Classroom Corner

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Gingerbread on parade!

Monday the children told us where their elves were keeping watch, how they helped with decorating (carefully carrying glass decorations), a fly in the bathroom, run-ins with grasshoppers, a trip to Hershey Park, and Sophie’s new baby sister, Miriam, was born—such happy news!  Katelynn hopped her way into the Yellow Room once again and joined Marley imagining with the animals at the playground. Then the girls joined Cate caring for the babies and cooking food. Connor and Ronan were investigating the color paddles–making new colors using red, blue and yellow!  Ronan also worked on his art ideas as did Tommy, Quinlan, Emily Rose, Molly M, Olivia, Sophie and Remi. Sophie and Remi also played tic-tac-toe together on the dry-erase boards. Eva Lea was reading the princess books and working on a princess floor puzzle with Emily Rose. Lainey, Erin, and Molly W were creating on the dry-erase boards and working on their other art ideas too.  Christian and Quinlan matched the community helper puzzles and then Christian joined Archie playing with the animals. The room is very fluid–the children move easily from activity to activity and they play so nicely together! We talked about the letter D for our new month of December (duck, door, dog, doll, dinosaur and Dad) and the letter M for Monday. In the Circle Room, the children noticed some Christmas decorations on the wall including Santa and his 9 reindeer. So we challenged ourselves to jump on two feet while naming all of the reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Rudolph).  Then we tried saying their names while jumping on one foot and then the other foot—quite a holiday workout! We greeted one another with Monday moves–lots of knee hops, foot taps, wiggles, full body twists and big jumps. Remi wondered which teacher is the tallest—so we lined the teachers up and found out that Mrs. Burke is the tallest–that was science and math! Then we used paper gingerbread man puppets as we read The Gingerbread Man.  The children ran in place with their puppets as the story said “run, run as fast as you can; you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man’.  Well, in the end the fox did catch that cookie—very clever fox! It was fun and another great way to move our bodies! We will act the whole story out on Wednesday!  In the Green Room, the children cut out their painted gingerbread men and/or decorated their large cookies with buttons, ribbons, pipe cleaners and personality! In the Circle Room, the children baked cupcakes in the sand; drove trucks and buses; imagined with animals and Rescue Heroes; and became babies, babysitters, parents and doctors.  In the Pink Room, the children built with the Poki blocks and dominoes, worked on Christmas puzzles, created stories with Mickey Mouse and friends, matched shapes and colors, baked gingerbread cookies, drove cars down ramps, and created art. In the Kitchen, the children had a marvelous time using the playdough to create cookies, cakes, worms, snakes and other sculptures.  Back in the Yellow Room, we said our prayer and enjoyed a snack while rereading The Gingerbread Man–the children tricked their teddy graham cookies into being eaten, just like that clever fox!  Thanks to Sophie for suggesting we count ‘cats’ for the One Banana song, Molly M for making a ‘3’ for the calendar, Cate for the sunny-cool-windy weather report and Marley for holding the flag!

 

Tuesday Lainey was happy to tell us that her elf was hiding under her Christmas tree today–you never know where the elves will be hiding!  Lainey was also happy to spend time working on art with Erin, the girls made many things as gifts for one another–so sweet! Lainey and Erin also enjoyed setting up and creating stories with the Sweet Street dollhouses and people.  Tommy and Molly W worked on their art too. Tommy colored a gingerbread man so carefully and patiently while Molly worked on a large Christmas scene—trees, snow, gingerbread–so festive! Tommy and Connor used their imaginations as they played with the pirate ships, castle, and assorted characters. The children played games of Spiderman Memory, designed fashions with fabric swatches, cooked food in our classroom kitchen, decorated their painted gingerbread men, and really enjoyed creating with the playdough—lots of Christmas cookies! They also shared in great conversation all morning!  In the kitchen, we said our prayer and ate a snack as we read I Love Christmas and What Makes a Rainbow?  It was a terrific Tuesday!

 

Wednesday felt like a winter day–so cold outside, but the children brought their sunny smiles to warm things up.  Lainey skipped her way into the Yellow Room sharing news that her elf was eating pretzels and nutella! Marley said her elf was climbing up her Christmas tree–these elves are funny!  Lainey, Katelynn, Erin, and Marley imagined at the farm together. Amber, Molly M, and Ronan were creating on the dry-erase boards. Archie was lacing the gingerbread cards then worked at the art table.  Joey, Quinlan, and Christian were working carefully on their art ideas and then joined Tommy playing with dinosaurs. Sophie and Emily Rose worked on a large floor puzzle together while Eva Lea was busy working on tabletop puzzles.  Molly W created art and had fun imagining with the jungle animals. Connor used his ‘Incredible’ power to escape from a Lego chain—there is no catching him! Mrs. Gallagher’s granddaughter, Mackenzie, joined us today as a special guest.  Mackenzie was having fun working on her art and playing with the children! We talked about the letter D for December and W for Wednesday. Eva Lea noticed that you can make the W an M by turning it upside down—great awareness! In the Circle Room, we moved to our Wiggle Song and greeted one another–some said ‘Merry Christmas’, others ‘ho-ho-ho’, and some just had to say ‘pickle’—it always makes them laugh!   Then we staged our own Reader’s Theater production of ‘The Gingerbread Man’. The children took on the roles of the Gingerbread Man, a boy/girl, an old woman, an old man, a farmer, three bears, two wolves and the clever fox. They had a ball chasing that cookie around the Circle Room and in the end, the fox caught the cookie. We acted it out twice so that everyone who wanted had an opportunity to perform—it was great!  In the Green Room, the children worked on decorating their large painted gingerbread men—they look good enough to eat! In the Circle Room, the children made cupcakes, soup, and coffee and dug for gems and jewels in the sand table; built large block structures; drove vehicles; used tools to make repairs to the kitchen; and took on roles of doctors and patients. In the Pink Room, the children built and drove Duplo vehicles, created stories at the merry-go-round, Ferris Wheel and playground; built with the snapping blocks and the city blocks, matched shapes at the vending machine, imagined with the animals on Noah’s ark, worked on puzzles, and created art.  In the kitchen, the children used a spool and white paint to create a snowy, night sky. Then they glued a red pom-pom on as Rudolph’s nose guiding Santa through the snow! Back in the Yellow Room, we said our prayer and enjoyed a snack (a gingerbread man cookie) while reading Ten Gingerbread Men—no fox in this story!  Thanks to Mackenzie for suggesting we count ‘cookies’ for our One Banana song, Emily Rose for making a ‘5’ for the calendar, Archie for the cloudy-cold weather report and Christian for holding the flag!

