What did you do today?

How many times have you asked your child about their day and the answer was NOTHING , or I DON'T KNOW. I often ask parents to be specific with their questions, you might ask these following questions-- Did you use the glue today?  Did you use the scissors today?  Did you paint today? The school day is full of adventure and it is hard for a young child to explain their busy day to a parent. This blog is going to inform you of our school day.

The day begins with activities at the table. I might have play-doh ,  or puzzles on the table  to strengthen those little hands and exercise their fine motor skills. Our learning games and lessons will revolve around our unit of study.  The past few weeks our unit of study was on clothing. Our topics for the clothing unit  were ...   What are the features of our clothes? , How do we take care of our clothes?, How do people make clothes?, Where do we get our clothes?, What special clothes do people wear for work?

During the clothing unit I put out lacing cards on the table. The lacing cards helped strengthen your child's fine motor skills and the children used their imagination as they pretended to sew.

 The school day is full of excitement , and we never know what might crawl or jump into our class. A turtle and a frog had us jumping for joy as we joined Mrs. Sarah's class to observe these creatures on a wonderful school morning.  After we have our early morning fun , it is time for circle. 

We begin our first circle time at 8:30. We start with our bible lesson of the day. I read from a children's bible. We discuss the lesson and sing one or two songs. I ask the children for any prayer needs and we pray together. We say the Lord's prayer and I pull out a leader card and we discuss the letters in the leader's name. The leader will hold the flag as we say the Pledge of Allegiance and sing My Country Tis of Thee.  We will play a learning game that pertains to our unit. It might be busy bee , or jumping beans, both of these games help with letter recognition. Busy Bee also helps with comparing and measuring.  In the picture below you will see one of our favorite memory games. Each child has to tell me what item I have taken away as we play WHAT'S MISSING.

I used our school uniforms to help your child with a math lesson . We used a number and operations lesson. Your child had to verbally count and compare groups of children. We had groups of red and blue shirts . We also had a group of dresses.  One child was picked to call up children into a blue shirt or red shirt group. We estimate by looking and then we counted how many children were in that group. We compared and determined that the smallest group was our dress group. We learned that we had a equal amount of red and blue shirts. 

 When our game is over it is time for morning snack. As we have morning snack I read a book that is from our unit. The past few weeks we have enjoyed Uncle Nacho's Hat, this book is about a family that lives in Mexico. The Girl Who Wore Too Much  is a book about a family in Thailand. We love to explore other countries!!!

After snack we move into our choice time and table time. I work with two to four children at the table while the other children are in centers.  During this clothing unit we worked at the table with items that would reinforce our unit. The children dyed paper towels, and they dyed t-shirts that they will wear our last day of school.  This lesson helps your child understand that the clothes we wear are dyed with beautiful colors.  I put out a math activity for a table lesson, your child had to match the numbers on the clothes. We can pattern with our clothes too. Our fine motor skills were being used as each child clipped the clothes to the line.  

 Our centers let your child explore and be creative. I used boxes for a washing machine and drier in our home living center. Children love to pretend and act like adults. The class could hardly wait until in was their turn to use the washing machine.  During center time your child learns to share and take a turn. They also use their language skills to communicate with each other. 

 The clothing unit was a great way to try on our dress up clothes. We looked at the tags and talked about the materials used to make our clothes . We discussed that some of our clothes are made of cotton , silk or satin. We loved putting on our raincoats for this lesson. We discussed jobs for adults and learned that some people wear special uniforms to work.

The sensory bin is full of action. I put soap and water in our sensory table . The children washed clothes from our home living unit.  After we washed clothes the children clipped them outside and we let the sun dry our clothes. Everyone was trying their best to use the clothespins. Your child is having fun , and strengthening those little fingers. 

Time flies by and before I know it , it is time for outside play. We often play outside with Mrs. Sarah's older three year olds. It is helpful to each child's social skills to play with other children that are not in their class. We may take a nature walk together or stay on our playground. St. James has two beautiful walking trails that we have enjoyed this spring.

 At St. James each class is required to have a community service project. We chose to help with a organization named, FOR THE SAKE OF ONE.  For the Sake of One , helps families and children in our community with foster care.  We donated a beautiful piece of art and several books. Each child mixed primary colors on watercolor paper.  After each child had a turn we let the paper dry outside. Each child's hand was traced,  cut out, and glued on the canvas to form a spectacular flower.  A special thank you to all our parents that brought books to this wonderful cause.  Mrs. Bowen donated her time and talent to our project by writing our scripture on the canvas for us. Thank you Mrs. Bowen. 

Outside play is over and we come back to our class. We get a drink of water and wash our hands. It is time for second circle. During second circle we discuss the months of the year, the days of the week, and the number of the day. We will count the days in our month. I will talk about the season we are in and the type of weather we are having. There will be time for a learning game , everyone likes JACK IN THE BOX. JACK IN THE BOX   is a game that explores and describes spatial relationships and shapes. It also involves listening skills. Your child has to jump when they hear a special sound.  One of our games that helps with number concepts and operations is HIPPITY, HOPPITY. These activities help make learning fun. I sing HIPPIPY, HOPPITY , HIPPITY HOPPITY HOW MANY?,  and I shake my fists and when I stop your child has to count how many fingers I am holding up. 

We must get ready for P.E. Everyday your child is in P. E. from 10:45 - 11:15. Physical education is fun , but your child is learning as they play.  We take turns during a tag game, and we use hand eye co-ordination as each child practices throwing a ball into a goal.  Your child learns how to follow a direction,  and work with a group,  Each game is used to help with a skill. We may be throwing a ball, kicking a ball or playing a tag game. If we play zoo keeper, your child has to pretend to be a animal and run from the tagger , the tagger is the zoo keeper and he tags the animals to get them back into their cage. -- when your child is tagged he or she has to remember what group they are in and get back into their cage. Your child might be a lion, tiger or bear. At the end of the game you child is asked to count animals. We include math in almost all aspects of our day. In the pictures below your child is listening to directions and in the next picture the children are about to play LION KING OR QUEEN. The children with the yellow tags will tag children as they run and they will be frozen, the child holding the yellow wand will set them free as he gently touches them. We love P.E.!

We are ready for lunch . At lunchtime we learn how to use good table manners. Each child is expected to eat and talk quietly with their friends. The cafeteria is a busy place. Our class loves to see big kids come into the cafeteria. After lunch we walk back to our room at a slow pace, we may see a mother bird feeding her babies . We have several nests near our building. We come back to the room and I pull up a u tube video that will go along with our unit. 

After a short video I will read a book as we settle down for rest time. Each child needs some rest time. Crucial physical and mental development occurs in early childhood. A nap provides downtime for growth and will help your child from becoming over tired. Most parents underestimate of the amount of sleep their child needs. Your child might have problems with behavior or fatigue. A three year old to five year old child will need 11 to 12 hours a night , with a nap during the day. Each child is different a some may not need as much sleep. Most children will stop napping by age five. 

Time to get up and finish the day. We pop up and have a small afternoon snack and recap the special day. If we have time we might get in a little outside play or I might bring out a few musical instruments. The next time you ask your child about their day remember the school day is full of adventure and it might be difficult for your child to tell you everything that happened during the day. Remember to be specific with your questions. 

Our school year has come to a close. I am always sad to see the class go , but I am happy for them to grow and flourish. In the pictures below we celebrated our last day together. Our last day was a celebration of all our units and our games pertained to each unit. It has been my joy to have each of my students in my class. A special thank you to all of our parents that helped with our FUN FAIR!  Have a great summer!

diane johnston