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Friday, April 20th

The week of the young child is always one of the most special of the school year. Although we do fun activities every single day, having a whole week dedicated to the joy and wonder of young children is truly special. I want to thank you all for participating and adding to the experience! We couldn't do it without all of your support and willingness to help. 

Monday- Music Monday

  • We listened to a "class playlist" of favorite music- thank you to those who sent us songs that your children love to listen to! It was nice to add a few new songs to our already wonderful playlist. 
  • We brought the mini guitars into the classroom and everyone did SUCH an awesome job sharing and turn taking. We are so proud of 2A and how effortlessly they usually share with their peers. Also while we played the guitar, we listened to some classical guitar pieces. 
  • We attempted to have a circle time where each child showed off a favorite dance move and we all copied it, but some of us got a little stage fright. It was really fun to see what dance moves we could come up with. 
  • Everyone was able to make their own shaker with a combination of rice, beans, and recycled bottles.

Tuesday- Tasty Tuesday (and PJ day!)

  • Everyone wore pajamas to school and we made some very yummy chocolate chip muffins for breakfast. 
  • We also had cooking with Diane, where we made different tea sandwiches using a combination of lemon curd, dried cranberries, cream cheese, and raisins. 
  • For Spanish class, we learned a new song about the rainbow (Arc Iris) and a new song about washing the different parts of our bodies. 

Wednesday- Work together Wednesday!

  • The most exciting thing we did for work together Wednesday was build a birdhouse! It was incredible to see how patient and focused everyone was! We used real materials- wood, glue, nails, and screw in hooks, to make the birdhouse. The best part, by far, was using a hammer to tap in the nails! Some of us were very impressive in how strong and accurate we were as we hammered! 
  • Nina, Mercer and Katerina were so involved with the birdhouse that they stayed with Rachel during soccer time and finished hammering and then painted the whole house themselves. It's so beautiful- if you haven't seen it, take a peek- it's still hanging in our classroom for the time being. We would like to find a tree either in the neighborhood or if anyone has a house outside of the city and can hang it up, please let me know! 
  • We also worked together to bake a cake! Sorry for all of the sweets this week, we'll go back to our healthy menu next week! 

Thursday- Artsy Thursday

  • Oh my goodness- we had the most amazing time getting messy!! We had the water table open and did a lot of splashing since we already had our bathing suits on. 
  • We visited the Pre-K classroom to continue making art for the front windows- we worked together to make some fluffy clouds, a sun, and some garden elements with clay, dried flowers and beads. 
  • We made a big banner to take photos with for our special Friday. It's a mixed media piece- we used shaving cream, squeezed paints out of the finger tips of gloves, and poured some tempera paint right on there and slathered it all around. It was messy and fun and everyone was laughing. What a beautiful moment, and memory! 
  • We poured sand onto sticky paper- the feeling was so soothing that we had a hard time cleaning it up! Everyone was still busy rubbing their fingers across the sand. 

Friday- Family Friday & Special Person Day

  • It was so lovely meeting all of your special people this morning. It was fantastic seeing everyone together, having such a great time. We hope your flowers grow!! We will be doing some continued planting in the classroom in the weeks to come (and hopefully will have some caterpillars to watch go through the metamorphosis soon!). 

 

Next week it's back to business as usual! We will continue working casually on the letters of the alphabet, finish up decorating the first letter of our names for our class alphabet, and perhaps start learning a bit more about ocean life. 

Upcoming dates to keep in mind:

  • May 11th is Parents Day (a combination of mothers and fathers day), and curriculum morning for us to present all of the wonderful things we have done with our BMS community in the past couple of months. We will have the kids make your breakfast and help serve you your food as part of the experience- so no need to bring anything for this day!! 
  • May 21st will be our 1st Annual Spring Market "Pop of Color" is our theme for the year! Our class will be making a few different pink items to sell for our fundraiser! More information coming shortly. 
  • We are still working on getting tickets to see the play The Gruffalo at BMCC
  • Depending on our interest level in ocean life, we may plan some sort of trip to celebrate- either something like the museum of natural history or perhaps a zoo. 

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Friday, April 13th

*Pictures will be added later tonight- sorry for the inconvenience*

"Rachel, there a baby in there?" Mia asks.

"No, not anymore. She was ready to come out," Rachel responds. 

"I have a baby in there," she points to her own tummy. "Baby boy." 

"I have a baby in my tummy too," Nina says excitedly. "I have a baby at home!" 

"My baby coming soon!" Mia announces.

There has been an abundance of language budding in our classroom! Complete sentences, complete thoughts, and complete story-lines.  We have many of these conversations each day (not just about babies, but about everything- cooking scenarios, reenacting parts of books and stories, and communicating about events that happen in our home life). 

This week we:

Got a pet fish!

The 1B classroom wanted to share one of their fish with us when they discovered that we don't have any pets at all. They had a blue fish and a red fish and voted to bring the red fish to our classroom. How thoughtful! We have been very excited about our fish, and are still brainstorming which name we would like to give it. We are also getting a better home for the fish, one that will allow us to actually have it down at child-level so they can view it whenever they would like. 

Some name ideas: Red, Red Fish, Fish, Bubbles, Swimmy // we will finalize with a vote next week!

Started an Alphabet study

We casually started introducing the letters of the alphabet. This week we were able to talk about "A" and "B." We have been brainstorming words that start with these letters, and taking turns making the letter ourselves. We will try to cover two or three letters each week, time permitting!

Discovered pour painting

Getting prepared for our special person day next week, we painted flower pots! We each chose three colors and poured them onto the pot, watching the colors drip and spill over the edges! The colors were able to run together and mix in a really beautiful way. We can't wait to present these to our special people next week.  

Went to the AT&T Park & Bought Flowers

Since the weather has been much more pleasant, we were able to go out to Morgan's Market and pick out some Spring flowers for our classroom. We've been talking about them all week, and doing various activities related to the flowers. 

Today we went out to the AT&T courtyard and did some chalk drawing, played with the parachute (no easy feat in the wind!) and did A LOT of running. We played games that got everyone to run back and forth as quick as they could. We can't wait to take more trips outside and enjoy what the season has to offer. 

