“Who do you love?” was our question for the Ladybugs this week as we celebrated Valentine’s Day. Of course, we heard “Mommy” and “Daddy”and the names of siblings or pets, but we also heard something extra special. Many of the children said they loved certain classmates, and that was enough to melt our hearts!
We started off the week squashing Play Doh in different shades of pink--our color of the week. We looked at photographs in books that told us how people celebrate this holiday of love--with cards, candy, balloons, and flowers. The Ladybugs pressed tissue hearts onto contact paper to create lovely sun catchers. They also stood at the easel and stamped the paper with red paint using a toilet paper tube that we bent into the shape of a heart. Later that day, the Ladybugs joined the rest of the school in singing “Skidamarink-a-dink-a-dink” at a special luncheon for church staff. As you can imagine, the staff ate up the sound of those little voices.
The Ladybugs put their painting skills to the test Wednesday morning, as they brushed watercolors over a contact paper heart. What a wonderful surprise to watch as we peeled off the contact paper and revealed a white heart beneath the paint! Also that day, the Ladybugs worked really hard making valentine bookmarks for Mommy and Daddy. They stamped letters and learned how to make hearts using their fingerprints. Those sweethearts worked really hard to make something special for their favorite people on the planet, so we hope you’ll find them useful.
Thursday was the big day! The Ladybugs glued, folded, and cut hearts, doilies, and paper to create special valentines for their parents. We made mailboxes for each child, and each Ladybug got to slip their valentines into their friends’ slots. What fun to play mail carrier! The Ladybugs ventured out to the garden to harvest more broccoli. This time, we split the vegetable between the children so they could each take some home! We donned our chef hats and melted butter and marshmallows for a batch of irresistible Rice Krispie Treats. While they cooled, we covered our table with red paper and started dishing out our festive lunch of heart grilled cheese, strawberries, raspberries, apples, tomatoes, carrots, and red peppers. So many of our friends tried everything! It was a smashing success! With tummies full of healthy food, we enjoyed one of our treats, and then headed to the playground to let out some wiggles. What a glorious week!
Thank you, families, for bringing in all of the goodies for our party and for all of the sweet and generous valentines from you. We’re just as happy as clams to be your children’s teachers. Enjoy those precious ones this weekend. The next time we see you, we’ll be ready to roll out Dental Health Week! Yahoo!
Lots of love,
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
That was the mantra in the Ladybug room this week, as we hit home the qualities that make a good friend. We made a list of Friendship Rules, which included listening to each other, caring about each other, and sharing. Then the Ladybugs set out to fill our “Friend Jar.” Each time Ms. Shannon or Ms. Tammy saw a Ladybug being a good friend, that child got to put a cotton ball in the jar. The goal was to fill it up by Thursday afternoon. If the Ladybugs succeeded, they got to go on a buggy ride! Well, guess what? They did it! They not only filled our Friend Jar, it was running over with cotton balls. We are so proud of your Ladybugs!
We started our mornings by making friendship bracelets for one another. The Ladybugs worked those finger muscles by twisting pipe cleaners and forming circles to slip around their friends’ wrists. Tuesday morning, we friends worked together to make “friends stick together dough” (a.k.a. Play Doh). The Ladybugs measured and scooped flour, cream of tartar, salt, and oil in the sensory table. We later added some blue food coloring to our mix to highlight our color of the week. That day the Ladybugs also painted pet rocks for their friends. It was so sweet to hear the children decide for whom they were painting their rocks. Later that morning, we harvested broccoli from our garden! We washed it, steamed it, and gobbled it up. Most of the Ladybugs asked for more, so next week, we’re planning another harvest.
On Wednesday, the Ladybugs made Friendship Trees. We painted each child’s arm and hand with brown paint and pressed them onto paper to form a trunk and branches. Then, each child pressed a finger on an ink pad and added thumbprints to everyone’s trees. They really enjoyed working together to create a special project for a friend. They also painted two-at-at-time at the easel, mixing dark blue and white to form a beautiful light blue. Other friends poured cups of pretend tea for each other, while others played the “I have a good friend” bean bag toss.
Thursday, the Ladybugs made Friendship Mix by measuring and pouring different snack ingredients into a big bowl. Each child could choose to scoop Cheerios, raisins, pretzel goldfish, or mini chocolate chips into the bowl, and they ended up with a lovely variety. The Ladybugs enjoyed some of their special snack during their prize buggy ride.
We really are so proud of the Ladybugs! They are making huge strides in their social skills! We think Friendship Week was a huge success, just in time for next week’s unit: Love and Valentine’s Day. Thank you, families, for signing up to bring in goodies for our holiday fellowship meal on Thursday. Also, please remember to bring in valentine cards for each Ladybug that morning. The Ladybugs are realizing the pleasure of doing something sweet for a friend. And we are happy we get to watch!
