March Highlights from Heartworks Stowe

Spring is finally here! The children all have Spring fever and are enjoying playing outside and soaking up the sun. Some highlights of this past week have been having picnics in our outdoor classroom and doing Story by Heart on the playground as a whole school.

During the month of March, our school’s morning theme was Science.

Children in the downstairs class learned all about weather. The children were especially excited to take on the responsibility of being the weatherperson. They learned how to graph the weather on a weather chart. Children observed and documented the weather over the entire month. They were also introduced to the water cycle, made rain sticks, painted canvas clouds, created a weather mural, made tissue paper flowers, stained glass butterflies, and jumped in muddy puddles.

In the upstairs classroom children learned all about the Solar System. Children transformed the loft into a rocket ship, made a mural of all the planets, created their own space slime and even wrote space books. Rocks were collected and studied just like real astronauts which led to discussions about the kinds of journey rocks may have taken or what materials they might be made of. Planet movement was also introduced through yoga and dance as the children stretched and blasted off like rockets, and orbited like the planets around the sun.

For April the theme is Creative Arts.
Downstairs classroom will focus on Famous Artists.
Upstairs classroom has an author study and will focus on the works of Eric Carle.  
The children are all so engaged and eager to learn!

 

STEAM Afternoon Highlights

Science - Children have been fascinated in observing the river and how it changes as Spring begins.

Technology - The children enjoyed learning about water filtration and built our own water filters.

Engineering - The children built and tested ramps and angles to discover things that roll.

Art - The children made structures with straws and tubes and counted how many bears they could hold.

Math - On the first day of Spring, children created a recipe, gathered and measured ingredients for maple on snow.

March Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne C

Class with Meg and Kaylie

The classroom was decorated with tractor footprints, rainbow chains and silver lined clouds as Meg, Kaylie and the children welcomed the celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day and the Farm and Farm Animal theme during the month of March. All of the children seemed to have grown so much over February break and delighted in using their new skills at school. To begin the Farm and Farm Animals theme, some of the children participated in “clean” full body painting. They had the opportunity to move red paint around on a canvas cut into the shape of a barn. The canvas was covered in a clear shower curtain, so those friends who do not yet enjoy the sensory experience of paint on their hands and arms had a chance to participate and still see the paint moving around without getting messy. Throughout the month Meg and Kaylie read farm stories and sang farm songs as they modeled to the children the different sounds animals can make. The children will continue to explore new words and sounds as we move into the next theme. Look for the children to be “Sailing in Spring” during the month of April.


Class with Marina and Kristen

The children in class with Marina and Kristen had so much fun exploring farms and farm animals during the month of March. The classroom was full of the sounds of horses, cows, pigs and many other farm animals as the children experimented with making different noises and singing “Old MacDonald.” Some of the enrichment activities included using paint brushes, brown paint and pink pig shapes to make mud covered pigs, finger painting on bubble wrap with yellow finger paint to create textured ears of corn and using forks and yellow and brown paint to pretend to be chickens leaving footprints on white paper. All of the children had so much fun exploring different art media and textures involved in each project. Farms and animals are so beloved by all the children and March was such a fun month for everyone.

Class with Anne and Jacey

The children in class with Anne and Jacey really enjoyed hearing about the leprechauns and entering into and exploring their very messy classroom on Saint Patrick’s Day morning. They delighted in finding the animals wearing all of the inside shoes, had snack at the table in the circle area and drank delicious magical green water. It was such a wonderfully fun day for the children and teachers alike. Also during the month of March the class learned about Farms and Farm Animals and sugaring too! The children followed Anne outside to the courtyard and stood with Jacey, and they watched the tapping of a maple tree and learned all about sap, sap lines, and how maple syrup is made. Each week the classroom ventured outside to observe the sap bucket and collect the sugary liquid. Many enrichment activities involved the use of maple syrup as the children taste tested different grades, baked muffins with maple syrup and mixed together hidden veggie cookies with maple syrup. It was quite a delicious month.

Class with Liz and Amanda

Water Play was the focus for the children in the classroom with Liz and Amanda. Everyone had so much fun exploring the different ways that water moves, experimenting with items that sink and ones that float, and even painting with frozen water. Water is such an important part of everyday life and can be found in different forms all of which the children delight in experimenting with. Liz and Amanda brought warm soapy water into the classroom to bathe the babydolls and in contrast also brought in freshly fallen and very chilly snow for the children to dig, scoop and with which to build. Both activities brought a lot of smiles and laughter to the day. Another interesting activity involved the concept of absorption, as the children helped to pour tiny beads into a bin of water that then expanded into a fun water bead sensory experience. The visit from the leprechauns really helped to top off an enriching and magical month. 

Class with Nikki and Cara

During the month of March, the children with Nikki and Cara also explored water and learned about absorption, evaporation and where rain and snow comes from. They made rain clouds in water glasses and then used eye droppers to drip colored water through the clouds making it rain in the glass. Discussing the rainclouds invited a conversation about snow and then moved to experimentation with ice. The children observed ice as it melted and used their hands to manipulate the cubes to see if they were warm or cold and wet or dry. They were even able to see how the warmth of their hands contributed to the speed of how the ice melted. The celebration of Saint Patrick’s Day also involved water experiments and color mixing to create a water walking rainbow. The friends worked together to fill three jars with the primary red, yellow and blue water colors and lined them up with regular uncolored water jars. Paper towels were placed connecting each of the jars and after several days the water began to climb the paper towels and mix together creating a beautiful line of rainbow colored jars that the leprechauns had a lot of fun mixing up!


 

March Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
We had a wonderful time celebrating St. Patrick’s Day as a school community! What a treat it was to have so many families join us to see the mischief those silly leprechauns had caused. The children are always shocked and excited to see what they do in our school late at night. They even turned our water in the snack pitcher green! It really was a wonderful day!

Classroom Morning Theme News from March
The children taught by Sherri and Sandra really took advantage of their Water is Fun theme this month. They created some amazing art work painting with watercolors and ice paint! The children had a water drop race on wax paper using eye droppers. It was amazing to see the control they had while using the eye droppers. The children were scientists while performing a sink or float experiment as a class and even made their own predictions!

The wonderful children taught by Kaylah, Hunter, and Danielle dove into learning about Rivers and Streams this month. They went on many hikes through our woods searching for rivers and streams. The children created their own river murals which they added plant and animal life to each day. The friend’s in Kaylah and Hunter’s class learned about beavers and created their own adorable beavers out of paper plates. The children taught by Danielle painted beautiful river fish using watercolors to add to their classroom mural. 

