We are thankful for the sweet little Ladybugs, who have been learning all week about Thanksgiving and what it means to be grateful for the blessings in our lives.
On Tuesday, the Ladybugs started off their study by reading My First Thanksgiving by Tomie dePaola, a simple explanation of what happened after the pilgrims sailed on the Mayflower to America. Their eyes widened as they looked at pictures of the Native Americans and all of the different foods that were served at that first Thanksgiving. The Ladybugs made their own version of the Mayflower, using their hands and white paper squares. We checked on our garden to see if we had a harvest ourselves, and unfortunately, we did not! But that didn’t sour the mood of our optimistic Ladybugs, who jumped right in to learning a cute finger play called “The Turkey is a Funny Bird”, and we’re hoping your child teaches it to your family next week.
The Ladybugs ripped colored paper into vegetable shapes on Wednesday, giving those finger muscles a tough workout. We read T is for Turkey by Tanya Stone and looked at pictures of turkeys in other books. The Ladybugs made their own feathered friends, using their hands and feet! It’s so much fun watching the children giggle as we tickle their hands and feet with a brush and cold paint. We placed a special emphasis on saying “thank you!” to our friends when they helped this week, and we talked about how we would all celebrate being thankful for our school and friends at a big meal together the next day.
“What are you thankful for?” is the question we asked the Ladybugs on Thursday. They gave us their endearing responses as best they could, and we wrote them on the vegetable shapes we tore on Wednesday. The Ladybugs filled a giant brown cornucopia with our paper harvest, and we hope you all had a chance to look at it. We’ve learned to have a lot of books on hand for the Ladybugs because they always want to read! We read many Thanksgiving-related books ranging from the sweet Happy Thanksgiving, Biscuit! by Alyssa Capucilli to the hilarious I Know an Old Lady who Swallowed a Pieby Alison Jackson. We told the Ladybugs how thankful we are that we are their teachers and wished them a happy week off with their families!
We hope you enjoyed the Thanksgiving Feast in the Great Hall, we sure did. And we hope you all have a safe and joyful meal with your precious children next week.
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
Each Ladybug is different and offers something unique to our world! Cultural diversity was the focus in our room this week, as we learned about how differently people live in Mexico, China, and India.
We started off the week learning how to say, “Hola!”, as we studied Mexico. The Ladybugs pressed Play Doh tortillas and “cooked” pinto beans in the sensory table. At snack, we ate warm cheesy quesadillas as the Ladybugs looked at examples of Talavera pottery, a corn husk doll, an“animalito” or handmade wooden dog, embroidered clothing, and sterling silver jewelry. The Ladybugs listened to Mexican children’s songs, such as “Des Colores”, while they made their own maracas out of water bottles and dried beans. Also that day, Ms. Shannon helped them cut beautifully intricate papel picados, which are hanging across our room! The children enjoyed looking at books featuring photos of Mexican people, foods, clothing, and maps of the country, as we compared our lives to those of children in Mexico.
On Wednesday, the Ladybugs set their sights on China. They scooped rice into bowls at the sensory table and folded fans of cardstock and markers. After snack, the Ladybugs enjoyed juicy oranges so that they may live a sweet life and then they colored dragon heads and tails, which we turned into puppets. The Ladybugs learned that some Chinese children keep crickets as pets and love playing ping pong. We spent a lot of time reading a book about Giant Pandas and the Ladybugs were amazed to learn that Giant Pandas eat bamboo all day long!
Thursday was an extra special day because Evan’s mom came in to teach us about life in India. Evan lived with his family in India all last year, as his father is Indian. The Ladybugs tried on exquisite Indian clothing and scarves, ate delicious Indian treats, and formed Diwali diyas (candle holders) out of clay. We even looked at photos of Evan visiting the breathtaking Taj Mahal! What a day!
Next week, the Ladybugs will learn about Thanksgiving and all of the wonderful things the holiday entails. The week will culminate in one of our favorite Grace Garden traditions, our school wide Thanksgiving Feast upstairs in the Great Hall on Thursday at 11:30. Thank you all for signing up to donate a food item that day. We hope you will come along with other family members to enjoy a special meal with your Ladybug.
