This week was full of alphabet activities, a new ice cream shop in the dramatic play area, and an introduction to the story of Passover.
Monday: Maya and Avi helped set up our ice cream shop today. We had lots of choices to make in arrangement and containers. It’s so nice to have such sharp minds for collaboration.
Tuesday: What do we do after learning the alphabet week-by-week? Why explode the room with alphabet puzzles, stamps, magnets, and games!
The most fun came at the end of the day, when the kids made letters out of curves and sticks. I asked them how many people would it take to make their letter? Then, after volunteering, the kids made letters with their bodies. So fun! Can you tell they made O, S, P, Q, and H? We will try to get more on Friday, then I’ll print the photos for an alphabet book.
Speaking of books, we read one of my favorite ABC books today, and the kids were cracking up. It’s called Q is for Duck by Mary Elting and Michael Folsom, and it’s a crazy spin on the alphabet using riddles and logic. We decided to make our own version of the book are just waiting for Lily to return from California before we publish our own silly book. We also introduced our first sight words for study: I and am.
Wednesday: Eli asked a few weeks ago about possibly adding a student-made lower-case alphabet to our wall. Great idea! We began it this morning with a few letters, and will add to it as interested.
We enjoyed music class with Rabbi Crimmings today, learning more songs about Passover.
Later, the kids got a first look at our new literacy choice time after lunch. This is just for the short 20-30 minutes after lunch, in which the kids “sign up” on a chart for a certain activity. The spots are limited, and they can’t change their spot unless another opening is available. This is practice for Kindergarten, in which sometimes choice time has to be pre-planned. (Up to now, the children play wherever and whenever they want, provided they have cleaned up their space before leaving it. And it still holds true for the hour of exploring time in the morning.) It also give me a chance to target activities that maybe the kids haven’t been choosing. One very fun new activity is listening to books on CD. Avi and Maya were the first to sign up!
Thursday: Today our class only had Avi and Asher, but we made the most of our little crew. First, the boys made pictures upon pictures. Asher made a Passover seder plate and wrote out most of the holidays, using the rug in our room as a guide. Avi made a big purple spider web, then he extended it by wanting to write the words spider web on the back. He and I sounded out the words slowly, stretching each letter sound. These kids have really grasped the phonics of the alphabet!
Later in the morning, we took a nature walk around the pond, our first since winter. The boys collected lots of natural treasures for our classroom, as our supplies of sticks and pinecones were reaching dangerously low levels. (smile)
Friday: The plan for today is to have a room-wide alphabet treasure hunt. Anything movable goes! Then, we’ll meet for Shabbat upstairs, share a yummy challah treat, and hopefully get outside after our group meeting. After lunch, we will try our literacy centers with a few more kids, using our social skills to navigate any issues that may come up.
A peek at next week: We have an exciting field trip on Tuesday–can’t wait! Plus, more Passover learning, with a focus on the Seder. We will learn about the symbolism, some prayers, more songs, and about matzah. Should be a fun week!