Specialists

We made cheese sandwiches with Diane (we tried to make grilled cheese but we all sampled the ingredients a bit early!). Did a lot of Spring related singing with Ernestina for Spanish- and read The Very Hungry Caterpillar in Spanish. Did our usual routine with Coach Jojo (which went much better this week!). And we made some really yummy smoothies with Mitzi - cranberry juice, raspberries, pears and yogurt. 

Designed our Baby Sharks!

Since we LOVE the bébé Tiburón song, everyone made their own shark and we were finally able to play the song and use our shark puppets!

 

Next week is slated to be a super fun time, we can't wait to see everyone's special outfits and participate in great activities!

Monday- Party attire

Tuesday- Pajama day

Wednesday- Favorite color

Thursday- Beach day/ bathing suits

Friday- Stripes and polka dots

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Friday, March 23rd

What a fantastic literacy week! We had a blast exploring the various characters and themes that Leo Lionni presents within his books. And we will continue literacy week through next week since there are still so many stories to be told and activities to be explored. 

Little Blue and Little Yellow

We read this story that highlights the beauty of friendship. Little blue tries to find his best friend, little yellow, and can't find her. When they are finally reunited, they hug so hard that they turn green! Then their parents can't recognize them and when they cry, the extra color leaks out and they are normal again. Their parents hug both their child and the best friend and now realize why they were green. It's a little bit friendship, a little bit color mixing, and a lot of fun with ripped paper illustrations. We will continue to explore this story next week with more color mixing and green focused art work. 

A Color of His Own

After observing images of chameleons, we set about creating our own with both watercolor and tempera paints. We also talked about our favorite colors and will be making a color book that will stay in our class library. This book also helps us talk about seasons, which is perfect as we transition from Winter to Spring. 

Swimmy

First we glued a "school" of fish together and then we used a special mix of tempera paint and salt over the fish and put them into the ocean. This story is about a brave little fish who encourages the other fish to work together and make themselves look big to scare off the predatory fish. Once we had finished working on our own wonderful ocean, we started to talk about sharks. We were so excited that we immediately cut out a shark and decided to paint it pink! This was such a great extension of what we were talking about (and also was inspired by our new favorite song, bebe tiburon). 

The Alphabet Tree

All of the letters in the alphabet tree learn that when they gather together they form words, sentences, and then very important thoughts. What a great message! We used various letters of the alphabet and glued them onto our own tree (you can view the tree right outside of our classroom door, to the right as you enter). 

Sharing our passion for reading with others

As literacy week came to a close, we visited the Infant-A classroom and read two Pete the Cat books with them: Wheels on the Bus and Old MacDonald Had a Farm. It was such a beautiful moment watching our big two year olds sing so gently and kindly to the babies, and use their hands so gently to caress and touch the babies' heads. We were excited all morning about our visit to the baby class! We will continue to forge a relationship with their class since it is something that brings us such joy and excitement. 

THANK YOU!

A very big thank you to all of our literacy week readers: Heidi, Kevin, Alyssa and Tina! We will have a few more readers next week as well since the snow day threw our schedule off a bit! 

And thank you for the tea cups (Mia's family), and the copy of "A Color of His Own" (Charlotte's family). 

A huge thank you for all of the new books we have in our classroom, especially our blossoming Spanish library! 

Other amazing stories we experienced this week: Over in the Meadow, Down by the Bay, Where the Wild Things Are, Twenty Big Trucks in the Middle of the Street, Tip Tip Dig Dig, Old MacDonald Had a Farm, Wheels on the Bus . . . . and so many more!! We read more books each day than we ever have before, and we were still getting requests for MORE books! This is exactly what we treasure seeing!

Highlights from the week:

Our super fun trip to Eataly to stretch mozzarella (again, thank you so much for coming with us and helping things run smoothly, especially with the mix up on which workshop we were going to be having!). 

Making vanilla frozen yogurt (Thank you Nico and family!).

We made mint smoothies with Diane.

During Spanish class we learned about Spain. We tasted Spanish olive oil on bread, got to try on a traditional Flamenco dancer outfit, and we listened to flamenco music and tested out castanets. 

Have an exciting weekend, and if you're already on your way to vacation- have a great time!! 

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Friday, March 16th

First, thank you so much to everyone for your positive and supportive feedback yesterday during parent teacher conferences. Mitzi and I take such pleasure in creating and designing projects and activities for your children to engage with. They are such a joy to watch and learn from - every group of children that we work with give us just as much as we give them. 

This week we worked on so many different things. We wrapped up our March self portraits, took new March photos, made our second ice cream (chocolate!!), explored how watercolor reacts when we paint on top of crayon or oil pastel, experimented with different shades of green, and we read SO many books together. 

As we spoke about during conferences, here are some activities and goals we have going forward in the coming months:

- Practicing scissor work and eventually switching from using two hands to open and shut the blades to using just a thumb and index finger to make it work. We are starting with playdough to cut, and will slowly transfer over to paper. 

- Beading and developing stronger hand-eye coordination. We started this today with some heart shaped pasta pieces and pipe cleaners. 

- Focusing on drawing circles and lines and slowing down while we draw. We also want to encourage story telling or description after the child is finished working (when we ask during the process, it interrupts their concentration and flow). 

- Working on being able to pull pants up and down - great not only for future potty training but also helpful for diaper changes! In the same vein, we are going to encourage putting shoes on and off as well as we head into spring and hope to go outside more frequently. 

- Using nursery rhymes and basic stories (like the Three Little Pigs) to act and use our bodies to story tell. Once children use their bodies and are actively participating in the reenactment of a story, it truly comes to life and is more easily absorbed and understood. 

- Puppets for story telling as well.

- Looking at and predicting patterns and sequences, both with colors and stories. We will also continue to work on grouping and sorting (i.e. all of these animals live on a farm vs all of these animals live in the jungle). 

- Learning the first initials of our names (and the first initials of our friends). Knowing all letters of the alphabet is a skill we expect in pre-k, for now we are going to work organically and naturally with the letter that interests every child the most: their letter! 

- Basic tracing of their names (over dotted letters). 

- Trying to hop on one foot, follow an obstacle course, and incorporating yoga into our circle time. 

