Spanish, and Music have taken up a lot of our time. It has really been fun going to PE, Spanish, and Music. Coach Nicole, Signora Rowe, and Mrs. Tipton are excellent teachers!
Thank you to our parents for the delicious snacks. We play and work hard and are very hungry at snack time!
Mrs. Claire will start teaching her class on Monday with a new unit. We can’t wait!
It is so hard to believe this year is coming to an end. Seeing pictures from the first day to now really puts time in perspective, the children have grown in so many ways. I have enjoyed this year very much and will miss my sweet children. They have blessed my life tremendously and have made me a better teacher, proud doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about theses children.
The children have been practicing all of their skills that we have learned this year. Cutting is one they love to practice, but we have to be very careful so as not to have any accidents. Cutting is such a great way to strengthen so many of the muscles in the hand. It also helps with hand eye coordination, which helps the eyes get ready for reading!
The last study we will cover is music, and the class LOVES playing the instruments everyday. We have been learning the different types of instruments: wind, string, and percussion. For this activity the children had to choose a couple of percussion instruments, tell the group why they are considered percussion, and how the vibration/sound is made. Then, of course, I let the play and sing with the chosen instruments. Music has been a very interesting study; the children love music and are fascinated with all of the instruments.
It has been an amazing year in PreK; I can’t wait to see what the future holds for these talented, kind, and smart children!!
Rhyming helps children with phonemic awareness. Being able to break words into smaller sections and recognizing the smaller sections helps the children put larger words together with ease. An activity that the children have been using to build their rhyming skills is a matching game. The children have to recognize each picture and match the two that rhyme. The difficulty comes when the children don’t recognize the picture. Some of the pictures aren’t as familiar to the students and become a way to introduce new vocabulary to the students.
Before wrapping up our study on Boxes, the children built box towers as tall as themselves. This sounds like an easy job, but it took a lot of concentration and steadiness to build those towers so tall.
The children loved having cotton ball races. Little did they know that they were strengthening their core and upper body. This fun activity also encourages the children to watch and focus on one spot and move with it.
We celebrated moms with a sweet Muffins for Moms. They children were so excited to have their moms come to class and eat breakfast. The children did a wonderful job of introducing their moms and making it a very special day for everyone!
My Pre-K students have been builders the last few weeks. The children have built box towers, an obstacle course, cubes and squares, and letters and shapes. So much mind and muscle strengthen going on in Pre-K! The class enjoyed stacking the different size boxes on one another to build a tall tower, properly named Allie Tower. Each student chose a box and had to explain why they chose that particular box and why they placed it in a certain spot. One student put his box at the bottom of the tower so it would have a swimming pool, very creative! After the tower was built the children did the reverse, took it down one box at a time. With this activity the children had to focus, take his or her time, and decide where to put their box and tell me why. We also were able to discuss height and size.
The class loved setting up and going through our obstacle course. First, we had to learn what an obstacle was and then we were able to set different ones up around on the carpet. What a fun way to learn descriptive language and develop our gross motor muscles!! Studying boxes has brought us new vocabulary and exciting opportunities to learn. The children have been learning about 3D shapes such as cubes, rectangular prisms, cylinders, and spheres. It can be confusing to distinguish the 3D shapes from the 2D shapes. So, the class built squares and cubes to help learn the difference. This was a hard task because the blocks could be challenging for their small hands to manipulate, but everyone tried their best and they were very successful.
The class also built letters and shapes using sticks. The children were very entertained with picking their sticks and building whichever letters and shapes of their choosing. There was so much laughter and fun at those tables! What a blessing it is to have my job!!
Over the last several weeks Pre-K celebrated the glorious things Jesus did for us with an Easter party, took a fun field trip to a local gym ( a BIG thank you to FwdFit) to close out our study on Exercise, and have been busy learning and having fun in class!
The children worked with new literacy boxes this week. Each student completed two tasks. One was to match the capital letter to the lower case counterpart. The other task was to match the beginning sound of each picture to the correct letter. The children did a fantastic job! With this activity the children had to focus their attention, work on their capital/lowercase letter recognition, and practice their beginning sound recognition. It is always amazing how many beneficial layers there are in each of the children’s activities.
One beautiful day this week the children went hunting for boxes. The class seems really interested in our new study of Boxes. When we had completed our hunt for boxes, the children played a number game. I would call out a number and each student had to bring back that amount of something (e.g., rocks, pine cones, sticks, etc.). It was difficult to get a group picture or any pictures of the class while on these adventures because they were so excited and moving so quickly. So I decided to group them up and take one.
Have a blessed week!
We have hit the ground running in Pre-K this week. Spring break was very nice last week, but we have learning to do! The class is learning about exercise, eating healthy, and how exercise can improve your body. Over the past few weeks the class has discussed different types of exercise along with the heart, feeling your pulse, ligaments, joints, and bones. This week we have focused on nutrition. The class played a game called Seek and Find. For this game the children had to search through a bowl of plastic food and find healthy foods like fruits and vegetables. The children breezed through the game. I have a healthy group of students! One of our books this week was about making guacamole. The book had beautiful pictures and was written from the perspective of a young child. Since the children enjoyed the book so much, they had guacamole for snack! Everyone was a good sport and tried the guacamole. I was very proud that gave it a try and had an open mind. For a fun exercise activity this week, I built a little obstacle course in class. The children had to hop on one foot through the hoops, balance an animal on their head to walk across a few steps, and then jump over two sets of buckets. The class had a blast, all while building strength and skills in their gross motor muscles.
With Easter just a little more than a week away, the children have been preparing, both spiritually and artistically. Instead of dyeing Easter eggs the traditional way, the class made salt dough and created Easter ornaments. Something that will last a little longer and remind the children the true purpose of Easter. The children love using a recipe and making things in class, the rolling pin was the best part! This helps them to develop their scientific skills, just by making dough you ask? Yes! They predict what will happen when ingredients are added, mixed together, and rolled out. It is fascinating seeing something begin as a liquid and turn into a solid. The measuring concepts expand their knowledge about science and math, not to mention their vocabulary! There is no better way to learn than by having fun while doing it.
Have a blessed day!
The past two weeks Pre-K has been an active place! The children put on an amazing performance for their grandparents and loved ones. The children practiced enthusiastically for the program. They were so excited to perform and show the grandparents all of their hard work that was displayed around the class.
We had a fun visitor join us in class this week - we met the Tooth Fairy! The children were in awe of her. It was the most precious sight. The class got to see how a dentist suits up for work and some of the tools a dentist uses. The Tooth Fairy also talked to the children about how you brush your teeth, the duration, and the frequency. The tooth fairy and her assistant just bragged about how great the students behaved during the performance. The children have learned how to be respectful audience members and careful listeners. I am so proud of these children and their effort!
Tuesday the class had a special math lesson. The class predicted what the gender of the baby would be. After making their predictions we tallied all of the votes and graphed the results. So many math skills to tie into a fun day. The children were able to see if the majority of the class wanted a girl or boy, which had more/fewer, and different types of graphs (bar and circle). Although most of the class wanted a little girl, they were all pleased with the boy outcome. The cupcakes made the news more bearable for some! It was an awesome way to share the news with my sweet group of children, very special for us all.
The class worked through a new literacy box. With this activity the children were given a card with pictures on it. The children had to discern what the picture was and then figure out what letter the word began with. The class soared through this activity. Once the children decided what the picture was, they were quick to determine the letter the word began with. This is an excellent exercise for letter recognition, practicing phonics, and teamwork. When one child had a difficult time recognizing a picture, they would talk with one another to figure out the picture.
Another activity the children learned with was creating patterns. The children have a very good understanding of how to create an ABAB pattern, so we expanded on our learning with ABCABC, AABAAB, and ABBABB patterns. The children learned that a pattern is a set of items that repeats. Learning patterns is not only fun but can be challenging and requires the students to slow down and plan out their steps.
We had our Valentine exchange today. The class had a fun time at the party! With all of the fun the children did not realize they were practicing his and her social skills. During the exchange the children had to wait their turn, use their manners, and exhibit self-control. Watching as all of the candy is passed around takes a lot of self-control!
Until next time,
In PE the children worked with scooters to strengthen their muscles and coordination. Scooter activities are very multifaceted. It helps the core muscles, which gives the children the ability to sit up correctly in a chair and while in circle time; this allows them to focus and pay attention. It is hard to focus when you are concentrating on just sitting upright. Learning with a scooter also gives the legs and arms an excellent workout. With strong arms, children are better able to write and color. The stronger the legs, the better the children can stay balanced and move around. The absolute best part of scooter activities is the amount of fun the children have. Even when they get tired, they will challenge themselves and persist because they are having so much fun.
I have been incorporating more group work opportunities for the class. It is always good to have the children learn to work together, help one another, and communicate needs to each other. The best way to accomplish all of these simultaneously – group activities! The children were learning about different lengths. I put them into small group and asked them to build three lines of different lengths. The rule being, that they had to work as a group to complete the task. They did amazing!! They were talking with one another, problem solving, and compromising. I always explain how working in groups is very important and something we all have to do from time to time. The class rose to the challenge and above and beyond exceeded my expectations. These children work so hard at everything they do!
Our first week back from break, and we have hit the road running. Which is great because our new study is all about roads. The class is very interested in this topic. This week the class has taken time to investigate the school roads and our building’s parking lot. By taking a look at the two different areas the children have been able to compare and contrast the two areas. These investigations have got the children's minds turning about what makes a road? How is it put on the ground? Who makes roads? So much scientific reasoning and thinking taking place. It also takes our learning outside of our classroom, and we all love that! When discussing roads, the idea of where they lead us and how do we know which roads to take came up in class. This led us to explore maps and the purposes of maps. We looked up a large map of Texarkana and found St. James and other features in Texarkana. Then the class wanted to search for Magnolia and a few other places. After looking at the different maps, the class and I made a map our campus. Then each child independently drew a map of our classroom. It was very neat to see all of the different interpretations. Some students were so interested in maps, that at free time they drew more of their homes and neighborhoods.
The class is focusing on the letter “J” this week. Since this letter can be tricky to write, I pulled out the shaving cream. The class loves using shaving cream to write letters, his or her name, and to play in. It is such a great tool to utilize when learning to write. This also helps fine tune the pincer grasp and finger strength. The children are using multiple modalities of learning while “playing” with shaving cream. It is always a lot of fun for them, and anytime learning is fun - more learning is taking place!
Being in the season of winter puts a damper on outside time. All week it has been either too cold or too wet for us to go outside. For a fun alternative, we have been using a program called GoNoodle in class. GoNoodle has age appropriate videos that the children can follow along with to burn energy, calm down, and/or re-focus. So far, the children really enjoy the calming videos. They enjoy the deep breathing and stretching. This is such a great option to have on days we have to be inside all day. The calming videos are also helpful to teach the children ways to settle themselves down if they get too stressed or worked up over something. I love incorporating positive coping skills!
Have a wonderful weekend!
This time of year, Pre-K is the place to be! We are busy learning and making lasting memories. The children have been practicing tirelessly for the Pre-K Christmas program. The children learned five new songs, they all learned the story, and when his/her parts were to move or speak. This sounds so easy to all of us, but these children are only four and five years old. It is remarkable how well they did, I am so proud of them and their hard work!
The class took a field trip to visit Clydesdale horses at Runnin’ WJ Ranch. The children loved seeing the gigantic horses. It was such a great experience for the children to see these majestic horses, a chance that does not come around often.
Today the children took a trip back to Colonial America. The fifth graders did an excellent job telling us what life was like in America during that time. The children always enjoy visiting the “big kids” and seeing what fun things they do in middle school. It helps that the fifth graders dressed the part and had neat things to pass out to the children. The children learned about cobbler shops, blacksmiths, and tradition things families did during Colonial America. Buying the candy for a penny was the children’s favorite part!
