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Mrs. Iacabone's Page

April 24
We were welcomed back from vacation with an enrichment program presented by the New England Aquarium. The children learned about and interacted with some of the creatures found in our coastal tidepools including clams, mussels, hermit crabs and sea stars.
We also introduced the letter Rr and the children cut, assembled and glued three rabbits. Tomorrow they will add the finishing touch to make their rows of rabbits special.

March 27
Over the past few school days, we have moved on to the letters Pp and Qq. We read both the classic and some other versions of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf, Three Ninja Pigs, The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, and The Three Little Fish and the Big Bad Shark. The children then illustrated and narrated their favorite parts of the story. We have also read Hamilton Pig and My Lucky Day, also involving pigs and wolves.
We have also read The Princess and the Pea and created the princess's bed complete with pea and 20 mattresses (numbered and in order). (They also asked if we could count to 100 at circle time today...and so we did. Before school tody they "speckled" some eggs using a toothbrush and screen. What will they put inside?

 Our activities have included our fancy name signs, number lines, and neon rainbow neckties. The children have also designed "O" collages and octopuses in the ocean with different numbers of suction cups on each tentacle. We had lots of fun on St. Patrick's Day with green shakes and pancakes. We also had races finding plastic shamrocks in buckets of dry rice and beans. We have also discussed the Feast of St. Joseph and the things we can do to honor Jesus and be like Him during the season of Lent, The children have created pictures of their ideas. We've read lots of stories including Leprechaun on the Loose, Chrysanthemum, Owen, and The Napping House. 

March 1 - 10 
We have been so busy, turning our mixed color hearts into shamrocks and painting others using 6 different shades of green that we mixed up ourselves. We have also continued to review capital, lower case, and sounds of the letters we've learned about so far. After reading and watching two versions of The Mitten by Jan Brett, the children decorated mittens, numbered the eight animals from the story in the correct order, and glued them to popsicle stick to place inside the mitten so that they can retell the story. The children also had a great time creating monsters right from their imaginations after reading Go Away Big Green Monster, The Monster at the End of This Book, We Are Monsters, and Molly's Monsters. Another imagination exercise, based on the letter Oo and Dr. Seuss's Oh The Thinks You Can Think, is a creation made completely with paper, pasta, and Fruit Loop O's.
In addition to our regular line-up of toys and manipulatives, mini ice cream scoops, Letter A-M capital and lower case locks and keys, and lots and lots of magnet experimentation have been a big hit during free play.

February 27,28
Moving on to the letter Mm, it's all about mixing and matching. The children are mixing paint colors...red, yellow, and blue... to create new colors...orange, green, and purple. The are paining hearts that will be turned into the perfect decoration for the month of March. They also matched capital to lower case letters as an Aa to Ll review. And they made great detectives, looking carefully at the design on missing mittens to match them with their partners. We have talked about St. Patrick's Day and begun learning some songs, spent time in the gym with Ms. Kerry, and played color and shape Bingo. We have read The Letters are Lost, Mouse Paint, and The Missing Mitten Mystery.

February 6,7
Kk and Ll has been sent home on Tuesday. How appropriate that Valentines Day is coming up with our theme of Love One Another this month. The children spelled out the word L-O-V-E and decorated the word in Valentine colors. We've been creating beautiful watercolor hearts to frame. We're also talking about presidents, specifically today about George Washington, our first president. We talked about how, after the Pilgrims came to America, the bossy king of England still wanted to be their king. The new Americans did not want him or his red coat soldiers so they decided to fight back. George Washington helped them to become free as a general. He then became their first president because, even though they didn't want a king, they needed a leader. We looked at his picture on $1 bill and quarters and read  George Washington and the General's Dog. We also read Won't You Be My Valenswine, Won't You Be My Kisseroo, and Love Splat. Lots of fun at the gym today with Ms. Kerry, playing ship to shore, animal moves, train, and practicing throwing.

February 1,2,3
On Wednesday, our friends  from Grade 3 came to visit and read to a buddy. We also did a Groundhog Day project, matching 4 groundhogs to their shadows and did some hat decorating. We also took a look at our new February calendar and the birthdays and holidays. On Thursday, we played number bingo, made Cat in the Hat puppets, and followed Punksatawney Phil's adventure...yes he saw his shadow. We are also discussed Presidents Day and had a little intro to what made Presidents Washington and Lincoln special. On Friday, we cheered for the Patriots and made our hanging footballs to brighten up your Super Bowl party. We also played team Valentine matching game. As always, the children played and explored with building toys, dramatic play sets, math skills and motor skills manipulatives, writing and drawing media. Among our books were Go to Sleep, Groundhog, Gretchen Groundhog Has Her Day, Won't You Be My Valenswine, The Cat in the Cat, and Smelly Socks.

