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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wow- Are We Learning!

I always get so excited when I begin to see results of my teaching.  It is like adrenaline for me.   This week I have seen writing skills improve, cutting is coming along and your children are learning the letters and sounds!   Phonics at the Zoo is such an amazing way to teach phonics.  We have already done letters A-J and even when we are not working on them, the children are walking around saying their letters and sounds on their own.   Some say a childs' learning environment isn't necessarily important.  I say yes it is!   Even though I do not have a lot of space provided for hanging things, the children gravitate to the zoo phonic posters I hang.  They stand there following the hand movements and practice on their own. They love to imitate the things I teach at circle time.
Amazing Little People!
We have moved into our Community Workers and Transportation Unit.   When I asked the children what they wanted to be when they grow up, here's what I got:
Kevin: Police Officer like dad,
 Saira: a Ballerina, they can twirl.
 Arianna: Jesse, a cowgirl and a mom,
          Kalaya:  A giant because they can look down at people,  
Cole: a driver who flys planes (a pilot)
Elias: a firefighter, they can't get hot, though
Olivia:  a Rock star, singing

Please call me when they graduate, I'd love to see how this turns out!    I provided different kinds of hats for them to pretend with, and this week we will have official contruction hats and vests.  We'll see what gets built.  I am sure they will love making the race cars, which will be painted.  
Even though our police officer was out keeping the Gilbert streets safe, we were able to have a good time making our own officer, learning what vehicles are on the road and which are in the air.
I felt very safe in the room with all the officers!

Even though we have our themes, we are talking about our zoo phonics letters and their sounds throughout the class.  The zoo phonic puppets seem to be a hit with this class.  
At circle, the children are learning our morning song in sign language, and we are working on the following colors in Spanish:  red-rojo,  yellow-amarillo, purple-maron, white-blanco.   Ask your child to show you the signs for:   more, together, happy, sad, mad, friend, sit-down.

This week our math centers were measuring, sorting and matching numbers.   We are currently rote counting to 20.
Do you hear your child singing songs?  We have a special snack song, "Open, Shut Them" with a focus on manners and putting hands in our lap while being served.
If you are enjoying the blog, please feel free to comment, leave questions.  Feel free to share the link with grandparents and other family members.  It's a great way to have them connected with what your child is learning.  

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fun with our Zoo animals!

Jan. 15-17    The children worked in their journals drawing self-portraits and we journaled "What do you do to get ready for school?"  
    The highlight of the week was reading the book, "What does the fox say?"  Check out Miss Kathi's What does the fox say?  at this link:

I am putting great emphasis on writing at the beginning of the session, as I am watching what hand they write with, form holding the crayon or marker, and pressure.   We practice with a wipe off alphabet board which help new writers form letters and we are using the "Handwriting Without Tears" alphabet sticks to make letters, and spell our names.

Group activit├ęs have been helping the children get to know the new students and it bonds the class together, helping make new friends.  Children always amaze me as they love to read and tell stories together.    We also group painted and did an experiment with lemon!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

First Day-Winter Session '14

A Day to Meet New Friends!  The children had a great time just getting to know each other.  I have four previous students and four new ones!  Welcome to Kalaya, Saira, Olivia and Cole!   This is such a sweet group of children and we are going to have some great fun this session.
Each child will have a small book that I will "journal" their stories in.   I collect writing samples, drawings, pictures, etc.  and they will come home at the end of the session.   We worked on writing on Monday and they did very well.    At circle time we began our phonics with letter A -Allie Alligator and B- Bubba Bear.  We are learning some sign language and the color words in Spanish.
Counting, Days of the Week, Months and book reading too!   Of course, it is most important to find out who the special helper is.  : )
I will be sending home a special Science project on Friday that you and your child can help me with.
We will be setting up a Science center next week.
Please as always, let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you to all who are bringing in snacks for us.

What does the Fox Say? Book by Svein Nyhus

Yes, of course with Phonics at the Zoo we have to read this book!  Kids love to make sounds!   Use the lyrics I send home to have a family sing-a-long.  Don't worry if you don't sing it right - they just love making the sounds!

Ylvis - The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) [Official music video HD]

Monday, January 6, 2014

I'm Back and can't wait until Jan. 13th!   My back surgery was successful, and with a little PT and a little care I am ready to get back to teaching!  I know I will have lots of little helpers.    We start this new session learning about the following themes: Zoo Phonic animals, Transportation, Safety, Community Workers, Valentines, Flags and our President, the Desert and Shapes/Colors.  A great lineup!     Will see you on Monday.