We still have one week before Christmas break. It is going to be filled with kindness. The class is going to visit a retirement home. While there the class will sing and pass out holiday cards to the residents. Later in the week the children will have a special visitor and celebrate Christmas with a party. Like I said, Pre-K is the place to be around this time of year! I hope you all have a blessed Christmas!
The last several weeks in Pre K have been busy and fun! The children have worked on a couple of community service projects. The children visited Opportunities Inc. and sang some silly Halloween songs to the children. The class dressed up in Halloween costumes and sang their hearts out. It is so good for the children to learn to be active and helpful in their community. I teach them that we don’t do things for recognition or for a reward. We do things to serve others, as Jesus has shown us, and bring them happiness. The children have also made Thanksgiving placemats for a local retirement home. I know the residents will love these sweets pages from Pre K.
The children have been studying pets. Last week we discussed the different homes, habitats, and environments of different pets and animals. The class had the opportunity, thanks to a very sweet grandmother, to make bird-feeders. The children really enjoyed putting the feeders out for the birds to eat. After talking about the habitat a bird lives in, the children made nest. This was a group activity. It was very interesting to see the children work together to create a project, such good practice to help their communication skills and teamwork.
The new fun thing to do in Pre K is go on letter adventures! I tell the class “we are going on a letter hunt, so listen carefully, the letter we are searching for makes this sound…” They love it! They get so quiet and still waiting on me to make a letter sound. Then all of the children roam around class and find the letter. Once they find the letter they touch it and wait for me to check to make sure they have the correct letter. We have done this with numbers too, but I think they enjoy the letter hunting the most! The is such a good way to reinforce letter recognition, learn letter sounds, and gets the children to notice letters are everywhere and they make up words! This also helps the emerging readers to sound out different words.
It is so hard to believe this year is almost half over! I love this group of children so much, and I am so proud of all their hard work. I cannot wait to see our Christmas program unfold in December! Stay tuned!
Since it is October, and breast cancer awareness month, the class participated in the city wide Pink Out! The children enjoyed wearing his or her pink shirt and being apart of an amazing cause. It is so nice that my students were able to be apart of this citywide community project.
This is the last week for our bread study, the children have loved learning about bread, how it is made, the different ways and places that bread is used, the tools that are used while preparing bread, and much more! It has been a great study to help teach the children concepts like sequencing, measuring, time, and that learning is fun! The children had the opportunity to make more bread and we discussed all the different things you can put on bread. Since butter is a common topping, the children made butter. It took a lot of shaking, but the class did an excellent job turning the whipping cream into butter. I think everyone enjoyed eating the butter more than creating it, but it was an exciting process. It even helped strengthen their arms; we are always working on the pre-writing skills. Even though our Bread study is concluding, the class can look forward to baking and creating many things throughout this year. It is one of my favorite things to do with the class, and they love it too!
The children reviewed the concepts of more and fewer this week. This is a math concept that can be confusing for young children, but the class did great. The children built piles and told me which one had fewer blocks, which had more, and the made the piles the same. Children love getting to build and work with their hands, and what an easy way for the children to learn fewer and more! Learning is fun in PreK!
The last several weeks, we’ve had a lot of fun things happening in Pre-K. The class went to the Fire Prevention Program, met with firefighters, and looked at the fire truck. Kids are never too young to begin learning fire safety! One activity the class really enjoyed was writing on the bottom of the tables. I covered the bottom of the table and let the children free draw. The only rule was the children had to stay flat on his or her back. This is an easy and fun way to strengthen the children’s shoulders and arms! The class also had their first Show and Tell; the children did an amazing job of presenting his or her items from home. Giving children opportunities to present to different audiences allows them to practice their presenting and public speaking skills. Beginning at a young age gives them more time to fine tune and develop those skills.
We have been studying bread for the last several weeks. This has been such a neat study, the children love making and baking. The class has made bread machine bread, apple bread, and have tried several other types of bread. Last week the class made flat bread. The children got to mix and combine all the ingredients and knead the dough. The kneading was the neatest part. Very few had even heard of that term before, and now all of them have experienced the process. When we make recipes in class the children are practicing his/her listening skills, math skills, and fine motor. It takes strength to knead dough! The children enjoyed tasting the bread, but I think they liked making it more than eating it. This week the children made dessert pizzas! This, I believe, they enjoyed eating more than making! The more senses a child uses when learning, the more established it becomes in their mind – we learn with all five senses, not just one or two. Eating our pizzas was a great way to end our day. I can’t wait to make more things with them!
The class has had an amazing week! We have worked with the letter “L” in five ways. By using five different methods to learn a letter, along with reviewing letters regularly, the children have an easier time learning the letter. When we use more ways to see, touch, and construct a letter the children can learn the letter on a deeper and more permanent level. The class uses chalk and dry erase boards, wood letters, play dough, crayons, and paper. With the play dough, first the children roll the play dough into snakes, and then they build their name. When he or she is constructing their name they are working on name recognition and grip/hand strength. What a great way to learn!
This week the class began our Bread Study. So to kick it off with a great start we made dough! Any activity that involves cooking and making something is always a huge hit in class! We made apple bread! The bread recipe used had nutmeg in it, so each of the children smelled the nutmeg and described it to me. Then they tasted the nutmeg, talk about priceless faces! The children used the measuring cups and ingredients to make the dough recipe. After combining all the ingredients, everyone had a chance to stir the dough and take a look at the finished product. I baked and brought apple bread for the class to try after making the recipe. A few were apprehensive, but everyone was a good sport and tried it! Several even wanted me to send the recipe home with them.
Today we had special visitors, our Dads and loved ones. Donuts with Dads is always a fun morning. Each child introduced their special loved one and then shared breakfast together. Sweet memories in Pre-K!
Have a great weekend!
It is great to be back at St. James and in the routine of class. I know Pre-K is ready for all the adventures that this year will hold. The class has hopped into our schedule. The children have PE with Coach Nicole, and they have always loved it. Thursday the class played ZooKeeper, this is a running tag game. It is a great way for the children to work on their body space awareness, their attention, and teamwork. PE is so important in a child’s school day; it helps them, not only exercise, but also get blood flowing, which helps them focus better and absorb academic learning in other classes. The class has fallen in love with the music teacher, Mr. Song, who also teaches them Spanish. With music and Spanish twice a week the class is getting an excellent range of education. This past week was our first visit to the library. The weather did not cooperate very well, but the class did practice walking with his or her umbrella. Any chance we get to walk around our beautiful campus and explore, we take it! The class really liked the outside amphitheater. I foresee many an outside reading time in that area.
I have an amazing group of children and cannot wait to delve into an unforgettable year in Pre-K!
We only have a few more days left in Primary II, and we are making the most of them! This week the weather has been hit or miss, but there was a little break and the children were able to play outside! In the middle of the week both Pre K classes held the annual talent shows, and we were able watch the talented four year olds. The children, teachers, and volunteers did a fabulous job. My class was very excited about performing their talents in the future.
The children explored environmental print this week. This is an activity the children have done in the past, but this week the children searched both capital and lower case letters. Once he or she found the letters in their name, they had to describe how the letters appeared. It was like the class was going on a letter hunt. This activity helps with letter recognition, attending and focusing, and communication skills. Some students found letters that belong in a friend’s name, and they had to communicate who found what and who needed the print.
The class has also worked on his or her portfolio this week. When the children began school they drew a self-portrait and made a cutting and coloring sample. Now, at the end, the children draw and create the same. I love the before and after pictures, it clearly shows the growth of each student! The children have made a tremendous amount of progress this year; I can’t wait to see what is in store for them in the future!!
Have a safe and fun weekend!
We’ve had another awesome week in Primary II. This week the children have had several activities that strengthen their fine motor skills. I try to use a lot of techniques to strengthen the children’s fine motor skills. These skills are extremely important and this is a great time in a child’s life to work on these skills. To be successful at writing, one has to have good grip strength and be able to manipulate their fingers around a crayon/pencil/marker. There are many fun ways to help strengthen your child’s fine motor skills. An easy way is with play dough, rolling “snakes” and make balls are great. Picking items up with tweezers is another fun and easy way to develop the muscles in the hand.
Monday the children used craft sticks to make letters. Not only does this help with letter recall, it takes patience and steady hands to move the craft sticks around. The children had to really focus to line the sticks up to make the correct letter. The children also lined up ribbons to compare the lengths. The term “width” was introduced too. Each child had to tell me which piece was the longest, shortest, and which one (or two) was in the middle. Some of the children picked pieces of ribbon that had been cut the same lengthen, reinforcing the concept of equal. The children love lining up object and comparing and contrasting them – always the little scientist and adventurer. The children had an activity this week that called for them to roll out lines of play dough and make numbers with the line. Not only is this a fine motor activity, but also it helped the children see how curved lines and straight lines differ. We looked at the different numbers and decided if they were made from straight, curved, or both types of lines.
Wednesday the 5th and 6th graders had their annual bottle rocket launch. The children loved seeing the rockets explode into the air! We love coming out and supporting our older friends.
Every once and a while we will have a fun little creature on the playground. We usually have caterpillars and insects that fly, but Tuesday we had a tree frog on the playground. This isn’t the first tree frog to spend time with us, but the children were extra excited this time. Possibly because it has been quite some time since our last trip outside due to the weather. The children loved seeing the bright green frog and asked plenty of questions about the little creature. What a great way to learn: by seeing and experiencing! I love that we are able to learn like this at St. James!
Have a splendid extra long weekend!
This week in Primary II the class did three things that they have never done before. The children used pipette droppers, tried to move buildings, and worked with geoboards. There wasn’t a new game in PE, but the class hasn’t played Oscar in a while.
The children used the pipette droppers to transfer water from a jar to a blue container. Each child had his or her own pipette dropper and blue container. To transfer the water the class had to squeeze the bulb, then release the bulb to soak up the water; then they had to put the pipette dropper over his/her blue container and repeat the squeezing sequence. This activity is excellent for strengthening fine motor skills. The activity also reinforces taking turns, measuring, comparing, and focusing. The class really liked the opportunity to learn with a water activity.
On Tuesday, to take a break from the classroom, the children walked around campus to learn hands on about buildings. With the playgrounds being so saturated, this was a perfect way to burn some energy and get outside. The children examined different awnings and driveways along with brick, concrete, and metal buildings. The class has been discussing what makes a building sturdy. To test one building the children tried to push it over, it showed the class that the building was very study and couldn’t be moved easily!
The children were able to use and create shapes with the geoboards. Geoboards help the children to develop their fine motor muscles and create at the same time. This time the children used the geoboards to create shapes, next time we will make letters. The children did a great job manipulating the rubber bands to make the desired shape.
In PE the children played Oscar the grouch. This game is great for the children’s gross motor skills. The children behind the mats have to be Oscar, and throw all the entering balls back out on the gym floor. The children on the floor are trying to make his/her balls into the mat area. After a round is over, the Oscars throw the balls out and the rest of the class counts. The Oscar group with the least amount of balls in the mat area wins. Throwing the balls with two hands above their heads help the children with technique and muscle strengthen.
It has been another awesome week in Primary II!
Have a blessed weekend!
This week in Primary II the class wrote books, built building as tall as themselves, went on a field trip to the Agriculture Center at the Four States Fairgrounds, and visited Roman!
After reading one of the books for our study, the children discussed a time when they wanted to give something to someone else. After we talked about our experiences, I asked the children to draw what they had just told me. I then wrote down his or her story in their book. This activity is great for many reasons, but my favorite is it helps the children think critically. Creating a story isn’t always as easy as it seems. This activity also gets the children excited about books, reading, and writing. I just remind the students to try their best, and reassure them that there is no wrong story. The stories and illustrations were very funny and the children enjoyed the process!
