Maple Room News
Weeks of October 14 and October 21
We reviewed the red box letters recently (m, b, c, a, and t). There were many fun choices on the shelves. They included rubbing plates of all five letters, sorting objects and pictures by their initial sounds, and a beginning sounds board game. The children enjoyed giving clues about pictures in the letter sound booklets and letting their friend guess the answers along with the pictures’ beginning sounds. There were also write and wipe cards to practice tracing each of the review letters. As a circle time activity, the sandpaper letters of m, b, c, a, and t were placed inside of the circle rug equidistant from each other. As music played in the background, the children marched around the letters. When the music stopped, the children each stopped in front of a different letter. The teacher asked the class who was standing in front of a certain letter. That child sat down around the circle and the other children resumed marching around the circle. This continued until each of the five letters was named. We will be studying the blue box letters next (f, g, h, i, and r) over the next couple of weeks.
Now that the season of Fall has arrived, there are several noticeable differences in the environment around us. The cooler weather is definitely one of them. Another element is the appearance of the leaves and trees. The children have pointed out the “changing” colors of the leaves from green to red, yellow, orange, and even brown. They are seeing that many leaves have already fallen off of the trees. As a result, we decided to make units our unit of study in science. We looked at and discussed the parts of a leaf, such as veins, stipules, petioles, apex, and base. We discussed differences we saw in leaves, such as their colors, sizes, shapes, and edges. Some were smooth and some were jagged. We talked about why leaves seem to change colors in the Fall. Many plants stop making food in the Fall. The chlorophyll goes away. Then we can see orange and yellow colors. The colors were actually in the leaves all summer, but the green covered them up. The red color is made from food trapped in the leaves. The children were amazed. Work choices on the shelf included books about leaves to read, a leaf puzzle to label the parts, pin punching leaves, and tracing and labeling different types of leaves, such as the gingko, hickory, oak, and maple. It may be fun to take a nature walk around your yard and collect leaves to make a leaf collage or leaf rubbings. The children also enjoyed the books The Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert and Autumn Leaves by Ken Robbins during group time.
This is a topic of great interest to the children. October is Fire Safety Awareness Month, but it is a topic that should be discussed throughout the year. The children had many stories to share and a lot of good tips they already knew. We talked about firemen going to school and practicing and practicing before they go to work as a fireman. They put out fires, climb buildings to get people or animals out, cut down trees, and help people who are hurt. They also wear special clothes and tools that weigh more than 60 pounds, but we should not be afraid of them because they are there to help us. We talked about some important tips that could help keep us safe, such as:
- Call 9-1-1 in an emergency only.
- Never play with matches, lighters, or the stove.
- Stay low and crawl if they saw smoke in their house.
- Once out of the house, stay out of the house.
- Never open a door if it is hot.
The children learned that they should stop, drop, cover, and roll in case their clothes were ever on fire. They were also asked to talk with their parents about a good meeting spot outside of their house if there was a fire. Several fire drills have been practiced at school this year already. When the fire alarm goes off, we stop what we are doing, quietly walk into line by the door facing the playground, and walk straight outside to the fence at the edge of the playground. We stand quietly until we hear from the office that it is okay to re-enter the building. Work choices on the shelf included books about fire safety, fire truck and Dalmatian dog floor puzzles, a magnetic fire scene, a number word work where the children practice putting the correct number of firefighters onto the fire truck cards, and a fire safety plan book to color and assemble.
Anna, a first year friend in our room, enjoyed sharing stories about her mom, Jana, and how she was a firefighter for many years. You may also know Jana as the gym teacher at our school. Anna’s dad is also a firefighter. We couldn’t seem to spend enough time talking about and sharing our ideas about fire safety.
- In the next couple of weeks, we will focus on new practical life work, bats, North America, and letters “f” and “g.”
- Don’t forget conferences are this Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-6 p.m. and Thursday from 8:30-3:30 p.m. There is NO SCHOOL/CHILDCARE on Friday, November 1.
- Please remember to keep a change of clothing in your child’s backpack that is seasonally appropriate. This applies to all children in the Maple Room. Thank you so much.