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Lots of Exciting News…

Posted on by Maple

The Maple Room friends have been very busy in the past couple of weeks. Many new topics have been introduced as we approach the end of another school year. Here are some of the units we have been exploring:

Africa-

We traveled to a new continent in geography. It is the second largest continent in area and home to the world’s longest river- the Nile. If you guessed Africa, you are right. It is the green continent on our continent puzzle map. We talked about how Africa has the second largest population among the continents and that there are many languages spoken there too. We examined the different types of climates, such as the dry desert area (with camels), snow capped mountains, and tropical rainforests. Some of the countries of Africa were examined more closely, such as Kenya, Chad, Egypt, and the favorite of the children- Madagascar! The kindergarteners enjoyed researching and recording some information about Africa to share with the younger children. Work choices on the shelf included books about the people and animals of Africa,  animal puzzles (elephants, tigers, lions, giraffes), coloring a map of Africa, and labeling a book of African animals. The children painted their own African masks and pin punching animals to make an African safari.

Mpic1                          The children prepare their own fruit salad.

Mpic3                    Painting an African mask is a hands-on experience!

Mpic10    Completing the map of Africa and recording countries is a work       choice.

Mpic17                              Designing an African safari is a big work.

Earth Day-

To many children, April 22nd is just a regular, ordinary day. We explained that April 22nd is Earth Day every year. It is a day to remind us to take care of our planet by keeping it clean. Reducing the amount of resources we use (water, gas), reusing things (boxes, plastic bags), and recycling things (plastic, paper, aluminum) is a great start in helping to improve our living conditions. The children helped sort and recycle everyday “trash” from our homes, such as glass jars, paper towel rolls, cereal boxes, pop cans, water bottles, newspapers, etc. into the appropriate recycling bin. Many children realized they were already recycling in their own homes. We talked about how many things in our garbage cans can be recycled and used again. It is important to help our Earth stay clean not just on Earth Day, but every day, and everyone can help with this huge and very important project.

Mpic15           Sydney guides the children in an Earth Day art activity.

Mpic16Sorting “trash” into the appropriate recycling bins during a group lesson.

Mpic18                       Recording an Earth Day word wall is challenging.

Farewell-

A little over a week ago was our UT student Sydney’s last day in the Maple Room. We would like to extend a sincere thank you for all of the time and effort she spent helping in the classroom. We wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors!

Mpic19Sydney’s last lesson was a dramatic play unit of a pizza parlor. The children took orders, prepared their own play doh pizzas with toppings, and dined together.

Mpic22                  We say our goodbyes on the playground to Sydney.

Fractions-

Money work was replaced by fractions work. Many children were attracted to this work. We learned different fractions showed different parts of a whole. Work choices included fraction cones, food fraction puzzles, and tracing insets that show 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, and 1/5 of a circle. A challenging work involved putting together many pretend pieces of pizza to make about eight whole pizzas. The pieces showed sixths, eighths, twelfths, and sixteenths. The children experimented and discovered if you put together two of the 1/4 pieces that you made 1/2.

Maypic2                             A friend is tracing the fraction insets.

Maypic1Many children enjoyed tracing the fraction pieces to make a colorful picture.

Practical Life-

A variety of skills were utilized in the works throughout this area, such as tweezing, straining objects in a bowl of water, and hand transfer using small objects. Many of the girls are interested in fixing hair, so we put a work on the shelf to fix the doll’s hair by brushing it and putting in clips or pony tail bands. Other works included stringing beads to make a bracelet and polishing sunglasses and a mirror. This work was inviting to many friends.

Maypic6                                 Concentrating on polishing a mirror!

Maypic7                        New work involved using a strainer in water.

Grandparent’s and Special Friends Day-

Friday was a very special day for the children and teachers. We had many special visitors in our room. The children’s faces lit up when they saw their loved ones. They were busy showing work to them from the time they arrived until the time they left. Many hugs, kisses, and smiles were shared. The grandparents shared stories with us about the children and could not have been any prouder. They were also impressed with the difficult work choices of the children. Many chose work with the children and the children were like the teachers showing them how it was done. Several grandparents and special friends were down on the floor right along with the kids. The time spent seemed to fly by. Children who did not have someone special attend because their loved ones live in another state or even another continent were “adopted” by another child’s grandparents and enjoyed the morning. It was a wonderful experience for everyone!

Maypic8                     Grandparents watched a number roll in progress.

Maypic10                      Grandpa observes how to use the moveable alphabet.

Maypic12          Grandparents enjoy looking at their grandaughter’s journal.

Maypic13                      A delicious snack was enjoyed by our families.

Maypic9                 A challenging work is demonstrated during work time.

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