Lots of love,
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
We loved learning about dinosaurs so much we squeezed in another week of fun!
This week we pushed up our sleeves, created a nest and made dinosaurs eggs out of clay. Each child was given a square of clay and asked to make an egg or two, some ladybugs made one big egg while others made many small eggs. After the eggs dried we painted them with red paint; the ladybugs love to use their hands to paint so we took the red paint and brushed it on the back of our hands holding our fist up in the air to resemble a long neck or a Diplodocus!
We love dinosaurs so much we made a small book to take home and share with our families. In addition to our dinosaur book, the ladybugs also made a book entitled My Friend Book. It is very normal for children around 2 years of age to test their boundaries with other children. We hope this book will help our ladybugs with relationships inside the classroom as well as with future friendships. Please read this book with your child and encourage them to follow the steps in the book when there is a conflict with a friend.
"Please read me this story!"
This is music to our ears and we hear it often in our classroom. This week we enjoyed reading many books: Dancing with Dinosaurs by Jane Clarke, Dinosaurs vs. Bedtime"by Bob Shea and Dinosaurs!?"by Lila Prap.
What another wonderful week! These ladybugs are so smart and so funny! In the days ahead look for the Valentines party news in your ladybugs folder.
Have a happy weekend!
Ms. Shannon & Ms. Tammy
Dinosaurs dinosaurs and more dinosaurs! We discovered the wonderful world of dinosaurs. Oh what a fun week we had!
We started off the week making sugar cookies with dinosaur tracks and cinnamon
dirt, they tasted yummy and were really fun to make. We used small plastic
dinosaurs and pressed them gently on to the cookie to make foot prints and
topped them off with a dash of cinnamon. We also searched the room and our
friends clothes for the color of the week (green), this was a fun way to learn
our colors. The ladybugs are learning their colors so fast!
In the discovery center and home center the ladybugs pretended to be paleontologists,
while exploring the sand and dinosaurs. This was a big hit! We put on aprons and
hats, grabbed a magnifying glass, and went to work. We discovered some dinosaurs
have long necks and others have short necks. We read "Ten Little Dinosaurs by
Patty Scnetzler, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight by T. Yolen and That's Not My
Dinosaur by Osborne books.
Together we made big dinosaur feet out of foam sheets and glue and when the glued dried we put them on and sang "we are the dinosaurs, marching, marching!"...very cute! Finally we made paper plates into dinosaurs with triangles, ovals and squares.
Thank you all so much for sharing your precious babies with us! We are so lucky to have such a wonderful class! Have a super weekend and come ready Tuesday to learn about MORE dinosaurs!
Ms. Tammy & Ms. Shannon
Another fun week of community helpers is under the Ladybugs’ tool belt, so to speak, as we focused this week on farmers, construction workers, and police officers. We also learned about the color yellow and the letter J!
The Ladybugs arrived at school on Tuesday to dirt and garden tools in the sensory table. It was time to learn about farmers and the vital ways farmers help us. We read The Big Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown and one of the Ladybugs asked, “Where’s the farmer?” in the book, who was taking care of the crops and animals? What a wonderful question! We talked about our early rising friend, the rooster, and learned how to say, “Cock-a-doodle-doo!” to wake up any farmers who may need to get to work. The Ladybugs fashioned a rooster face out of a paper plate by gluing paper eyes, beaks and wattles in place. Then we traced the children’s hand prints in red paper and made them the roosters’ combs. Have a look at our flock of cute roosters on the back doors! Because yet another garden day was rained out, we decided to grow potatoes indoors. We set the tip of a little potato in a glass of water, and we’re crossing our fingers that it sprouts.
The Ladybugs rolled up their sleeves and donned their hard hats on Wednesday, as they learned all about construction workers. We read Job Site by Nathan Clement, and looked at all of the different vehicles and supplies used by workers who were building a park. We decided to make our own tool belts out of paper and crayons! The Ladybugs were enthralled with the toy construction vehicles and dirt in the sensory table. What fun to scoop and move dirt from place to place.
Thursday was a big day at Grace Garden: a real fire truck came and the children explored it with Austin firefighters! It was an absolute thrill for the children to see the tiny details of the massive truck. We soon got back to the business of learning about how police officers help us. We read Police Officers on Patrol by Kersten Hamilton for some answers. The Ladybugs stamped their own fingerprints and looked at the differences among theirs and their friends’. They used magnifying glasses to look for “clues” around the room while trying to solve a pretend crime: the disappearance of our new class pet, Mrs. Fishy! Lastly the Ladybugs crumpled aluminum foil around paper to form their own police badges. Wow, what a great week.
