April Post and Slideshows

Happy Spring to all Ladybug Families!

April’s themes were "The Zoo" and "The Farm."  The Ladybugs had loads of fun building, creating, matching, planting and comparing all things animal!

Some highlights include:

  • zoo animal matching card game
  • decorating our own zoo animals and creating our own imaginary zoo out of Duplo Blocks and play animals
  • planting flowers in the school yard barrels during FFS “Green-Up Day” (Thanks to Moms and T-TH families who came to help that day!)
  • planting seeds in our Ladybug garden patch (we are growing radishes, carrots, chard and kale!)
  • more work collecting twigs and branches that fell in our play yards during the winter storms
  • blowing (and chasing and popping!) bubbles outside on the playground
  • As a class, we completed our first 24 piece floor puzzle (a farm scene).  So exciting!!
  • playing with Nathaniel’s old tractors and other farm equipment
  • We enjoyed a visit from former FFS cook, Janine, who came to our classroom and taught us how to make butter (which was yummy with the bread that Vicki brought into share with us!)
  • playing “Red Light, Green Light” (we try to stop when the light turns red... really we do!)
  • Cutting, rolling, pressing and shaping play dough is always a favorite activity!
  • We wrote class stories about what we would be if we lived on a farm.  (See slideshow for details...)
  • Thanks to the Hicks family, we were able to fill our sensory table with hay, straw and animal feed.  We learned about the difference between hay and straw, and how they are used on the farm.  We then used those materials to create our very own farm collage! (We were also lucky enough to receive a special visit from a farm animal AND a tractor... more on that in our May Update!)

A special thanks to the Hicks family for providing us some farm-related items for our farm unit, and to the Chen/Wong family for making us yellow play dough! 

MWF Slideshow

T-TH Slideshow

March Post and Slideshows

During the month of March, the Ladybugs practiced medicine (as doctors, nurses, EMTs, dentists, and veterinarians), became construction workers, and worked as train conductors and engineers.  We enjoyed one last sledding hurrah after the final snowfall of the season (whew- finally!), and practiced the Quaker tenant of stewardship by helping to clean up twigs in the farmyard.

As always, we enjoy our music time with Bill, and had loads of fun when Christine’s children, Nathaniel and Annabelle, joined us in the Ladybug classroom for a few days during their Spring Break. 

Thanks to the Murphy family for providing our March playdough, and to Sarah and Alex for making an extra batch that they wanted to share with us!

 

Some highlights from this month include:

  • using medical kits filled with supplies and tools to help our human and animal friends feel better 
  • using medical supplies to create doctor collages
  • using Mega Blocks (with bits of playdough between the segments) and yarn to practice flossing bits of “food” out from in between our “teeth”
  • using tooth brushes and floss as painting tools!
  • visiting the kindergarten class to see if they've lost any teeth and learning that yes, in fact, a few of them have!
  • playing with construction vehicles to load and unload rice and dried corn in the sensory table
  • building using a variety of materials
  • creating train tracks and a human train... “chugga, chugga, toot, toot!”

 

MWF Slideshow

 

T-TH Slideshow

February Update and Slideshows

Despite a few unexpected snow days here and there, February was filled with loads of fun activities in the Ladybug classroom!  We finished up our theme of “Woodland Animals in Winter” and we began our unit on “Community Helpers” with a week of learning about rescue workers and what they do.

Some highlights include:

  • making salsa with Judy!
  • making our very own classroom bear cave and tree of owls as we discuss animal habitats
  • playing with our new woodland animal finger puppets
  • building and acting out rescue scenes with Duplo Blocks
  • the chance to fight fires all over our classroom with our very own (almost) life sized cardboard Fairville Fire Engine!

** Thanks to the Piotrowski family for making our February play dough!

 

MWF Slideshow

 

T-TH Slideshow

Winter is Here... To Stay?

Winter has taken hold of life in the Ladybug classroom!  We have been enjoying winter activities of all kinds during our Winter is Here, Birds, and Animals in Winter themes.  We listened to and wrote our own stories about what we need to wear to stay warm in the winter, and have been working at dressing ourselves as we prepare for outdoor recess (on the days it's been warm enough to actually go outside!)  During our unit about birds, we painted with feathers, and made treats for the birds out of birdseed and toasted oats cereal.  We’ve been learning about woodland animals, such as squirrels, rabbits, bears, mice, deer, fox, and owls.  We are learning about what kinds of homes they live in and how they survive the cold winter months.   

Some other highlights include:

  • making snowmen, both inside and out!
  • doing the “Snowkey Pokey” (put your boots in, put your boots out..., etc.)
  • sledding, making snow angels, and having friendly “snowball fights”
  • hanging our handmade treats on the playground trees for the birds
  • digging for arctic animals in our sensory table filled with cotton ball “snow”
  • hiding in our classroom “bear cave” (sheet covering a long able)
  • painting with bubble wrap, shower puffs and other small household “gadgets”
  • making colored ice ornaments for outside tree decoration (see picture above)
  • building homes for our stuffed woodland animals with Bristle Blocks and Magformers
  • trying to "think warm" by building and jumping into an imaginary pool of giant blocks!

