Circle time is the most important event of the day. During these quick fifteen minutes the students are reviewing math though counting and science by describing the weather and the items needed to wear in certain conditions. In addition, the letter of the week is reviewed along with the words that make the letters' sound; the students are then asked to write the letter on the board which is then followed by second step. This program was created to only only introduce children of this age range to feelings, but to also be able to express themselves and come up with different ideas to join play. Lastly, the children are read a book that is correlated with the topic of the week or month. It is worthy to note, that although the morning routine may be hectic, it is important to bring the children on time in order to have time to eat breakfast and transition into circle time with ease.
In this month our annual Art Show we presented, The Mister Seahorse by: Eric Carle. After reading the book our children were inspired and created their own art project, about seahorses and different ocean creatures. First, they made big and small seahorses: We made seahorse stencils and had each child trace it. After, they combined different colors and painted the big ones. For the small seahorses they used pastel oil crayons to color them. Secondly, they traced different fish from the book and colored them also, they decorated them using different art materials to make scales. The last project was to cut and paint some plants and rocks from the bottom of the ocean such as: coral reefs, patch of reeds, and rocks. We glued transparent curtains on top to represent the pages of the book. While our students were working on this project they really enjoyed being creative.
The world of insects and bugs is so exciting to preschoolers. We discussed about the different species that exists around the world. Also we learned about their body parts, life cycles, habits, and food. To introduce this theme we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle. Through this book they learned the concept of metamorphosis and created representations of a butterfly’s life cycle, in addition we encountered distinct math, reading, and science activities. Furthermore, we started to work on the Art Show, where we chose Mister Sea Horse, by Eric Carle as our topic. Our children are so excited to learn about ocean animals. We are working on making our own aquarium, where they will create their own sea horses and different kinds of fish using different art materials
It has been an exciting month in Room #3! This month we have been working on our month long project. The children have been learning all about living and non-living objects and then we transitioned to helping create life through our exploration of plants and gardens. The children learned about the needs of plants versus that of people and were so excited to hear that we both need sunlight and water. They explored different eco-systems through virtual field trips and were able to plant their own starter plants. Many of the students opted for sunflowers but quite a few were interested in growing mustard plants and everyone decided that corn was a must have for their gardens as well. The students spent the last month exploring seeds, dirt and the parts of plants along with their living environment. Everyone has been very excited to bring home their plants and now that they are back from Easter vacation all the seedlings will be going home. We hope all the families have a wonderful time planting their children's seedlings at home and we hope that everyone is delighted when the flowers start to bloom.
We will be moving from planting in soil directly to learning all about the small insects that make a home in the ground. The children will be digging in dirt in the coming month and learning all about insects. We look forward to exploring the small creatures all around us and hope that the families are excited about our bug themed art show coming up soon! We hope to see all our families there!
The more coordinated our preschoolers are, the more independent they become in their daily activities such as: tying their shoes, zipping their coats, brushing their teeth, and appropriately holding a pencil. Throughout the day, we encourage our students to use their hands in various activities to strengthen their fine motor abilities. The following materials are available for our students to manipulate throughout the classroom: small and large floor puzzles; numerous materials in the art center like stencils, hole punchers, scissors, rubbing plates, play dough, painting materials, and collage materials. There are also pencils and crayons available for drawing or writing, and we have blocks of various shapes and textures so that our students can build things.
One of our favorite activities is transferring things from one place to another using tongs. As we were exploring the theme “Insects”, we created a fun game for our children. Students were able to transfer nectar (yellow pom-poms) from flowers to honey combs (hexagons) using tongs. Students had great fun while learning how bees make honey, all while refining their fine motor skills.
Every year we have an art show here at Jefferson Park Preschool. As a school we chose to have an Eric Carle themed show. Carle, known for his colorful artwork and charming stories are a preschool favorite. We started the project by asking the students which Eric Carle book they wanted to be represented at the art show. It was no surprise The Very Hungry Caterpillar was their pick. A beautiful story about a famished creepy crawly that mesomorphs into a beautiful butterfly was a perfect introduction to spring and lead to another discussion on metamorphosis and spring time creatures.
