Friday, September 14, 2018

Colors!

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.


A few weekly highlights...

We started our first preschool project room collaboration this week!  The preschoolers collaborated in small groups to create a learning tree for our hallway.  They put their small motor muscles to work and cut, rolled and crinkled paper to create a trunk for the tree and leaves.  It turned out great!




 

What do you notice about colors?  The children were asked this simple question during an inquiry all about colors.  First, we read the book Pantone Colors and noticed all the different shades colors can be.  We discovered there are many different shades of every color!


Next, the children were introduced to one of our science tools (an eyedropper) and they got to experiment with color mixing.  The children used their new tool to make discoveries with red, yellow and blue colored water in ice cube trays.  They also learned they could create many different shades of the same color, just like in the book we read!  Check it out...



We created art in coffee filters with our color mixtures too!


A few of the"discoveries" from the children:
"Blue and red make purple!"
"Blue and and yellow make green!"
"Red and yellow make orange!"
"If you add more plain water, the color turns lighter."
"Mixing all of the colors together makes brown!"

There were many other questions about what would happen if we mixed other colors together.

Inquiry (the process of engaging children with questions and letting them investigate the answers) is a big part of preschool!  They sure had fun verbalizing their thinking during this experiment.

We took our investigation of colors even deeper, when the children were invited to create their OWN color mixture for a collaborative piece of art for our classroom.  They each thought out the colors they wanted to mix and added and changed it to fit the shade of color they wanted.  After their "color" was complete, they added it to our canvas.  A few examples...





Once it was finished we realized that every shade of color was different and unique.  Just like us!  We also counted 20 squares all together and will add the number symbols next week!

We enjoyed matching colors with objects and color words.  We looked at the initial sound in each word and that helped us match it with the correct color.


Another favorite was building towers with different sized and colored cylinders.

Finding letters in our own names and friends names...


We ended the week creating and telling stories with water color.  It is always fun to hear the thought process behind their work.  Verbally sharing stories helps develop oral language and is a frequent part of our preschool day.


Next week we will begin our apple investigations and we can't wait!  Our first field trip to The Minnetonka Apple Orchard is next Thursday, September 20th.  Just a reminder that this is an outdoor field trip so please dress your child for the weather!  The first day of Fall also arrives on September 22nd so we are anticipating and look forward to more fall inquiries and explorations.  The children have already noticed leaves falling from trees!

Specialists Next Week

9/17- Day 3 Morning art and afternoon P.E.
9/18- Day 4 Morning music and afternoon religion
9/19- Day 5 Morning P.E.
9/20- Day 6 Morning art
9/21- Day 1 Morning P.E. and afternoon library

Dates to Remember:

Tuesday, September 18th- Picture Day

Thursday, September 20th- Field Trip to Minnetonka Apple Orchard

Friday, September 21st- Wear BLUE and GOLD Day

Saturday, September 22nd- Blessing of the Animals and Breck Homecoming

Thursday, October 4th and Friday, October 5th- Conferences- No School

Have a joyful weekend!


Friday, September 7, 2018

Flying into Preschool!

What a fabulous start to the year we have had.  The children entered week two of school eager, excited and ready to learn.  We continue getting to know each child and are truly so lucky to spend the day with them.  Busy kids loving school...


 

 

 

The classroom environment has been arranged to inspire curiosity.  Each day, the children are engaged in a variety of experiences that encourage creativity, discovery, social and emotional development and academic growth.  We strive to develop the whole child!  The activities and investigations among the classroom will change frequently throughout the year as we follow the students interests and developing social/emotional and academic needs.  The children are learning how to be independent during our explore time and are realizing there is a lot to discover!  They are slowly learning to guide their own learning and allowing time for "choice" is a very empowering thing for a child.

We are also starting to notice a lot of collaboration and teamwork happening between the children during play.  They are learning how to ask each other to play, join in play and problem solve.  This week there was a lot of collaboration with blocks, playground games, art table creations and dramatic play!

Highlights from our week...

We continue to learn new routines and practice others.  Every morning we gather together as a class in our morning meeting.  We always greet each other, sing a welcome song, talk about our day, look at the calendar, count our number of the day and analyze our daily question to see if we have our magic number...15!  That means all our friends are at school!  The children have learned quite a few new songs and rhymes that keep our morning meeting extra engaging.

 

Answering the question of the day is a favorite routine.  Each day, there is a brand new question waiting to be answered!  We incorporate many early literacy skills in our question throughout year such as letter sounds, symbols and concepts of print.  We begin by looking at the letter sounds and symbols in our friends names!


The children continue to LOVE our classroom sand table and measuring tools.  They especially enjoy the different sized funnels and practice seeing which one the sand goes through the fastest.


The paint easel center opened this week and it was another immediate favorite.  The paint easel is wonderful for creative self-expression.  The children tell stories through their paintings.  We often ask them to tell us their picture story and there is always a lot of meaning behind their work!  The paint easel has the children working on a vertical surface which is strengthening shoulder/elbow stability, bilateral coordination, pencil grip, visual and eye-hand coordination, to name a few!



We got busy creating the lowercase letters for our classroom letter wall.  Last week, the children explored with paint to create our uppercase letters.  This week, they used random materials to create the lowercase!  We talked about the traits of each letter such as straight lines and curves as they outlined the different letters.


  

We will soon begin adding familiar words to our letter wall.  These will include our friends and teachers names.  Environmental print and other meaningful and familiar words will be added throughout the year.  Check out the final product!


Another beginning of the year focus is "all about me".  We read books that generate conversation about our similarities, differences, what we like about ourselves, our interests and more.  We celebrate all that makes each of us unique!  This week we read the book I Like Me by Nancy Carlson.  Afterward, we drew our first self portraits by looking in a mirror and highlighting our features that make us unique and special.  We matched crayons to our skin color, looked at our eye color, hair color and more.  Self portraits are a wonderful exercise that help children develop their ability to talk about themselves and learn about others.  They also help make connections to feelings and emotions.  Our "all about me" focus will continue next week.



  

We had fun sorting through letters and finding the ones in our own names.  We also counted how many letters are in our own name!  Our name pages will go in our first class book.


What do you notice?  The children were asked this simple question when exploring the knobbed cylinders.  As they worked they began to notice the many different characteristics of each set such as size, shape, height, width and dimension. They practiced explaining their thoughts and discoveries with teachers and friends.  This material encourages children to visually establish ideas of putting something in order from tall to short, thick to thin, and large to small.  These are all parts of mathematical thinking and development.


 

The next few weeks will bring more fun and learning as we begin our investigations of APPLES!  Apple poems, songs, books, counting, graphing and tasting, are just a few of the ways apples are a common theme.  A favorite field trip is to Minnetonka Apple Orchard is on Thursday, September 20th.  Throughout the month of September, inquiries of fall in Minnesota fill the classroom as we spend lots of time outdoors and make observations of the changing world around us.  It is a great time of year to use the children's natural curiosities and questions in order to create meaningful and authentic learning experiences for them.

Specialists Next Week

9/10- Day 4- Morning Music
9/11- Day 5- Morning P.E.
9/12- Day 6- Morning Art
9/13- Day 1- Morning P.E. and Afternoon Library
9/14- Day 2- Morning Music

Dates to Remember:

Thursday, September 13th- Back To School Night 5:45

Tuesday, September 18th- Picture Day

Thursday, September 20th- Field Trip to Minnetonka Apple Orchard

Friday, September 21st- Wear BLUE and GOLD Day

Saturday, September 22nd- Blessing of the Animals and Breck Homecoming


Have a wonderful weekend!