Friday, May 2, 2014

Spring into learning...with our friends

April 28th

Spring brought warmer weather (finally) and lots of opportunities to try new skills and learn new information as well as strengthen existing abilities and add additional knowledge to our databanks.

We spent lots of time working with our classmates on special projects-from making a rocket ship to “playing group” and assisting Ms. Sara to rearrange the classroom.

We built a rocket ship using an empty box and scrap paper.

We worked together to move an extremely heavy container of blocks from our old preschool classroom to our new room as well as capture and retrieve the parachute tunnel that kept blowing away in the wind.

We put into practice all the skills we have learned when we initiated and led our own group time.

We helped our classmates and our toddler friends.

We had lots of fun just talking to our friends!
And being silly!

We continued to expand our early literacy skills through teacher-initiated learning experiences and child-directed activities.
We were very excited to match all the rhyming words all by ourselves. 
Two boys look through photographs to dictate stories about their activities and their experiences in the classroom. 


We wrote words related to our current fields of study. We made tickets for the toddler children for the drive-in movie.

We pretended that we were the cap seller from Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkinaand tried to sell “caps” to the “customers” (no one was interested that particular day).

We read lots and lots and lots of new books-both informational texts and stories-about such diverse subjects such as dinosaurs and aliens and princesses.

And we had mommies (and nanas) come to our classroom to read their favorite stories during the Week of the Young Child.

We really enjoyed exploring the wonderful world of mathematics, patterning and classification.

We practiced writing numerals for our “froggie counting work” and then discussed that knowledge with our classmates.

We continued to develop our understanding of scientific classification through the use of items-like rocks and shells-found in nature as well as everyday materials.
We created a restaurant we called Summerhouse cafĂ© that served fruits and vegetables from local gardens as well as chicken and tasty desserts. Customers from all eight planets and faraway galaxies are welcome to patronize this new but exciting establishment.     

Painting signs was a critical component of the advertising process.
The two managers check the menu one last time before the cafe opens.


Serving the first customer was thrilling but challenging as he insisted on reading at the table. At least it wasn’t an alien!

The cooks consult the recipe book for new items to add to the menu-and then check the basket to see if the items are in stock.
Architects beware! You have competition from the children in the preschool-PreK class at Endeavor Learning Center.

We combined our continued interest in architecture with the knowledge of the world around us to recreate King’s Island-complete with the towers and roller coasters.

We also built several cities and garages with hiding spots especially designed for the construction equipment.

Other highlights:
We practiced our problem-solving abilities.

As always, we had tremendous fun participating in scientific discussions and discoveries with our colleagues.  

Doing the "spilling" work with a friend is always exciting.

Two heads are always better than one when determining the particular type of insect that tried to join us one morning. 

Science the Easter way-exploring Peeps playdough and dying Easter Eggs.

We found a desiccated pumpkin and discussed the events  which led to its decomposition...and how it got there. 
Several weeks later we discovered small white flowers growing in that same spot!

Are you sure you want to touch this? It’s a worm.

“I found a worm.” The toddler told us.
“I like wormies.” Responded the preschooler. “Can I see it?”

“Ok.” Said the toddler. “You can see the worm.”

Field” trips are fun for all ages.

Especially if they involve moving things…
Searching for dried pine needles to add to the pile.             Carrying back a bundle of the pine needles when we had
                                                                                                        completed our experiment.

…or watching the construction equipment.
“I thought that tractors were green.” I observed.
“No, Ms. Sara.” Said a preschooler. “Sometimes they are green and sometimes they are yellow and sometimes they are orange.”

The purpose of exploration is to discover “new things”… and to have fun.
A final note: We have been enjoying our time with the toddlers  so much that we were invited to be “teaching assistants” by Ms. Kris.

Showing the toddlers how to “transfer the water in a new way”.

Modeling the skills we learned in the preschool classroom and creating games for the toddlers are always fun but…

…sometimes we just enjoy each other’s company.


Skills and abilities we have been mastering (from the Ohio Early Learning Standards):

Domain: Social and Emotional Development
Strand: Self
Topic: Sense of Competence
Standard: Show confidence in own abilities and accomplish routine and familiar tasks independently

Domain: Social and Emotional Development
Strand: Relationships
Topic: Empathy
Standard: Express concern for the needs of others and people in distress
                  Show regard for the feelings of other living things

Domain: Approaches to Learning
Strand: Engagement and Persistence
Topic: Persistence
Standard: Carry out tasks, activities, projects or experiences from beginning to end
                Focus on the task at hand even when frustrated or challenged

Domain: Approaches to Learning
Strand: Creativity
Topic: Innovation and Invention
Standard: Use imagination and creativity to interact with objects and materials
                  Use creative and flexible thinking to solve problems
  Engage in inventive social play

Domain: Cognition and General Knowledge
Sub-Domain: Mathematics
Strand: Number Sense
Topic: Number Sense and Counting
Standard: Count to 20 by ones with increasing accuracy
                 Identify and name numerals 1-9
                 Identify without counting small quantities of up to 3 items
                 Demonstrate one-to-one correspondence when counting objects up to 10
                 Understand that the last number spoken tells the number of objects counted
                 Identify whether the number of objects in one group is greater than, less than or equal to the number of objects in   another group up to 10

Domain: Cognition and General Knowledge
Sub-domain: Cognitive Skills
Strand: Cognitive Skills
Topic: Reasoning and Problem-Solving
Standards: Demonstrate ability to solve everyday problems based upon past experience
                  Solve problems by planning and carrying out a sequence of actions
                  Seek more than one solution to a question, problems or tasks

Domain: Language and Literacy
Strand: Listening and Speaking
Topic:  Social Communication
Standards: With modeling and support, follow typical patterns when communicating with others
  With modeling and support, continue a conversation through multiple exchanges

With the change in weather, our class will be spending a larger portion of our day engaged in outdoor (and possibly very messy) activities. Please make sure that your child has at least two changes of clothes (including underwear and socks), a lightweight jacket or sweater (in case the mornings are cool) and a sturdy pair of walking shoes and sunscreen (no aerosol cans please). We are also asking parents and other adults refrain from parking next to the grassy hill by the parking lot to ensure the continued safety of the children in our class as well as those in the toddler and infant classrooms.