And many many many other skills and concepts along the way! As always, please reach out to Mitzi or I if you would like us to focus on any other skills or have ideas for seasonal projects for the class. 

Have an amazing weekend, we are looking forward to our busy literacy week next week!  

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Friday, March 9th

Another fabulous and busy week here in the 2A classroom! We have been doing some really amazing work together. We continued to focus on our ice cream project, but have also been working on quite a few art projects, expanding our Spanish vocabulary, and developing an intense love for cooking! 

Ice Cream!

This week we talked about different flavors and started voicing our opinions. We have been working on children being able to answer questions with a relevant answer. (Sometimes we ask a question and a random color gets tossed back to us instead of something that correlates to what we are talking about). 

What's your favorite flavor? 

Nicholas: Apple ice cream. Chocolate ice cream. I like vanilla ice cream. 

Emilio: Chocolate

Dylan: Chocolate. I like vanilla!

Katerina: Strawberry

Nina: Strawberry

Mercer: Chocolate

Parker: Pink ice cream. Strawberry!

Mia: Chocolate and strawberries and bananas. 

Levi: Strawberry. Chocolate!

Jackson: Vanilla

Morgan: Chocolate

Jayce: Vanilla

Charlotte: Vanilla

Our intention this week was to make a banana sherbet, but we didn't have all of the ingredients. Instead we got to make two delicious smoothie flavors! We will get back to making frozen treats next week. 

Mia added some cookies to our ice cream this week. 

Art projects

This week we started working on various art projects with the goal in mind to encourage and foster patience, turn taking, and also a respect for the child working as long as he/she needs to without the distraction of others grabbing or using their materials. We worked with oil pastels and made some beautiful drawings that will soon be used for watercolor painting, too. We like to revisit and reuse our projects to add depth and time to create a story or concept behind it. 

We also worked on our monthly self portraits, and took new portrait photos. 

Other art projects included: painting with fluorescent paints, drawing at the easel, making and using playdough, waterbeads in the sensory table, sand, gluing, using contact paper (sticky paper) to make a shape collage, working with shades of green for our photo backdrop (St. Patricks' day inspired!), and so much more. 

Specialists

- Spanish with Ernestina was cut pretty short this week due to our photo day, but we still revisited all of our Spanish songs with Mitzi. We are also introducing the body parts in Spanish by singing a "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" song. 

- Soccer with Coach Jojo; we are working mostly on following directions. We had a really good pep talk before we went to soccer, and everyone listened so well this week! We are really proud of the growth we are seeing!

- Music with Evan. This week we sang a fire fighting song, a song about swinging through the grapevines, our usual wake up song - and everyone took turns strumming the guitar strings. 

- Science with Rachel. We cut up lemons and squeezed all the juice into our pitcher. We added a teaspoon of baking soda and watched as the mixture bubbled all the way to the top of the pitcher! We then added water and sugar -- but unfortunately the mixture did not taste very good at all. Jackson took a sip and handed it back to Rachel with a, "No, thank you." Then Rachel tasted it and understood! At least we enjoyed tasting the actual lemons!! Nina really loved tasting the lemon and carried it around with her for twenty minutes. 

- Literacy : We read a new book called "Wemberly's Ice Cream Star" which is about sharing, and waiting! We have also been reading a lot of nursery rhymes each day. Other books that we are really engrossed in right now include: "Peppa and the Big Train," "Press Here," and "My Colors / Mis Colores." 

- Clay: We used clay and snowflakes to make prints. 

Reminders

We are closed next Thursday, March 15th for Parent Teacher Conferences. Please let me know if you need to reschedule your time. 

Monday, March 19th is our field trip to Eataly Downtown. We will be leaving BMS at 10:00 to get there for 10:30. There is an area where we can leave our strollers, so please bring an umbrella stroller or small stroller that morning. (I will email more details next week). 

Monday, March 19th-Friday, March 23rd is Literacy week. Cristina emailed everyone about signing up to read and work on activities with the class. We are studying the author Leo Lionni for the week (Some of his more popular works include: A Color of My Own, Little Blue and Little Yellow, Pezzetino, Swimmy . . .). 

Friday, March 23rd is dress up as your favorite character day & we will be having a tea party to celebrate. 

Friday, March 30th is the first day of Spring Break. We will be closed the whole following week (the first week of April) as well. 

 

Have a fantastic weekend! 

Thanks for reading with us, Alyssa!

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Thursday, March 1st

Ice Cream Project

We have made some exciting progress on our ice cream study this week. I think everyone officially loves to vote now! We have been so excited to make our voices heard and have been realizing how to form an opinion and make a choice. For some of us, it takes a little pondering before we can commit to just one in a set of choices. For others, the choice is immediately clear. This week we brainstormed ideas for our shop name, and then overwhelmingly voted for "Wheels on the bus ice cream store." Next week we are going to dedicate time to creating our store front, and figuring out what we still need to run a successful ice cream shop! To help support these ideas, we have some new books to introduce to the class. 

And we made our very first ice cream! Using frozen mixed berries, yogurt, milk and a tiny bit of sugar, we made a delicious treat. At first we thought that the ice cream machine was going to be really loud, but it's much quieter than the blender. And we all took turns peeking inside to see the ice cream forming- and were excited that it was pink! 

Next week we are planning to make a banana sherbet! 

The ice cream truck has been a very popular and much enjoyed activity during our mornings. We have been observing the type of play and have seen some interesting things: some friends are interested in matching the bowls and spoon colors together. Others have practiced using the magnetic ice cream scoops with the ice cream. We've used the bowls for stacking and building. And there has been a great deal of sharing and offering ice cream to friends. We can't wait to see how everything continues to develop next week!

Specialists

Cooking with Diane: We made homemade butter this week using heavy cream and a bit of sugar. We spread this yummy butter onto mini bagels. 

Spanish with Ernestina: A new song was introduced to us this week that talked about foods we like and foods we don't like (me gusta and no me gusta).

Soccer with Jojo: We scored a lot of goals this week! We continued using small and large soccer balls, small and large cones, and worked on listening and following directions. 

Cooking with Mitzi: Mixed berry frozen yogurt!

