It was a short but very busy month in Preschool. We learned about the 8th month of the school year (April), the color (yellow) and the shape (square). We colored and painted yellow squares and practiced using scissors! We also finished the Alphabet! I can’t believe our Z ended up in your home, so funny?
We also learned about growing plants from seeds. We started out painting a small plant pot, then we filled it with soil, planted a seed, watered it each day at school, found a sunny spot and WAITED. This week, your children have brought home the fruits of their labor. These delicate plants, which are Morning Glories, are still babies. Your children need to give them small amounts of water each day, keep them in a sunny window and continue to WAIT. Towards the middle of May or beginning of June they should be ready to live outside. They will need some sort of support, either a trellis or fence to grow on. Morning Glories are vines and if lucky will produce beautiful blue flowers towards the end of the summer and into the fall. Simply dig a hole with your child and place the pot directly into the soil; no need to remove the pot before planting, it will decompose on its own. Enjoy!
Not pertaining to everyone, but worth a newsletter mention: we still have a few students struggling with self help skills, and following "The Harmony Do's" (being Kind, Respectful, Safe, First Time Listeners and Optimists). That being said, it is so important to continue to work with your children over the summer in these areas. Practice makes progress and the more polished these skills become, the more freedom both you as a Parent and them as an independent child will have. Consistent, repeated and clearly communicated goals and expectations give everyone a fair playing field. It can be difficult, but , 'limits are loving' and so rewarding when those who struggle most with limit settings reap the rewards of success and receive POSITIVE PRAISE. Although this is a great message for all, I will communicate with each of you directly via the May observation reports, coming out by mid-May.
April was a quick but fun-filled month in Pre-K!
The children began the month with decorating a vase; having to choose between making an “optimist” or “pessimist” face on it. Next, each child filled their vase with soil (the fancy word for dirt), sprinkled grass seeds on top, and lastly, added water. I placed their vases in a sunny window. For a science experiment, we subtracted one part of the “growing plant process” to see what would happen!! One, we took away the soil, two, we excluded water, three, we excluded seeds and the for the forth experiment we excluded the sun! Each day we would check out the lowly experiment plants. . . . each child took a guess as to what would happen to the sad non-plants. The children are experts at the six steps of growing a plant! 1. vase, 2. soil, 3. seeds, 4. water, 5. sun, 6. time. We actually are redoing our plants. . . . I think I bought a bad bag of seeds because nothing happened. . . . I bought a different brand and we are having another go at growing our plants!
Having learned the letter sounds and lines for X, Y, and Z, we completed our work on the alphabet! The children (and teachers!) were so proud! We celebrated with a fantastic Alphabet party, went on a mini letter Z scavenger hunt, and assembled the entire Pre-K Alphabet Train; taking turns, finding a toy that belongs in each train car, starting with A and ending with Z. The favorite letter T-shirts were a big hit!
We continue to work on the calendar. . . breaking it down by year, season, month, days of the week, as well as “today” and “tomorrow”. . . quiz your little one and ask them how many seasons and months there are. . . . also ask them what DOES NOT repeat on the calendar. . . . they are so smart!
The children have been practicing counting to 100! They are coming along really well. . . any time home practice presents itself. . . driveway chalk, counting things while driving. . . while waiting in line. . . those little time bursts of practice are so powerful and awesome at exercising those developing brains! We spend time organizing all types of things in groups of 10’s. . . and then count how many rows we have. . . and then practice counting by 10’s!!
We talk A LOT about pushing through “hard” things. . . . those “hard” moments are when our brains are inside our heads doing back-flips and getting stronger!!! The children have developed a wonderful respect for each others “turn to learn” and appreciating that some of us need a little more time to let our brain find the answers. . . . AND that some of us find some things easy that another finds hard. . . we are all so different. . . AND wonderful! I am so proud of my students! Know that in those “hard” moments. . . new brain synapses pathways are being created. . . a more flexible mind is developing. . . and a life-long problem solver is budding!!