The children taught by Hilary and Haley explored the depths of the Ocean! This month they created a wonderful mural of the plant and animal life that make the ocean such an amazing place. They conducted a number of experiments testing if salt water would freeze and played sink or float. The class enjoyed pretending to be baby sea turtles who had just hatched out of their eggs. It was so sweet seeing them move so carefully around the classroom together. 

The friends taught by Angela and Amber were focused on Lakes and Ponds this month. The classes each created beautiful murals that displayed plant and animal life they were learning about daily. A big focus for the children was the life cycle of a frog. The children created amazing models of frogs in each of their stages of life.  They also made adorable cat tails, and  really enjoyed playing Lake and Pond animal charades having the chance to act out an animal and guess which animals they are pretending to be. 

Afternoon STEAM Highlights from March:  
The children taught by Haley, Danielle, Amber and Angela have been hard at work in the afternoons.  The teachers have spent the month focusing on projects and experiments that have the children working collaboratively.  Our afternoon STEAM program has been filled with hands-on learning investigations in each of the five different curricular areas.  

A highlight from Science Monday was making large bubble wands in small groups and testing to see which design of bubble wand would create the largest bubbles. The children loved making a prediction chart, drawing out their designs, creating the wand, and finishing the experiment with testing to see which design would work to make giant bubbles.  

On Tuesdays for Technology, the children  have been working in teams to come up with their own machines made out of recycled materials. This project began with a discussion where the children brainstormed what they wanted to make.  They finished the day with  creating large robots using many different tools. The children have also explored a variety of tools including a magnifying glass and most recently the  ruler.  

On Wednesdays, the classes have  been busy engineering and working as part of a team to build bridges. During this particular activity the children were put into groups of three. They were able to  work collaboratively with their peers to build strong and sturdy bridges. Once completing their bridge, the children then enjoyed acting out the story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff, using the bridges they had built and the three pretend goats in the classroom. 

On Thursday’s the STEAM classes have enjoyed putting on puppet shows, cooking, and making art projects through wonderful art exploration. On Fridays, the children have seemed to really enjoy the fun and interactive math games that we’ve been playing together. These games have encouraged the children to practice taking turns as well a variety of important math skills.  It was such a wonderful month working as a team! 


 

March Highlights from Heartworks Williston

March was a special time of learning as the themes were “Teacher Choice” this month.

The children taught by Sarah and Amy had a classroom full of feathered friends!  They brought the theme of Birds to life by welcoming some special guests, a pair of parakeets named Sunshine and Ray.  Thank you to Leah for bringing them in to visit the children, it was thrilling! The children also created wonderful bird feeders and set them up outside with window; with a field guide near the window to help identify any visitors.  The class built a life-sized nest, which was a favorite place to play.  There were many creative art projects and songs to help highlight the featured flying creatures.  

The children with Erica learned all about Construction in March.  They learned about blueprints and how to design structures before construction begins.  They learned about the tools and vehicles and special safety equipment that are used.  They built several different kinds of structures throughout the month with multiple kinds of materials.  Certainly the highlight of the month was when Anna’s parents Jacquie and Nate Dagesse brought in an excavator for the children to explore, climb aboard and were able watch a demonstration right up close!  Not even the rain could keep them away from that experience.  

Going and Growing Green was the theme for the friends taught by Georgia last month.  They learned about taking care of our environment by delving deeper into recycling and composting, and they talked about it impacts living things on the Earth.  They discussed what plants need in order to grow and how to support their needs.  

The friends with Amy engaged in Light and Color Exploration.  They discussed the different types of light including natural light such as fire and sunlight versus light crafted by humans like flashlights and electricity.  They made a shadow puppet theater and explored light refraction which is what makes colors.   

Cassie and her friends studied “Life on the Farm” during the month of March.  They explored animals that live on farms and went beyond to discover the process of raising crops.  They discussed the importance of farms in our everyday life.  It was such a nice unit that raised the children’s awareness and appreciation for where our food comes from. 

Maria took the children on an excursion to Egypt.  They learned a lot about the climate and culture of this African country.  They were completely engaged in building pyramids out of various materials, and they enthusiastically explored hieroglyphics.  They also learned about King Tut!  The children were able to compare Egypt to the other cultures that they have learned about already this year.  For the children, the world is becoming ever smaller with each new nation that they visit.  They are learning that various ways of life are acceptable and exciting!   

Leah led students on an exploration of Dinosaurs and Paleontology.  They were introduced to the concept of paleontology discovering fossils and learning about dinosaurs.  The children made their own fossils and dug for dinosaurs in the sand table.  They learned about specific dinosaurs including the Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, Pteranodon, and the Brachiosaurus.  They learned where on earth they lived, what they ate and how big they were.  There were wonderful opportunities to measure.  It took the whole hallway to measure the size of the Brachiosaurus, and they estimated and found out how many of their shoes could fit inside a Tyrannosaurus Rex footprint!

The friends with Caila ventured north to Canada this month.  They learned about the culture and geography of the large country.  From the language, provinces, Royal Canadian Mounted Police to the igloos up north - there was a lot to learn!  The children connected their studies to their former lessons about Kenya, so they were able to compare similarities and differences between the two nations.  How wonderful to learn to appreciate different cultures; becoming familiar with various regions cultivates a sense of acceptance and respect.  

STEAM

Science: 
Children discovered the wonder of oxidation as they doused pennies in vinegar and observed how they turned green over time.  They learned that this is how the Statue of Liberty got to be the color that she is today. Students planted bean seeds in clear cups and have been documenting their observations in their plant journals.  One class was visited by Farmer Corey from Shelburne Farms who “planted” grass seed on paper towels with the children.  Some children conducted magical color chemical reactions which were enthralling!

Technology:
Children used flashlights to change the size and shape of shadows, they created static electricity and connected it to how this energy can be channeled.  Students learned about the different tools used in planting and cultivating plants.  One class even went further in how to enjoy the harvest that comes from some plants, by using a popcorn machine to pop dried corn kernels!

Engineering:
Some children engineered flowers this past month, labeling all the parts and identifying their function in helping to support the structure.  Children also engineered volcanoes this month.  One Wednesday paper triangles were placed before the children and they were challenged to use them as the building material to engineer a structure as tall as possible.  

Art:
Colorful “stained glass” window decorations were created to celebrate the beauty of all the colors.  Children also used water colors to paint and then sprinkled kosher salt on top to watch the effect the salt had on the pigment.  There was open-ended art exploration with various materials and “carte blanche” to design a masterpiece.  The life cycle of a butterfly was dramatically represented as well this month.

Math:
Given an egg carton and a wooden cylinder block, children were asked to create a balance scale. Once they experimented with different ways to carry out the challenge, and succeeded at designing a functional scale, the children used it to measure and compare the weight of various objects.  While baking Blueberry Cobbler, a class used the measuring cups to explore fractions.  They determined that 4/4=1; exciting discoveries!