Sensory Projects

Clay: this week we took out an entire block of clay and used our hands and feet to explore. It was Jayce's first clay experience -- but even for the clay experts it was exciting to be able to stand up on top of the clay. We heard rich language being used to describe what was seen, felt, and observed. "It's cold!" "It's so heavy!" "It's breaking!" "It feels good." "I like it." "It's stuck on my fingers." 

We also talked a little bit about the "ingredients" that differentiate playdough and clay, since we often get them confused. Playdough is made predominantly out of flour, and clay is made out of sand or dirt! Clay is always a natural color like brown or gray or white, and playdough can be any color! 

Drawing: We continue to see marked improvements in fine motor control, especially while we are drawing. Shapes are becoming very clear and recognizable. It won't be long before we see people, pre-writing, and other milestones appear throughout the drawings! 

Science: This week we attempted to make some rock candy. Everyone took turns dipping a piece of string into water and then rolling it into sugar. Then we wrapped the strings around a popsicle stick and left them hanging in a jar of sugary water. Unfortunately our crystals didn't form yet, but Rachel will be testing it out at home this weekend so we can finish this project! 

Puzzles

Today we started using jigsaw puzzles. Now that we are able to identify and match patterns and colors, we can work on strategies to finish puzzles that are more complex. We'll also talk about identifying the pieces with straight edges that stay on the outside of the puzzle, and even about the pieces that have two straight/flat edges. 

Reminders:

We are closed tomorrow, Friday, March 2nd for Staff Development.

Next Tuesday, March 6th is School Picture day. Our scheduled time is around 10:30, but things tend to be a little crazy and behind schedule, so I would think we will probably have our pictures done between 11-11:15. However, being ready for 10:30 is important (just in case!). 

Parent Teacher Conferences are on Thursday, March 15th. School is closed for children. 

Our trip to Eataly Downtown is Monday, March 19th

Literacy week begins Monday, March 19th and goes through Friday, March 23rd. Our class will have an amazon wishlist of books that we'd love your help purchasing! We will be looking closely at the author Leo Lionni and reading different stories he's authored throughout the week. Literacy week will culminate in a special Book Character tea party on that Friday- we encourage you to dress your children up as their favorite book character (i.e. Pete the Cat, Llama Llama, Peppa the Pig, etc.)

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Friday, February 23rd

We made Picasso style face collages and will start learning facial features in Spanish next week!

 

Although our week was very short, it was still incredibly productive! It's amazing how many rich ideas and conversations we were able to capture from your children this week. Everyone's verbal capabilities are really blossoming and taking flight. It will only strengthen and increase in precision and depth as the months continue. 

We read constantly, and repeat books over and over for better comprehension and opportunity for questions and answers!

We were also so happy to welcome a new friend to our 2A class this week: Jayce! He has warmed right up to his new friends, and we have been happy to have him join us in our adventures. Welcome to Ashley and Javid, too, his parents. 

Exercising our Democratic Voice

Two important votes happened this week during our circle time. First, we took a very important vote on whether to turn our kitchen into a pizzeria, or into an ice cream shop. It was an admittedly difficult choice, but right now the vote is swaying toward ice cream shop. We still have a few friends who need to place their vote. But since it's looking like ice cream will win either way, Mitzi and Rachel have been finding some really exciting items to add to our shop- we can't wait to see how this play evolves next week!

Our second vote was equally challenging- we have a real passion for vehicles in the 2A class, and we narrowed it down to four different vehicles to choose between to start really exploring in depth. The choices were: school bus, airplanes, NYC subways, or ice cream trucks. Not surprisingly, ice cream trucks are in the lead, but the official vote count will be in next week. (We also have a really fun surprise coming- an ice cream truck tent that we can get inside! Even if ice cream truck doesn't win the vote, it will go well with our shop!)

Dylan had a hard time making his choice, he kept repeating all of them until he finally settled for Subways. 

Community Building

Our pre-k friends came for a visit to our classroom today. Before their arrival they had a discussion about what exactly they wanted to teach us. What they came up with was: how to dress up in a costume and have a dance party. We partnered everyone up and made sure to add costumes to whoever wanted one. We danced with scarves and the pre-k friends shared some of their favorite music with us. Then we were able to share our favorite- "freeze dance." After our party, Pre-K shared some snack with us. We can't wait to continue this relationship with the pre-k group! (And Morgan was so excited to see her brother, James!).

Painting

This week we were exposed to many different forms of painting. We painted on canvas with tempera paint, we used "water paint" on poster board, and we also painted on saran wrap that was wrapped around the base of our sand table. The amount of focus and attention that is happening while we paint is really amazing! We are making marks with intention. Each line and dot is placed purposefully. Although we don't always know how to describe what it is we are making or doing, we can see that there is a rhyme and reason behind the actions. 

Specialists

- Soccer with Coach Jojo: we are sticking with the same routine; we introduce small soccer balls and make sure we are using our feet, then we use large soccer balls, then small cones, and then large cones. At the end of the our soccer time, we line up on a rainbow and everyone takes turns kicking the ball into the net. 

- Cooking with Diane: This week we used a variety of herbs to season some rice. We took turns smelling each spice and sprinkling some on before the rice was cooked. Yum!

- Cooking with Mitzi: Oatmeal smoothies were on the docket for the week. We mixed: milk, yogurt, oatmeal and raisins and blended them together. Friends who don't normally taste our cooking projects LOVED it! 

Light & Shadow

"My hair is black, my hair! Your turn, Rachel! Your hair is black!" - Nina

Another new project we are embarking upon is that of light and shadow. This week we introduced a light projector into the classroom and gym that we were SO excited to explore. More on this is coming soon- we are just in the preliminary stages of exploration!

Thank you!

Thanks, Tara, for coming and reading with us this week! We loved your book choices, and the yummy cookies we shared as you read "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie!" 

Have an amazing weekend! Please bring back permission slips for Eataly as soon as you can. 

