Classes for children 2½ through 5½ years of age
RED CLASS News
The children have been extremely excited about their new area of interest—the desert and all of its life and uniqueness! This area of interest came from a very lively discussion about travel and all of the places they’ve been. Freddy quickly said, “I want to go to the desert with the rattle snakes!” That was all it took! The children began a lively discussion about everything they knew about the desert.
So far the children have explored a map of Africa, labeling “Egypt” and the “Nile River”. They have created drawings of the desert, adding all of the details they noticed from the maps and photos. This led to mummies and King Tut. Soon, they were exploring how mummies were wrapped, facts about King Tut and the insides of pyramids. They created their own drawings and models of pyramids, putting in chambers for the king and queen and even the pets! They added secret chambers and “booby traps” to keep the “bad guys from getting the king and queen’s bodies and their treasures!”
Our Compassion lessons continue to center on the theme “walking in One Another’s Shoes.” They learned that the December “Coins of Compassion” for Waukegan Animals Getting Saved raised about $275! We figured out that the money will be able to purchase 133 blankets or whatever else is needed by this organization. They also discovered that the Purple Class and Take Two’s interest in musical instruments led to the January project—purchasing a musical instrument for a child who otherwise couldn’t afford to play. We will tabulate the results during the first week of February. They have also started writing to penpals in the Peoria area. They will be sending drawings and fun information about themselves to these new friends. All of their penpals are children who live below the poverty level and are in supportive home daycare facilities.
Eventually, our children will find out a way they can help their new friend! We will keep you posted on this new adventure. Lastly, they are also learning that it is ok to help their friend by giving up something they want, too. For example, we read the book One Winter’s Day, about a Little Hedgehog that gave his winter gear to various animals that didn’t have warmth during a winter storm. The class had a fantastic conversation about why the Little Hedgehog would give up things that might keep him warm, too. We, then, played a game about trying to help a friend even when it might be hard for them. It was a really great day with lots of wonderful caring and compassion!
Journals and early phonics skills are a big part of our day. Our transition activities involve letter and number identification, and the children’s writing has developed nicely. There has been an increased emphasis on letter identification, and games and activities have centered on this skill. They continue to be able to identify words that go along with our projects. Currently, the children have been able to identify: DESERT, PYRAMID, KING TUT, CACTUS, AFRICA, EGYPT. They create storyboards where they also write words associated with our projects.
Art has continued to be an emphasis. They are continuing their work with “Artists that Break the Rules” and Surrealism. They are currently working on Baldessari works, which they love! They’ve completed a weaving/wrapping project that really enjoyed doing. Some of their favorite times are heading down to the art studio for an “Art Smart” lesson and activity.
We will continue our exploration of Egypt, deserts and pyramids. Through one of our research times, the children learned that the people of the desert often eat cactus and drink cactus juice. This is something they decided would be awesome! So, that is an area we will be looking into. Pyramids, mummies and treasure will also be at the heart of what we are doing. We will also continue to “walk in one another’s shoes”.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE A VARIETY OF CACTUS! IF YOU HAVE ONE YOU’D LIKE TO DONATE OR EVEN LOAN, WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE IT JOIN OUR CLASSROOM!
If you have not submitted your house photo, please do as soon as possible!
Needed items at anytime: corks, plastic applesauce/jello cups, baby food jars, scraps of material
This conversation was recorded during a discussion on the book One Winter’s Day.
Taylor: Won’t he get cold now? He will be so cold.
Tyler: He helped his friends. You should help your friends. My best friend is my brother. I would help him.
E.B.: He will get cold, but he is going to his friend’s house. He can get warm then.
Tommy: He’s running to stay warm!
Natalie: He is so sweet! It makes me happy that he helped. Look at the baby mice!
Madison: Awww! He is a good friend. It makes me feel all…(she rubs her chest with her hand in a fast circle).
Miller: The animals look happy. It was the right thing to do. That’s what you say all the time, right Dr. Robbins?
E.B.: We should think about the right thing to do.
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