Early Learning Center (PreK-K) Cottage News

young students making stone soup in class
young children having Thanksgiving feast
young girls reading inside tent


November / December / January

November

       November was filled with so many things for which we were thankful.  A highlight was reading Stone Soup and celebrating our friendship with our Level 7 buddies.  We enjoyed eating stone soup, apple sauce, and butter with bread that we made. 
       We loved our field trip to Old McDonald Farm and had a glorious day getting to pet animals, climb hay bales, slide down an enormous slide, go on a hay ride, and gather our own pumpkins.  
       In Math/Science, we focused on graphing, counting with tally marks, and sorting and classifying a variety of objects.  We used leaves in many of our explorations as we created a leaf graph, sorted leaves by colors, made a leaf man, created leaf rubbings on aluminum foil, and made observational leaf drawings. 
       We studied trees and worked as a whole group to talk about, draw, and paint a tree as it looks in the fall.
       In Language Arts/Social Studies, we read the Little Red Hen and Stone Soup. We acted out and retold the story and put the events from the story in order. We learned to read farm animal names and used a variety of materials such as corn kernels, play dough, acorns, and wood rounds to practice writing, spelling, and reading our words.  While reading Stone Soup, we painted stones, learned about the seasons, and formed letters in a variety of ways including with sand and shells. 
       The 50th day of school was celebrated during November, and we had fun dressing as kids from the 1950s!

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December

       We celebrated the month of December by doing many gingerbread related activities.  
       In Language Arts/Social Studies, we read many different versions of The Gingerbread Boy and had a great time comparing them all. We wrote in cinnamon-scented salt and searched for letters in red, peppermint-smelling rice. We created our own gingerbread boys and girls and reenacted the story of The Gingerbread Boy.
       In Math/Science, our focus was on patterns, wild math, and math stations. In keeping with our gingerbread theme, we created a Gingerbread snap/bite graph.
       One of our favorite parts of December was our McDowell Big Fork Nursery field trip!! We got to explore the different trees, choose the perfect one for our playground, and cut it down. When we returned to school, we made pine cone bird feeders and decorated our tree.
       Our level 7 and Level 2 card making venture was another highlight. We got together for hot chocolate, candy canes, and holiday books. We created cards together for the school staff and enjoyed delivering them.
       We created beautiful, detailed self-portrait ornaments and painted our wooden hand prints. We rounded out the holiday season with our ELC Advent chapel and our Christmas party.  

January

       We were so excited to get back together at school after our vacation time. We enjoyed many new stations such as exploring Arctic animals, creating beautiful snowflakes, writing and drawing and playing in the shaving cream "snow," and setting up winter scenes. Our main focus this month was on winter – even though we had many warm, beautiful days to spend outside on the playground and the nature trail. 
       In Math/Science, we did activities with snowmen – writing snowman names and comparing number of letters and heights, seeing how tall we could make a snowman, and completing other activities focusing on height and measurement. We also used mittens for math as we hung them on a clothesline to count by 2s, 5s, and 10s and created symmetrical mittens. 
       We worked as a whole group to talk, draw, and paint a tree in the winter and enjoyed comparing and contrasting it with our fall tree. 
       We celebrated the 100thday of school and had fun comparing and counting everyone’s collections of 100 items.  
       In Language Arts/Social Studies , Jan Brett was our author of the month, and we enjoyed reading many of her books including The Mitten, The Hat, and the Snow Bears. We worked on making predictions based on story details, retelling the The Mitten with animal masks and other props, and answering questions based on the story. We thought of words that reminded us of winter and wrote them on mittens, practiced our tracing and cutting skills while making snowmen, and used "snowballs" and "sparkly snow" to practice writing our words and letters. We are really working hard on matching the beginning sounds of words to the correct letters that makes the sound, and many of us have starting writing and illustrating our own winter books.
       Our field trip this month was to the Tennessee Aquarium.  We enjoyed seeing the different fish, watching the jellyfish float through the water, seeing the penguins swim and jump through the water, and riding on the bus!

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ST NICHOLAS SCHOOL 7525 Min Tom Drive | Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421 | ph: (423).899.1999 | fax: (423).899.0109 | [email protected]