January 31
We had a great time with Ms. Kerry up at the gym this morning. We also really enjoyed each other's show and tell. We played number bingo, looked at some homework, and read The Shape of Me and Other Things after discussing Groundhog Day and shadows.

January 30
Everyone was looking very stylish and comfy this PJ Day. After sharing our cereal breakfast, we read and acted out Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. The children then illustrated their own book, making sure that the number of monkeys matched the numeral at the top of the page. We discussed the the Catholic Schools Week food drive and the idea of caring for those who are less fortunate and could use our help.

January 25,26,27
We had two exercises in patience and following step by step directions. First, for the letter Ii, came a little worksheet where the children identified the insect and waited to find out which container in which to place them. For the letter Kk, the children created a wheel of All Kinds of Kids. First they were asked to find one of the nine colors of kids, then to place it on a particular number between 1 and 9. As an intro to Valentines Day, we created Little Fish Kisses, using all hearts to create bodies, tails, fins, eyes, and lips of course of two fish. 
We have also continued our discussion of water: observing evaporation in our cup of water on the window sill, having contests melting ice cubes using our hot little hands (and comparing it to the melting of an ice cube sitting in a cup), and watching water (magically) take n the shape of whatever container we poured it into.
We have also discussed Chinese New Year, practiced our songs, and read lots of books.

January 24
Tree-filled forests were the perfect setting for yesterday's snowmen and a good dose of snow made the pictures complete.
The class started new jobs today filling (paper) jelly bean jars after sorting the jelly beans by color. We read Little Critter's Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack and the Jelly Bean Stalk. We also read Down in the Jungle, practiced the sounds of letters A-J, and started some Valentines Day songs.

January 23
We started the day with some paint, markers, and snowmen to decorate. They will become part of our winter forest scene this week. The children all practiced their names at the chalkboard and some chose to do worksheets finding matching houses and matching animals to their homes.
We discussed our first and last names and, as part of Ii week, we discussed what initials were and figured out everybody's initials in the class. The children were then given large bubble letter initials which they filled in with wrapping paper scraps.
As we went through our Ii and Jj homework, we started to discuss insects. We then read On Beyond Bugs and keeping with the Goldilocks theme we read The Three Snow Bears, another book by Jan Brett.

January 19
Lots of play, tracing names, and a little break from our routine and the recent evaluations to watch Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Elves and the Shoemaker.

January 17 and 18
Our salt crystal pictures have been topped off with stamped snowflakes. 
After a couple of weeks of chilly winter activities, we decided to travel to the tropics since Jj is for jungle. We talked about the jungle climate being the opposite of the Arctic because the poles (top and bottom of the earth) get less sun than the wide middle of the earth. (We think we're pretty lucky to live in between.) After reading Jungle Bullies and Rumble in the Jungle, the children colored the animals they wanted in their jungles and then they went crazy hiding animals in tree tops and behind grass and tree trunks.
We also read Lost and Found, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and Goldi Lox Has Chicken Pox. 

January 13
The children painted with salt water today. We will observe what happens when the water evaporates. Will the salt evaporate too or will it be left behind?
We completed our discussion of Martin Luther King, read My First Biography: Martin Luther King and Martin's Big Words and completed a project reflecting MLK's dream. We also read The Gingerbread Girl Goes Animal Crackers.

January 11, 12
Check out our Ggloves and Hhats bulletin board. Thanks to the children's choices (shape, color, print and print color, and cuff color), no two set are exactly alike.  But each set missing one glove...luckily they're all safe on the lost and found side boards.
The children are writing their messages for MLK. They have also constructed letter-matching Iicy Iigloos and Iinuit Arctic pictures. We discussed water freezing into ice, ice melting into water, and water evaporating into gas. We will be observing a cup of water for evaporation and will  be experimenting some more over the next few days.
We read Houses, How to Build a House, Houses and Homes, Igloos and Inuit Life, and My Brother Martin.

January 6, 9, 10
From mini snow globe snowmen to really big snowmen, the children again cut and arranged three sizes of snowballs and decided where to make his face, place his arms, boots and scarf. They also chose just the right hat to top him off. We read Sneezy the Snowman and Snowmen at Night.
After reading Jan Brett's The Hat, the children made their own spikey hedgehog and decorated their own stocking that the could wear as his hat. (Jan Brett also wrote The Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Friends and the children are now looking for her special windows that give a sneak peek at what's coming on the next page.)
To wrap up the letter Hh, the children decorated houses and drew the people inside that turn your house into your home! Very good jobs by all!
We are also discussing Dr. Martin Luther King and the laws that he worked so hard to change. We talked about how silly it would be to separate children by the color of their hair, or eyes, or skin because those things just make us special...but we are all the same to God. We talked about how he helped make these changes by using his words...and how lucky we all are that the changes were made. We've made doves to show love and peace and we will be writing messages that we'd like to send Dr. King.  