The class loves playing with blocks; anytime blocks are available everyone wants to go to the center first. This week the children were challenged to build a building as tall as they are. Seems like a simple task, but for children of this age balancing and stacking presents a host of difficulties at times. I am so proud of my class for trying hard and accomplishing their goals.
Primary II goes to the Agriculture Center every year, and it is the best trip! The children “milk” a cow the traditional way and with the machine that is predominately use today, they make butter and eat it, the class gets to pet a live cow, chicks, rabbit, and other animals, and then they get ice cream! What a deal! The children loved making the butter, getting to shake the jar until it becomes solid was fun, and involved everyone. The most exciting part for the children was petting all the animals. The class was so excited! What a great hands on experience for the children, to see what the life of a dairy farmer might be like.
We even got to visit a Roman Carnival this week! The middle school student put on a Roman Carnival/Festival every year. This year it was wonderful! The middle school students dress the part and have interactive booths for the children to visit. Some students had snakes put in their hair, so as to be like Medusa. Others colored a picture; everyone toured the booths and saw the educational characters. We even saw a three-headed dog! All had a good time, and we were learning in the process.
Make sure you come out to the Spring Picnic tonight!!
This has been another full week in Primary II. The children went on an adventure, got to see freshly hatched butterflies, solved bear problems, and got to be the audience and the performers.
Monday I set up an obstacle course in class to help reinforce directional concepts. The children had to walk around the mountains and the boulder, hop over the river and bridge, through the tunnel, and into the cave. As the children walked through the course, they had to tell the small group what they were doing. After the children completed the obstacle course, they built the adventure out of blocks. The children loved telling me each part of the adventure. The activity helped the children with directional concepts, gross motor skills, and the children were able to use their imaginations to transform the obstacles into the objects from the story. It takes a lot of creativity to turn a chair into a mountain!
Mrs. Bowen invited the class to visit her second grade class to observe her class butterflies. Two had just hatched from their chrysalises. Mrs. Bowen was very nice to involve us, she explained what we were going to see and showed the class a poster to help illustrate the changes from chrysalis to butterfly.
Another activity from the children learned with was titled bear problems. I would ask a math problem, using the bear to represent the problem, and the children would solve the question. One bear problem we solved was, there are seven bears, but two are hungry and leave to get a snack. How many bears are left? This is great for strengthening mathematical reasoning and emerging skills, and the children love the bear counters.
The children watched 1st-6th grade practice the Spring Musical, and bravo to the children! The Spring Musical is going to be amazing. My primary II children were an excellent audience, they were mesmerized by the “big kids” with all the singing and dancing! It is good for the primary II students to be the audience and practice their listening skills and attention. This is one of the best parts of St. James, the support the students give to one another. The older children help the younger ones walk to chapel, and always support them in their performances, and we do the same for them. Such a sweet community is built.
Today the children were the performers! My Primary II class had their Spring Program, and the children did a fantastic job! I AM SO PROUD of the class!!! They have grown and blossomed so much since August. I love this special group of children very much! It is hard to believe the year is almost over!
Have a wonderful weekend!
We have had another exciting and fun week learning in Primary II. We started our new study on Buildings! The children played a new game in small group called Fewer or More. The first child would pull a card and tell the group the number they picked, then that student would build a tower of cubes that matched the number on the card. The next child would move the spinner, which would land on fewer or more, and then that child would have to build a tower with fewer or more cubes than the previous student, and so on around the small group. Once everyone built their towers, we lined the towers up and figured out which was the longest, shortest, and which ones would be in the middle. This was an excellent activity to help reinforce vocabulary such as: less than, fewer, more, greater than, most.
The children worked in pairs to build towers. This activity helped encourage teamwork, working together, and sharing. After each pair finished their tower we compared the towers and put them in order from shortest to tallest, reinforcing our activity from the day before.
We used our magnetic shapes to build different buildings, and then the children would look a two of the buildings at a time and tell the group all the similarities and differences. The children described the colors, the shapes, whether the build was flat (or one story tall), or multiple stories tall, some buildings were hollow and some were solid. I love hearing the children describe items and actions, so colorful and fun.
In PE the class played Monster Tag. The children always enjoy tagging games, brings out their competitive side! Tagging games also make the children focus and learn to watch where they are running. After a round is over Coach Nicole always asks the taggers math questions like: how many are sitting down, how many weren’t tagged, and questions of that nature. The class loves PE! Almost everyday after rest time they ask if it is a PE day.
This week the class traveled Cornerstone to sing to the residents. The children love visiting the elderly people who live at Cornerstone. We teach the children at St. James to be kind to others and to do things to bring others happiness, not for notoriety or reward. By introducing these acts of service and kindness to the children at an early age, the children learn that is how we should all act and it becomes second nature to behave in that manner.
Have a great weekend!
This was our last week of the ball study. To celebrate we had free play and exploration time with our collection of balls. The children also made their own bouncy ball! I think creating the balls was just as much fun as playing with the bouncy balls. Science experiments are always a great way to learn and have a lot of fun in the process!
The children have also worked very hard at learn to write their names. All of the children are doing an exceptional job! Each one of them tries their best and puts forth wonderful effort. I am so proud of my students! It is very hard to believe my “babies” are about to be Pre-Kindergarten students. They have grow leaps and bounds this year.
Tuesday the class drove deeper into our study of balls. We began discussing what solid and hollow mean. To help the class understand these big concepts, we cut open a small beach ball and a cotton ball. The children also got to predict if a play dough ball was solid or hollow, then they checked their predications and sliced the balls open. This helped the children learn the concept of solid because they got to use their senses to discover what solid looks and feels like. Throughout the week the children had to opportunity to make their own play dough balls and determine the varying sizes. To help reinforce to concept of hollow, the children investigated bubbles. I blew a few bubbles in the circle and asked if the bubbles were solid. Some children answered immediately and declared bubbles are hollow, others took some convincing. After feeling the bubbles and seeing the bubbles pop, everyone was happy to say bubble are hollow. Since the children had such a great time with the bubbles, I decided it was the perfect time to make some homemade bubbles. The children love making things in class; it is such a scientific experience – which they thoroughly enjoy. Each child took turns pouring the ingredients and shaking the solution together. Whenever the children see the measuring cups and recipes they get very excited!! Anytime we make things in class the children are exposed to recipes, ingredients, measuring tools, practicing patience/taking turns, listening skills, and so many more wonderful life experiences that children should have. These experiments and projects help with their critical thinking, scientific exploration, and their creativity.
Another activity from the children learned with was acting out a book that we have read several times in class. By re-reading books to the children they are able to develop their memory skills and their ability to predict what is going to happen next. The book has manipulatives that help tell the story. Some children were able to divide up the cookies, while another child got to ring to doorbell every time to the mentioned it. Not only does this activity help the children with emerging scientific and literacy skills, but it helps their focus and attention along with their math skills. The story begins with a large group of cookies that gets divided down to each child only having one. The best activities are the ones that branch several areas of learning, especially when the children are able to use as many of their learning styles as possible.
The last picture is a class photo with our Gala auction item. The children LOVE the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and I thought it would be perfect to incorporate the book into our action item that is sent to the St. James Gala. The Gala is only a week away! Make sure you come out and bid on the Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Chair, the funds raised help St. James tremendously!!
Have a wonderful weekend!
This week has been a busy one in Primary II. The class had a special bunny visitor, our Easter party, and an egg and sphere hunt. I am so thankful that the children get to celebrate Easter and get to learn the true meaning of Easter. The children turned potatoes into eggs! They were very amused when I told them that we were going to turn potatoes into eggs, but when they began stamping and seeing the egg shape that the potatoes made they really got taken away with the activity. The pictures are so bright and beautiful, perfect for Easter and our discussion of balls/shapes.
This week the children dyed Easter eggs. While dyeing eggs the children used their fine motor skills to dip the eggs, their creativity when choosing colors and glitter, and patience while waiting on the colors to set. The children really enjoyed dyeing the eggs the traditional way.
Wednesday the children went on a different hunt. We went sphere hunting! After discussing what a sphere is and introducing 2D and 3D shapes and object, the class went on a nature walk to hunt for spheres. The children found flowers/clover, soccer ball, and sweet gum balls. The children love any activity that involves outside, and I do too! It is great for the children to have an opportunity to learn with their hands. After our hunt the children brought some of the spheres back to class and drew what they found.
Thursday we have parent-teacher conferences. I can’t wait to discuss the progress of my students! St. James will be closed Friday and Monday in observance of Easter.
Have a nice long weekend!
We have been blessed with beautiful weather for the better part of this week, and we are so thankful! The children loved being able to play and explore outside. I look forward to the ground being a little drier so we can take nature walks and pick flowers!
Monday the children searched through environmental print to find the letters in his or her name. In the bag of environmental print there are pieces of paper from different adds, magazines, or actual product that the children see regularly in their lives. This activity helps the class with letter recognition and emerging writing skills. There are cut out pictures of produce, snacks, and stores through the bag of print. It is such a precious moment to see the children find “their” letters. The little faces swell and light up with joy! It is wonderful to see them enjoy learning.
We have been reading “The Three Little Pigs” in class, and this week we added an activity that goes with the story. The children had to huff and puff and see which ball moved the farthest. The trick was that the children couldn’t move, they could only huff and puff from one spot. Then the children had to decide why the ball moved the farthest. This helps them to practice patience and develop their math and scientific reasoning skills.
Easter is fast approaching! I pulled down the eggs that help tell the story of Easter to help the children learn the real meaning behind the holiday. There are twelve eggs that help teach the children the story of Jesus’ death and the resurrection. When the children get the opportunity to open the eggs and touch an object the represents part of the story, the children are better able to understand and absorb the information because it reaches them through all the learning modalities (visual, tactile, and auditory). We are so blessed at St. James Day School to be able to not only mention and talk about God, but to make God and Jesus apart of our daily lessons and emphasize the Lord throughout our daily routines and conversations. Nothing is sweeter than hearing the children pray the school prayer, Lord's prayer, and blessing for snack and lunch.
Enjoy the (hopefully) lovely weekend!
Primary II has had a wonderful week! The class learned “Down By the Bay” and created new rhyming verses to the poem. The children picked the animal they wanted, then had to come up with a rhyming word to add to the verse. Two of my favorite were, “Have you ever seen a dog on top of a frog” and “Have you ever seen a fish swimming in a dish”. I have a creative group! Rhyming is a very creative way to help children learn how language works. It helps the children think about the sounds that make up the word and common letter pairings. Rhyming helps the children draw pictures in their mind, developing their imaginations. When a child is thinking about what rhyming word comes next, the child is practicing their prediction skills. This is why Nursery Rhymes are so important to young learners!
This week the children used their emerging math skills to compare and contrast different lengths of ribbon, but some pieces of ribbon were the same length. This lesson introduced the term “equal” to the children. The more math skills we can introduce and understand, the better prepared the children will be for a more formal math lesson. The children are really fascinated with math concepts, especially measuring (which overlaps with science), comparing/contrasting, and counting.
The children used stamps this week, and they loved them! Everyone stamped his or her name under the written one. This not only helps with letter recognition, but also with directional concepts (beside, below, in front of, etc). The stamps were open during center time and every student wanted to explore the stamps some more.
When learning is fun, more learning takes place!
Have an excellent weekend!
I’m sorry there wasn’t an update last week. The wacky winter weather kept us away from school and out of our typical routine. Monday the class began a new study about balls. The children are very interested in learning about balls. The study begins with questioning what we know about balls and what we want to find out about balls. The class is excited to learn about the different ways and reasons that we use balls in our daily life, especially any balls that pertain to sports and games! The children have had the opportunity to explore many types of balls from a bowling ball to a big exercise ball. Any ball that lights up, bounces high, or is used for soccer/baseball is a huge hit! The children are fascinated with the reasons why some balls bounce and others do not.