Upcoming:

Friday, March 2nd- School Closed for Staff Development

Tuesday, March 6th- School Picture Days

Thursday, March 15th- Parent teacher conferences (No children in school)

Week of March 19th- Literacy Week & Author Study

Friday, March 30- Sunday, April 8th - BMS Closed for Spring Break

 

 

Friday, February 16th

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Friday, February 16th

Valentines Celebrations

Thank you for helping us have a very special Valentines. I think the children really had a good time getting all of their heart decorations, cards, mailboxes and snacks ready this week! Not only did we talk about who we love in our families and amongst our classroom friends, but we also made sure to acknowledge all of the different classrooms around the school, the front desk staff, and Linda. 

This week we took a visit to the Infant-A classroom to exchange Valentines with each other. We made cards for the five babies: Antoine, Una, Cleo, Annabelle and Teagan. We got to sit down with the babies and hand them their cards. We also explored their classroom a little bit and noticed that they have some of the same books that we do! And now everyone has met Teagan, Rachel's baby. They were so gentle with light touches and brief kisses for the babies. 

We also took turns going around the school and delivering our special snack: chocolate drizzled pretzels! It was fun and exciting to see how happy everyone was to receive our Valentines cards and treats! 

Spanish

Mitzi has been doing a wonderful job teaching everyone Spanish. She incorporates the songs from our weekly Spanish specialist, and has then been finding new songs and books to really give your children more basic Spanish language. This week we started adding more colors to our knowledge bank, shapes, numbers, weather, emotions, and days of the week. We started reading the book "Mis Colores," which also identifies the object (i.e. the red apple). 

Clay

We used heart cutters to make our clay in the shape of hearts this week. After our clay hearts dried, we each chose a different color to paint with and added some glitter on top! Next week it will be back to basics with clay and water and adding a few new tools to see what we can create. 

Cooking

We did a lot of cooking this week! Diane came on Monday and we used the kitchen aid to make some chocolate pudding. We have been comparing and contrasting foods that embody "creamy" "crunchy" and "chewy." Our crunchy element was sprinkles, and our chewy component was marshmallow. It was a delicious, special treat for the holiday. 

For our regular cooking project, we dipped strawberries into chocolate. Again, a special treat- back to our normal healthy routine next week!

We also made the chocolate drizzled pretzels (but we only tasted the pretzels). 

Sensory Play

Playing with sand helps us build so much language, social skills, mathematical concepts, and scientific concepts. You can also tinker with cause and effect as you watch lines and tracks appear, erase them, and start over. The children fiddle with weight and density as they fill different containers with sand. We have been working on sharing space, and sharing toys, and the sandbox is a great place to work on these skills. 

Tissue paper and glue - working on the concepts of sticky and adhesive. 

Playdough has been a wonderful tool for storytelling and imaginative play. Our playdough has been made into many pizzas lately, and also gets rolled into a lot of balls. We have noticed that the size of the ball has been sparking interest- the language we overhear not only includes "big ball" and "little ball" but also "Daddy ball" "Mommy ball" and "Baby ball." Everyone has started to relate size to family role. 

Music & Movement

To embrace the theme of love this week, we started listening to some music that supports the idea of loving yourself and helping yourself regulate and calm when you feel angry. 

The first song has been dubbed "The Monster song" by Parker- it's about calming down the anger monster inside by taking calm deep breaths. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_mZbzDOpylA

The second song we listened to is about all the amazing things that we are, and what makes us special. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyVzjoj96vs

We also started listening to a new Shapes song this week! Next week we are going to start using our bodies to make the shapes (like having four children lay down to make a square). We will turn our body shapes into a fun book for our library! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfRuLS-Vnjs

Special Reader

A big thank you to Cristina, Mia's Mommy, for reading with us this week. Thank you for bringing in some wonderful narratives for us!

And a big congratulations to Jackson, Heidi and Mike Bergen on their new baby girl, Julianna Rose. Welcome to the world, little one! 

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Friday, February 9th

Shaving cream, glue (to keep it puffy), and red glitter. We noticed that we can make marks, shapes and lines with our fingers, and also discovered how good it feels to rub on our bodies. Although some of us did not enjoy washing it off!

What an awesome week - we saw such growth and progress from everyone, especially in kindness, sharing, and empathy. There are moments of snack sharing, of inventing games with friends to keep everyone happy and laughing, and true concern and compassion when someone is upset and crying. We could not be more proud!

Community Building

In continuation of our BMS Community project, we welcomed the 3B classroom into our room today. We started off with a fun "Jump in the Water" dancing time, and then answered some questions that 3B had for us. 

Zara asked, "Do you have a fish, a bunny, or any pets?" 

Vivi asked, "What is your class home?" Which, of course, is the 2A room!

Joseph asked us, "Do you like to play catch?" And since we do, our next playdate will be upstairs in the gym so the 3B friends can teach us how to play catch! We are so excited about this! 

Ada, the 3B teachers, had this question, "How old is everyone in this room?" We had some really funny answers. Dylan decided, "8" was his age today, and Nina told everyone that she's "3." Wishful thinkers!! Mia finally let Ada know how old we are- "TWO!"

We ended our playdate with a shared snack of pretzels, and a better understanding of each other. 

Valentines Prep

We have been busy artists this week as we prepare for another fun holiday. Using a variety of mediums (cardboard, paper, doilies, oil pastels, paint, crayons, watercolors . . .), we have been decorating hearts and thinking about what love means, and how we can show love. 

We're almost finished decorating all of our mailboxes and have already started filling them up with the wonderful cards you've brought in. Thanks for all of your support and help in making each day magical for your children and their friends. 

Morgan peeling glue off her fingers post-Valentines creations!

Science Project

We have yet to revisit our volcano project as this week was very busy, but it will happen soon! I think we will also be talking about volcanoes with our new Pre-K friends as our community project evolves in the next couple of weeks. 

This week we froze a big block of ice and used epsom salts and watercolor paints to watch the process of a solid melting into a liquid and to get a visual of how it melts on the inside, too. The epsom salts speed up the melting process and also gives the ice a coarse feeling rather than being smooth. The watercolor soaks into all these divots and tunnels and you can get a glimpse into the interior of the ice block! This is another project we hope to repeat because it captivated us for a long period of time!

Other scientific adventures: making playdough, xrays and insects on the light table, sand play and more! 