January 4 and 5
The gingerbread stories continue with The Gingerbread Girl and Gingerbread Friends. We also read The Biggest, Best Snowman and talked about the right...and some really silly wrong...ways to build a snowman. The children made snow globes...cutting their own snowballs, assembling and decorating the snowmen, and then adding snow using their fingers.
We also discussed the seasons again and the weather we are having now. We talked about the seasons being a pattern of four....winter, spring, summer, fall, start over; weeks are a pattern of seven days and years are a pattern of twelve months. The children also sorted sixteen pictures in two columns for hot weather and cold weather. They are also working on a color-by-number gingerbread man.

January 3, 2017
We welcomed in the new year and took a look at what's coming up on our January calendar. Beginning today and for the next several days, each child in the class will go through a one-on-one assessment in preparation for progress reports and parent teacher conferences.
This week, we will wrap up some Gg and Hh themes and begin the letter Ii. As promised before vacation, we started a little exploration of gingerbread stories, reading The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Baby, and The Gingerbread Cookie Mystery. Today's activity was a The Gingerbread Hotel. The children's paper was divided into eight "rooms". First they marked each room with a different shape (because gingerbread people don't know numbers). And since they don't know how to use keys, they get into the room where the shape of their buttons matches the shape on the door. So the children matched each of their gingerbread people to the right room based on the shape of their buttons. Finally, they will color the buttons to match the color of the shape on the door!

December 13
Apologies for not keeping up this past week. We have been very busy with Christmas activities including multi-sided Christmas trees,  a Grinch ornament, and a gift of goodness card, and a fabric and bead wreath. We have been working with our new letters: Gg and Hh as we talk about God, gifts, goodness, gold, the Grinch, ho-ho-ho, holly and happy holidays.
We have read many Christmas stories and we're learning songs including On the First Christmas Day, Bells are Ringing, Take Me Out to the Stable, Jingle Bells, Must Be Santa, and Rudolph.

December 1-6
Welcome December! We're still trying to solve the mystery of our December calendar pattern...or is it a pattern? So far it has been six different toys so we're not too sure it will ever start to repeat!
We've been very busy creating reindeer friends from hands and feet, gigantic glittery ornaments and stockings to honor St. Nicholas, the secret giver. One stocking is hanging on our classroom mantle and looks like the kind of sock that Nicholas hid coins or fruit in for children who needed his help. The other stocking was sewn together to hold two golden chocolate coins to take home.
Gold, giving, God, Gabriel, goodness and gifts are some of the seasonal Gg words we've discussed as we discuss our new letter sound. Today the children created a gift of goodness card...it looks like  present on the outside but depicts something that we can give without going to a store or spending any money.
We have read Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Olive the Other Reindeer, The Story of Christmas, Bears First Christmas, Bear Stays Awake for Christmas, and Llama Llama Holiday Drama.

November 29 and 30
Poinsettias are our "festive flowers" for the season...the children did lots of petal cutting before assembling their flowers. We have been discussing Mary and Joseph's journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, searching for a room at the inns, and finally settling in to the stable for the birth of Jesus as a special star in the sky signaled that something wonderful was happening. We have read No Room at the Inn, Santa's Noisy Night, and Get Well Santa.

November 28
Everyone arrived ready for some teamwork to create and decorate our classroom Christmas tree! We discussed the meaning of Christmas...that God sent the gift of His son to help people on earth learn how to love and care for each other. He chose Mary and Joseph to be Jesus's parents on earth. We discussed that Advent is the time of waiting and preparing for Jesus's birth. We made Advent wreaths and lit the first of the four candles. We also started to learn the song "Advent is a Time to Wait."

Nov. 21-23
Hope you enjoyed the cornbread and butter that the children made as they learned about the Pilgrims and Wampanoags.

November 17 and 18
The children learned how weaving can "sew" pieces to one another make things hold together. They wove and filled baskets of fruit fit for a Thanksgiving feast. We also learned a few things about cranberries. Unlike most berries, they bounce. Even when they're at the bottom of a bowl, they float to the top when you pour water on them. We talked about how knowing this makes it easier to harvest them. We also watched, heard, and smelled the changes as the cranberries cooked with sugar and water. They cracked and popped and mushed ... and turned the clear water into red syrup. On Monday, we'll have some time to slice them and look inside...and taste them raw. The children also worked on returning 12 run-away turkeys to the correct Pilgrims by matching the shapes that they wore on their tummies, Our books included Five Flying Turkeys, Turkey Trouble, This First Thanksgiving Day and Ten Fat Turkeys.

