Week 19

Dear PreK Families…
H E L L O… from Antarctica, at the very bottom of the world… Where we have been learning
and playing this last week of January into the first week of February!! In case you were not
sure whether we really were there or not… We have brought some of the coldest temperatures
you may have felt in recent history home to WNSH with us!!! So… As we say during circle time
when we are about to embark on a new adventure… BUCKLE UP as we invite you to share in our
learning…
What we now know…
 Penguins are birds and they are covered with feathers which keep them warm and dry in
the ocean.
 A group of penguins living together is called a “colony”.
 Although they are birds, they do not fly, but will often “toboggan” on their bellies to get
from place to place.
 Penguins have “blubber”, like their northern friends, the polar bear, to keep warm.
 Penguins are great swimmers and this ability is enhanced by their “webbed” feet and
“flippers”.
 It is kind of disgusting, but mother penguins “regurgitate their food into their chick’s
mouths. (We discovered that no PreK children are fed that way at home!!!)
 A nest of penguin eggs is called a “clutch”.
 A baby penguin is called a “chick”.
 The father penguin is responsible for protecting the egg while the mother hunts for
food. The egg is kept safe and warm under a piece of skin called a “brood pouch”. This is
close to the father’s feet. The egg stays safe in the brood pouch for more than sixty
days.
 There are 17 species of penguins in the world… We focused on the Emperor, the Adelie,
the Gentoo, and the African.
Penguin exploration found its way into our dramatic play as the continent of Antarctica itself, in
the water table with frozen penguins encapsulated in actual ice, and in the sand table where
play took us to create penguin colonies. This will be a unit study our children will not soon
forget!!
Other projects and activities we enjoyed this week…
 Learning about the groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, and his “ability” to predict the weather
by using his shadow
 Voting whether the groundhog would see his shadow on February 2 nd or not
 Singing our groundhog song
 Celebrating Emory’s fifth birthday with Hoodsies
 Playing on cold days in the Big Room

 Having a relay race in the Big Room by holding balls between our legs (like a penguin holds
the eggs on their feet (so fun to watch)
 Listening to Miss Melanie read about the life of a groundhog and show us the video of
“Phil” seeing his shadow
 Creating 3D penguin and iceberg art
 Drawing and writing in our journals
 Participating in Music with Miss Elaine (cotton ball snowball “fight” was so much fun)
 Sharing The Math Bag with Bode (#6)
 Tracing and counting penguins
 Working on our fifth cutting animal – the PENGUIN
 Learning to play games and make puzzles with new classmates
 Creating structures and trains with manipulatives
 Listening to the story Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester and Lynn Musinger several
times and pretty much learning it by heart (How Many Toes Does A Fish Have?)
 Earning stones in our buckets for kind actions and deeds
Last, but certainly not least… The PreK class made their first journey to the library… And what
a magical experience it was. The librarian made our class feel cozy and welcome as she captured
their mind and spirit with stories, games, and songs. To complete the trip, each student was
able to take one library book back to school to live in our classroom to be shared with our
friends. Just think… Eighteen new books to read and enjoy together! It was really a lovely
time for both students and teachers alike. We will be visiting the library across the street at
the beginning of each month until the end of the school year.
Earlier this week, we sent home a Valentine notice for the making of Valentine’s for each child.
In error, two children’s names were left off the list (Grace and Graeme). A new list was sent
home, but in case it was not seen, we wanted to alert you of this error.
We wish all PreK families a wonderful and warm (if possible) weekend…
Most sincerely…
Karen, Dana, and Penny

 

Dear PreK Families, 

Our Polar Expedition began this week as we landed on the North Pole, or…The Arctic! Our dramatic play area was transformed into an Arctic Tundra filled with Arctic animals, icy glacier walls, a frozen body of water for ice fishing.  We read many books (both fiction and nonfiction) about Polar Bears and The Arctic to immerse ourselves in the environment, and played games and worked on projects related to that, as well!

A BIG highlight of this week was celebrating the Lunar New Year.  Miss Penny made a wonderful dramatic presentation of how the LNY came to be. The children were riveted! Ask your child about the Jade Emperor and all the animals that raced down the river to represent the Zodiac (they might even remember their order)! Miss Penny’s dragon puppet was especially magical, and the kids were thrilled to make their OWN dragon puppet following the presentation.

On Monday, the children made pretzels.  While we attempted to make them in the shape of polar bears, the dough was a little challenging to manipulate…lots of fun and delicious to eat after we baked them, though!

Wednesday was Northern Lights day. After watching a spectacular video of the Northern Lights from Iceland, we had a great discussion of how they form. We have heard from some of you that you have actually seen them in person–so exciting!  After that, the children used oil crayons on dark paper to create their own vision of them–they look beautiful.

