January has been a very exciting time in room 3. We are learning all about winter and the quieting of nature all around us. The children have been exploring the changes in weather and have had the opportunity to learn about the effects of temperature on ice and snow. We have two new additions to our classroom. We have adopted two new bunnies. The children held a vote and named our bunnies Catboy (boy) and Alex (girl). The children are learning about pet care and responsibilities. There has been a great deal of smiles and hard work going in our room as we learn about our bunnies. The children are exploring different environments for bunnies and other burrowing animals. We will be keeping our bunnies through the end of our year and the children will have many more opportunities to extend their learning and compassion for living things. Please feel free to stop in to visit Catboy and Alex in room 3.
Early childhood is an exiting time as children begin to learn about themselves and the world around them. It’s a time when they can develop habits that can affect them throughout their lives.
In this winter season with lots of colds around us, we definitely want to prevent getting colds by teaching children methods of keeping away the germs. We try to incorporate activities that help them maintain a beautiful smile, and keep them looking and feeling great.
This month we planned exiting activities, games and songs that cover proper hygiene. We started with the book “Germs Are Not for Sharing” by Elizabeth Verdick. After reading this book we talked about how we need to cover our mouths whenever we cough or sneeze not to spread germs because our friends can get sick, too. We talked about washing properly our hands, and the situations in which washing our hands is required. We discussed proper hygiene habits when using the bathroom. Then we had an art projects in which our character had a cold, and we had to make sure that he uses tissues to wipe out his/her nose. Then we read the story “ Little Raccoon Catches a Cold” by Susan Canizares, and talked about why the raccoon got sick. Later, in a different activity we discussed ways of protecting ourselves to prevent getting sick, and we compared our experiences of being sick to the one the little raccoon had in the story. We reinforced our students’’ good hygiene behaviors whenever we noticed them throughout the days.
December month brings a lot of different winter activities and exciting open discussion for our preschoolers to expand their thinking about the seasonal changes. We are also working on our new long term assignment: Project Approach our theme is about: Transportations.
We read books on climate changes and on Transportation.
The children enjoyed the book titled: Little Raccoon Catches A Cold. From this book they learned more about following directions for safety and identifying the different garments we should wear to keep ourselves warm and protected from getting sick like little raccoon; understanding the importance and differences of getting properly dressed before going out to play during the winter months verses the warmer months passed; they even understood how silly little raccoon was thinking he could catch a cold using a baseball mitt, butterfly net or a bucket.
One child said: “ Little raccoon was too excited to go outside with his friend red squirrel; that’s why he forgot to dress properly ; then him got sick and his mom made him soup to feel better”.
Another child said: “Little Raccoon forgot to eat his lunch and a cold caught him”. Another said: He didn’t listen to his brother”.
Another activity we did During Small Group Time; since everyone was not prepared to play outside when it snowed, we filled two large trays with snow one for each table and each child made their own personal snowman; that was a quick cold fun indoor experience and experiment the children really enjoyed it very much. We are also reading and talking about bears and their habitats, while creating our own classroom Bear habitat display. We also made some classroom winter displays.
We are reading various book: We All Go Traveling By, Tons of Trucks, Things that Go and Duck in The Truck as we work on our Project Approach, as you can see we are moving along on our Transportations activities using various boxes to create them; Much more to come on this long term teamwork.
Have a safe and enjoyable winter break and a very Happy New Year!
By: Suzette Dort
It is amazing how quickly December has gone by. It is holiday time already and we were very busy learning all about Kwanza, Chanukah and Christmas this month. The children created gingerbread people art and we even received an early gift. We met a new friend named Merilier who is a wonderful addition to our classroom. Having a new friend in the classroom was a gift within itself and the children are very happy to grow and learn with Merilier. This month our focus was on holidays and liquids and their different forms. The children were able to explore paint color blending and were able to add paint to snow. We learned all about melting ice and snow and the children had a blast. We did do our snow and ice activities indoor because of the very chilly weather and I would like to remind everyone that we do take the children outside daily if the weather permits so please make sure your children are dressed accordingly with hats, gloves/mittens and a warm winter coat.
Happy Holidays from all of in Room #3 and we can't wait to see all the new learning adventures coming in 2018 with your children.
Our block area has become a popular area for out future architects. Using building blocks can change the way children think. Working in the block area stimulates creativity, and sharpens fine and gross motor skills.
During this month we had the opportunity to teach the concept of diversity, acceptance and respect. Understanding each person is unique and recognizing our individual differences.