November 15 and 16
We had some fun working in teams of one girl and one boy. The boys assisted the girls to create a picture of Pilgrim and Wampanoag girls and the girls assisted the boys to create Pilgrim and Wampanoag boys. The team work was very impressive and interesting to observe.
The children are working hard on a very special addition to your Thanksgiving decorations. They have also flipped and folded their painted creations into a fan which then became the tails of their turkeys. Much thought went into what they would draw and write for their "Thank You God for..." picture. We have also started a project involving small creatures (that begin with Ee) so eager and excited about Christmas that they just can't wait for Thanksgiving. Among our books are Giving Thanks, The Elves and the Shoemaker, One Little Two Little Three Little Pilgrims, and The Very Stuffed Turkey.
Our songs and poems include The Turkey Ran Away, Little Pilgrim Dressed in Gray, Thanksgiving Day Was Coming, Sweet Cranberries, A Turkey is a Funny Bird.

November 9, 10, and 14
The children have been painting jumbo leaves in swirls of mixed fall colors and dressing their cute and colorful scarecrows. They learned about and created American Bald Eagles from their large eyes that allow them to see fish in the ocean below, to their incredibly long wings that let them soar and swoop, to the sharp talons that grab the slippery fish and hold on as they fly away, and their strong beaks for eating. We are also working on some fancy Pilgrim turkeys...coloring their 
bodies and painting what will become their impressive tails. We have also bee discussing fire safety and the job of firefighters. Our books have included Firefighters A to Z, The American Bald Eagle, and Harvest Party.

November 7 and 8
Our conversations have overlapped in these couple of days...for example, we took a look at the White House and Presidential seal today as we were discussing the election. We had already been talking about the American bald eagle (as we took a look at the letters Dd and Ee today. And, the olive branch and arrows in the eagle's talons brought us back to a conversation we've been having related to Veterans' Day about America wanting peace but always having brave people ready to defend and protect us. These days also tied in nicely with Thanksgiving...we elect a president because we didn't ever want to get stuck with a bossy king who might not be very good. If Ben Franklin had his way, our national symbol may have been a turkey instead of an eagle. And when we talked about who (beside their parents) needed to vote, our talk lead to cities like Medford and Malden all being part of the state of Massachusetts which is part of America along with other states like Maine and Florida. Massachusetts is lucky to be on the ocean; some states have no beaches at all. And of all the places with beaches, the Pilgrims just happened to land in Massachusetts in Plymouth which is on the way to Cape Cod, the hook you can see in the ocean when you look at a map! Whew!
As you may have heard, the children voted today for President as well as in the local Sesame St. election. The results: Clinton 15, Trump 11 and Big Bird 12, Cookie Monster 9, Oscar the Grouch 2.
We have also worked on an ABC sound and letter recognition project and a keepsake for Veterans' Day!

November 3 and 4
Ta-da...our art work for the fundraiser is done and you'll get a look this week! Hope you'll be proud and share it with friends as family as you prepare for holiday or other gift-giving needs.
Back to Thanksgiving...the "Pilgrims" decided that they would take the chance of crossing the ocean and heading to America TO STAY...men, women, and even children! Their boat was the Mayflower. It wasn't very big so what should they bring?? Toys? Maybe a 1 or 2. Clothes? Not too many. Beds? Furniture? Probably not. Sandwiches? Food? Yes, but no refrigerators. Some animals could give them food every day...eggs from chickens and milk from cows. What would they need when they got to America...there's the forest...now what? Tools to cut trees, build houses and start their farms...saws (no, not the kind with a button), axes, hammers, shovels!
And after their long, crowded, sometimes stormy, bumpy and seasick trip???? More to come!
We also jumped ahead a little and talked about how America wanted to be sure NOT to have a bossy king.  It lead us to the idea of voting (like we did after apple tasting) so that the people got to pick, and getting to change your mind after 4 years in case the president wasn't that good. Someone knew that one person who wanted to be our new president was a girl, someone made reference to someone getting fired, and they managed to come up with our current president and both candidates names. 
We are starting to work on a giant leaf pile and also got some clothes ready for a field of scarecrows. We're done with the letter Cc. We read It's Fall, Autumn's First Leaf, and Scaredycrow. 

November 2
Today we read and sang The Leaves On the Trees. The children created "colorful castles" using their ever-sharpening visual skills to match color words on their blank castles to color words on the coordinating colorful pieces. Today we glued the pieces on (not next to) the matching word.
Our fundraiser art work is just about finished...we'll be sending you a photocopy of it along with order brochures. You can just ask to see the original full-color art work.