On the playground, it felt like the snow fell just for our unit! The children LOVED making giant snowballs and snow people. On Wednesday, they moved all of the big snowballs to make a big “Polar Express Train”.  Everyone climbed aboard for rides!

On the Skills Table this week, the children completed:

  • Snow Globe Count and Trace
  • Cutting Certificate Animal: “Dog”
  • Dragon Cutting, Glittering, Painting, and Puppet creation
  • Polar Bear creation to add to Northern Lights art
  • Snow man counting/name project with Miss Melanie

Other highlights of our week:

  • Journal writing
  • Read about our new favorite charachter: “Lars” in the The Litttle Polar Bear series, by Hans de Beer. This collection of heart-warming stories made its way into the PreK class hearts!
  • Learning about caring for our Earth to prevent global warming (which melts ice and snow needed for polar bear survival).
  • Filling our Cutting Jar again: celebration to follow!
  • Letter and Shape Stencils
  • Painting on the easel
  • Playing with REAL snow in the water table
  • Singing many Arctic songs
  • Learning new Polar vocabulary words: camouflage, fat/blubber (keeps polar bears warm), cub, den
  • Britta’s Me Week! (thanks to big sister (Maris) and Mom (Jill) for coming in to read!
  • Big Room Play on the rainy days: Snow Ball “messy backyard game”,  counting games, and our ever-popular hoop rolling races
  • Music with Miss Elaine
  • Group game: using dice and dotters to count and complete the polar bear Count/Color game
  • Celebrating Tate’s birthday with delicious football cupcakes–(thanks, Julie!)

We are so grateful to spend time with this wonderful bunch–their enthusiasm for all things is contagious!

Wishing you all a great weekend,

Miss Penny, Miss Dana, and Miss Karen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear PreK Families, 

Well, January is surely moving right along! When the children return from the holiday break, we begin the new year with a “refresher” of academic basics. With the past two weeks focused on letters, shapes, and colors, we spent this week having Fun With Numbers…

Our tables were filled with number puzzles and games, to reinforce number recognition and friendship! Our dramatic play area was transformed into a Pet Adoption Shop where children were able to care and feed for new pets, while using currency to “purchase” them.  Number stampers were used with playdough to create complex equations (!), and number stencils were used to create “numerous” works of art.  the children also creatively made “number faces” using cut-out digits as various features.

Other highlights of our week:

  • Community building with classroom manipulatives (some GIGANTIC towers were created!)
  • Journaling about the weekend
  • 3rd animal in our cutting unit – the BUNNY
  • Fine motor tracing snowflakes
  • ABC Bingo: exciting whole-class group game!
  • Cutting jar: great enthusiasm-we sense a jar-filling celebration coming…
  • Using white, orange, brown paint to make our skin color
  • Digging in the “fake” snow (make from baking soda, corn starch, water)
  • Be Ahead of the Game
  • Yoga-the children loved this!
  • Math Bag-thanks, Benny!
  • Pairing up to add numbers together using stickers
  • Counting Sparky’s daily number beginning at 50
  • AB patterning with winter icons

On Friday, we had so much fun on the playground in the SNOW!  We made snow people and snow angels and everyone was very excited.

(Note:  We have had some mix-ups with the winter clothing/gear–many of the children have duplicate items. Please label your child’s items to help us keep hiss/her items together. Thank you!)

Wishing you all a great weekend,

Miss Penny, Miss Dana, and Miss Karen

 

 

 

Dear PreK Families…

From stop signs and doors, to roofs, windows, and wheels – shapes are everywhere.  Learning about shapes helps children identify and organize visual information.  It helps children learn skills in other curriculum content areas including reading, math, and science.  Learning shapes helps children comprehend signs and symbols. Our PreK class has become masterful in learning 2D shapes this week from the triangle to the octagon, and the trapezoid to the diamond.

Michael Hall’s shape book, Perfect Square, takes us on a journey of how a brightly colored square transforms itself after facing one challenge after another.  It is cut into pieces, poked full of holes, and torn into scraps, all the while remaining happy and resilient.  As a group, the children recreated “Perfect Square” in pairs. These are their thoughts as they stood back to examine and observe what their “perfect square” had become…

  • Sharks swimming
  • Ice cream cones
  • A city bus… Going to a wedding
  • A nice witch
  • A boat wedding
  • Goblins
  • A doll house
  • Buckets

What do you see in our “Perfect Square”?

 

We would like to extend our thanks to Tate’s brother, for coming to read to our class this week.  Tate’s favorite story has now become one of ours as well as Gavin told the tale of Big Orange in Big Rig Rescue by Chris Gall.  We would also like to express our thanks to Annie Jane’s, mom, Leila, for reading Savannah Guthrie’s story, Princesses Wear Pants. We very much enjoyed both books!!

