Little Flower May Newsletter

News from the Coordinator

The merry month of May:  what a Spring it has been here in the Little Flower.  May is a month that makes us proud of our class name, as little flowers bloom outdoors and Little Flower children enjoy lots of time in the sunshine and fresh air.

May is also the month of Mother’s Day, and we could say that this year’s project was one of the very best.  The children delighted in creating a decoupage jewelry box, and felt so proud to wrap it and take it home for Mom.

 Read on to find out more about the learning adventures we shared this month!

Science Class

By Ms. Lourdes    

The Little Flower children learned all about plants this month.  When we started this theme, there were very few children who could explain what plants need to grow- now we are proud green thumbs!  We began our investigation of plant life by exploring the similarities and differences amongst a variety of seeds. We observed that seeds come in different sizes and shapes, and started noticing the seeds in foods we eat like bananas, oranges, and apples.

Next, we used miniature gardening tools to plant our own garden. Each child planted his own bean plants, in addition to planting sunflower, tomato, carrot, lettuce, and flower seeds as a class. Thanks to our gardening adventures, now all our children know what seeds need to grow!

To round out our month of going green, we read Billy the Bean, and Inch by Inch, Jack and The Beanstalk, and Our Garden.


Art Class

By Ms. Julie 

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Painting, playdough, and fun was what The Little Flower art room was all about in May!  We were especially excited that spring finally decided to show up so we could take class outdoors! The children love being outside while painting, and even look around for things to inspire their artwork. In honor of this beautiful season, we have been working with very bright colors, and the children have even been experimenting with creating their own colors!

This month we made our own not-so-little flowers to honor all of the blossoms of spring.  Ms. Juli took huge pieces of paper and outlined the flower of each child’s choice.  Next, the children used their imaginations and decided what colors to make the flowers.  These larger than life creations turned out wonderfully, and we can’t wait to share them with you at Family Day! Throughout the month, we have been hard at work preparing a year’s worth of art for viewing, and are eager to show-off our awesome handy work.  See you on Sunday, June 8th!


Math Class

By Ms Ewelina 

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This month was all about shapes, colors, and counting. For a fun project, we made owls using different shapes including circles, teardrops, and triangles. The children also made a beautiful flower poster using different shapes and colors to construct each flower. These projects helped us to understand more about numbers, shapes, and size, and are proudly hanging on our wall for all to see! 

Next, we learned about fruits and vegetables and how to recognize them by color, shape, and size.  The Little Flower children learned why fruits and vegetables are an important part of our diet.  We voted for our favorite fruits and vegetables- apples and carrots were the overall winners!  We also had a special treat this month when some very talented fruits and vegetables came to put on a puppet show for the children.  It was veggie good!

We wrapped up the month with a variety of gross-motor counting games.  Children were able to get up and groove to the numbers with actions such as turning around, doing sit-ups, jumping, etc.  We can’t wait to share all we’ve learned with you at Open House!


Music and Movement

By Ms. Janice 

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Every day the children go outside, eager to participate in outdoor activities. Some children are looking for treasures in the sandbox, while others are swinging, riding bikes, or playing in the big playhouse.

We have just as much fun when class is inside!  The children enjoy a variety of activities, including dress-up, dancing with balloons to the beat of a song, and playing with trains.  On “train day,” we put on classical music, while the boys and girls spend time connecting and building the wooden train tracks together. It is wonderful to see the children work together.  All aboard cooperation station!

Everyone comes running when they see the “Music Man” is here!  Special classes with Mr. Caleb are eagerly attended by all the Little Flower.  Mr. Caleb has shown us so many kinds of instruments, from marimbas to guitars to ukuleles.  He even gives each of the children time to play the instrument of the day.  Music to their ears!

Sunshine Room May Newsletter

What’s Been Happening

Olé! May kicked off with the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Ms. Lourdes came to the classroom to explain why this holiday is important in Mexico.  She shared information about the Mexican culture, and even had the children dancing along to the catchy rhythm of “La Bamba.”

For Mother’s Day, the children worked very hard making portraits of their mothers. It is amazing to see how well they remember their mothers’ specific features and how closely the portraits resembled them. After that, they turned their mothers into queens, with all kinds of details and fancy crowns. We hope all moms had a wonderful day!

The socio-emotional learning of this month centered on understanding and developing empathy, in the hopes that we will be able to create a better world to live in.  Finally, the teacher explained Memorial Day as a day to remember all those who offered their lives to protect us.

Art

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Happy May! I hope everyone had a fun and enjoyable spring break!

This month we created a lot of fun projects; for our first project, the Kindergarten artists learned about Aboriginal dot art! After the students read Wombat Stew in their drama class, we were inspired to learn more about Australian art. Before we started creating, we had to learn a little bit more about Aboriginal dot art. Students watched two videos; the first, Aboriginal Rock Art from National Geographic Kids, showed us that traditional Aboriginal dot art was first painted on rocks and then tree bark! These artists also made their own paint using clay and sand. Our next video, Aboriginal Art Dot Painting, introduced us to an artist creating her own dot art painting. Students learned that instead of using a paint brush to create the dots, sticks work even better to make perfect round circles. The Kindergarteners used a very similar method, but instead of a stick we used the handle of a paint brush! Since there wasn’t any tree bark available for us to use, a regular piece of paper came in handy. Each group was given a different native Australian animal to draw. The Great White Sharks drew a lizard, The Diving Dolphins created a turtle, and The Jumping Blue Whales made a snake. Using chalk pastels, the Kindergarteners smudged in color on their animals and then began making their dots. Working slowly and carefully, the Sunshine Artists created some amazing works of art!

