Welcome to Room 4!

Welcome To Room 4!

We are so excited to begin a new school year. We have so many new face and we love to work with our new students to expose them to different areas of the classroom and new routines. We are glad that many of our students are adjusting to each other and to the rules of the school. We know by the end of the school year they will be "big kids" capable of sitting for lessons, sharing with their friends and writing their name. Stay tuned for an action pack year here in room 4. 

Room Three: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

We just finished up our project approach at the end of February and the children were ready to move on in learning. I started reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom that got the children talking about feelings and how we feel each day. We discussed is it better to be happy or sad. We talked about how to help a friend.  We talked about coping mechanisms and how to calmly take care of situations that arise in our classroom.  We also started recognizing more letters. We did an experiment of try sink and float with a coconut. The coconut is supposed to float because it’s denser then water but if it has a crack it will sink like ours did.

    Then we moved on to Chicka Chicka 1,2,3, and the children were learning new ways to count. Although most of them will not be able to count but they will have it as a remembrance in their heads. We counted by twos, fives, and tens. The children counted along with me to 100. They matched number and wrote numbers. During this time I read 10 Black dots and children were asked to draw a picture using the dots. They were able to use ten or less their choice.

    Before our break Ms. Ivonne followed plans and the children created bunny bags and went on a egg hunt. She read stories, they learned finger plays, and started talking about spring. They children created stampers of bug on paper. Spring is in the air and we will learn all about the changes in weather, the trees, flowers, insects and more as our year progresses.

Room Three: Artic Animals

When we got back from winter break I treated my class to a New Year’s eve party. They had sparkling cider in champagne glasses, and cheese and crackers. They released poppers and blew horns. We counted backwards from 10-1 and yelled Happy New Year. We ended with the children playing with balloons to music.

    As the weeks went on we focused on getting the class to write more, answer questions, and be able to utilize items they play with to a higher level of learning. For the writing I send home writing activities once a week for the children complete at home. I want to shout out to Ms. Neva for putting this thought in my head. We talked about building with small toys. We asked them to add more to what they were creating. (I found children just putting two things together and saying it was something) We helped by modeling. Now most of them are working at a great pace and they are using their imagination to produce some great models of building.

    We began to read some winter stories and acted out The Mitten by using the children as animals and a white sheet as the mitten. As the weather got colder we decided to see how cold it really was by placing water in various objects and putting it outside to see what would happen. The children were amazed that everything turned to ice. They didn’t realize how cold it really was.

    I read a few books about Artic Animals and placed some in the science center. The children couldn’t get enough of them so I decided to run with it and use it as my project approach.  We created snow dough and placed it in our water table with artic animals and gems to pick up and count with tweezers. We will begin to dive into Artic Animals to learn everything we can about them. The children will learn through video’s, books, art, experiments, hands on play and building, and through math games and activities.

Room One: Caps for Sale

Our students enjoyed immensely the story “Caps for Sale”. Therefore, we decided to center all our activities on this story following a Project Approach Curriculum.  Based on a folktale, the story follows the life of a mustachioed cap salesman who wears his entire stock of caps on his head. He strolls through towns and villages chanting, "Caps! Caps for sale! Fifty cents a cap!" The repetitive text of this book permits children to speak the lines and thus join in the reading experience. We used caps while reading the story and, as the students got familiar with its content, started to participate and act as the monkeys in the story. As art activities, our students painted their cap in a preferred color. They also painted the different body parts of a monkey and then put it together. At the end of the project, we will make our own tree on the wall with all the monkeys the children created in it. We also did some mustache props so that each child can act out the peddler. As Math activities, we grouped caps by color, and we compared the groups (we talked which group has more, less, or the same number of caps); we played with money and pretended to sell or buy caps; we counted the caps on the peddler’s head and talked about their colors and how many he is carrying altogether. At the end of the project, our students will act out the story all by themselves using the props we created for this project. In case you want your child to act out the story at home, the story is available on YouTube as well. Have fun with it!