In our quest to earn stones for our “kindness buckets” we speak daily about the qualities of being kind, helpful, and polite. This week our History/Social Science spotlighted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his contributions to social action in our society, extending to the freedoms that we all enjoy to this day.  Although a delicate subject, the children embraced wholeheartedly the ideology of “fairness” with their own definitions. A related activity was to examine eggs, both white and brown.  Using the egg carton as a “bus”, it was shown how people who had “white” colored skin only were allowed on one bus, while those who did not, were made to sit on another.  The children then predicted what would be inside of both of the eggs, realizing after cracking them open, the eggs (just like people) were all the same inside, regardless of their color on the outside.  We are very proud of how our class embraced the grown-up lessons taught by Dr. King and how this knowledge can be applied to how we treat others, both those we know and love, and those we have yet to meet.

Activities and projects we enjoyed very much this past week:

  • Learning about native birds of Massachusetts using “stuffies” and matching cards, and “feeding” them with beaks (tweezers) and birdseed (pompoms) with Puddlestompers
  • Making shapes from playdoh
  • Using marshmallows and toothpicks to create shapes we learned this week
  • Coloring, cutting, and gluing our second animal (the MOUSE) in our Animal Cutting Unit as we continue on our quest to earn our Scissors Skills License in the spring
  • Playing shape and color games cooperatively and building shape puzzles
  • Collaborative building with the MagnaTiles (squares and triangles) (this week’s structure was an animal hospital!!)
  • Playing cooperatively with the Mobilo construction set (affectionately called “wheels and ladders” in our classroom)
  • Using brightly colored popsicle sticks to create our 2D shapes
  • Making a shape animal from cut out construction paper shapes

Sparky (our daily counting caterpillar) is now at Day 72… Only 28 more days until One Hundreds Day!!! As we say to the children every day as we get ready for Circle Time – Buckle Up!!!

Most Sincerely…

Miss Karen, Miss Dana, and Miss Penny

 

 

 

Dear PreK Families,

Happy New Year to all! It has been nice to get back into the rhythm of school, and see the PreK children again. Usually, after December break, they often look a little bigger/older, and this year they did not disappoint!

Upon return, the children were asked to give a “one-word tribute” to their vacation. These were some of the answers:

  • water slide
  • home
  • Texas
  • grandma
  • grandma/papa
  • grandma/grandpa
  • Antie’s house
  • skating
  • South Carolina
  • skiing
  • cousins
  • train ride
  • hotel

This week we explored…the alphabet! Jumping back in (with gusto), we reviewed, played games, read books, and created art, all with a focus on LETTERS.

In art, the children created festive “2023” numerals to celebrate! They are placed all around the room to welcome the new year!  After that, they painted the alphabet with Qtips (a fine-motor challenge), and then created sparkly sculptures with styrofoam, pipe cleaners, and beads. Another fun (and lovely) project was stamping circles with foam pads, and then sprinkling glitter on top–all uniquely fantastic.

After reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom,  we created a giant tropical coconut tree and covered its trunk and leaves with painted, stamped letters.  It hangs in our dramatic play area now! We also began our Letter Scavenger Hunt, in which children pair up and search for objects that begin with assigned letters. It will take a while, but we will finish the alphabet and document it soon!

 

On the Skills Table this week:

  • Worked on a Winter Sports letter puzzle
  • Completed a hibernating bear literacy puzzle
  • Created a “snow globe” with sparkly letters
  • Wrote in personal Journals about vacation

Other highlights of our week:

  • We had delicious cupcakes to celebrate Graeme’s birthday on Thursday—thank you, Langione family!
  • We also had a fun treat from Miss Penny, who found the scrumptious letter cookies that Cece F. has been bringing in for lunch! (They are Schoolbook Cinnamon Cookies from Trader Joe’s).
  • Madison’s exciting Math Bag featuring the #4!
  • It was a rainy week, but we had lots of fun, active time in the “Big Room” with games, dancing, and a group game of rotating partners with a snow man theme. It was a great way for the children to interact with every classmate, and figure out how to work together.
  • Letter Stones-check your child’s backpack for a set of  painted stones that spell their name!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy weekend,

Miss Penny, Miss Dana, and Miss Karen

 