St. Patrick’s Day

What fun was had on St. Patrick’s Day when we arrived at school to discover the mischief that the leprechauns had left in their wake!  The classes were prepared for their visit, making traps in hopes to catch one to see one in person, and to no avail; no one was able to secure a leprechaun, they are too tricky!  We look forward to trying again next year!

March Highlights from Heartworks Burlington

March Morning Classroom Highlights: 

The children with Jen and Megan had so much fun listening to many classic and sweet Nursery Rhymes. The class has listened to Humpty Dumpty and made a classroom brick wall with many Humpty Dumpty Eggs cracked and put back together again. The children acted out the rhyme Jack Be Nimble and each child was able to jump over the candlestick. After reading, Little Miss Muffet, the children made homemade curds and whey (oatmeal) to enjoy.

Friends taught by Caitlin enjoyed the world of Fairy Tales. After reading, The Three Little Bears, the children helped to make delicious porridge and carefully tested the temperature. The class germinated many magic beans after reading Jack and the Beanstalk, and built their own houses out of straw, sticks, and bricks after reading Little Red Riding Hood. 

Children with Susan learned all about Native American Stories and Native American culture. The children made an impressive class Totem Pole and eagle statue to sit on top for their guardian spirit. The class created paintings using feathers and each child made their own unique teepee out of paper bags.  

Friends taught by Clara also enjoyed the fascinating world of Native American stories. The children made stunning dream catchers, using a weaving and beading method. The class learned about the importance of the dugout canoe and each child constructed their own canoe using various recycled materials. The children also made beautiful watercolors inspired by the natural world as described in many of our original people’s tales. The children with both Susan and Clara came together to discover the importance of corn and the many ways it is cooked. Both classes also enjoyed spending time in their classroom Teepee where they prepared cooking ‘fires’ and listened for howling coyotes.

The friends with Dominique, Leah, and Loraleh all delved into the world of Greek Mythology and came all together a few times to listen to a few Myths: 

Children with Leah enjoyed learning all about the Greek Olympics and having a classroom Olympic competition. Inspired by the many myths, each child did very well making up their own unique mythological creature. The class also constructed a beautiful mural of Mt. Olympus. They did very well acting out the myth about Pandora’s Box.

Friends taught by Loraleh enjoyed learning about the ancient traditional clothing of the gods and goddesses. They spent a lot of time wearing various styles of togas and vine headpieces. The class worked together to construct a highly impressive structure of the Parthenon using the classroom blocks. The children made beautiful Greek Vases using an elaborate multi step process. 

Children with Dominique enjoyed learning about the greek god, Arachne, and spent a lot of time weaving individual webs just like Arachne. The class was happy to receive gold medals after participating in the class olympics. They learned all about Greek food and enjoyed a delicious Greek feast complete with feta, olives, honey, pita, and yogurt. 

Afternoon STEAM March Highlights:
The children in our afternoon STEAM program are enjoying their exploration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math. The children are engaged in group projects, experimenting, predicting, taking things apart, building, communicating, exploring, wondering, observing, and solving problems. 

Science: The children enjoyed getting outside to observe signs of spring with magnifying glasses then drawing their observations, conducting various snowball melting experiments, investigating water and colored oil properties, rehydrating oobleck, and carrying out various wind experiments. 

Technology: The children brainstormed how lemonade is made and appreciated the work of an electric juicer as they mixed ingredients to make lemonade, learned the function of and constructed binoculars using recycled materials, made a functioning screw using a paper towel tube and paper plate spiral, explored the workings of a flashlight, and experimented with dry and wet sponges.

Engineering: The children designed 3D structures using folded paper triangles, created a classroom roadmap using tape, constructed catapults, and learned about gravity while putting together an indoor plumbing set up. 

Art: The children created wildly unique animal masks, experimented with painting using yarn, made shamrocks with handprints, and painted in the snow.

Math: The children practiced their counting and number recognition skills while playing dice bingo, designed flowers and symmetrical butterflies with pattern blocks, found and gathered different shapes around the school, and counted lucky coins. 

February Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

Our monthly theme was “Creative Arts” and each classroom was filled with music, art and literacy. The children played instruments, learned about famous artists and explored amazing authors. It was a very inspiring month! We look forward to exploring, creating and growth in the month ahead. We had a great Valentine’s Celebration! Each of the classrooms enjoyed passing out their valentine cards to their friends and teachers. It was such a pleasure to have so many families join us to help celebrate. 

Special Guests:
 During the Creative Arts theme last month, Kaylee and Trevor Contois came in and conducted a special music class for the children.  They played guitars, created a band, and sang and danced with the children. The most special part was the children had an opportunity to request their favorite songs for an all school sing along! This performance was a very special treat for all the children.  

Morning Classroom Themes in February
Children with Sherri and Sandra explored many instruments this month during their Musical Instruments theme. The children loved learning about new instruments and even getting to play them together! They made their own drums, painted with bells attached to paintbrushes and even had a parade! The highlight of the month was when the children each brought in their own instruments from home to share with their friends. 

Children taught by Danielle, Kaylah and Hunter dove into their Famous Artists theme. Both classes learned about many artists such as Monet and Van Gogh. The children explored many different art mediums such as pencil drawings, oil pastels, painting on canvas and watercolors. They recreated many famous painting such as Van Gogh's iconic ‘Sunflowers’ and made their own Pablo Picasso inspired self portraits! The children also studied abstract art and  created a beautiful Kandinsky mural for the art wall. 

Friends in class with Haley and Hilary explored Famous Musicians. The classrooms were filled with music!  They covered a wide variety of musical genres including: Jazz, Classical, Reggae, and World/Multicultural.  The circle discussions included different Genres of music, what it means to be a Famous Musician, and questions such as: Do you listen to music at home? Why do people listen to music? How does it make you feel? The children enjoyed water coloring musical notes, painting musical instruments, and of course listening to the many different genres of music.  

This month each of the Pre-kindergarten classes focused on a different Author Study. The children continued to grow their concepts of print though reading and exploring many great books. Children with Angela made their own butter to put on pancakes they had cooked in honor of Eric Carle’s Pancakes Pancakes. Friends with  Amber class studied Dr. Seuss and his whimsical stories.  Amber finished the study with a week long spirit week which was such fun for all the children. 

Afternoon STEAM Program
Children in the afternoon program with Amber, Angela, Haley, and Danielle have had  another wonderful month with the hands-on learning that takes place during our wonderful afternoon STEAM program.  