Specialists

Cooking with Diane: This week we compared sweet to savory by tasting both sour cream and whipped cream (with no sugar added). We dipped strawberries and bunny cookies into each cream to note the difference. 

Cooking with Mitzi: Berry tacos were on the menu this week. We used bread, cream cheese, strawberries and blueberries to make our tacos. 

Cooking with Mitzi Part II: We also made quesadillas this week! Everyone helped to add shredded cheese to the tortillas and we cooked them on a skillet. Everyone really enjoyed the cheese and the quesadillas! 

Clay with Rachel: This week we started using clay as a vessel for collage materials. Up to this point, we had been using clay with only our fingers and water, and now that we understand the properties of clay, we can start incorporating new techniques and materials. For today, we started simply with wooden shapes and popsicle sticks/stirrers. 

Literacy: We are starting to learn some nursery rhymes, and would like to start working on a poem of the week. Some of the rhymes we have learned thus far: The Muffin Man, Little Miss Muffet, Hey Diddle Diddle and Humpty Dumpty. 

Spanish with Ernestina: This week our Spanish class was a bit short due to a fire drill, but we continued practicing our emotions, commands such as up and down, and the weather. 

Spanish with Mitzi: Mitzi has continued practicing colors and numbers, and we started adding the days of the week, shapes and colors, and emotions. It's our goal to start adding books in Spanish to our regular routine. 

Soccer with Jojo: Our usual skills focusing on using our feet, running, and cleaning up when we're finished! 

Music with Evan: We sang a fire fighting song, wake up song, danced with Shooby, and sang Twinkle Twinkle! 

Afternoon friends (those who take a nap) also had Karate and Yoga this week! We will also be incorporating music and movement in the afternoons, led by Bridget. I believe this is starting next week!

Topics of Interest

Mitzi and I have been noticing the following interests around the classroom:

  • Identifying context clues in books and asking "Why" and "What" questions. For example, Nicholas is very interested in a particular page in the Peppa and The Big Train book. On this page the train is stopped with a red light because there are ducks on the track. Nico has been asking what the red, yellow and green lights symbolize, and asking how the ducks will get off the tracks without the train hurting them. We have also noticed that the children love to insert themselves into the narratives - Mia will always name the characters after people in her life, "There's Mommy, there's Daddy, there's Mia, there's Jackson . . ."
  • Understanding that objects can be used for multiple distinct purposes. Parker found the scissors that we placed with the playdough a bit challenging, so he invented his own use for them. He opened them up and used one side as a knife instead of opening and shutting the two blades to cut with. What a great compromise and shift. We want the children to see the world as full of opportunities instead of full of limits. We encourage them to use objects in multiple ways as long as it's safe and practical. 
  • Real life practice in our play. No matter what kind of sensory material we are using, it invariably ends up as equated to some sort of food. Our playdough becomes pizzas and pancakes. Our kinetic sand becomes ice cream. This has been really wonderful in expanding our vocabulary and allowing us to understand processes. When the playdough becomes pizza, we hear conversation that explains that it needs to cook in the oven, that it needs to be on "80" or "five seven" or other numbers that we turn the oven temperature to. We always hear language that describes how hot the food is when it comes out of the oven and how we can wait for it get cool. Next week we will be transforming our kitchen into a pizzeria and are hoping to set up a field trip to one very soon! We are also scheduling a trip to Eataly to learn some pasta making skills. 
  • Auditory Processing. The most requested activity in our room is specific music. We get a lot of requests for "Freeze Dance," "Ring Around the Rosie," "One Little Finger," "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes," and, most requested of all, "Wheels on the Bus." What's great about these songs is that the children need to listen carefully and process the words they are hearing before carrying out the actions with and through their bodies. Most of our gym time is filled with these song games, and a good deal of time in our classroom too. 

Have a super weekend filled with cuddles, laughs, and special moments together. We are looking forward to another busy, fun, and engaging week ahead. 

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Friday, February 2nd

Wow, it's already February! It is crazy how quickly this year is flying by. Our busy weeks certainly help time feel even faster. Here's a look at our past week:

Community Building

This week we had the opportunity to visit two different classrooms: The Pre-K room and the 3B classroom. Both rooms have the school bunnies inside, so we were very curious to ask a few questions about the bunnies. 

In Pre-K, we got to see Chocolate Milk. We learned that we can make a soft "tsk" sound to try to get Chocolate Milk to come out. We also have to use very slow and quiet movements as we move closer to her. We partnered up with different Pre-K children and looked through the room to find the bunny! It was so exciting to come upon her in the little "cave" area of their room. Thank you, Pre-K, for giving us more knowledge about rabbits!

In the 3B classroom, we sat down for a brief circle time and asked a few questions: 1) What's the name of the rabbit? (Pinky), 2) Where is the bunny? (In the cage!), 3) What does Pinky eat? (Carrots, lettuce, celery, bunny food and hay). After we got to touch the different foods that Pinky eats, we gave him some hay. And we had some shared snack crackers with our new friends. We also discovered that the 3B classroom has a fish tank with some small fish inside! How exciting! 

Next week we will visit two more classrooms in the school and broaden our understanding of Buckle My Shoe, all of our teachers, and all of the children at BMS. 

Valentines

We began working on Valentines for all of the classes at BMS. We used recycled cardboard to cut out hearts and started applying different shades of red, purple, pink, white, silver and gold to create these special presents. We also used glitter glue to work on our squeezing abilities, and shook some sparkly glitter onto our hearts. We'll continue making more next week! 

While we are giving each class a Valentine, we are making special Valentines for the babies in the Infant A classroom and they will be giving each of us a Valentine too. 

Let us know if you need any materials to make Valentines at home- we'd love to help out!

Also, we are going to be collecting shoe boxes so each child can make their own mailbox for our Valentines party. 

Volcanoes!

This week we drew volcanoes after looking at various images of erupting and exploding volcanoes. Nico made a very interesting connection- volcanoes look like fireworks, and they look loud and a bit scary. Jackson agreed that volcanoes are scary, but he was also very fascinated as we made our own volcano erupt! 