Dear PreK Families…

Every week we ask ourselves – How did we get here??  How has time passed so quickly??  We were just looking forward to Halloween and Thanksgiving… And now Christmas is upon us.  The smile on the faces of our PreK students when they saw you, their parents, sitting in the audience this afternoon says it all.  Hi mommy… Hi daddy… They were beyond excited to see you there.  Your children spent their week at school preparing the songs for their concert (a lot!!), making their holiday gift for you, including painting, glittering, writing, and wrapping, and experiencing both Christmas and Hanukkah in spirit.  We laced bells to accompany us while singing “Jingle Bells”.  Miss Melanie spent time with our class on Monday comparing two versions of “The Gingerbread” story and using the characters in each to practice positional words.  We decorated our paper bag gingerbread houses so they looked good enough to eat.  We made an entire bakery full of playdoh gingerbread cookies and built gingerbread houses out of Magnatiles and bells.  We celebrated the first two birthdays in our PreK Class – Bode and Liam.  Happy Birthday to you both!!  We began adding more paper to “The Cutting Jar” in hopes of scoring yet another special and magical snack.  We played “holiday” in our Dramatic Play area complete with a felt Christmas tree to decorate.  We learned the difference between the words “Big” and “Small” through cutting and gluing gingerbread men under the correct heading.  We learned a bit about fire safety when talking about Hanukkah candles lit in the menorah and how fire needs “oxygen” to breathe.  We learned that Hanukkah lasts for eight nights and that a candle is lit each night by the helper candle.  We watched the dreidel spin and learned why it is spun on Hanukkah.  We remembered why the Pilgrims left England to come to America and how those who celebrate Hanukkah honor those who stood up against a king who would not let them live free.  We spoke a great deal about being kind, helpful, and polite.  We carried our food donations to the Wellesley Food Pantry to give to those who do not have as much as we do.  We sang our “Snowman Song” for the kind woman who helped us place our food items on the pantry shelves.  We spoke together about the difference between “wants” and “needs”.  These were all mighty and powerful lessons our kind, helpful, and polite young students took away this week.

We experienced the wonder of PuddleStompers, marveling at just how much the children knew about bats, and we sang holiday and movement songs with Miss Elaine.  She loved our version of “This Little Light of Mine” which she totally inspired in us several weeks ago.

We wish you the happiness and wonder of this holiday season and cannot wait to welcome you all back in January.  Until then… Thank you for your every kindness… We consider ourselves most fortunate to be your child’s PreK teachers…

Most Sincerely…

Miss Karen, Miss Dana, and Miss Penny

 

 

Dear PreK Parents…
The excitement of the season is upon us and nowhere is it more palpable than in
the PreK Class. We said goodbye to the Land of the Dinosaurs this week but not
before we performed a science exploration recreating the event that caused the
dinosaurs to become extinct. The simple explanation for our students was “a very
big rock hit the Earth causing all of the volcanoes to erupt – spewing lava
everywhere, covering all the dinosaurs, resulting in fossils”. They loved this,
especially when observing our Halloween pumpkin spewing “hot” lava erupting from
the top. (And we quote… “This is the best day ever!!!”) For the most adventurous
of our PreK families – Please see Miss Karen’s fabulous recipe to perform this very
activity at home at the end of this email. After learning about the carnivorous
dinosaurs last week, the children responded enthusiastically when “quizzed” on the
herbivorous dinosaurs this week. As a reward we had an herbivorous snack
consisting of carrots and cucumbers (which we all know grew aplenty during the
Cretaceous Period!!) and a side of hummus. Dinosaurs we paid homage to this week
were those very herbivores the Apatosaurus, the Stegosaurus, and the
Triceratops. We hope you found a place of honor for your child’s “baby dinosaur”
painted, bedazzled, and bejeweled lovingly by each. If you happen by our PreK
Classroom you will see “Mama Sparkle Polar Bear” who laid the dinosaur eggs your
children brought home. For those of you who like to know interesting facts…
Mama’s Species is “Chair Checker Rex”!!!
Our Holiday Singing Celebration is almost upon us. Please do not forget we will be
performing our musical numbers this coming Friday, December 16 th at 1:00 pm in
The Assembly Hall. We have been practicing every day for the past two plus
weeks and are ready to show you our stuff!! We cannot wait to see you then…
Learning and related activities that we really enjoyed this week…
 Sharing Benny’s “Me Week” and listening to stories read by Benny’s mom
 Making snowflakes to decorate our stage for this coming Friday’s show
 Filling The Cutting Jar (once again!!!) and having a special, magical snack
 Painting and decorating our dinosaur “babies” (then taking them home)
 Playing with LiteBrite in the bottom of the loft
 Playing cooperatively with LEGOS and other manipulatives on the rug

 Earning stones to put in our buckets
 Coloring hearts on our Kind, Helpful, and Polite heart chart
 Coloring and painting our gingerbread babies to lace later
 Making cards and wrapping paper for our Family Holiday gift
 Painting our “gingerbread houses” with puffy paint
 Listening to gingerbread stories and singing the “Gingerbread Man” song
We very much appreciate the time you have taken these past weeks and months to
read to our students, send snacks and other requests for class celebrations, and
share with us information about your child. Thank you for sending warm clothing
for wearing to play outside and for providing clean clothing in case of spills. We
look forward to spending this next, pre-holiday week with our PreK students and
sharing all of the excitement brings.
Most Sincerely…
Miss Karen, Miss Dana, and Miss Penny
Recipe for volcano action:
Mix together…
1 cup vinegar
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon dishwashing liquid
Several drops of food coloring (optional)
Add this mixture to the bottle inside of your volcano.
In a clean plastic cup combine…
½ cup baking soda
½ cup water
Use a spoon to mix the slurry thoroughly.

