Room One: Farm Animals

 Farm animals are a great fun topic of study for preschoolers because they all naturally love animals. For our farm unit, here are just a few of the objectives we hoped to achieve while learning about farm animals:

  • The kids will be able to recognize and identify common farm animals

  • The kids will know the mother, father, and baby names for common farm animal families (e.g, hen, rooster, and chick are all part of the chicken family)

  • The kids will know the sounds made by common farm animals

  • The kids will know what kinds of products we get from farm animals

       The books we used for this theme were:” Over on the Farm”; “Busy Noisy Farm”, “The Big Red Barn”, “Hatching Chicks”, “ Dogs”, “Cows”, “Goats”, “Sheep”. We built a barn surrounded by fences, we played with toy farm animals grouping them by categories, and counting them; we compared and touched furs, and feathers, we talked about animals that live in a farm, and animals that do not live in a barn. Each child selected his/her favorite animal, and made it during art activities using paper plates. We also talked about what animals eat, and we talked about pets. The best surprise for our students was having a real turtle for the whole week into our classroom. 

       But, the best thing for our students was the fact that we had a Petting Farm Animal Day and that our students were able to see and pet: goats, ducks, rabbits, a donkey, a rooster, and a lamb. Our students were super exited to see real animals. This was according to them one of the best day ever. 

Room Five: “Celebrating Fire Prevention Week”

By: Arelys B. Menendez

At the beginning of this month we celebrated Fire Prevention Week. To introduce this theme we read several books. One of the books that we read was,”Clifford the Firehouse Dog” by Norman Birdwell. Through this book they learned the concept of Stop, Drop, and Roll. After we read the book we did our own practice of the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” process. Also, we discussed why we should never play with lighters, matches, or others materials that provoke a fire. We did a few more activities such as: Math: We used a dice to identify numbers and count the missing rungs and glue on the ladder. Art: We used base shapes, so the children were able to make their own fire truck. Science: We mixed yellow and red paint with a fork to pretend to make the flame of a fire. They really enjoyed this theme.

Room Three: Welcome back to school

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The first two months of preschool has been enjoyable. we look forward to getting to know each child and fostering in him or her a love for learning. We are thrilled with all of our new friends and all of our engaging learning toys. Our room is a continual work in progress and with that being said we hope to make a few more additions to our classroom shortly. We have now added our pet turtle to our room and the children voted to name him Donatello. Please make sure that you stop by and say hello.  

Thanks to everyone who was able to attend back to school night and special thanks to everyone who has shown a great willingness to be involved in order to give our preschool and children a very special place to grow and learn. 

Pumpkins & Project Approach in Room 2

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As we enter a season the children have to opportunity to explore it through one or all of their senses. Fall gifted us with pumpkins, in which the children had the opportunity to use three of their senses. During the process questions were asked, like where do pumpkins grow, while also implementing fun facts, for example a pumpkin is a fruit. As the lesson progress the children touched, saw and smelled the inside of the pumpkin after it was cut. They also had the opportunity to take the seeds out of the pumpkin and see them in a better view. 

Room Four: We just love fall

Fall is such an exciting time of year. The weather becomes cooler and the environment changes drastically keeping us in awe of its beauty. For preschoolers exploring Fall is an endless world of new discoveries. Room 4 went on an exploratory journey over the past few weeks. We went on a nature walk, collected different colored leaves and acorns. They also became little scientists, investigating the ends and outs of pumpkins, gourds and squash. The children loved getting messy, with the seeds and pumpkin meat. There was also a lesson on why leaves change colors. We learned about the awesome changes that occur before the leaves fall to the ground.  On top of that, the class made leaf creations with their hands using primary and secondary colors. Finally after our last nature walk we had the students glue the leaves on the paper adding features, such as arms and legs, head, or tail. They looked fantastic. The children even gave the leaf characters names. We just love Fall.