An activity the children worked on this week was using their descriptive language to tell me about the ball of their choice. I really encourage the children to use as many detailing words as possible. By doing the activity in small group the children learn new language from one another and they encourage one another. I have a class full of sweet helpers who love to help each other. At this age children’s vocabulary is booming and I like to introduce as much vocabulary to them to as much as possible.
This week in PE the children played Lion King/Queen. This is a tag game where there are two children tagging and there is one (the Lion King/Queen) who is freeing those who get tagged. This game forces the children to watch where they are running, pay attention to their surroundings, and if they are the Lion King/Queen they have to look for those who are frozen and free them by tagging them. All while they are strengthening core muscles and having fun. It is a blessing for the children, especially youngsters Primary II, to be a part of extra curricular classes like PE and Music.
On really cold or wet days we eat lunch in class. The class thinks it is funny to eat in class, but we are so fortunate to have the flexibility to keep the students warm and dry!
Have a fabulous Spring Break next week!! See you on March 16th!
The last several weeks our music time has been off schedule due to planning and practicing for a program. This week, we had music again! The children love this opportunity and it is so good for their creativity and fine/gross motor skill. Mrs. Faulkner is an amazing music teacher; we are so fortunate to have music every week.
Primary II has several counting boxes, all of which are themed. A counting box is a box that has numbered cards in it with manipulatives. The goal is to match the correct number of manipulatives to the corresponding card. This week we used the apple tree box. The children loved adding the apples to the trees, but it took some focus to make sure you had the correct number of apples on the tree number card.
Since we have been studying who takes care of trees we have discussed arborist and foresters. One job arborist and foresters have is to measure the various trees. This week the children measured the circumference of a few items. I explained that circumference is the distance around an object. We measured one another’s heads, wrist, a paint container, a roll of tape, a basket, and a globe. The favorite objects to measure the circumference of was our heads and the globe. The globe fascinated the children. Circumference is a very big concept, but the children do understand that things are round and there is distance around the object. Measuring is a great way to have fun and incorporate math.
We made play dough! The class loved measuring out all of the ingredients and adding them to the bowl. Everyone had their part to add and they all worked to combine the ingredients. Playing with the play dough is always fun. What a great way to peak the children’s interesting in science and math!
I hope everyone has a nice and warm weekend!
During our class Valentine party the children put candy in heart shaped boxes and made two valentines for the residents at the retirement home we are partnered with. The school theme this year is Service to Others. At St. James we think it is very important to do things for other, especial those who might not be able to do it on their own. Service could be cleaning up trash at various places, taking donations for charities/organizations (blankets, clothes, etc), or sharing your time and kindness with others. My class is partnered up with a local retirement home and will continue to serve them the rest of the school year. Whether it is sing sweets songs to the residents or sending sweet handmade Valentines to them.
In the midst of Valentine fun and preparing for our wonderful Grandparents and special friends, the class was able to do neat things with food that comes from trees. The children had to determine which fruit was heavier: an apple, orange, or coconut. Distinguishing between the coconut and apple was easy; it was a harder to decide between the apple and orange. The students also had to place the fruit in order from largest to smallest. The skills of determining which is lighter/heavier and large/medium/small is something we continuously work on improving. It is easy to get the vocabulary confused!
The children had time to express their creativity while painting with oranges and apples. When I handed the children the apples and oranges they looked at me with the most curious faces. When I told them we were painting with the fruit they got excited and did not hesitate to jump in. I love doing unordinary things with everyday items; it really encourages the children to “think outside the box”.
My favorite activity this week was opening the coconuts! Since the question for the week focused on food that comes from trees and the book that is favored by the class involves coconut trees, I thought bringing coconuts to class would be perfect! Students had the opportunity to smell the coconut milk, use their own way to open the coconut, and hit it with a hammer. The hammer did the trick! When the coconut began to crack I showed them the crack and tell them to watch it closely, and then I would give it the final hit. Then we were able to investigate the inside of the coconut and see the fruit. One brave little student even tried the coconut!
It was a busy and fantastic week! Hopefully the weather will cooperate this week!
The students love any game, song, or activity that involves a beanbag. I have a CD that is full of songs that use beanbags. The song that told the children where to put the beanbag has been their favorite. They would put the beanbags on their shoulders, heads, toes, etc. Another song told the children which direction to pass the beanbag. When the children play the passing game, they are learning which way is left and right. With every song the children had to listen carefully and follow directions and the songs that direct where the children put the beanbags help with gross motor skills too. Beanbags are great tools for learning!
In PE in class learned a new game. The children were each assigned to a certain side, told to stay within their side of the gym (no going under the net), and told to toss the balls and squares over the net. This is one of my favorite games that the children play. This helps with hand/eye coordination, strengthening their gross motor skills, following directions, and trying something new and giving it your best. Coach Nicole always wants the children to try their best.
For something new and fun I had the children use straws to push cotton balls around the room. This helps them to focus and set/achieve goals. I, like Coach Nicole, always want the children to try their very best. I tell them we are at school to learn and get better at things, but it is hard to get better if we don’t try and practice.
The class has practiced very hard for Grandparents’ Day. We are all excited to share our hard work with our grandparents’, families, and special friends this Friday!! Tuesday we celebrated Valentine’s Day with a card exchange, fun activities, and a class picnic. The class enjoyed eating together outside.
The weather has been beautiful this week! The class has gotten to take nature walks everyday this week, helping us to learn about trees in a hands on way! The children love being able to explore outside. Tuesday the children took paper sacks with them on our walk and gathered tree parts. Wednesday the children sorted their tree parts into groups, classifying the items according to similarities. It is amazing how much the children love science and math activities. All little ones are budding scientist, so much curiosity about everything. Wednesday and Thursday the children picked their favorite tree part from their sack and painted with it. The children thought it was so silly to paint with a pinecone, tree bark, and other parts from trees!
The class is discovering the three main parts of trees: trunk, roots, and crown. We have been reading a book in class about the parts of a tree, what trees need to live, and the names of some trees in our community. After seeing pictures from the book and computer I had the children make a tree. The girls were the crown and the boys were the trunk and roots. I took a picture and showed them their tree and we compared it to the other diagrams. Being able to see them as the tree helps reinforce learning the tree parts.
Since the weather was so nice, we played a game outside to learn about the parts of a tree in a different way. The children had to listen closely to see if I was going to say crown, trunk, or roots. If I said trunk, the children would have to go to the trunk of a nearby tree. When I said roots the children could point to the ground or stand on the pine tree roots. If I said crown the children had to point to the tops of the trees. Trees are so fun to study!!
The class is working hard on Grandparents Day gifts and projects. I know the children are excited to show some of the things we have made! Have a blessed weekend!
Primary II had a short week full of fun and learning! This week Coach Nicole came to our class and we had stations outside. Everyone loved kicking the ball to the fence. Nicole is an excellent PE coach, with every activity the children have to listen carefully, focus, and follow directions. The other station was alternating jumping into hoops. The children hopped with their feet together into one hoop, then separated their feet to hop into two hoops. The weather was so beautiful!
On Friday, the class played and learned with musical instruments. Musical instruments are one of my favorite things to use in class. The children enjoy that time so much! For Primary II it is great to practice singing and playing to the beat. Also, bringing out instruments bringing open the topic of where the instruments come from and the class can talk about different cultures.
The class worked on discovering short, medium, and long lengths and putting items in order this week. In small group the children put sticks in order from shortest to longest. Then the children had to build their own towers and put them in order. When children get the opportunity to use their hands while learning it greatly increase their comprehension and makes it real to the children. I love using activities while learning concepts. It is fun for the children and rewarding for us all. I am blessed to be at St. James where this learning is encouraged and what we aim to do in our classrooms.
Have a wonderful week!
This was our last week on our study of Clothes. The children had the opportunity to explore a loom this week. The loom is just their size. We practiced weaving yarn over and under the strings. This activity reinforces directional concepts and helps strengthen the children’s hand muscles.
The class also worked on differentiating sizes, putting the sizes in order, and using descriptive words to describe the clothes. I like activities that allow the children to move and use their bodies. The class did an excellent job with this activity!!
On Thursday we had PE outside! The children loved being able to go outside. Playing outside enriches the children’s imaginations, allows them to build their gross motor muscles/skills, and it is fun!
The class and I have discovered a new (and very fun) game – Jumping Beans. The children have to close their eyes and randomly pick a letter or block out of the box. Then the children stand and tell the class what letter they picked and a word or name that begins with that letter. If the child picks up a block, they have to stand and say jumping beans. Then the whole groups stands and jumps around, until I tell them to sit back in their spots. Jumping beans is the favored part of the game, but so much learning takes place with this game. The children practice their letter recognition and expand their vocabulary. You have to ask them about the game!
I hope you all enjoy the long weekend! See you Tuesday!
The class has done an excellent job at getting back into the swing of things at school. Everyone seems a little taller! We are continuing with our study on Clothes. Tuesday the children took turns examining different fabrics and articles of clothes with a magnifying glass. The children are fascinated with scientific lessons. Anything that pertains to measuring, exploring, investigating, mixing, and observing are instantly exciting to the children. Their excitement makes it more exciting for me too. To watch the students work with the magnifying glass and examine the clothes/fabrics was fun. This activity helps develop several skills. Patience is one skill practiced in this lesson. The children had to patiently wait to use the magnifying glass. They had to take turns describing what they saw through the glass. The children also strengthened their vocabulary by using new words to describe the material they were seeing. By speaking in front of a group of their peers the children worked on their public speaking skills. This is something special to St. James. We teach, even the youngest students, how to learn and study, speak and present in front of others, and the importance of manners and kindness.
Another special part of St. James is the support the students show one another. From Primary I to 6th grade, the children attend project presentations, graduations, programs, and many more educational fun activities. This week, the fourth graders held the International Fair, and we were able to go and learn from the fourth graders. This also helps the fourth graders practice speaking in front of others. The children usually get handouts, stickers, and sometime international snacks. The fourth graders did an excellent job!
Music resumed this week! We were so happy to see Mrs. Faulkner. The class is so fortunate to have music and PE offered weekly.
The last picture is of the children at lunch. I love watching them socialize with one another. Lunch is fun because they get to sit at the big table in the cafeteria without their teacher. However, I am always right there if they need me!
Have a great weekend!
We have had an exciting week in Primary II. This week in PE the class played a tagging game. Since we are in December, Nicole gave the game a Christmas spin. The class is broken up into three groups: happy girls and boys, elves, and reindeer. Two taggers are picked and get to wear Santa hats. Once a child is tagged, they have to go back to their assigned group. With this one activity the class is practicing watching where they are running, following directions, and their memory skills. All of the children love PE! Nicole had excellent activities and games for Primary II students.
We had a very special visitor on Tuesday. The children were so respectful and kind, I am so proud of them. We continually work on using our manners, being kind to others, and practicing patience.
One activity that the children loved was mixing paint. In small groups the children and I hypothesized about what colors we could make by mixing a couple colors at a time. Children love to paint and explore with paint! The benefits from having that creative time are huge. I love seeing their choices in paint and their creations.
I hope everyone has a blessed and Merry Christmas!! I’ll see you on January 6th!