 

 

 

Dear PreK Families,

If you have heard some loud stomping/roaring/teeth gnashing/tail swishing this past week, please don’t be alarmed—it’s Dinosaur Week in our classroom! (Other sounds you might have heard: laughing, singing, paper mache slurping, snack crunching, scissors cutting, block building, story telling, and supportive words from friends and teachers).

We have had a great beginning to our unit (which will transition from Dinosaurs to Gingerbread/Holidays mid-week next week). The sand table is filled with many “dinosaur skeletons, bones, and fossils”, and the children have been “excavating” them and making research notes about them in their own Dinosaur Journals.

Each day in class, we have been highlighting a “Dinosaur of the Day”. This week we talked about Velociraptor, T-Rex, and Pterodactyl. In recognition of them all being CARNIVORES, we had a fun snack today of chicken nuggets in the dino shapes. They were a big hit. Next week we will learn about some HERBIVORE dinosaurs (and share a leafy snack, perhaps)!

In Math this week, we:

  • played a fun dinosaur board game, accomplished several dino-themed counting skill projects,
  • played with dinosaur counters,
  • completed several fabulous dinosaur jigsaw puzzles.
  • We enjoyed two great Math Bag Activities (Thanks John and Liam)!
  • Practiced our daily 1:1 correspondence counting

Artistic endeavors this week included:

  • A child-led, group construction of our own PreK Dinosaur! Each child “shopped” for a cardboard item, and it was added to the construction project with their instruction as to where it would go. After it was assembled, the children covered it with paper mache, and after it was completely dry, they painted it with MANY colors. Next week we will name and decide the species of our new friend!
  • Interestingly beautiful dinos made using dinosaur stencils
  • Dinosaur egg art using cray pas oil crayons and watercolor splash

Other highlights of our week:

  • Emory’s Me-Week, including a visit from her family to read on Wednesday. It happened to be her twin sisters’ birthday, so we were able to sing to them!
  • Music with Miss Elaine
  • Drawing dinosaurs and writing dinosaur names
  • Following lines on a very cute dinosaur picture using Miss Penny’s special silver Sharpies
  • Practicing songs for our Holiday Concert and party

On Friday, we had a very special guest teacher (Miss Dana was away for the day)—Miss Melanie’s daughter, Emily! Everyone loved having her in the classroom. She is a natural (teacher), just like her Mom.

We hope you all have a great weekend,

Miss Penny, Miss Dana, and Miss Karen

 

 

Happiest Thanksgiving Wishes to all of our PreK Families!!!
Our pre-Thanksgiving week together absolutely flew by!! We simply cannot believe
that our next day of school as counted by our counting caterpillar “Sparky” will be
the 50 th !! We have learned so much over the last days and weeks in our classroom
community. We are looking forward to the upcoming holiday season as we continue
to share our journey with you. Thank you to YOU our parents, for supporting us in
our endeavors in many different ways. Thank you to Tate’s mom, Julie, for making
sure that we were well stocked with the dry ingredients to make our famous “Day
After Thanksgiving Soup”. Thank you for the time you have spent (and will
continue to spend) coming into the classroom during your child’s “Me Week” to
read to us. Thank you for letting us know just how much your child enjoys learning
in our class and how much it means to your family to have your child in our class.
And most of all… Thank you for sending your child to learn, grow, and simply have
fun every day in our PreK Class… Because that is what means the most to us as
teachers and it is what we are thankful for each and every day.
Before we jump into the highlights of our week… We would like to share “How to
Cook a Turkey” (in case you don’t have a recipe) as told to us by our PreK
students… Here goes…
 Where do you get your turkey from? You can get your turkey from the farm
or the grocery store or maybe the market… Or you can get it in the wild.
 How do you get the turkey ready to be cooked? Well, you just have to put it
in the oven or the microwave, but it has to be an oven, a really big oven.
 How long do you cook the turkey? Four seconds, four hours, 60-80 hours or
until it is ready.
 What temperature do you put the oven on? You put it on hot, really hot or
maybe medium or sometimes slow.
 What do you serve with the turkey? Milk or grease (Grease? Yes you put the
grease on the turkey), and sometimes pie. Salsa is good. Mashed potatoes
or sweet potatoes or apple and peanut butter.