Learning about ladybugs in room two

 As the ladybugs successfully transitioned into each stage, the students witnessed the phenomena; these stages included larva, pupa and then to adulthood. The children also viewed as water was placed in the designated location, and when they were fed the raisin, as adults. When they were released, the children observed how some of the ladybugs flew out of the incubator, while others were placed on a flower. Although goodbyes are never the easiest to say, it was time for the fully grown ladybugs to leave the nest and begin forward on their voyage.

Room Three: Discovering Science

This month the entire Jefferson Park Preschool family had a exciting and educational trip to Liberty Science Center located in Jersey City, New Jersey.  The children explored many hands on activities and learned how expression through the arts creates innovation. They children were thrilled to see examples of color theory, displays and interactive games and they experienced many new sights, sounds and sensations. A class favorite was the animal exploratory section where the students were captivated not only with the massive snapping turtle but with the variety of aquatic wildlife in our very own Hudson River waterways. All and all the students had a blast and after all the fun and learning we had a very sleepy bus full of knowledgeable preschoolers!

Room Three: Give a mouse a cookie

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It is an exciting time of year and all the children are used to their routines and expectations by this point in the school year. We are exploring higher level activities and projects and the children are quite excited about their upcoming art show. Our theme will be based around the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie and the children are s excited to be sharing all their beautiful work with friends and family. They are also working dilengently on the planting skills as well as their science identification of plant and tree parts and the needs of all living things.Warm weather is arriving and the children are once again enjoying the playground!  Most of room 3 finds that it is their favorite part of the day because of the wonderful transition to more comfortable weather and the lack of necessary heavy clothing and coats.  We cannot wait for the families to come and be apart of this wonderful time of the year and hope to see everyone at our wonderful art show.  We are also remind families that all of the children should come to school with an thermos that is filled with ice water and we will refill as necessary to keep the children hydrated throughout the day.  Thanks! Ms. Jenny and Ms. Geydy

Room One: BENEFITS OF MUSIC IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT

CHILDREN AND MUSIC: BENEFITS OF MUSIC IN CHILD DEVELOPMENT

 Singing and music play an important role in our culture. In preschool, music plays at important role in each activity. At Jefferson Park Preschool, we are truly fortunate to have music with our music teacher, Mrs. Betsy every Friday. Our students love exploring different beats, and instruments with Mrs. Betsy. We call our time with Mrs. Betsy, “the fun Friday”.

 MUSIC AND THE BRAIN: THE BENEFITS OF MUSIC

A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institutefound that musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development, particularly in the areas of language acquisition and reading skills. According to the National Association of Music Merchants Foundation(NAMM Foundation), learning to play an instrument can improve mathematical learning and even increase SAT scores.

 

But academic achievement isn’t the only benefit of music education and exposure. Music ignites all areas of child development and skills for school readiness: intellectual, social and emotional, motor, language, and overall literacy. It helps the body and the mind work together. Exposing children to music during early development helps them learn the sounds and meanings of words. Dancing to music helps children build motor skills while allowing them to practice self-expression. For children and adults, music helps strengthen memory skills.

 In addition to the developmental benefits of music, for preschoolers, it provides them with so much joy. Many preschoolers make up songs and, with no self-consciousness, sing to themselves as they play. Preschoolers enjoy singing just to be singing. They aren’t self-conscious about their ability and most are eager to let their voices roar. They like songs that repeat words and melodies, use rhythms with a definite beat, and ask them to do things. Preschool children enjoy nursery rhymes and songs about familiar things like toys, animals, play activities, and people. They also like finger plays and nonsense rhymes with or without musical accompaniment.

Planting the seeds of ladybugs room 2

The children will have the opportunity to view the life span of a ladybug. The soon to be ladybugs were transported from a tube to their current habitat. During this time the ladybugs will grow through the larva stage, the pupa stage then the adult stage, in which they will be released into the wild. So far, the children are enjoying their company and learning about the ladybug. 

