Monday, September 29, 2014

September 23 - 26

This week in Pre K we've had so much fun discussing our Community and helpers!  Don't miss out on seeing the post on the Police Station visit and Fire Department visit 

In the classroom our students are having a great time exploring and learning how to make smart choices (both behaviorally and to explore more learning).  In our morning class, we've added Miss Terry to our class for the morning routine.  Her presence gives our classroom an extra set of hands in helping our little ones learn how to make choices that will set them up for success.  Miss Terry will spend one more week in our classroom for the additional support.  In the afternoon, Miss Marie has also been a great support during the last two weeks.  What a great support they are proving as we continue to work with our Pre K students in understanding more about limits and smart choices!

In our technology center, we have worked in small groups for our students to understand how to use a mouse, sharing the computer, and navigating on a website.  The sound of one student successfully sharing and working together while navigating without a frustration of "wanting to do it their way" is a wonderful accomplishment!  

At the Ipads this week, the students were able to focus on apps that involved fighting fires, building a community, and cleaning teeth.  Working on apps that focus on our themes enable our students to add more to our weekly topic.  They love to share during small group and circle about their thoughts and activities in these areas.

In the art center, students were able to use straws (each student used their own straw and threw it out when they were done) to dip into watered paint and blow onto their paper.  Exploring what happened to the paint if there was a lot compared to a little bit is one amazing tip to carry on throughout their art projects this year.  They loved to see bubbles appear on their paper and then popping them for a cool addition to their painting.

We opened up our small Legos this week as well.  This is a center that will be available once or twice each week.  Working on creating their own communities this week enhanced our weekly theme.  Using their fine motor skills to connect and take apart adds additional support to their growth. We cannot wait to see what more they will create and build!

During small group our students were able to make letter sound connections as the teacher gave a letter sound and working in small groups they decided what letter they would look for.  The teacher asked for students to "dot" either the capital letter or lower case letter once found.  They worked together as a group to remember what each letter looked like.  One letter not dotted was the lower case "a" (mainly as the printed letter was not the correct lettering that our program teaches so it would avoid their confusion).

Don't forget to check out our blog on our Fire Department visit and Police station visit.

Firefighter visit and Police Station tour

Getting a special visit by the Fire Department and visiting the Sheriff's office this past week is a highlight for any four or five year old!  What an amazing time our students had, something they couldn't stop talking about this week.  These memories proved to be awesome, as in our center themed areas they were re-enacting what they had learned.  Mission Accomplished :)

Thank you to Jefferson County Sheriff's Office for allowing us to come visit and meet the K9 unit.  Easily our student's favorite part was the K9s, watching the dog open the door with his nose was the biggest hit!  Hearing the sirens and getting the opportunity to hit the buttons in the car was also awesome!


Thank you also to Citizen's Fire Company, where Miss Scooter volunteers, for visiting both our morning and afternoon classes!  Getting the opportunity to hear what to do in case of a fire and seeing a firefighter in their attire (so we are not scared of them) was a great lesson.  THEN the opportunity to tour the truck and sit inside of it was a great experience.  They were so thrilled!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Sept. 16th - 19th

What an awesome week our Pre K students had!  The excitement for "National talk like a pirate day" had them thrilled for Friday.  Any reason to dress up and celebrate is reason enough for us!

This is Miss Marie, one of the kindest most gentlest hearts I have known.  Miss Marie has been helping in our afternoon Pre K class as we have been working with understanding our new students and the dynamics within the classroom.  Miss Marie and Miss Terry will also begin to assist in the Morning Pre K class as we have seen the success in the afternoon class.  Their positions in the class are for helpful reminders and classroom safety precautions (cleaning up after their use in a center or something similar).  Miss Shelly and Miss Scooter will remain working with students that need extra attention and assistance with direction and understanding how to work through emotions and frustrations.  Thank you to Miss Marie and the success from one week in the afternoon class has proven a helpful hand and support is evident within our facility.

