Family Engagement 9.20.19
Weekly Letter 9.20.19
This past week we have continued to practice our routines in the classroom, as well as introduce new routines such as our classroom jobs. We have been continuing discussions on how to be safe in our school (classroom, outside play, fire drills, stairs, etc).
We read On Monday When it Rained by Cherryl Kachenmeister. This book focused on different types of feelings. The children had an opportunity to act out different feelings and have also been encouraged to talk about them, especially when something upsets them, such as not sharing toys. We have been learning about how our actions can make others feel.
We also introduced our class mood meter/feelings chart. This is an area where the children can put their picture on the emotion that they are feeling. They are welcome to move that picture to another feeling as the day progresses.
We had a great first week of school! Over the first few days we have watched students learn and actively participate in our daily routines.
We read the book Chu’s First Day of School and discussed our feelings during our first few days of school, as well as some of our special skills and interests!
Students are slowly being introduced to our learning centers. This week in the Art Center, students learned how to use glue, (just a dot, not a lot) while creating free art with collage materials including paper scraps, cotton balls and foam pieces.
As a whole group we brainstormed ideas for classroom rules that will help keep us safe at school! Our rules included being kind, listening to friends and teachers, and keeping our bodies calm inside the classroom. We wrote a list and all agreed to practice the rules so we can have a fun and successful year in Pre-K!
Next week we will continue to learn our daily routines. We will also practice making choices on where to play using our Choice Chart.
Weekly Letter 6.14
Family Engagement 6.14
This week we read Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback. The story talks about how Joseph starts out with an overcoat and ‘transforms’ it into a jacket, vest, etc. This led us into a conversation about how we already reuse materials. For example, we reviewed how paper is recycled to make to new paper, cans make new cans and bottles too!
We also began to discuss the changes we see around us. The children described some of the changes as plants growing, people growing, clouds changing shapes and colors.
In the Art Center, we mixed colors together to see what happens!
The children also learned that they are beginning to read using the sounds and letters they already know to create rhyming word lists like cat, hat, mat, rat …
Next week we will discuss what kinds of changes happen in nature. We will focus on the lifecycle of butterflies and how they go through different stages.
Family Engagement 6.7
Weekly Letter 6.7
This week, we read the book When I was Little and discussed the many ways the girl in the book changed as she grew from baby to child. As a class we brainstormed a list of vocabulary words and ideas related to the main idea of the read aloud. We also built text-to-self connections by discussing the ways each of us change as we grow.
At the Writing Center children responded to our read aloud by drawing pictures and writing words to describe themselves “then” and “now.” Some of our ideas included talking, walking, eating different foods, and playing with different toys.
At the Math Center children used string measured to their birth length to compare with objects around the classroom. We really enjoyed seeing how small we were as babies and how tall we are now!
Next week, we will begin a new exploration of “Transformations!”
Weekly Letter 5.31
family engagement 5.31
This week, we read the book Over in the Meadow by Ezra Jack Keats. We discovered that a meadow is a habitat with many different types homes where various living things can live.
In the Block Center the children had an opportunity to create different type of habitats (ocean, zoo, aquarium, jungle).
We also focused a lot on what type of animals hatch from an egg. The children brainstormed a list of animals that we charted. Then in the Art Center they got to make paper mache eggs. Once the eggs were dried, the children decorated their egg and imagined what kind of animal would hatch from it.
In the Science Center the children continued their science journals by documenting the baby animals, focusing this week on animals that hatch from eggs.
Next week, we will be focusing on how babies change as they grow up.
Weekly Letter 5.24
This week, we read the book Stellaluna by Janell Canon. The book explored the differences and similarities among some baby animals. One baby animal got lost and became friends with others.
Together we charted the different types of baby animals. We discussed specific names of baby animals such as cub (tiger, lion, cheetah), infant (gorilla, orangutan, humans!), pup (sea otter, seal, dog) and calf (elephant, giraffe, cow). Our class also voted on whether to change our Dramatic Play Center to a vet’s office or a pediatrician’s office. We chose vet!
We continued our research at the Science Center with information books and iPads, drawing and writing about chosen baby animals in our science journals.
In Art, we painted, collaged and drew pictures of baby animals to present to our friends during circle time.
Next week, we will be continuing our study of animal babies.
Weekly Letter 5.17
family engagement 5.17
This week, we began our Baby unit by discussing what human babies need and ways we care for human babies. The children were thrilled to share some of their personal experiences and loved guessing which classmate each baby picture belonged to!
We turned Dramatic Play into a baby nursery. The children were actively engaged in imaginative play, taking care of the babies using real baby items, such as bottles, toys and diapers. Children even bathed baby dolls at the Sensory Table!
At the Art Center, children created additional baby items using recycled materials, such as baby toys, strollers, and car seats. We even experimented with various materials to create rattles with different sounds!
Next week we will begin to explore different baby animals.
Weekly Letter 5.10
Family Engagement 5.10
This week we wrapped up our Plant unit by reading The Vegetables We Eat. We discussed what the difference between a vegetable and a fruit is. The children got to sort out the fruits and vegetables in our Dramatic play area.
We took a nature walk outside in search of different kinds of plants. The children found various types of flowers and plants. We brainstormed why plants are important to our school community.
In our Art Center, the children used their fine motor skills to stamp out pictures of flowers using various kinds of materials.
In our Science Center, we observed a lettuce head in water to see if it would regrow it’s leaves.
Next week, we will be starting our new unit on Babies. We will be focusing on what babies need.
Family Engagement 5.3
This week we read An Orange in January by Dianna Hutts Aston. We discussed the journey of an orange from farm to home. The children were then invited to try drawing and writing about the journey of other fruits and vegetables either to their home or school.
In the Art Center we looked at the paintings of famous artists, including Claude Monet’s Sunflowers and Georgia O’Keefe’s Poppy and then enjoyed recreating our own versions.
This week we continued to plant more seeds and to record observations of our seeds sprouting in our science journals.
In the Math Center we used unifix cubes to measure how tall our sprouts had grown, and also used the balance scale to compare which seeds were heavy or light.
Next week we will be discussing why plants are important to us.
Weekly Letter 4.17
Family Engagement 4.17
This week we celebrated Earth Day by exploring the many simple ways we can help take care of the Earth!
To help inspire our Earth-friendly ideas, we read 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World by Melanie Walsh and Big Earth Little Me by Thom Wiley. We were excited to see that we are already making choices that help the Earth everyday!
At the Art Center, children designed and built “Earth inventions” using recycled materials. Our Earth inventions can vacuum up litter, clean the ocean, take care of plants, and sort recycling.
We introduced many sustainable practices in our classroom this week, including recycling paper scraps and unwanted artwork, turning off the lights when we leave the classroom, and returning books and toys to the shelves to be used again and again!
We are so proud of the creativity and the enthusiasm the children showed for helping to keep the Earth clean and healthy!