Chag Sameach! It’s another week, with another holiday, and we sure did luck out on the weather for Sukkot this year. Thanks for bringing in jackets, mittens, gloves, hats, sunglasses and all the various clothing items the kids will need in the fall. As the seasons change, it may be a good idea to bring in some hand lotion and lip balm. Make sure they are labeled with first and last name, and we’ll put them in their cubbies for them to use whenever needed.
This week we began October with a new dramatic play area in our room, our first weekly letter study beginning with S, a focus on the meaning of “focus” with our attention in our SecondStep emotional learning curriculum, learning about architects and drawing plans, and we did it all through play.
On Monday we celebrated Millie’s 5th birthday with a special card, brand new box of crayons, and a special crown. She brought some yummy rice krispie treats to share while we read a birthday book that she picked out. I think the kids are all getting excited about their upcoming birthdays now!
Sukkot was still front and center in our minds too when we had a fun picnic in the sukkah, complete with singing our silly Sukkot songs, shaking the lulav, and smelling the etrog. Truly, we had a great time.
The biggest change this week was in some of the materials for play in the room. The kitchen was traded for a tool bench. The kids helped us figure out where to store the tools and place the labels. It’s so much easier for them to clean up when they have a say in where things are placed in the beginning. Randi and I saw the kids threading jump ropes through cardboard tubes, warning others to “be careful, that’s electricity.” Hanging out underneath the bench, much like a plumber, I observed Quinn say, “Hey, do you see me working here?” They really get into character, these creative kids! We want to set up a “makers lab” for the kids this month, so please send in your empty cardboard and food containers in all shapes and sizes. Thanks in advance.
For activities, the kids drew their houses, some using rulers as a straight edge. This gave us an opportunity to talk about basic shapes in two dimensions, but also to introduce the concept of 3D. They all were hard at play building structures with mini-marshmallows and toothpicks, and no, they didn’t eat any! They also studied some real blueprints of Ms. Amber’s house and then drew their own house with oil pastels and a blue watercolor wash. On Friday, we will make houses out of sponges and also do some sponge painting.
A big stack of Solo cups yields fun for days with stacking. The kids need no directions for how to play with these. A stool helps them reach even higher for their towers, and Andrew even built some mountains for his jungle animals with them one day.
For our letter study, we introduced the letter S to begin. Instead of going in alphabetical order, we will begin with a grouping of letters that will allow the kids to make words. S is a great letter to begin with because the sound is familiar, and so many words beginning with S are already in their vocabulary. We teach the shape, the name, and the sound. I use a version of Tucker Signing when teaching phonetics, as I like how it gives a motion to every sound. We have lots of visuals for the letters around the room, as well as little objects beginning with the letter for memory games and practice. We make a running list on the white board with words they discover have the “s” sound. Some kids even came to school with S words from home they had practiced! Thanks for everyone who brought in an S-themed show and tell on Tuesday.
A peek at next week: A closer look at tools, construction workers and introducing the letter Aa. Bring something beginning with A for show and tell on Tuesday, if you can (it can be a picture of an A thing too). Also, please begin bringing in any empty cardboard boxes, tubes, and food canisters for our makers/builders lab.
L’hitraot, Ms. Amanda and Ms. Randi