Science - we experimented with snow and melting ice with salt, dropping vinegar onto baking soda, and color mixing with eye droppers and observing the melting rate.  

Technology and Tools - we explored shovels and talked about how it is an important tool that helps us (especially on snowy winter days!).  The children also worked on their fine motor skills and used pencils to write after a discussion about graphite.  

Engineering - has allowed us to plan and build many different structures such as: bridges, playgrounds, castles, and more. The children  used paper and chairs to build bridges; they used toothpicks and clay to create unique three dimensional structures; they built towers with plastic cups, made marble mazes, designed gardens and houses.  We read The Three Little Pigs and built houses with straws, sticks and Legos then tried to blow them down. 

Art - the children used instruments and learned about an orchestra; we played freeze dance games to various types of music, created collages with magazines and shapes, painted with watercolors, made different scented playdough, made winter hats with fabric and paper, made winter tree paintings, and we learned about Henri Matisse and made cut out collages.  

Math - the children practiced various ways of counting including counting on and counting backwards! We also continued to play one of our favorite games, “I Have, Who Has.” A game that exercises the children’s critical thinking, counting, and color/shape recognition skills. The children also went on a wonderful shape hunt around the school.                
                    
 

Heartworks Stowe Studies Cultures

Our monthly theme during the month of February was “Cultures.” Both classrooms were extremely excited to use their imagination to build an airplane and fly to another country! The upstairs classroom learned about Kenya. Children were very engaged in making flags and discovering safari animals.

The downstairs classroom learned about Mexico. Highlights include paper weaving art, making sombreros, sunset and cactus still life paintings, Mexican dancing and movement, and the fascination over lizards.

This month the overall theme is Science. The upstairs class will learn about the Solar System, and the downstairs class will focus on Weather. 

STEAM Highlights

Science - We experimented with snow and melting ice. Children observed and documented the changes in the river on the Stowe bike path over a week time period. It was amazing to see the reactions amongst the children. 

Technology - We explored shovels and learned how it is an important tool to move snow around. Children extended this by building snow plow trucks and literally helped us clear out 2 feet of snow on our playground!

Engineering - Children have been busy constructing homes out of toilet paper rolls and straws, discovering ways on how to make a stable and strong base and roof.

Art - Children have been very curious to see the cause and effect of rolling marbles into paint throughout the process of Marble Art!

Math - Children learned about the process of changing a solid to a liquid through making wax crayons. Everyone collected hollow sticks that they were able to bring back into the classroom. They were eager to save their sticks to use to make crayons with. Children took their time to carefully grate crayons. Next they melted the crayons and then poured them into their hollow sticks. What a fabulous project this was!
 

February at Heartworks Shelburne

Class with Meg and Kaylie

The children in class with Meg and Kaylie had so much fun engaging in the Musical Instruments theme last month. The room was filled with all different types of music from classical instrumentals to early childhood favorites, and the children loved moving and dancing to them all. Some of the favorite additions to the classroom in February were the ukulele and the large bass drum. The children really enjoyed experimenting with the sounds they could make and used different toys to bang on the drums and pianos. Music is such a wonderful teaching tool and one that Meg and Kaylie will continue to use throughout the year.  

Class with Marina and Kristen

The friends with Marina and Kristen started off the month exploring recycled materials and learning how to use items such as paper towel tubes, tissue boxes, and plastic containers in different ways. One of their favorite activities involved pom poms, paper towels tubes, and small containers. The children practiced feeding the pom poms through the paper towel tubes and experimented with the different tops and how to secure them onto the containers. They delighted in figuring out how to remove the tops, and it quickly became a game to see how many times they could get a teacher to help them put the tops back on. It is amazing how much joy they can find in the smallest of things.

Class with Anne and Jacey

So many wonderful things have been happening in the class with Anne and Jacey. February was focused on all things construction and the children really enjoyed this creative and imaginative theme. The used recycled cardboard blocks to build towers and bridges and explored different ways to make these constructions fall safely in the classroom. The construction theme even spilled over into the Valentine’s Day celebration as the children worked on painting tissue boxes to look like construction vehicles that were then used as mailboxes for their friends to deliver cards and treats to. This is one of the children’s favorite themes and they always have so much fun pretending to be construction workers and construction vehicles.

Class with Liz and Amanda

The friends with Liz and Amanda spent the month of February exploring the arts of Dance, Drama and Movement! It is so important for young children to move their bodies freely and part of this theme is helping them to learn how to do so safely when other friends are around. Liz and Amanda engaged in movement activities such as “freeze dance” and “follow the dancer” that modeled following one and two-step directions and how to move in both large and small spaces. To incorporate drama into the day the teachers made a “bed” out of blankets and pillows and the children all pretended to be monkeys jumping to the song “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed.” The children continued to explore yoga as an activity and learned a few more poses such as cobra, shark and rainbow.

Class with Nikki and Cara

Continuing the theme of music, the friends with Nikki and Cara focused on Musical Instruments including, brass percussion and strings. One of their favorite activities was listening to different music and trying to figure which instruments were making each of the different sounds. They paraded around the room with homemade shakers, danced fast and slow to different types of music and used their fingerprints to make notes along their own staff. In addition to Musical Instruments, the children celebrated Valentine’s day and heard stories about love and caring and practiced doing kind things for one another and the school as a whole. It is so wonderful to see the children helping one another and sharing their love and kindness so openly.

February at a Glance - Heartworks Burlington

Morning Classroom Highlights:

February was a wonderful month of learning, discovering, and imagining as the children were immersed in the theme: Animal and People Homes. 
 
Children with Jen and Megan had so much fun learning about the forest habitat. They went on a forest animal search all around the school, hung upside down like bats, created raccoon masks, and played a very entertaining hibernation game. The children also enjoyed sharing what they know about aardvarks and anteaters with the Pre-kindergarten children taught by Dominique. 

Friends with Caitlin discovered the hot deserts of the world. The children studied all about the fascinating saguaro cactus and it’s resident, the Elf Owl. The children planted their very own classroom cactus and got the opportunity to meet a desert tortoise. The class also presented their impressive facts about the rattlesnake to the Pre-kindergarten children taught by Leah.

Friends taught by Susan climbed mountains to learn about the habitat in higher elevations. They identified mountain animal tracks, created incredible rock cairns, and spent a lot of time studying all about the different bears living in the mountain regions. The class really enjoyed making mountain granola with friends in class with Clara.  

Children with Clara also learned about life in the mountains. The class constructed a beautiful mountain mural complete with pine trees and a snowy summit. The children took a “camping” trip in the mountains and “hiked” all around the school spotting different mountain animals along the way. Their mountain granola was a perfect treat to share with friends taught by Susan. 
 
