Teacher Talk
Up-to-date articles on themes, projects, and fun activities that teachers are sharing with your children.
nrdn bear hibernating
February 2020

Hibernation

[Ms. Sandy - Classroom 4]

Punxsutawney Phil the Groundhog came out of his comfy hole this month and didn’t see his shadow - so we’re expecting an early spring!

This annual event prompted a lesson on hibernation, and an opportunity to share the lovely story The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. The story follows a bear whose winter nap in his cozy cave is interrupted by four woodland animals.

We discussed why animals, like bears, hibernate, and what would happen if that hibernation was disrupted. We also did a story map about The Very Cranky Bear and the children were exposed to what makes the elements of a story, such as characters, setting, problem, and solution. Then we talked about the different animals that hibernate - not just bears, and simulated the experience by creating our own very classroom “hibernation cave”. The children had a lot of fun crawling in and pretending to be a hibernating animal.

girl vegetables
February 2020

Health & Nutrition

[Mrs. Tammy - Classroom 2]

Winter is an especially difficult time to be healthy. Colds and sniffles can quickly spread throughout entire classrooms, so it’s important to teach children things that they can do to be healthy, and to keep others around them healthy as well.

We began by explaining the 20-second hand washing rule and how simple hand washing can prevent the spread of illness. From there on we used the food pyramid to discuss how nutrition and eating the right foods also play a crucial role in good health.

Finally, who doesn’t love Sesame Street?! We used one of Sesame Street’s music videos to reinforce exercise as another component of good health and fitness.

nrdn valentines day box girl
February 2020

Sharing Your Heart

[Ms. Allison - Classroom 3]

Valentine’s Day seems to be one of the children’s favorite holidays.  No surprise - with themes of love, giving, and friendship - what’s there not to like!

Before undertaking our Valentine’s Day art project, we talked about the heart and what it does.  Then we talked about the shape that came to represent the heart. We decided to make individual Valentines for each other and place them in boxes decorated by the children. The children were eager to have their classmates draw Valentines out of the boxes and to share the love.  One child exclaimed “I love you and I am going to marry you when I get big!” Ah, young love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

nrdn mlk paint
January 2020

Sharing a Dream

[Mrs. Tammy - Teacher Classroom #2/Pre-School]

As we honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King this month, we exposed our children in subtle ways to the impact that his philosophy can have on the way we live our lives and treat each other.  We did this by focusing on sharing and fairness through differentiated activities.

Among the activities, we used paints to create different skin tones.  When the children said that they were enjoying making all the different colors, we then used the opportunity to discuss how the world is full of different colors and that people can be different colors, too.  We then read books about sharing and discussed how sharing and being fair makes everything better because then we all get along. We then created Sharing Certificates that were given to each child with his/her name on it to indicate that they excel at sharing.

polar bears
January 2020

Polar Bears

[Ms. Berta/Ms. Regina - Teacher Classroom:  1B/Toddlers]

Among other topics, like Community, we talked about arctic animals and their habitat this month.

One of the animals that we discussed was the polar bear and what it needs to survive. It was interesting seeing the children coming to understand how certain animals require specific environments in order to live.

When we discussed what happens if they don’t have the right conditions, (like if it gets too hot) the children expressed concern. "They can come and live with me!" was one of the comments we heard from the children.

To conclude the lesson we read "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?" and made arctic scenes out of toilet paper, helping children to develop their fine motor skills while having lots of fun making something together.

nrdn community helper
January 2020

Community Helpers

[Ms. Maria/Ms. Stephanie - Teacher Classroom 5A/Toddlers]

This month we learned about community helpers.  We took individual photos of the children and then they were given a selection of pictures of people in different professions.  They picked which community helper they wanted to be and then decorated their own photo to represent that community helper choice.

The children learned about the many people in their communities who are there to help them and what their jobs are.  They understood how challenging the jobs were (like firefighters and nurses) and how important they are to keeping our community safe and healthy.  For the children, this was the beginning of understanding how many different people it takes to keep a community together and how one day they can contribute to that.

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