February 27, 2008

First, of course there was nothing. We started making a fuss when Emma could barely held a pen.

Then, she dragged her pen across a page, she made a black, or red, or green smear of a page. Or she made lots and lots what we called as "spider webs", lines of circles and circles, black and messy.



Or she made hand prints or foot prints



Then she could draw a round head with two eyes and a mouth, two sticks with forks at the ends (that is a hand).

Then she could draw this, that and a lot of things. Then her drawings/arts really look good, with beautiful colors and a wonderful mix of things: Annya, mommy, herself, birdies, fish in a bowl, houses, trees and flowers, a lot of trees and flowers ... like the following





Emma's art

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First, of course there was nothing. We started making a fuss when Emma could barely held a pen.

Then, she dragged her pen across a page, she made a black, or red, or green smear of a page. Or she made lots and lots what we called as "spider webs", lines of circles and circles, black and messy.



Or she made hand prints or foot prints



Then she could draw a round head with two eyes and a mouth, two sticks with forks at the ends (that is a hand).

Then she could draw this, that and a lot of things. Then her drawings/arts really look good, with beautiful colors and a wonderful mix of things: Annya, mommy, herself, birdies, fish in a bowl, houses, trees and flowers, a lot of trees and flowers ... like the following





Wednesday, February 27, 2008
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February 13, 2008


(Illustrated by Emma).

Hello everyone! We hope things are going well for all of you. Life in the Investigators' classroom has been very busy and fun these days. It's amazing to watch the children grow and how they change in their play. They are constantly making us smile and laugh; they are a fun group!

Circle time has changed slightly. The books that we read are getting a little longer with a plot or containing factual information because the attention span and interest of the children is expanding. While we are reading, we use pre-literacy skills, such as building on prior knowledge, recalling information, and understanding the story's sequence, in order to make predictions about the story. Singing finger plays is another thing that we do at circle time, mainly corresponding with the current unit. The children love singing and dancing to them and definitely have some favorites!

The Investigators have really been into playing games, such as Go Fish, Animal Dominoes, Candyland, dice and counting/sorting games, and matching/memory games. These serve many wonderful purposes, such as enhancing the children's language, since they have to talk with each other about the rules of the game. The games allow for many social interactions with their peers and the adults. They also enhance their math skills, such as counting, one-to-one correspondence, addition/subtraction, etc. Many of the children play a game at least once a day and they really enjoy them. Let us know if you would like any of the names of these games, and we will be glad to pass along that information!

The children's block building has also expanded. Their structures are more elaborate; certain blocks represent an idea, ramps and inclines are added, and the whole structure itself represents a huge plan that they children have before they build. It has been great to see how proud they are after they have accomplished something they have set their minds to.

The dramatic play area is another huge interest. Children are always working out social/emotional issues. It's great to use the animals as a way to set up scenarios to work out the issues they may be going through. There is always a plot with their play with the small animals. Their language really continues to grow and dramatic play is a great support of it.

The children also loved our pet shop, Pettie Pet Pet! They had the greatest time playing in this area. We have decided to change the housekeeping area every few weeks depending on what the children are interested in since the pet shop and animal hospital was so successful. This will also allow them to expand their play. Next week, we will turn it into a fire station. They have been playing this scenario out a lot so we thought they would en joy this.

We are so pleased with how well the unit on pets went The children really got into this and especially loved choosing their own pet and taking care of it. We examined different types of pet food, painted with dog bones, made houses for our pets, discussed different pets, etc. It was a great time!

*****************************************************************

A Few Reminders

Please continue to bring boots and other winter gear daily (snowpants, hats, mittens, scarves, boots) because we never know when we will go out to play in the snow.
Please go through your child's basket to make sure s/he has 3 complete sets of weather appropriate clothing (including socks!) that fit them.
Please make sure to take blankets home at the end of the week to wash and bring them back on Monday. The children really like to use their own blankets at nap time.
*****************************************************************

And now...for our next unit...It is All About Us, The Investigators!!!

We have decided to do a unit on families and all about us. Since some pets are such a huge part of the children's families, we thought this would be a great way to start talking about everyone's individual families. We talk a lot about our families at the lunch table; who is in our families, what our parents do, etc. Since this has become a hot topic of conversation, we decided to expand on this and do a Family Unit or "All About Us, The Investigators". We have art, language, science, and math activities planned, but we are also going to include all of you on this, too!
investigators' newsletter

INVESTIGATORS' NEWSLETTER - Feburary, 2008

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(Illustrated by Emma).

