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

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January Reflections - February Themes

Miss Carol & Miss Susan’s Fours’ Classes


Wow! How quickly our preschool year is passing; it’s already February!  We are looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day and have begun making cards and heart shapes of varied sizes and colors, plus a “Friendship Quilt” for a hallway bulletin board display.  Also, Groundhog Day initiates a focus on exploration of light and shadows - both in the classroom and outdoors - after reading What Makes a Shadow?  Each year at this time, we provide an overhead projector for the children to practice making different kinds of shadows - first using their hands, followed by making construction paper puppets, then drawings on a transparency which they will project on the wall…all activities generated to target use of imaginations for creating individual stories to share with the class.  Making cards for family and friends and creating drawings or other artforms to accompany their imaginative stories can nurture the beginnings of children seeing themselves as potential “author/illustrators.”

A featured author/illustrator for January was Jan Brett, beginning with her gingerbread books – The Gingerbread Baby followed Gingerbread Friends.   Afterwards, the children enjoyed making and decorating gingerbread men.  Also, the TTh Class made a Gingerbread Train and the MWF Class made a Gingerbread House.  Other Jan Brett books included The Three Snow Bears (MWF) and The Mitten (dramatized by each class).  February’s featured author/illustrator will be Ezra Jack Keats, with a first focus on A Letter to Amy.  Additional January books included:  Stranger in the Woods, The Gingerbread Man, The Gingerbread Girl, It Could Still Be a Bird, Counting Is for the Birds, The Skip Count Song Book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and The Emperor’s Egg.  MWF only:  Keep Running, Gingerbread Man; Gingerbread Man Loose in School; Snowmen at Night; Whoo Goes There?; Bear Snores On; An Orange in January; and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  TTh only:  The Gingerbread Cowboy, If You Could Go to Antarctica; From River to Raindrop, and Harry the Turtle.  Some key songs included:  The Little Drummer Boy, Gingerbread, The Weather Song,  H-E-A-R-T, Please and Thank You, ABC Song, plus Hap Palmer songs playing the drums (Rhythms on Parade [steady beat], The Mice Go Marching [soft, loud], Woodpecker [copying patterns to the varied rhythms], and Rollercoaster [slow, fast]).

Other January activities included: Sensory Table Play - water, making frost, and ice sculptures; and Easel Paintings - snowmen, poinsettias, and hearts with “I Love You.” The children also enjoyed making snowflakes with Miss Susan, plus a few gingerbread boy/girl collage characters. The MWF Class squeezed oranges to make orange juice and the TTh class made hot cocoa.  The cooler weather kept us indoors mostly, but we did venture to the garden a couple of times to plant some tulip and crocus bulbs, hoping it was not too late.  Garden peas, radish and carrot seeds will be planted in February.

Some of the key concepts of focus:  Identification of beginning letters/sounds and simple words (I, a, cat, dog, red, yes, no, etc.); number of syllables in job helper names; <, >, =. and +; skip counting in 2s, 5s, & 10s; ½ and 1 whole (as we cut the oranges in half and when we fold the paper in half to cut a heart shape); graphing (Yes/No – Do I like gingerbread?  Orange Juice?  Hot Cocoa?); and measurement – length (relative to male emperor penguin [4 feet tall] or penguin chick [6 inches]), volume (measuring ingredients for gingerbread recipe), temperature (below 32oF or 0oC for making frost), time (clocks, calendar, or even beats to drum rhythms, etc.).  The children are learning that emperor penguins live at the South Pole and polar bears are near the North Pole and that it is always warm at the Equator.  February will find us exploring magnets and a compass as well as doing more with weather.  And, of course we will explore more winter discoveries.  See class calendar for special dates.  Thanks go to all for your wonderful support of our preschool program! 

Happy Valentine’s Day! 


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