Thursday, December 20, 2012

Run! Run! As Fast as you can! You can't catch me! I'm the Gingerbread Man!

This week we finished up reading different versions of the Gingerbread Man! We took turns retelling the story with some pictures on the flannel board.

JTT Reading the story with the book
Check out the Venn Diagrams we did comparing two versions of the story.

And here are some other pictures of the fun we had this week! When we saw it was snowing on Tuesday, we ran outside to take some pictures in the snow. On Thursday when Mr. Rich stopped by, we got to wear his silly singing and dancing hat. Have a fabulous and fun 2 week break!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Helping Children Deal with Tragedy

In light of the events of today, please visit Miss Erin's blog here
to check out some links that can help parents talk to young children when tragedy hits. 

There are some other links here:

This article gives some specific examples of what you can say to children when they ask about what happened or why the adults are sad:

One of the most important things is to limit what young children see on the TV. It is hard for young children to understand what they see and hear and we don't know how they rationalize it in their heads. 

Also, though we want to share information with kids, make sure what you share is developmentally appropriate. Your children of different ages may need to be told different things. You may want to warn older siblings to watch what they say to younger siblings. 

My thoughts and prayers are with all those touched by today's tragedy. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you and your families.

Below is a message Dr. Torres sent today to all our parents and staff:

Dear U-46 Colleagues and Community,

As I'm processing the shocking news about a shooting in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, I was struck with a phrase I heard from a reporter, "this sort of thing doesn't happen in our town, in towns like these." My heart is aching for the 

I have informed the Governor’s Office that our flags will be lowered to half-mast in all of our buildings in U-46 effective immediately. The Governor’s Office granted permission pending a statewide order to lower all flags across the State of Illinois.

These kinds of events can remind us of trauma that we have experienced in our own life. If you an employee of School District U-46, please check your email for information on how you can access help through the Employee Assistance Program. If you are a community member receiving this message, please access counseling as needed from community social service organizations or your faith community.

My prayers are with the victims and their families, who will not have a normal holiday season this year.

Respectfully and with a very heavy heart,

Dr. José M. Torres

Puppet Pals Storytelling App

We had a lot of fun with a new iPad app Puppet Pals HD this week!

It is a free app (clink on the link above for information), however, if you upgrade for $2.99 you can take pictures of people and they can be puppets in the story as well! We thought that was a lot of fun!

We took pictures of each of the kids and therapists and the kids took turns creating their own stories. It can be hard coming up with a plot line all on your own, it is something that we are having fun practicing!

Miss Stephanie's Example (even though she dislikes hearing her voice!)

We also started playing with the Toca Boca apps. We made clothes for some characters and then took pictures with them in the Toca Tailor app!

Gingerbread Man Baking

We have been reading various versions of The Gingerbread Man over the last couple weeks. Our House Area has new baking supplies added and we have been having fun "baking" during Work Time every day. We have even been bringing the playdough over to the House Area and rolling and cutting out Gingerbread Men! And girls! 

One day we sat together and used the supplies to "bake" Gingerbread Men.

Adding ingredients to a bowl and stirring them. 

Rolling out the dough 

Using a cookie cutter to cut out a shape

Putting the tray in the oven and then waiting.

Using hot pads to take the tray out of the oven.

Using a spatula to move the cookies to the cooling racks.

Trying to catch our delicious Gingerbread Men as he ran away!

In the Science Area (messy table) we have corn meal and oats so we can pretend to bake and stir. Flour is far too messy and gets in the air! But corn meal works well!

You can see other pictures of some of our activities below:

We had our Gingerbread House Family Activity on Wednesday night in the gym. We had a BLAST decorating our Gingerbread Houses. Check out some of our creations below!

Here is a fun song about the Gingerbread Man: