Mrs. Barnes’ Class
Week of May 3-8, 2015
We continue to work on Kindergarten ready skills here at preschool. I have been stressing the importance of remembering to raise your hand and waiting to be called on. I think all of the kiddos who spent a day at the big school enjoyed their day as a kindergartener J. We are also still trying to help remind kiddos that even though our year together is growing closer to an end, there are still things to learn and our brain needs to remain focused for a few more weeks!
Preschool continued to learn about our theme; Growing and Changing. The first week of this theme we focused on human growth and the changes we go through from birth into adulthood. The next few weeks we spent learning about animals and their life cycles. We spent some extra time with this portion because there are so many things to learn and we decided to order some caterpillar eggs so the kiddos could see the growth and changes that occur. They have really enjoyed seeing the tiny caterpillars turn into chrysalides and are excited to see them transform into butterflies. There is a butterfly garden in Ames (Rieman’s Garden) that would be a great place to take your child this summer if you get time. It’s well worth the trip! J The last week of that theme we spent learning about spring and the changes that happen in this season. There has been lots of discussion about the plants, flowers, buds, blossoms, trees, and grass. Discussions about the weather and the different things we see and feel in the spring has definitely sparked some interest as well. I think we could have spent another week or so with this theme, they really enjoyed it!
In our literacy area we enjoyed several different books: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Are you a Spider, Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert, A Butterfly is Born by Melvin Berger, Puddles, Spring Song. There were several discussions about the stages our caterpillars will go through and predictions about what the butterflies will look like.
Some of the activities we did in math included the following: Geometric shapes and mats with pictures (students used the shapes to create pictures such as boat, car, butterfly, etc.), hot dots (matching numbers, telling how many, simple addition, patterns), fill in the blank numbers, puzzle cards that match the # of objects to the numerals. (Objective met: Counting, connects numerals with their quantities, fine motor skills, early addition, patterns, shape and number recognition).
The dramatic play area was set up as a flower shop. It was a pretty busy place for the flower shop this time of year! There were different packages of seeds to choose from, garden tools, gloves, vases, watering cans, flower pots, silk flowers, and many other items to select. The kiddos made some really beautiful gardens from the items they purchased. (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 practiced writing their letters and numbers through the use of our Handwriting without Tears books. All of the students are familiar with this process as this is what was used during small groups throughout the year. This program is very helpful for preschoolers because it teaches letters in an order that makes sense for this age group. They begin with letters that have straight lines only and then they gradually teach those letters that have curves. It also uses terminology that teaches small lines/big lines or small curve/big curve. The kiddos really make connections when we use words they understand. There were a couple of Very Hungry Caterpillar coloring pages that involved drawing/writing about their favorite snack as well as retelling the story. (Objective met: Uses fingers and hands, uses drawing and writing tools, uses print concepts, letter identification, and demonstrates emergent writing skills)
The science table was set up with plenty of activities that involved insects. One activity had the kiddos sorting insects and spiders. I taught them that insects have six legs and spiders have eight legs. We also discussed the different parts of their bodies, and how there are some similarities as well as differences. Another activity was picture cards of different insects and magnifying glasses. They were able to use the magnifying glasses to look at patterns (such as the ones on bees or spiders), different parts of their body, and colors. We have also been charting and following our caterpillar life cycles daily. The morning class was able to observe the caterpillars turning into chrysalides. I’m hoping the afternoon class will see the other batch do the same thing.
The block center was set up with a couple of different things this time. We had large Legos for a while and then changed them out for some smaller wooden blocks with wooden people. They seemed to really enjoy the smaller wooden blocks. The kiddos worked well as teams to build some amazing neighborhoods and buildings. Their imaginations are so great, and when they work in teams it is twice as fun to see what they come up with.
The art table has been a very busy place these past few weeks. We began by making a caterpillar life cycle, which some of you have told me are very popular at home. J The life cycle is a nice way for the kiddos to track what is happening with our caterpillars in the classroom and hopefully open up some discussions at home with you as well. The other project involved painting their hands and making prints to form a caterpillar. They had so much fun with this one, and they turned out absolutely adorable!
We are down to the final days of preschool! I know, it’s hard to believe but they are almost ready for kindergarten. I will be slowly sending items home with the kiddos such as extra folders, name plates, etc. Please continue to send folders and back packs with your child daily.
May 8th: Kindergarten connection
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)