 

Thursday brought more cold weather and more news of where those elves are hiding.  Erin’s elf was in her shoe, Olivia’s was in her kitchen cabinet, and Molly’s elf was on her tree—you just never know where the elf is going to be!  The children all enjoyed watching some animated Christmas characters–a piano playing snowman, a dancing Santa, and a dancing snowman. They also all played with a wide variety of characters—from superheroes to kittens. Their characters even had a sleepover at Molly’s house–it was a crowded house!  Erin was feeding the horses corn and apples and she worked very patiently on an ‘elf on the shelf’ floor puzzle. Olivia made pizzas with many topping while Connor investigated the nesting santas. Molly created some lovely art as a gift for a friend and Tommy had fun dressing our magnetic Santa. The children also pretended to be reindeer, Santa, Mrs. Claus and a sleeping child as they created their own ‘night before Christmas’ stories—they are so imaginative!  We looked at real coal too—no worries though—all of these children are good! In the kitchen, the children used green paint to make little Christmas trees out of real pinecones! Then we washed hands, said our prayer and ate our snack while reading The Christmas Boot-–a magical boot filled with toys–who does the boot belong to?  Thanks to Tommy for making a ‘6’ for the calendar!

 

Friday the children were so excited to see the Christmas tree sparkling in the Circle Room as they arrived–it truly fills their eyes with wonder!  In the Yellow Room, the children found much to do. Amber, Sophie, Olivia and Marley were creating on the dry-erase boards. Connor was imagining with the Winnie the Pooh characters while Quinlan and Joey dressed the magnetic Santa.  Archie was creating on the chalkboard and Ronan was organizing the nesting Santas. Katelynn was scooping corn and apples for the horses, Olivia joined her too. Lainey, Erin, Molly W and Marley took care of babies and prepared food. Emily Rose worked on puzzles and art and Eva Lea pieced together a large floor puzzle all by herself then worked on her art ideas.  Molly M was busy at the art table too—stickers, stampers, markers, crayons—so much to do! Tommy was flying a paper airplane and was quickly joined by Quinlan, Joey, Connor and Katelynn all flying their planes down the hallway—science in action! We talked about the letter D for December, F for Friday and C for (Joey knew this)… Christmas! (as well as cookie, cake, candle, coat, cat, Cate, Connor, and Christian).  In the Circle Room, we moved to our Hat-beard-belly-boots song and greeted one another with waves, hellos, Merry Christmas, and pickles! Then we talked about Christmas as the birth of Jesus using a child-friendly nativity set. We met Mary, Joseph, the innkeepers, Baby Jesus, an angel, a shepherd and the three Wise Men. The children listened so nicely. Then, with colorful scarves, we moved slowly to the song ‘Silent Night’–it was lovely.  We kicked the tempo up a notch by moving to the song ‘Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree’ –that was a lot of fun! In the Kitchen, the children created art with red, green and glitter paints and marbles! They shook the marbles around in a box and produced beautiful art in the process! In the Pink Room, the children dressed the Potato Heads; created stories at the Duplo Farm and the mini-mart; stacked the lions, worked on puzzles; designed their own animals; and imagined with a Polar Express train set.  In the Green Room, we read our Let’s Find Out magazine: Gingerbread Time and decorated our own gingerbread cookies. The children painted the icing on their cookies (with real paint brushes used for icing only) and added sprinkles to make their very own special cookie. In the Circle Room, the children worked with tools, built with the blocks, read stories, played in the sand and cooked a great deal of food! Back in the Yellow Room, we said our prayer and enjoyed their decorated cookies while reading Who is Coming to Our House— (animals prepare the stable for the arrival of Baby Jesus in this sweet rhyming story).  Thanks to Emily Rose for suggesting that we count ‘bananas’ for our One Banana song, Sophie for making a ‘7’ for the calendar, Amber for the sunny-cold-windy weather report and Ronan for holding the flag!

 

Songs and Poems: December starts with D, Open-shut them, Who has come to school today, One Banana, Days of the week, Wiggle song, S-A-N-T-A, Cookie starts with C, Hat-beard-belly-boots

 

Friday–Story time with Miss Elizabeth