Safari Learning Academy News 9/2014

NEW EDITION
Week of August 25 – 29, 2014

Favorites Week!

Dear Parents! Next week, we will start our alphabet celebration with Allie Alligator! Please discover things at home that start with the short /a/, so children can bring a new idea to Safari. Bring in /a/ related items, books, and pictures!

A BIG, SPECIAL THANK YOU to Megan Carne and family for bringing in their foster kittens to share with the children on Tuesday. Also, to Mark Dyken (Teacher Terri’s friend) for bringing in his drum for storytelling and play. Each child got to make their own drumstick as well as have the opportunity to play the instrument and dance. A very fun week for our summer curriculum final!

Don’t forget on Monday September 1st we are CLOSED in observance of Labor Day! Our first official day of school is next Tuesday September 2nd!

REMEMBER! We signal and sound out the first initials of our words! We recommend that you do this too. We see our children grow exponentially when parents help their kids learn at home. It actually raises I.Q.’s.

Toddler News! (Teachers Denise, Jessica & Jodi) This week in the toddler room we reviewed our favorite activities from previous lessons. In music and movement we played and moved with bean bags and hula hoops, sang “Fire Truck” and “Let it Go,” and played our harp and rain stick instruments. In art we painted faces, played with our homemade play dough and painted with shaving cream. In science we made zucchini waffles, explored our quiet and loud shakers, and visited our old friend, the lizard, in the science room. In Zoo-phonics we danced and sang to our Zoo-phonics cd, played hide and seek with our Zoo-phonics puppets, and read Growing a Vegetable Garden and Lama Lama Misses Momma.

Preschool News! Language Arts (Teacher Stephanie) Students continued to build simple words; identifying initial, middle, and ending letter sounds. This week’s review vocabulary included words with digraphs, letters that ‘say their own name’ and silent letters: no, go, I, me, he, she, we, to, do, have, with, that, then, and you. We also continued to work on various high frequency words. We defined, discussed, and translated any unfamiliar words and then used them in creative and complete sentences. Throughout the week, students played many reading and spelling games to reinforce these words. Students carefully examined the above vocabulary on the SMART board; signaled, sounded, and used closing gestures as we tossed around a vocabulary beach ball; worked in teams of (2) to build the above vocabulary using the animal alphabet magnets; played a concentration memory match game with the above vocabulary; and built the above vocabulary using the animal alphabet hats. Students played the “Swatter Game” (students use fun bug instruments to swat the animal alphabet card that the teacher presents with a signal, sound, or letter name); “Animal Alphabet Musical Chairs” (similar to regular musical chairs but with animal alphabet signals and sounds); Zoo-Bingo; and an animal alphabet magnet match. On Friday, students had their choice of favorite Zoo-phonics game! We continued to review letters /a-z/ by flashing the animal alphabet cards and then matching the corresponding black letters. The older preschoolers practiced the uppercase alphabet /A-Z/, matched the corresponding lowercase alphabet letters, and then reviewed letter names. We sang “Come Meet Us at the Zoo” and the “A, B, C Song” for further signal, sound, and letter name practice. They also continued to practice blend and digraph sounds, mastering each cards fun catch phrase. Ex: The lad is a whiz with a whip. The digraph in the previous phrase is /wh/. Students continued to act out the ‘schwa sound’ (a, e, i, o, u letters make the “uuuuuuuu” sound) using the hardest worker puppets and hardhats. Students explored aspects of a calendar daily; identifying the days of the week, date, month, year, season, and weather (in English and Spanish). Students greeted each other daily by saying hola (hello) and buenos dias (good morning). This week’s ‘Favorites’ theme literature selections included: Do Unto Otters A Book About Manners; The Mightiest; A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue; That’s What a Friend Is; My School’s a Zoo; and many other fun selections.

Math (Teacher Stephanie) For this week’s ‘Favorites’ theme, students did some fun review activities enjoyed throughout the school year! Students practiced with the volume of liquids using various sized measuring cups (cups, pints, quarts, and gallons) at the water table. Students had a shape hunt in the racquetball room. Students had to locate, identify, and then sort the shapes into the corresponding baggies on the wall. Students reviewed the value of coins and played some simple money counting games with the storybook: Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday by Judith Viorst. Students did some Unifix cube math; building, counting, sorting, and creating simple pattern combinations. For this week’s food project, children made homemade ice cream and then created sundaes with assorted toppings.

Art (Teacher Beth) We began our week using Q-tips to paint with lots of bright colors. We used starch and colored tissue to design our next creation. For our collage we used dyed pasta, beans, and paper scraps to create our pictures. Next we used crayons to color around holes in our paper to use the negative space in our composition. Finally we easel painted with turkey feathers.

Music & Movement (PE) (Teacher Kaitlyn) This week in music and movement we had a lot of fun doing our favorite things! We sing our favorite songs (including “Let It Go” from Frozen of course!), danced our favorite dances (such as country line dancing and the super silly “Tooty-Ta”), and we did our favorite exercises, Zoo-robics and Zoo-yoga! We also played our favorite large motor games in the racquetball court: Red Light, Green Light and Duck, Duck, Goose! Best of all we had a very special visitor on Thursday who told a wonderful story accompanied by his drum. After the story the children were all allowed to take turns drumming and dancing in a circle, practicing rhythm, tempo, and synchronization! They each made their own drumstick to take home, which was a huge hit.

Fine Motor/Hand Writing (Teacher Kaitlyn) This week in fine motor we practiced lacing string through lacing cards, sorted animals, and colored with our favorite color crayons.

Science (Teacher Beth) This week the teachers got to pick some of our favorite activities to do with our classes. I love whales so we listened to humpbacks sing and watched their team work as the were feeding and even watched a whale and a dolphin giving birth! Next we sprouted seeds and learned that every seed grows a new plant just like the one it came from. Seeds very in size, shape and color. Wednesday we talked about our bones and skeleton and we put together one made from toilet and paper towel tubes. Thursday we were treated to a special guest, Mr. Mark, who brought a big drum and told us a story about a giving tree and the animals using his drum. Then we made our own drumstick and got to dance and play the drum with our drumstick! Finally we used all sort of magnets, finding what we could do with them.

Afternoon Activities (Teacher Christine) Our afternoon favorites this week were structures with marshmallows and toothpicks, Zoo- phonics bingo with prizes, finger painting, and water coloring. We also played with farm animals, dinosaurs, puzzles, and Legos. We played outside in a big box, which we took turns decorating with crayons. We played in the tent, on the bars, and in the sand box. We played at the water tables and in the kitchen. We played with trucks and rode bikes. We also read books and watched videos.

Kindergarten and First Grade News! This week Teacher Alisha and Teacher Terri did all kinds of curriculum planning, organizing, cleaning, and preparation for the 1st day, week, month and year of school. Don’t forget, our first official day of school is next Tuesday September 2nd! They met with their parents Wednesday night to collect and check off school materials, ask and answer questions, discuss the various rewards systems used in the K/1st, especially the Ice Cream Sundae Reward. They went over report cards (three times a year), assessments, and Common Core Standards. For those who missed the meeting, please check in with your child’s teachers. Remember, all school materials must be in before school starts on Tuesday! (Hard to organize supplies with 17 children awaiting education.)