October 31 and November 1
We wrapped up the month of October with fun and games and food at our Halloween party. We read Ten Broomsticks Flying Through the Air and The Bumpy Little Pumpkin and watched Room on the Broom.
We welcomed the month of November and took a look at the birthdays and special days coming up this month. We also noted the N-O in November. We had a quick introduction to history of Thanksgiving...remembering Columbus coming to America by accident, and other people coming for a while but always sailing back.And then there were those people in England who were very upset that their very bossy king even wanted to decide how they prayed. Someone had the idea to go to America and stay. The others thought it was not a good idea to go over to a giant forest with no houses or farms or roads. They thought about how lonely and scary it would be and how much work they'd have to do. Stay tuned...
We read  The Biggest Leaf Pile and then created pictures using different leaf shapes and crayons. We also played a letter sound review game for A-C.

October 27 and 28
Just as apple trees grow only apples, each type of tree has its own type of leaf...maple, pointy oak and rounded oak, beech, ginko, etc. To reinforce the lesson and practice their visual recognition skills, the children sorted through a pile of paper leaves and glued five kinds of leaves onto the five trees in their picture based on shape. They also had the opportunity to color their pictures. We've read Fall Leaves Fall, Mrs. Broomstick's School for Witches,  and Splat the Cat Scaredy Cat.

October 25 and 26
Our reading has included There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves, Ten Orange Pumpkins and Room on the Broom...the inspiration for their witch project that will be coming home. At first, the basic witches were created individually. After reading the story, the children added all of the features that make it special...the cat, dog, bird and frog, her cauldron, wand, and bow. We will hopefully watch the movie soon. We've also been practicing our songs, poems and dances, checking out some Cc homework, and matching Halloween figures to matching figures and to outlines of the figures.

October 21 and 24
The children traced lines to make a spider web and created the spider with their painted hands. As a Cc project, they also created two little cats on Halloween night...to match a poem that they've learned. One is asleep, one is awake. And they all officially got jobs working in a bakery full of cakes, cupcakes, candy, coffee, chocolate and chocolate chips (showing off their Cc words). Their jobs were at the cookie counter...matching cookies onto the correct shelves.
We have read We're Going On A Ghost Hunt, Big Pumpkin, Too Many Pumpkins, and Five Spooky Ghosts Playing Tricks at School.
Some of our Halloween songs and poems begin with the words "Jack-o-lantern, jack-o-lantern" "Trick or treat, trick or treat, Halloween night" "Do you love Halloween?" "Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate" I saw a little ghost"...and more! Get them started with these words and see if they keep going.

October 19 and 20
Our pumpkins have officially been transformed into jack-o-lanterns with the children choosing to trace or draw their own eyes, noses and mouths. We again talked about the sad, sad letter Cc having no sound of its own and copying the "k" and "s" sounds instead. We explored the life cycle of a butterfly  from egg to caterpillar, into chrysallis, to butterfly...laying an egg. We read Clara Caterpillar and used a pattern of Halloween colors (orange, purple, and black) to create a creeping, crawling caterpillar and practice tracing the letter Cc.  We have also read The Old Woman Who was Not Afraid of Everything and The Haunted Ghoul Bus. And we are exploring different media to create art work for our upcoming fundraiser.

October 17 and 18
Finished up our pumpkins...writing BOO, and gave our bats their eyes! Then we went work on haunted houses...first matching numbers by the number of window panes then going crazy with decorations. The children also completed a counting worksheet...numerals 1,2, and 3. We're discussing forest animals and trying to understand that our part of America is a forest area. (IF YOU THINK OF IT, POINT OUT THE SIDE OF THE ROAD AS YOU DRIVE...AND HAVE THEM IMAGINE THAT PEOPLE HAD TO CLEAR THE FOREST TO MAKE THE ROADS WE TRAVEL AND HOMES THAT WE LIVE IN.)
We've read Ghost in the House and The Monster of the Woods. We are finishing up our Bb homework and moving on to the letter Cc. They may tell you the sad, sad story of the letter Cc that has no sound of its own...it copies the sound of Ss (like circus) and the sound of Kk (like clown).

October 14
Decisions, decisions...before beginning their individual pumpkin, the children were asked if they wanted round, tall and narrow, or short and wide. They then drew their shape and decided on either regular orange, red-orange, or yellow orange paint. Hopefully everyone will finish up on Monday. After some time at the upper school with Ms. Kerry, we watched the movie Stellaluna. We also enjoyed looking over more  Bb homework sheets.

October 12 and 13
Lots of time spent on getting our art work started. Individually practicing writing BOO to decorate ghosts. We used circles and ovals to create "beige and brown baby bears on black paper with blue balloons." We used small medium and large triangles and circles to create big bats, baby bats, and in-between bats. We have read Fantastic Bats, Little Bat, and Stellaluna...and learned many interesting things about bats.

