Weekly Recap

We started off our week with some art inspiration.  We have noticed that not many of the children are into art, so we wanted to give them a little nudge with an art study.  This week we focused on Piet Mondrian.  During morning meeting the children observed, critiqued, and asked questions about a few pieces of Mondrian's work.

While working on his piece, Angelo asked two interesting questions: (1) Why was Piet Mondrian good at art? and (2) Why did he use black in between?  We hope as we continue focusing on an artist each week, the children will continue to ask questions, gain an interest in art, and create masterpieces of their own.

Next week we will focus on Jackson Pollock.  This one is going to be messy!

Block play continues to be an interest in the classroom.  This week, we added New York City wood pieces as parts of the children to use in their play.  The pieces inspired the children to create their version of New York City.

While we were out for a walk on Thursday, we came upon many construction sites.  Elle used this as the basis for her block structure: she created a tunnel.

To help bring their block play to the next level, we will have the children start drawing pictures of their structures (which also brings in the art aspect), and work on labeling parts (hello literacy!).

This week's science project was sink or float.  The children chose a variety of objects to test.  One object that was interesting was the cotton ball.  It began by floating, but as it absorbed (something the children learned from our last science experiment), the cotton ball began to sink.

Weekly Recap

Ice exploration with salt, submersible lights, and liquid watercolor paint

It was a short week, but a busy one.

Using an ice block as a glacier for the arctic animals

Using the children's interest in cooking, we used the mixer to make play-dough.  Everyone took a turn helping to add our ingredients to the bowl.  After it was done, everyone sat around the table to play and explore.  Each child chose a color glitter to put inside their dough ball.  Singing a variety of songs, we managed to flatten our dough.  During the remainder of the week, the children used scissors with the play-dough, helping to strengthen their fine motor skills.

We introduced the children to using loose parts to create work.

We also brought out our table easels for the children.

"I painted a banana!" - Charlie

Weekly Recap

The children have come a long way when it comes to regulating their emotions.  In addition to talking about our highs (good moments from the day) and lows (bad/sad moments from the day), we showed them a video about emotions.  The children realized that one way to help them feel better is by taking a deep breath or by giving themselves a hug.

Respecting our friend's wishes and space has also come up this week.  One rule we came up with when sitting during circle is to make sure there is enough space between everyone.  To do so, the children put their hands down on their sides, and if it is touching another friend, they they are too close.  Here is a video we watched on being respectful.  (As the week went on, they children mentioned when they felt cared for and important.)

This week we spent a lot of time on Valentine's Day activities.  The children have been working on special gifts for their parents, or making cards in the writing center.

We had another block workshop this week to help the children remember some of the ideas their learned during the last workshop.

This week's science project was all about absorption.  The children chose items (ranging from train tracks to socks) from around the classroom to test in the water..  They made their predictions and then marked what happened on a chart.  Some friends also drew pictures of what happened to some of the items.

We have a new toy in the classroom: Pound-a-Pattern.  We have been singing and movement song during morning meeting (Johnny Works with One Hammer) so we thought this would be the perfect toy to put the song into action.

Lastly, we ended the week by painting on saran wrap, wrapped around the legs of an upside down table!

Next week we'll be making ravioli, conducting another block workshop for our MWF friends, and partaking in another science project!  Have a great weekend!

Weekly Happenings

This week we added fabric and lights to the cozy corner, making it an instant attraction to the children.  When it's not in use to help a child relax, it is being used to cozy up with a good book.

The children's interest in letters has ramped up.  We have been working on tracing letters for our morning message, and exploring letters with a magnetic alphabet board.  Since we only have one board, the children have had a lot of practice with being patient while waiting for their turn.

We will soon be introducing clipboards with paper and writing/drawing tools to the block area so that the children can draw their structures.  This week we began by drawing magna-tile structures.

Since we have been talking about our feelings/emotions lately (ask your children about what a high and a low is), we have noticed a lot more teamwork happening in the classroom.

What Happened in the Classroom this Week?

The sensory table was very busy this week.  The children explored water beads in water.  They were curious to find out what would happen if they popped/broke the beads into pieces.  They ended up discovering that the beads that were kept intact, got bigger in size.  .

Alexander explores the power of his breath by blowing through one of the straws

Our cooking study continues to gain strength!  This week we added a jar of pasta and it has caused the kitchen area to be one of the busiest areas of the classroom.  A busy area means more conflicts and problem solving.  William and Dylan worked together, with some guidance, to come up with a solution to their problem.  Dylan wanted to be the chef, but Will wanted to cook for his bear.  In the end, Dylan baked the pasta and William fed it to the bear.