Our class had a ball, recreating the vivid illustrations from the story. They used crepe and tissue paper and brown paper bags to get a look that mimicked Carle’s illustrations. They enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to proudly display their work at this years’ upcoming art show.
As previously mentioned, the students observed the growth course of a (bean) root as it entered it's various stages. It's purpose was to serve as a visual representation of how roots appear from under the ground. In addition, the children drew what was noticed or discovered with their (bean) roots. This goal offered the opportunity for the children to speak while also practicing social cues, like taking turns in a conversation, as they completed the objective. It is worthy to mention that reviews were done, which entailed seed growth and its necessities, like water, sunlight and dirt.
During this time, the children also compared and contrasted two types of seeds, which held several purposes for the lesson. The first was to sort the seeds and view their similarities and differences with the assistance of a magnifying glass. The second aim was prediction. The children were asked to predicted which of the two seeds weighted the most; after the students all respectively placed them on the scale they viewed which of the two actually weighted the most. Lastly, the children then compared and contrasted the seeds with rocks. This aided the students further within the objective, as well their use of language and practice of a few of the five senses.
Every day we are bombarded by media, and technology. Today’s lives are very busy for all of us. Unfortunately, as parents, we find ourselves multitasking, as we try to get so many things done. Our little ones see our behaviors and copy us. We see children playing and mirroring their parents’ behavior. For example, I see girls trying to cook or shop while being on the phone.
With mindfulness in mind, in order to help our students acquire essential skills , our school decided to include activities that help students focus on the present by relying on their senses.
Therefore, in our class we tried to do two activities.
One was meant to use breathing as a way of calming our mind before starting any activity or calming when we had too much energy. We decided to focus on breathing, paying attention at the way our bodies inhale, exhale, how our abdomen moves during breathing process and calm our minds. We noticed how our children payed attention better by incorporating this breathing technique.
We also taught our students how to calm down when they were angry or upset using the breathing technique. The poster we use in our calming down technique had 3 steps:
1. Put your hands on your tummy and say: “Stop”
2. Name your feeling
3. Take belly breaths
A Guessing Game was the second activity we incorporated. With our eyes closed, the students tried to guess what musical instrument was used by the teacher to make sounds. The instruments used were: a big bell, little bells, symbols, clapper, a tambourine, shakers, and maraca. We had fun while using our hearing sense .
It’s been pretty cold here for the last couple of months. We took the frigid weather and turned it into an opportunity for a learning experience.
What happens to water when it becomes very cold? It freezes!
That’s right we took this simple experiment to the next level using ice trays, food coloring and popsicle sticks.
First, add different colors of paint or food coloring to an ice cube tray. Pour water and fill the tray to the top. When the paint has started to freeze, we added the popsicle stick. Once we placed the tray back in the freezer we asked the children what they thought would happen to the ice overnight?
They had so much fun painting with these unusual art tools.
Dinosaurs are a popular theme for kids across the world. In this month our classroom read and learned about dinosaurs that exited in the three different time periods, the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods. To contribute the lesson of this theme we have:
Science: They learned about their habits. They learned the difference between carnivores and herbivores (which had strong, sharp or flat teeth). They mocked being Paleontologists and imitated discovering dinosaur fossils and eggs at the Sand Table. They erupted a volcano. We had to figure out how to put the bones together to make a dinosaur skeleton using different kinds of pasta.
Art: -They made paper mache dinosaurs and painted them, in addition to a paper mache volcano. They traced dinosaur stencils and colored them.
Math: - Sorted the dinosaurs into two groups whether they walk on 2 or 4 legs. They played dinosaur table and floor puzzles.
Technology: We sang dinosaur songs and watched a dinosaur movie.
In the spirit of Valentine's Day we celebrated love and friendship. The students participated in several group activities while learning about how to be a good friend and follow polite expectations. Room 3 was encouraged to get outside and take breaks from the classroom setting and work on their social skills. Students were able to have dialogue with their friends and engage in some great wintertime fun outside. Thanks to our energetic and spirited friends, we were able to see a great deal of fun take place.