 

Room 5: Love and Friendship

In February, we celebrate the month of love and friendship, for that reason we chose to start learning about community helpers. This theme can cover many groups of people who help in our neighborhoods. The people in the community help each other by offering goods and services.  To introduce this theme we read the books, “A letter to Amy” and “The Post Office Book”. We discussed the role of the post office workers in the community. We set up the House Area as a Post Office with letters, envelopes, stamps, different mailing boxes, and different types of forms that we can use at the Post Office. We created a mail box and a mail truck where the children can make deliveries as a mail carrier. During their work time they enjoyed playing the role of the clerks, mail sorters, mail carriers, and other workers at the Post Office. The children had fun during our journey exploring and learning about community helper.

By: Arelys Menendez

Room 3: Winter time in Preschool

As December rolled in we began to roll out some items in the block area o we can turn it into the block center. The difference is we want the children to utilize the blocks and use some block enhancements to create and use their imagination. Block play uses learning concepts such as sorting, ordering, counting, one to one correspondence, size and shape. Before doing this we noticed the children only played with the barn, train, and Legos. Now they’re creating barn, zoos, roadways, and castles. At one time the children were working next to each other now they’re starting to work together

    We also started to look at other items in the small toy area. I noticed that some of the small toys are never played with because they are only good for one or two children. We are weeding through our stock and putting items out that promotes the children’s fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. I bought magnetic blocks and the children have been developing many cubes, pyramids, triangle structures, tall structures, long structures, and many other things. They’re using all their skills to create these items.

    As the holidays approached we talked a lot about family and visiting relatives. We also talked about the New Year approaching and how we will celebrate it when we get back in school. On our last day of music our music teacher brought in knitted hats for the children and they got to pick out which one they wanted. Her mother knitted 75 for all the children in our center.

    In the New Year we want to finish our room and create learning centers so the children will have a better understanding of the materials and what they’re used for. I’m looking forward to the children learning more about what they’re able to do as they create, invent, and use their imagination.

Room One: Winter Activities

Winter Activities
           Winter is a theme that offers a variety of activities centered on snow, ice and cold weather. We also talk about animals that hibernate, the ones that do not, but are resistant to cold temperature; we talk about what the animals eat and how they manage to survive the winter. At the beginning at the month, our students showed interest in knowing more about penguins and their habitat; therefore we had art and science activities planned about penguins. Then, they wanted to know more about reindeer. We read books about reindeer and then, using their foot and hand print, we made our own reindeer.
       Unfortunately, sometimes it is just too cold to actually go outside and play. What do we do? Our students’ favorite activity is to dance and move using music. Our students appreciate any opportunities they have to get up and move around in the classroom, especially on cold and rainy days. Giving children the opportunity to listen to music, play instruments, experiment with sound, and move their bodies is vital in early care environments, which is why a music and movement learning center is quite an attraction in our preschool classroom. The music and movement center in our class helps children develop their gross and fine motor skills, improve their balance and coordination, hone their listening skills, and learn about cultures around the world. The props that we use are scarves, bean bags, rhythm sticks, drums, and bells that encourage our children to get moving, work together and creatively express themselves as they play and listen to music. We proudly learnt how to use our instruments following the songs’ rhythm and their beats. We believe that music addresses the expressive, emotional, intellectual, social, and creative needs of all children. That is why music is our daily companion.

Room 5: Bringing multiculural education to preschoolers

By: Arelys Menendez & Suzette Dort

The teachers and students in our classroom come from different cultural backgrounds, such as: Cuba, Guyana, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Egypt, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the United States. During this month, we are learning about different cultures. To introduce the theme we read the book "We are all alike...We are all different." Through this book we taught children that even though they come from different cultures, they are different sizes, different texture of hair, skin color, they like different kinds of food, but we are still the same because we are all people. 

To instill the lessons of this theme, we have:

  • We read different multicultural books.
  • We talked and discussed about the different kinds of cultures.
  • We made a chart comparing the different sizes.
  • Parents and children dressed the doll with their native or typical dress.
  • We played the musical instruments from different cultures.
  • We made rain shakers that are musical instrument that use the Africans, Chileans and Indigenous cultures for their rituals.
  • We traced our bodies and covered them with beans.
  • We made pizza.

In addition, to complete our monthly lesson:

  • Parents come to the classroom to read multicultural books; also, they can share some stories from their countries.

  • We are having a buffet with our typical dishes.

  • Children and teachers can dress in their native clothes.

