Mrs. Barnes’ Class
Weeks of April 13-17, 2015
It has been a very busy month for preschool! We celebrated our 100th day of preschool this month, had our Spring concert for parents/family, began counting by 5’s and 10’s, and are practicing those Kindergarten readiness skills.
Preschool began learning about a new theme last week; Growing and Changing and will continue to work on it this week and the following week as well. The students are learning about all the changes that occur as we grow from babies into toddlers, adolescents into teenagers, and finally becoming a grown up. There were some great conversations taking place in the classroom due to several kiddos who have recently added a new family member to their house J. Our religion piece fit in nicely as well since it focused on the birth of Jesus and being kind to others. I decided to make those connections between what we are learning at school and life at home, and they tied in for the kiddos in a way that helped them understand why mommies and daddies need to help baby brother or sister more than them sometimes. We also talked about how they can help their parents so that it might free up a little time for them as well.
Some of the activities we did in math included dot to dot cards. This was a great way for me to see if the students are able to identify numerals in order and connect them. We haven’t done this before in our classroom and the kiddos seemed to really enjoy it! Mini pocket charts were very popular as well. The kiddos had cards with pictures of objects (kites, socks, spots, & bees) they ranged from 1 to 10. The objective was for them to put them in order either ascending or descending. (Objective met: Counting, connects numerals with their quantities, fine motor skills, early addition)
The dramatic play area was set up so the kiddos could dress up as parents and take care of their babies. Many of them learned how to swaddle a baby in a blanket. They would get frustrated in the beginning because they couldn’t figure it out but eventually most of them were able to cover their baby at least partially J There was some great pretend play taking place this past week with babies crying, taking them to the doctor because they were sick, babysitting for a friend while she went to the store. (Objective met: Manages feelings, responds to emotional cues, interacts with peers, makes friends, solve social problems, balances needs/rights of self and others, engages in conversation, sociodramatic play)
In the writing center students were completing rubs of insects. This is a hard thing to teach preschool aged children because they have to coordinate one hand with the other and remember to hold the paper in place while rubbing the crayon over the plate. They used some great creativity with choosing multiple colors on different parts of the plates. There was also a book that the kiddos had to complete by drawing a picture of what they looked like as a baby, how they look now, and what they think they will look like as a grown up. The art easel was open all week for drawing but I told them they needed to draw a spring picture and I needed to see at least one thing labeled on their paper. I am really pushing some of them to use those phonics we have been working so hard on here at school. Challenge them at home to at least write the first letter of the word for you. Also encourage them to sound the word out so they are able to hear each sound for each letter. You may be surprised at what they can write for you! (Objective met: Uses fingers and hands, uses drawing and writing tools, uses print concepts, letter identification, and demonstrates emergent writing skills)
At one table we had the Ipads out and worked on our letter sounds. The kiddos used a program called Endless ABC’s. This program teaches them the letter sounds, the definition of words, and also helps them with controlling hand-eye coordination as they drag letters from an open space to a letter slot for the word. We practiced some three step sequencing with puzzles as well. (Objective met: Fine motor skills, letter identification, letter sounds, hand-eye coordination, sequencing, problem-solving)
The science table was set up with plenty of activities that helped the kiddos work on understanding the different seasons. One activity was for them to match a picture of an activity to the season you would see someone participating in that activity. Another activity was for them to circle three pictures (from a variety of pictures) that went with each season. The last activity was for them to finish a picture for each season adding details with markers (spring picture showed two birds in a nest on a branch).
The block center was set up with the cars, a track, and the parking garage. They have really enjoyed this! It was fun to see how they worked together to build roads that led to the garage or through neighborhoods. I also included some emergency vehicles so they were able to put out fires or rescue people. I think everyone had a chance to play with the cars as it was a very popular center!
We have been able to get outside most days the last few weeks with the weather being so cooperative. However, it appears that will change this week and possibly into next week. With that being said I would like to remind you to please dress your child for the weather each day. I would rather them have layers that can be taken off if it becomes too warm, versus not enough layers and complain about being too cold outside when we play. We have seen several students come to school without a coat when it has been chilly and windy at recess.
I know I mentioned this in my prior newsletter but I’m going to repeat it again. This is the time of year when the kiddos begin to shut down at school because they want to be outside playing all day. It is common for the kiddos to lose interest, become chatty at group time, and want to test the rules of the classroom. It would be helpful if you could all remind your children that we do still have several weeks left of school and that it’s very important for them to stay focused and follow the rules/expectations every day at school. It would also be helpful if you could discuss using an indoor voice versus an outdoor voice. Things have become noisy in our classroom and I am constantly reminding them that they need to practice those indoor voices and Kindergarten ready skills J
Again, please check your child’s backpack and folder daily. There will be several communication sheets coming home in the future regarding our last few weeks of school, and preschool graduation.
April 23rd: Graduation pictures (4-yr olds only)
May 8th: Kindergarten connection (more info coming soon)
May 11th: No School (professional development)
May 25th: No School (Memorial day)
May 26th : Last full day of school for 4-yr olds
May 27th: Last full day of school for 3-yr olds
May 28th: 4-yr old graduation (1 pm)