Children taught by Loraleh took a trip to the rainforest to explore this incredible habitat. The children each chose a rainforest animal to research. They found interesting facts on each animal and made beautiful and detailed masks of their chosen animal. As a culminating event, each child presented their animal’s facts and modeled their animal masks to the whole school during an all school assembly. 

Friends in class with Leah explored the rainforest habitat and brought to life the beautiful tale of the Great Kapok Tree. The class also made delicious rainforest cookies using ingredients soley found in the rainforest. The children really liked learning about monkeys and created many mischievous monkeys to ‘hang around’ in their classroom. The children were very proud to present facts and information about the emerald tree boa to the children taught by Caitlin.
 
Children with Dominique also ventured to the rainforest. The children learned a fantastic song all about the layers of the rainforest and proudly performed it for the whole school.  The class welcomed a Champlain College professor to their classroom and  explored different tropical flowers with magnifying glasses. They especially loved making tropical smoothies with rainforest ingredients. The class was thrilled to join children taught by Jen to share information about the rainforest anteater and learn more about aardvarks. 

Afternoon STEAM Program: 

Our afternoon STEAM program continues to be highly successful, fun, and impressive! Each STEAM class begins with a group discussion where the children are presented with a question to answer or a “challenge” to solve: How is liquid measured? How are bridges built? What is inside a seed? Is wind powerful? Can you use rubberbands to paint with?

The children are encouraged to share their ideas on how to solve the challenge or answer the problem and are given the opportunity to work together, working with many different hands on materials….Let the exploring, questioning, observing, experimenting, investigating, creating, and building begin! 

February STEAM highlights: 

Science: The children investigated fruit, vegetable, and flower seeds, planted an avocado pit in water, blew up balloons using gas from chemical reactions, and experimented with wind power using straws and feathers.

Technology: The children used various sized drills to make holes in soap and sand, learned about the functions of different thermometers, dissected an old phone (the kind with a cord and a rotary dial) and then made their own phones using cans and string. 

Engineering: The children designed buildings and structures using clay and wooden pieces, constructed alphabet tree towers, and used large pegs and cylinder connectors to build a giant house.

Art: The children painted with rubber bands, designed and colored unique mandalas, and built cairn structures using many different sized rocks. 

Math: The children measured and invented ingredients to make hot chocolate playdough, used different scales to compare weights of different objects, compared temperatures, and explored shapes with building materials. 

March Classroom Themes:

The school-wide theme this month is Stories Around the World:

  • The class taught by Jen: Nursery Rhymes
  • The class taught by Caitlin: Fairy Tales
  • The classes taught by Susan and Clara: Native American Stories
  • The classes taught by Leah, Dominique, and Loraleh: Greek Mythology

If anyone has a particular interest, skill, or work experience that relates to these themes and you would like to share that knowledge with the class, please be sure to let the classroom teacher or Kathleen know. We enjoy having parents volunteer and share their interests and talents with the class. 

Math Challenge!

This month build upon your child's math skills with these fun and easy games. They won't know it, but you'll be building a strong foundation for the years ahead.

  • Count all the time - walking/running steps, the number of plates/glasses/forks at dinner, stairs in your home, stuffed animals, cars in a parking lot, letter in names, etc.
  • Roll a dice: Count the dots and say what number it is, then jump, clap, skip, or step that number of times. Find that number of something (5 crayons, 3 spoons etc.).
  • Measure the rain: Put a measuring cup outside and measure the spring rain.
  • Dominoes: Match the ends of dominoes with the same number of dots.
  • Number Stories: Make up number problems with your child; “I see 3 apples and 2 oranges, how many pieces of fruit in all? We have 2 cats, how many legs in all?”
  • Create Patterns: Use cereal, legos, clothing, toys, stuffed animals, etc.
  • Color and Shape Hunt: Have your child find items of a certain color or shape around the house.
  • Shapes: Fold paper or cloth napkins into different shapes.
  • Size Differentiation: Find small, medium, or large items around your house.
  • Sorting Fun: Make piles of items by size, color, shape, or other ways your child can think of.
  • Number Order: Write 1-10 on index cards and have your child put them in order.
  • Number Search: Pick a number card and have your child collect that many items.
  • Bingo: Play number, shape, or color bingo.
  • Games: Play board games such as Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders, Monopoly Junior etc. (teach the value of having fun vs. just playing to win). 

Most Importantly  ~ Have Fun!! :)

February in Review - Stories from Around the World

The two-year-old class taught by Sarah explored Nursery Rhymes. They highlighted some favorite classics such as: Hickory Dickory Dock, I’m a Little Teapot and The Itsy Bitsy Spider. Favorite activities included putting band-aids on Humpty Dumpty, pulling plums out of a pie, and making mice to run up the clock on the wall.  

The three-year-old classes taught by Erica, Georgia, and Amy focused on Fairy Tales. Castles were constructed and gingerbread boys and girls were designed. Beanstalks sprouted, both the paper version and from real seeds! The children were also busy creating houses for the three little pigs and acting out the story.
  
Children with Cassie studied Native American Folklore. They immersed themselves in the Native American culture to appreciate the value that is placed on storytelling. They even got to share stories inside an actual teepee! The dream catchers they wove were beautiful!
  
The pre-kindergarten classes taught by Leah, Maria, and Caila studied Greek Mythology. They all learned what a myth is and loved creating Mount Olympus and learning about the gods and goddesses who lived there. The children were interested to know that Olympic games were held in honor of the gods and goddesses who invented them. Many new mythical creatures were created by the children that were inspired by the ancient Griffin (half eagle, half lion) and Minotaur (half man, half bull). They celebrated the end of the month by having a Greek feast; the three classes got together to chop garlic and olives and knead bread dough to make Greek olive bread.  It was delicious!

Afternoon STEAM Program

Here are highlights of some projects from STEAM in Heartworks Williston this month:

  • Science- inflating a balloon with the vapor from mixing baking soda and vinegar, exploring changes of matter, experimenting with sound waves with wire a hanger and string
  • Technology- making telephones, creating harmonicas, and using a heat source (a wok) to boil water and a tin foil hood to catch the vapor to create condensation
  • Engineering- building a spectroscope to project rainbows, constructing windpipes that play different pitches, building a snow fort, and engineering bubbles by figuring out how to keep them from popping
  • Arts- painting by blowing through a straw, creating beautiful kaleidoscopes, experimenting with the pitches of different instruments, and walking water that traveled up and down paper towels to mix colors
  • Math- playing musical plates, sorting pictures of different states of matter, measuring out water to make Jello 


The teachers have chosen some outstanding themes for the month of March:

  • Sarah's class: Birds
  • Erica's class: Construction
  • Georgia's class: Going and Growing Green
  • Amy's class: Light and Color Exploration
  • Cassie's class: Life on the Farm
  • Maria's class: Egypt
  • Leah's class: Paleontology and Prehistoric Times
  • Caila's class: Canada

January in Pictures! Heartworks Stowe

Class with Britta and Annabelle

This month the Pre-kindergarten class chose to learn about Fairytales! The children made canvas backdrops and puppets and used their imaginations to put on puppet shows to create their own magical fairy tale scenarios. 

