Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hibernation! (Nn, 11, Green)

The theme for the first week of January was "Hibernation". It was so exciting that we got back into our routines this week. We picked up our Letter of the Week study, with the letter N. This week we started talking about colors with the color green, and we kept going on our number study with the number 11!

This week we readWhy do Animals Hibernate? by David Martin
                                        The Hat by Jan Brett
                                        Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
                                        The Mitten by Jan Brett
                                        A Silly Snowy Day by Michael Coleman

Our question of the week was "How long would you like to hibernate?"

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

We sang "G-R-E-E-N" to the tune of Old MacDonald.
There's a color we all know, G-R-E-E-N.
It's the color that means Go!
Oh, grass is green and lettuce is green,
Leaves and spinach and peas are green. 
There's a color we all know, G-R-E-E-N.

For the number of the week:11 we started off by counting to and backward from eleven. 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 eleven. 

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 11. The children have to practice writing the number and then color in that number of squares. It's a great way to introduce graphing and helps them to work on their one-to-one correspondence.

From The Complete Book of Numbers and Counting, the kids practiced counting to eleven when they drew 11 balls for the elephant to juggle.

For our theme "Hibernation", we began by talking about what hibernation is. I found this coloring page on Pinterest, but was unable to to find a full sized version of it. I like it because it shows different places of hibernation; log, mud, tree, cave and burrow. The kids loved talking about the different animals.

We sang "Bear is Sleeping" to the tune of Frere Jacques. Where I found it suggested changing out the word sleeping with snoring and napping, but I thought that for the theme it would be so much fun to switch bear with different hibernating animals.
"Bear is sleeping, bear is sleeping,
Let it snow, let it snow.
Sleeping all the winter, sleeping all the winter,
snug and warm, snug and warm.

The kids used white paint to make polar bears!

Everyone decorated their own winter hat after we read The Hat by Jan Brett.

All of our bears were invited to come to school for a day to read with and play with! It was so much fun!

The letter of the week: N activities that we worked on this week were nifty! In our sensory table, we played with noodles, both uncooked and cooked!

Before the cooked noodles went into the sensory table, we painted with them!

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

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 "N" eggs in the nest. All the other letters? They had to find some different real-estate!

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.

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!

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.

The children turned a capital letter N into a nightcrawler. 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.

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 we painted nests with q-tips. These are going to go up next week when we make our next project!

From a Mailbox Letter of the Week book, the kids made a booklet about "In the Nest". I like doing these kinds of books because they can go back and look at the pictures to help tell the story, and they are also able to do the project mostly on their own. When they are finished coloring the pages, they come and get their scissors. When they are finished cutting, they bring their pages to me, put away their scissors and clean up their area of paper scraps. I love it!

Looking through old magazines, the children found and cut out any numbers that they found to make number collages.

I made a cube of cardboard and glued pictures of "N" things one each side. The children say "Ninja, Ninja, 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 for the letter A, 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 N. Here is what we thought of!
Whoops! Forgot to get a picture... coming soon!

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