Friday, September 23, 2016

16 Apples Up On Top!

Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall
There are seasons four in all.
Look around and you will see...
It is FALL, yes indeed!

We officially welcomed our new season of Fall on Thursday, September 22nd.  The children noticed our season had changed on our calendar right away on Thursday morning. We learned a song to help remember the four different seasons and also read a few stories about Fall.  We talked about all of the changes we might start seeing out our window very soon!  Our discussion revolved mostly around cooler weather, leaves changing color and leaves falling from trees.  We will continue to make observations of the world around us throughout the new season!

Unfortunately, the weather did not allow us to go to the Minnetonka Apple Orchard on Wednesday.  However, we look forward to the trip on Monday, September 26th!  Even though we could not go to the apple orchard, we still had some apple fun!  We enjoyed reading the book 10 Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss.  We watched as the characters balanced apples on their heads, adding one more on each page, all the way to 10!

Afterward, we experimented with balancing apples on the ground.  It was pretty tricky!  The most we could balance was three before they all rolled off.  The children decided that apples are hard to balance because of their round shape.  They did notice the apples with a more flat bottom were easier to stack on top of each other.

Next, they took on an apple challenge in the project room.  Their mission was to build a structure with block materials that could hold at least 10 apples off the ground.  The only rule was that the apples could not be touching the ground.  They sure got busy and creative!  After trying to stack the apples on top of each other, they realized they were going to have to build a structure that could hold the apples going the "long way" like a bridge does.   They built some pretty sturdy structures and had to use teamwork, experimentation and problem solving (structures fell quite a few times at first) to meet the challenge...but they persevered and did it! Here they are...


They also wanted to experiment with making ramps in order to see how far they could get the apples to roll!

After our apple challenge, we made our own class book based off 10 Apples Up on Top, but ours is called 16 Apples Up on Top!  The preschoolers put their patterning and counting skills to use and pretended to balance apples on their heads just like the characters in the book.  Too much fun!

Another class book to add to our collection that will encourage number recognition, counting, name recognition, letter sound connections and other important early reading skills.

More highlights from the week...

The paint easel center opened this week and the children LOVE it.  The paint easel is wonderful for creative self-expression and also helps in strengthening the children's arm muscles, which is important for their overall small motor development.


We continue to look at the letter sounds in our names.  Our question of the day has us look for letter sounds in our own names and friends names each morning.  We also added our names to the class word wall, by matching them with the initial letter.  The children love looking at our word wall and reading each others names!  The often stop to make connections about letters they have similar or different from each other.

"All About Me", similarities and differences continues to be an area of focus in the classroom.  We read the story Whoever You Are by Mem Fox this week and used other materials to create faces and identify different facial expressions using our mirrors again.  A few examples...


Afterward, the materials were put out for exploration and the children used them in many different ways.  A few examples included homes for animals, patterning, shape design, oceans made from blue rocks and more.   They have been telling each other stories through their play and it shows the importance of letting children use materials in open-ended ways...


The geometric shapes were introduced.  We looked at the different shapes and identified the traits that make each one unique.  Along with this, we read the story The Shape of Things, which encourages the children to notice shapes in the world around us. We will do lots of activities with shapes throughout the year.

On Thursday afternoon, Mrs. Bailey and Mrs. Heurung, led the all of the preschoolers in a wonderful activity all about our CARE theme of citizenship.  Mrs. Bailey read the book Ballyhoo Bay and talked about how the characters in the book were demonstrating citizenship.  This led into a great discussion about how each of us can be good citizens in our community!  They each drew a picture of how they can show citizenship, which included topics of being helpful to others, sharing, cleaning up up, following directions, being kind and more.  They also all got to put a hand print of paint on a sign that will be on display outside the preschool rooms!

We ended the week sequencing and telling the story of how an apple grows!

What a fantastic week!

Monday, September 26th is our make up trip to the Minnetonka Apple Orchard.   Hopefully the weather will cooperate for us this time!  Next week we look forward to more apple fun with our field trip and apple tasting and graphing, to name a few!

Dates to Remember:

Monday, September 26th- Field Trip to the Minnetonka Apple Orchard

Thursday, October 6th and Friday, October 7th- Conferences-No School

Thursday October 20th and Friday, October 21st- Faculty Workshop- No School

Have a fantastic weekend!


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