October 11
Please join us in welcoming Ms. Kerry to the ECLC. She will be joining us on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays and taking each class on those days for a class of health and physical education. Some days she will utilize the upper school gym foyer; other days (like today) in our lunch room. Some days she will take our whole class at once; other days (like today) she will take half at a time.
Today we spent some time working on special art projects that will soon be presented to you as the basis for a fundraiser for the ECLC and hopefully a great resource for you as you begin Christmas shopping! Very soon you will receive a package detailing the many items from key chains to pillow cases to mouse pads...bearing the image that your child has created. While half of the class were with Ms. Kerry, the other half worked on 3 piece puzzle of community helpers, Legos, and other building sets.
We also read the stories We're Going on a Ghost House and But Not Nate.

October 4 through 7
Lots going on. We have been chatting about Christopher Columbus: in brief...he wanted to figure out a way to get to China to bring back cool things that people wanted like silk, treasure, and spices...getting to China by land was a pain in the neck. -- dangerous, animals couldn't carry much, had to  stop for sleeping and eating, bad guys along the way... Columbus believed that the earth was a ball and he should be able to sail in the opposite direction to get to China because a circle brings you right back where you started from...other people thought the world was flat and you would fall off...Columbus took three ships -- Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria -- and 90 sailors...they could carry lots of treasure, keep going all night because some could sleep while others worked...finally saw land but it wasn't China or India...it was America...Columbus wasn't looking for it but found it by accident! We read In 1492 and My First Biography: Christopher Columbus and practiced the song Columbus Sailed Over the Ocean.
We finished up the letter Aa by adding acorns...first assembling their squirrels, then deciding how to place 3 acorns. No matter how many in the squirrels hands or on the ground, it still adds up to 3 acorns. We read Acorns Everywhere, From Acorn to Oak, and we learned the acorn song I'm A Nut.
The children are enjoying looking at each others Aa homework. Nice job! We have also had a great time sharing all of the Halloween words that come to mind seeing that we have officially changed our calendar to October (candy corn and pumpkin is our calendar pattern.
We have started the letter Bb...so many words in their minds, homework should be lots of fun!
On Thursday, the children created faces on their very transparent tracing paper ghosts. We then cut and glued to create stripes on our background paper. The trick is to leave space between the pieces you glue on so that both colors show and take turns. Next week, we'll connect the ghosts to the paper with string so that they move in the breeze and the stripes show right through their bodies. They'll also print the Bb word BOO!

September 30 and October 3
The children have been working with teachers one-to-one on three different activities:
They have done a letter search and printing worksheet for the letter Aa. They have taken their mosaic apples (which have been cut out for them) and glued them to a new sheet of paper, discussing the position of the apples (first, last, and in the middle) as well as deciding how many leaves for each apple...0,1, or 2. If they chose 1 leaf, they also got to decide if it would be on the left or right of the stem. They have also started narrating the min-story of their recently made alligators.
For Friday's group activity they cut the three lines that create the capital letter A, glued them onto and outline of the letter, and colored the apples on the letter. On Monday they assembled the trunk and leaves of an apple tree and matched apples with numerals 1-10 onto circles among the leaves marked with the numerals 1-10.
We welcomed the month of October, listed lots of Halloween words, and started learning Halloween songs and poems. We also took a look at some of the homework that has come back so far and read Ten Red Apples and Ten Apples Up on Top.

September 29
We finished our apple-themed art this morning and reviewed our graph of apple tasting results. Red apples beat green and yellow by a narrow margin and things got very exciting as everyone cheered for their favorites as the results were posted one at a time, Definite proof that EVERY vote counts.
We also took a closer look at apples today. We peeled an apple to see how long the skin or peel of the apple is. We cut one apple down the middle  and used a corer on another to look at the middle of the apple. We cut another apple across to observe the core a different way. We got to see the "star" inside the core with five little sections where God hides the apple seeds for us to use. And we removed some seeds. Everything got passed around with magnifying glasses so everyone could have a look.

September 26-28
Sorry to have missed the past couple of days so I'll get you caught up. 
We are continuing our apple theme, letter Aa practice and numbers 0-3. The children did a "big kid paper" on Monday. Picture day didn't leave us much time for anything very complicated. The worksheet (which has already come home) was a good opportunity to practice follow through of a simply repetitive task...in this case counting the number of items (0,1,2) in each box and circling the correct numeral.
If your child's paper asked them to finish at home but the paper is already finished, it means we called them over individually on Tuesday morning to finish it.
On Tuesday we had them work with liquid glue for the first time (for now just spreading glue that we applied for them) to create mosaic apples of red, yellow and green paper. Like our crayon coloring paper, it took self control to be sure each one was a different color.
On Wednesday, we had them practice using a glue bottle one on one and then took our chances and passed them out for our group activity. First the children cut on the line to created 3 strips of green paper. They glued them onto guide lines to create a capital A then turned it sideways and created an alligator eating apples.
They have also been painting individually to create an apple-themed masterpiece. They have played with peg boards, magnetic design boards, number locks and keys, fruit pies, attribute apples and much more during free play. We have been singing some fun songs including Miss Mary Mack, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, and Catalina Madelina. We also had some fun with "Five Little Monkey Swinging From a Tree" in honor of our alligators. Among the books we've read are This Is How An Apple Grows, Amelia Bedilia's First Apple Pie, The Apple Pie Tree and Alphabet Soup.
September 23
The children used a single finger (or two) to add red or green or yellow apples to their apple trees.
Sounds like you all have busy weekends ahead. We heard about plans for apple picking, soccer, swimming, dance, concert, and movies. We checked out why "it's always September" -- a very good question. We had another very intense conversation about seeds and trees and apples.  We read Apple Trouble and sang the A-P-P-L-E song (to the tune of BINGO).  Most seem to be cutting and gluing with more ease - another cut and match opportunity today after we discussed ways and reasons that we protect our bodies with shoes, gloves, hats and glasses. We also tried out colored pencils for a little different coloring experience.