And there you have it!!
Things that made our week together really special…
 Having Miss Melanie come into our class to tell us the story of Thanksgiving
 Making the Mayflower with the big blocks in our classroom complete with
accoutrements
 Learning yoga with our new yoga teacher, Miss Carol
 Playing sports with Be Ahead of the Game
 Having our crock pot Thanksgiving alphabet soup (delicious!!!), corn bread
muffins, and apple sauce we made for our Thanksgiving celebration
 Sitting around the table together telling each other what we are thankful
for
 Making the table cloth for our Thanksgiving snack
 Painting with feathers
 Listening to Thanksgiving stories read during circle time
 Earning stones to put into our Kindness Stone Buckets – both individually and
as a class
 Having classroom jobs
We look forward to seeing you all back at school on Tuesday…
Most sincerely…
Miss Karen, Miss Dana, and Miss Penny

 

Dear PreK Families,

This afternoon on the playground, sunny skies briefly opened up and released some precipitation: hail/snow in the form of tiny snowballs! The kids were beyond excited, and we are now “officially” experiencing a more seasonal feel out there…

In PreK this week, we put the finishing touches on our Kindness Week, and began our Thankful for Thanksgiving unit.  It was a nice transition of caring for each other as classmates and then celebrating family members, loved ones, and all that we are grateful for.  On Monday, we read some more of the “family kindness hearts” (If you still have on at home send it on in!). As of now, they are decorating the door to our classroom. The children also completed another page for their Journey Binders: “I can be kind by…”. In the classroom,  we teachers have been adding Kindness Stones to each child’s Kindness Buckets on the daily! When we see a child do a very kind thing for another child, we continue to plop a stone into their bucket. Please ask your child about this. We have seen some incredible acts of generosity and care in our PreK community lately.

On Tuesday, we started our “Thankful” unit. Miss Penny has a fabulous Thanksgiving book collection, and has been reading all varieties of stories: imaginative, funny, and nonfiction stories of turkeys and how Pilgrim children lived—quite differently than the PreK children in 2022. Ask your child about the differences—wow!  We also learned all about turkeys—from baby (poult) to big mom (wild hen) and dad (Tom), and how wild turkeys look different than farmed (domestic) ones. The children enjoyed being “quizzed” about the facts after learning about them. We have also been having some great “Turkey sing-a-longs”!

In Art this week, the children created individual hand-print turkey farms in a multi-day project. They are gorgeous! Another meaningful project was decorating a (drawn) turkey feather with cray-pas and water color after writing what each child is thankful for.

Math skills projects this week included:

  • Building number comprehension by counting turkey feathers using 1:1 correspondence
  • Math Bag activity (X2!)
  • Calendar counting and patterning proficiency
  • Measuring turkey feathers with a ruler
  • Puppy bones counting game, Squirrel gathering and counting game, puzzles

Other highlights of our week:

  • Music with Miss Elaine
  • Puddlestompers class—all about squirrels!
  • Celebrating Cece H’s Me Week
  • “Setting the table” activity—fun!!
  • Corn Kernel pouring and soup-making in the water table
  • Mixing ingredients with baking tools, etc, in the sand table
  • The addition of a giant family doll house, filled with many family members
  • Working on fine motor skills by signing in and tracing turkeys

Our three days together next week will be filled with learning and celebration. Thank you, families, for sending in the ingredients for soup-making!

Wishing you all a great weekend,

Miss Penny, Miss Dana, and Miss Karen

 

 

 

Dear PreK Families:

This coming Monday, November 14, is World Kindness Day… A whole day for us all to be kind… Well… This week in PreK we spent a great deal of time not only being kind, but talking about what it means to be kind and how we can be kind to one another… Not for just one day – but always.  During “Kindness Week” in our classroom we decorated buckets we then filled with kindness stones we had earned over the past weeks (eleven to be exact for community clean-up efforts). To clarify our stone earning policy – Stones are earned both collectively as a class and individually for being kind, helpful, and polite. Even if you are exceedingly kind, helpful, and polite – you cannot ask if what you did earned you a stone.  It is up to the teacher to catch you being kind, helpful, and polite. Some of us have already earned stones in our buckets for individual acts of kindness.

We have challenged ourselves to commit 100 acts of kindness as a class from now through the end of the year. We have already colored in our first heart on our “100 Acts of Kindness” chart!!! We also worked in pairs to create “Buddy” paper dolls (adorable!!) and colored inside of hearts we traced. These hearts depicted “What Makes You Happy in Your Heart”. We read about the concept of “bucket fillers” and “bucket dippers” and even played a game where we had to decide if an action filled or dipped from our bucket. We ended our “Kindness Week” by making friendship bracelets with pipe cleaners and colorful beads.  Some of our PreK friends have already completed the “heart” homework by filling out a heart with an at home act of kindness. Thank you for helping your child with this… The class is very much enjoying hearing about each other’s act of kindness at home. Kindness Week will conclude on Monday, November 13…

The children have really been enjoying playing table top and board games together. These activities serve to strengthen their turn taking and sharing skills. They have also discovered playing “carpet games” with one another. A carpet game uses letter, number, shape, or color cards with a marker hidden behind one card. Each child takes a turn to guess where the marker is located by naming the letter, number, etc. This week we worked on identifying letters in our names, 1-10 sequential numbers, pumpkin colors and shapes, and strengthening our finger muscles used in writing by tracing.