The weather hasn’t been on our side lately, but we sure have had a blast being scientist. The class has had two opportunities to create and investigate this week. The class made bubbles out laundry detergent. The children made their predictions on which type of detergent would make the most bubbles. Half thought liquid detergent would make the most, the other half sided with powder detergent. Then the class had to closely observe the water and the soap to see if bubbles would simply. Once the children realized that we needed to mix the water and soap to make bubbles, they were so excited to start mixing! The class loved using the whisk and making bubbles. The second opportunity the children had to be scientist was making salt dough. The children took turns to combining all the ingredients and mixing the dough. Rolling the dough out seemed to be the most thrilling part of that adventure. The children rolled little balls to make beads and buttons that we will use to sew onto fabric. With both of these experiments the children were exposed to new vocabulary, experiences, and materials. I love hands on learning, and it is wonderful for the children.
The class had a new literature/language activity this week. In small group the children and I retold and acted out a story that I have been reading the past few weeks. The story involves a little boy who lost a mitten and several woodsy animals found the mitten and crowded in it together. The children helped me tell the story and placed the animals in the mitten. With this activity the children expanded their vocabulary, strengthened their fine motor skills (when putting the small animal in the mitten), and used directional concepts when discussing where the animals were. The final part of our story was the animals busting out of the mitten in all directions. That was the best part, watching their faces as the animals went flying out the mitten all over the table and floor.
It has been a busy and fun week! We have a special visitor coming to see us soon!
It is so nice to see all of these sweet faces back at school! Our new study is about Clothes and our activities usually are intertwined with the unit of study. Tuesday the class made letters using buttons. The children picked their own buttons, using their fine motor muscles, and placed them along the letter that their name begins with. We also used shaving cream to practice writing our letters and names. Shaving cream is always a fun, and messy, activity. The mess is well worth the fun!
Wednesday the children were scientist. We discussed what it means to observe, the items we were going to observe, and what measuring tools we use while observing. I told the class that to observe means to watch something very closely. The objects of our observation were ice cubes. First we talked about the properties of an ice cube, then we investigated further by touching the ices cubes, and then we hypothesized how much water the ice cubes would produce and what would happen to the ice cubes if left out of the freezer. Each group placed a few ice cubes in measuring cups, then we had to wait. The class checked on their measuring cup every hour to see the progress of the ice cubes. Many of the children hypothesized that the water would be to the two (oz) mark, and they were correct! I do use scientific terminology with the children, but I also reinforce and explain with words that are clearer for them. Next week we will see what kind of detergent makes the most bubbles! The class will love that, I know they love to be scientists!
Today, the class practiced pinning clothes on our clothes rack. They had to focus very hard on pinching the clothespin, adding the clothes, and squeezing it to the rack. It is an excellent way to build their hand muscles! Another activity had the class ordered clothes from small to medium to large, and then they had to tell me which was which. The children also described the differences and similarities in the clothes; some had buttons, others had stripes. We looked at the clothes we were wearing and discussed if we had buttons, zippers, or other patterns on our clothes. All of these activities strengthen the children emerging math skills and critical thinking. It is always great when children have the opportunities to use as many learning modalities as possible.
I truly have the best job and the sweetest class. I am so blessed to be apart of these girls and boys lives.
Have a great week!
What a week! The class has been busy discovering clothes. The study unit has so many neat things to cover: what kind of clothes do we wear? Where are they made? How can we make/fix clothes? What are all the different types of fabric/materials/textures? Who wears certain clothes/uniforms to work or school? It is so neat! On Tuesday the class developed their scientific reasoning and math skills. The children had the task of sorting through a pile of clothes. The children discussed how the items in the pile were similar and different. From this conversation we created three groups that we were going to classify the clothes under: costumes, pajamas, and tee shirts/sweaters. Then the children picked item out of the pile and sorted them into the correct classification. It was neat to see the children thinking so intensely about the groups and how to sort through the pile of items.
The class also made Christmas ornaments for the residents at a local nursing home. I love to take every opportunity to teach the children to be kind to others. By making these ornaments and giving them to the residents at the nursing home, (via another St. James class) the children see the importance of being thoughtful and giving to others.
Also this week the class held their Fall Program and it was precious! We celebrated with a pizza party. I am so proud of the children for standing in front of all the Moms and Dads. This is no easy job for a three year old! I like to introduce the children to performing in front of an audience at a young age so they grow more comfortable with the concept of public speaking and giving presentations. The children did an amazing job with memorizing all of the songs and motions. I have such a sweet talented class!
I hope everyone has a blessed Thanksgiving! See you in December!
Primary II has had a week full of service! Monday the class finished up our thank you letters to the Veterans that live in a local retirement home. I try very hard to put an emphasis on being kind to others, even if we do not know them. We learned what the word veteran means and some examples of who they are. The children liked dotting the flags. My hope is to teach the class that kindness matters, and being kind to others is important.
The class also went on a field trip. The children traveled to the same retirement home that our letters were sent to. The children sang some of the fall songs that we have been learning. The children did an excellent job, and it was so special to the residents. This is a way for my class to sever others in our community. At three writing and reading are limited. So to bring joy to others we can send artwork, crafts, and spend time with those in our community.
One activity the class did was exploring our block letters. The children told me all the letters that they recognized, spelled their names, and learned new letters and words. I love these blocks for many reasons, but the main reason is because the children can pick them up and feel the lines and curves of the letters.
I am so proud of the children and all of their hard work. Whether we are participating in activities, making art for others, or performing in front of others this class always tries their best!
Have an excellent weekend!
This week is the last week of Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The class has been collecting donations for a charity the past five weeks, and we have gathered a lot of items! At St. James we put a lot of attention on helping and serving others, if fact, that is our theme this year. I think introducing and teaching the primary and Pre School about recycling and giving to others sets a solid foundation of Christian morals in their lives.
The class made instruments from reusable paper towel rolls. The children decorated and named their instruments. Once everyone’s instruments were ready, we took turns exploring pitch, volume, beat, and tempo with our instruments. This aids in the students emerging math and science skills; keeping a beat and counting along with discovering why our voices change when we make sounds through the tube.
In PE we worked through two stations. Coach Nicole worked with a balance beam and I worked with the children on hopping on two feet from dot to dot. I brag about PE a lot because the children love it and it is so beneficial for the children. The balance beam exercise helps their balance and their focus. One really has to pay attention to what they are walking on a balance beam, even if it is close to the ground. Hopping with two feet together helps the children build muscle control and aid in their eye coordination. PE is great for them and they love it!
Friday, we were invited to the Middle School Commons to see Ancient Egypt. The fifth and sixth graders dress up and set up educational booths for us to visit. At the first booth we learned about the medicines that were used in Ancient Egypt. At other booths we learned about pyramids, hieroglyphics, and the clothes Ancient Egyptians wore. The best part of this for Primary II students is the sense of community they feel. The children might not remember everything the sixth graders were telling them, but they will remember going to the middle school and supporting our older friends. This is a very supportive campus. When a grade has a performance we all attend and encourage one another. This is one of the special things about St. James. The older children cheered us along at the Teddy Bear Parade, they help us walk to Chapel, and they are always very kind and greet us everywhere on campus. We, too, support and encourage our schoolmates!!
This week the class has learned through several activities. One activity was called “What is Missing”? For “What is Missing” I placed five objects from class on the floor, told the children that we were going to look at all of the objects, then I was going to take one away, and they would have to tell me what is missing. This activity helps the children’s recognition and recall skills. It also builds their focusing skills by encouraging them to pay close attention to the items, all while having fun!
In PE, the class had to listen carefully to coach Nicole to know what moves to do. The children had to fly like birds, walk like elephants, slither like snakes. We also did the Hokie Pokie! Not only was PE fun, but also the children strengthen their large muscles and their listen skills! It is a win-win! The Hokie Pokie helps the children practice their muscle control by putting their arms and legs in and shaking them one at a time. We are working on the left right aspect of the game!
Another activity that the class really enjoyed was “Measure and Compare”. This is such an awesome activity because it introduces math concepts, such as measuring. All of the children could tell me about a time when their height or feet was measured. Some knew about measuring tape and rulers, but everyone was able to look at the rulers I had and the measuring chart on our wall. The children discussed the numbers on the measuring tools and what they are used for. Then we talked about using other things to measure, like links or cubes. I showed the group how many links long my foot was and described how we can use other things as a way to measure too. The children really enjoyed measuring their own feet and comparing their feet to mine and to classmates. Their feet are so tiny!
We also made letters…with our bodies! You can only guess how funny this was to the class. They did an excellent job. I took pictures and showed them the letters that they had made. They activity is great for letter recognition. It also helps with the children’s emerging writing. By walking and creating the letters with their bodies the children see the lines and curves of the letters.
And, I couldn’t let Halloween pass without adding a precious picture of all the creative costumes!
Happy Halloween, remember to set your clock this weekend and enjoy the “extra” hour!
The class worked on two activities this week that focused on sorting and classifying objects. Since we are studying Reduce, Reuse, Recycle the class sorted and classified the recyclable materials we have been collecting. With both activities the children practiced valuable math skills: separated objects according to the material the objects were made of (plastic, aluminum, paper), used number concepts (how many objects in each pile, how many total, how many are left when one is taken away), and communication skills (being able to tell me and their classmates what their object was, what it was made of, and how many were in the group). The best part of the activities was the children having fun! When the children enjoy activities, they gain more from the them.
The class has been learning about the process a piece of trash goes through: before we throw something in the trash we see if it can be recycled, (if it can’t) we throw it in the trash, then the trash goes to the dumpster, the dump truck takes the trash to the landfill, the landfill has clay and plastic at the bottom to protect the ground/Earth, at the land fill the tractor drives over the trash to pack it down.Thursday afternoon, as a class, we made an edible landfill. By layering the landfill with graham crackers, fruit roll ups, pudding, and other yummy representations of trash the children were able to see how a landfill piles up. We were even able to talk about excavating, and how tractors and machines at the landfill have to move the trash around sometimes. We excavated our landfill into their clear snack cups. I think the best way to learn about something is to have fun while learning!
In PE the children were introduced to a new game, Oscar the Grouch. A few children are in the “trash can” throwing out all the cushion balls the rest of the class are throwing in. This is a great game to play that increases the children’s hand eye coordination. It can be hard for this age to throw a ball above their head. This game is excellent practice for that skill. As always, the children are practicing taking turns and following directions - which is great because we all need more practice with these skills! It is too cute to watch!
Next week we have Parent/Teacher Conferences. I can’t wait to talk with all of you about your sweet children!!
What a week! The weather has been beautiful. The class has had extra time to explore and learn on the playground. We always see spiders, things that fly, and usually a lizard or frog. The class gets so excited when they find frogs. The children who are fearless enough to hold the frogs always surprise me. With the expansion of the playground, the children have so much room to move around and develop their gross motor skills. From learning to pedal the bicycles to climbing up and down the equipment the children are always strengthening their muscles and skills.
We have had two visitors come to class. Mrs. Tara talked to the class about where all the trash from campus is taken. The children had the opportunity to interview Tara and ask her questions about the amount of trash, where she takes the trash, and other things that Tara helps St. James with. Friday Mrs. Diane came to class and read us a book. Having visitors is always fun!
Today the class took their first field trip! The pumpkin patch was a blast and the children learned more about pumpkins. I added a couple of group shots from St. James. The children were so excited at the Pumpkin Patch it was hard to get a full picture.
Enjoy your weekend!
We have had a fun filled week in Primary II. We have started a fun new study about Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling; we have had fun activities in class, and new experiences in PE! The class has discovered many things about RRR. I have bins in the class for our “junk” collection. Everyday we talk about how we can categorize and organize the recyclable items. Then we take time to put the items it the corresponding bins. We reused a lot of our items to make statues, which we painted and titled. I loved hearing the children’s titles, very creative! The class also compares and contrasts the items using the different textures, sizes, and colors.
