Update from Special Start: June 2018

Update from Special Start: June 2018
Posted on 06/06/2018
Hello Peabody Planet and Happy Spring!

The Snowy DayWe have been busy since our last Peabody Planet article in January. The winter lasted longer than expected affording for rich, hands on winter curriculum. Temperatures permitting, we went outside with buckets, shovels, and spray bottles full of water with food coloring. When it snows, Bergin Park on Haskell St. develops small slopes of snow perfect for sledding with preschoolers. This winter we along with Special Start room 156 were able to go sledding twice! On days that were too cold, we brought the winter weather inside. We filled our water table with snow from our playground, made many different versions of snow with ingredients like cornstarch, oil, flour, and conditioner. We even figured out how to go ice skating inside. We took off our shoes and socks and sprayed shaving cream on gym mats. It was slippery just like real ice-skating but the falls were much softer. We also read many wonderful winter themed books like Ezra Jack Keat’s The Snowy Day and Lois Ehlert’s Snowballs.

Chicka ChickaAs we waited patiently for the first signs of spring, our curriculum centered around literacy. We read We’re Gong on A Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen. This book is often a favorite in our room. It uses repetition, rhyme, and rhythm, and allows for a lot of participation in acting out the story. We read Eileen Christelow’s version of Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. After reading the story for a few days, we acted it out. Some children played the parts of the monkeys and other children pretended to be the mother and the doctor. We used a crib mattress for the bed, a stethoscope for the doctor, a phone for the mother, and gauze to wrap around the poor monkeys’ heads. It was a really exciting book to act out! We also spent some time talking about letters. To introduce letters we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. You may have noticed that we chose to decorate our door for literacy week with a coconut tree. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom provided a springboard for much more study of letters. We incorporated the Handwriting Without Tears curriculum. The Handwriting Without Tears curriculum provides developmentally appropriate, multisensory strategies for early writing. The curriculum teaches the concepts of lines and curves and how lines and curves can be used to draw and write. A very exciting part of their curriculum is a character called Mat Man. You may have heard of him. He’s a bit of a celebrity. We spent a lot of time singing songs about Mat Man, making Mat Man crafts, and constructing Mat Man with various manipulatives.

After much anticipation, we felt it was finally appropriate to begin to talk about spring! We discussed the different signs of spring and looked for them in our environment. We took walks around the neighborhood, visited the Peabody garden, and started to care for and cultivate some plant life in our classroom. We started with a classroom fern and then planted some grass seed in cups. We’ve been reading books about spring like A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na, and Grow Seed Grow by Keith Faulkner. As you may know, many baby animals are born in the spring. We along with Special Start 156 planned a trip to Drumlin Farm in Lincoln to learn about farm life and visit some of their new babies! We are so grateful for these types of hands on experiences and the generosity of The Friends of Peabody, who helped to cover the cost of this trip as well as a bowling field trip Special Start took to Flatbreads in Davis Square. We hope that everyone is enjoying the longer days, warmer weather, and has a wonderful end to their school year!
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