Room Four: We’re Aware of Print

As Room 4 prepared for Spring and Spring Time themes. We read Eric Carle’s, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  This story was a terrific literacy booster. At this time during the school year our class is becoming more aware of all the print in the environment around them; the walls in the classrooms, the signs outdoors and the pages of our picture books. During this story some of the students started to read along with Ms. Mercedes and myself; telling parts from memory while turning the pages. Hearing a word while they also see it in print helps children draw one more link between what they hear and the symbols they see. As a variation, we had students put the events of the story in order while I read the book. The class loved acting out the story and putting it in sequential order. 

Room Three: Motor Skills

 During the month of March we have focused on developing our motor skills. Mastering both fine and  gross motor skills are important for our student's growth and independence. The children have done this by engaging in writing activities and have enjoyed quite a few nice days outside on the playground. Having good motor control helps children explore the world around them and also helps with their cognitive development. Preschoolers are learning everyday through play by experiencing new textures, sounds, colors and patterns. You don’t need expensive toys for this to happen. Playing with children and letting them explore using items you already have around the house. You may not realize but a bucket and wooden spoon can be a ton of fun!

Room One: Transportation Theme


Transportation theme 

In our class, we have plenty of toys that are transportation related: trains, tractors, cars, trucks, and so much more! Our students naturally gravitate towards playing with these toys. Planning transportation theme activities for them is a no-brainer because they love it! Since, this year, our group seemed very interested in activities that include playing with all types of transportation vehicles, we started to plan many activities around ways of travelling. This topic is part of our students’ everyday lives.

They drive or walk to school, have seen or ridden on a bus or taken an airplane to go on vacation.

   We read the books:” Getting Around”, “Wheels, Wheels!”, “Beep, Beep, Vroom, Vroom!” , “How Do Airplanes Fly?”, “Where Does It Park?”. The students wanted to make their own trucks, trains, boats, cars, and we talked about intersections, and traffic lights that are needed for the drivers. Since the students loved this theme, we decided to expand it , and continue to work on it.  

Sprouting in room two

As previously mentioned, the children 'planted' the beans, in which, they have been observing and keeping track of during the weeks after the process. However, curiosity caught all of our attention when we took a glimpse at the Ziploc bags. One was able to see the roots, the leaves and stems that have grown from the beans. The children were in awe when they viewed the roots that had grown within the napkin, as well. 

Room Four: Science Activity

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For young learners, learning about science is just a simple as using materials they may come in contact with in their environment. The great thing about preschoolers is that they enjoy discovering and exploring through play. Our class enjoys hands-on activities so this activity was perfect for them. Not only do the children eagerly throw themselves into the science activities, we believe they learn best this way. This month we focused on movement. We explained how and why things move. We used a few simple household items to make this project a success. We added a cool rocket for a special effect.

 

·         Balloon

·         Tape

·         Scissors

·         String

·         2 chairs

·         Measuring tape

·         1 drinking straw

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What To Do

1.      Set up the two chairs six yards apart

2.      Cut 20 feet of string. Tie one end of the string to the top of one of the chairs.

3.      Thread the straw through the string and tie the other end of the string to the top of the second chair.

4.      Blow up the balloon and let it go three times. Blow it up a fourth time and secure it to the straw with tape while holding the balloon neck closed.

5.      Set up the experiment so the balloon neck is close to one chair and then let the balloon go.

Room Three: Measurements

We are so excited to share some of our exciting news from February. During the month of February we explored measurement and focused on our food measurement tools and the changes that occur in foods during processing.  We talked and explored flour, sugar and several liquids.  The children made fresh orange, pear and apple juice on several days and were able to feel the dried pulp that was left over after juicing.  We also took a little trip to our kitchen where we were able to measure and warm milk before mixing it with cocoa and marshmallows.  We also have been working on self help skills during this month. The children have been doing excellent serving foods and pouring liquids for themselves and their peers and we believe that they are quite ready to help any family members in the kitchen at home!  