Have an amazing weekend together. We’ll look forward to next week!
Lots of love,
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
Although Wednesday was only the second Halloween in most of the Ladybugs’ lives, they celebrated the holiday this week like seasoned professionals!
On Tuesday, we got right down to business. We pressed the Ladybugs’ feet in white paint and then on paper to make friendly “ghosts”. They turned out so well! The children had a ball crumpling paper and stuffing it into lunch sacks, which they turned into jack-o-lanterns. We were so impressed with how well the Ladybugs glued eyes, noses, and mouths onto those pumpkins—so cute! We sent home the Ladybugs’ baggie bean plants this week, so that you can see how they’ve grown. Please plant them at home in full sun, and help your Ladybug water it regularly.
The Ladybugs began Halloween at the sensory table on Wednesday where they squished baggies filled with shaving cream and orange paint. Some of our friends prefer to experience the soft, fluffy texture of the cream without getting their hands messy. After chapel with Pastor Amy, we pressed our black handprints on purple paper to form spooky spiders. We then draped our table in orange paper and served up an amazing orange lunch! Thank you so much, families, for bringing in such delicious orange items to share. The Ladybugs LOVED their special meal, especially their orange yogurt. Then, we slipped the little ones into their costumes and joined the Halloween parade through the Grace Garden halls for all to see. We hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.
This week, we brought back our “Five Little Pumpkins” finger play, and we read a tall stack of fun Halloween books, including Happy Halloween, Biscuit! by Alyssa Capucilli and Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz. We also spent a lot of time talking about the color orange, the letter Ff, and numbers one through eight.
We look forward to Monday, November 5, when we will meet with each of you during our Fall Parent/Teacher conferences. We can’t wait to tell you how well your Ladybug has adjusted to our classroom! We will send out a reminder this weekend, noting each family’s conference time.
Next week, the Ladybugs will learn about cultural diversity, and how different ways of life make their world a more interesting place.
Have a terrific weekend, and we’ll see you Monday!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere! The Ladybug room was all about our favorite orange squash this week, as we enjoyed autumn and prepared for Halloween.
Our color of the week is orange, and we couldn’t think of a better way to exemplify the color than by tie-dyeing with it! The Ladybugs dropped white T-shirts into a dark, warm pot and watched their shirts turn orange before their very eyes. Jaws dropped, voices gasped! After that, we headed out to the playground to choose our class pumpkin, which we carved into a jack o’ lantern. We pointed out eyes, nose, and mouth, and we even decided that our pumpkin needed teeth. What fun! In the garden, we planted Swiss chard, of the yellow and red varieties, and we watered our still thriving Brussels sprouts. The Ladybugs learned an adorable finger play this week called, “Five Little Pumpkins”, and we’re hoping they will teach it to you at home! We also read the endearing Happy Birthday Moon, by Frank Asch, in which a little bear thinks he is talking to the moon, when he is merely hearing his voice echo off the nearby mountains.
Wednesday brought more pumpkin fun. The Ladybugs started their day by placing pumpkin and Halloween stickers on orange paper. After a delightful chapel service by Pastor Paul, the Ladybugs painted their very own little pumpkins! They worked so hard on this project and are very proud of them. We talked about E, our letter of the week, and the things in our room that begin with that letter. Many of our friends have E in their names, and we pointed them out on our placemats during snack. We read Oliver Finds His Way, by Phyllis Root, in which a bear gets lost in the woods while chasing a leaf. The Ladybugs learned to yell your names or ask for help if they ever become separated from you.
The week ended with a bang as we used leaf glitter to outline pumpkin shapes, constructed toy pumpkins out of paper bags, and baked yummy pumpkin muffins for our snack! What a day! We have been talking a lot this week about how to treat our friends kindly, using gentle words and hands, especially when it comes to sharing. We read Yes We Can, by Sam Mc Bratney, to talk about how everyone has fun when you treat your friends nicely and no one has fun when you treat your friends unkindly.