Family style dining continues to be a huge hit with our classmates.  They are enjoying pouring their milk, serving their fruit, and learning how to set the table and clear it.  We strongly encourage you at home to practice these skills.  In the classroom, we use two hands on our plates.  Always thumbs on top (to help prevent spills) and when carrying our cups, one hand around the cup and one covering the top.  Slow walking feet are helpful as our eyes on watchful what is around us.

In Science, students were able to smell different scents and use words to describe what they were smelling.  Was it spicy smelling?  Sweet?  Strong?  Sour?  I love when our Pre K students work together as a team to solve a problem and communicate what they think it might be.  Working together and collaborating is an important part of life that our Pre K students are learning each day!

In the block center, students were using treasure maps to make their own treasure land.  Some students chose to use our career people to act out the treasure hunt while others used to map to imitate a "world" of their own.  Growing and feeding off of their imaginations will continue to further their development.  Imagining a dinosaur attacking a treasure island . . . only to a four year old, right?

Our playgrounds also gained truck loads of new mulch and rocks!  While our playground was being enhanced we got the opportunity to play on the adjoining playground on our property.  It was like Christmas morning releasing them to an area that Pre K hasn't played in yet.  So much fun to see them enjoy the Pre School I and toddler playground.


Showing off our hooks!  During this fun project, students were exploring different textures of soft fabrics compared to the aluminum foil.  Learning how to describe these attributes were fun to explore!  And pretending to be Captain Hook made it so much cooler too :)

During Pre K, we do small group projects as well as large group (entire class) projects.  During this time our students are beginning to learn how to listen, understand directions, and manipulate a craft/idea.  During our Pirate day, students made parrots has a large group.  

Making our pirate hooks are more one on one or small group activity.  During this time the teacher leading the activity is able to communicate and encourage a stronger learning opportunity with each child.  Small group time is also a great opportunity to introduce new concepts.  In this case, learning how to describe textures was a great lesson!

Dates to remember:

Tuesday - Fire Engine visits the classroom
Wednesday - NO CLASS MEETING, Field Trip to Sherriff's Office
Friday - Super Hero Day, Suit up with a cape and let's celebrate being SUPER AWESOME!!!!

Monday, September 15, 2014

September 9th - 12th

The students love going outdoors.  Each day we have an organized gross motor activity as well as allowing them to choose where and how they want to play.  Jumping with two feet, running around chasing our friends, riding bikes (with our helmets), or building with our wooden blocks; Pre K students learn how to play in an environment that gives them the opportunity to make a choice on where or what to play as well as how they want to play.

During small group this week, Miss Scooter helped to lead the students in an activity of writing their name and then measuring how tall they were.  Learning what a ruler is for while also looking at the numbers was a great Math lesson as well as learning the proper letter sizes of their name.  This year in Pre K, students will concentrate on understanding how to write their name with the capital letter and lower case letters with proper sizes.  Working in small groups gives each of them the opportunity for more attention as well as learning from each other.

Miss Shelly also led a lesson to work with fine motor skills.  Tracing their name with their finger then using glue sticks to place small shapes (ovals and circles) within the letter shows them more name recognition as well.  Working to improve our fine motor skills through these style of activities will also encourage greater

Making ice cream was one of the favorite activities this week as well!  Putting all the ingredients into a bag and then shaking it up.  Great science discussion as we used words to describe liquid, hot, cold, solids, and many more.

Continuing our letter learning, we use our bingo dotting sheets for each letter to continue to allow our students to learn and see letters in fun projects.  The hand eye coordination it takes to put the bingo dot onto the circle is a great practice too!  And of course, writing their name on their own paper is helping each of them perfect those letters!

Using technology to build letter recognition and understand how to write is a great combination!  Here our students form their letters by drawing over stars.  Then once complete we ask them to say the sound of each letter connecting their growth even further.

This week in the writing center students were encouraged to use our name box and write the names of some of their friends.  They look forward to getting a special sticker when they were done.  Practicing writing in any form strengthens their pencil holding, letter formation, and name recognition of their friends too.