February science in room two

During a science class, the children were assigned to 'plant' two different kinds of seeds; one being llama beans and the other Pansy seeds. The objective of this goal was to not only compare and contast the seeds, but to also observe how the llama beans roots grow during and after germination.  It also serves the purpose to further educate the children, in regards, to plants, and to also teach then that not all seeds need dirt to blossom.

New Classroom Pets in Room Three

 January has been a very exciting time in room 3.  We are learning all about winter and the quieting of nature all around us. The children have been exploring the changes in weather and have had the opportunity to learn about the effects of temperature on ice and snow. We have two new additions to our classroom.  We have adopted two new bunnies.  The children held a vote and named our bunnies Catboy (boy) and Alex (girl). The children are learning about pet care and responsibilities. There has been a great deal of smiles and hard work going in our room as we learn about our bunnies. The children are exploring different environments for bunnies and other burrowing animals. We will be keeping our bunnies through the end of our year and the children will have many more opportunities to extend their learning and compassion for living things.  Please feel free to stop in to visit Catboy and Alex in room 3.

Room One: Developing Healthy Habits

 Early childhood is an exiting time as children begin to learn about themselves and the world around them. It’s a time when they can develop habits that can affect them throughout their lives.

    In this winter season with lots of colds around us, we definitely want to prevent getting colds by teaching children methods of keeping away the germs. We try to incorporate activities that help them maintain a beautiful smile, and keep them looking and feeling great. 

    This month we planned exiting activities, games and songs that cover proper hygiene. We started with the book “Germs Are Not for Sharing” by Elizabeth Verdick. After reading this book we talked about how we need to cover our mouths whenever we cough or sneeze not to spread germs because our friends can get sick, too. We talked about washing properly our hands, and the situations in which washing our hands is required. We discussed proper hygiene habits when using the bathroom. Then we had an art projects in which our character had a cold, and we had to make sure that he uses tissues to wipe out his/her nose. Then we read the story “ Little Raccoon Catches a Cold” by Susan Canizares, and talked about why the raccoon got sick. Later, in a different activity we discussed ways of protecting ourselves to prevent getting sick, and we compared our experiences of being sick to the one the little raccoon had in the story. We reinforced our students’’ good hygiene behaviors whenever we noticed them throughout the days.

Winter Fun In Room Five

Season Greetings!

December month brings a lot of different winter activities and exciting open discussion for our preschoolers to expand their thinking about the seasonal changes. We are also working on our new long term assignment:  Project Approach our theme is about: Transportations.

We read books on climate changes and on Transportation.

The children enjoyed the book titled: Little Raccoon Catches A Cold.  From this book they learned more about  following directions for safety and identifying the different garments we should wear to keep ourselves warm and protected from getting sick like little raccoon; understanding the importance and differences of getting properly dressed before going out to play during the winter months verses the warmer months passed; they even understood how silly little raccoon was thinking he could catch  a cold using a baseball mitt, butterfly net or a bucket.

One child said: “ Little raccoon was too excited to go outside with his friend red squirrel; that’s why he forgot to dress properly ; then him got sick and his mom made him soup to feel better”.

Another child said: “Little Raccoon forgot to eat his lunch and a cold caught him”. Another said: He didn’t listen to his brother”.

Another activity we did During Small Group Time; since everyone was not prepared to play outside when it snowed,  we filled two large trays with snow one for each table and each child made their own personal snowman; that was a quick cold fun indoor experience and experiment the children really enjoyed it very much. We are also reading and talking about bears and their habitats, while creating our own classroom Bear habitat display. We also made some classroom winter displays.

We are reading various book: We All Go Traveling By, Tons of Trucks, Things that Go and Duck in The Truck  as we work on our Project Approach, as you can see we are moving along on our Transportations activities using various boxes to create them; Much more to come on this long term teamwork.

Have a safe and enjoyable winter break and a very Happy New Year!

By: Suzette Dort