Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Illumination Station

I am pleased to announce that we have a great new table in our classroom. You must think it's strange for me to get excited about a table, but let me explain. This is a 'light table,' one of the most coveted classroom materials, and we've had the privilege of inaugurating it into our school! It is a wondrous tool with many uses, and the children have all enjoyed spending time at it during freeplay and math workshop. It is useful for blending colors, works great with our see-through Magnatiles building toys, and can be used for light/dark explorations and shadow experiments. It's also simply a fun surface to work on, using letters, tracing, drawings, etc. We cannot wait to use it throughout the year!

Last week, the children had a wonderful time making their own paper airplanes last week. Each decorated their paper to their liking, and then the teachers helped the children see where to make the folds, to make the classic paper airplane model. Folding involved talking about 'half' or 'halves,' as well as noticing some of the shapes created with each fold (triangle, rectangle), and the children were able to make solid creases along each fold. We then took them out to the playground to let them fly!

Last week, we put out some beads and lanyard/thread for the children to use during freeplay. They really enjoyed the activity! Some made bracelets, some made necklaces, or anklets, and some just enjoyed stringing beads and making patterns or designs. This is great for encouraging fine motor skill development - some of the beads were very small! A lot of concentration is required.

In other news, we are continuing to work on our "Who Am I?" project, which many of you saw at Curriculum Night. We have enjoyed our first Music and Spanish classes, and we begin Dance tomorrow with Adelaide. This week has been a lot of fun, and I have been remarking with the other teachers that something seems to have 'clicked' this week, and there has been a dramatic increase in class 'smoothness' (the only way I can really describe it). Perhaps the children have become comfortable with the flow of our schedule, comfortable with friends and teachers, and most importantly, with themselves! Lots of students have been coming out of their shells, and we always love that process. Hooray!
Enjoy these pictures from our last two weeks of school. Remember, we are closed on Monday, Columbus Day.

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