Beth Levine

March 17, 2020

Though I felt it would eventually happen, when I left MWS last Thursday, I never expected that would be our last day together for a number of weeks. And there’s no way to know how many weeks this will eventually become. I’m thinking about the children daily and I hope that within the confines of your homes you are able to keep them occupied and yourself sane. We had a fun week (though cut short by a day) last week during Dinosaur Week. As you will see in the pictures, MWS has a large supply of activities related to dinosaurs. Also, the children enjoyed watching the amaryllis every day. I took a picture of it yesterday…just in time. The staff was just notified the building has been cleaned and disinfected and we are not to go into our classrooms for 2 weeks. With time on my hands, I reread my favorite novel in the last few days – Pride and Prejudice. Enjoy the pictures and I look forward to seeing your children again.

March 8, 2020

At the beginning of the school year, Picture Day always seems very far away, but, alas, it has already passed us by.  We’ve been watching our amaryllis grow (as seen in the picture) given to us by Avery.  The flower is going to bloom very soon and we have been anticipating a red flower as shown on the box.    

The children are always drawn to materials in the sensory table that can be poured.  This week they enjoyed large stones/large trucks and small beans/small trucks.

The children made different rainbow projects on Thursday and Friday. Everyone had the chance to work 1 on 1 with me to create their own free-painted rainbow. I showed them a sample, reminded them the order for each color, and we have 20 interpretations.

February 29, 2020

It’s not often I can post on Leap Day, so I must take advantage of today’s date.  The children enjoyed our ‘Rainbow Fish’ week.  Every day they made a related project and I read a book from the Rainbow Fish series.  Depending on the day of the week, they heard Rainbow Fish, Rainbow Fish to the Rescue, Rainbow Fish and the Sea Monster’s Cave, Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale, and Rainbow Fish A-B-C.   On Friday, I read a book called Fish Eyes.  The first page is in a photo below.  We looked at everyone’s eyes and didn’t see any pink eyes, so I was able to quickly access one of my many props and tape pink eyes on the glasses.  The children thought this was very cool.  All the teachers, including Mrs. Reiss, and most of the children tried on the pink eyes.  I continue to be in awe of children who allow the smallest event to give them so much pleasure. We are still lucky this winter to be able to spend so many days running on the playground – it’s the best thing for the young bodies.

 

January 19, 2020

The art projects the children make are a mix of directed projects with an end goal in mind and ‘process art’ projects in which the object is to enjoy the experience and be introduced to a variety of materials. Do not underestimate the importance of ‘process art’ projects….exploring materials and using them in different ways open up a world of possibilities for our children.  This past week, the children made ‘process art’ projects all 5 days. When looking at the final project, it is difficult to know what materials were used so I will explain (with some pictures) what we did.  Some of them have already gone home, some will go home on Tuesday, and some are decorating our bulletin boards.

Monday:  ‘Paper bleed’ project.  1) wet their entire piece of paper using a small spritzer bottle.  2) place tissue paper squares all over the wet paper.  3) spray again with the spritzer bottle.  4) peel the wet tissue paper squares off the paper. 

Tuesday: Tap a large piece of paper with pot scrubbers using pink, purple, and yellow paint.

 

 

 

Wednesday: Paint with recycled objects using blue and yellow paint.

 

 

 

 

Thursday: Collage Art.  The children made a design using precut shapes. (these are hanging on our bulletin board)

Friday: Spikey ball painting.  The children rolled 2 spikes balls over a piece of paper in a large box using blue and red paint.

January 11, 2020

The children have been very busy since our return to school in 2020.  This past week was devoted to all things penguins.  The table activities, sensory table, projects, poem, stories, and even our snack.  I think the giant bucket of stuffed penguins was the favorite.  One of the pictures below shows paintings the Tuesday children made following a sample painting.  Every child received the same one-on-one instruction and the wonderful paintings show their interpretations.  Everyone is easily identified as a penguin.  Another picture shows our penguin snack made on Friday.  They loved putting a goldfish cracker on the face for a beak.