Next week is going to be a blast, with Halloween highlighting the middle of our week. Please sign up to bring an orange food item to our Orange Lunch. We will share a family style meal at which everything on our plates will be orange! Then, we will change the Ladybugs into their costumes and line up for our Halloween Costume Parade around the halls of the church, beginning at 1 p.m. Please don’t be late! The little Ladybugs usually only make it around the parade route one time (until they see you!) so plan on getting a good viewing spot near the front door.
Also, thank you so much for signing up for parent/teacher conference time slots so quickly! Our list was complete in record time. Please fill out and return the conference questionnaire in your child’s folder so that we are sure to address any and all concerns you may have.
We just love this time of year and are so happy to be making memories with your little ones! Enjoy the cool weather this weekend, and we’ll see you on Tuesday.
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
Apples, oranges, cucumbers and spinach! The Ladybugs learned about fruits and vegetables this week, and how eating them helps them grow healthy and strong.
We started off the week by painting with celery leaves. The Ladybugs swirled the leaves in green paint and then pressed designs on orange paper. In the garden, we checked on our Brussels Sprouts seeds (they’re growing tall!) and then planted lima bean seeds in plastic bags. We taped the bags to our windows so that the seeds can get some sunshine. We can’t wait to see if they grow! We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr., the adorable adventure about an alphabet climbing a coconut tree.
On Wednesday, the Ladybugs explored potatoes. We held them, smelled them, and then made stamps out of them! We cut them in half, then carved shapes in them. The Ladybugs dipped the stamps in paint and then stamped them on paper. In chapel, Pastor Amy taught us the story of Johnny Appleseed, and she gave us apples to taste right there on the altar. We read The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, the classic story about how a seed grows into a flower. The Ladybugs also learned two songs—one about how to care for a vegetable garden, and the other about a myriad of veggies.
Our week culminated with our taste test! Thank you so much, parents, for bringing in the produce we needed for the big event. Most of the Ladybugs were adventurous, willing to try everything on the table. We asked a lot of questions, including what did you like? What did you not like? Was it sweet, sour? Was it soft, crunchy? What an exciting day!
On Wednesday, October 31st, we will celebrate Halloween at Grace Garden! We will share a lunch of all orange foods, and then the children will dress up in costumes and parade the halls for all of their families to see. Please look for more information next week on these precious events.
Next week, the Ladybugs will learn about Fall and pumpkins! We have a fun week planned full of art, songs, and cooking!
Have a peaceful weekend!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
The Ladybugs’ five senses worked overtime all week, as they smelled, listened, tasted, felt, and looked at the world around them. It was the perfect time to be studying our five senses, because over a thousand pumpkins were delivered to our playground on Monday! We spent lots of time looking at and feeling the differences among them.
We started with brown paint and toilet paper tubes Tuesday morning, as the Ladybugs made their very own “binoculars”. We used our eyes to see how our seeds grew in the garden: our Brussels Sprouts are getting tall! That day we read Whales by Michelle B. McNeil, a book with beautiful photos, as well as a sound feature that allowed us to hear real whale noises!
The Ladybugs moved on to taste and smell Wednesday, as we made “apple salad” for our snack. We chopped fresh apples and sprinkled them with ground cinnamon, which the Ladybugs loved to smell. While they ate, we read The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, and the kids enjoyed pointing out the apples on the pages of this touching story about love and loyalty. Later that day, the children traced the letters of their name with vanilla pudding! Some of our friends loved getting sticky and messy, while others chose to merely watch.
On Thursday, the Ladybugs practiced writing the first letters of their names in sand. After playing outside, we used all of our senses during a scavenger hunt around the classroom. The Ladybugs had a blast rushing around the room trying to be the first one to find the items on our list. We also used our noses to smell clean, refreshing oranges. We scooped out the fruit and filled the peels with seeds to make bird feeders for home. We made an extra one for our back porch, where our friends love to watch the birds. That day we read a favorite, That’s Not My Puppy by Fiona Watts, in which the Ladybugs touched and saw the attributes of different puppies!