 

 

Room 4: We are going to the Zoo

We’re going to the Zoo!

Recently, we were treated to a fabulous day at the Turtle Back Zoo. The weather was gorgeous and we had a great time exploring and talking with the kids about different kinds of animals. Room 4 loved every second of it, especially the stingray exhibit.  The children were able to put their hands into the tank to touch the stingray.

Another awesome highlight of our Turtle Back Zoo trip was our excursion on the Zoo’s famous train.  The children enjoyed an exciting ride on the train with their pals.  

 

The monkeys were also a favorite. The children enjoyed seeing them swing from rope to rope.

Overall the trip was a success and the children’s knowledge of the zoo broadened. School trips are so important to a child’s growing knowledge of the world. Hands on experience is key to successful learning.

In order to elaborate or extend learning about a trip to the zoo or even to the circus it’s great to incorporate high quality children’s literature.  For example, these colorful picture books allow children to gain prior knowledge and extend knowledge of their field trip.


Room 3 Trip to the Zoo!

The weather cooperated for our trip to the zoo at the beginning of November. We had a nice day and the children were excited to see everything. The train ride was a hit. Some of the children were telling us what they might see at the zoo.  When we got back the children were excited to tell us about all they saw at the zoo. They also told us what was their favorite animal.

    We’re in full speed going through the fall season with many different projects, stories, rhymes, and finger plays for the children to learn. We read the gingerbread man and created gingerbread cookies. We talked about the leaves changing color and created some different leaves of our own. We used our fine motor skills and eye hand coordination to pick up and place beans on a leaf and cover the whole leaf.  The children preserved leaves by ironing them onto wax paper. Then we created a place mat for the holiday season. We went outside and jumped in the leaves since they were all falling down. We covered everything from math, language, science, fine motor, and gross motor to learn about the season.

    As November continued we began to get ready for our multicultural week. We had two parents come and read stories to the children. Our music teacher came and let the children play instruments from around the world. We watched videos of the first Thanksgiving. We read stories; and learned finger plays about turkeys, and many different songs. The parent’s came on the day before Thanksgiving to enjoy lunch with their children. We read a book about the first Thanksgiving and some children asked if they could make hats so we did. Some of the boys picked the pilgrim hat and some picked the Indian hat. They girls liked the bonnets so we made them too. We were pretty busy right up to the break we had. Now December is in the air new level of learning will begin at a higher stage now that the children are accustomed to our classroom.

 

November Room 2 Update

In the month of November, Room 2 has expanded the scope of our projects. At this time of the year, after all the children have acclimated to our daily routine, our school rules, and they can begin to work together as a community, we begin doing larger projects or activities. By this I mean projects or activities that last for more than one or two days. These projects are often something that has many parts or layers to it and some of those parts have to be prepared by the children before they can be added.  For instance, in November, we began this change by introducing the children to the concept of their bodies and its real life size. The children’s bodies were traced on full length paper. Next they had to cut it out (with assistance) - lots of hard work! After this, using scraps of material that have already been cut, the children use glue to put on their “clothes”. Next, they work on their facial features using yarn, fiber-like hair, glue, sticky eyes, and markers. At the end, they may choose to work on their shoes. This is all their choice. The children really like this activity, become very involved and focused. In December our longer projects will involve monitoring our classroom weather station where we observe and document, temperature, snow or rain levels, wind, and other interesting concepts. All of these bigger projects involve the development of math, science, language, literacy, self-confidence and social skills that are so important to the growth of the young child.

    Another highlight of our month here in Room 2 was the successful and different way of recognizing and defining what Thanksgiving is all about. Taking into account that everything had to be in words that the children could identify with and understand.  The children themselves helped solve this puzzle by repeatedly asking about the globe in our classroom. To assist in this concept of the world, a small deck of laminated cards was made. Each card had a country listed at the top with three pictures of things this country is famous for. This was done in a small group setting. Each child got to choose a card. In the middle of the table was a set of letters that matched the first letter of each country. The children took turns going around the table and with assistance talked about the country name, letters, sounds of letters, and the photos. At the end they had to find the letter in the middle of the table and match it to the first letter of the country on their card.