I’m so glad the children have been reading the ‘monthly’ poems with you that I send home.  They will learn the January poem this coming week and I’ll put it in their schoolbags.  We just had an unusual week for January – we went out to the playground 4 out of 5 days, and didn’t have to wear snow pants.  I’m not sure if all of the teachers were more excited about going outside so many days or not having to get so many children into snow pants at the same time.  Our 2 new girls who joined the class in December have settled in and our newest boy, Luca, visited on Thursday and will join us starting this Tuesday.

November 22, 2019

We’ve been getting ready for Thanksgiving in Room 12.  Themed projects, books, table activities, songs, and poems are getting us into the spirit. Have your children told you about my turkey tail?  I’m too embarrassed to post a photo of it.  You’ll have to use your imagination.  On Wednesday we danced to many turkey songs with Mrs. Lyng and had to shake our turkey tails.  When we were in the Big Room later, I happened to go into the supply closet and came out with a turkey tail hanging from my back side.  It was a big hit!  And of course, the children have expected me to wear it every day since.  As their teacher, I cannot disappoint them.  Ask your child about my tail.  The children have been busy practicing their scissoring skills by fringing feathers for our large turkey.  Our turkey friends join us every day for Circle Time.  Our clever names for them are Turkey #1, Turkey #2 and Turkey #3.  If you ask your child, he/she will be able to tell you which is which and which one I plan on eating for Thanksgiving.  On Friday the Turkeys were seated at their own table to eat their snack.  

Another photo too embarrassing to post is my Friday hairdo.  Ask your child about my unicorn braid.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and safe travels if you going out of town.

November 6, 2019

Fall continues to be a busy season.  The children enjoyed all of the Halloween/Pumpkin themed activities.  We have just completed our Corn Field on the bulletin board.  As you can see below, the children painted a very large piece of paper with green paint to become the corn stalks and made scarecrows, corn, and crows for the field.  We’ve been working on scissoring skills by cutting pumpkins and corn.  We work with the children one-on-one to be sure they are using correct techniques with the scissors.  

The children are making carrot themed projects this week.  For 39 years, my family picked carrots in November in our backyard for the sweetest treat.  Unfortunately, the farmers in my family abandoned the garden this year so we will not have freshly picked carrots on our Thanksgiving table.

Another activity your children enjoy is looking for a special friend in the colored houses.  See picture below.  For example, we try to find in which house the squirrel is hiding. The children enjoy the chant “Little Squirrel, Little Squirrel, are you hiding in the [color] house? There is a lot of cheering when we find the correct house. We’ve looked for a mouse, squirrel, pumpkin, and scarecrow.  During the year, many other ‘friends’ will hide in one of the colored houses.

October 15, 2019

Today we started a week of squirrel activities.  The children enjoyed squirrel figurines and tree blocks, squirrel lacing and puzzles, and squirrel crafts.  We sang ‘Gray Squirrel, Gray Squirrel’ numerous times, with everyone, children and teachers, wearing squirrel tails.  

Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.
Wrinkle up your funny nose,
Hide an acorn in your toes.
Gray Squirrel, gray squirrel,
Swish your bushy tail.

Pictures below show some of the activities your children have been enjoying at school.

 

 

October 12, 2019

Your children never stop amazing me. Every day I see their joy when greeting their friends and excitement to see what activities are available during free play. The Tuesday children are enjoying music class with Mrs. Wada and the Wednesday class is enjoying creative movement with Mrs. Lyng. Everyone has learned the music terms piano (soft) and forte (beautifully loud – not screaming). We use these terms in music class and in the classroom to regulate voice volume. We practice both methods when saying our Circle Time Good Mornings and when reading our poems. It seems to have more of an impact with the children when I say ‘Use your piano voice’ rather than ‘Don’t be so loud’.