Hello everyone! We hope things are going well for all of you. Life in the Investigators' classroom has been very busy and fun these days. It's amazing to watch the children grow and how they change in their play. They are constantly making us smile and laugh; they are a fun group!

Circle time has changed slightly. The books that we read are getting a little longer with a plot or containing factual information because the attention span and interest of the children is expanding. While we are reading, we use pre-literacy skills, such as building on prior knowledge, recalling information, and understanding the story's sequence, in order to make predictions about the story. Singing finger plays is another thing that we do at circle time, mainly corresponding with the current unit. The children love singing and dancing to them and definitely have some favorites!

The Investigators have really been into playing games, such as Go Fish, Animal Dominoes, Candyland, dice and counting/sorting games, and matching/memory games. These serve many wonderful purposes, such as enhancing the children's language, since they have to talk with each other about the rules of the game. The games allow for many social interactions with their peers and the adults. They also enhance their math skills, such as counting, one-to-one correspondence, addition/subtraction, etc. Many of the children play a game at least once a day and they really enjoy them. Let us know if you would like any of the names of these games, and we will be glad to pass along that information!

The children's block building has also expanded. Their structures are more elaborate; certain blocks represent an idea, ramps and inclines are added, and the whole structure itself represents a huge plan that they children have before they build. It has been great to see how proud they are after they have accomplished something they have set their minds to.

The dramatic play area is another huge interest. Children are always working out social/emotional issues. It's great to use the animals as a way to set up scenarios to work out the issues they may be going through. There is always a plot with their play with the small animals. Their language really continues to grow and dramatic play is a great support of it.

The children also loved our pet shop, Pettie Pet Pet! They had the greatest time playing in this area. We have decided to change the housekeeping area every few weeks depending on what the children are interested in since the pet shop and animal hospital was so successful. This will also allow them to expand their play. Next week, we will turn it into a fire station. They have been playing this scenario out a lot so we thought they would en joy this.

We are so pleased with how well the unit on pets went The children really got into this and especially loved choosing their own pet and taking care of it. We examined different types of pet food, painted with dog bones, made houses for our pets, discussed different pets, etc. It was a great time!

*****************************************************************

A Few Reminders

Please continue to bring boots and other winter gear daily (snowpants, hats, mittens, scarves, boots) because we never know when we will go out to play in the snow.
Please go through your child's basket to make sure s/he has 3 complete sets of weather appropriate clothing (including socks!) that fit them.
Please make sure to take blankets home at the end of the week to wash and bring them back on Monday. The children really like to use their own blankets at nap time.
*****************************************************************

And now...for our next unit...It is All About Us, The Investigators!!!

We have decided to do a unit on families and all about us. Since some pets are such a huge part of the children's families, we thought this would be a great way to start talking about everyone's individual families. We talk a lot about our families at the lunch table; who is in our families, what our parents do, etc. Since this has become a hot topic of conversation, we decided to expand on this and do a Family Unit or "All About Us, The Investigators". We have art, language, science, and math activities planned, but we are also going to include all of you on this, too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008
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February 07, 2008

(The past few months was totally swamped by work, endless work. With the little spare time I stole from work, I found myself obscessed with every twist and turn of the never-ending election soap opera. News reading somehow becomes an intoxicating pasttime. )

Anyway

There seemed to be perpetual snow, forever cold for the past two months. Rain or shine, cold or hot, my dad wheeled Emma to school if it was not too cold, I did when it was. But I have largely skipped the ballet classes, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally, the snow and the cold were part of the reasons, but I also feel that going to places was better that wedging the half-hour-or-less ballet class into a preciously free Saturday.

Christmas was long gone. However we were still doing parties. It was the time of Chinese New Year. Because of my parents, celebrating the Chinse New year became a must. So my parents and Emma got to see The Chinese New Year Specular, which Emma liked a lot and my parents disliked a lot. We also went to see another party hosted by the Chinese consulate, which we adults enjoyed a lot while Emma was not quite as impressed. Somehow the new year of this year felt different, it filled my lung with pride and joy of being chinese but also a great deal of nostagia and sentimentality.

