The building unit is full of excitement!! We are learning that buildings give us shelter. Your child is learning about the different materials that buildings are made of and what happens inside a building. One of our books for this unit was The Three Little Pigs. The story of The Three Little Pigs was a hit! Your child learned about math, and construction materials during this story. It was fun to count the houses and discover what materials the pigs would use to build their houses. We learned about order of events as we listened to this story. As we learn about the order of events each child is grasping the importance of timelines, comprehension of the story, and how one event is related to another. We used magnetic cards to retell the story of the Three Little Pigs. 

 I love puzzles! I brought out puzzles of buildings for this unit. I put the children in pairs as they work these large puzzles. As your child works a puzzle they are developing their hand-eye co-ordination and fine motor skills. Puzzles also help develop attention, concentration and thinking skills. Children will recognize , remember , match, sort, and problem solve as they work a puzzle. 

 Listed below are the topics for this unit . Each of these topics helps our class to explore social studies and strengthens their skills in literacy. 

What do we know about buildings?   What do the buildings in our area and other places look like?   Who builds buildings?   What are buildings made of?  What is special about our building?  What happens inside buildings?

Our block center was full of action as the children created hospitals, schools, and a library. We used large wooden blocks, large legos and small cubes for construction materials. The block center helps your child learn the basic concepts of architecture. Our center time also helps children learn to work with others and lets each child expand on their creativity. 

We practiced our rhyming skills as we learned about Mary and her little lamb.  We learned that Mary went to school in a building, and our school is in a building. Mary might have used a chalk board , but we use a dry erase board. The dry erase board is one of my favorite tools. I will draw people or write letters , and words on our board. Each child is able to use the board during center time. During one of our lessons each child was asked to circle a letter before we lined up for our P. E. class. Sometimes children will confuse a number with a letter.  This exercise helps each child with letter recognition as they circle the letter and announce it to the class.  

Math and science can be taught together! One of our special science activities happened during this unit. We learned about the lifecycle of a butterfly. I ordered our caterpillars weeks ago. I know your child has told you about the wonderful metamorphosis that took place in our classroom. This science activity helped your child learn about ordinal numbers. We practiced using ordinal numbers by putting things in order. The class learned the events that happened 1st- egg , 2nd - caterpillar , 3rd -chrysalis ,  and 4th- butterfly,  during this lifecycle activity.  We watched this great change occur before our eyes. 

 I love to use dramatic play with our activities.  We pretended to be a caterpillar and we took turns spinning a chrysalis and coming out a beautiful butterfly. The children were very kind to use their blankets as a chrysalis. The highlight of this science lesson was letting each child get into our butterfly pavilion. Everyone that wanted a turn was able to get inside with our butterflies. . We discussed the parts of a butterfly as we admired the symmetry of God's beautiful creation. 

April was full of joy. We learned about the joy of Easter and I used resurrection eggs to help your child learn about the meaning of Easter. The set of resurrection eggs gives your child a hands on illustration of the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.  Each child took a turn opening a egg and telling the class what was inside their egg. The eggs are filled with items dealing with the story of Easter.  A donkey, praying hands, and coins are just a few of our items. I explained what each symbol represented as the children opened their eggs. The last egg was empty. The empty egg reminds us of the empty tomb and Jesus' resurrection from the dead. 

Eggs of all types were in this room. I used large and small eggs to help us learn to put things in order by size. The children put them in order from the smallest to the largest. Ordering by size prepares children for complex math such as putting numbers in order and problem solving. We also used these foam eggs for matching size and color, and we counted our eggs. 

We had a special visitor stop by our class right before our egg hunt. The Easter Bunny stopped by and stayed for a little while. It was a joy to have him in our class! He did not stay long, because it was time to hunt for eggs. It was raining for our egg hunt, but we still hunted eggs. We used the after school room for a wonderful egg hunt! A special thank you to all the parents for making this a special event for our class. 

diane johnston