The month of May also had the Kindergarteners creating a familiar project we do for every change of the season: Spring Trees! The Sunshiners are now pros at painting trees, as they created some phenomenal ones for our fall and winter tree projects. Our first step was creating the sky and grass; using shades of blue and green chalk pastel, students smudged in color with their whole hand. Next, we used bronze metallic paint to create our trees and crumpled up tissue paper to make a unique print flower for our trees!

The artwork we created next was a group effort! Family Day is almost here which means the Sunshine Artists have been hard at work creating their name banners! Everyone was able to help paint all the banners in their group using blue water color paint. It was a big job, but they were up for the task! Next we painted in our names with shiny, silver metallic paint and I helped outline the bubble letters with a thick, black, permanent marker. I can’t wait for our families to see such amazing artwork!

Science

 

This month in science, students continued to learn about the living environment.  Last month, the Sunshine Roomers planted a variety of seeds including flowers and vegetables. Within three weeks, our seedlings grew so big that they were ready to be planted outdoors in our garden!  First, a group of students worked together to prepare the space. We used hoes, shovels, and rakes to turn and soften the soil and prepare it for planting.  We also added new top soil over the and used a rake to smooth the surface.  Next, each group went outdoors and planted the seedlings they were responsible for.  Afterwards, student volunteers watered the garden each day.  In addition to caring for the garden by weeding, watering, and treating it with extra care (especially during sports time outside), students continue to record the growth of the plants on their charts.  Most of our plants continue to grow strong and tall. Unfortunately, our lettuce plants and zinnia plants did not react well to the transplant and have wilted and stopped growing.

          Students also learned about earthworms this month.  We learned the burrows earthworms create in the soil produce openings for oxygen and water to enter the soil, while also allowing carbon dioxide to leave the soil.  This process helps plants to grow strong!  Earthworms also assist in the decomposition of dead plants, releasing nutrients into the soil so that new plants can use it.  We also read a book called, The Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin. The students really loved the illustrations in the book.  We also learned about spiders and read the book, Diary of a Spider, also by Doreen Cronin.

          Over the last few weeks of school, students will begin a unit on space.  We will learn about the planets, stars, constellations, and rocket ships.  Students are very excited to learn about space and have been asking questions about space throughout the year. 
It will be out of this world!

Spanish

The Kindergarteners are busy wrapping up a year of learning in Spanish class! To culminate all they have done this year, each child is creating his or her own Spanish portfolio with all the work s/he has done throughout the year. From learning how to respond when asked our names and age (“¿Cómo te llamas? – Me llamo…….”; “¿Cuántos años tienes? Tengo…. Años”), to numbers 0 to 100, and vocabulary on colors, shapes, food, family, animals, clothes, and the body, it is amazing to reflect back on all we have learned! 

Through reading, writing, and of course, song, the Sunshine Roomers have developed a solid foundation of the Spanish language.  The Kindergarteners cannot wait to share their work with their parents and loved ones on Family Day!

Ms. Dora is so proud of all you have achieved this year, and would like to invite you to join her in a musical send-off to the year,  “Y me voy cantando… Feliz Año… con mucha suerte en el próximo… Yo soy el Frutero y vendo frutas buenas… Frutas, Frutas, Frutas…”

Math

This month has been all about measurement: length, weight, capacity, and area. This subject allowed the children to combine math concepts they learned throughout the year.

They began learning how to measure length in non-standard ways, such as using strings, chain links, and inch worms. The Sunshine Roomers then explored standard measurements using rulers, yard sticks, and tape measures. They engaged in solving problems by asking questions like, will this table fit through the door if we needed to take it out of the room?

With the book A Day at the Zoo we began exploring weight. Did you know that an elephant weighs as much as three pick-up trucks?! The children used comparative scales to find out what objects weigh more than others, and discovered that the size of an object doesn’t necessarily predict its weight.

Each group went outside to learn about measuring liquids. Using the water table, the children experimented by pouring cups of water into measuring cups and bins. They had a blast!

Finally, they learned the difference between perimeter and area. An informal way of measuring area is by placing same-sized objects to cover the area, and then comparing how many objects are needed to cover different areas.  The book Science Measurements put everything together, inviting the children to review what they learned and apply it to science.

The very last part of this unit relates back to the beginning of the year. On the first day, all the children were measured and had their height recorded. Now they will measure each other again and find out how much each one grew. A great subtraction exercise!

Handwriting

As the school year seems to be rapidly coming to an end, the children’s handwriting appears to be quickly improving!

This month, students focused on writing words related to Cinco de Mayo and animals that you would find on a farm.  The sight words that we learned this month were: here, over, about, was, and who.

We spent a considerable amount of time building words and reviewing our word building strategies.  We rediscovered consonants and vowels by playing “What’s in a Name?”, a game that identifies the amount of vowels and consonants in our names. That was a fun way to combine word problems, addition, and language arts all in one! We also played CVC relay race, where it was students versus the teacher to see who could come up with more CVC words. The Kindergarteners were so motivated that they won every time!

Though our school year is almost over, we are still learning and growing each day!