One of the fun activities the class did this week was buried treasure. For this activity I placed magnet letters in the sand box and attached magnets to two rulers (the wands). Then the children were to dig for buried treasure with their wands. It isn’t as easy as you would think. Getting the magnets to line can take a little patience and practice. The children really like anything that is sandbox related, and throwing a wand into the mix had the class very excited!
In PE the class we had our first Fun Thursday. On the Fun Thursdays the children get the opportunity to explore some of the equipment in the gym. This week balls, hoola hoops, and the track were available to the class. The children got to choose the item they wanted and were allowed to free play with it in the gym. If the student wants to switch items, they can. There is no limit to what they are playing with; they just have to make sure they clean up after themselves.
I’m looking forward to a fun field trip next week!!
The firefighters visited St. James this morning! The class LOVED seeing the truck and the kind firefighters. A firefighter talked the class about the truck, items they wear fighting fires, tools they use, what to do if fire ever gets on the children, the number to dial in case of a fire, and he took questions from the group. The children were very respectful and did an amazing job listening!
After all of the St. James presentations were finished the Primary II classes wanted to thank the firefighter and sing them a little song. Both Primary II classes performed “I’m a Little Firefighter” in front of all the visiting firefighters. It was the cutest thing I have seen in a while!! I was so proud of the children for standing in front of the group of men and singing loud and doing the hand motions. The firefighters really seemed to enjoy the impromptu performance, and the children felt like stars.
It has been a great day (and week) in Primary II. I can’t wait to begin our Reduce, Reuse, Recycle unit next week!!
On Monday and Tuesday the class did several letter activities. One activity used cookie sheets and letters magnets, this activity helped the class to spell their names and other familiar words. The children really enjoy using the cookie sheets, and I love that it helps them with letter recognition and placement. Another letter activity the class did was shaving cream letters. I believe this is the favorite activity of the year (so far)! The children were practicing writing their names, drawing pictures, and creating shapes in the shaving cream.
Today the class went fishing! We discussed where we fish, what we use to fish (tackle box, bait, boat, dock), the different bodies of water we can fish in (river, lake, pond), and how we fish. Then, everyone took turns catching fish. Once the fish was caught the student had to stand in front of the group and tell what color the fish was, how many worms were in it’s tummy, and what shape and color the worms were.
The best thing about activities like these is that the children have so much fun and enjoy the learning process. By using hands-on-activities the child can grasp the information with more of their senses and are better able to retain the information. The more sense a person uses to learn a topic/lesson/study the higher the likelihood that they are going to remember the concept. I love teaching this group of sweet children!
We are looking forward to the firefighters and truck coming to school on Friday!
In Primary II we have been busy with many activities. The children used play dough to learn about size and weight. What budding little scientists these students are! The class made books this week. Illustrated and written (dictated) by each individual child. Some of the books were funny, some serious, and some silly. In small group the children were able to talk about their own book with other students. Today, the class counted Mary’s little lambs and returned the lambs to their pastures. I love watching the children at this age. Almost all of their experiences are learning ones. Everything is new to the children. They are constantly working on their fine/gross motor, critical thinking, or special awareness, and so much more. I truly have the best job; it is never dull and full of precious smiles.
Also in small group the children took turns speaking into a microphone. While the children thought they were just playing with the microphone, they didn’t realize all of the skill that they were practicing. Children stood up in front of their small group, held the microphone appropriately, and answered a few questions that I had asked. The audience was practicing on being a good listener and taking turns. The students who were waiting their turn to speak did an excellent job at being an attentive listener.
In class we have read Hooray, A Piñata! By Elisa Kleven. The children really enjoy this book. This is a tale of a little girl, her friend Samson, and a piñata (or two). Since the Primary I and II classes liked the book so much Mrs. Tracy, Mrs. Tena, and I thought it would be fun to let the children bust a piñata on Friday morning. With this fun activity the classes practiced taking turns and cheering on one another. It was such a sweet site to see all of the children and teachers rooting their classmates on.
It has been another busy and fun week in Primary II. I am looking forward to our mini study next week, then on to a new study for a few weeks!
You can’t catch us we are Mrs. Claire’s gingerbread class! The class had so much fun learning about the gingerbread man story and creating their own gingerbread boys and girls. With this activity the children were able to practice using position words (top, bottom, middle, front, etc) in a hands on way. Decorating the cookies reinforced the parts of the body, and where our head, arms, body, and legs belong.
We had our first music class on Tuesday and the class did excellent! Mrs. Faulkner has a lot of great material for this age group, and the class loves the songs. I enjoy music because it reinforces their listening skills and it is a nice change for the children. Plus, they are too cute singing the finger plays and different songs.
Another activity that the class did this week was tracing letters. The class used thick wooden letters and alphabet cards. Tracing them helps the children practice how to write the letter while helping them learn how to manipulate their fingers. This activity is very helpful with learning how to recognize letters too!
The class completed their first community project. Each child colored an American flag. Kandice is going to send our beautiful flag to veterans to brighten their day and show our appreciation. I added a few pictures of the children working on their posters. Be sure to check out the group posters on the way into class.
Have an excellent weekend!
Primary II has had another great week filled with learning and fun! We had our first PE class this week. PE is great because through the activities the children are strengthening their gross/large motor skills and having a blast at the same time. Coach Nicole creates stations for the children to work through. This week Primary II was introduced to the gym and how we behave in the gym, learned how to gallop, and worked with hula-hoops. PE reinforces listening skills as well as following the directions - I love PE time! The children game a lot from their time with Coach Nicole.
One of the activities from class this week was “Where is the Beanbag?”. This activity allows the children to play while learning, isn’t that the best? Each child took turns tossing beanbags into the basket. Then the child had to tell everyone the number of beanbags they got inside the basket and the number of beanbags that landed outside the basket, and then the child would tell the class if the beanbags were near or far from the basket. From this one activity the children learned/reviewed directional concepts, practiced their gross motor skills, speaking in front of their peers, taking turns (practicing patience) and most importantly they had a lot of fun playing the activity. After the first round of tossing and telling about the beanbags I added a challenge. I drew a basket on a piece of paper and the children had to show me on the paper where their beanbag fell and then write an “X” on the spot. The challenge made the children have to use their minds to match the basket in front of them to the basket on the paper.
The students love outside exploration and choice time in class. I think Painting was the favorite of the week!
Greetings from Primary II !
Early in the week the class and I were discussing tempo. I used the big drum to illustrate what a fast and slow tempo sounded like. Then the children showed me how we move to a fast or slow tempo. If I were beating the drum quickly the class would dance around and move their bodies quickly. When I beat the drum slowly, the children moved in slow motion around the room. Everyone did so great. I let each student show me what a fast/slow tempo sounded like on the big drum. The entire class seemed to prefer the fast tempo!
Wednesday the children recreated Little Miss (or Mr.) Muffett. The class took turns being the spider and Miss/Mr. Muffett. The children loved it! As the class and I would say the rhyme, the children would play out the parts. Nursery rhymes are wonderful for young learns. Nursery rhymes teach the class the skill of phonological awareness, which helps them when they are learning to read. By repeating the rhyme each time a different set of students performed, the children were able to work on their memory building skills. So much learning taking place in a fun hands on way! They had so much fun - we did it again on Thursday so all of our friends could participate.
We ended this wonderful week with the annual Teddy Bear Parade! The children have worked all week on decorating their boxes for the parade. The students did a fabulous job, and we all appreciated our sweet schoolmates cheering us as we walked around campus. St. James is such a unique and supportive community. What an amazing place to go to school!
I love teaching ad spending time with these precious children!
Primary II has had an excellent week! Everyone is getting into routine and warming up to all the new friends. We have learned several new songs and games. To wrap up our first week we had a teddy bear picnic! Everyone took his or her stuffed animals and we ate morning snack outside. The class enjoyed having snack while sitting on the quilt under the tree.
After lunch we walked around St. James. I showed the class where the other classrooms are located and we saw the other playgrounds. The class visited the amphitheater. I explained that when they get a little bigger they will perform at the amphitheater, and we will get to watch the older boys and girl perform there too.
St. James will be closed Monday in observance of Labor Day. I pray everyone has a safe weekend and that you all have fun!
Wow, I can’t believe today is the last day school. It has been an amazing year. I have been truly blessed to be apart of these children’s lives. My Primary II students have grown so much over the past nine and a half months. I remember how small the class looked at the Teddy Bear Parade, now watching them learn and play they seem so big. I am so proud of everyone, and I look forward to watching them grown next year with Mrs. Mary and Mrs. Bonnie in Pre-Kindergarten.
To celebrate our last day together we had…MUD DAY! So much fun, a great way to begin the summer! The kids were able to play and enjoy their friends while playing on slides, in the water, and eating cupcake to wish happiness to our friends with summer birthdays. The weather was perfect and the kids (and teachers) had a blast!
This has been a week full of presentations and programs. Beginning the week with our very own Spring Program. Primary II did an excellent job, I could not be more proud of them! Having programs helps the children on so many different levels. The program we have help the students to develop self confidence, practice their memorization skills, work on their fine and gross motor skills and control, gives them practice of speaking in performing/speaking in front of an audience, and (as if all of that is great enough) they have fun. It can be difficult at first for the children to memorize the short songs and poems, but once they learn the songs and put the hand motions with the correct words it is precious. This is a great illustration for them that hard work pays off; we practice, practice, practice and they have a wonderful program.
The class was asked to sing a song at Chapel on Tuesday, in front of the entire school. I feared there might be some hesitation and nerves - nope. The class lined up and sang "Tiny Tim" perfectly. Again, I was so impressed and happy for the class. Tuesday and Wednesday we went to the Pre Kindergarten Talent Shows to support our schoolmates. This is one of the special aspects of St. James. Having such a close nit group of students. The support the children give one another is admirable. The older students mentor the younger ones; everyone attends performances and programs. The love and community that is St. James is always very evident whether we are at Chapel, programs, lunchroom, or even walking from class to class. St. James is a special and unique environment, perfect for the development of young children.
On Thursday we had a surprise visit from one of the Fathers in the other Primary II class. Sergeant Moody and three fellow officers came to school to give a presentation to both Primary II classes. The students always love seeing police officers; so being able to crawl through the cars, hear the sirens, and meet Officer Gus (the police dog) was such a fun treat! Anytime the class can learn about community helpers from community helpers it really helps connect ideas for the children. According to my class, watching Gus find hidden evidence was the best part.
As always, I am so blessed to be apart of St. James and these sweet children's lives. It has been an amazing year!
The class held an experiment today. The class learned what type of objects roll. To begin the experiment, I had the students pick an object from the classroom; then they took turns to see if their object rolled or not. If the student’s object didn’t roll, they were asked to go pick a new object, and take another try to see if it would roll. The students picked many objects for us to hypothesize about: sponges, cones, and blocks to name a few. Once a few students figured out that items needed to be round to roll, it was a chain reaction! I love watching the light bulbs turn on with this age group – to see the connection being made is a special treat!
We have been practicing diligently for the Spring Program. I can't wait for the class to show you all of their hard work on Monday!
Transportation Day!! The class was revved up and ready to ride this morning! Last week and this week have been learning about transportation vehicles along with examples of them, what they do, why they carry items, and how it relates to all of us. Different students will come to class everyday excited to tell me another mode of transportation. Today was the best; everyone was so thrilled to bring their very own transportation vehicle to school. I heard stories about each student's bicycles, tricycles, scooters, and cyclones - and I loved it.
Over the past week and a half the class has painted cars, designed traffic lights, made airplanes, and created a Things That GO! collage. All of our activities reinforce the development of fine motor skills and inquiry based learning, both of which truly benefits the child. Blessed am I to work with such bright and tender-hearted students. I love my job and working with this sweet bunch of children!
