A Wonderful Week and A Half…

The pictures above show us practicing a new sight word game – Lego Tower Words! Sight words are words that are common words that you usually have to learn by sight. They don’t follow phonics rules but they are all over books of any level or topic – so they are really important to know.

I am always on the lookout for fun and engaging ways to practice any/all skills we are learning. I think this Lego Tower Words hit the mark. We turn over our word cards and place a Lego on top. Then, we remove the lego from each card one at a time and try to read the word. If we read the word successfully, it goes immediately in the tower. If we need another go at it, we replace the lego and go to another card and then go back and try again another time.

This game has gone into our Reader’s Workshop Stations, too. I will include information about our Reader’s Workshop Routine next week. Stay tuned…

Forest Friday was AMAZING again! After all my proclamations about the cold weather – the temps were absolutely balmy! The children had a blast. We played a Chipmunk/Tree game to practice positional words and teamwork. We found our very own “Sit Spots” where we will return to each visit as the seasons shift so that we can notice changes around us in a specific and meaningful place. You will find the spots in the photos above – trees and rocks make really good spots for pondering. We noticed some green fairy dust on Fairy Island and wondered what those little creatures do when we are inside learning. Our time outside is really special. Last week, each child picked a Forest Name – I have captioned each photo with their special name. If you move the mouse over the photo, their  name will be visible. Enjoy!

And the puppets…What an AMAZING day! The children were enthralled from start to finish with this wonderful process. Barbara started the day by sharing different types of puppets – string and stick – for example. The children really liked the string puppet fox that welcomed them to the workshop! Then, they drew their face on a piece of museum board that had a watercolor wash on it. They let their colorful and creative juices run wild as they decorated their faces with color and designs. Then, the selected the perfect fabric that became their clothes. Next, Barbara and Mimi expertly glued the heads and bodies together with a paint-stick spine and some popsicle stick arms and foam hands. Following this construction, the children chose hair, accessories and especially the all important sparkle or twinkle for their eyes. It was so special to see them making individual, unique, artistic choices to make their puppets their own.

At the end of the day, the classes converged and Barbara lead us through a manipulation exercise. This allowed us to learn how experts move puppets so they are realistic and really come to life. The day was so amazing that it flew by and we were so proud of our work. Many thanks to the 5 Towns Friends of the Arts and The Tari Shattuck Education Foundation for funding this invaluable day with our teaching artists. Our minds and hearts were stretched and enriched by this opportunity. Also, many thanks to Barbara Paulson (No Strings Marionette Co.) and her artistic helper, Mimi for providing the expert guidance, inspiration and creative space to let our designs come to life. We are so thankful that you came to lead us through this experience – we LOVED it!

Thanks for sharing your amazing children with me each day. We really have a blast.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break! See you next week.

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