preschool cirriculum

Promote Fine Motor Skills in Room 1 

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.

Room Two: Marine Life In Preschool

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 FishCommotion In The Ocean, as well as Pout Pout Fish. 

Room One: February "The Rainbow Fish"

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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. 

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·      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. 

·      Music 

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”. 

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·      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.

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 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.

 

 

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!

 

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”.