     In conjunction with this, at large group time, the children were formally introduced to the globe and what it represented, while also showing a picture of the solar system and our position there. What earth looks like from space- all blue and green- the blue is all our water, was also discussed. Then each child was called up to put a small sticky star on one of the countries in our game. Next, we read a book called the Peace Book. It is a very colorful, simple, yet bold kind of book and the children really sat still for this large group activity. The book talks about the definition of peace in terms that a young child can understand (also an adult). According to this book it is many things, such as, learning different languages, helping your friends, giving someone a hug, making sure the ocean stays blue, respecting the different clothes people wear, taking a nap, and listening to different kinds of instruments (this tied into Miss Betsy. That same day she came to school with a big assortment of instruments from around the world. These instruments were shared with the children). This is my favorite new book! This book offered many instances of peace that we are currently practicing in Room 2 which we will be exploring in the following month. This was such an exciting month!

 

How to Have Fun with Play Dough in School and at Home

When preschoolers play with play dough it stimulates their senses, while offering an opportunity to use their imaginations. Furthermore, the possibilities for conversation and interaction are endless!

The goals of a play dough activity are to:

  1. Encourage free exploration of the materials, which encourages creativity

  2. Expand their ability to pretend and imagine

  3. Help them learn some interesting new words that label their interests and actions

  4. Have fun!

This is the way we made the play dough in the classroom:

  Our students helped us make the play dough and then we put the play dough in a ball in front of our children and had them choose their own color. We watched them mix in the food coloring and talked about the changes that occurred. We observed, asked questions, listen to their observations, and waited to see how they want to use it.  

Our goal was to give your our students an opportunity to see what they want to do FIRST.

Once our students have started to show some direction as to what they want to do with the play dough, we joined in and played, following their lead. Our preschoolers used play dough to create pretend events, so pretended along with them. We turned the play dough into a person, animal, food, vehicle, etc. Pretending by using one thing to represent another is an important part of language and cognitive development.

   Our students enjoyed our playfulness and the fact that we were playing with them, contributing to what they have started to create.

This activity was lots of fun for our students as they:

  • played for a long time (maybe longer than usual)

  • became quite creative both with the play dough and the pretend theme

  • communicated with us frequently

 In case you are looking for a fun activity to do with your child at home, below are the play dough ingredients. This quick and easy recipe is great as kids can help make it as well as play with it.

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cup plain flour

  • 1 cup salt

  • 2  tbs oil

  • 1 cup cold water

  • 2 drops liquid food coloring

Method

  • STEP 1Combine plain flour and salt

  • STEP 2Add water, food coloring and oil. Mix until ingredients are combined.

  • STEP 3Knead well.

  • STEP 4If consistency is too wet add a little plain flour.

ENJOY IT!!!

Practicing Fine Motor Skills in Preschool

By Neva Lattanzio Temple 

During the month of October, Room # 2 has focused on strengthening our fine motor muscles. These skills are so important for developing cutting and writing skills. By being able to use the pincer grip when picking up small items, such as beans for counting and sorting, or pulling apart cotton balls to make baby owls, the children are adding muscle strength to their fingers. The children take part in many different things that require the use of their fingers.

 It may seem as a small thing but it is very important that the children learn to do things for themselves and become more independent. Such as, pulling up their own pants, brushing their own teeth (with a parental check after), washing their own hands and drying, putting on their own coat. All of these small things require a lot of finger work and add to independence and fine motor strength.

There are many activities and strategies that Room #2 has used, you can do at home, these include: sorting three different kinds of beans into three different bowls- sort by size or color, cutting practice with size appropriate scissors and paper, ripping and picking up construction paper and tissue paper, pulling apart cotton balls, playdough- rolling it out, then cutting with scissors, squeezing, shaping, also, cutting out animal pictures form magazines, picking up cotton balls with clothespins- using fingertips to press- put correct number of cotton balls on numbered plate, or do something with the alphabet.All these activities are simple, economical, and easily carried out. It has been my experience that most child are engaged with these simple yet effective exercises. Try one on a rainy day at home and see how focused they can be!

Humpty Dumpty Preschool Curriculum room 1

One of our students’ favorite nursery rhymes so far was Humpty Dumpty. Since every literacy activity is usually integrated into other projects, here is was we used Humpty Dumpty throughout our curriculum.