Additional activities and projects we found to be exciting this week were…

  • Playing outside in the most glorious November weather in recent history
  • Using gems and play dough presses with purple sparkly play dough
  • Listening to some really great stories read by our teachers
  • Getting our stone buckets
  • Journaling
  • Playing cooperatively both in the classroom and on the playground
  • Beginning to learn Thanksgiving songs
  • Continuing to fill “The Cutting Jar” (We are SO close to that next magical snack!)
  • Anticipating when The Math Bag will come home to our house

 

We will be back next week to begin our Thanksgiving Unit as we continue learning and growing together as a community.  Enjoy this long weekend!!!

 

Most Sincerely…

Karen, Dana, and Penny

_________________________________________________

Dear PreK Families,

This week, we followed the dotted line to “X” marks the spot during our Mapping/Fall week! What fun the children had learning about maps, while also continuing to explore the relatively new season of Fall. We discovered how a map key helps to read the map, and how a dotted line shows the direction to follow on trails.  The children followed a marked trail that zig-zagged through our classroom and out into and around the hall and back in again to test their trail savvy.  Our last experience of direction-following was our PreK Treasure hunt outside!

On Monday, our week began with more Halloween celebrating!.  It was great to see the children decked out in their Halloween colors! We had some more fun snacks, including more cupcakes from Bode’s family—thank you! We sang spooky songs and read some more great “creepy” stories. The children also made some festive pumpkin necklaces using beautiful pumpkin jingle bells from Miss Penny. We read the book, Pumpkin Jack,a lovely story with magnificent illustrations depicting the lifecycle of a pumpkin. What is most exciting about this is the fact that the children “acted out” the story buy planting ur carved pumpkins in our playground garden! (We also have a small carved pumpkin decomposing in a plastic container for an up-close visual—look for it when you are waiting in car-line)!

In our continued homage to the season of Fall, the children learned about leaves and their “job”—ask your child about this important role they play to keep our air healthy. The children also strengthened their fine motor muscles by tracing lines on maple leaf cutouts, and identified maple vs. Oak leaves. They also worked to hone one-to-one correspondence counting skills matching numbers with dice faces on leaves. And finally, they all spent a lot of time raking and playing in leaf piles on the playground! We have all been marveling at the magnificent foliage colors outside this year.

For Mapping Art projects this week, the children have been working on a giant, PreK Community treasure map. First, they used sponge (in map key shapes!) to “lay down the land”, and then they each made their own house to add to the map, complete with a photograph of each child standing next to the house. It’s truly a masterpiece!  They also made GORGEOUS treasure maps of their own, and telescopes (to see how to get there)!

Other fun experiences this week:

  • Working and completing puzzles together
  • Making a map of our classroom!
  • Signing and decorating thank-you letters for our parent-helpers this week
  • Digging up treasures in the sand table and panning for treasure in the water table
  • Grace’s Me Week!
  • Math Bag update: We are about half-way through the class by now—your turn will be coming up very soon!

 

We wish you all a wonderful Fall weekend—don’t forget about the time change!

Miss Penny, Miss Dana, and Miss Karen

 

