jefferson park day care

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. 

Room 4: Creating Zoo Habitats

The children were fascinated by the zoo and the animals that lived there. We believe they developed an appreciation and respect for animal life.

 During our zoo exploration we discussed

    1.Types of zoo animal homes.

    2.Needs of zoo animal.

    3. The caretaker’s role.

Conceptions for the children to explore

  1. Mention several zoo animals we saw such as : llamas,birds , bears, monkeys, kangaroo, goats and turtles.
  2. A zoo is a place for animals.
  3. Zoo animals are kept in cages, fences or water.
  4. A person who feeds and takes care of the zoo animal is a zoo keeper.
  5. Veterinarians are animal doctors .
  6. Zoo animal need food, water and shelter.

The children in room 4 decided to make animal homes.

First, each child became a zookeeper. We asked the  children to construct a home for their animals. Next they used craft sticks, paper and other materials to create the animal quarters. Lastly, the  little zookeepers gave a description of the home they created. Telling the class who lived there and how they made it.



To the Zoo 
(sing to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”)

Where do you go? Where do you go ?To the zoo, to the zoo

What do you want to see? What do you want to see?Elephant, Elephant

(You can use another zoo animal such as: snake, bear, monkey, lion, penguin etc)

Room 5: "Dali Art in Preschool Class"

 This month for Our Annual Art Show presentation, our classroom presented three different projects about Salvador Dali (A Surreal Famous Painter from Spain). After reading the book Dali and the Path of Dreams by: Anna Obiols. Our children were inspired and created their projects. First, they made The Long Ledge Elephants; we made an elephant stencil and had each child trace it. After that they painted the elephant and colored the background with colors of their choice and finally they decorated it using different art materials such as: Stickers, pieces of fabric, rhinestones and jewelry. Secondly, The Flying Clocks; they cut their tree and glued it on the card board also; they chose colors for the background and created the nature scenery. In addition, they made the clocks in different shapes and painted with watercolors they also wrote the numbers and the clocks’ hands on it, after the clocks were dry they glued them on their projects. The last project was title Butterflies Sailing on a Ship (3- Dimensional), we used a real piece of a tree log in the shape of a ship. Furthermore, they used different colors to paint the butterflies and create symmetry. Ms Suzette and I set up the sails and helped them to glue the butterflies on it. While our students were working on these projects they enjoyed being creative, interactive, inspired, spontaneous, and being Salvador Dali’s Imitators.  

The Importance of Pre-School Science

By Lisa Tabachnick Hotta

orginally posted on TVO parents


Why is it important to introduce early learners to science? There are a variety of reasons; but one of the most important is that science provides a context for learning about our world.

“Parents know that children’s favorite question is ‘why’,” says Bonnie Schmidt, president of Let’s Talk Science, "Science gives us a framework to understand the world and to answer those questions of ‘why?”

Other reasons why early exposure to science is useful:  

  • It helps children develop valuable literacy skills – in addition to developing scientific, environmental and math-related literacy, science may prompt children who don’t enjoy reading fiction to read non-fiction, linking the scientific process of exploring and discovery with reading.
  • Scientific inquiry and problem-solving builds confidence. Learning to ask questions and solve problems is an essential life skill and vital for school learning.
  • Early exposure to the many facets of science may help cement future interest. “Many young people turn away from the world of science because they think it’s isolating and that science works by itself,” says Schmidt. “If you can help children understand that science is actually about teamwork, about exploring their world and about communicating that information to other people, the essence of science will be better understood [and more youth may stick with it.

Room 3 Update: Spring in full Swing

By: Annalee Stanislawczyk

Wow! Spring is in full bloom in Room 3. March was a very busy month. We started of with Dr. Seuss week and read many stories that he created. We made Cat in the Hat hats, and also edible ones using cool whip and Jell-O.  A policeman came in to read to the children. They also did a silly sock day, and a silly hat day. The children enjoyed all the activities throughout the week.

Then we planted peas outside with a group from Elizabeth’s Groundwork Planting. Each child got to plant a pea in the planters and now we will wait to see them grow. We also planted grass, mustard seeds and polka dot plants, in our classroom. We made a prediction chart and a growth chart to go along with planting. Mustard seeds sprouted first then the grass came in second, but it’s growing fast.