Science Activity
•    We look at the raw eggs and the boiled eggs and we observe what happens with them when they fall.
•    We analyze the content of the egg and we talk about it.
•    We eat eggs and we talk about how they taste.
•    We think about foods that we cook with eggs.

Art Activity
•    Using the pre-cut pieces, we glue them to make the wall, then Humpty-Dumpty with his body parts, we choose the outfits we prefer, and the pieces of shells that are on the ground. 
•    We talk about Humpty-Dumpty’s body parts and we  talk about the colors of his cloths. 
•    We discuss about the piece of art we created. 

Math Activity
•    We talk about Humpty-Dumpty’s shape and we compare it to a circle. 
•    We observe how the circle rolls and how an oval does not. 
•    We are going on an “Oval Shape Hunt” in the classroom. 
•    The children have to identify the shapes that have an oval shape in the classroom. 
•    Then we color an oval shape without crossing the oval shape’s line. 
•    We build a wall for Humpty-Dumpty in the block center and we count the blocks we used to make the wall.

Literacy Activity
•    We talk about the content of the nursery rhyme “Humpty-Dumpty”.
•    We talk about the words that rhyme: ”wall”/”fall”; “Humpty/Dumpty”; “men/again”. 
•    We talk about the sound the and the letters in the title ”H” and “D”.
•    We talk about other words that begin with the same sound. 

Writing Activity
•    We try to write an oval and to draw Humpty-Dumpty.
•    We color the inside of an oval shape. 
•    Using the wooden pieces we write the letters “H” and “D”.
•    Using the chalk boards , we try to write lines and then we try to write the letter “D” and “H”. 

 

Autumn, Pumpkins & Fire safety in room 3

            When October began we started talking about Fire Safety since it was Fire Safety week. The children practiced how to Stop, Drop and Roll in case their clothes were on fire. They crawled under smoke to get outside in case there’s a fire in the home. We talked about what not to touch in their home such as; stove, iron, matches, lighters, and portable heaters. The children got to meet real Fire fighters and listen to the stories they told about being safe and going to the fire fighter even though he may look scary with all his protection on. It was great week of learning fire precautions in our classroom.

            As the weeks went on we focused on the fall season. The children learned many math and science concepts as we explored pumpkins. We held them to see how heavy they were, we arranged the in graduated order, we measured them, we cut them in half and explored the inside, we roasted the pumpkin, and then we made pumpkin soup. The children also learned a rhyme about Five Little Pumpkins that involves counting and rhyming.

            Then we turned our focus to the outdoors and what was changing as Fall proceeded. The children went on a leaf hunt in front of our school and in the playground each day. They collected acorns to be counted. We made wreathes out of leaves and paper plates. We used this activity during back to school night to show parents that you don’t have to spend money to create beautiful art.  We ironed leaves between wax paper to preserve them. We used leaves for color, size, and pattern. The children are also learning new rhymes about Autumn Leaves that includes motions, and Five Little Leaves that incudes counting backwards from five. We are patiently waiting for all the leaves to fall off the tree in our playground so we can jump in them. 

This was our happy October! from Room 5

This month in our classroom we learned how to classify objects from colors, sizes, shapes and patterns. Taking advantage that we are in Autumn season we talked about how leaves change colors. We went around the school and collected leaves of different colors, shapes, and sizes and classified them in small, medium, and large. Also, we used some of them to make patterns. For Fire Prevention Week we taught them how to be safe during a fire. Additionally, firemen came to the school to discuss the importance of safety and prevention of fires. One of the stories we read was The Three Little Pigs, we created the three houses in the story using different materials like straw, sticks, and foam. The children learned how to create structures using different materials.  Furthermore, to celebrate fall we made a Jack O’ Lantern and they explored what was inside and outside the pumpkin, additionally they weighed them and classified the pumpkins as light or heavy. We all enjoyed the animal parade together. 

Moving Up Day 2014

This year was filled with love and smiles. It was bittersweet saying good by to the children that we grew close to this year. We saw so much growth over the year and it was fun to celebrate with families and community member just how far our children had come. We look forward to hearing the success stories of our children in the future.

