Room Five: Teaching Diversity / Multicultural In Preschool

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.

Room Four: Diversity matters

This year we celebrated diversity at Jefferson Park. Our community is multicultural so we came together explore our differences. We wore traditional garments and ended the day with a special multicultural feast. 

Room three: Thanksgiving and Counting

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!

Room Two: Gratitude

It is a special time during the week of thanks. The children have thanks for what they were grateful for and the children were introduced to literature that gave praise and gratitude to Mother Earth. The children were also introduced to music from around the world. 
 

Room One: Celebrating our diversity

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. 

Room Five: Math and Science experiments.

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.

Room Four: Feeling Festive

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. 

Room Three: Animal Parades & Fall Harvest

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.

Room Two: Rainbow Parachute

 

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! 

Room One: The Very Busy Spider

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. 

Room Two: Off to a fantastic start!

  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! 

Room Three: Welcome to school

Dear Parents,

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.

Sincerely,

Ms. Jenny and Ms. Geydy

Room Five: A Month Of Excitement And Separation Anxiety.

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.

Room One: Teaching Classroom Rules in Preschool

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:

  • Listening Ears

  • Quiet voices

  • Play together and share

  • Walking feet

  • 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.

Welcome to Room Four!

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.