Next week, we will enter our two-week dinosaur unit, which is always a blast. Have a wonderful weekend together! We’ll look forward to seeing those beautiful little faces on Tuesday.
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
The Little Ladybugs didn’t skip a beat this week, jumping into our two-week unit on community helpers with gusto, refreshed after a long break. The children were all so happy to see their pals, as well as all of the new toys in our room!
Doctors, mail carriers, and firefighters were our community helpers of choice this week. On Tuesday, the Ladybugs learned about doctors. We read, I’m Getting a Checkup by Marilyn Singer, and talked about our own experiences at the doctor’s office. The Ladybugs broke in our new doctor’s bag, checking the vitals of every stuffed animal and baby doll in sight. Then they made their own doctor’s bags, using construction paper and supplies that are found in real doctors’offices—cotton swabs, cotton balls, gauze, bandages, tongue depressors. They had a ball using Scotch tape!
Mail carriers were on our minds on Wednesday, as we wrote pretend letters and mailed them in our own mailbox, which we made out of a good old cardboard box. The Ladybugs LOVED “writing” letters, putting them in envelopes, stamping the envelopes, and slipping the letters through the slot. It was so exciting that we decided to write very special letters to you, families! Please be on the lookout for something interesting in your real mailboxes at home. After reading Millie Waits for the Mail by Alexander Steffenmeier, a funny book about a cow who really wants to be a mail carrier, the Ladybugs made their own mail bags out of the brown grocery variety. On our way back to the room after chapel we were lucky enough to see the real mail carrier who serves St. John’s! What a day!
The Ladybugs pretended to be firefighters on Thursday. They built a house out of foam blocks, and we pretended to distinguish a fire with a very big, long, heavy water hose. We read Curious George and the Firefighters by Margret and H.A. Rey, and then began working on a special fire truck painting, which we will finish next week. The Ladybugs used different textured sponges to paint sheets of paper red, yellow, black, and white. At the end of the day, the Ladybugs enjoyed a talk by a Grace Garden parent who happens to be an orthodontist.
In addition to our fun unit, we reviewed the alphabet from A to H and focused on the letter I. We also talked about the color blue, filling a box with the blue toys we could find in our room and painting with blue paint at the easel.
Next week, we will talk about farmers, construction workers, and police officers. Have a terrific weekend! It’s so great to see your sweet children again!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
The magic of Christmas permeated the Ladybug room this week, as we filled the sensory table with wrappings, turned up the holiday music, and stocked our library with festive books galore! What an amazing time in a child’s life, when they begin to learn about this beautiful holiday of love and giving, and all of the sights, smells, and traditions that accompany this time of year.
On Tuesday, the Ladybugs painted their feet and hands brown and stamped them onto paper to form reindeer faces. We added google eyes and a red glitter nose, and lo and behold, we’d made Rudolphs! We took advantage of the moment, and not only read the story of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but also sang the holiday favorite. The children loved the story! The Ladybugs also began decorating a cardboard tree we displayed in our room.
Mid-week, the Ladybugs learned to sing Jingle Bells as we shook the jingle bell necklaces we made that morning. We read Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney, in which little llama is overwhelmed by the preparations and waiting for Christmas. At the end of the book, he realizes the true meaning of the holiday. After a beautiful chapel service delivered by Pastor Paul, we all met in the Great Hall for a pizza party, honoring our beloved director, Ms. Kym. We thanked her for starting our school and for the many years she has worked so hard to make Grace Garden one of the happiest places to be. We will miss her very much, but we wish her the best in her new adventures.
Thursday, the Ladybugs finished decorating their tree with glitter, stickers, sequins, and pom poms. They made snowflake ornaments with glue and yes, more glitter! After our healthy lunches, we had a cookie decorating party! We spread white fluffy icing on sugar cookies and sprinkled LOTS of colored sugar on top. What fun!
When we return from our holiday, we will learn about community helpers, all of the different types of people who work to make our lives better. We hope that a visit from a fire truck will be involved!
Until then, we wish you a holiday season filled with love and family. What a magical time in your little Ladybugs’ lives--thank you for letting us share a few days of those special years with them.
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
The Ladybugs took a trip around the world this week. We learned about winter holidays like Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and La Posada. The colder weather helped us get in the mood for the season and our theme of Holidays Around the World!
On Tuesday we read Celebrating Kwanzaa by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith. The Ladybugs enjoyed seeing all the beautiful pictures of families celebrating Kwanzaa with wonderful feasts and wearing traditional clothing called dashikis. We learned that Kwanzaa has seven principles. Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), Ujima (collective work/responsibility), Ujamaa (cooperative economics), Nia (purpose), Kuumba (creatiivity) and Imani (faith). After reading, we put our creativity in motion and made kinaras with seven candles. One candle for every principle.
