Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Polar Express!

Update: December 19-21

The children were thrilled to spend the last day of school before winter break watching the movie The Polar Express!  Of course, we couldn't just stop there though, we had to EXPERIENCE the movie first hand! :)

So, we began by quickly looking through the book and talking about what was happening in the pictures.  We then gathered blankets and bean bag chairs and laid them out on the floor.  These became our pretend "beds" since the little boy in the movie starts out sleeping!  Since we were already in our pj's for pajama day, it was perfect!

Pretending to sleep while we watched the movie!
When the little boy got on the train and got his ticket, we also had to experience this!  We each had our own "tickets" and hole punches and we punched lots of holes in all the tickets!   We then gathered our chairs and lined them up like a train.  We got on our "train" and started the movie again.

The lights were still out, but, yes, we're using hole punches to punch our train tickets!

Here we are on our "train"!
We then had to take a little break to enjoy a snack, just like in the movie!  We had hot cocoa with marshmallows and a candy cane!

Drinking hot cocoa!

And, finally, at the end of the movie, we got to paint with giant bells (we put paper, paint and the bells in cake boxes, closed them up and shook them)!  We listened to make sure we could hear the bells ring as we shook them in the box, just like the little boy listened for the bells in the movie!

Painting with bells!

Then, to top everything off, we had cookies after lunch- brought by one of our friends in the classroom!  A perfect way to begin our winter break!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cricket Corner Update...Gingerbread Babies!

December 5-9

We had so much fun reading the Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett, that we just HAD to have our own gingerbread babies in the classroom! 

So, we played with gingerbread play dough all week long!  At the end of the week, we made gingerbread babies and baked them in the oven.  When they came out, we strung yarn through the holes and hung them on our tiny classroom tree...gingerbread baby ornaments!!

Lucky us, we have MORE gingerbread play dough left!  We'll make a few more ornaments on Monday.  I can't wait!  The smell as the gingerbread play dough is baking is WONDERFUL! 

The children also helped "decorate" our tiny classroom tree!  We used many chenille pipes (glittery ones and soft ones).  We bent them into shapes and twirled them onto the tree!  The gingerbread babies fit right in on that tiny tree! 

And, did you know, while we're playing with our play dough, we are working all those muscles in our hands needed for writing!  We're squeezing, rolling, pinching and pulling.  We're working on fine motor skills by pulling off tiny play dough pieces and hiding them in play dough toys!  We're enjoying the sensory smell of gingerbread!  We're working on communication and language and we're remembering and relating our play to the Gingerbread Baby book that we loved so much.  Finally, we're working on sharing, turn taking and cooperation with play dough toys! 

This past week we also enjoyed listening to the silly book The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell!  We worked on imitating the sound for the letter "J".  We did the Weather Rhythm song and movements.  We explored our new "spools" outdoors and we danced, tumbled and ran in the gym!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cricket Corner Update...Our Newest Member of the Classroom!

November 28-December 2

The newest member of our classroom is "Bob" our classroom hamster!  If you follow my other blog from time to time, you may have seen him mentioned...once or twice!  The children have been so excited to get to know Bob.  They've enjoyed petting him very gently, feeding him peanuts and pumpkin seeds (his favorite foods) and watching him run around in his little fenced play area!

We have enjoyed hearing so much language from the children about Bob!  "Bob sleeping", "Bob eating", "No take Bob walk!" (I had taken him to visit another classroom) and the best was "Uh, Oh, Bob!" as Bob climbed the walls of his house, wanting to come out and play!

Starting soon, the children will have a chance to help care for Bob a bit.  They will be able to fill his water bottle, help fill his food bowl and put his toys back in his house after they are cleaned.  I'm pretty sure they will love helping with this!

This week we also enjoyed reading the book The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett, working on vocabulary, imitating sounds, colors, shapes, sorting and matching.