We focused this February on being polite. Students focused on keeping their emotions in check so that they can respond in a polite manner while being effective and appropriate. Staff has been handing out stickers and encouragement to all the students who have shown great attitudes and actions around their friends for the month of February. In addition we will be ongoing with our yearlong theme of kindness and the different ways that students can show kindness to their peers. Please be on the lookout for our hearts that the children worked very hard on since they will be going home soon and make sure you stop by our classroom to check out the pictures of your children being great friends to each other.
Besides it being the month of love and giving the past two weeks in room two have also been about the oceanic world. During this time the children have learned about some marine life, like the jellyfish, whose numbered tentacles had to be matched with circles, starfish, sharks, dolphins and angelfish. The children reviewed sink or float by placing certain fishes in a jar that resembled the ocean. In addition, the children will also be creating and learning about the different zones of the oceans and what kind of animals reside in each. During this time the children have been read literature that includes Rainbow Fish, Commotion In The Ocean, as well as Pout Pout Fish.
It is of great importance that we teach kindness to our children as early as preschool. Our students mirror very well the way the adults around them talk or talk. Therefore we hope to try our best to be great role models for them so that they copy our manners and pleasant way of talking and acting.
To teach kindness, we initiated the following activities:
Wishing kind thoughts to the ones we love
Around holidays, when we were singing the songs” We Wish You a Merry Christmas/ And a Happy New Year,” we talked about sending someone kind thoughts on certain occasions: like holidays, or birthdays. E.g., we wish Mia on her birthday to be happy and healthy.
When someone was sick, we talked about sending kind thoughts:” May Margelie feel better so that she comes back soon to school.”
Read books with stories of kindness
We read the story “The Rainbow Fish,” and we discussed the importance of sharing with our friends. We read the book “Oops! Excuse Me Please!” and talked about kind manners.
Bring a smile to the classroom
When we talked about our rules, we discussed how we feel every day, and we talked about how our smile can be contagious to others, and how our happy face can generate a state of well being for the ones around us.
During small group time activities, we practiced manners, talking kindly to others, making compliments to our friends, practicing fairways of playing with our friends (e.g., playing together and sharing our toys; trading our toys and waiting for our turn).
I offered various scenarios, and I asked the children to be kind in their response. For example, my puppet Jane is upset, because she was not included in any of the games children were playing. I asked our students to invite her to join them in their games kindly.
Each time we talked about manners, gratitude, we were singing specific songs like: ”Please and Thank You”; “Gracias,” “Don’t Forget to Be Thankful, Don’t Forget to be Nice.”
We praise our students each time they are helpful. Helping us clean up or doing different jobs is another way of being kind.
We hope that these themes are helping our students be kind, and nice to each other every day.
It is of a great importance that we teach kindness to our children as early as preschool. Our students mirror very well the way the adults around them talk or talk. Therefore our hope is to try our best to be great role models for them so that they copy our manners, and pleasant way of talking and acting.
In order to teach kindness in our classroom, there are a few activities we initiated. Here are a few examples:
· Wishing kind thoughts to the ones we love
Around holidays, when we were singing the songs” We wish You a Merry Christmas/ And a Happy New Year”, we talked about sending someone kind thoughts on certain occasions: like holidays, or birthdays. E.g. we wish Mia on her birthday to be happy and healthy.
When someone was sick, we talked about sending kind thoughts:” May Margelie feel better so that she comes back soon to school”.
· Read books with stories of kindness
We read the story “The Rainbow Fish” and we discussed the importance of sharing with our friends. We read the book “Oops! Excuse Me Please!” and talked about kind manners.
· Bring a smile to the classroom
When we talked about our rules, we discussed largely about how we feel every day, and we talked about how our smile can be contagious to others, and how our happy face can generate a state of well being for the ones around us.