This year’s children have become accustomed to the fact that I frequently blow my nose and cough. Unfortunately, I have been doing this for 2 1/2 months. I mentioned in my last post that the children tell me to say the Good Mornings at the start of Circle Time. On this past Tuesday, I asked the children what I need to do first when beginning Circle Time and someone shouted out ‘Blow your nose’. They truly know me! My doctor tried a remedy in September that didn’t work. I explained to the children on Friday that I was leaving early to go see my doctor (actually a specialist). Please ask your child why I was going to the doctor (they should be able to tell you), but most important, please ask them what the doctor was going to tell me. Feel free to email me their response with my doctor’s instructions. I am very curious to know if their answer to you is what it was at Circle Time. By the way, the pulmonologist said it was asthma and allergies (which I’ve never had). I am now on a course that should put me back in good working order. I already feel better.

September 19, 2019

The children have settled into their new school routine and are enjoying the company of new and old friends, along with the many play activities available. They spend most of their time engaged in social activities with their classmates, something that usually happens after some months of school. They enjoy turning our kitchen area into a restaurant, build together on the rug or with blocks on the tables, and play in the loft in groups of 2 or 3. We have enjoyed the pleasant weather, giving us time every day to go to the playground. We cook our snack once a week and I plan on cooking with the children on different days of the week (but never on Monday) so everyone has the opportunity to cook at school. They already anticipate my every move. Some put my chair and little red table in place for circle time when I announce ‘Clean up time’; tell me to say the ‘Good Mornings’ when Circle Time begins; announce ‘put out your right arm to hold the railing’ before going downstairs to the Big Room; tell me to ‘take off your glasses’ before I read the daily story. Depending on the number of children on each day, we use either 2 or 3 tables for snack. This corresponds to either 6 or 7 names on the daily job chart (napkin helpers, cup helpers, line leader, water the plant). When it’s time to do the job chart, I hear many say ‘what’s my job today?’ If you ask your child ‘how does Mrs. Levine know who has a job?’ see if they tell you ‘the cards tell her.’ On the back of their names, I put a code for their job that day, and I keep track so everyone gets a variety of jobs. But the children don’t know that….they know that the ‘cards tell me!’ I always remind the children that if their name is not on the chart, their job is to ‘help count the napkins’ so we have enough for snack. We then count out the number needed that day. The children have enjoyed our many apple projects and activities, as can be seen on our two bulletin boards in the classroom.

September 5, 2019

Hello Parents,
We had a great first day of school today!  Everyone settled in nicely very quickly.  We had a busy and happy morning and the children enjoyed all the activities.  Because of the short morning, we didn’t have time to play on the playground, but we plan to next week.  Please help us arrive safely back to our classroom after the playground by waiting in the conference room (by the main entrance) until we pass by.  Some children have a difficult time completing the morning if they see their parents in the parking lot or the hallway.  

There are always some children who go home and are very chatty about the morning, others less so and others say nothing.  Here are some ideas about the morning that may help your child tell you about their time at school:

1.  What colors did you use to make your project?   red, yellow, blue
2.  Did you try to use the bathroom and move your smiley face?
3.  What songs did you sing during circle time?   Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Baa Baa Black Sheep
4.  Did you wash your hands before snack?  Did you open your napkin?  Did you raise your hand and say “here” to get your cup?
5.  What did you have for snack? triangle crackers & water
6.  What did you do after snack?   cleaned up snack and read books on the rug
7.  What did you do in the Big Room?  possibilities:  climb on the large cubes, play ball, build with the cardboard blocks, twirl on the sit-n-spin
8.  What story did Mrs. Levine read today?  Clifford the Big Red Dog
9.  What friend of Mrs. Levine’s came out of his bag to hear the story?  Clifford (hand puppet)
10.  Did you give a gently pat to Clifford?
If your child did not attend on Thursday, but will instead have the first day on Friday, please do not review this list with him/her.  We’ll have another ‘first day’ tomorrow.

It’s going to be a great year!