Our life lesson of the week was learning to ask for help. Before you turn to help your Ladybug do something he or she cannot, encourage him or her to first say “Help, please”.
This week, most of our projects were “process art”, meaning your children have created art, but not the kind you can take home and put on the refrigerator. Art with small children is usually not about the product, but instead about the process: smearing pudding onto paper allows them to express themselves creatively, and build their fine motor skills.
Next week, we will teach the Ladybugs about nutrition and how to keep their little bodies healthy and happy! Have a terrific weekend!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
Head, shoulders, knees, and toes, knees and toes! We learned all about our bodies in the Ladybug room this week, by singing new songs and by using our body parts in different ways.
The Ladybugs worked all week to create special paper flower projects using their body parts. Each stem is the Ladybug’s height, the leaves are the Ladybug’s footprints, the petals are the Ladybug’s handprints, and the center is the Ladybug’s face! We had a ton of fun making these adorable flowers and we hope you enjoy them.
The Ladybugs used their fingers to smear white paint on red paper on Tuesday. Also that day, we ventured outside to water our Brussels Sprouts seeds, and lo and behold, our seeds sprouted! Another surprise in the garden is that our passion flower vines bloomed! The Ladybugs were thrilled to see the intricate purple flowers, and they were very gentle while touching and smelling them.
On Wednesday, after chapel with Pastor Amy, the Ladybugs stood at the easel and squirted paint from spray bottles. How exciting! We got some cute photos of your Ladybugs as they pulled the nozzles and squealed with delight as their paper filled with pink and blue spots! Before lunch, we wiggled our bodies inside and out while we danced the Hokey Pokey.
We got a little crazy on Thursday…we used our hands and arms to smear shaving cream onto our table. The Ladybugs practiced writing their letter of the week, B, in the fluffy white foam. Later that day, we talked about how we must feed our bodies well. After music with Ms. Kristin, we baked a batch of oatmeal cookies. Your Ladybugs sure love to cook! They poured and mixed the ingredients, and formed the dough onto baking sheets. We ate our healthy lunches and then gobbled up our yummy treats.
What a fabulous week with your precious Ladybugs! We can’t wait until next week when we talk about our five senses.
Have a great weekend in this beautiful Fall weather!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
Silly, happy, angry, sad--whatever the emotion, the Ladybugs have been feeling it all week! We have learned that everyone feels these emotions and there are healthy ways to express them.
We read Glad Monster Sad Monster by Ed Emberley and Anne Miranda on Tuesday, a terrific book about a bunch of monsters who are certain colors depending upon their moods. For instance, the angry monster is red, the blue monster is sad, the loving monster is pink. We assigned each child a monster and a color. They each dipped their hands in their color of paint, and stamped them on a big piece of white paper. When everyone had finished, we had created a rainbow! Also on Tuesday, we spent some time in the garden, watering our Brussels sprouts seeds and checking out what projects our friends in other classes have been working on.
We decided to feel silly on Wednesday! The Ladybugs glued eyes, noses, and mouths to paper plates to resemble their faces. Then, they gave their self-portraits silly hair by brushing on piles of puffy paint. After chapel with Pastor Amy that day, we returned to the classroom and the children tried on different plastic animal snouts. How hilarious! Our classroom became a barnyard of silly ducks, dogs, pigs, cows all making their respective animal noises.
We switched from feeling emotions to feeling textures on Thursday. The Ladybugs made crayon rubbings of various things on the playground—cement, leaves, tree bark, etc., noting how each item felt to them—smooth, bumpy, rough. For snack, we put together a trail mix of different textured food. We measured crunchy goldfish crackers, bumpy popcorn, and chewy raisins. The Ladybugs loved eating their own creations! After music with Ms. Kristin, the Ladybugs stuck their hands into a bag, in which they could feel objects—rough Velcro, a smooth strand of beads, a hard wooden block, a soft piece of felt, a squishy stuffed animal.