September 22
Welcome fall! The children used plastic bath sponges and green paint to create leaves at the top of construction paper tree trunks. we are continuing and reviewing our apple topic. I mentioned at circle time that we'd try to find a root to look at in the playground. We all forgot our first time outside, but everyone remembered this afternoon. (You may have noticed some children were a little extra dirty today.) We found several roots...in fact one that many of the kiddos started pulling at under our "spider" climber probably belonged to a tree way out on the parkway sidewalk. We finally had to cut it with scissors.
So, as a review of basic body parts, the children became doctors  supplied with colored "bandaids"  for their paper "patients". As a little exercise in listening and self control, everyone was asked to wait for instructions that went something like this: "attention all doctors, have your glue sticks ready. Please find your red baindaid. Your patient needs a red bandaid for his arm."
We read Little Mouse and the Big Red Apple and Under The Apple Tree.

September 21
Last day of summer. Tomorrow is first day of fall.
Learning about apples and apple trees: red, green, and yellow...apples grow only on apple trees...a tree of yellow apples has only yellow apples, not green or red...roots grow like branches but under the ground to hold the tree in the ground and drink up water like a straw to send all through the tree...the stem is called the trunk...bare branches in winter...leaves and flowers (apple blossoms) in spring then tiny hard, sour apples when flowers fall off...apples get bigger, sweeter, juicier all summer, pick apples in late summer and early fall.
The children worked with six apple stickers today: 1 of one color, 2 of the second color, 3 of the third color... for example one red, two green and three yellow. Their paper had 4 trees with numerals 0, 1, 2, and 3.
They were asked to try putting the one red apple on the tree marked 1, the two green apples on the tree marked 2, and the three yellow on the tree marked 3, and no apples on the tree marked 0. We hoped that most would put the correct number on each tree and that at least some would have them on the correct trees. They also colored the leaves around the apples, the trunk, and some added sky and grass.

September 20

Had some fun finding out favorite color -- favorite food -- what they'll be when they grow up -- and most fun thing they've ever done -- to go along with each child's THIS IS ME self portrait.
For an activity, each child was given a large square and a large rectangle. They got more simple cutting practice...a single line to cut created different combinations of smaller squares and rectangles that they then glued on the matching large shape. They could go up and take more pieces to cut and glue if they wanted...most did as you'll see.
Just a note: on the square and rectangle worksheet that will come home tomorrow, the children again cut single lines and glued the pieces in the correct spot. They were also asked to try to draw a square and a rectangle and do the best they could with their names.

September 19

After selecting the perfect skin color to match their own, the children completed their self-portraits...some trying to match the clothes they were wearing today. We read I'm Like You, You're Like Me and Little Raccoon Learns To Share. The children are learning the songs I Am Special and You Are Special.
We also reviewed numbers 1 to 3 and started to learn about the form and sounds of the letter "Aa".

September 16
We have been discussing our "self" and each other...things that we have in common and things that make us unique. We are identifying body parts and playing games about our senses...for example, things that taste good, things that smell bad, things that feel cold... Each child took a look in the mirror before drawing their faces and hair for their upcoming self-portraits. We read We Are All Alike, We Are All Different.
We have also been practicing the concept of 0, 1,2, and 3 and matching numerals, number words, and pictures of those sets. We also practiced name recognition...amazing how many are already recognizing friends' names beside their own.

