Early Learning Center Cottage News
December 2018 Curriculum Newsletter
Level 1 Language Arts and Social Studies
Level 1 students continue to thrive and grow in their first year at St. Nicholas! They continue to do very well on their letters and sounds as we practice them with many different activities. We were able to make it to the letter Ll in the alphabet and continue to work on rhyming words, color words, and opposites. Our letter museum looks fantastic. Please continue to look for items throughout your home that begin with the letter of the week, and choose one small item to bring to class. The children have really enjoyed sharing these items with their peers!
We have also learned about Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, and the Native Americans. Level 1’s were able to dress up as Native Americans and have a special feast with the Pilgrims, the Level 2 students. After reading books about thankfulness, we discussed what we were thankful for and were able to share this through and illustrations and words.
December has been a fun filled month with fun holiday crafts, presentations, and activities. We read Duck and Goose It’s Time for Christmas and The Legend of the Poinsettia. Students created their own beautiful poinsettias, as well. Level 1’s learned about Hanukah and Rabbi Tender visited to share information about the Jewish holiday. Students enjoyed playing with dreidels and understanding the importance of the menorah. This helped them to prepare for their special chapel on Hanukkah. In chapel, the students sang songs, danced, and recited a poem to share their knowledge of the holiday with students and parents. This took quite a lot of preparation and the students did a wonderful job with their first performance. In celebration of their hard work, the children enjoyed eating potato latkes with their loved ones in the cafeteria.
Level 1 students have been busy these past months as they continue to work on math and science skills with various activities. They enjoy the routine of counting each day with Pete the Cat to practice skip counting by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s. We celebrated the 50th day of school with students dressed in their finest 1950’s wear. The children performed a coke float experiment and enjoyed movement activities from the era.
We are moving at a steady pace with our calendar/weather books and daily math stations. Students reviewed a variety of math concepts with Thanksgiving and Christmas themed math stations. In class students worked on various pattern sequences (For Example, ABB, ABC, AABB, etc.) and counting to 100 by 1’s, 10’s and 5’s. Students created their own turkey and used the feathers to create their own colored pattern. Students built their own Tanenbaum (German word for tree) using various shapes and practiced one to one correspondence. Alsom they enjoyed using dice to roll a reindeer and create their own reindeer and made addition sentences with Christmas cookie creations.
In science, we have been cooking up some great experiments based on the holiday. We learned about reindeer and made magical reindeer food. After reading the Gingerbread Baby, students followed a recipe to make gingerbread playdough. Students conducted a balloon experiment based on holiday classic, The Grinch. Using baking soda, vinegar, and water in green balloons, helped to grow the Grinch’s heart. The children have been full of the Christmas spirit and had a joy of learning with so much fun!
Level 2 Language Arts and Social Studies
December flew by! The kids started off the month learning about needs vs. wants. This was a perfect opportunity to learn that although we may want lots of things, we may not need them! We have loved our new poetry station where we get to read a themed poem and then sequence it in a group. The kids enjoy taking turns to “be the teacher,” and track each word while their “class” (group) reads! We have also become experts at ABC order. The kids had the best time ordering letters, words, and themselves. Learning about nouns and verbs were fun and we have been playing lots of reading games to help build fluency and confidence as they become wonderful readers.
Our gingerbread unit is always a special time in Level 2. We read all kinds of gingerbread stories and then concluded our week by making gingerbread houses, cupcakes, and playdough. I hope you enjoy these recipes with your family over the break. They are so fun to make.
The Level 2’s did a wonderful job learning about the season of Advent and presenting what they learned as a class in chapel. It was so special to have them lead the school in such a sweet theme. We hope you enjoy your Advent banner for many years to come as a reminder of their special day.
In December Level 2’s turned into an Elf factory! We read elf stories, made elf hats, and made magic elf food! We also loved reading The Polar Express, sequencing the story and having a wonderful holiday party in our Christmas P.J.’s! Don’t forget to fill out your reading log over the break and have a peaceful time celebrating with family. Thank you for all you do!
Level 2 Math and Science
November was a great month full of review of ten frames, comparing numbers, and patterns. The kids learned patterns of numbers and expanded their current knowledge of counting by 2s, 5s and 10s. The class created turkeys out of paper plates. In this fun activity, the kids utilized not only color patterns but number patterns. In December, we made visual cookie trays with addition sentences to match the creations. The students created math trees with ornaments and displayed their information on a ten frame and number line. Finally, we learned a new fast pace math game where students recall ten frame, tally, number, equation, or symbol correctly. The team who earns the most points wins!
In science, the students made a large magnet to fully understand “north and south” of a magnet and observe how magnets attract and repel. We used model magic to construct planets and learned about force and motion on our playground slides. The students loved investigating gingerbread men by predicting and observing what gingerbread men would do in water. For our STEM activity, students constructed towers for the Elf on the Shelf. December was full of festive fun and learning in Level 2.