Thanks to Henry Hartzell and family for our January glittery snow-white play dough.

Check out the slideshows at the bottom of this post to see your child in action!

Songs and Fingerplays introduced in January

I’m A Little Birdie

(Sung to: I'm a Little Teapot)

I'm a little birdie

Cute and fat.

I eat worms.

I don't like cats.

When I see a cat come out to play,

I spread my wings,

And I fly away!

 

Two Little Blackbirds
(Traditional Fingerplay)

Two little blackbirds
Sitting on a hill,
One named Jack,
One named Jill.
Fly away Jack!
Fly away Jill!
Come back Jack,
Come back Jill!

(Substitute different colors)

 

Snowflake Dance

(Sung To: "Are you Sleeping")

Dance like snowflakes, Dance like snowflakes 

In the air, In the air 

Whirling, Twirling snowflakes, Whirling, Twirling snowflakes 

Here and there, Here and there

 

MWF Slideshow

 

T-TH Slideshow

Fall Makes Way for Wintery Weather...

The Ladybugs have been busy learning and growing this fall!  See our class slideshows below to take a peak at some of the fun we’ve been having both in and out of the classroom.  Some highlights include:

  • making apple pumpkin muffins from scratch (we even peeled and chopped the apples ourselves!)
  • pumpkin carving (the kids designed the jack-o’lantern face and scooped seeds and Christine did the carving!)
  • outdoor nature walk (looking for signs of fall)
  • making salt clay dough by mixing salt, flour and water
  • creating “fall gardens” with items found on nature walk
  • raking and playing in the leaves on the playground
  • making cinnamon applesauce ornaments (using edible items, but not edible!)
  • a Friday morning visit from Annabelle (age 6) and Nathaniel (age 10) Huxtable
  • building with the unit blocks and crawling through tunnels in the Meeting Room
  • a special holiday concert performed by Wilmington Friends School 4th-5th grade Kids’ Choir 
  • counting and sorting items (pattern blocks, gourds, counting bears) by color/shape/size
  • learning the Turkey and Reindeer Pokey (to the tune of The Hokey Pokey)
  • creating, walking and crawling on a balancing maze made with the large blocks in the Gross Motor Room
  • snow, snow and more snow!!

Thanks to all the parents who were able to meet with me during parent/teacher conferences in November.  It was a pleasure to share with you all the growth and change that Vicki and I have observed in your children over the last four months.  They are little miracles, and we appreciate the opportunity to be part of their lives!

As we welcome the new year, you may notice a few changes to the makeup of our Ladybug classes.  Mollie Murphy will be moving from our T-TH Ladybug class to our MWF class, thus creating a spot on T-TH for our new friend, Charlie Neuberger.  Charlie’s big brother, Henry, is in the Butterfly class, and we are thrilled that Charlie has decided to join us in the Ladybug classroom!  Welcome, Mollie and Charlie!

Thanks to Maddie Heckert and family for our December play dough, and thanks to ALL Ladybug parents for the lovely holiday gifts.  The children and teachers alike will all benefit from your kindness!

 

MWF Slideshow

T-TH Slideshow

Fall Is in Full Swing!

Our Ladybug scientists have been learning so much this fall!  

During our unit on color, we used red apples, green pears and limes, yellow lemons and orange oranges to make beautiful fruit prints.  We read wonderful stories about the many colors in the world around us, and conducted an experiment to see what would happen if we squeezed droppers full of colored vinegar onto trays filled with baking soda.  What fizzy, colorful designs we created!  We also learned a rainbow song:

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple,

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple,

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple,

Makes the rainbow bright, so bright!

Vicki brought in some ladybug nymphs from her yard, and they took up residence in the "ladybug house" in our classroom for a few weeks.  We were able to observe the ladybug life cycle first hand as they changed from larvae, to pupae, to adults.  Once they came out of their pupal stage as adult ladybugs, we set them free to fly off in search of a new home!

Did you know that fall is the time when apples grow on trees?  We do!  We hunted for yellow, red, and green apples that fell from the imaginary apple trees in our classroom.  There were so many, and we found them all around the room!  Once they were all found, we sorted them by color and counted them.  Here is an apple rhyme we learned:

Way up high in the apple tree,

Three (two, one...) little apples smiled at me.

So, I shook that tree as hard as I could,

And down fell an apple.  

Mmm, it was good!

Now that November is here, we are noticing some changes taking place around us.  There is more of a chill in the air, and the leaves are changing colors.  We’ve even observed them falling from the trees in the play yards at school!  As more and more leaves fall to the ground, we look forward to raking them into big piles and jumping into them during recess!  

