In the Beginners classroom, we love integrating every subject with good literature. We believe that this will help the students make connections as they progress in life. They can remember God’s promises in illustrations, learn math by counting bunnies, recognize letter sounds by listening to words, and discover science within the stories read to them.
Last month’s literature was The Mitten by Jan Brett. In the story, Nicki’s grandma knits him a pair of white mittens, one of which was subsequently lost in the snow. As it was lying on the snowy ground, some winter animals discovered it and started crawling inside the mitten one by one to get warm. The mitten grew larger and larger as more animals crawled in. Finally, when the little mouse tickled the bear’s nose with his whiskers, the bear sneezed, causing all the animals to tumble out of the mitten! The mitten then flew in the air where Nicki saw it and brought both his mittens back home to his grandmother.
This one story showcased many subjects for Beginners: nature, science, and math. One math activity required the students to find the correctly numbered clothespin and hang their mitten on the rope in the right order. This activity helps with coordination, number recognition, sequencing, and strengthening their fine motor skills. Another math and science activity inspired by The Mitten was our mitten sensory bins. Each child stuffed their mittens with “snow” and animals. They then observed the change in the size of the mitten and counted how many animals fit into each mitten. They enjoyed studying math and science while also exercising their fingers!
Nikki Kano was born in Oakland, CA and moved back to Greece with the family when she was 8 years old. She moved back to the States in 2008 after living in Greece until the age of 30. This is her 8th year working as an Early Childhood Educator in NYC, where she currently lives with her husband and 5-year-old son. Nikki further studied Jazz and Theater at City College of New York. She is twice a Cancer survivor and is passionate about helping people, especially moms, engage in a healthy lifestyle through homemade food and therapeutic grade Essential oils. Nikki is also a homeschooling mom and a singer-songwriter. In her free time, she makes music with her husband, who is a music producer.