We took a break from cooking a family meal this week to finish up family portraits, however, we will start back up next week!  

If you have any empty food cans, boxes, or containers, please bring them in to add to our kitchen area.  We can also take any dried foods, like beans, spices, etc. as we have some jars to fill.

Dressing up has become an interest this week.  We recently were given two dresses from the Pre-K class and some children have been using them to act as dancers, others to act as princesses.

If you have any dress up items at home (old scarves, bags, shoes, etc.), please bring them in to add to our collection!

Our calm/quiet corner continues to be helpful to the children.  We added some new jars to the area.  Next week we are adding some fabric to create an even cozier space.  We're also look to get a bean bag for the space.  The way that it envelops the body is a great way for the children to feel grounded and calm.

The block area has been busy too!  Charlie and Aayush created train tracks using unit blocks, and Elle made a bed for the babies. 

Ideas are contagious!

A huge thank you to you all for coming to the Curriculum Breakfast on Friday.  The children loved showing you their family portraits, and sharing with you what they love about you, and what they like to do with you.  Most of all, they just loved having you there!

Please send us pictures of your completed hearts as well as any pictures you may have of other family members adding their fingerprints, or pawprints.

What Happened this Week?

Our family play continued this week, this time, with more roles.  There were mommies, daddies, brothers, and sisters.  The teachers sometimes pretended to be other family members, like a grandparent, to remind the children that families are more than just who we live with.

The children have also been working on family portraits for Friday's Curriculum Breakfast.

On Monday we created a graph representing the number of letters in everyone's names.  While working, and later when we were finished, the children pointed out the children who had the least number of letters, the most number of letters, and the same.  This activity was very interesting for Milo.  During free choice, he used one of the manipulatives to create his own graph.

We have noticed a change in the dynamics of our classroom: there has been a lot of screaming, pushing, and feelings of anger.  This week we have been discussing our feelings/emotions using feelings flashcards, talking about how we feel during circle time, creating a warm fuzzy jar, and visiting our quiet corner. 

The warm fuzzy jar promotes kindness.  When we see the children do something nice for another friend, they get to put a pom-pom in the jar.  When the jar is full, they get to have a treat/party.  Since introducing it on Thursday, the children have done 3 acts of kindness!  Today, Alexander got to put one in because he let Dylan use the car in the gym before his time was up. 

We introduced the children to the quiet corner on Friday.  So far it is filled with pillows and a calm down jar (recipe at the end of this post).  When asked what else we may need in the area, the children suggested more pillows and more calm down jars (different colors).  The rule for the quiet corner is one person at a time.  We also talked about, and practiced, taking deep breaths.  We will be adding fabric to the area to make it cozier. 

Since beginning our discussion about feelings/emotions, we have already begun to see a big change in the children!

This week we added new materials to the kitchen area (yogurt container, baby food jar, egg carton, and real carrot tops) that have gotten the children cooking up a storm for each other. 

On Friday we cooked carrot squash soup for Milo and his family.  The children helped cut up the carrots, and poured and stirred the broth into the pot.  The entire class was very excited about making this meal.  We hope Milo and his family enjoyed the soup!

There has been a lot of art going on this week as well.  The children have been experimenting with watercolor palettes (figuring out the paint to water ratio to obtain desired depth of color), and observational paintings (great for getting the children to slow down and focus on details).

We began a science experiment and are continuing to observe what will happen.  We mixed epsom salt in a jar with hot water, stirred it, and placed in the fridge.  Dylan predicted that it would get cold, and Elle predicted that the water would disappear.  The next day we took it out of the fridge and discovered small crystals at the bottom of the jar.  We will check it again on Tuesday to see if there are any changes.

Calm Down Jar Recipe

Materials Needed

16 oz. mason Jar, Glitter Glue, Food coloring/Liquid watercolor paint, Warm/hot water, Glitter (optional)


Mix about 1 tablespoon of glitter glue with 1 cup of warm/hot water.  Add some food coloring (same color as your glitter glue).  If you'd like, add some extra glitter.  Close the lid and shake it up!

The glitter in the jar, when shaken, is like all the thoughts in your mind, or how crazy/wild your body feels.  When you stop shaking it, it is like letting your mind and body relax as the glitter settles to the bottom of the jar.