This year was the first year that our school had a Teacher of the Year award. The teacher that was named was Ms. Towanda of room 4 along with her assistant Ms. Ruby. Each of the teachers was awarded with an award based on the highest area they scored in a given criteria. The criteria was: attendance, letter or recommendation from their teacher's aide, number of CE credits, parent surveys, personal teaching philosophy, professional designations & affiliations, evaluations, quality of lesson plans and team work. We are happy to celebrate the wonderful teaching staff here at Jefferson Park 

Preschool Cancer Hope: Mia Lopez

Jefferson Park Preschool is proud to have among its students Mia Lopez, a cancer survivor. Mia is an extraordinary child with an extraordinary story. In December 2012, Mia was diagnosed with Wilms tumor (cancer of the kidney). That day was by far the “hardest day of their lives”, according to Mrs. Lopez. However, after the surgery to remove the tumor and the subsequent chemotherapy treatment, Mia is doing very well. Her treatments that ended in June 2013 were sponsored by The Valerie Fund’s, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support for the comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders. Mia’s family is extremely grateful for the support and help The Valerie Fund offered during critical times. Through it all, strength came from knowing they were never alone.

      It is in this spirit that we want to remind everyone that on June 14th, the Valerie Fund will be conducting a fundraising 5K Run and walk. We encourage everybody to participate in any capacity they can towards the goal of raising as much money as possible for this most worthy organization. The Lopez family appreciates your joining with them in supporting the charity that has done so much for Mia. Let’s give back to this amazing organization that has touched so many children’s lives. For detail ask the teachers or see: https://www.thevaleriefund.org/Walk2014/index.php

Room 1: Insects Oh! My!

    This month our class have centered the activities around the theme” INSECTS”. The insects that we studied in depth were: butterflies, ants, caterpillars, ladybugs, bees, grasshoppers, mosquitoes, and the cricket. 

Here are some of the ways we planned this thematic unit:

·         We analyzed the insects’ bodies using posters;

·         We talked about how they were born, how they grow, what they eat, how they move, where               they live, what they do, and their importance.

·          We made our ladybugs and counted the spots on their shelves;

·          We made butterflies using sand and glitter;

·         We made our own caterpillars;

·         We used our fingers to paint the ants;

·         We hopped and jumped like the grasshoppers

·          We pretended to fly like the butterflies, crickets, mosquitoes, and  bees;

·         We made insects out of play-dough;

·         We used shaving cream to trace insects;

·         We drew insects using chalk;

·         We observed live ants using the magnifiers

·         We read and acted out  the stories ”The Very Quiet Cricket”; “The Very Hungry caterpillar”,              “The Very Grouchy Ladybug”

·         We classified the insects into groups.

   Using their cognitive skills, our students had a lot of fun learning about insects , why they are special for us and for the environment.

Room 2: Zoology

 The highlight for May in room 2 was definitely the class trip to Turtlelback Zoo.  Before we went we discussed zoos and zoo animals for about a week beforehand. On the morning of the trip it was slightly overcast but it kept it from being too hot during the day while we walked around the zoo paths. We had 3 parents who came with us and they helped us soo much. On the bus ride to the zoo the children were so excited and as we drove past a lake and through a county park, it gave them a lot to talk about. As soon as we got inside the gates we headed for the train station and when we got there it was empty. No one was standing in line! It was great to just get right on without waiting. The children really enjoyed that ride with the tunnel and train whistle.

After the train ride we started to walk around and one of the first things we saw was the American Alligator. He was so huge and the children could get a really good look at him because it wasn’t crowded. Best of all he climbed out of the water right in front of the children. They were ecstatic!  As soon as we turned away from the alligator we came across a male peacock. He was standing in the middle of the pathway with all his tail feathers out and he was swishing side to side. We got such a good look at him.  We believe he was showing off because he knew he was beautiful.  Then he started to shake all of those beautiful feathers right in front of us! It was an amazing sight! The children were ewwing and ahhing.

     We saw many other great things, such as, a wolf, bear, snow leopards, cougar, a huge tortoise, and penguins to name a few.  Right before we were to eat lunch we found a great little play area, that had a great climbing tree and a tunnel. The children had a great time here as you can tell by their faces. When we finally got to our lunch table they were very hungry and glad to sit down. We did a lot of walking and talking that day! As trips go it scored a 10.