On Wednesday the Ladybugs explored Hanukkah. We started off the morning making Stars of David out of fuzzy white pipe cleaners, this was pretty tricky but fun at the same time. After all the friends arrived we met the Robins in the Fellowship Hall for some running and riding bikes. The Ladybugs loved seeing their friends in class. We couldn’t let the day go by without making beautiful Menorahs out of blue paint, glitter and the tiny hands of your children. These are all displayed in the hall, so please take a look. We wrapped up the day with a song about Dreidels.
On Thursday we learned about the many Mexican holidays celebrated in the winter months. We read the book The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie Depaola and decorated a piñata for the ladybugs to take home. Wow! What a wonderful week filled with happiness and joy. Next week we will discover the world of Christmas!
Enjoy your weekend,
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
The Ladybugs didn’t need cold weather to enjoy studying Winter this week: they enthusiastically wore gloves and enjoyed a yummy cup of hot cocoa despite the balmy temperatures!
On Tuesday, we read A Very Special Snowflake by Don Hoffman, a sweet story about a white puppy who gets lost in the snow. The Ladybugs, then, cut their own paper snowflakes, which we are proudly displaying on our back doors. It was so exciting to use scissors. We rolled up our sleeves and raked a big pile of leaves in the garden that morning, too. Our garden looks great! We even had a ripe red strawberry on one of our bushes, and a furry friend had already enjoyed a bite of it.
We moved on to snowmen on Wednesday! We read one of our favorites, Snowmen at Night by Cara Buenner, an adorable book that shows all the things snowmen do while we humans are sleeping. The Ladybugs then had a shape lesson as we fashioned paper snowmen out of circles. The Ladybugs’ fine motor skills are getting so much stronger! They beautifully brushed glue on their shapes, sprinkled glitter on top, and placed hats, scarves, and carrot noses right where they thought they should go. We love how they turned out.
Also that day, we got a little silly while learning a fun finger play about snowmen.
Speaking of fingers, on Thursday ours got cold when we used ice cubes to paint with powdered tempera paint. How fun to watch the ice cubes melt and turn the powder into pretty colors! We also drank a little cup of warm cocoa and looked at wintry pictures in books. We talked about how we set out bird food for our feathered friends to eat during the winter because it’s hard to find food. The Ladybugs scooped and poured bird seed all week in our sensory table. We read the beautifully illustrated The Hat by Jan Brett and
talked about how we bundle to stay warm and cozy in the cold weather. The
children loved trying on our gloves collection all week, as they could match different pairs together.
Next week, we will talk about how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. We hope you all can attend our annual Breakfast with Santa at 9 a.m. on Saturday in the Great Hall. Don’t forget your cameras to capture your little one smiling (we hope!) on Santa’s knee. And please bring a $15 gift to donate to an elementary school-aged child in need. Please join us!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
It sounded like a zoo in the Ladybug room this week, as we fine-tuned our “oinks” and “woofs.” It was animal week, and we mooed, barked, hopped and slithered to prove it!
On Tuesday, we Ladybugs departed from the unit of play as we worked on a very special project. We joined forces with the Busy Bees and made beautiful Christmas cards to sell at the Saint John’s Alternative Christmas Market, which will take place at the church this weekend. Please plan to attend the event, especially Grace Garden’s table, and look at the precious products your children helped make! We made cards with Santas, angels, Ruldophs, Christmas trees, and wreaths on the front, all using the children’s handprints. Later that day, we sang “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” and our silly animal sounds made us giggle. We read The Sheep Follow by Monica Wellington, and pointed out the little animals we could find on the pages. We also reviewed all of the letters, colors, and numbers we have learned so far this year.
Wednesday brought more animal fun. We made pig snouts out of paper and popsicle sticks and “oinked” about the room. Pastor Amy told us the story of Noah and his ark during chapel time, and afterwards, she let the Ladybugs play with her beautiful wooden boat and carved animals set. We read Animals on the Farm by Bob Bampton, and talked about the character traits of each animal. The Ladybugs also played the “find your own name” game, when we spread out cards containing the children’s names on the table, and asked each friend to locate his or her name. Some of our friends impressed us!
The Ladybugs turned a bag of cotton balls and some brown paint into adorable little sheep on Thursday. We practiced our “baas” and then read Moo Baa La La La by Sandra Boynton. We also reiterated how important it is to cough and sneeze into our elbows and wash our hands after we blow our noses. We peeked into our garden, too, and to our surprise, our plants are thriving, especially our broccoli!
Keep your fingers crossed for another cold front next week, as we
will teach the Ladybugs about the wonders of Winter! Have a splendid weekend
together. We’re so glad you’re all back after a restful week off.
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy