Monday, January 26, 2015

Hanukkah: Celebration of Lights! (Mm, 10, Blue)

The theme for the  week of December was "Hanukkah: Celebration of Lights". We continued our Letter of the Week study with the letter M. We continued talking about colors with the color blue, and we kept going with our number study and the number 10!

and we celebrated a birthday!!

This week we readHanukkah! by Roni Schotter
                                 The Hanukkah Mice by Steven Kroll
                                 Latkes and AppleSauce by Fran Manushkin We read this over two days.
                                 How Do Dinosaurs Say Happy Chanukkah? by Jane Yolen

Our question of the week was "What do you like about school?" Very heartwarming.

The color of the week: blue was a lot of fun to explore.  We talked about things that are the blue and went on a hunt around our classroom to find things that are blue.

We sang "We Love Blue" to the tune of three blind mice.
We love blue, we love blue.
Yes we do, yes we do.
We love the ocean and sky so blue,
we love blue ribbons and blue jeans too.
We love blueberries so good for you.
Yes, we love blue.

The kids got to explore the color blue while painting by creating different shades of blue. I put droplets of blue, white and black paint on each of their papers, and they used their paintbrush to mix and swirl and discover!

For the number of the week: 10 we started off by counting to and backward from ten. They love doing this every day and when we get to the end of counting backward, they all scream blast off!! ;) The kids also practiced writing the number and word for ten. 

When I started in my room I found some papers in my room I found a random number page like this from, so I made my own for the number 10. The children have to practice writing the number and then color in that number of squares. What a great way to introduce graphing and helps them to work on their one-to-one correspondence.

To practice counting to 10 even more, I let the kids count out 10 M&M's. I made a sheet for them to record the colors that they got. The best part of this project, getting to eat the M&Ms when they were done! We did something very similar for the letter j/number 7 with jellybeans!

For our theme "Hanukkah", the kids got to explore two different Menorahs. They asked questions about them and had a lot of fun with them. For days after Hanukkah was over, I kept getting asked where the Menorahs went! We also played dreidel and had a blast.

The children also made their own Menorah collages. I put out all sorts of materials, and invited the children to use whatever they wanted. I "drew" and outline in glue of a menorah and let them do their thing. They turned out so cool, and each so different from the rest!

We sang the song "Twinkle Twinkle Hanukkah Lights" that I found here!
Twinkle twinkle Hanukkah Lights, shining brightly for eight nights.
See the dreidels spinning 'round, eat some latkes crisp and brown.
Twinkle, Twinkle Hanukkah Lights, shining brightly for eight nights!

The kids used Hanukkah themed cookie cutters to paint with in blue and yellow. I love occasionally using cookie cutters to paint with because it shakes it up a bit from always using a paintbrush.

I found hebrew alphabet blocks a few years ago at Pottery Barn Kids that I love. I brought them in for the week and set them out on a carpet for the children to build with and explore.

Last week we popped popcorn into the sensory table. I kept the popcorn and added plastic ice cube dreidels that I found at Michael's. Every other day I put them in the freezer, so that the children could play with them when they were cold and frozen, and also when they were warm and liquid inside.

A little off theme...
Last week we started working on the kid's Christmas gifts to their parents. This week we finished up by painting them! I put out different colors of paint and let the children make their trees however they wanted! When they were dry I strung the tree and star pieces together, put them into the bag wrappings that the children also made last week, and we sent them home!

I begged another teacher in the school to cut out snowflakes for me. Every attempt that I made I ended up with Spiderwebs... I'm great for Halloween, not so much for winter I guess. Each child had one that was slightly different and unique. We colored the paper snowflakes and then added some extra puffy paint color to them. When they were dry (like a week later...) I hung them up on a winter mural in our classroom. Note to self: when you give a child a squeeze bottle of puffy paint.... they will inevitably squeeze a giant amount in one spot that will never quite dry... ;)

The letter of the week: M activities that we worked on this week were magnificent! I created envelope games for each letter of the alphabet. I adapted them from activities from Mailbox Letter of the Week projects, both book one and two. The children had to place the "M" marshmallows in the cup of cocoa. All the other letters? I think they might have fallen on the floor!

As we work through the alphabet, the children make projects to go on  our "alphabet wall". It's a very fun way for the class to see the alphabet in a new way. This week the kids used dot paint to make mangos for a tree.

Since we made mangos for the abc wall, I brought in a mango for us to try. I was thrilled that everyone at least tried a little piece, and most of them liked it and wanted seconds!

The book Sounds Like fun, Phonemic Awareness has great phonics activities for the alphabet. For the letter M, the children have to cut out and glue the words that "Begins like Mouse". Together we talked about the beginning sounds of the words, and then they work on their fine motor cutting skills.

From the book Alphabet, Colors, Numbers and Shapes, the kids practice letter recognition AND direction following. Some weeks certain letters have to be colored specifically and sometimes it's up to them. I love these!

We practice and work on our handwriting for each letter as well. The Original Summer Bridge Activities, for PreK-K has great handwriting practice sheets. The kids trace and write the letters and then have a little phonics practice at the bottom.

The children turned a capital letter M into a mouse. I got the idea from the book Alphabet and Counting from Twin Sister Productions. They give tips for how to make it a glue and paste projects, but I like to give them crayons and the challenge to add the parts of the animal to the letter. It opens up room for more conversation about the shape of the letter AND the features of the animal.

Each child has a journal that they write in every week. When we focus on a letter, they write for that letter. On shorter weeks and during our review later in the year, they write to the theme. This is such a great way to get children excited about writing and reading. I start the children out by tracing, and once they are comfortable and controlling the crayon well, they move onto copying.

I made a cube of cardboard and glued pictures of "M" things one each side. The children say "Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse, what do I see.... I see a ____ looking at me!" They roll the cube and fill in the blank. This idea came from a Mailbox activity book, and let me tell you, it was a hit!! They loved it!

During the week we made a list of words that begin with the letter M. Here is what we thought of!

 Leave a comment below and let me know that you stopped by!

No comments:

Post a Comment