September 15
After our usual morning routine, we took a look at squares and rectangles and talked about what made the different...all four sides of a square are the same length and it looks the same when its on any side...rectangles have 2 short and two long sides and looks tall like a building or flat like a bed depending on which side it stands on. Today's activity included cutting, sorting, match and gluing squares and rectangles both "on" and "next to" something else.
We also read Grover Goes to School and felt really bad that Grover tried so hard to have kids like him that he traded his new crayons for an old broken truck and his delicious jelly sandwiches for yucky boloney that he did not like at all, and missed out on cookies and milk because he offered to do ALL the cleaning. We were happy when he figured out that he didn't have to give in to everything to be a good friend. Sharing and cooperating was enough.
This afternoon we played a matching game based on The Kissing Hand. The kids matched Chester babies with Chester moms on the chalkboard depending on where their mom kissed them...ear, head, eye, chest, back, tail, or paws. At tomorrow's freeplay, they'll be able to play it on their own.September 14
In addition to our usual freeplay options many took advantage of some special toys that were out: fine motor practice using tweezers and balls for color sorting and size, shape, and visualization exercise for several who tried the wooded concentric circle and square puzzles.
Today we read The Crayon Box That Talked about crayons that didn't appreciate the differences in each other and didn't realize what great things they could create by working together. We followed up with our "Colorful Characters of PreK2A" project.
The directions were simple...but more challenging than you think. Eight crayons to color...eight colors to color with...color each crayon a different color!!! Hope you appreciate the results that they took home.
We also read "From Head to Toe" and acted out everything the animals in the story did. After reading, the children reminded us which body part each animal moved (the penguin turned his...head, the gorilla thumped his...chest, etc.) It was a great start identifying body parts and what they can do!
Instead of stickers, the children were awarded stars today for their behavior on an incentive paper...two, one, or zero. As stars accumulated, the children will earn prizes.

Tuesday, Sept. 13
The children are enjoying singing the months of the year song as I point to the months. Many are recognizing the word September from the list. Calendar is also an opportunity to practice number recognition and patterns. The children know that September is the month of "back to school" and "apple picking." They are learning why the winter is not a good time for picking apples (the trees are bare because it's too cold) and even spring and early summer is not good ( the apples are tiny and hard and really sour). In September they are big and sweet and juicy. If you wait too long the fall off the trees and get mushy!
Our project today was based on a review of yesterday's story. Many of the children retained so much of the story, it was very impressive! The children created their own idea for a special toy/stuffed animals from and outline of two circles (resembling head and body). They looked at my examples form over the years...cat, dog, ladybug, butterfly, elephant, octopus, spider, baby doll... and they were off with their own creations!
We had fun singing and acting out The Wheels On The Bus!

Monday, Sept 12
Lots of fun at freeplay, matching locks and keys by numbers, using Legos, sorting food by color, serving coffee, tea and pastry, and playing with our dollhouse. We practiced This Is Me and My Hands Upon My Head I'll Place, danced the Hokey Pokey, and did the Bear Hunt.
The children practiced their colors and we played a color matching game at the chalkboard. We read Wemberly Worried about a mouse who worried about everything, especially school! She carried her favorite doll, Petal the Bunny, and rubbed its soft pink ear. Her school worries ended when she met a friend named Jewel and her favorite doll names Nibbles. The children colored a picture of Wemberly and gave Petal her soft pink ear to take home to you.

Friday, Sept. 9
We took it pretty slow today due to the heat...extra time for freeplay and more practice cutting. We got to know each other a little better, practicing each others names and singing Hello Neighbor. We read You Get What You Get and talked about sharing, being patient, not pushing or cutting in front of friends in line, etc.

Sept. 8
What a difference a day makes...nerves are calming, friendships are forming, things are starting to feel familiar! The children built squares, then boxes, then towers our of straws and connectors. Lego structures were taller and wider. We discovered at clean-up time that beside playing with the fruit and veggie sets, some of the children had sorted everything by color into bowls...including the cups, plates and utensils. We also started having the children try cutting paper one at a time during morning free pay.
We got to the calendar today, discussing why September is the month of back to school and apple picking. (Apples grow on apple trees; not orange trees or banana trees. There are no apples on the trees in January. In June they are small and hard and sour. Just right in Sept.) We discovered our pattern for numbering the days...red apple, green apple.
We read Splat the Cat and Timothy Goes to School...about a cat and (another) raccoon who were a little reluctant to go to school, but found out that it was really lots of fun.
They were very proud of their St. Joseph Schoolhouses that they brought home today. They were sure to place the school bear stickers "next to" ("on top of" was really tempting) the matching bears...even though one was big, the other small and one was color, the other black and white. Give them a high five for their effort!

Sept. 7 - Hope your child enjoyed their day! For some, the transition to a group setting where following structure and rules will be a process. Please reinforce the need for us to all work together and explain that teachers are not being mean if we tell them that it's not the right time to be doing something they want to do. We're just trying to get everyone to what we need to do next.
Overall the children did very will today. We played, sang, danced, and learned some rules of our class. We read and discussed the story of Chester the raccoon in The Kissing Hand and made a special project to take home. We also read David Goes To School about a boy who never followed his teacher's rules and took a quick look at the calendar.


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