This week we explored the questions “what is darkness?” and “what are shadows?”
We read Can’t You Sleep Little Bear by Martin Waddell. We noticed the different sources of light on each page. We also discussed our own feelings about the dark and the sources of light in our homes and bedrooms.
At the Art Center children observed Vincent Van Gogh’s painting The Starry Night. We used dark and light paints to create our own versions of The Starry Night with swirly and dotted lines, silhouettes, and shadows!
At the Science Center we used new materials to create light reflections with our flashlights! We noticed that shiny materials bounced the light in a new direction. We also continued to observe and create shadows around our classroom. We discussed how the moon can appear to look different and that the sun reflects off it to make it shine (like a mirror).
Weekly Letter 2.14.20
Family Engagement 2.14
After the break we will learn about the many ways that light helps us!
This week we read the book Round Trip by Ann Jonas. The children compared what the family in the story saw on their trip during the day versus their travel in the evening. They noticed that the family saw more lights at nighttime because it was darker.
In the Art center, the children had an opportunity to create their own turn around pictures in black and white like our story Round Trip.
The children brainstormed sources of light during Circle Time. They then had an opportunity to try to find as many lights as they could around the classroom. We continued to explore the reflections of light all around us, on mirrors and other shiny surfaces.
We have also started to transform our Dramatic Play area into a campsite with a “campfire.”
Weekly Letter 2.7.20
Family Engagement 2.7.20
Next week we will continue our light unit by comparing shadows and learning about nocturnal versus diurnal animals.
This week we read the book Go! Go! Go! Stop! by Charise Mericle Harper. The children discussed the importance of being safe in and around vehicles, including following signs, wearing seatbelts and helmets, and being safe ‘pedestrians’ when out walking.
We also enjoyed listening to our friends sharing their riddles and signs from home. We found some signs that we knew well like ‘stop’ and ‘railroad crossing’ and others were new including ‘hospital’ and ‘Do Not Enter.’
At the Art and Writing Centers, children created their own traffic signs inspired by our class discussions and read alouds. We incorporated both child made and printed signs in our play around the classroom!
Weekly Letter 1.31.20
Family Engagement 1.31.20
Next week we will be beginning our new unit on light! Children will be exploring light, darkness and shadows with hands-on materials. We will begin by looking at what kinds of lights are all around us.
This week we focused on different peoples’ jobs and the vehicles they use to help them do their jobs. We shared our personal experience with community helpers and their vehicles during our “Turn and Talk” discussions.
While reading the book Whose Vehicle is This? by Sharon Katz Cooper, students guessed the names of the people who operate vehicles as part of their jobs, such as train engineers, fishermen, pilots, bus drivers, astronauts, and more.
At the Writing Center, children drew pictures of community helpers at work and were encouraged to describe how the vehicle helps each community helper do their job.
In the Dramatic Play Center we opened up our Pre-K Airport and explored the important roles of the pilots, ticket desk, security and the flight attendant.
Weekly Letter 1.24.20
Family Engagement 1.24
Next week we will explore the ways people stay safe as they operate or ride in vehicles.
This week we continued our unit on Transportation, by reading the book What Do Wheels Do All Day? by April Jones Prince.
We created a chart by categorizing types of transportation – land, water and air during whole group time. We thought carefully about how different vehicles could move.
In the Science Center we continued our exploration of ramps by covering them with different types of materials to determine what would make a good ramp and why.
In the Writing Center we introduced maps and the children had an opportunity to create their own types of maps – road, rail, treasure and even our home!
Weekly Letter 1.17.20
Family Engagement 1.17.20
Next week we will continue to explore our unit of transportation by looking into what types of community helpers drive certain types of transportation.
Pre-K began a new unit all about transportation! We learned that transportation means the way we travel from one place to another and that there are many different kinds of vehicles that help people, animals, and things travel! We brainstormed different kinds of vehicles that we want to learn more about and explore.
At the Art Center the children started creating some of these vehicles with art tools and materials, as well as recycled boxes, tubes, and clean food containers!
After reading The Bus for Us children brainstormed the different transportation they use to get to school each morning. We answered the question “how do you get to Pre-K ?” through drawing, dictation, and writing. We then used our responses to create a graph and count the results.
Next week we will continue to learn about different kinds of transportation through our read alouds, discussions, and play!
Weekly Letter 1.10.20
Family Engagement 1.10.20
This week we continued our unit on Where We Live by reading Welcome Home, Bear by Il Sung Na and A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. We discussed the many different homes where animals live such as nests, burrows, trees, hives and barns. In the Art Center the children were engaged with finding out about and using their imagination to create the different habitats or places where animals live such as the ocean, desert, jungle and farm.
In the Science Center they examined a real bird’s nest and considered what materials would make a good nest. Children also sorted animals according to where they lived in the Math Center.
When we come back from the holiday break, we will begin our new unit on Transportation.
Weekly Letter 12.20.19
Family Engagement 12.20
This week we continued our unit on Where We Live by looking at the types of homes in our neighborhood and city. We learned that a neighborhood is the space around our homes or school and that cities are made up of many people and have lots of buildings and homes close together.
At the Math Center, we traced various shapes and glued art materials to create a “shape city” mural inspired by the read aloud City Shapes by Dianna Murray.
At the Writing Center the children had an opportunity to create their own blueprints by using chalk, blue paper, and rulers to create a blueprint of a structure. They could then visit the Block Center and build that structure according to their blueprint.
The children used art tools and materials at the Art Center to create familiar homes from their home and school neighborhoods. We explored how to build homes using the recycled materials.
Next week we will explore the different homes that animals build to protect themselves. We will also be discussing where animals live in Winter and why some animals hibernate and others migrate.
Weekly Letter 12.13
Family Engagement 12.13
This week we started our new unit on Where We Live. We read the book The Big Orange Splot by Daniel Manus Pinkwater. The children discussed their own dream homes, inspired by the read aloud, during a turn and talk with their peers. They were then invited to the Art Center to create their dream homes using a variety of art materials.
During our whole group meeting we discussed the kinds of homes the children in our class live in, including single family houses, multi-family houses, and apartment buildings.
This week we transformed our Sensory Center into a sand table! Children explored this new material while building sand castles!
At the Block Center, children are exploring different kinds homes and practicing new vocabulary, such as building, apartment, skyscraper, tall, long, and short.
Next week we will continue to explore the kinds of homes people in our neighborhoods and in our city live in, as well as how homes are designed and built.
Weekly Letter 12.6
Family Engagement 12.6
This week we read Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert. and discussed how the wind helps leaf man to be transformed into different types of shapes (fish, birds and so on). We then discussed how in the season of Fall the wind does blow more often and the leaves change color and fall off of the trees.
This week in the Art Center the children enjoyed making a variety of turkeys with mixed media.
In the Math Center we sorted leaves by shapes, color, or size. While in the Science Center we used magnifiers to explore the characteristics of leaves.
In Dramatic Play the children acted out family life using props and materials, including food, babies and work items. We discussed what foods make a good Thanksgiving feast!
Next week we will be starting our new theme on ‘Where We Live.’ We will be focusing on the places we live and where our family members live, near and far. We will also explore different types of homes and shelters for people and animals.
Weekly Letter 11.29
Leaf Man Project 11.29