They discussed the differences between real events and fantasy situations and compared the two. A castle mural was designed and after each story, characters were added to the scene. The children took an adventure on the bike path and collected sticks which were brought back to the classroom and transformed into magic wands. It was a month full of creation, planning, and imagination!

Class with Megan and Amanda

Children in the three year old class were fascinated to learn about the Five Senses. They explored all the ways to experience the world around us. The sensory table was transformed by bringing in different mediums such as snow and pine branches. The children created binoculars and made sound amplifiers and cup and string telephones. The class experimented with different smells, guessing what was in the container using only their nose. Peppermint oil, popcorn, cinnamon, and citrus were a few of the mystery smells.  The children enjoyed making and exploring play dough, oobleck, and modeling clay and discussed the differences between how they felt. The children took a lot away from this unit and would discuss amongst themselves what senses they were using!

STEAM news

The children look forward to STEAM each and every day! They have been exploring simple machines and learning how to be safe using real tools. Children created paper beads, baked mini pumpkin muffins, and brought nature into the classroom by observing and documenting the changes of ice and snow over time in the classroom sensory table. 

February's Theme is Cultures

  • Children with Britta and Annabelle - Kenya
  • Children with Megan and Amanda - Mexico
     

January in review - Heartworks Burlington

The children in Jen’s class had a fascinating month of Experimental Sensory Discovery. The children became scientists and conducted many various experiments and used their five senses as they explored different materials. They especially loved painting with their feet! They were impressive gardeners and planted an impressive windowsill garden in their classroom. 

The children in Caitlin’s class experienced Life on the Farm. They had a chicken coop with “laying hens” and had morning chores of counting the eggs. The class built an impressive classroom barn mural and welcomed Farmer Craig into the classroom to help filter raw milk and learn all there is to know about caring for cows. 

The children in Susan’s class learned about Winter Animals and discussed which animals migrate, stay active, or hibernate in the winter. They also were keen trackers and compared different animal tracks. They made biscuits to help keep the animals fed in the winter and made clay caves for the hibernating bears. The children created a beautiful classroom mural and constructed a flock of cardinals to give them luck!

The children in Clara’s class learned all about the Polar Regions. They discovered where the polar regions are located in the world, which animals live there, what the weather is like, and how it compares to Vermont. They experimented with blubber to learn how these arctic animals stay warm. Learning all about icebergs was very interesting and the class made a large iceberg mural showing the unique designs of these massive ice islands.  

The children in Dominique’s class learned all about Paleontology and the time of Dinosaurs. The children enjoyed the Paleontologist center, using the various excavation tools and looking at the many photos of the different kinds of dinosaurs. They learned about volcanoes and used various ingredients to watch a volcano explode. The children spent a lot of time making their own dinosaur eggs, and when dried, carefully cracking them apart to find the treasure inside. 
 
The children in Leah’s class learned about our state of Vermont. They learned about our state’s location on a map, important geographical points, state symbols, weather, and industries. The class constructed a giant map of Vermont complete with each child’s town and symbols of their home. The class really enjoyed making homemade pancakes with Vermont made maple syrup!

The children in Loraleh’s class had a busy month investigating Simple Machines. They learned about the wheel and axle, lever, pulley, inclined planes and wedge. The children found it fascinating finding simple machines in almost every tool or machine we use. The class built their own pulley system and worked together transporting gallon jugs of water. Using the pulley system quickly showed how simple machines make our work easier! Each child created their own outstanding ‘machine’ using multiple simple machines within it. 

January STEAM Highlights: 

The children had a lot of fun in January during their STEAM lessons. They enjoyed learning about many new and exciting concepts while being introduced to many different and engaging materials.

STEAM with Caitlin: The children experimented with crayons and watercolors to make crayon resist paintings, learned the word “reaction” and worked with various ingredients to observe different reactions, and spent a lot of time investigating a pencil sharpener and finding the many tools that work together to make the sharpener work.

STEAM with Clara: The children worked together to make impressive salt crystals and enjoyed watching them grow every day. The class learned about catapults and constructed an impressive one using rubber bands, a spoon, and popsicle sticks. The class also explored with magnets filling bottles with pipecleaners. 

STEAM with Leah: The math lesson on symmetry was quite a hit when each child constructed a perfectly symmetrical picture usings pattern blocks and rulers. They enjoyed experimenting with different thermometers taking the temperature of various items. They also took advantage of the recent snow and performed fun ice melting experiments. 

STEAM with Dominique: The children worked together to build an outstanding marble run using ramps, tunnels, and slides. The class also engineered various styles of bridges and tested their weight when complete.  It was exciting to learn how ice cream is made and combined the proper ingredients to make homemade ice cream in a bag. 

February Classroom Themes: 

The school-wide theme in February is Animal Homes and People Homes (Habitats)

  • The class taught by Jen: Life in the Forest 
  • The class taught by Caitlin: Life in the Desert ~ Hot and Cold
  • The classes taught by Susan and Clara: Life in the Mountains
  • The classes taught by Leah, Dominique, and Loraleh: Life in the Rainforest  

If you have a particular interest in a theme and would like to join the class for an activity, please see your child’s teacher! We appreciate family participation. 
 

January in pictures! Heartworks Shelburne C

Meg and Kaylie

The children grew so much and reached so many milestones over break and through the month of January. From sitting on their own to pulling up and moving around the room, we have all celebrated these accomplishments and have continued to explore new ways to help foster and encourage this growth. Some of the children had the chance to explore snow from outside and splash in the water in the warmth of the classroom. A fun side project that Kaylie and Meg have started is a series of themed photos that are displayed on the wall each month. During the month of January the theme was “A View From the Top” where the children were photographed from above as they were drinking their bottles. February’s “Tunnel of Love” theme is well underway and the photos are so much fun to look at. 

Marina and Kristen

During the month of January, children in class with Marina and Kristen learned about winter and winter animals. They enjoyed exploring outside on the playground and taking many walks around the campus. It has been so fun to watch the children’s excitement as they explore the newly fallen snow and work diligently to move around in their warm and cozy snowsuits. One of the children’s favorite enrichment activities was using birdseed, toilet paper rolls and “Wow” soy nut butter to create bird feeders for the birds that perch on the trees outside the window. All of the children excitedly gathered outside and had a chance to help Marina hang the bird and small critter feeders for the winter animals. This was such a wonderful enrichment for the children who have shown a great love of all the Earth’s creatures, especially the sounds they make.

