Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another delightful week has passed at The Gan.

We have been learning about the 5 types of vertebrates. We created a chart to list the characteristics of each vertebrate; we have a sorting job consisting of tiny animals, and we have books and picture cards which have allowed us see pictures of the 5 different vertebrates.

This is a compilation of some of the conversations we have had this week about the vertebrates.

Morah Katie: Tell me something that all the vertebrates have in common, they all have it.

Kian: Backbones!

Morah Katie: I agree! Can you tell me something that makes mammals different from fish, birds, amphibians or reptiles?

Levi: Mammals do not lay eggs.

Dena: They have fur!

Morah Katie: What does a bird have that is different from the other vertebrates?

Tori: Wings

Levi: Feathers

Morah Katie: What type of skin does an amphibian have, think of a frog.

Kids: Slimy

Morah Katie: Amphibians have wet skin. What type of skin does a reptile have?

Levi: Scaly and dry.

Morah Katie: Which vertebrates lay eggs?

Kids: Not mammals!

Morah Katie: True, which do?

Dena: Birds

Tori: Fish

Morah Katie: do amphibians and reptiles lay eggs?

Kids: Yes!

Along with this stimulating comparison of vertebrates, the children have been working hard in all areas of the classroom.

matching letters


serious playing

The children discovered something very exciting on thursday morning when we went to play outside.


We talked about just how cold it must have been over night to create the ice on the slide. We had fun peeling it off the slide, feeling how cold it was and breaking it apart.
On friday morning at snack we wondered if we would find ice again when we went for playtime, we found a frosty icy slide indeed!

I wish you all joy and fun over the two week break. I look forward to seeing you all in January.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

We began our week with a wonderful celebration!
Candle making

Doughnut decorating and eating

We finished our week with

hunting for hidden numerals in one of our favorite books

numeral tracing and writing

word building

We have learned 11 of the 26 letters of our alphabet. The letters have not been presented in the typical "abc" order, but in an order which allows the child to quickly put the sounds together to build words. The names of the letters are important for spelling, however the sounds are what enable to child to create and decode words. Words can be mysteries but once a child knows the clues, he/she will take off solving those mysteries. I have noticed an increase in all the children in their recognition of the sounds and it is very exciting to see the smiles on their faces when they begin to connect it all.

Morah Tzivie told us about the Jewish children during the time of the Maccabee's who tricked the Greek soldiers by playing driedel. At circle we played pretend that a greek soldier was coming to tell us not to sing about the Torah, and The Gan children were delighted to play the trick on the greek soldier, putting the Torah behind their back and spinning their drediels.

The smiles were wide and the giggles were loud. They tricked the "greek soldier" over and over and the children's pride and empowerment could be seen and felt.

Next week we will look at the differences of the 5 vertebrate classes of animals. What makes a bird different from a mammal? Are there any similarities between a reptile and a fish? We will these questions and more.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This week at The Gan we began our celebration of Chanukah.

Morah Tzivie shared the story of the Macabees and their brave battle. We learned about the miracle of the oil lasting for 8 days.
We have menorahs in our classroom to help us celebrate this miracle.

We practiced our counting as we made candle sequence books, 8 pages of candles, 1-8.

We spun the dreidel and kept a record of how many times it landed on a side.

We diligently practiced for our performace for the Chanukah party, and were a huge success.

We continued to explore and learn,

and we continued to build friendships.