Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pictures from the scrapbooking time

Here are the pictures of the children working on their scrapbook pages after the "End Of Year" ceremony. It was a pleasure to watch all the children interacting with their families as they made a project that reminded them of lots of activities we did throughout the year! Thanks again for a wonderful year.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The end of the year

It has been an amazing year working with the children! Everyday was filled with fun and excitement as well as many learning opportunities for both the children and myself. We have had a great time getting to know each other and making strides in our knowledge.

I would actually like to thank the children for helping me through the year. No matter what they always amazed me with their knowledge, with their caring attitudes towards others and with the interesting things they would tell me! These children really have grown this year. Last Friday there was someone in the classroom who was looking at some of the pictures posted on the wall. She knows many of the children and was commenting about how much the children had grown since the beginning of the year (when many of the pictures were taken)! When spending every day with the children, you do not always see these changes, however, by looking back at the pictures, their writing, their letter knowledge and much more, it becomes very noticeable that they grew in many ways! I can't tell you how enjoyable it was to experience these growths with them! It is always great to see the "light bulb" go off in a child's head when they grasp a new concept. I watched this happen many times this year. It may have come as a child learned that they could pedal a bike or swing on the swings without being pushed. It may have come as a child counted to a new level or was able to read more letters than the day before. It may have shown up as a child read something they had never read before. No matter how that light bulb went off, every child had their chance of showing me the bright light (and the excited smile) when this happened.

It was really enjoyable to watch all of the children work with their parents on their scrapbook pages at the End Of Year Celebration. It was nice to see the thrilled looks on the children as they were able to show off their pictures and their progress, as many children wrote on their pages as well as cut out the pictures and glued them on! The love and excitement that was felt in the room was amazing.

I also want to thank all the families for the wonderful gift they gave to me at the celebration. It is absolutely beautiful and when I wear it I will definitely remember how special all of your children are and how much they have meant to me! Thank you.

I really hope everyone enjoys there summer! I hope that Mussie, Miriam and Tyrus all continue to grow and enjoy their education as they move on to first grade and Kindergarten. I know you will all do great as your educational adventures take you further!

Thank you again for an amazing year. I know that normally pictures follow my posts, however, due to some other "end of year" activities for my family, I will have to post pictures on Sunday or Monday. I will do that soon as I have some lovely pictures of the children making their scrapbook pages with their parents!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Wrapping things up

A look at this week:
It is really hard to believe that the year is almost over. The school year went by so quickly. This week we continued our focus on medical professionals as well as started wrapping things up from the year.
Monday a few of our friends made it to the zoo for the wrap up on their long animal theme, as well as their end of year field trip. It turned out to be almost perfect weather and the children really had fun. They were so excited to see the animals and we made it through most of the zoo before they started complaining that they were hungry!
On Tuesday we were back in the classroom and continued our current theme. The students enjoyed talking about eye doctors and dentists. In home living the children took turns being the patient and the eye doctor and the patient had to read the eye chart as the doctor pointed to it. We also talked about how people who are blind read. Then the children had the chance to feel what braille feels like by using a sensory alphabet book. On Thursday some of the students wrote their names with dots to represent braille dots and then we added dots of glue so that they could really "feel" their names!
The children really enjoyed the activities that used the toothbrushes. In art we painted with toothbrushes and dental floss. This was really a fun way to paint. In the block area we used mirrors to look at our mouths and then tried to build our mouths out of blocks. And on Wednesday all the children received a toothbrush and we talked about how often we brush our teeth and then they used the mirrors to practice brushing their teeth. While this was going on, we also practiced our cutting as we tried to cut the line from the stethoscope to the heart that was drawn on a paper.
We also wrapped up a year long project by measuring all the students again. We saw how much they have grown throughout the year in inches and apples. Everyone also took a turn standing on the scale to see how much they weigh (just like at the doctor's office). Then they wrote their height, how many apples and their weight onto a piece of paper.
Listening In:
The zoo was really fun. However, more fun then just being at the zoo was hearing the comments that some of the children made throughout the trip.
At first, just the excited squeals were fun as they saw the animals. But even better than that was when Avery was looking at an animal and said, "we are seeing real live animals!" And Tyrus was thrilled with the dinosaur displays that were around the zoo. While looking at the dinosaur closest to the elephant area he started squawking a little and then looked at me and said, "I am communicating with him." And the dinosaur was programmed to occasionally make noise so it really seemed like he was responding back to Tyrus.
Looking Ahead:
Next week we are going to be enjoying our last few days of school. We will be making special folders to bring home all the art work and our work folders home. We will continue to practice for our graduation/end of year celebration. And then of course, we are going to have a fun celebration at 11:00 on Wednesday!