Pre K students LOVE using our pointy fingers and magnifying glasses to search the room for our weekly letters.  Being able to connect and find as many as they can gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment when we rejoice with them as they show us every one they find!

In Science one of our students favorite activities is the play doh.  Using our pie mats to roll out "fruit" for a pie helps them to strengthen fine motor skills and learn new tasks that they are not used to doing.  Their imagination and thought to accomplish these new tasks is a joy to watch!

Reminder this coming Friday is National talk like a pirate day.  Come dressed for a great day matey!

Scholastic book orders are due by Wednesday, September 17th.  You can order online at Scholastic Website using our classroom code:  NF6ZF

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Scholastic Book Ordering

Scholastic books offer great books at awesome prices!  Ordering books like the "Bob" books for sight word reading through ordering our class favorites like Pete the Cat is possible!  

You can order right now for delivery by the end of September at Scholastic books with the classroom code:  NF6ZF

We also sent home order forms that you can send in a personal check written to Scholastic books that will have the same delivery time.  

Our students LOVE having books read to them.  Building a library that they will one day read to you is a treasure worth investing in!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Our daily routine

Our second week is still dedicated to understanding our room, following our schedule, getting to know our new friends, and learning more about what each center is all about.  Here is a glimpse into what we do during our time at Pre K.

As your child enters our classroom, our first task is to hang up our backpacks and wash our hands.  We try our best to fight off germs and sharing of germs.  Teaching them how to properly wash our hands will hopefully be taken into every classroom they enter.

After removing their communication folder and placing it in our bin, they then get to answer a graphing question each day.  Incorporating Math into a quick 2 minute lesson each day.  Our letter this week was the letter "a".  When they answer the question they write this letter into the appropriate box and once everyone has answered we sit down to discuss it.  One student has the special job of being our Graph counter, they get to stand and help a teacher tally the totals for each category.  Then they write the number that coincides with the tally.  (If a student cannot write the number the teacher will write it to the side and allow them to copy it).  Finally, we ask the students which answer has the most?  Least?  Was in the middle?  Was there a tie?

Here is our wishing well board.  This month we have a bubble gum machine.  Students can see their face and first and last name on a bubble gum piece.  They get to move their bubble gum piece into our machine to let us know they are here.  (Name recognition, including last name will help each of them learn how to write it throughout Pre K).  During our circle time, one student has the job of being our well wisher.  Here they practice leadership, public speaking, and growing confidence.  

Setting the table is one of our class jobs as well.  Learning the placement of napkins, silverware, cups, and bowls/plates while building independence is valuable!  

 At meal time we also practice family style dining.  Our students serve themselves their meal including pouring their own milk.  We encourage students while learning to stand up from their chair and ask a friend to hold their cup then pour slowly.  I still remember some of your faces when I told you at orientation that they would be doing this and your look of fear for spills.  :)  Have no fear, they are doing AWESOME!!!!

After eating, we place out six small floor centers.  Our students are released by the color of their chairs (or table colors) and they take care of their place setting into the trash can.  We encourage students to carry plates with two hands and thumbs on top, then to return to their seat to carry their cups with two hands and slow feet.  Once their place has been cleaned they then go to the carpet for their floor center.  This is also the time that we practice tooth brushing.

During tooth brushing a teacher puts the toothpaste on their toothbrush and works with students on proper approaches to brushing their teeth.  Healthy practices will make for a healthy life!  Later this year we will also have a dentist come into the classroom to speak on tooth brushing as well.

During these floor centers our students are practicing how to respect others while building puzzles or using other manipulative pieces that are set out.

Next week I will focus on different centers.  Here you can see previous posts on what we did last year.

And we cannot forget our friendship fruit salad!  Thank you to everyone that helped to make this friendship fruit salad such a success!  We spoke about sharing, friends, healthy eating, and even taking a "One no thank you " bite to try out a fruit that maybe we haven't seen before.  Here is Miss Scooter calling up friends to share what fruit they brought and helping to pour it into our big bowls for sharing.