Friday, October 13, 2017

15 Little Pumpkins!

Pumpkins big,
Pumpkins small.
Pumpkins short,
Pumpkins tall.
Pumpkins, pumpkins, everywhere,
Tell me Fall is in the air!

Fall sure is in the air in preschool!  Our book shelves are now filled with stories of pumpkins and leaves.  We are learning many new "fall themed" songs and poems as well.  The current favorites are  Pumpkins (poem above), I'm a NutFive Little Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns.  The children practice counting pumpkins, sorting Halloween themed shapes, completing fall themed wooden puzzles, and painting pumpkins.  We continue to watch the leaves fall from the trees on the playground.  It officially feels like Fall!


Halloween books on our favorite reading bench...

 Painting Fall scenes...

Taking a "closer look" at some Fall themed items...

Measuring with uni-fix cubes...

Halloween sorting and counting...

Weekly highlights...

Each child made their own pumpkin this week to kick off our pumpkin investigations.  We talked about the shapes and sizes pumpkins can be and used the different shapes we have learned about to turn our pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns.  First we mixed yellow and red to make different shades of orange.

Last, we used the basic geometric shapes to make faces on our pumpkins.  We had discussions about what type of face they wanted their pumpkin to have and most wanted spooky or silly!  Here are the 16 little pumpkins of room L53...

Along with this, the most favorite class poem is 5 Little Pumpkins and the children want to recite it over and over again.  Every child got a book of the 5 Little Pumpkins poem that they can read to you at home!  The had fun reading the poem with a partner today.

The children were excited to return after a long weekend and find some new and exciting things out on the shelves.  Here are a few of the current favorites...

A puzzle game where they children have to follow the directions of varying levels of difficulty and create structures with 3D shapes.  They love it!


The sensory table has now been replaced with CORN!  The children have been busy scooping, pouring, and playing with it.  They have also been enjoying a Halloween themed "seek and find".  They have been putting their hand muscles to use by using kid friendly tweezers to pick up, count and sort different items.  Using tweezers is a great task that builds strength in their hands for small motor control.


We decided it was time to turn our dramatic play center into something new.  First, we asked the children what their ideas for our dramatic play area could be.  Ideas included a pumpkin store, bakery, toy shop and restaurants.  A restaurant seemed to be the most "popular" idea, so we decided to get busy working on our L53 restaurant!

We decided to make a plan for what we would need for a restaurant.  These thoughts included menus to order food from, dishes, chairs, a restaurant name, food items, etc.  From there, the children got busy turning our kitchen area into a restaurant.  They sorted and organized the food and pots and pans.  They labeled each bin using their knowledge of letter sounds.  They also created menus with food options and how much the food items would cost!  They all decided the name of our classroom restaurant should be "The Good Food Cafe".  They made a sign and put up a few other advertisements.  Every single student helped!

We talked about the different roles they could play when pretending "restaurant".  Their ideas consisted of having a costumer to order food, a chef and a waiter or waitress.  They have been busy using their knowledge of letter sounds to take "orders" from each other.  There have been some busy chef's, waiters/waitresses and costumers in the Good Food Cafe!


Many skills are being developed through this type of authentic work for children:

-Writing as the children use their knowledge of letter sounds to construct words and sentences for signs and menus.
-Math as they sorted and counted
-Small motor development
-Collaboration as they used teamwork to create their plans
-Leadership skills when sharing ideas and pretending roles
-Problem solving with peers as they all practiced patience and flexibility
-Creative and critical thinking
-Using real life scenarios to make sense of the world
-Most importantly they are learning and having FUN!

We started creating plans during our play activities.  We talked about what it means to make plan.  The children decided a plan is when you think through your ideas and organize your thoughts in a way that will help you to complete it.  We talked about ways we can create plans in the classroom.  We talked about how we can draw a picture or write words.  They have been busy making plans in the block center!  A few examples...


We made our October glyphs this week, which are jack-o-lanterns.  This glyph incorporated questions about our pumpkin studies and favorites.  Our glyphs always include a variety of literacy skills, math, small motor tasks and direction following.  The children also have the opportunity to share information about themselves with their peers.  We always enjoying comparing and contrasting them!  A few examples...


We began a new challenge in the project room with the other preschool classrooms.  We are going to teach the school about the season of Fall!  Just like our first challenge, we gathered all together to make a plan first.  We shared all of the things we know about fall and discussed different ideas of how we could display that information.  We decided that a big mural would be a great way to display our learning!

Our plan...

The children got busy working together.  Some groups got started with the outlines for our fall scene.  Others worked on building, cutting, and constructing objects related to fall (trees with falling leaves, pumpkins, apples, ghosts, haunted houses, etc), out of loose part materials.  Other groups used paint to fill in the outlines and add fall colors.  Adding words and labels will be the last step!




It is still a work in progress.  Our project room tasks are guided by the children, so we never quite know how long they will take to complete.  Stay tuned!

We introduced the classroom iPads to the children this week.  The children used an app that allowed them to practice letter sound association as well as correct formation when writing letters.  They also used an app to make different jack-o-latern faces using shapes! We incorporate technology as often as we can when it fits appropriately with our studies.

Our CARE theme for the month is empathy.  In Lower School, it is being defined as "I care, I act".  We talk a lot in preschool about feelings and relate those feelings to others.  In other words, we practice "putting ourselves in someone else's shoes".  Empathy is practiced and demonstrated in all we do each day.  You may have also noticed the children received a CARE t-shirt on Monday.  Each month when we introduce a new CARE theme, there will be a designated day where everyone in Lower School are encouraged to wear their shirts.  I will include a reminder in the blog about CARE shirt days!

Next week is a short week for the preschoolers.  Weather depending, we hope to go exploring throughout our campus on a leaf investigation.  Fall, leaves, and pumpkins are our themes throughout October.  The children are noticing more and more color change around Breck each day!  We will also look forward to our field trip to the Apple Jack Orchards on Tuesday, October 24th.

Dates to Remember:

Thursday, October 19th- Faculty Workshop-No School

Friday, October 20th- Faculty Workshop-No School

Tuesday, October 24th- Field Trip to Apple Jack Orchards

Friday, October 27th- The Richfield Readers visit Preschool 

Tuesday, October 31st- Halloween Parade and Class Party 

A note about Halloween:  We are looking forward to celebrating Halloween on Tuesday, October 31st.  There is a Halloween parade for all of Lower School that begins at 8:40 in the morning.  Please send your child to school in their costume.  Send a change of clothes along so they can change out of their costume after the parade if they wish.  The parade will begin in Lower School and end in the Anderson Gym for a Halloween Sing-A-Long.  There will be seating for parents in the Anderson Gym.  It is a fun morning and all are invited to watch.  Please come if you are able!