· During small group time activities we practiced manners, talking kindly to others, making compliments to our friends, practicing fair ways of playing with our friends (e.g. playing together and sharing our toys; trading our toys; and waiting for our turn).
· Imaginative gamesin which I offered various scenarios, and I asked the children to be king in their response. For example, my puppet Jane is really upset, as she was not included in any of the games children were playing. I asked our students to kindly ask her to join them in their games.
Each time we talked about manners, gratitude, we were singing specific songs like: ”Please and Thank You”; “Gracias”, “Don’t Forget to Be Thankful, Don’t Forget to be Nice”.
· Being Helpful
We praise our students each time they are helpful. Helping us clean up or doing different jobs is another way of being kind.
Our hope is that these themes are helping our students be kind, and nice to each other every day.
During this month we learned about winter. We read and discussed several books related to this theme. The Snowy Day by: Ezra Jack Keats was the book that the children enjoyed the most. They have been delighted to read about Peter’s adventures. In extension of the book we created different activities.
Math: We made our own foot prints like Peter and measured them with the snap cubes. After, we compared who had the biggest and smallest footprint in the class. In addition, we made a class book, recording everyone’s footprints.
Science: We performed a snow melting experiment. In the book Peter learned snow melted, when his snow ball melted inside his coat pocket. We used ice cubes and tried different materials such as: cold water, juice, hot water, sand, and aluminum foil. First, we made predictions of what they thought was going to happen when we put the ice cube in each separate material? After making these predictions, we did our own experiments.
Art: We created our own scenes with Peter using different art materials.
Language: We played a smiling snowman game, which identified beginning sounds. They really enjoyed it.
The children loved this sensory experience of sinking their fingers in soft shaving cream. It’s a great science activity. The activity can also be used to create works of art.
We even had them write their first initial and some numbers on the table.
Simply spray the shaving cream onto the plate or onto the table top and watch the children explore and begin to have a ball.
Next we added drops of food coloring to the shaving cream. We even counted the drops and talked lots about the colors we were using. You could even use the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stohl Walsh to discuss mixing colors.
What you need:
Shaving cream from a can
Plate or tray
Everyone in room 3 hopes that all of our families enjoyed the holidays. We are happy to be back in school and look forward to all the exciting lessons that are coming up during the second half of the school year. We have been focusing on numbers 1-20 and letters H, I, and J this past month and the children have learned how to play Pictionary. We have focused on connecting our pictures to our beginning letter and sound. They have come so far academically this few months and we should all be so proud! Also, we have been learning all about winter and how different animals stay safe and warm versus the ways that we stay safe and warm. In the coming month, we will be learning about nutrition and how to keep our bodies strong besides the ways that we stay healthy and warm.
Please keep in mind that we will be going outside so that the children get some time to exercise whenever it is above 35 degrees. The children should come to school with a winter coat, hat and mittens to ensure that when we go outside that they are comfortable and warm. We appreciate your help in this matter.
For a Friday science lesson the children made play dough from scratch. During this time the children had the opportunity to not only touch and taste the salt, but also had the opportunity to touch and smell the baking flower. In addition, a measuring cup was also introduced, in which all of the children had the chance to use, as well. When all of the children placed all the necessary ingredients in the mixing bowl each took a turn to stir it until the mixture was completed. Afterwards, each student received a piece of the play dough and made their own creations, like a snowman or Spider-man.
This month we asked our teachers to create their own mission statement for their classroom. Here is what Ms. Arelys created:
Jefferson Park Preschool is a place where teachers, staff and families are collectively and efficiently involved in the education and development of preschool children. Jefferson Park is exceptional, progressive and peaceful. We understand the impact that we have on children and families; we strive to create a community that is safe, cordial and educated.
This month we asked our teachers to create their own mission statement for their classroom. Here is what Ms. Towanda created:
Jefferson Park Preschool is a place where children families and teachers are collectively and actively involved in the education and development of preschool children.
Jefferson Park is inviting, nurturing and a loving place for both students and families.
We understand the impact that we have on children and families, we strive to create a community that is educational, kind and understanding.