The children have become little Yoga experts. . . not to mention strong like little bulls! They are working out every day!
Our favorite book this month was:
SuperHero ABC, by Bob McLeod.
The children have been learning how to break down words into syllables. When introducing a new word to them, clap out how many “parts” the word has. This is a great pre-reading skill, as the children learn to break the word down by parts to eventually sound out each one.
We have also started “sounding out” time!!! I write a new word on the white board. . . and be “practice” sounding out the words. . . . they will be readers before you know it!
We have been enjoying science! From water color science, to “germ” transfer science, to ABSORB experiments. . . . we have been LOVING water beads! Our purple finches have hatched! There is a nest on the top of one of my porch poles. . . and we have been observing the mother finch sitting on the nest. . . and now we have two babies! It has been fun to sneak upstairs and watch the momma and poppa “R E G U R G A T A T E” into the babies mouth to feed them. . . .
We will continue to practice using the calendar, building the letters with blocks while practicing their sounds. . .( the children know the VOWELS). . . and we will play with numbers. . . counting to 100, finding differences and using simple math. They have even started building an analogue clock. . . many are very excited about learning how to tell time. . but for now we will start with building the clock. . this week, I helped. . . next week. . . they are on their own. . . if we find success, I’ll move onto “using” the clock.
Next month we will learn all about the FROG life cycle!
It has been a great month!
Expanding on everything the prek class did, Kindergarten expanded their knowledge of growing plants in that they grew sugar snap peas. . . hopefully there will be some great snacks when they go outside to play in early summer!
When we practice “calendar” the students actually take turns pointing out all of the parts of the calendar.
We count to 100, and when we got to our 100th day, I hid the numbers all over the place, and the kids had to find them and put them in order. . . now, I put one child in charge of the 1’s, another 10’s, another 20’s. . and so on, and they have to find their group of numbers and then work together to put them in order 1-100!
In addition to sounding out words. . . we are playing with the MAGIC E. . . I have a bunch of magic e words. . . cut them in half, and the kids have to put them together, like a puzzle and read each word. . . . then I use those words and we play hangman! They LOVE it! Once the magic E words are mastered, we will move on to L blends, then R blends and finally S blends.
We continue to practice writing in our workbooks as well as our capital and lower case letter practice pages. . . we have started writing our full names, and have been playing with punctuation! When I write a word. . . I’ll end with a period. . . or an exclamation. . . or a question. . . the kids reaction to the punctuation is hilarious!
We have started reading Charlottes Web. . . . they are mezmorized. . . it’s such a good story. Ask your student who their favorite character is in the book!!
Adding to the April’s science. . . we made “crystalized” letters!!! We expanded our “purple finch” lessons to talk about what they ate. . . sound like, and where they “migrate” too. We also combined art and science. . . we made a 3D flower, then scientifically labeled all of its parts!
The kids were very excited to bring back the BIKES!!! Thank you for the extra effort!
Our afternoons are action packed!!!
We will be spending more time outside; catching worms and going on nature walks. Please remember to apply sunscreen and bug spray before the children arrive to school. I have noticed ticks on my own children after they have been outside. Here is good information on Lyme: https://www.cdc.gov/lyme/index.html
The month of May will be all about the FROG life cycle!
Observation Reports will be handed out during the middle of May.
AFTER this week, there are 4 short weeks of school left! (6 for kindergarten)
We will plan a PREK bike day later in the month of May.
Save the date: THURSDAY, May 27th. . . we will have our end of the year show zoom call!!!! Time TBA, probably 6:00. . . .
Thank you very much for the thoughtful Alphabet party! It was a big hit!!
Thank you for the papertowel donations! We use them up so quickly!
Awesome job being on time for drop off! Learning how to be on time, and organized for school is a life long habit that will serve your children well; it truly sets each child up for success when they feel prepared for their day.