Making paper toothbrushes
Can you see this shape?
Checking out the polar bear that is swimming in the water!
A nest full of Gan Eagles
Looking at the elephants
Figuring out the letter "g" in braille
Painting with a toothbrush
Cutting on the line
Looking at our mouths so we can brush our teeth
Making braille dots

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Is There a Doctor In The School?

There were many different doctors here at The Gan this week!
A look at this week:
Although we were closed on Monday, we still had plenty of fun time learning this week. We started our focus on Community Helpers, really focusing on the medical field. We spent time using the doctor kits in Home Living and the children were even able to put on the Doctor coat and pretend to be a doctor. This was fun since they had the chance to check out the tools doctors use as well as pretend to write in a patients file and keep track of their patients!
In the block area the children decided that they could build a hospital or a doctor's chair. Even though blocks is normally a favorite, the children seemed to enjoy the other activities even more this week. At art, we made chalk x-rays and then had to write what we took an x-ray of! In Math we pretended to fill a prescription by putting corn kernels into cups to match the number on the cups. In writing we used hair gel bags to trace the letters that you can find in many common doctor words, such as: doctor, nurse, office, chart, healthy, sick, shot, medicine, and x-ray.
For science this week the children played with water as they filled the liquid medicine spoons and droppers with water, trying to fill them to a specific amount. On Tuesday we made doctor bags. The children were able to pick their color bag and then they "sewed" it together. After that they had the chance to label their bag with "Doctor ________'s Bag." On Wednesday the children made watercolor x-rays. They thought it was neat that they painted the water colors onto a piece of white paper and an x-ray popped out (this was white crayon pre-drawn on the paper). They also made band-aid letters, trying to make the first letter in each of their names!
Listening In:
On Tuesday when I introduced the new topic I asked the children if they had ever been to the doctor's office. Of course they all had! I loved the one response I got:
"When you are leaning back in your chair and somebody is doing homework and somebody else is making dinner you fall and have to go get stitches. That is when you have to go see the doctor."
Looking Ahead:
Hopefully the weather will cooperate and next week we will be able to go to the Oregon Zoo on Monday! The children are still very excited for this trip and have been asking me to tell them when we are going. However, after the trip there on Monday, we will be back to our regular learning on Tuesday. We will be continuing with our community helpers by looking at dentists. This week we will be talking about clean teeth, looking at our teeth in mirrors and also using toothbrushes to do some creative art and writing!
Reminder: It is hard to believe that the end of the year is almost here. It has been a very fun and educational year for the children (and myself)! We will be having an end of the year program and graduation (for those going to Kindergarten and First Grade) ceremony on Wednesday the 16th. We hope to see you all there.
If you would like to schedule a time to come in and talk with me about the progress your child has made throughout the year, please let me know your availability and I will schedule you in. I normally like to do these conferences at the end of the school day (about 12:05 or so), once the other children have gone for the day.
Music and Me from last Friday. The children are learning about the different instrument families and this week was about the percussion family. They really enjoyed playing all the different instruments!

Busy at work, tracing words, counting beans and even doing some water play!

Watercolor x-rays!
"I don't feel so good Doctor!"
Making a chalk x-ray
Band-aids are good for more than just covering can make letters out of them too!
Writing on her doctor bag
Water play with medicine droppers
Sewing doctor bags
Dr. Lizabeth at your service!