What an awesome field trip! Both Primary II classes visited the Agriculture Center at the Four States Fair Grounds, it was so neat. This field trip was packed full of new knowledge and hands on learning for the classes. First the class sat and listened to the explanation of the different breeds of cattle and how certain cows have specific jobs (i.e. dairy, beef, etc). Then each student practice milking a "cow" the modern way and the old fashioned way. The classes also made cinnamon butter, from fresh cream. While eating their freshly made butter, the class also drank chocolate milk from the local cows. After the snack the class proceeded to the barn area where the students were offered the option to pet a calf, chick, and bunny. The class was able to watch the goats and pigs too! While the students were petting the animals, the kind ladies giving the tour talked about the animals and how they contribute to farm life. The trip wrapped up with a yummy ice cream treat.
The children benefit so much from activities such as this trip. It was such a wonderful trip, and the children learned so much!
The class had a special treat today! Our Primary1 friends have baby chicks in their class this week. Mrs. Tracy let us borrow them and have some hands on learning time with the babies. Just about everyone loved holding the chicks, some of my class had their reservations. The children were so gentle with the chicks, and spoke so kindly to the babies. It was a precious sight. This opportunity enabled them to show their tender side to such small creatures. What a joy!
In PE the class has been working in stations to increase their gross motor skills. The children sure have grown so much since August.
Music this week has been so nice! We were unable to have it last week and the students would ask me everyday if Mrs. Faulkner was coming to class. Learning all of the spring songs has been too cute!
Teaching to the whole child, and seeing the growth of each student in academically, socially, and physically has been such a delight this year. I feel incredibly blessed every day – several times throughout my days.
Weather was a perfect theme for this week. Monday there was snow, by Friday the temperature was in the 60s. The class has been able to see a spectrum of weather this week. My favorite activities from this week have been the rain and rainbow experiments. I used water, food coloring, shaving cream, and a clear container to show what happens when a cloud fills with moisture. It rains! We adapted the experiment to show a rainbow too. From the rainbow experiment, the class was able to have an impromptu lesson on mixing colors. The children understand concepts on a deeper level when the concepts are presented in hands on way. Thursday the weather was beautiful, and the class was able to have time to explore outside.
The class has learned many new songs in music class. These songs increase the student's listening skills and the children love Mrs. Faulkner!
Next week is spring break! I hope you all have a fabulous week and I will see you on March 17th!
This week the class has learned about pets. We have used an iPad app to put our voices with the pictures of our pets. The videos are awesome. When the student records their video several things are happening: the child is practice speaking in front of a small group, the child is thinking about their pet and turning their thoughts into words, and the child is practicing patience while waiting their turn.
Friday, our third grade friends visited our class and read a book to us about pets. The Primary II students adore the "big kids". Anytime older children come to our class it is a fun time. I was so proud of my class; they listened so well and they used their manners. The third graders did an excellent job demonstrating spoken language to the class. When young children hear proper English being spoken, it enriches their vocabulary and speaking skills.
PE is one of our favorite times of day. I love that PE is centered around the development of gross motor skills, listening skills, and following directions. PE is fun and so essential for the progress of these skills. Now that we are almost to March, the evidence of the progress the class has made is amazing. The games that are played in PE give the students the opportunities to work on their skills and have fun at the same time.
I am so thankful to be apart of a school like St. James. Where the focus is to teach to the whole child, and develop all of their skills. I look forward to investigating weather next week!
It has been a big week at St. James! Not only have we been learning about dinosaurs, but Grandparents' Day was today. The class performed wonderfully at "The Spirit of St. James". I am so proud of them all. I loved seeing everyone's grandparents and special friends.
This week the class discovered what the environment was like during the time of dinosaurs. After reading a book illustrating the life of a dinosaur, the class and I went on a nature walk to find items that would have been in the dinosaur's environment. When we returned to class everyone water colored a sky, created a dinosaur, and made a beautiful photo. When we went on the nature walk the students were able to connect what environment means; also, the students were able to imagine what the Earth was like in the time of dinosaurs. Once we brought our items into class, and the students began to put the environment with the dinosaur it reinforced their learning on a new level. It is always amazing to see the children making learning connections. At this age everything is new to them, and they enjoy learning so much.
Thank you for letting me be apart of your child's life. I am so blessed to be their teacher.
We are wrapping up our two week unit on Fairy Tales, tomorrow with the grand Fairy Tale Ball. The class has listened to many different fairy tales over the past two weeks, all of the students have enjoyed all of the classic stories. In class we have made Cinderella's carriage, built a castle, and made our very own fairy tale photo. This has been such a delightful unit to explore with class.
We have also stayed busy practicing for the annual Grandparents' Day Program too. One of the children tell me everyday how excited about Grandparents' Day! It is going to be such a sweet performance.
In PE, the class has been working with Coach Nicole on how to learn to jump rope. This is a big challenge for 3-4 year olds. For the students, learning to swing the rope, jump over it, and watch the rope at the same time is a big task, but they are doing great! Everyone is making progress, and loving the process of learning and being active.
We will have a big day tomorrow! Come prepared to have fun and learn!!
This week in Primary II we have learned more about popular nursery rhymes. A few of the students in class love watching the nursery rhymes through the apps on the iPads. Being able to see the nursery rhyme in action and hear it allows the audio and visual learners to really take part in their learning - and have fun while they are learning! Friday, when the class was outside the students used their imaginations, and pretended to be Jack and Jill climbing up the hill and then tumbling down.
The class loves using play dough. Many people don't realize the benefits of play dough. When students are using the "toys" to cut, roll out, and press they are fine tuning their fine motor skills. When the students are balling up the play dough, and squishing it in their hand, they are building their hand muscles; muscles that need to be strengthened to help them write, type, and play musical instruments. Play dough is a great manipulative to use to enhance the student's imaginations as well.
Mrs. Faulkner and the class have been practicing hard for Grandparents' Day! It will be here soon, and we can't wait!
I was so thankful that it was warm enough for us to have some outside time today. It was a breezy day, but the kids didn't seem to mind. I am ready to start our Fairy Tale unit next week, the class is going to love discussing princesses, knights, and enchantment!
Primary II has started the two week unit on Nursery Rhymes. Nursery Rhymes are so great for children this age, the nursery rhymes enable the students to use new parts of their brains and their vocabulary; it's also just a fun unit to cover! The students have noticed that several of Mrs. Faulkner's songs that we sing weekly are nursery rhymes. We have been busy creating all types of articles that represent different popular nursery rhymes: we have made patterns, learned about opposites, rhyming words, matching items that are alike, and practiced our cutting skills. My favorite activity of the week (and I think the kids favorite too) was dramatic play time. The entire class took turns pretending to be little miss (Mr.) muffet, the spider, the sign holder, and all of the pigs from "This Little Pig". THEY LOVED THIS! It was so much fun to see the children using their creative minds to pretend, and they played so well together.
On Friday we get to have PE with Mrs. Tracy's class. Our two classes love getting to play and spend time together. One of the favored games to play in "Duck, Duck, Goose". The funniest part to this game is that the children set it up all by themselves! And, it runs smoothly - they never ask Tracy or I to help. We have several future teachers in our classes! It has been a fantastic week! We are all ready to learn more nursery rhymes next week!
What a fabulous first week back at St. James! Our theme for the week was winter, which was very suiting with the freezing weather. The class was able to get hands on experience with ice; we were able to walk to the playground and find some. The class being able to see and feel the ice really helps them grasp the concept of what ice is made of, and how cold it ice is. It was very easy to talk about winter weather, I think the highs on Monday and Tuesday were below freezing all day long! As a class we made snow this week, everyone really loved the snow. When the students explored the snow bin they didn't know it, but they were working with their fine motor skills to pick the small pieces up and manipulate it in their hands. To end the week we made snowmen in a bag. Anytime we get shaving cream out the class gets so excited! The students wrote shapes, letters, and numbers in the snowmen bags. I am impressed daily by the progress and success of my class, it is such a blessing to be apart of these children's lives.
In our specialty classes we worked on jumping feet together and apart; in music we learned some new songs! PE and Music class are great for the students and they really enjoy learning from Coach Nicole and Mrs. Faulkner.
This was a short week that was jam packed with fun and learning! Tuesday SANTA came to visit our class, and Thursday we had a Polar Express Morning. Santa, of course, was a huge hit; the children's faces brightened up when he walked into the class. Thursday everyone wore their pajamas to school, which was the cutest thing ever! The Primary I and both Primary II classes went to the pavilion to watch The Polar Express, eat popcorn, have "hot coco" (chocolate milk), and participate in fun activities. St. James' released early so everyone could prepare for Candlelight. This was my first year to attend, and I must say, what a beautiful service. The student's voices were angelic. I am so happy to be apart of these traditions at St. James Day School.
It is impossible to believe that our first semester together is over. Time has passed so quickly it saddens me! I love every one of my students and I look forward to our sweet Spring semester together. The students have grown so much in such a short bit of time, they are growing into special little people. I am truly blessed to be apart of their lives and have a tremendous amount of support from their wonderful parents. I pray that everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The weather has not been friendly to Primary II this week! It has been cold and wet, not a good combination for children who are three and four years old. Luckily, the students were great and understanding of the wild weather; we had made due and held inside recesses. The boys loved using their problem solving skills while putting together puzzles, several of the boys worked together to put all the pieces together.
This week in PE Mrs. Tracy's class came to visit and have class with us!! It is so wonderful to see my class interact with other classes. I love when my students set positive examples for other St. James students. We love PE time, especially on weeks when the weather does not cooperate.
In class we worked on our fine motor skills while decorating Christmas lights for our room. The children had to peel the paper off the back of the stickers and place the stickers on the light bulb. This seems easy to adults, but it is great practice for their little fingers to manipulate the sticker and peel the backs off. They concentrate so diligently. The students love playing in the sand box, this is great for sensory exploration. The students use their imaginations while pretending with all the toys in the box.
It has been another great week! I really look forward to Santa coming to visit and our Polar Express Morning next week!!
Whew! December is already here?
The class had a easy time getting settled back into our schedule this week. Even the cold weather, inside recesses, and rain hasn't bothered the class. Mrs. Faulkner brought really neat new music and things for us to make music with this week. We have began learning a few Christmas tunes too! We had a change of events on Friday, since it was so stormy and cold, Coach Nicole came to our class to have PE. It was so nice of her to do so! The class is learning about Advent and Christmas Season too. The crafts we have been creating really help the students to develop their fine motor skills and practice their creativity.
December is going to be here and gone before any of us blink twice. I have been teaching the class the true meaning of Christmas, I hope we all remember the reason for the season in this extra busy time of year!
We have had a very busy past two week!
We have continued to learn about Indians, Pilgrims, and the true meaning of Thanksgiving. We strengthened our Fine Motor Skills by gluing kernels of corn onto our cobs. The students loved learning about all the skills the Pilgrims learned as they arrived in the new Country. Between rainy days we have taken nature walks through our beautiful campus, and observed fall all around us. We were able to see several different tracks from deer and raccoons - the students were FASCINATED! It was such a joy to see the students so excited and enjoying themselves. As we were walking back to class from one of our nature walks, we came across a large hill; I decided this would be a great time to review our directional concepts. The students were on top of the hill, and I was at the bottom; the class was high and Mrs. Claire was low. The class ran down the hill, then back up the hill! The best way to teach the students those ideas/concepts - IS TO DO THEM! And that is exactly what we did, the class had a blast!
For the past couple of months we have been learning our straight lined letters ( L, F, E, H, I, T ) via Handwriting Without Tears. The class has worked very hard on these letter and I am so proud of them all. We continue to work on learning to write each student's name too. I have such an intelligent class!!
