Friday, April 28, 2017

Last Week in April...

We can't believe that it is already going to be May next week.  April sure went fast!  We talked about our upcoming month of May and all of the neat things that will be happening throughout it.  Hopefully, May will bring some warm, sunny weather too.  We all agreed this week didn't feel much like spring!

Weekly highlights...

We started studying the book One-Dog Canoe this week.  It is a wonderful children's book that takes place on a lake in Minnesota.  It is filled with all of the Minnesota animals that the children learned about and studied.  It also has a fun, upbeat rhyming text the children connect to.  They used the illustrations and words to make predictions about what might happen next in the story.  They also learned a variety of new vocabulary words and enjoyed acting some of them out!  We read the story a few times and noticed different details in it each time we read it.


A favorite activity was re-telling One-Dog Canoe through using the actual characters and other props.  Story elements such as characters, setting and plot were highlighted too.  We used blue felt for the water, a red block for the canoe and play animals to represent each character from the story.  The children took turns verbally re-telling the story using props with a friend and they loved it!

 



Next week, we will do a few more activities with this story, including becoming the characters!  

The children learned about measuring this week.  They are naturally curious about how tall someone is, how long the room is or how high the ceiling is, often using uni-fix cubes to measure around the environment.  This week, we read the book Inch by Inch by Leo Lionni, which is about an inchworm that measures the lengths of different animals.  Afterward, the children all practiced measuring the height, length and width of different pictures using cubes.  We had fun comparing and contrasting the different pictures, counting and learning about the different ways you can measure.  A few examples...

 




Our bean buddies finally grew tall stems and leaves! The children have learned so much through observing their bean buddy everyday and identifying the parts of the seed and plant as it grows.  We will continue to learn about how things grow when we study farming in Minnesota throughout the month of May.

A few "after" pictures with our "bean buddies"...




On Thursday morning, we spent time with our third grade buddies!  The preschoolers showed them some of their current favorite activities in the classroom.






 

Today we enjoyed a field trip to Stages Theater to see the play Stone Soup.  We studied this story through out the week and learned that it is a folktale.  Since Stone Soup is a folktale, there are many different versions out there!  We read a few different adaptations of this story noticing the similarities and differences.  We did notice though that the different versions of Stone Soup we read left us with the same message.  The overall lesson from this book is that when we all work together using teamwork, sharing and contributing, something greater can be accomplished!  It also highlights the importance of giving to others and how much happiness it brings.  It was really fun to see the story Stone Soup in action today.


A few friends waiting for the play to start...


We ended the week doing a really neat coding activity in STEAM.  The children worked in small groups using an app called Path.  The most fun part of this coding app is that there is a robot that goes along with it and the robot moves according to the path you input on the ipad.  Today, we just explored the different movements we could make the robot do with the app.  Each child got a turn to make the robot move around, spin, make sounds, change colors and more.  Next week, we will explore and "code" an actual path for the robot to move in!



 


video

April was a great month!  As we move into our final full month of school, the children remain busy exploring all aspects of the environment from academics to imaginary play.  We will continue to update and change materials according to their individual needs throughout this month.  The children will also participate in one more all preschool challenge in the project room.  In May, we dive deeper into our study of farming in Minnesota and look forward to our final field trip to Gale Woods Farm, where we get to see a real farm in action!

Dates to Remember:

Wednesday, May 3rd- Wear CARE Shirt Day

Friday, May 5th- Wacky Dress Day in Lower School

Thursday, May 18th- Field Trip to Gale Woods Farm

Monday, May 29th- No School- Memorial Day

Friday, June 2nd- Lower School Closing Program and Reception at 1:30 (more info to come)

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