What Happened this Week?

The children have not missed a beat this week.  As soon as we came back to school, cooking was on their minds and at the forefront of their play.  

Milo: Melissa, do you want some food?

Melissa: Yes, please.  Do you have any soup?

Milo: No.

Melissa: Maybe we can look through one of the cookbooks to find a soup recipe.

Milo: (looks at the soup pages we found) I want to make this one. (a navy bean and potato soup recipe)  I want to make soup for my family.  I want to make bread to eat with the soup.

We then began looking for different soups on Pinterest.  Milo decided on making carrot soup and William wants to make broccoli and cheese soup for his family.

We also had a block workshop which has really gotten the children interested in building and creating various structures.  During our first workshop, we focused on using only unit blocks to build.  The children learned that they can make many structures by bridging the blocks or piling them on top of each other.

Family play has also begun developing.  Elle and Milo spent 1/2 hour, in the dramatic play area, putting diapers on the babies, feeding them, and putting them to sleep.

Milo's baby wanted to play but Elle was putting her baby to sleep.  Eventually, Milo's baby took a nap too.  Elle went over to Melissa to let her know that everyone had to quiet down because the babies were sleeping.

We ended the week with more cooking play in the sensory table, with cloud dough, and more recipe searches in the kitchen area.  

It was a short week and we didn't get to feature all the children on the blog.  We're back to a regular week next week, so look out for all the children being featured!

Weekly Recap: 12.15.17

On Monday the children came to class and were asking lots of questions about why the room looked different and why we changed it around.  We read Pete the Cat Saves Christmas and My First Chanukah.  Then we went to the gym and played Red Light, Green Light.  When we got back to class, some children helped paint a large posterboard with red, green, and blue paint.  Once it was dry, we cut it into different shapes to make ornaments for the tree at the front of the school.

On Tuesday we had a discussion about cooking.  We've decided that we want to cook a meal for every family!  Each week, a family will be going home with a meal made by the children!!  Afterward, we had gym where we had free play and acted out We Are the Dinosaurs.  When we got back to class we had Spanish.  We learned a new song: Feliz Navidad.  After Spanish, the children worked on either creating ornaments for one of the school's Christmas trees or making our class menorah out of clay.

On Wednesday we played a new game during morning meeting.  The children had to guess which friend was missing from the circle.  Afterward, some friends helped paint some large craft sticks to create a start fo the top of our tree at the front of the school.  Next, it was time for gym!  After gym was the much-anticipated activity of cooking with Diane!  They made brownies and added a special ingredient to make it extra chocolaty: chocolate chips!  After baking it up, it cooled off for the Santa party on Thursday.

On Thursday we combined with 3B.  During morning meeting we shook a parachute with small bells inside while singing Jingle Bells.  We also sang Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer while wearing red noses made out of red paper.  Next, it was time for gym.  Afterward we had free play: the children decorated candy canes, and worked on more ornaments for the tree.

Friday was Pajama Day!  We spent most of the day with 3B and Pre-K in the Pre-K room.

Weekly Recap: 12.08.17

On Monday the children explored modeling clay, paper with tape and scissors, and oobleck with unifix cubes.  They also painted with liquid watercolor paint on watercolor paper and tape.  We learned a little about Sinterklass, and Charlie passed out some treats to celebrate.  Thank you Charlie!  Some friends helped work on our December calendar by creating the lines and tracing the letters and numbers.  Alexander and Dylan had a little drumming session while listening to African tribal music.

On Tuesday we started off our day with a discussion about cooking.  Everyone said they help cook at home.  We are hoping to tie in their love of cooking into our family unit of identity.  During morning free play the children built with unifix cubes and worked on creating patterns.  After gym we had Spanish.  After Spanish we went on a Bear Hunt.  During quiet table activites the children explored clay at one table, and beading at another. 

On Wednesday we played the Sticker Game.  A person gets a sticker put on their forehead, while their peers gives them clues about the sticker.  For example, some of the clues the children gave were "It has whiskers," "It has a face," "It has eyes," "It goes meow." Afterward, the children had the option to paint with white paint on black paper, or to work on puzzles.  Some children chose the kitchen area where they were driving to a restaurant.  After free choice, we had soccer with Coach JoJo, followed by cooking with Diane.  Today we made english muffin pizzas and ate them after lunch. 

