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Mt. Pleasant UMC
4136 Mt. Pleasant Road
Sherrills Ford, NC 28673

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February Reflections/March Themes

Fours’ Classes – Miss Carol & Miss Susan

Welcome to a new month of Fours’ Class News!  As we begin “MARCHing into Spring,” the children are celebrating “Dr. Seuss’s Birthday” and “Read Across America,” starting with The Cat in the Hat.   Children’s Dr. Seuss books often add elements of fun and humor for readers.  The playful language and rhyming words, along with an extraordinary imagination for inventing a variety of animals and plants delight most audiences.  During the 1950s, out of concern that primer books were boring, Dr. Seuss was challenged by a director of an education division to “write a story that first-graders can’t put down” - thus, came the book - The Cat in the Hat! Writers of Dr. Seuss’s work emphasize that he “did not just want to teach children how to read.  He also hoped to teach them how to think” [Source: ].  March will celebrate a number of Dr. Seuss favorites along with a couple of special activities - cooking green eggs and ham and making “oobleck!”  

Dr. Seuss is our third featured author/illustrator this year.  We hope the children are growing to see themselves as potential author/illustrators too!   February reflections are filled with smiles and laughter as we listened to jokes by the children during snack/lunch times, and observed a most enthusiastic “audience” response to children’s individual stories created on the overhead projector.  After exploring shadows with a flashlight early in the month and creating a few stories, the overhead projector proved a wonderful addition - not only for creating stories as individual “author/illustrators,” but also for designing constructions with the clear colored geometric magna-tiles [Miss Carol’s gift from Miss Susan!  Thanks, Susan!]  There were so many jokes, we began making a class book (still in progress)…and most of their stories (generated from individual drawings on a transparency at the overhead) were recorded on video. 

Luke was first to present his story, and what a great start for this first time group activity!  He began with a descriptive setting: Once upon a time… “I had a jet ski on land.  And it was such a pretty day – the sun was shining… and the car was driving.  I decided to go to the lake….”  It developed into quite an adventure (with pauses to allow for audience laughter and comments like:  This is SO FUNNY!”).  He went to the moon and fell back to earth numerous times while escaping from an alligator, followed by a missile … “Then, I blew to a million pieces.  BOOM!  I got fixed together, but the wrong way.  My foot was on my head, and my arm was on my leg, and my belly was a head!  And, then I got fixed the right way, and then I was smiling!  And the story continued…going “back to the moon in a rocket ship”… and there was more…!  Others who followed delighted their audiences as well with a mix of narratives… some created simple stories about rainbows, some continued to focus on making their peers laugh, while others shared a favorite experience from home.  No one really knew what to expect; it was a real success!  Nice work, children!  Making a “Happy Birthday, Miss Susan!” class book was another fun “author/illustrator” activity, featuring pages from each child’s drawing/dictation in response to: “What do I like to do with Miss Susan?  Everyone loves Miss Susan and enjoyed celebrating!  J!