We have used magnifying glasses to look at the different colors and shapes of the leaves we’ve collected during recess, and we have used those leaves to make some beautiful prints.  Our MWF class traveled to the kindergarten classroom where the kindergarteners shared their handmade book of leaf art creations with us.  Did you know that you can use leaves to create a man, or a fish, or even a hammerhead shark?

When spend recess time in the farmyard, we often stop to visit our resident FFS sheep, Annie and Lady.  One is black, and the other is white, and they love to come up to the fence and say hello.  They are both very friendly!  We were also fortunate enough to find our own woolly bear caterpillar in the farmyard one morning, and we brought him inside for a while to take a closer look.  We got to watch as our hungry new friend took a big chunk out of some tree leaves.  Yum!

Of course, amidst all this "scientific study" we are having loads of fun singing, reading, dancing, and creating in our classroom.  We have also enjoyed visits from the Longwood Fire Company and an FFS alum who came back for the day to read and play with us.  What fun!

Thank you to the Hose family for making our November play dough!  

 

MWF Slideshow

 

 

T-TH Slideshow

September Ends...

The Ladybugs have learned so much through our exploration of the September themes of All About Me, Friends, and Colors.  We enjoyed a visit with some Wilmington Friends School students during our Thursday Peace Day celebration, and we celebrated International Peace Day on both Thursday and Friday by having our morning Meeting outside and painting wooden peace doves (which are now hanging throughout the school!)  We've had great fun singing and making music with shakers, drums, and parachutes during music class with our good friend, Bill.  Playing with our “Circle of Friends” matching game and singing our “Goodbye Song” are daily activities which continue to help us connect the names with the faces of our classmates.  We are also learning to use “Ladybug Language” as we play together.  Here are some words and phrases that are part of our Ladybug world:

  • “Can I use that when you are finished with it?”
  • "May I have a turn when you are done?" 
  • using our words to tell others what we need them to know "No." "Stop." "Excuse me." "I don't like it when you..."
  • working together
  • please/thank you/excuse me
  • friends
  • share
  • hug
  • love
  • peace

Thanks to the Bensman and Bachman families for our September purple and October orange play dough!  The children are enjoying it tremendously!

Take a look at the slideshows below to see what's been going on in Ladybug land...

 

 

 

MWF Slideshow

 

T-TH Class Sildeshow

First Two Weeks of School!

Hello Ladybug Parents!!

We are off to such a great start in both Ladybug classes this year!  Your children are absolutely amazing, and Vicki and I are appreciating every moment we’ve spent with them.  They are curious little sponges who are already learning so many things about how school works!

With several days of experience behind them, the children are now entering the classroom each morning more secure in their surroundings and increasingly confident that a parent or other caregiver will, in fact, be back to pick them up once their school day is over.  They are becoming more familiar with our morning routine, which includes washing hands, finding and placing name tags on the door, and choosing a free-play activity before we head off to Meeting with the other classes.  They are learning classroom rules, the names of their teachers and peers, and how to communicate effectively with one another.  

The slideshows below are meant to give you a glimpse of what your children experience during a typical day at Fairville.  Your children take part in numerous activities throughout the course of a day-- from play dough and reading to playing with trains, building block towers, and traveling to the moon via taxi cab.  Their play is their work, and through this work they are learning fundamental skills which will help them as they grow older.

As you look through the pictures, look for signs of learning.  Can you see a child learning respect for others as he or she listens quietly to an adult reading a story or another child sharing a comment?  Can you see fine motor skills further develop as a child works with a paintbrush, connects train track, or manipulates play dough?  Can you see children learning how to share and cooperate as they build a block tower together?  (They also learn how to cope with disappointment as another child comes from across the room in a flash to knock it down!)  Can you see large motor skills enhanced as a child climbs up stairs or digs in the sand?

We truly hope that your children are enjoying their time at Fairville as much as we are enjoying our time with them.  Your children are, effectively, learning how to become kind, independent, and responsible people-- people who we hope will grow into kind and independent and responsible adults.  Thank you for entrusting us with their care, and know that we are looking forward to learning and growing together this year!

MWF Class Slideshow

 

T-TH Class Slideshow

 

Click on the > button below to hear our end of the day movement song, "Turning, Turning."  Play it for your child and see if he or she can show you how we dance to it in school!

A New Year of Friendship Begins

Welcome!

Welcome!

A very warm welcome to our Fairville students and families!  

The program at Fairville incorporates the Quaker testimonies of simplicity, peace, integrity, community, equality, and stewardship. Children are nurtured in body, mind and spirit by experiences that speak to their physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and creative development. Fairville children are taught conflict resolution and peacekeeping in the manner of Friends.

Please feel free to contact your classroom teachers if you have any questions or concerns.