On any ordinary nights, Emma studied Chinese with my mom. They filled pages after pages with Chinese characters. Everytime Emma finished her writing, she requested my dad to circle the good ones and mark them with stars! Then she turned those stars into star babies with eyes and proud smiles.

Now Emma can write 40 to 50 chinese characters in only 3 months. It far exceeded my expectation. I had not thought this possible, to sit a 4-year-down every night, then teach her the dry-to-bone chinese. Somehow Emma enjoyed it. She also learned other important things by studying Chinese, e.g., how to hold a pen correctly, how to write a character in its correct order and position different parts correct.

Chinse and American early education go different (even opposite) directions, as with a lot of other things. However by being taught both, Emma benefits from both.

As for her literacy in English, she made a lot of progress too.

Now about my dear Annya baby ...

Changes happen overnight. She is a crawling baby now, she crawls around. She also tries to move around by carefully move from furnitures to furnitures.

Annya still does a lot of ba-ba-ba ... talk. However, sometimes she surprised and delighted us by calling "ma" (mom) and "bo" (hold me in chinese).

She enjoys working with her hands, like Emma did, doing some finger plays, signing baby sign ...

Annya is Annya. She still puts everything, edible or not, into her mouth. But we are all so happy that she is not a picky eater at all, she eats everything, enjoys everything, smacking her lips to let us know how she likes certain food.

Emma is Annya's great defender and playmate but sometimes a bully too (sometimes she would take Annya's toy away, sometimes she would object if I praise Annya too much).

In the past month ...

Posted by Xun  |  No comments

(The past few months was totally swamped by work, endless work. With the little spare time I stole from work, I found myself obscessed with every twist and turn of the never-ending election soap opera. News reading somehow becomes an intoxicating pasttime. )

Anyway

There seemed to be perpetual snow, forever cold for the past two months. Rain or shine, cold or hot, my dad wheeled Emma to school if it was not too cold, I did when it was. But I have largely skipped the ballet classes, sometimes intentionally, sometimes accidentally, the snow and the cold were part of the reasons, but I also feel that going to places was better that wedging the half-hour-or-less ballet class into a preciously free Saturday.

Christmas was long gone. However we were still doing parties. It was the time of Chinese New Year. Because of my parents, celebrating the Chinse New year became a must. So my parents and Emma got to see The Chinese New Year Specular, which Emma liked a lot and my parents disliked a lot. We also went to see another party hosted by the Chinese consulate, which we adults enjoyed a lot while Emma was not quite as impressed. Somehow the new year of this year felt different, it filled my lung with pride and joy of being chinese but also a great deal of nostagia and sentimentality.

On any ordinary nights, Emma studied Chinese with my mom. They filled pages after pages with Chinese characters. Everytime Emma finished her writing, she requested my dad to circle the good ones and mark them with stars! Then she turned those stars into star babies with eyes and proud smiles.

Now Emma can write 40 to 50 chinese characters in only 3 months. It far exceeded my expectation. I had not thought this possible, to sit a 4-year-down every night, then teach her the dry-to-bone chinese. Somehow Emma enjoyed it. She also learned other important things by studying Chinese, e.g., how to hold a pen correctly, how to write a character in its correct order and position different parts correct.

Chinse and American early education go different (even opposite) directions, as with a lot of other things. However by being taught both, Emma benefits from both.

As for her literacy in English, she made a lot of progress too.

Now about my dear Annya baby ...

Changes happen overnight. She is a crawling baby now, she crawls around. She also tries to move around by carefully move from furnitures to furnitures.

Annya still does a lot of ba-ba-ba ... talk. However, sometimes she surprised and delighted us by calling "ma" (mom) and "bo" (hold me in chinese).

She enjoys working with her hands, like Emma did, doing some finger plays, signing baby sign ...

Annya is Annya. She still puts everything, edible or not, into her mouth. But we are all so happy that she is not a picky eater at all, she eats everything, enjoys everything, smacking her lips to let us know how she likes certain food.

Emma is Annya's great defender and playmate but sometimes a bully too (sometimes she would take Annya's toy away, sometimes she would object if I praise Annya too much).

Thursday, February 07, 2008
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February 02, 2008

The very precious (and the best) birthday card

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Saturday, February 02, 2008
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Annya darling full of cuteness

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Saturday, February 02, 2008
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