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March 1, 2015

Hi Everyone!

It’s March! So spring is near!! How many signs of spring can you and your child find together? Look for birds nests in the trees (before the leaves come back), birds singing as they call to their mates and mark their territories, buds on shrubs and trees, early bulbs (snowdrops, crocuses, daffodils, etc.). Are you noticing the days getting longer? How can you help your child discover this? I used to watch the sun set next to a building with my children and point out how it changed day to day. We will be looking for signs of spring at school, too, especially as it warms up enough for us to go outside!

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

 CANVAS BAGS ARE IN!

The children have been given a canvas bag with green handles (school color) and they have decorated them. They are now ready to transport library books back and forth. We will be sending them home on Monday with their snowmen in them (so the snowmen can get home safely). PLEASE BRING THEM BACK ON WEDNESDAY WITH YOUR CHILD’S LIBRARY BOOK! Put the bag with the book inside into the library box by the cubby. Our library volunteers will return the books and check them in. If you can’t find your child’s library book, please see me and we can make an arrangement. It is so exciting for your child to take home a book from school, but they need your help to keep track and take care of it.

WISH LIST

–Glue Sticks – we have been doing so many cut-outs that we’re running out of glue sticks!

–House stuff – we need real stuff to put in our house! Turkey baster, tongs, address book, baby stuff (bottle, wash cloths, towels, blankets, utensils, other?)

–LED light string (white preferably) to hang inside under the loft – we need it to have an accessible on/off switch

SHADOWS:

We have really had a great time with our shadows. Of course it will continue outside when the blacktop is dry and we can see our own shadows! The children have been having puppet shows, with our own puppets and with the Chinese zodiac shadow puppets. We’ve been coloring transparent sheets and seeing them on the overhead projector. We’ve been learning about what is transparent and what is opaque.

There is so much more to learn and play with! Our next step is to understand more about color. The morning class has a head start because, thanks to morning sun and a crystal in the window, we get rainbows every sunny day!

This week we’ll be working on shadow portraits.

3 LITTLE PIGS:

We are going to revisit our friends, the 3 Pigs. To make this study really special, we’re going to work on what the 3 pigs do best – building! Look for lots of fun building projects, and we’ll be asking for your help. First off, we could use some help from a real builder. If you know about construction, brick-laying, carpentry, have access to any materials, please let me know.

The children have already read many of the 3 pigs books but we’ll be revisiting them and finding out which ones we like the best.

Finally, we’ll be getting a visit from the Kohl StoryBus on March 20. The Storybus has been outfitted with the 3 Pigs story on the inside so we’ll have a great time playing in the bus and exploring different aspects of the 3 Pigs story.

YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S FIRST TEACHER

Measuring: Young children can learn to measure even if they don’t really know how to count. If they understand some basic concepts about measurement, it will help them as they get older and learn more complicated measurement concepts. Here are some of the big ideas around measurement:

All measurement is comparison. One thing is bigger than another, or smaller, or shorter, or lighter, or heavier, etc. While later skills will teach children how much bigger or smaller, for now, we are looking at comparisons. We need to help children know more comparison words than “bigger” or “smaller.” What kind of bigger? Heavier, taller, wider, thicker? This is a challenge to us adults to come up with the varied language children need to describe the world around them.

–When we think about measurement, we are thinking about the attributes of something. Size, color, weight, depth, density, speed, etc. As children are able to separate out different attributes of an object, they learn they can measure and compare the attributes of different objects.

All measurement is approximate. Even the most exact measurements in a laboratory is really an approximation of the size. So we learn that it’s ok to estimate how much bigger something is. If we are using a tape measure, we can say, “a little over 6 inches” or if we are using our hands as a measuring unit we can say “a little less than 4 hands.”

–Units of measurement are repeated, and they must be the same in order for the measurement to be fair and as close to right as possible. The unit might be a hand, but it’s got to be the same hand, not a bigger one with a smaller one. You can measure with a foot, a block, a cube, a book, as long as you are measuring with the same unit.

We will be working on these concepts in math. I hope you’ll be doing it at home, too.

Happy Spring! (almost)

Jane

 

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