We explore these differences in a safe, positive and nurturing environment conducive to growth. In teaching differences and similarities in people and the importance of love and acceptance of other cultures, understanding each other and embracing the rich dimension of diversity contained within each individual.
Our classroom has a rich mix of diversity: Cuba, Guyana, Trinidad, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Dominican Republic, Mexico, Portugal, Philippines and United States.
To introduce the theme we read diverse books to our students and had friendly open discussions and identifying the different skin tones, and types of hair among ourselves . We provided each child with a paper person shape and instruction for parent/s and child to decorate using fabric, paper and or crayons to allow them to choose their skin color representing their culture for our classroom display, showing we are all people from different parts of the world and friends.
As a small group activity we provided the children with paper, crayons, beans and glue to create themselves to show differences in people, shapes, sizes and talent.
During large group activity our Music teacher Ms. Betsy played a number of multicultural music from around the world, she introduced and allowed each child to play different instruments; the children were elated to play the different instruments they enjoyed singing and dancing along to the music, it was an enjoyable moment.
We ended our lesson with a multicultural celebration with lots of food from our countries and dressed to represent each country, it was lots of fun having the parents, children and teachers dining together sharing and enjoying each other company.
The month of November at Jefferson Park Preschool in room 3 centered around the theme of Fall, Thanksgiving and Counting. We are learning to be thankful and learning about the world around us like our creative turkey projects that are going home soon. Please be on the lookout for those in your children's book bags. The children explored leaves and the season of fall extensively. We were fortunate enough to have ample leaves for exploring, counting and categorizing. We continued counting with the introduction of pegs and peg boards and the children were very excited to continue with several different counting materials. We will continue to work on our amazing counting skills throughout the school year but November was especially productive and we cannot wait to see what the month of December brings!
Last week we celebrated our cultural diversity in our school. The week’s multicultural spirit week debuted by inviting parents into our classrooms. Then, on Tuesday our music teacher, Mrs. Betsy, we sang, and danced on various famous international songs. On Wednesday, we opened the doors for our food festival. The families wearing clothes or garments from their culture came and shared with us their traditional delicious foods. This week was an amazing way of learning about the rich tapestry of cultures from our community.
Young minds exploring, learning, and understanding the concept of change in their environment using fine motors skills and five senses.
Now that the children in room five are more comfortable and at ease feeling loved, respected and accepted away from their homes; they are hard at work and play. As we introduce and expand their thinking and acknowledge of the changes that are occurring around them during the fall season.
For the month of October we sang songs, dance, read books and did finger plays to encourage phonological awareness.
For math and science enhancement we went outside to collect leaves each child had a small paper bag with their name on it to collect their own leaves of different sizes, they were able to sort the leaves by sizes of large, medium and small and we made a math chart.
We also had lots of fun making Apple volcanoes; the children were very excited to work together in pairs and amazed to see the volcanoes erupt.
We also did an Apple tasting experiment using different colors Apple; red, yellow and green, it was funny watching their facial expressions as they tasted the differences , especially when it comes to the green apple one child said it taste like limes.
Last but not least we also did a large pumpkin carving exploring the contents, how it feels inside and estimate the number of seeds found.
October-fest was a blast. We had a mini fall carnival right here on the preschool campus, filled with a petting zoo, a dance party, and food for everyone to enjoy! The children loved the live animals. They were able to get up close and personal with them; learning how to be gentle and kind. We had a blast.
We are thrilled to say that the children are adjusting very well to our routines and to their new friends. We may have had a few days that were slightly different because of a few birthday but the children have fallen right back into step even after all of the excitement. We are now entering our third month of school and the children are learning to take care of themselves. They tend to their own needs by getting their thermos or water bottle that are being sent in by their families whenever they are thirsty. They clean up after themselves and are responsible for the proper use of materials in our classrooms. With each day that passes, we expect to see more and more independence.
On the 31st of October the entire school had a Fall Harvest Animal Parade which was promptly followed by a well organized petting zoo right here at Jefferson Park Preschool. During the month of October we learned a great deal about animals with a special concentration on nocturnal animals including bats. All classes had the opportunity to meet a wonder bunch of bunnies, chickens,and a very laid back donkey and goat. Later in the day we all worked together on making rice crispy treats which went home although a few students did want to eat them entirely at school. We had a very exciting month and look forward to more great experiences here in room 3.
The rainbow parachute brings the thrilling excitement out of the children when skies are blue. Not only are the children able to perform easy exercises, but they are also able to practice their fine and gross motor skills, as well. Although the weather may have a mind of its own, and not permit us to enjoy the outdoors, especially on those rainy days, we always have a back-up plan!
