Todays Verse

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4136 Mt. Pleasant Road
Sherrills Ford, NC 28673
704-483-3087

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December Reflections/January Themes

Fours’ Classes – Miss Carol & Miss Susan

Happy 2018!  We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas break with family and friends…and find it great to return to preschool again.  We are looking forward to all that January brings our way.  Currently, the children are making journal entries - drawing/dictating favorite experiences from Christmas, and having a “Show & Share” turn showing these drawings while telling the class about their Christmas fun.  “Christmas Reflections” and making gingerbread men (after reading Jan Brett’s Gingerbread Baby) are a main focus for the first week of January. 

In sharing favorite Christmas experiences, Miss Carol brought to preschool a special gift from her husband…a mortar (made from an oak tree cut from their yard last March) and pestle (a large round rock).  Already, upon return, the TTh Class has enjoyed shelling corn, then cracking and grinding kernels in the mortar and pestle to make cracked corn and cornmeal.  Another sensory table featured a large pumpkin (from Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations) that was cut in half for the children to explore its insides before carrying it to the woods to feed nearby wildlife.  Some of the corn kernels, cracked corn, and cornmeal were brought along and poured inside the pumpkin shell too.  We will be watching this area of the woods to see if any animals have “feasted on these treats!”  (This “project” was initiated after reading Stranger in the Woods.) Additional plans for this month will find the children making bird feeders for their yards - using the mortar and pestle to grind enough cornmeal to mix with peanut butter before spreading it onto large pinecones to then roll in bird seed!  We will find many fun uses for the “new” mortar and pestle!  (Thanks, Doug!)  A microscope was also donated to the classroom.

Christmas was at the heart of the planned December activities as the children made cards, gifts, ornaments, and created various symbols of the season using art forms of drawings, paintings, clay, chinelle wire with beads and/or bells, and more…!  And, we enjoyed all the songs from the preschool Christmas program entitled Christmas in Our Jammies! Many thanks go to Miss Amy for leading the program and to the children for a wonderful performance.  It was great fun being with the families too as we enjoyed a delicious covered dish meal afterwards!  (Miss Carol and Miss Susan also send sincere thanks for all the special Christmas gifts, cards and wishes sent their way!  Your kind generosity added joy to Christmas!)  

December books included:  The Donkey’s Christmas Song, Time to Sleep, This Is the Stable, J Is for Jesus, Frosty the Snowman, The Little Drummer Boy (by Ezra Jack Keats), and A Baby Is Coming.  MWF only: The Croaky Pokey, My Father’s Angels, The Christmas Song, The Little Engine that Could, Sleepy Bears, The Legend of the Candy Cane, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Snowballs, The Snowy Day (by Ezra Jack Keats), The Twelve Days of Christmas, and Muddypaw’s New Friends (thanks, Ava).  New December songs (in addition to those in Christmas program) included:  Frosty the Snowman, Little Drummer Boy, Little Grey Donkey, Away in a Manger, Weather Song (MWF), Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bells, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. [Thanks, Pastor Ken, for your Chapel Time songs too!]

December weather offered a variety of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities too!  The first week was pleasantly mild even allowing the TTh Class to have a picnic on the playground, followed by a nature walk on an upper trail leading to a camp site (created by the Boy Scout program at our church).  We had just read Time to Sleep and wondered if any animals were hibernating in some of the holes discovered near old roots of fallen trees.  Some of the children even enjoyed climbing trees and fallen logs near the camp site.  We also looked for evergreen trees and compared them to deciduous trees, which were now mostly bare.  Raking the last of the autumn leaves on the playground was fun too, as was riding the trikes! A couple of ladybugs and spiders were found on the playground, and we wondered where they would go for the winter. By Friday the cold weather had found us with threat of sleet, but the children ventured out anyway to collect sticks, twigs, and tulip poplar seeds to add features to the clay deer suggested at the clay table inside the classroom.  (It snowed later that day.) Only two deer were produced with clay (Max and Parker), but other interesting clay creations were created to include Ava’s “mountains with boulders.”  [Also, to the delight of the teachers that day, some of the children initiated a dramatization of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and the angels from the Christmas story!  How neat!]   The following Monday and Tuesday featured a blanket of left-over snow on the ball field.  And, what fun!!!  Each class played in the snow, with some making snow angels, plus shovels were taken along to shovel snow into the sensory table for classroom use.  Once inside, the children used water colors on the snow to create a rainbow of colors.  Weather became another topic for December as we discussed the various forms of water - fog, rain, frost, snow, ice, and clouds…  One day, after a rain, the MWF Class observed reflections of the trees, sky, and each other in the puddles, while a few found items to test for sink and float.  Most leaves floated, but not all…  Why?!  (We like to “wonder” about things…and pose questions.)

[A few photos from December fun are featured on the Mt Pleasant UMC Preschool Facebook page.  Also, look for January photos to soon appear.]

As noted on the class calendar, one of the key themes for January will feature “Animals in Winter.” How do creatures adapt to winter?  Where might they hibernate?  Where do they migrate?  Can we identify some of their habitats?  As weather and time permit, we will also be spreading corn along the trail and looking for tracks and other clues that animals were present.  Jan Brett’s books offer some fun stories about animals in winter, one of which the children will dramatize (The Mitten).  Also, her book The Three Polar Bears will give us the opportunity to talk about animals near the North Pole versus those near the South Pole (such as penguins when we read The Emperor’s Egg).  Birds will be a topic too…and we encourage parents to help their children identify some of the birds that may visit the bird feeders.  Photos are welcome!  Counting Is for the Birds will be read in the classroom also helping with identification.  Moving along, the children continue to enjoy “writing,” and Miss Susan is making little blank books to place at the Writing Center.  (Ezra Jack Keats and Jan Brett will be featured author/illustrators of greater focus for the next couple of months.) Hopefully, the children will start creating more stories of their own to see themselves as potential author/illustrators too!  Also, job helpers will feature last names for the rest of the year to help the children with identifying their last names. And, looking ahead, class names will be sent home near the end of the month for the Valentine Exchange on Valentine’s Day.  Refreshment Sign-up Sheets will be posted in the hallway too.   

In closing, we once again express our sincere thanks to all who so wonderfully support our preschool program.  You make our days great ones.  Wishing everyone a “wonder-filled” 2018!

 

[See patterns in nature link: https://www.kidsdiscover.com/parentresources/patterns-in-nature/ ]

 


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