Hello Eagles Families!

Welcome to our January blog! We introduced some exciting provocations into our classroom this month that the children have been exploring. We also started our magic letter study which is off to a great start! And, the Eagles just completed their January self-portraits.

Magic Letter Study:

A magic letter is the first letter in a persons name. Your child’s name is so meaningful to them. The letters that make up their name are often the first letters they learn. Children start noticing their letters in books, on signs, license plates, and on food packages. I love when I hear a child enthusiastically say, “I have that letter in my name too!” This happens often in our classroom!

Throughout the school year, the children have created their magic letter using play dough, paints, and sticks. For our magic letter study, I randomly pick one of our classmate’s names from a pile. Paxton was our first pick, which meant the letter P was our first letter study! I asked the children if it has curves or strait lines? The Eagles said “both!”

Next, we stand up and use our whole body to make the letter in the air while saying the letter’s name and it’s sound out loud.  This technique is borrowed from the Slingerland Approach, which is used to teach children with dyslexia. Auditory, Visual and Kinesthetic motor processing are all being used to appeal to different types of learners.

Next, we show the class how to draw the letter on a large sheet of paper. The children draw the letter on their own large sheet of paper. We won’t correct them if its written incorrectly, but we will assist them if they ask for help. We want this to be a playful but meaningful introduction to letters.

The following day, we talk about the sound the letter makes and think of words that begin with that sound. I am always amazed by all of the words they come up with on their own!

We practice making the letter again, both with our bodies and on smaller watercolor paper that will become their letter book. On one side, they write the letter, and on the other the children draw something that begins with that letter!

C for Chloë was our second magic letter!

The children have been spotting letters in sticks and branches. And, they have been making them using natural materials.

A favorite game of our class while walking to and from Alta Plaza park is; “I-spy.” Recently the children have been saying, “I spy something that begins with the letter —-.” This is a fun game to play at home too.

I encourage you to point out letters in the environment while driving or at the grocery store. Ask your child if it has curved or straight lines? And, a great way for children to practice their writing is by asking them for help writing down a grocery list or to do list. Don’t worry if they are only writing lines and shapes; these will later turn into letters.

Light and Shadows:

The Eagles have been exploring shadows and light both in our classroom and outside.  We set up a light projector for the children to place different objects and their hands on. I asked the children’ “How did the shapes get on the wall?” some answered, “From the light inside the machine” and “It’s a reflection.”

 

We have a light table where the children have been using translucent objects, watching the light shine through.

We have battery operated tea lights that the children place all around the classroom. It’s very magical.

Outside we have been playing with shadows, making different movements. And, noticing the light shining through the trees. And, watching where the sun is.

Gracie: “Where did the sun go?”

Lilya: “The sun went behind the building, you will see it later on.”

Quincy: “Clouds are covering it.”

Nicholas: “I thought the sun was behind the big tree.”

Later they found the sun when the clouds moved!

I traced the childrens shadows and they decorated them.

 

January Self-Portraits:

The children mixed their own paint color to match their skin. Aren’t they fabulous? So expressive!

I hope you enjoyed our January blog. Please comment below if you read to the end.

The Eagles have been showing an interest in volcanos, so next month we will be exploring volcanos!

Until next time,

Ms. Amy & Ms. Rocio