On Thursday we combined with 3B.  During morning meeting, we discussed rules for the park because we were heading there for the morning!  The children had a wonderful time and played very well with each other.

On Friday we introduced the children to a new toy in our classroom.  It is a set of transportation toys that can be taken apart and drilled back together.  They were so excited to try it out.  Before putting it out in the classroom, the children all took turns working on putting the truck together.  This is a great way for them to get into tinkering!  We also made snow dough with Giselle, the intern.  The children enjoyed adding more lotion to the cornstarch to change its consistency.  Lastly, we started working on self-portraits.

Sorry there are no pictures, I forgot the SD card at work.  They will be uploaded Monday afternoon.

Project Work Update

We have quite a few interests emerging in the classroom.  We have noticed that many of the children are playing some sort of transportation game that takes them to a restaurant.  At first we thought it was an interest in games, but after more observations, we noticed it is about food/cooking.  Look out for our weekly email to see how we can use your help!

Another project we are going to start is about emotions.  The children want to be in control, but are having a difficult time getting their thoughts or ideas across in a kind way.  In order to help them use their words, we have been talking about how they are feeling, in the moment it is happening.  We would like to start our morning meetings discussing how we are feeling the the day.  We are hoping to get more insight into how they are feeling throughout the day.

Lastly there is the family aspect of our identity project.  Since talking about what they know about families and who is in their family, they have been bringing up families in random moments throughout the day.  What we are looking to learn is how the children view their role in their families.  We will be tying this into our cooking project (more details to come as we continue our discussions with the children to see what they come up with...we have an idea of the children understanding that they contribute to their families in many ways, one of those ways being cooking).

Weekly Recap: 12.01.17


Sky gazing

"Look up there!" 

"I see a dinosaur!" 

On Monday we started off our morning meeting with sharing what we all did during our Thanksgiving break.  A lot of the children mentioned spending time with their families.  Afterward, we put on our jackets and took a walk over to Tribeca Kitchen to give them our Thank You card, thanking them for all the treats they give us during Halloween.  Then we took a stroll around the neighborhood, in search of letters.  When we got back to school the children worked at the sensory table, played together in the kitchen area, painted with tempera cakes, painted with tempera paint,and some children worked on their November self-portrait.

On Tuesday we combined with 3B for part of the morning.  The children explored the classroom, reunited with Pinky, and played with their 3B friends.  Activities for the day included collage with foam pieces, easel painting, clay, and blow painting (blowing on liquid watercolor paint, through straws, in order to get the paint to move along the paper). Afterward we went back to our classroom where we had Spanish.  We learned a song about feelings, the days of the week, and the weather.  When Spanish was over, the children began working on a multi-step project using craft sticks, and played ABSeas (a letter fishing game).

On Wednesday we started our morning with Dylan reading a book to the class about a dad and his son.  Then we had a discussion and graphing of who is in our families.  Next it was time for another story: we read Wolfie the Bunny.  The children then continued working on our craft stick collage, explored the sensory table (soapy water, lavender oil, flower petals, purple liquid watercolor paint, and purple glitter), painted with tempera paint, and worked in the block area.  Afterward it was time for soccer with Coach JoJo.  Then it was time for cooking with Diane.  Today we made pasta salad (pasta, tomatoes, chickpeas, cheese, garlic powder, oregano, and olive oil).  We ended the day by celebrating Will's 3rd birthday.  Happy Birthday Will!

On Thursday we combined with 3B again.  We've noticed that the children play differently when they are in a mixed group of young and old threes.  They share more ideas, they teach and learn from each other, and are really starting to form friendships with each other.  We began our day playing the ABSeas game, followed by morning circle, and then we had gym.  The children completed an obstacle course, played bowling, and freeze danced.  Afterward, we went back to class, read The Book with No Words, and had music with Evan.  Everyone had a chance to play a guitar that he brought in for them to try.  Then it was free choice time.  The children drew, explored the sensory table, built with magna-tiles, created a train track, built with bristle blocks, and built with wooden loose parts and submersible lights.

On Friday, the class combined with Pre-K for morning free play.  Afterward, we had morning meeting and shared snack.  For shared snack we had cheddar puffs, veggie straws, and hummus.  Thank you Joseph!  It was a nice day out, so we took a walk around the neighborhood, looking for more letters.  On Monday, we will look through all the letters we found to see what the children say.

Pictures from our walk on Friday can be found on our instagram page.

Picture link: https://www.flickr.com/gp/153109797@N03/2hz8f9