We watched part of this video from Nat Geo kids to help us understand volcanoes a little bit better and focused on the words erupt and explode. We've also been calling the lava/magma "fire" for the time being, as it's how the children are interpreting it. Video is here: https://kids.nationalgeographic.com/explore/youtube-playlist-pages/youtube-playlist-volcano/

We had such a great time adding baking soda and vinegar to our volcano that we are planning on having another eruption next week! 

Cooking

This week we had two cooking projects. With Diane we used an immersion blender to make some lemony whipped cream. We added some bunny cookies and marshmallows to have an experience that incorporated: creamy, chewy, and crunchy elements. 

Then we made apple pies with graham crackers, diced apples and whipped cream. YUM! Thank you Katerina for sharing these ingredients with us. 

Specialists

This week we had soccer with Coach Jojo where we continued making sure we use our feet to move the ball around the gym and into the net! 

We also had Spanish with Maria, where we continued working on facial expressions and emotions, learned the song "One Little Finger" in Spanish, and talked about the weather. 

Our friends who take a nap at BMS also have Karate and Yoga in the afternoons!

Nini, Emilio's Mommy, came to read with us! Thanks so much for bringing in three new books for us to enjoy. We loved having you come for a visit. 

We revisited Harvey the whole note and have continued to use music and movement throughout every morning. This week we also started using nursery rhymes such as London Bridge is Falling Down, Humpty Dumpty, and The Muffin Man. 

Other Activities

Feathers and contact paper

Working at the easel with both paint and markers

Self portraits for February

Shaving cream and paint

Making playdough

Kinesthetic sand with ice

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Friday, January 26th, 2018

Happy Friday!! 

Music & Movement

This week Bridget led us through an exploration of the musical whole note, which is four beats long. We listened to music that supported our understanding of the whole note, we used plates to represent the shape of the whole note and even decorated them afterward to personalize the experience. Learning about the rhythm and beat of music and breaking it down into individual pieces allows children to internalize and process the way music (and patterns) work. 

Additionally, we have started to incorporate freeze dance, shake your sillies out, one little finger, and other body movement songs into our day! The kids LOVE our dance and movement moments. Do you have favorite movement songs at home? Favorite yoga poses or exercise moves? 

Science

For our science investigation this week we made some kinesthetic sand. We mixed two parts baking soda, one part baking powder, and one part dish soap. At first it was foamy and messy, but as all of the ingredients combined it became solid and easy to smoosh together like sand at the beach! 

Cooking

Rainbow pudding! This week we made some delicious rainbow pudding. Everyone got to select a color for their pudding and mixed it in. We also added a couple of sprinkles. Thanks Jackson & The Bergen family for providing us the ingredients to make our pudding. 

This week we also introduced some scent jars into the classroom. We have been smelling: Basil, Cloves, Dill and Ginger! We will add some more next week. 

"Comida!" -Emilio

"Smells like playdough!" -Nico

Clay

Our clay project for the week was building a volcano! We covered up a container with the clay and talked about our process- we're going to use the clay, we're going to paint the volcano, watch a video of a real volcano, and then use baking soda and vinegar to get our volcano to erupt! We're so excited! 

Shapes!

This week we built upon our knowledge of the circle and the triangle. We started the week off with a collage of both shapes. Then we started recognizing how many sides each shape has. We've decorated the numbers 0-5, and today we used watercolor palettes to paint a few shapes. We'll start creating our number and shape chart next week. 

Kindness Garden

Now that all of our still life paintings have been created, we've started adding your kind words:

Thank You, Share, Empathy, Appreciation, Gratitude, Consideration . . .

We will gather more words from the children, and start adding photos of kind actions and moments in the classroom. 

Community

The next segment in our year long project of identity is that of the Buckle My Shoe Community, and the larger community of NYC. To start, we have been talking about the bunny (Chocolate Milk) in the Pre-K classroom. This week most of our friends created images of Chocolate Milk and started asking a few questions that we'd like to know about her. 

"Where are the carrots?" -Nico

"Where does the bunny sleep?" -Charlie

"Does the bunny drink milk?" -Nina

"Where the bunny go?" -Mia

"Where the bunny home?" -Mia

"Does he eat cheddar bunnies?" -Nina

"Does he like carrots?" -Nina

Specialists

Spanish: This week we had Spanish with Maria, and we've also started incorporating Spanish into each morning with Mitzi's help! This week we focused mostly on numbers and colors. 

Cooking with Diane: This week we made potato gnocchi and mixed in butter, basil, oregano, and parsley. Delicious! Emilio, Katerina and Parker enjoyed it the most.

Soccer with Coach Alex: This week Coach Alex focused on getting us to run! He would hide jerseys and soccer balls behind his back and the kids would chase him around to get the different things. 

Assorted 2A Happenings

This week we saw a lot of gentle hugs and helpful hands. Levi started recognizing which cup belonged to which person and has been giving them back to them throughout the day. Nina offers snacks to friends who are sad to brighten their day. Emilio helps feed his friends during lunch time. Dylan loves to give his friends big bear hugs, say their name with a smile, and laugh with them. 

There has been more interest in using our light tables, especially to look at various "specimens" of insects and small animals. We will be adding some new objects to the table to explore next week and foster this wonderful learning moment. We would also like to find a couple of microscopes for children so we can get a different view! If anyone could loan one to us, we would be grateful! 

Easel paintings are wonderful moments where children work together and have conversations about color, speed of movement, and other random bits and pieces of information. 

Train tracks- almost every day one friend or another will start building a train track (Nico loves doing this first thing in the morning), and it grows as the morning continues! There have been some fascinating experiments with this- putting pieces of track upside down on purpose to see the difference, using the bridge as a see-saw and/or ramp, and trying different animals and cars on the tracks instead of trains. We are building up our knowledge and creating different schema in our minds on how to sort and classify in relation to train tracks!

Wooden magnet tiles have been a huge hit this week. Emilio worked on creating a two car garage! A lot of friends used the triangle pieces to make tee-pees and pyramids as well as roofs for houses. Cleaning them up helps us sort shapes and understand similarities and differences. 

Have a wonderful weekend, we can't wait to continue learning and growing with your children next week. 