Anne and Jacey

Winter, snow, and ice were a huge draw for the children with Anne and Jacey during the month of January. They explored outside, sang songs about winter and used the coldness and snow of the season to talk about winter animals and how they prepare for and survive through winter. The children had a lot of fun pretending to gather food as the animals do, creating warm homes and of course taking long winter naps! Throughout the month of January and continuing in the months to come, the children began exploring shapes and colors and have been introduced to numbers and counting through everyday play as well as meal times, enrichment activities and circle lessons. They are all growing so fast and learning so much. This is a very exciting time of year for all of the children and teachers.

Liz and Amanda

During the month of January the children with Liz and Amanda were transported each morning to the prairies of North America. The children heard stories about life on the plains learning about both animals and people and the different way things were when the plains were just being settled. The children had a lot of fun playing prairie games such as hopscotch, potato sack races and a bean bag toss. There was so much joy and laughter as they were learning how to play. They also had the opportunity to experience a little bit about how food was made before grocery stores as they worked hard shaking cream to transform it into butter. They then tasted their creation on freshly made gluten free biscuits.  At the end of the month the children practiced using scissors to cut down the “grass fields” they grew when the blades got too long. 

Nikki and Cara

As the children entered the classroom with Nikki and Cara during the month of January, they were transported deep into the forest with woodland creatures, through songs, stories and exciting enrichment activities. Many of the days involved talking about animal tracking, searching for footprints in the snow both on the playground and in the forest and pretending to be the animals they were learning about. They explored caves created with cloth and chairs as they searched for bears, practiced their echolocation skills as bats in a darkened room and built squirrel dreys using grass, stick, leaves and other natural materials. The children show such compassion and care for animals, and it is wonderful to foster this love of nature.

January Highlights from Heartworks Shelburne

It was a busy and exciting month for each class. The school wide theme was “Animal Homes and People Homes.” Each classroom enjoyed learning about life in a different region. They discussed the animals that live there, the people, special stories from an area, and enjoyed creative art projects related to the region.

Children in class with Sherri and Sandra spent their month exploring Life in the Forest. The children enjoyed going on bear hunts around the classroom and even created their own bear cave to hibernate in! Their classroom transformed into a campsite with a real tent. The children were thrilled to get to “sleep” in the tent and roast marshmallows around the campfire. 

Children taught by Kaylah, Hunter, and Danielle took an adventure through the Hot and Cold Deserts this month. The children learned about where deserts are located in the world and the different animals that live there. They went on many hunts for polar bears around the classroom, used their handprints to make prickly pear cactuses, and created sandstorms with paint and sand.

Children taught by Hilary and Haley learned about Life in the Mountains. The children learned about animals that live in the mountains, pretended to be bears hibernating in caves, and squirrels gathering food for the winter. The children even created their own beautiful mountain collages to display in the classroom. They even used their carpet squares to demonstrate how plate tectonics move to create mountains! The children especially loved going on bear hunts and exploring the life in the high mountains. 

Children in class with Amber and Angela explored Life in the Rainforest. Each classroom grew their own rainforest by creating murals adding plants, animals and insects to the layers of the rainforest. The children baked muffins and breads using ingredients that grow in the rainforest. They were thrilled to use their math skills to measure the distance tree frogs jump as well as the length of a quetzal's tail feathers! 

STEAM

The STEAM classes taught by Amber, Angela, Haley and Danielle have been hard at work. The children have enjoyed a month filled with experiments, projects, building, inventing, observations and predictions.

Some highlights from the month include: Science projects that involved building rocks, planting seeds, walking water, and cloud observations. The Technology projects included using stumps and tools, technology charades and telephones. Wednesday Engineering highlights were using blueprints to create structures with blocks, creating towers with solo cups, and creating a water system using straws and tubs. Thursdays the children enjoyed an afternoon of creative arts! They loved reading Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzbery and creating their own “beautiful oops” projects, water coloring, and reading Elmer By Donald Mckee and making their own special colored elephants. A highlight was Danielle’s class performing a production of  “Swimmy” by  Leo Leonni for Haley’s class.  Math on Fridays have been filled with matching, size differentiation, color hunts, and playing board and card games.

January’s Theme and World’s Fair

During the month of January the school-wide theme was “Cultures,” during which each age level studied a different country. The Cultures theme was so exciting - the school was alive with the commitment of each class to the country that they were studying.  

We celebrated this unit by sharing the information they had attained during our third annual World’s Fair. On January 30th the children boarded the Heartworks Airways to fly around the world (around the school) visiting other countries. Represented at the Fair were:

  • Australia (Sarah’s class)
  • China (Erica and Georgia’s classes)
  • Japan (Amy’s class)
  • Mexico (Cassie’s class)
  • Kenya (Maria, Leah and Caila’s classes).  

At each stop the children had their passports stamped, marking their visit. The flights rotated so each class had an opportunity to return to their home country (their own classroom) to teach the other classes some fun facts about their country. It was quite impressive to hear the presentations from the children; they retained so much information about their countries - everything from local cuisine, indigenous animals, musical instruments, the flags, the language- so much was represented!

STEAM in January

STEAM with Cassie - Winter was the consistent theme of Cassie’s STEAM experiments. They made slush out of a mixture of baking soda, sand and water, and then drove cars through them to simulate driving on winter roads. They then discussed car washes and washed the cars in vinegar and observed the bubbly reaction! The class made ramps and observed how various objects slid down. They also engineered igloos out of ice cubes, and snowball launchers (catapults that tossed pompoms).

STEAM with Maria and Leah - STEAM lessons in Maria and Leah’s classes focused for two weeks around Healthy Bodies and two weeks on Inventors and Inventions. Maria’s friends explored a human’s blood stream and how it carries nutrients and also germs through the body; they then discussed how to keep germs away! They learned about how to eat a balance of healthy foods in order to help fuel their body.

During their study on inventors, they learned about Thomas Edison and the light bulb, the Wright brothers and the airplane, and Benjamin Franklin and the many contributions he made to our lives, including the invention of bifocals! All of the children know someone who wears glasses so it was special to help make a connection between how his inventions are still helping people.

Another fun invention the classes learned about was the catapult. They engineered their own and then measured how far their design tossed a pompom down the hall.  

