Tuesday, December 03, 2013

October Newsletter » Mt. Whitney: Spooktober!

What Noah's class was up to in October:

Hi Preschool Families,
With Halloween approaching, we thought it would be a great idea to dedicate the month of October helping our Mt. Whitney explorers conquer their countless fears and anxieties. We began by having an open discussion of what we were afraid of, challenges and worries. We then dissected it and explored each concept.Eee our MonsterEee our Monster
Here are a few things the children shared:
Noah T: "Skeletons.. scary noises and a dog eating my hair."
Lily: "Ghosts... my kitty eating my shoe and biting me"
Eli: "In the dark and when the garage is open"
Noah G: "Bears"
Colt: "Spooky spiders and fire"
Taavi: "A dog eating my face" (Taavi has a great sense of humor)
One fear which stood out most was the fear of monsters. We spoke of why we were frightened of them and had some suggestions to overcome it. Taavi even comforted his friends by telling them "Monsters are not real. They are just silly looking and ugly." With that being said, the children chuckled and began pretending to be monsters with nutty mannerisms. To further explore these creatures, we made our own... a huge "whatchumacallit" hanging on our door. From the three eyes to its long sharp tongue, the children were involved in eveNoah observing Sergeant Dauer's carNoah observing Sergeant Dauer's carry aspect of this creative process. They all worked cooperatively to brainstorm, paint, cut regonizable shapes to see this rightfully named ,"Eeek" monster come to fuition. You can even catch some of the children staring at the monster and say "Oooh I'm not afraid of you (Noah G.)"
'F'act, Fiction & Fibbing
Having newfound knowledge that monsters were not real and were just figments of our imagination, we then opened a new conversation about the differences between fact and fiction. We read many books about our favorite fictional Halloween characters including the the folktale "Abiyoyo" and explored facts ab"Thank you for the surprise" Taavi"Thank you for the surprise" Taaviout space.  This topic then led to a discussion about the importance not fibbing. Although it is fun to use our imagination to create things, we learned that telling the truth can help keep friends safe. The children connected with this topic when Sergeant Dauer of Emeryville Police Department stopped by for a special visit. He spoke of Halloween safety and of different approaches when encountering strangers who fib. The biggest highlight of this presentation was when Sergeant Dauer allowed the children to climb in his police vehicle (in front, of course) andColt & Eli experiment with the gak by placing it in a metal basket. "Look at it drip" ColtColt & Eli experiment with the gak by placing it in a metal basket. "Look at it drip" Colt gifting them with goody bags.
'G'ooey Glowing Guts!
During week "G", we had fun with many sensory experiences including making gak and cleaning our slimy pumpkin. With a little bit of trial and error of getting the correct consistency, we made gooey green gak. The children found the consistency fascinating as it felt like a solid, yet stretches and drips down like a liquid."Hey there's no fishies in there. Haha, I was just kidding" Lily"Hey there's no fishies in there. Haha, I was just kidding" Lily
Although it may seem like a simple task when cleaning pumpkin guts, most of the children were a bit apprehensive about touching it's "guts." Like with anything new and unknown, we had a discussion of what we thought may be in the mysterious pumpkin. Before carving, Lily mentioned "I think there is fish bowl in it with little fishies and sharks swimming." We then carved it, touched it, smelled it and for some even tasted the ooeey gooey slime/seeds. Afterwards, we took the theme of pumpkins and made our own puzzle pumpkin patch. We continued working with fine motor development, letter and name recognition by writing our names and piecing them together to create our very own pumpkin.
Noah writng his nameNoah writng his name
Taavi gluing his pumpkin together.Taavi gluing his pumpkin together.
Colt with glowing whiskers and fangsColt with glowing whiskers and fangsAs previously mentioned, Eli has been a little weary about the dark so we had a glow in the dark party. Experimenting withOur pumpkin patchOur pumpkin patch light, darkness and shadows we made glow in the dark t-shirts, painted our faces with glow in the dark paint and danced in complete darkness to the tunes of "Monster Mash." No signs of fear was present during this party, just rambunctious 3yr olds dancing and howling!
H'alloween is finally here!
The children had a blast collecting treats from the much anticipated Halloween parade through Clif bar...wishing everyday was "dress-up" day, which is!
Firemommy Colt, Super Girl Lily,, Space Commander Taavi, Batman Noah, Pirate Captain Eli & Hobo NoahFiremommy Colt, Super Girl Lily,, Space Commander Taavi, Batman Noah, Pirate Captain Eli & Hobo Noah
Saying Good Bye to Jayden
This month we also had some difficulties saying good bye to everyone’s best friend – Jayden. Many of us haveNoah G. giving his last hug to Jayden.Noah G. giving his last hug to Jayden. grown with him and his family since the infant room (Mt. Hood) and were sadden of his move. His jovial and sweet presence is truly missed in our classroom.
Q: What would you miss most about Jayden?
“Read a book to him… and he has a happy face” Eli
“I will miss his body and he makes funny faces” Noah T
“His body because I want to give him hugs” Taavi
“I want to squeeze his body and kiss him. I like to play with Jayden” Colt
“I read to Jayden and Jayden is a funny face” Noah G.
“His smile. He’s nice to me” Lily
We wish Jayden, baby sister – Layla, mom- Christine and dad – Vivek the best on their new journey.
Eli with Pirate Lolo and Suki GiraffeyEli with Pirate Lolo and Suki GiraffeyNew Friends..
After saying good bye to Jayden, we had the pleasure of welcoming several new additions to our classroom. Suki Giraffey and Pirate Lolo (stuff animals) have found their way into our classroom and hearts. They have given the children great enjoyment while teaching them responsibility, to be better comminicators and gentle with friends. A major plus with these new friends is they're "allowed" to have sleep overs at our Mt. Whitney explorers home!
Colt's fear of bugs was immediately conquered when we adopted another new friend - Biggety Boo The Praying Mantis. Colt had to collect bugs for her to eat the first day; Although fearful at first, and with a little motivation from Lily, he was completely ecstatic when he finally allowed an ant crawl up his hands. Way to go.
With sudden appreciation and fondness of insects, the children then became interest in butterflies. Coincidentally, in the mail (Thanks Ms. Lani) came four caterpillars. While observing our new friends, we learned the life cycle of these insects as they curled up in chrysallies and patiently waited as three of four emerged in to beautiful monarch butterflies (one had been eaten by ants - which also led to another topic - death). A few days after enjoying their company, we released out new buddies into the vegetable garden hoping one day we will meet again.
Next month...
We will explore all things we are thankful for. We will emphasize using kindness amongst friends & family, and reach out to our community to help others in need. Thank you friends for being so brave and helping eachother overcome their fears. It has been an eventful month!
With love, Ms. Mylee