We read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar during this the children learned about life stages of a butterfly, we made caterpillars, then we created symmetry butterflies, finally we took the fruits from the story and made a healthy fruit salad. We also talked about junk food verses healthy food. The children acted out the stages by forming an egg with their bodies, then they squirmed like larva, next they went into their cocoon and came out as beautiful butterflies, flying around our room with scarves as wings.

We are moving on to learn about more insects as we read The Very Quiet Cricket also by Eric Carle. I have live crickets for the children to study while we explore insects. The children will learn about the body parts of insects, their habits and homes, with lessons that will include math, language, and science activities. Spring is in the air and we’re ready to learn about everything that it has to offer.

Bugs for Lunch, with room 4!

In the spirit of Spring and Earth Day room 4 decided to get their little hands dirty learning about different types of insects. We read an informative book entitled Bugs for Lunch by Margery Facklam. Room four learned all about different plants, animals and insects that feed on bugs. We then decided eat bugs for lunch. Not real ones of course, bugs made of some favorite fruits, veggies and even hot dogs. Finally for the special desert, the students made a fun treat using crushed Oreo cookies, chocolate pudding and gummy worms. The dirty worm cups were a hit. The children truly enjoyed the bugs for lunch. All of the fun bug treats can be found on 

Room 4 Update: Cat in the Hat Treat!

By: Towanda Simms-Yoakum

In honor of Dr Seuss birthday we celebrated Read Across America. During the week of March 10th we read classic Dr. Seuss's books to the children every day. Their favorite was the classic " The Cat in The Hat."  Expanding on their love for this tale we decided to make a tasty cat in the hat treat. ( we love treats). Try making this cat in the hat treat at home with your children. It will promote active dialogue, math, and even science. Here is what you need to get started at home,

  • cherry or strawberry jello
  • clear cups
  • 1 part cold water
  • 1 part hot water
  • whipped cream

note* if your child is allergic to milk products you can substitute marshmallows

Check out some pictures of the fun

Room 3: Preschoolers enjoying the Spring!

The children are very excited that spring is finally here. They get to go outside each day weather permitting, and use gross motor activities to learn spatial awareness, body awareness, taking turns, and socialization by; running, jumping, riding bikes, hula hoops, playing ball, writing with chalk, going up and down stairs, making friends, and playing in water and sand. All of these activities help the child to grow and learn how to accomplish areas in gross motor such as; alternating feet, jumping or standing on one foot for a period of time, skipping, and being social.  

The children use their fine motor skills each day in the classroom to strengthen the muscles in their hands so they can learn to hold writing objects, use scissors and put things together and take them apart the correct way. They use various tools each day such as; play dough, writing implements, small toys, puzzles, art materials, scissors, reading books, and sand and water. Each of these areas of play is very important to the child’s fine motor skills. The more practice the better the outcome for each child.

The children were patiently waiting for the arrival of our Larva. We received them and are looking forward to investigating them as they grow. The children learned new and exciting words that go along with the study of a butterfly. They now know the words, larva, caterpillar, chrysalis, metamorphosis, pupa, cocoon, and butterfly. The children learned the four stages of a butterfly and can’t wait to see our larva go through the stages. 

Room 2: Transforming the Block Area

By: Neva Lattanzio-Temple

The snow is gone and the end of the school year is fast approaching. Miss Gina and I often survey and evaluate how the children are learning and try to find ways we can tweek or modify an activity or section of the room. This past month we were concerned about the block area and we had many conversations about it. In Room 2, we take time to observe the children throughout the day, but especially at work time. We monitor where the children go during work time and watch to see if the different areas of the room are being utilized correctly.

For instance, we observed that during work time, they were only using the large hollow blocks and not building with the smaller unit blocks at all. Because of this we removed the large hollow blocks. Then we brought in pictures of structures, some temples, other buildings in cities and some pictures of unit block structures, laminated and put them in the block area. The next day we had a small group activity where we broke the class into groups of 3 or 4, gave them a picture of a unit block structure and some blocks.  We assisted them as they copied the structure on the paper, using the unit blocks.

