News at The Tot's Spot
Author Visit: Ryan Maloney
We were captivated by Ryan Maloney’s visit to The Tot’s Spot. We loved the humorous books that he brought to life for us through his reading, including: Ice Cream Robots; Pancake, Pennsylvania; Away We Go Land; and The Day Gravity Goes Loco. Another highlight was learning to draw and doodle on his tablet, like he does when working. Thank you for sharing your talents with us!
Have you found a "New Canaan Rocks" rock? It may have been painted by one of our many young artists at The Tot's Spot. One highlight this summer has been designing and painting rocks, which we have hidden throughout our town for others to find. You may find a rock inspired by a favorite artist, favorite food, or abstract creation.
British Royal Wedding Celebration
Pretending to be guests at the royal wedding, everyone danced the day away and enjoyed treats to eat during our celebrations for the upcoming royal wedding. The children have devoured cucumber sandwiches, a British tea time favorite! And later today, we will enjoy some chocolate biscuits and cookies.
With the first signs of spring, we have headed outside and begun planting spring flowers. In the classroom, we will investigate how plants grow and the water cycle, and outside we will care for our garden, working together to water and weed it.
To celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, we made Irish soda bread and are busy painting recycled objects green to set a trap for the leprechaun that we hope will visit our school. Later this month, John Moses will be back at school for music class and play an Irish jig for us. We continue to solidify our understanding of letters, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, and all four seasons; all of this, we learn through song, games, and play.
Inspired by the later works of Henri Matisse, we created Valentines' Day collages, which have become festive decorations for our classroom Valentines' Day celebrations. With the help of one of our parents, we learned about Chinese New Year traditions and sampled delicious Chinese treats traditionally served during the holiday.
Refreshed from our winter holidays, we are diving right into our new year - 2018! We are starting with a study of the moon and polar animals, which seems particularly fitting with our recent snowstorm. Using cubes, colored popsicle sticks, pegs, and bear counters we began investigating and creating patterns. And of course, we are busy learning and reviewing the days of the week, the months of the year, and continuing our study of nursery rhymes.
A highlight from our month has been our unit on gingerbread men - reading stories, designing our own, and even enjoying some to eat. We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday and winter vacation.
Our busy hands have been hard at work this month, exploring the world around us. Highlights from this month include: a visit from the New Canaan Fire Department; a visit from John Moses, our special guest musician; Thanksgiving preparations; and creating our class collaborative nature mobile from items collected in nature.
We loved listening to, dancing to, and writing our own music with John Moses when he visited our class this November. We clapped and danced to the beat and rhythm of the songs, learned about the pitch of notes, and discovered how a guitar sounds different from a slide whistle. Thank you, Mr. Moses for sharing your love of song and music with us at The Tot's Spot!
A Visit from the NC Fire Department
Thank you to the New Canaan Fire Department for coming out to teach us about fire safety and give us a tour of your fire engine. We were impressed by the size (and weight) of the warer hose, loved sitting in the driver's seat, and are grateful for the brave men who help to keep us all safe.
To help us get in the Halloween spirit, Mrs. Cathy Townsend from the New Canaan Library visited us for a special Halloween storytelling morning. We loved listening to "Pig and Pug Trick or Treat" by Sue Lowell Gallion, acting out the finger play song "Five Little Bats," and dancing to "Here We Go On Tippytoes."
With the start of autumn comes our study of the changing colors of leaves, apples, and pumpkins. Students have been busy measuring, observing, and cooking with these fall fruits in class; and through our study of Paul Cézanne's still life we have begun to create still life pictures of our own. We also had fun playing with all of our friends at our annual Tot's Spot family playdate at the park.
Our school year is off to a busy and fun-filled start. We begin each day with stories, song, and nursery rhymes, which we love to act out. In science we investigated crystals by making some of our own. Through our study of Keith Haring, we engaged in discourse about his street art (color, line, size, and art as a way of telling a story), reflected on our own portrayal and self-awareness, and created our own Keith Haring-inspired life-size self-portraits.
With the help of Peter Doneit's soccer clinic this September, we all felt like soccer stars! The children loved having chance to participate in soccer drills and learn the basics: kicking, scoring, and controlling the ball. Everyone was wowed by Mr. Doneit's impressive soccer skills, like the pullback, balancing the ball on his back, and his fancy footwork. Thank you for such a fun-filled afternoon!
As the summer draws to an end, we are getting ready to welcome all returning and new students to back to school. This year, we will be taking a careful look at ourselves on both the inside and out; creating self-portraits to bookend our year. As the year takes off, we will jump into a study of Keith Haring, a NYC street artist who helps bring emotions and feelings to the discussion table.
We look forward to seeing everyone back for the beginning of school, which begins August 21st.
We are grateful to Yohanna Escamilla for sharing an afternoon of flamenco with all of the children at The Tot's Spot. The children were awwed by her presentation and captivated by Ms. Escamilla's footwork and graceful dancing, and we all loved learning a few steps of flamenco ourselves. Thank you, Ms. Escamilla for visiting The Tot's Spot.
Summer Camp is under way at The Tot’s Spot. We have been busy studying ocean animals, exploring objects from the sea through our sensory stations, and playing in the sunshine. We continue to work with each child through enrichment activities to bolster their number sense and literacy skills.