Additional February activities included making Valentine cards for friends and families and having the children mail cards to parents.  The Valentine’s Day Celebrations called for each child to match the respective names on the cards to each child’s labeled gift bag.  (Thanks go to all who donated items, could attend and/or volunteer for Valentine’s Day festivities!)  Other Valentine’s Day activities included a Conversation Hearts Bar Graph classifying colors to count and identify quantities of most, least, and equal.  The concept of half was revisited as the children folded papers in half to cut their heart shapes (and write “I Love You” for parent cards).  A topic of Friends was later discussed along with friendship songs!  The sensory table recently featured making frost (noting changes in thermometer readings)…and making ice sculptures.  North Pole, South Pole, Equator and relative climates and seasons were also revisited.  The MWF Class was introduced to the compass and “North.”  After a nature walk, a map was drawn on the overhead indicating the paths we took to the creek and back.  Pinecone bird feeders were recently completed and Miss Susan is currently helping children make bird helpers (nesting materials inside a wire spiral) to add in their yards.  Most of the nesting materials were gathered by the classes on nature walks, after reading the book – Birds Build Nests. The children observed nests, to especially identify those of a Robin and a Carolina Wren (which happened to build a nest in a bucket on the class garden shelf).  Materials noted for various nests included:  grass varieties, straw, twigs, leaves, clay, moss, hair from a pasture, plus we learned some species of birds also use spider webs (to give strength, while allowing nest to stretch), lichens (to camouflage), and snake skins (to deter predators) [Source: ].   Additionally, the children have been listening to bird calls/songs each day as we enjoy outdoor activities.  [To attract birds, see: ] A praying mantis egg sac was discovered while preparing the garden for planting carrot seeds, radish seeds and snow peas.  (Potentially, 100-200 baby praying mantises could hatch once the weather warms, but only 25% will survive. ) The TTh Class also planted broccoli seeds in the classroom.  Children drew bare deciduous trees in their nature journals, while evergreen and coniferous trees were also noted.             

Key books for February included:  Owl Moon, Beaks, The Valentine Bears, A Letter to Amy (by Ezra Jack Keats), What Makes a Shadow, and Pet Show (by Ezra Jack Keats).   MWF only:  Babushka’s Doll; Mama, Do You Love Me?; A Nest Full of Eggs; Birds; The Emperor’s Egg; and The Three Bears.  TTh only:  Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Whistle for Willie (by Ezra Jack Keats), and Keep Running Gingerbread Man.  New Songs:  Please and Thank You, Jesus Loves the Little Children, Two Times a Day, and H-E-A-R-T.  MWF only: F-O-G-G-Y.  TTh only:  The Singing Walrus Friendship Song and Find a Friend. And, as always, we enjoy our Chapel Time songs with Pastor Ken!  J!               

Projected March themes include: Spring Discoveries, Wind and Weather, Gardening, and Easter Fun.   Parents, please note Easter Celebration info on calendars too!  The children are already picking a few dandelions and tiny flowers blooming across the lawn, observing the beautiful daffodils, budding maple trees and sprouting seeds in the garden.  Friday’s windy weather brought kite flying fun on the ball field.  Monday’s sunny warm weather allowed for a walk in the woods, where the children explored the dry drainage ditch bordered with velvety green moss, still collecting bird helper nesting materials.  Noah delighted to find a slug! Natural collections of interest have varied, but rocks are some of the latest and were brought indoors for further investigation.  Also, Maddie shared an opened geode, plus an intact geode from Kentucky.  (Thanks, Maddie!) Noah brought a cricket from home.  Max found a beautifully constructed bird nest, which had blown from a tree.  He wanted to place it in a tree in our garden, and we did (having just read  A Poet’s Bird Garden - inspiring use of imaginations to solve the problem of how to lure a pet bird back to its cage.  Nothing seemed to lure the bird, until a hiding predator left the garden).  Spring will surely usher in additional nature treasures from home.  We love it! 

Children continue to work on a number of academic skills as we progress through the daily routines…  Lately, we have been skip-counting by tens, the number of fingers present in a circle of friends. With reading Dr. Seuss books, we will be listening for rhyming words and exploring a few word families, starting with –at…! Many of the children work at the writing table during centers, designing various artwork and writing words or letters.  Ava stated that she would like to become an illustrator of books!  Creating stories and much more await us…!  We can draw inspiration from Dr. Seuss’s work - to think, imagine, create, and invent – all key goals for the children of our classes as they work toward reaching future potentials.  It is hoped that the variety of rich experiences we seek to offer across the domains of learning allows for nurture of individual interests - sparking imaginations and new insights, leading to further investigation and greater depths of understanding…all in a JOY-filled, fun way!

In closing, thanks go to all who continue to support our preschool program.  We love and appreciate you!  Happy Spring… and Happy Easter to all! 

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