Friday, April 7, 2017

Jump into Spring!

April showers, bring May flowers!

Welcome back!  It sounds like everyone had a fun and relaxing spring break.  On Monday morning, the classroom was filled with stories about all sorts of adventures that took place near and far.  We spent time that morning sharing something they enjoyed doing over break and also illustrated a picture of it.  The laughter, conversation and energy in the classroom showed us that the children are excited to be back with friends, favorite activities and routines.  They also look a little taller...we think they grew over the two week break!

Happy kids exploring some new and old favorite classroom activities...




They were also happy to be running "jacket-less" a couple afternoons on the playground...

Weekly highlights...

We introduced the new month of April and the children are very excited about our season of SPRING!  We talked about how April can be a rainy month, but the rain will help everything grow and come to life again.  Our morning meeting routine continues to be a favorite time for the children and so much learning takes place.  They jumped right back into the routine without a hiccup!  They are doing so great with our daily counting, number recognition, patterning, addition to find the "magic number", letter sound and word hunts, to name a few.  We continue to practice our vowel sounds by finding them in words and singing our vowel song.  We reviewed what "syllables" are this week too and the children are enjoying a new activity that reinforces finding the correct about of syllables in words.



To kick off our unit on growing, we started learning more about seeds and how they begin to grow.  We read some stories about seeds and had great conversations about where seeds come from, why they all look different, all of the different things seeds can grow into and how a seed can travel.  We have a seed observation tray that has 15 different types of seeds the children can observe in magnifying cups and find the correct match of what each specific seed will grow into.  They have been busy comparing and contrasting the seeds and describing how some are small, thin, round flat, big and more!


A favorite activity this week was planting wheat grass seeds.  We talked about what the wheat grass would need to grow, which they learned was sun, water and soil.  First, they got to decorate their own pot for the seeds.  Next, they each planted their own seeds in the soil, watered them and decided the window was the best place to keep them so the seeds can get sunlight.  They have been eagerly checking their pots and waiting for the grass to grow!  We made predictions about how long the grass will take to grow and are keeping track of the days as we go.

The dirt is back!  Sensory play and exploration in the dirt has been a favorite this week.  It's a bit messy, which makes it extra fun!  The children love pretending to fill pots and plant gardens with it.  They will be ready to do even more with seeds, planting and growing next week!


For our monthly glyph the children answered questions about themselves related to spring.  Since they learned that April is a rainy month, they created umbrellas as they answered the questions.  Literacy and math concepts continue to be reinforced through out monthly glyph projects.  Our umbrellas turned out great and one thing we learned is that almost all of us like spring better than winter!


Before break we spent a lot of time in the project room becoming inventors.  The preschoolers each created their own "magnificent thing" through using their imagination and a variety of random materials.  We let the children guide this project and enjoyed watching them come back and make revisions each time they worked.  Their projects are complete so this week, they set up the room in a "museum" format and got to pick a special place to display their work.  We are currently in the process of creating signs in order to invite others in to our museum of "magnificent things"!  The museum should be up and ready next week!


We continue to use the ipads when it fits appropriately into our studies and use them for reinforcement with letter sounds, word building, number recognition and more.  Today, we used an app to reinforce the correct formation of letters and numbers.  Preschool appropriate coding activities with the ipads, will be included with our STEAM work in the upcoming weeks.

What a great first week back!  In April and May, themes of spring, growth and farming in Minnesota fill the classroom.  Next week, we are excited for Farmer Nelson to return with a special visitor!  Our CARE theme for this month is COURAGE and being defined as "doing something you know is difficult".  We will use this theme to encourage an "I can do it" mentality with the preschoolers!

We look forward to the final few months of school with the kids!

Dates to Remember:

Wednesday, April 12th- Farmer Nelson Visits Preschool with Perfect the Pig

Friday, April 14th- Good Friday- No School

Wednesday, April 19th- The Minnesota Zoomobile visits Preschool

Tuesday, April 25th- Lower School Art Show at 3:15 in Chapel Gallery

Friday, April 28th- Field Trip to Stages Theater to see Stone Soup

Letter from Mrs. Bailey:

April 2017

Dear Lower School Parents:

Each year, I invite parents to provide input into the class placement process for their children.  If you wish to share your thoughts with me, please send me a letter or an email by Thursday, April 20.  The timeliness of this information is very important, as we will begin this process the following week.  Therefore, letters received after this date will not be considered for the upcoming school year.

A few important things to remember:

·       Please write your child's full name and grade next year at the top of the letter.  *If writing about more than one child, please send a separate letter for each student. 

·       Share your insights about friendships to foster or separate, your child’s learning dispositions and/or temperament, and the type of environment you feel your child thrives in. 
(You may want to share feedback on what has made this year particularly successful for your
child, or if this has been a challenging year, what you believe may have contributed to this.) 

·       Requests for specific teachers will not be considered.

Several factors are taken into consideration as teachers and the administrative team place students into next year’s classes.  Summer moves and other changes impact class assignments.  Thank you, in advance, for respecting and trusting our decisions.

Best regards,
Peg Bailey

Note From Ms. Zosel:

Birthday Wishes
April 6-21

We are collecting birthday celebration supplies for our local food shelf.  Families who use our local food shelf often are unable to buy extra items
that make a birthday special,like
Cake Mix & Frosting, Candles, Rice, Noodles, Cookie Mix, Pizza Crust mix,
Paper Plates & Cups. Gluten-free, Kosher and Halal items are often needed by families as well. 

If you would like to donate,
please bring items to school April 6-21.  Thanks!


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