Friday, September 15, 2017

GO MUSTANGS!

Thank you for attending Back to School Night if you were able.  If you weren't able to join, don't hesitate to ask any questions that may arise!  We appreciate your support and look forward to a fun year working together.

Weekly highlights...

It was fun celebrating blue and gold day today in honor of Breck Homecoming.  We walked through all of the decorations in the Upper School hallway and even got to see the Homecoming Court walk through the chapel link this afternoon!


Watching the Homecoming Court in the chapel link...


We started off the week by looking at the letters in our own names.  We sorted letters and found each one in our names, talked about the sounds they made, and glued them on a special paper with our picture.  We also counted the amount of letters in our names.  We put all of our pictures in a class book that the children already love to read and look at.  Throughout the year, we will be looking at our own names and friend's names to learn more about letter sounds.





On Tuesday morning, we met our 3rd grade buddies for the very first time!  We are buddies with Mrs. Moore's 3rd grade class and will be meeting with them every other day 5 in the morning.  There were smiles all around, great conversation and laughter as the 3rd graders and preschoolers completed a "get to know you" project using a venn diagram.  They talked about ways they are alike and different, which fit in perfectly with our "all about me" studies.  We look forward to many more projects and adventures with our new friends this year.

 



 

Another big highlight was getting to use our preschool project room for the first time.  We plan to use the room for many learning objectives throughout year.  Some examples would be STEAM tasks, collaborative art creations, sensory explorations, building challenges, and more!  All purposely involve the use of 21st century skills...creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking.

For our first collaborative task together, we asked the children "Can you build Breck School?"  The children immediately agreed they could!  Prior to starting, we all gathered together and generated ideas of places we would need to include.  The children named all the places we have been visiting such as classrooms, the lunchroom, the different gyms, artville, music, and the chapel.  We took a small group of children from each classroom and they got busy collaborating.  The first group made our layout which included the playground, roads, chapel, and classrooms.  The next two groups continued adding details to the structures and even used their knowledge of letter sounds to include labels.  The children all worked together beautifully and had to use teamwork, communication, and collaboration in order to accomplish their ideas and goals.  The blocks fell over many times, but they helped each other build again and persevered.  The project room creates many wonderful learning opportunities for the preschoolers!

All of the children gathered to share ideas...
Working together...






The children were introduced to our "creation station".  We started by reading the book Not A Box by Antoinette Portis.  We enjoyed reading the book and making predictions about what the main character would turn the box into on each page.  Afterward, the children were asked the question, "What was the main character using to turn the box into different things?"  They were all spot on when they guessed...IMAGINATION!  Afterward, the children were thrilled to open a box filled with cardboard and other shaped boxes.  They immediately decided they could use their imaginations to create too!  Here they are...





They used tape, cardboard, markers, scissors, glue and other materials to turn their cardboard pieces into all sorts of different things.  We had rocket ships, boats,  surfboards, baskets, and many other things.  They incorporated their cardboard creations with other materials and imaginary play in the classroom throughout the day too.  A lot of the children naturally started working together and combining their creations.  This was the perfect introduction to our creation station that will have many other materials for them to create and invent with throughout the year.

While the children are playing and creating in the project room or our creation station, so many skills are being developed:
  • Small motor as they cut, draw, and write
  • Problem solving as they work to see their plans through
  • Perseverance 
  • Collaboration as they work together to reach their goals
  • Listening as they practice compromising with others
  • Innovation as they turn random materials into something new
  • Early literacy and language skills as they use their knowledge of letter sounds to write familiar words
  • Focus/attention span (they spent an hour working on their creations and finding new ways to use them in the classroom)! 
  • Math skills as they counted the amount of pieces they needed and looked at different heights and widths to fit parts together.
  • CONFIDENCE!  Each child felt so proud of their work!
Lastly, the children got busy making letters for our classroom letter wall.  They began by painting wooden upper case letters.  Each child painted two to three letters however they wanted.  Today, we started using random materials to create the lowercase letters!  Next week, we will match the upper and lower case letters and place them in a special place to use all year long.  We will soon begin adding familiar words that begin with specific letter sounds to our letter wall.  These will include our friends and teachers names.  Familiar and meaningful words will be added throughout the year and during our different studies as well.

Small motor muscles were put to work as the children painted and used small items, such as beads and pom poms to decorate their letters.  This task also included conversation about letters and the traits that form each one.  We looked at the different letters noticing the straight lines, curves, and circles.




 

Next week we will begin our apple investigations and we can't wait!  Our first field trip to The Minnetonka Apple Orchard is next Friday, September 22nd.  Just a reminder that this is an outdoor field trip, so please dress your child accordingly.  The first day of fall is also next Friday, so we are anticipating that and look forward to more fall fun.  The children have already been noticing leaves falling from trees!

Dates to Remember:

Saturday, September 16th- Blessing of the Animals and Breck Homecoming

Tuesday, September 19th- Picture Day

Friday, September 22nd- Field trip to The Minnetonka Apple Orchard

Thursday, October 5th- Conferences-No School

Friday, October 6th- Conferences-No School



Have a great weekend!  GO MUSTANGS!