Dear PreK Families of Ghosts and Goblins, Bats and Cats, Witches and
Superheroes…
How is it that Halloween weekend has crept upon us already??? Our time together as the PreK Class is  passing much too quickly!! This week has been all about Fall and that very special fruit, the pumpkin. A fruit you say… No, no, no!!! But, yes, it is… A pumpkin begins as a flower and botanically speaking, anything that begins as a flower is a fruit!! Who knew?? In addition to painting the pumpkins that we  were able to pick from the patch last week, we painted pumpkins growing in a patch with our
knuckles for our “Five Little Pumpkins” two dimensional sculpture (how about those gates we crafted!!), decorated paper pumpkins with craypasand water color then laced them, number sequenced a pumpkin picture from 1-10, and last, but most certainly not least – watched as our teachers
expertly carved one of our class pumpkins!!! We voted together on what shape the features on our pumpkin’s face would be… Triangle eyes and mouth, then a mouth with two teeth in it. Thank goodness the children kept it simple for us!!!
Miss Melanie paid us a special visit this week reading Inside a House that Is Haunted
by Alyssa Satin Capuccilli. After the story the children built their own (Cheeto) skeletons, then counted and recorded how many of each skeletal part they had… Then… had the choice of eating their skeletons or taking them home. Miss Melanie will be returning with another story and
related project next month!!
Many friends have been collaborating on building projects together in the block corner. These structures typically contain a variety of moving parts depending on the interest of the participants… They can vary from cars to animals, robot alphabets to bear counters. One such structure this week
had eleven builders working together in harmony to construct, each contributing their own ideas while listening to those of others.
Things that we especially enjoyed in our PreK class this week…
Singing our “Five Little Pumpkin” and “Five Batty Bats” Halloween
songs
  • Playing in the “Farm Stand”
  • Making our pulled apart “cotton ball ghost” with cutout features (Spooky!!)
  • Playing games together – Shopping Cart and Count the Spiders
  • Banging those golf tees into that poor pumpkin!!!
  • Playing number pumpkin bingo
  • Creating our “Leaf Pets”, decorating them with eyes and gems… and giving them very special names
  • Listening to the story Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
  • Using Halloween clipart to make patterns
  • Collecting fall leaves
  • Adding to The Cutting Jar (looking forward to that next “magical snack”!!)
  • Writing words and drawing pictures in our journals
By the time you read this we will have already had a deliciously fun time at our Halloween Party on Friday. We would like to thank Graeme’s mom, Aynslie, for not only sending in paper goods, but for providing delicious cupcakes to be enjoyed by all. We would also like to thank Britta’s mom, Jill,
for sending in cider to quench our thirst after eating our Halloween treats, and for coming in to the classroom to set up the party while the class was on the playground!
We will be continuing some Halloween fun on Monday with stories, songs, and games. We cannot wait to share photographs with you…
********************************* Important*****************************
Please DO NOT send your child to school on Monday, October 31st in a
Halloween costume or with any Halloween costume accessories…
Please DO allow your child to dress in Halloween colors – black, orange,
white, green, purple… (any combination thereof)
Thank you for your support in this!!!
************************************************************************
As Always…
Karen, Dana, and Penny

Dear PreK Families,
Apples and pumpkins were a-plenty as we finished our Apples Unit and started our Pumpkin Unit. Our Science Table was filled with colorful gourd varieties and apples for observation and sink or float activities. On Thursday we made a trip to the pumpkin patch! We met with a kind couple working in the pumpkin patch tent and the children enjoyed listening to how the pumpkins made their way to Wellesley in a big truck from New Mexico, after being planted and harvested on a Native American reservation.
After our “meeting”, each child picked out a small pumpkin to decorate in class next week!

One very exciting event this week was making fresh applesauce. The children loved cutting up apples using plastic knives, and then adding them to Miss Penny’s big pot. They used an old-fashioned
apple grinder to form them into a smoother product. Many children LOVED the final product: a sweet, rosy applesauce that truly wowed!

Here is the recipe:

Chunky Rosy Applesauce
7 red cooking apples (about 4 pounds)

2/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Core apples, but do not pare. Cut apples into bite-size pieces. Place apples and water in large pot. Heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes until apples are tender. Stir in sugar and lemon juice.
Press apple mixture through a food mill.
Cover and refrigerate until well chilled.
Preparation time: 35 minutes
Yield: About 4 ½ cups

In the classroom this week, the kids have been very busy “playing to learn” with all things apple/pumpkin. In our “Creation Station”, they have been working on these projects:

 matching and identifying shapes on a festive Fall-themed board
 using colorful apple stickers to “fill numbered barrels” with the matching amount of apples
 A free-form art project using Fall-themed “Magic Tape” and dotters
 A descriptive drawing made by each child of them playing with classroom friends

Other Art projects included making a 3D Apple Tree! The children worked hard to balance and construct the trees (a STEM project, too!), and added an Apple Tree Fairy, as well. Then, afterreading the classic book, Ten Apples up on Top, the children cut out and added apple images to a page on top of their own
photograph! They are hanging outside our classroom and are truly adorable. Finally, the children made “knuckle pumpkins” using their hands, an ongoing project that will culminate in putting them
on sticks and acting out the “five little pumpkins” song! In other areas of the classroom, our dramatic play area was transformed in to a Farmer’s Market! The children shopped with
carts, worked the cash register, and dined with friends (and baby dolls!) in the market’s café area. On our manipulatives table, the children have been hammering (with plastic hammers) golf tees
into a big pumpkin. What a popular, fun way to hone fine-motor skills!
Other fun parts of our week include:
 Our Gym class, Be Ahead of the game with the great, Coach Raffi !
 Our first Me-week participant, Bode, brought in a great poster of photos and he has been having fun describing them to his friends. We loved having his Mom, Grandfather, and baby sister come in to read a story on Thursday!
 Miss Penny has been teaching the song, “Miss Lucy” to the children-they just love it!
 Learning about what the “insides” of pumpkins and apples look like and making comparisons.
 On Friday, we had an always-festive time with the very talented Miss Elaine in Music!

We look forward to next week, as we continue our Fall/Pumpkin theme right into Halloween on Monday~
Wishing you all a fabulous, colorful, FUN weekend with your
beautiful families!
~ Miss Penny, Miss Dana, and Miss Karen