This was a big success! We took pictures of the children at small group time and work time while they were engaged with the blocks. They were enthusiastic about using the pictures to give them ideas on structure building.

You may think that this is no big deal, but it is!

The block area (to me, as a teacher) is the most important area in the room. It encourages so much skill building and it is an area that is very flexible. This area scaffolds skill building in the following areas: social cooperation, spatial awareness, geometry, fine motor skills, eye hand coordination, problem solving, creative thinking, exploration, imagination and make believe play. They will eventually investigate balance, patterns, symmetry, sorting, comparing and contrasting. These are just some of the skills the children get practice in when they are engaged here. 

Room 1 Update: Reading & Measurements

By: Angela Luca Fischer, Teacher

This month we had many exiting events. We started the month celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday by reading each day a different story, by having fun with his silly rhymes, by acting out his characters (e.g. we pretended to be The Cat in the Hat, or Sam, or Thing One, or Thing Two), by acting out the stories we read, by making our own original famous hats, or by cooking green eggs and ham in the classroom. We started each day reminding our students Dr. Seuss’s famous quotation:” Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!Dr. Seuss.

  Then the annual reading motivation and awareness program Read Across America Day was very successful as we had a lot of guests who came into our classroom and brought reading excitement to our students. The community people who participated were: the parents, police officers, bus drivers, teachers from other classes, and our school employees.

   This month we started to explore measurement. We started this topic by using blocks to build towers that are smaller than their body, larger than their body, and the same size as their body. They also built two towers of the same size. Then, we used the measuring tape to find out how tall high they were. Then, we measured each child’s height that was recorded in a graph and then we compared who was the tallest child in the class, the medium height one, and who was the shortest in the class. Then we explored the volume concept and we used different sizes containers to compare which container holds more water. We also estimated how many cups of water it would take us to fill up a 1 gallon container, then we counted the actual cups and compared them our initial estimation. We talked about weight and using a balance scale, we compare which objects are light and which ones are heavy. In continuation to the weight concept we measured how many pounds we our students had and we compared the results making up a graph from the lightest to the heaviest in the classroom. Then, using the nonstandard measurement, we counted how many steps long was the tunnel, we measured how many unit blocks long were our block construction, how many steps it took us to get from the block center to the door, etc. We are looking forward to explore more measurement concepts next month like: distance, temperature, money, time.

Room 1 Update: Collaborative Play

One of the omnipresence themes throughout the activities was guiding children to work together. We grouped them and asked them about the plans they had and what they could accomplish together. We noticed how our students moved away from their parallel play to cooperative play. They created games in the housekeeping area; they had fun playing and interacting with their peers. 

The science projects were very successful (especially the games of our science kit) and the measurement activities (weight, distance, and height) solicited active participation and was well liked by our students.

We hope to get back to normal so that we get into our routine continuing with measurements and shopping experiences in various locations.

Preschoolers Plant with Groundworks

By: Khaleeqa Rouse 

Recently Elizabeth Groundworks visited our center and helped our preschoolers learn about the importance of planting. Each student had a roll in planting earth boxes of sugar snap peas. The children learned how the earth box sucks water from the bottom in order to feed the roots of the plants; and how this method was more efficient in having a successful garden. The children each planted a sugar snap seed, after they fertilized the soil.

Initially it was hard to get the children to focus, but they made up songs as each of their classmates went and helped prepare the box and plant the seed. The peas were the first addition to our garden this year. We hope have a garden full of delicious vegetables.

Cultivating healthy sustainable living starts at an early age. We have found that if children are involved in the process of gardening then they are more likely to eat vegetables because they know where they come from. Teaching the children how to plant reinforces curriculum concepts such as math and science, also the children just love to play and get their hands dirty. 

Spring is here!