February Themes

The school-wide theme for February is “Stories from Around the World.” The classes will be focusing on different genres of stories. It is so fun to see stories come to life in each classroom as the children spend time with the different characters from the tales. They will discuss the origin of the different stories and the older children will learn about cultural influences of the Native Americans and the Ancient Greeks.

  • Sarah - Nursery Rhymes
  • Erica, Georgia and Amy - Fairy Tales
  • Cassie - Native American Tales
  • Maria, Leah and Caila - Greek Mythology

December Highlights: Celebrations Around the World

December was a month filled with holiday celebrations from around the world.  We started the month with an all school Story by Heart of St. Nicholas day. The following day the children were surprised to find clementines in their shoes. The children were filled with wonder as they discussed how St. Nicholas did this.  

All of the classes celebrated such holidays as Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, St. Lucia’s Day and Winter Solstice. The last two days before vacation were pajama days. Teachers and children alike came to school in pajamas! The school gathered in the big room for a reading of The Polar Express. It was a definite highlight of the month and a special way to start the winter vacation.  

The class taught by Sherri and Sandra enjoyed learning about St. Nicholas and left their shoes out to find a special clementine treat that was left by St. Nicholas. The children also enjoyed reading “The Gingerbread Girl” and used fine motor skills to  make beautiful paper gingerbread girls.  

Kaylah and Hunter’s class enjoyed singing songs about snowmen and reading the book “Katy and the Big Snow By Virginia Lee Burton. The children also loved making and eating Latkes and applesauce.

Danielle’s class was hard at work creating paper clogs and learning all about St. Nicholas and the beautiful traditions that make that celebration so special.

The class taught by Haley made beautiful paper crowns to celebrate St. Lucia day. St. Lucia is the celebration on the 13th of December to celebrate the light, love, and feast of the season in scandinavian countries.  

The class taught by Hilary spent the month of December ice skating with wax paper and making beautiful menorahs made out of paper and fingerprints. 

The children in Amber’s class “travelled” to Germany to learn about all the Gingerbread and the story of The Gingerbread Boy, on their return “flight” home they found a large plate of gingerbread cookies.  Delicious! 

The wonderful class taught by Angela was busy creating a holiday winter wonderland. They made beautiful literary light to decorate the wall, practiced size differentiation by making adorable snowmen for the wall, and made gingerbread for children to eat!  

December STEAM Highlights:

The STEAM classes created beautiful crystal in December and observed the chemical reaction created by using borax, vinegar, and baking soda. Throughout the next couple of weeks the children carefully documented the changes that took place and ended up with beautiful crystals!  

For Tuesday tool technology day, the STEAM classes experimented with common classroom tools such as scissors, pencils compared to ink pens and created beautiful snowflakes for the classroom.

On Thursday, art day, the children used paint and straws to demonstrate how germs are spread through the air and when we sneeze. For math the children created and learned all about three dimensional shapes and patterns.  

December Highlights

We had an incredible holiday season at Heartworks! December's theme was Celebrations Around the World. The upstairs and downstairs classes explored the different traditions of St. Nicholas, St. Lucia, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, and the Winter Solstice. They were all eager to create new traditions with friends and families here at Heartworks. It was so amazing to have families volunteer to share a tradition with our class. Thank you for taking the time to come in and share these experiences with the children. It means so much to us!

This month the downstairs class’ theme is The Five Senses. Children will explore the five senses through various, hands on, engaging activities. The upstairs class took a vote on what they were interested in learning about and chose Fairy Tales. They are all so excited to read, act out, and create skits on classic fairy tales. 

December Highlights

Meg and Kaylie

The children with Meg and Kaylie really love hearing and making different sounds so December was a perfect month full of holiday music and the jingling of bells. “All the Snowflakes” and “Dashing Through the Snow” were two of the most favorite song choices that elicited the biggest smiles and expressive reactions. In addition the fun music, Kaylie and Meg worked with the children to help create footprint mistle "toes" and a holiday gift that we hope all of the families enjoyed. 

Marina and Kristen

The friends with Marina and Kristen had a lot of fun during the month of December exploring the different holidays and enjoying many enrichment activities. They started off the month using their hands and paintbrushes to add greenery and snow to the winter solstice tree and really enjoyed feeling the paint between their fingers and moving it around on the canvas. As a class, they celebrated Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa through stories and songs and art. They created collage wreaths for Christmas, used sponges to paint paper dreidels for Hanukkah and used black, red and green squares to create Kwanzaa placemats. The room was full of holiday music such as Jingle Bells, Let it Snow, and Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel most of the day as the children eagerly signed and asked for more at the end of each verse. What a fun and enriching month they had!

Anne and Jacey

The friends with Anne and Jacey started off the month using finger paints to create a beautiful banner with the word celebrate and proceeded to do just that throughout the month. They used sponges and green paint to create Christmas wreaths and finished them off with glue and red pom poms for a nice festive touch. For Kwanzaa the children again used glue and pasted red, black and green tissue paper on different toilet paper rolls that they then used to create a kinara for display in the classroom. The children really enjoyed experimenting with the sticky glue and trying to figure out how to get the paper to stick to the roll instead of their fingers. One of the children’s favorite activities was playing pin the flame on the menorah. Each child had a chance to hold one of the paper flames and place it atop one of the nine candles, including the shamash. They all had such a wonderful few weeks in December and really enjoyed the holiday theme.

Liz and Amanda

The children in class with Liz and Amanda explored Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Christmas through stories, songs, and a lot of fun enrichment activities. The children worked together to paint a large canvas menorah and used clay as they learned about dreidels and sang the dreidel song. The children also really enjoyed singing The Twelve Days of Christmas dancing with scarves and acting out the different verses pretending to milk cows and leaping like lords. Towards the end of the month some of the friends helped to paint red, black and green candles for the class kinara and practiced counting from one to seven as they set the candles up in the kitchen area. As a special treat Tucker’s mother, Katie, came in and helped the children create fun and festive snowman magnets! The children loved experimenting with the pieces and the little snowmen were so sweet.  

Nikki and Cara

In Nikki and Cara’s class the children also explored some of the different holidays that are celebrated in December. The children all really love to move and dance so there was a lot of holiday music to be heard each day which filled the room with laughter and dancing. One of the favorite moments was when the children discovered that Saint Nicholas visited the school one night and left delicious clementines in their slippers. Many of the children chose to eat their clementines right away at snack. Thank you so much Saint Nicholas. The children were also introduced to Kwanzaa and heard about the seven principles of the holiday and focused on unity, working together and supporting one another. At the end of December Nikki and Cara used the “We Three Kings” book that the children were all interested in to talk about Mary and Joseph looking for a place to lay baby Jesus and how the kings were traveling to bring the baby gifts. The children then pretended to bring different gifts to the babies in the classroom.