Mrs. Miller made a promise that everyone who participated in the fundraiser could help duck tape her to a wall in the Middle School common area. My entire class put at least one piece of tape on Mrs. Miller. The children thought it was hilarious, I am not so sure Mrs. Miller did, but she was a terrific sport about it all!
Today, we had our Fall Program. The students did a fabulous job, and the parents were awesome. So blessed to be apart of these children's lives, I absolutely love them and my great job!
This week the class has been learning about Native Americans. All week we have been learning rhythm and how Native Americans used different rhythms at different ceremonies. The students loved using the different styles of wooden instruments to create our own pattern. Everyone made their own small teepee and we placed them together to create our teepee village. Thanks to Ms. Diane, we were able to have a Primary II sized teepee in class where the students could work with puzzles and read books. Coach Nicole was helping with the 6th grade field trip, so we were able to be treated with Mrs. Denise during PE class. The middle of the week, we had a rainy day; Mrs. Denise came to our class to have PE.
Friday we had a special play time in Primary II! I was talking to the class about Native Americans, Pilgrims, the Mayflower, etc. There is an area on the St. James campus that has a ship and play cabins made from wood. I told the class that we were going to explore a ship that was similar to the Mayflower. Everyone was so excited to see the new play area and play on the "Mayflower". That experience helped create a concrete example of the Mayflower for the students! It has been another wonderful week in Primary II, can't wait for next week!
October flew by in Primary II!
During this final week of October we finished up our Halloween projects and activities. Tuesday the class made puffy paint and created spooky ghost. The students enjoyed painting with their hands and feeling the soft texture of the puffy paint.
The girls always love dressing up and learning in the dramatic play center. Learning through play is very beneficial for this age group; the social skills develop and grow as the students communicate with one another and learn to share and play nicely together.
Primary II had music on Halloween this week. We were able to sing all of our Halloween songs for the last time this year. Mrs. Faulkner even wore her costume hat! Later that afternoon we had our Halloween Party. The students had a blast playing the games and eating delectably cute goodies! Everyone ended the week on a great note and we are excited to learn about Native Americans, Turkeys, Pilgrims, and all things Thanksgiving. We are so fortunate to be able to praise and learn about God; especially during this month that we focus on our blessings and give thanks for everything in our lives that God has given us.
Every week I say we have had a fun and busy week; well this week isn’t any different! The class had their regular PE and Music classes. The student’s played Zoo Keeper in PE with a Halloween twist; I am impressed every week with the student’s progress in PE. The children really have grown a lot from the first PE class to now; Zoo Keeper is still their favorite game to play! We are always learning and discovering in Primary II, we love puzzles and the iPads to name a few methods we use. Our annual Fall Festival was Saturday and we have been saving crafts that we have put together for a few weeks now. Thursday we painted our class pumpkin, we choose to enter it into the Fall Festival Pumpkin contest and we won 3rd place in our division!
Friday was a very busy day for Primary II. We had our first field trip; we went to William’s Pumpkin Patch. It was very suiting that the weather was so chilly on that fall morning! The presentation was adorable and the student’s really seemed to have a great time. Everyone received a small pumpkin and the parents and I were able to take some amazing pictures! Friday afternoon, the Primary II class visited the Middle School commons to learn about Egypt. One of our middle school teachers demonstrated how to "get rid of the snakes" by using his Indie Jones whip to scare the snakes away. The class loved watching him illustrate how to use the whip! The fourth, fifth, and sixth grade classes did an excellent job presenting information about Ancient Egypt. My class always enjoys see the older students and I love to have such a great example for my young students.
I love my job and being able to work with such bright and loving students!
Primary II had another lively week learning about spiders and pumpkins! Many of activities allow the students to increase their fine motor skills and their logic. I love watching my students think; it is adorable to see their minds solving riddles. When working on rhyming and phonemic activities, the students get really excited to solve the questions. Everyone loves learning on the i-pads and the computers. Most of my students would like to use the technology instead of playing in traditional ways.
The past few weeks, Mrs. Faulkner has taught us Halloween songs; our favorite ones include using the pictures of Halloween characters. The class really enjoys rolling the ball back and forth with Mrs. Faulkner. Music is always a favorite time of the week; it helps develop the children's listening skills while they are having a blast!
The weather at the beginning of the week was rainy and soggy. Coach Nicole was so kind to let the Primary classes use the gym during her lunch break. All of the children loved getting to play in the gym together. Thankfully, the playgrounds were dry enough for everyone to be outside by the end of the week. The students relished the time we were able to spend outside.
Friday, the class got to experience what it would be like to be caught in a web! While singing "The Spider Spins the Web" the students wrapped themselves in yarn. They loved it!! Many of the students didn't want to be released from the web when the song was over.
Excited to learn about Cats and Bats next week!
Fire Safety was our theme this week! Boy, did we have a good time learning how to Stop, Drop, and Roll in case our clothes were to ever catch on fire. Throughout the week, we discovered what it would be like to be firefighters. The class dressed up in fire gear and rescued our doll house from flames and instructed our dolls to stop, drop, and roll. During our outside play time, the class dressed up and put the fire out of the play houses and the slides; everyone practiced calling 911 and reporting a fire emergency too.
This week in music we learned some new Halloween songs. The students really enjoyed seeing Mrs. Faulkner's Halloween pictures of a ghost, pumpkin, and black cat to name a few. The whole class gets very excited on Wednesdays and Thursdays when Mrs. Faulkner comes to our class for music time. I always love it when I hear the children singing the songs throughout the day.
In PE we learned a fun new game. Each child had a foam paddle and the goal was to keep their balloon in the air as long as possible. This really helps the children with hand-eye coordination, and their gross motor skills. The whole class loves PE. We also played a game that we have been learning how to play for a few weeks, Zookeeper. This week Zookeeper was adapted to a Halloween theme. The Zookeepers had to get all the ghost and goblins back into the cage; everyone had a lot of fun playing!
A few times this week the Primary I class, and both Primary II classes played Red Light, Green Light. This is a good game to play and increases the student's listening skills. It was so cute to watch all the children run back and forth on the soccer field.
Next week we will be learning about Spiders!!
We've had another fun and busy week here at St. James. We have been learning about Fall! Some of the things we studied were: how and why leaves change color, in addition to why the weather gets cooler in the Fall. Early in the week, the class made play dough, and then we colored it a vibrant Fall yellow. When Mrs. Faulkner visited, she taught us a new song. Next week, she will be teaching the class a few Halloween songs. The class is really looking forward to learning the new songs! On Thursday, Primary I and both Primary II classes had some very special guests visit St. James--Firefighters! The students were very excited to see the firefighters, and thoroughly enjoyed touring the firetruck. On Friday, more friendly firefighters came to our school presenting a Fire Safety seminar that everyone enjoyed as well! All of our exposure to Fire Safety will help the students in the week to come when we cover Fire Safety, and review safe things we can do at home to aid in the prevention of serious injuries in dangerous situations.
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!
The class had so much fun exploring the 5 Senses last week! In PE Coach Nicole taught the class a new game titled Zoo Keeper and boy oh boy did the students LOVE IT! Everyday the class would ask me if we were playing Zoo Keeper in PE that day. We were very luck to have our Mrs. Faulkner back and teaching us all new fabulous songs.
On Thursday we had our texture walk and the kids had a blast! They really enjoyed feeling different textures on their feet. It has been another fun filled and busy week and I look forward to the next as we learn about FALL and get ready for the exciting holidays that are ahead.
Thank you to all of my wonderful parents, I love being apart of your child's daily life!
What a fun filled week! We began our fourth week of school with such an exciting theme - Western Week was so much fun. We were able to make homemade butter; learned about cacti, cowboys/girls, wild west, and learned a little about Texas too. So many awesome activities and teachable moments this week! We weren't' able to have music because our dear Mrs. Faulkner lost her speaking and singing voice - she only had her whisper voice. Hopefully she will feel better next week and we can continue learning new songs! We had a lot of energy burning good times in Coach Nicole's PE class, we love to do stations where we can jump, roll, and run.
Mrs. Wagy invited us to come to the walk through museum that her 4th graders had created. We walked over Thursday morning after our Bible Study. Mrs. Wagy's 4th graders were so kind to our Primary II class and spoke so well to describe toys, candy, books, videos and games from the 1940s. The 4th graders even gave us a special treat! It was very interesting to see the toys that were common in the 1940, no ipads and thrilling cell phone games Several of my students were able to play with a couple of the toys! We were very thankful and used our magic manners to impress Mrs. Wagy and her fabulous 4th graders!!
We concluded our week with WESTERN DAY!! We are so blessed to have so many amazing Moms and Dads that helped out behind the scene and the ones who came out in the nasty weather today. I couldn't have made it through without all of my parents
Thank you all so much for allowing me to be apart of your child's life! I love my job and adore my class!!
This week in class we investigated apples! We discussed the different colors an apple can be, the taste, texture, where they come from, and that apple begins with A. Everyone loved cutting the apples and looking to see what was inside of them. With our leftover pieces of apple we painted paper bags! The kids really seemed to enjoy using the apple slices to paint with.
Music was on Tuesday and Wednesday again this week. After our Tuesday class the kids sang Mrs. Faulkner's song all day and they were very excited to see her again on Wednesday! PE is always fun and I will make sure to add more pictures next week. Mrs.Claire participates in PE too so it is more difficult to grab good pictures!!
We also got our ipads this week! It amazes me how talented the students are with this technology. The favored app seems to be Shape Monster, where the "monster" ask to be fed different shapes. It really is a cute app and the kids are quizzed on shape knowledge while having fun!
Friday after rest time we went apple picking for literacy! Each apple had a letter of the alphabet written on it and I hung them all in a tree and each student came to the tree to pick the letter I requested. They did so great and recognizing the letters (even out of order)! It was HOT outside so we didn't stay long and we drank cool water when we went back to class.
Looking forward to Western Week
Wow! I thought our first week was busy!! What a fun and busy week we have had in Primary II. This week we had our first Big Chapel, music, and the Teddy Bear Parade! Other fun we have had is our daily PE with Coach Nicole. We met Mrs. Faulkner on Wednesday and again on Thursday and the kids loved it! We had fun pretending to ride a horse and singing fun songs. I am so excited to have music twice a week!! Mrs. Tracy's Primary I class plays outside with us after lunch everyday and on Thursday they came to visit and gave us fruit-loop friendship bracelets--which we all promptly ate!!! Today we had our Teddy Bear Parade and it was SPECTACULAR! It was so awesome to see our parents and family supporting encouraging us as we traveled the campus. I know the class felt special when we saw all our other St. James friends cheering us on at each building. What a loving and supportive campus!! Mrs. Claire's class has a had terrific week! I am so blessed to have such awesome students! And their great parents
Next week is going to be even better as we discover APPLES!!
School is underway and we are starting our second week together at St. James. Big Chapel went very well and our class behaved great!! Some up coming events are our Teddy Bear Parade on Friday September 6 at 8:45 and on September 20 we have Western Day (I'll have more details soon for Western Day). I just wanted to touch base and let you all know that I enjoy spending my days teaching and learning from your children!! I am so blessed to have such sweeties in my class. I'll add pictures of this week in a few days so stay posted!
What a FABULOUS first day!! It was a busy busy day and maybe a little chaotic, but it was great and we can only get sharpen our skills and improve from here on out! This morning at snack we took our teddy bears and had a teddy bear picnic; where we ate snack and read a story. Then on the way to our very first PE lesson we "Went on a Bear Hunt" and followed the bear prints on the grass to go see Coach Nicole. For art today we painted a bear picture (and I must say that my students are exceptional painters)!! Our afternoon was just as busy with lunch, and playing outside followed by nap time .Most of the kiddos zonked right out, all the business wore them out. I can't wait to see what the year holds for us! I can't say it enough, we had a wonderful first day!