Saturday, January 31, 2015

Happy New Year!

The theme for the last week of December was "Happy New Year!". It was another short week for us, with a half day on New Year's Eve and off on New Year's Day, so we had another week of fun planned with our small winter break group!
We began the month of January (of course) which means we finished our pattern for the month of December.

We also compared December weathers! It was a very cloudy month!

This week we readA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead
                                 Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3 by Bill Martin Jr.
                                 How do Dinosaurs Count to Ten by Jane Yolen
                                 1, 2, 3 Peas by Keith Baker

Our question of the week was "What do you want to do in the New Year?"

For our theme "Happy New Year", we got ready to celebrate! We were still in the middle of Winter Break for the public schools, which means we had a smaller group than usual. We did a lot of fun activities, played games and had an all around good time.

In the sensory table I put in some colored rice and pom poms! I love the feeling of playing with rice, and the pom poms were a fun soft addition.
We sang the songs "If You're Happy and You Know It" and "The Months of the Year".

We wrote in journals about something that the children want to do in the new year. 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.

We worked together to bake a Confetti Cake! The kids took turns adding ingredients and mixing. When it was finished baking, I cut pieces and let everyone ice their own slice. I must admit, instead of spreading out the icing over the whole piece, most children opted for just eating the whole dollop at once... like a spoon of ice cream.

I cut up tiny pieces of colored paper, which the children glued onto black construction paper to create confetti fireworks! When they were finished gluing, we added the path of the firework line.

We colored a butterfly labeled with #6-10. I love these so much. It really forces the kids to slow down and think about what they are coloring. I use The Complete Book of Numbers and Counting for all my number pages like this.

The kids practiced tracing and writing the numbers 1-10, and using my math boxes (scroll all the way down!), we practiced counting backward. Gotta get ready for that countdown!

Also to get ready for the countdown, we made noisemakers! We used toilet paper rolls, some macaroni and some beads, and a stapler. Voila, instant New Years fun!

Painting with number stencils was a lot of fun.

A little off theme...
We still talked some about Kwanzaa this week. I found a worksheet online and decided to make one based on it. I drew symbolic parts of kwanzaa with specific coloring instructions. As I gave the directions for what to color, we talked about why that item is important to celebrating Kwanzaa. A worksheet that is very close to what I did is found here.

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