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Friday, January 19th, 2018

Thank you all so much for participating in our family curriculum event this morning, it was such a rich and valuable experience! We had such a great time exploring how many family members (and pets!) everyone has, enjoyed drawing family portraits, and we can't wait until you bring in stories that you create with your child so we can start illustrating. 

I will send a follow up email with remaining activities to finish up over the weekend if possible! 

Friendship and Kindness Garden

This week, in honor of Kindness week and No name calling week, we began creating still life paintings of flowers. We are going to use these beautiful artistic representations of flowers to make a classroom kindness garden. We got some amazing ideas from a few of our friends about how we can be kind and keep our friends happy while we are at school. Here are the first thoughts that we have brainstormed together:

- Jackson: I make them happy!

- Parker: I do sharing with friends.

- Mia: Dance with them!

- Nico: High fives!

- Emilio: Hugs.

- Katerina: Play.

- Dylan: Hugs!

We can't wait to share how this project evolves over the next week! We are also going to ask that each family come up with one Kind word and email it to us so we can add to our garden!

Box Play / Peek-a-Boo / Invisibility & Disappearing

Our invisible and disappearing project is continuing with two new boxes to explore in. We had some absolutely wonderful conversations this morning about what exactly our box is and what we can do with them and in them. 

"The box turned into a bed!" -Nico

"It's something different- A silly box!" -Nico

"A silly silly box!" - Jackson

"Goodnight Mia sauce!" - Nico & Jackson 

"It's a window. This my house. Jackson lives in house. Emilio too." - Jackson

"Nooo! This Mia's house!" -Mia

"Window!" -Emilio

"I see cars through window." -Jackson

I wonder what our box will turn into next week. We'll be reading the story "Not a Box" to gather more ideas and expand just how wonderful a box can be. Rachel will also be creating a box full of lights to see how this will change the trajectory of play for the children. We'd also like to have a box with mirrors inside to see what conversations it provokes!

Shapes! Circles!

Our shape study has landed on . . . . the circle! We are becoming experts in drawing circles, particularly for our self portraits (and the family portraits we made this week). We are going to revisit both circles and triangles next week and hopefully, weather permitting, we will be able to go out and find these shapes in our NYC environment. We will be taking photos of the objects the children find and creating shape books to keep within our classroom. We are also going to make a shape chart with numbers to represent how many sides each shape has. Numbers are a big topic in the classroom right now and we want to encourage as much natural counting as we can. 

Specialists

This week we had Spanish with Maria, Soccer with Coach Jojo, Cooking with Diane, and Music with Evan. Here's a short recap from each specialist. 

Spanish: We started singing about different vehicles and traveling, and we also continued to dress up the little girl in all her different layers for Winter. 

Cooking: This week we took brave bites of ravioli! Our bites were sans sauce, but after we took a bite, we started adding: pasta sauce, mozzarella, oregano, and parmesan. To follow up and continue expanding on our cooking project, we will be making scent bottles with different spices!

Soccer: We are getting better and better at kicking the balls with our feet and not using our hands. We've also gotten so good at going up the stairs that starting next week we will have gym upstairs every day!! 

Music: Evan introduced us to three different flutes this week. Two were made of wood, and one was metal. We noticed the differences in pitch and sound from the different flutes. 

Assorted activities from this week:

- Mixing red and blue frozen ice cubes to create purple

- Clay: We used popsicle sticks and forks to create texture, cut, and manipulate the clay

- Reading Should I Share My Ice Cream by Mo Willems to continue talking about sharing and kindness.

- We made crackers with cream cheese and strawberries for snack and used our strong muscles to help spread the cream cheese and slice the strawberries. 

Friday - January 11th, 2018

Friday - January 5th, 2017

Dear families, 

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a break full of joy, rest, and time spent with loved ones. We hope you enjoy the features on each of our little learners. Have a beautiful weekend and looking forward to seeing everyone back in class on Monday! 

 

NINA

- likes helping out others

- playing her purple guitar 

- making play dough 

NICHOLAS 

- likes cooking

- hiding 

- working together with his friends!

DYLAN

- likes painting on his body

- exploring Nico's trumpet 

- making smoothies 

MIA

- likes soccer

- problem solving with her friends 

- cooking up new concoctions!

LEVI:

- likes dancing

- trumpets

- cooking pasta with his friends!

JACKSON 

- likes hanging out with his buddy Mia 

- playing the trumpet!
- exploring the potty

MORGAN 

- likes hiding 

- figuring out how things work 

- dancing 

MERCER

- likes playing with trucks

- cuddles 

- making new things with her classmates!

KATERINA 

- likes visiting the potty

- playing soccer

- hanging out in boxes 

Wednesday - December 20th, 2017

Dear Families, 

Thank you so, so much for such a wonderful and joy filled year of learning. Each and every child in our classroom has something so unique and special to offer. We are so grateful to have the honor to help foster your child's development. 

Have a beautiful holiday season, 

PARKER: 

- getting messy

- playing baby dolls with his buddy Nico

- getting really, really messy!

NINA

- enjoys reenacting movement through music and dress up

- hiding in boxes

- baking cookies

DYLAN

- getting really, really messy!

- dressing up

- giving his friends hugs

MIA

-  sharing her joy with everyone

- making hot chocolate

- creating new things

NICO

- likes playing on the see-saw with his friends

- making hot cocoa

- flushing toilets!

JACKSON

- likes exploring the bathroom

- playing in boxes

- wearing "TWO HATS!" 

LEVI

- hanging out with his new BFF Genvieve

- drinking the delicious hot cocoa he made with his class

- taking potty field trips with 2A

MORGAN

- drinking hot cocoa

- circle time

-playing outside!

EMILIO

- going "night, night!" 

- spreading his joy to everyone

- making music and dancing! 

CHARLOTTE 

-likes painting at the easel

-making science experiments 

-birthday parties!

 

MAX

- likes strolls through the neighborhood

- playing with sensory toys

- music!

KATERINA

- coloring at the easel

- playing on the see-saw with her friends

-learning about rhythm! 

Friday- December 15, 2017

Today was such a wonderful day. We made a snowy farm using corn starch, shaving cream and a little glitter we used our animals and farm houses. We also decorated our pinecones using glitter and clay. Have a great weekend!

Monday - December 11, 2017