We read so many books this week! Some of the favorites were When I Feel Angry by CM Spelmen, When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang, DW Flips! By Marc Brown, Splat the Cat by Rob Scotton, and Bear Feels Scared by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. We also started our first Letter of the Week, A, and learned all of the words we know that begin with the letter A. Even two of our friends have names that begin with the letter A!
Our life lesson this week focused on teaching the Ladybugs to drink out of their own water bottles. We are working hard to stop germs in their tracks!
Next week, the Ladybugs will learn about their bodies—how they work and how to keep them healthy and strong. Have a fabulous weekend!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
Family fun was the focus in the Ladybug room this week, as we learned that a family is a special group of people that loves them very much! Our “Family Wall” is filling up with photos quite nicely, and the Ladybugs are already spending quite a bit of time there, pointing out pictures of not only their own moms and dads, but also those of their new friends.
We started off the week talking about the size of our families. We made a big chart, and beside the Ladybugs’ names, each child stamped one handprint to represent each family member. On Thursday, we traced the Ladybugs’ hands, cut them out and pretended they were leaves on our class family tree. Please take a peek at it next week, as it will be hanging in the hall outside our door.
Our reading times have included books about family this week, too, including two favorites, Mommy Hugs and Daddy Kisses both by Anne Gutman and Georg Hallensleben. We love how much your children love to read! It’s amazing how long they will sit and let us read to them!
We planted our Brussels sprouts seeds in the garden on Tuesday. We talked about how those tiny brown seeds will (we hope!) grow into tall plants, which we will be able to eat! We got out our watering cans and gave the seeds their first drink. Now, we wait with fingers crossed.
The Ladybugs have loved the cotton balls in our sensory table this week! They’ve filled bowls with them, dumped cups of them, piled them high, and tossed them into the air. So many cotton balls in one place is a beautiful sight!
While working to improve the Ladybugs’ verbal skills, every day we practice “Who is here today?” We hold up a photo of each child and ask if that student is at school. At lunch time, we also hold up lunch boxes and ask which one belongs to whom. You can help develop their language, too, by talking to them often and by asking them as many open ended questions as you can.
Next week, we will learn about our feelings and emotions. Have a fabulous weekend with your sweet families. We are so happy to be your children’s teachers!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy
How special our Little Ladybugs are -- we’ve talked all week about the reasons why.
We spent all week working on individual “I Am Special” books, and the Ladybugs have taken great care in decorating each page. It’s been a ton of fun making our books, which will be sent home next week, so you can see how busy your Ladybug is at school!
On Tuesday, the Ladybugs rolled up their sleeves and prepared a garden bed where we will plant Brussels sprouts seeds next week. They raked leaves and used their trowels to turn the soil. After we finished with that task, we pruned our mint plant, rubbing its leaves on our hands and enjoying the refreshing smell. We talked about ways we can eat mint, and we agreed that it tastes yummy in lemonade!
The watercolors were back by popular demand on Wednesday, when the Ladybugs painted people cutouts to represent themselves. Each child chose a cutout and then went to town decorating it. We talked about how beautifully unique each one became. After chapel service with Pastor Amy that morning, we took a long buggy ride!
The Ladybugs painted with green paint at the easel on Thursday, which was a huge hit. It was so fun to watch the anticipation on their faces just before their first brush strokes! We visited Ms. Kristen for music class fun, and then we took another beloved buggy ride. We stopped for a spell in the shade, and shared some of the answers from their “special” homework sheets. Some of the Ladybugs realized they had a lot in common with their friends!
Throughout the year, we will teach the Ladybugs a number of life lessons. We started last week learning proper hand washing techniques before we eat and after we go to the bathroom. This week, we focused on how to clean up after our snacks and lunches. When children have finished eating, they close their food containers, carry their water bottles to the water bucket, and take their placemats to the counter. They are learning so quickly!
Next week, the Ladybugs will talk about the family members they love so dearly. Thank you to those who have already brought in their family photos!
We hope you have a terrific weekend together. We’ll see you on Tuesday!
Ms. Shannon and Ms. Tammy