Today marks the first day of spring! To celebrate we decorated our lobby and talked to the children about what happens when spring has sprung. Everyone is looking forward to the warmer temperatures, outdoor activities and all around fun that spring time brings. This is a great time of year to talk to your preschooler about all the changes that will take place, and do projects at home the emphasize growth and change. Check out the song below, and sing along with your child:

Room 4 update: Snow for Sensory

After reading Mouse Paint by Ellen Stohl Walsh, the students became intrigued by mixing colors. Ms. Towanda and Ms. Ruby decided to use an easily accessible natural resource....SNOW! That's right; the cold weather couldn't keep Room 4 from getting in on the action. The children enjoyed mixing primary colors to make, green, purple, and orange in the fresh snow. Using the snow instead of water provided the students with more than one science experiment. They were also able to predict what would happen to the snow once it sat in the bowl over a period of time. We suggest doing experiments with snow at home when your child is having cabin fever. We simply placed a bucket outside of our door. Once the snow had fallen, we collected the bucket and let the children explore with food coloring.  It made for a great sensory experiment.

Room 5 Update: Playdough & Preschoolers

Originally posted on the Imagination Tree

We all know that playdough is fun and popular with young children, but apart from making a mess what is really good for? Here are the fabulous benefits of allowing kids to play with playdough and the many learning opportunities that happen along the way! Here are the various ways using playdough is beneficial to preschoolers:

  • Fine motor development: building up strength in all hand muscles and tendons

  • Imagination & creativity: They can represent so many things in a child’s eyes

  • Math and literacy development: It can be use as a fantastic way to practice letter and number works. Children can form letters of the alphabet, make numbers and 3D shapes.

  • Science & discovery: Making playdough with children they can learn about solid materials such as: flour and salt and some liquids such as: oil and water.

What an incredible substance is playdough! Our room enjoyed making playdough to using as part of our daily and learning time.

Room Two Update: Developing Fine Motor Skills

By: Neva Lattanzio-Temple, Teacher

Hello everyone! The last few weeks have been very difficult for all of us.It is difficult for the children because they are in and out of school with such a haphazard schedule and we have not been able to go out as much as would have liked. The children really enjoy playing in the snow.Miss Gina and I have tried to stay on task as much as possible. For the last few weeks we have been doing a lot of work with letters. The children are tracing large foam letters and cutting them out, then applying corresponding word picture stickers that match that letter. We are going to make a complete set of upper case and lower case letters and then use them to make a class book. All the students need to practice their fine motor skills and get more proficient at cutting as they build up the strength in their hands.

    Another project we are completing now is making bodies.All the boys and girls have traced out their bodies( which they all found very interesting!)and are cutting them out( strengthening fine motor skills). After cutting they will apply pieces of material for clothing,then comes hair,and other facial features. Some girls have even painted the nails on their paper bodies. They work on this independently at work time.

Room Three Update: Magnificent Hats & Growth

By Annalee Stanislawczyk

By Annalee Stanislawczyk

In February we started the story of “The Hat” by Jan Brett. The children took part in acting out the story and the animals. We drew pictures and talked about many different animals and where they live. The children learned a small lesson on inference in our story. The animals were laughing at Hedgie for wearing a hat he got stuck on his head. While they laughed they were also thinking how good a hat would be. Lisa got her stocking off of Hedgie just in time to find out the animals had taken all her clothes and made hats out of them. When she asked animals what they were doing they said,” Now we’re wearing a Magnificent Hat.” Throughout the day children will put various items on their head and say,” My magnificent hat.”

In the last week we are touching on some measuring, and rhyming. We compared our heights and everyone grew since the beginning of the year. We also compared time from when they were babies till now, and the things that they accomplished in a few years. We are using the book “Inch By Inch” which teaches measurement and about many birds. Rhyming comes through many times in the day and we try to focus on a lesson in large group time.

Healthy Living for Preschoolers

healthy living handout.jpg

Last night at Jefferson Park Preschool we hosted a cooking demonstration and healthy living program for our parents. We had an amazing turnout and it was a great opportunity for our parents to learn how they can start healthy habits with their children. Tons of information was shared on how to create healthy natural meals at home, how to lose weight and how to incorporate exercise as a regular activity. The parents sampled a smoothie, a snack and a dinner recipe (recipe above). Overall it was a great experience for all participants and we hope to bring another healthy living program to the parents before the end of the year. Happy Eating!