Since our students are interested in farm animals, and spiders, one of the books we chose to further our children’s knowledge about animals and insects was “The Very Busy Spider” by Eric Carle. We had lots of fun bringing this story to life through various activities.
To summarize the story, a little spider begins to spin her web on a fence post. One by one, the animals of the nearby farm try to divert her, each with its own sound and specific enticement. Continuing patiently with her work, the industrious spider doesn't answer. She has a busy day ahead of her, but at the end she will be able to show the animals that her web is both beautiful and very useful.
We looked at books and we were interested in finding out how the spider builds her web, then we tried to make webs for our spiders during art activities. We used props with animals to act out the story “The Very Busy Spider”. Then we took the animals that we had in the barn, and made their specific sounds. We drew our spiders, and their webs, and then we used our listening skills to guess the specific sounds that one can hear on the barn. We also made our spiders using play dough.
Already well known as a classroom classic, this creative, interactive picture book is a delight to the senses, a joy to share, and an invitation to pre-readers to "read" on their own. We were able to expand the students’ reading with fun activities.
As the school year took off to a fantastic start, the children were introduced to music by Ms. Besty. Ms. Besty, who is the music teacher, comes in every Friday to teach the children about the art through an exciting and entertaining way. For example, the children like to follow the beat of a song with an instrument, or simply act out the song while it plays in the background; however, thier all-time favorite is to dance to the rhythm of a selected song. We can all deduce that Ms. Besty can put the rhythm in your step!
Welcome to an exciting school year! For all the families that are new, welcome to our center. Jefferson Park Preschool is enthused about learning, and we are eager to share our excitement for learning while giving your children quality instruction. We began the new school year with our unit about school and progressed through the month of September with our focus on building trust and respect in the classroom for all individuals. The children were exposed and shown the proper classroom routines and given a variety of materials and toys to explore and manipulate. We have begun to see many friendships blossom within our classroom and will continue to assist your children in developing their social skills while learning all about their new environment. Many of the children have worked extensively in many areas in our room. We will be sharing many pictures of their successes and look forward to an exciting and productive school year.
Ms. Jenny and Ms. Geydy
By: Suzette Dort
We are very excited returning to a new school year to welcome our new students to a fun filled enriched academic school year, although it’s an exciting time of the year we are very much aware some children experience separation anxiety. For the beginning of September we read books to all the children to help them feel comfortable in their new environment away from home. They especially loved and enjoyed the story about Chester Raccoon and his mom in the book called: “The kissing hand”. With our help each child was able to create their own kissing hand, color it and glue a heart in the middle as a reminder of mom’s secret love.
We also introduced the different play areas in increments through group play, as well as talking about our daily routine and classroom rules. As we concluded the month of September, both teachers and students are comfortable enjoying each other company while socializing together and climbing the ladder of academic success. Stay tuned! More to come from room 5.
By: Angela Fisher
Beginning on the first days of school, all teachers in preschool start to teach the class rules to ensure that students understand the acceptable or unacceptable behaviors. The vocabulary is simple so preschoolers can understand them.
Over the years, I have noticed one of the best ways to teach the classroom rules was by creating a book with pictures with our students. The students love to see themselves as the protagonists of the book, and this way, the rules are more meaningful to them.
We introduce each rule separately, not to overwhelming our preschoolers.
Our rules are:
Play together and share
Keep your hands to yourself
Say “Please” when you need help
Wait and take turns
Eyes are watching
Then we practice them throughout the day. We provide many opportunities for students to practice the rules (all year long). Throughout the year we try to have as many fun, hands on activities as possible to teach the rules. My favorite way of teaching social skills is by using books.
We also do small groups to help students practice the rules. For example, I may have 8 students do an art activity and only set out 5 glue sticks. Students can practice waiting and taking turns using the glue sticks. .
Then, another way of teaching our classroom rules is by modeling. We explain our students why we act in a certain way, for example: “I use a quiet voice inside because I do not want to hurt anybody’s ears”.
Giving praise and pointing out when students are following the rules are also a great way of teaching students the acceptable behaviors. In addition, praise is helping us develop positive relationships with students. The praise we use is specific! For example I may say, “Great job waiting patiently for a turn on a bike”.
By the end of the school year, our students internalize these rules, and correct themselves. It is the most rewarding moment for a teacher to see how the community helps each other to be kind to each other and to interact in a positive way.