Monday, January 2, 2017

January snow makes our feet and fingers glow!


Happy New Year Preschool Families,
We hope your holiday vacation was filled with peace, happiness, and health!  Hopefully during the month of January we will receive many snowflakes so that the preschool children will have an opportunity to discuss and learn about the magic of winter weather.

Precipitation is the word meteorologists use to describe all of the solid (snow, sleet, hail, frost) and liquid (rain, drizzle, mist, dew) water released by the atmosphere.  Air temperature determines the type of precipitation created in our outdoor world and will play a major role in our indoor preschool classrooms over the next month as we predict and monitor winter weather and temperature. A new science tool, a THERMOMETER, has been introduced to the children and will be read each day to monitor freezing and below freezing temperatures.  Below zero temperatures will also be noted, and will bear meaningful information; below zero temperatures will symbolize indoor recess.

A snowflake thermometer poster purchased at the SNOWFLAKE BENTLEY MUSEUM in Jericho, depicts six sided snowflakes and how their unique shapes change according to temperature.  The number SIX will play a major role in many upcoming math activities! When you think of the number SIX… what do YOU think of?

The winter days ahead will provide us with many real life opportunities to experiment with the concepts of solid, liquid, freezing, and melting.  Planned activities include; melting ice blocks with a water and salt solution, melting crayons to create colorful winter scenes, designing six sided crystal snowflakes,  making snowball playdough, creating snow people, and reading THE MITTEN, STRANGER IN THE FOREST, and BEAR SNORES ON, three favorite winter stories

THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME!
A social studies project titled THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME, will focus on the importance of healthy food and warm shelter for people and forest creatures in our community throughout the winter months.
Forest creatures like people have favorite foods.  It is critical for forest creatures to digest high fat foods that help to keep them warm.  During the months of January and February we will prepare two snacks for the birds and forest creatures featuring some of their favorite foods; sunflower seeds, cracked corn and fruit.

HELPFUL REMINDERS
*Warm winter clothes for outdoor play.
* Preschool classes canceled on Monday, January 16 to observe Martin Luther King.
*There will be no A.M. Preschool Session on Wednesday, January 11 due to late start day.
*Preschool Potluck Dinner is scheduled for Monday, January 9th.

Sincerely,

Suzanne



Thursday, November 17, 2016

November Vegetable Feast

November 2016
Greetings Preschool Families,
This week, preschoolers have focused their attention on the word THANKFUL. Working on character development with young children is an important part of our social and emotional curriculum and being appreciative is an essential character trait we want children to have. The preschoolers took time to discuss their individual families and what makes them unique after reading Todd Parr’s book titled, The Family Book! We then set to work and prepared a gift of THANKS for YOU! The heartfelt napkin ring holder project wove reading, writing and math skills together and also included an artistic component!

First, beautiful paper was created! Students sprayed “thirsty paper” with water and watched droplets as they were absorbed into the white fibers of the paper and disappeared. Students then used complimentary watercolor paint and brushed the vibrant colors onto the soggy paper. As the paint expanded over the paper the darkness of the paint faded and more paint was added. When the paper was dry, it was cut into rectangular strips and was ready to be transformed into napkin ring holders! A group of seventh grade Camel’s Hump Middle School students offered us their guidance and assisted with the compiling of our many step project! They assisted the AM session of young learners and students in the PM session worked independently! Preschoolers enjoyed folding square napkins into narrow rectangles and placed them into the hollow napkin rings. They also used their math skills and counted strips of ribbon that were used to decorate each napkin holder. A touch of nature (a pine twig) completed the handmade gift! We are truly THANKFUL for the time we spent together making gifts for family members! Each preschooler and middle school student was invested in this project and showed deep appreciation for YOU!



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CORNUCOPIA: a HORN shaped hollow vessel used to hold fruits and vegetables
This week we were introduced to a harvest symbol, a cornucopia. Students first noticed the cornucopia’s shape, color, and texture and then noticed the first syllable (a part of a word) rhymed with horn. Each time we learn a new word, we clap out the syllables as we slowly say each part! This assists with recognizing that words are made up of letters/sounds! The cornucopia served as a container for a variety of donated vegetables prior to our vegetable feast. THANK YOU for your gracious contributions!

Enjoy a festive Thanksgiving with your loved ones!
Suzanne


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Newsletter

This Week’s Learning Discoveries
October 3-7
APPLE Investigations and SPHERES and DISCS
Dear Preschool Families,
Thank you for participating in last week’s Open House. The preschooler's were bursting with pride as they showed families their recent discoveries and work!
This week, we began a two-week study of apples. We discussed the parts of an apple (Peel, Pulp, Pips and Core), balanced crabapples on a spoon while walking, prepared applesauce, created an APPLE BOOK and continued our exploration of Spheres and Discs. Students also tasted RED, YELLOW and GREEN apples and listened to a story about an APPLE SECRET! What is hiding inside of every apple? We also learned how to spell the word APPLE!
 
APPLE (sung to the tune of BINGO)
There is a fruit that we do love,
And APPLE is its Name- O,
A…P…P…L…E…, A…P…P…L…E…,
A…P…P…L…E… and APPLE is its Name O!


Reading and Writing APPLE books
 
 
 



                                                  Balancing CRAB APPLES (SPHERES)
    




Balancing APPLE BEAN BAGS (DISCS)
 
 
Circle Collage
The Importance of Color and
The Power of Shape
Over the past month, Preschoolers have been busy exploring bright and dark colors. They have used “color words” to describe and organize things in our classroom and outside world. Autumn leaves are red, orange and yellow. Apples can be red, green and yellow! Preschoolers have also studied circles and have noticed how circle shapes can look the same, but also be different.  DISCS and SPHERES have a circle shape, but are very different. Discs are flat and Spheres are round and can roll! Our Circle Collage showcases a TEAM effort and vividly displays more than 100 bright, DISCS that won’t roll away!


Please be sure to sign up for a Parent teacher conference. Sign up forms went home last week and if you need another form, please let me know! If you do NOT want to meet for a conference, please send me a note indicating that you are not requesting a meeting at this time.


There will be no AM preschool classes on Wednesday, October 12 due to late start day.


Thursday, September 22, 2016

This Week’s Learning Discoveries
September 19-23
HAPPY AUTUMN

This week RES Preschool Scholars were involved in a wide variety of PATTERNING and MATCHING COLOR activities aimed at developing number recognition, sequencing, and one-to-one correspondence. Preschoolers are beginning to match color, recognize, describe, reproduce, extend, create and compare repeating patterns. Young MATHEMATICIANS benefit from being involved with concrete materials (things they can touch and see) to develop pre-math skills. Please encourage your child to be on the lookout for everyday household objects to reinforce matching and patterning skills in the home setting! COLORS and PATTERNS are EVERYWHERE!

      MATCHING, COUNTING, MAKING PATTERNS and SORTING BUTTONS

FIRST, PINCH and PULL paper to make autumn leaves.
SECOND, add “JUST a DOT not a lot” of glue to create an autumn tree!


               



PURPLE TIE DYE TEE SHIRTS
Preschoolers enjoyed participating in a school wide tie dye tee shirt activity this week. They used light and dark purple paint to transform white, bright shirts into dark and vibrant purple shirts! Each child’s shirt will be coming home soon and children are encouraged to wear their tee shirt to school!




PRESCHOOL OPEN HOUSE
The Preschoolers are excited about you inviting you to our annual RES OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, September 29th. AM session will visit the classroom from 6:00-6:30 and the PM session will visit from 6:30-7:00. During this time your child will show you projects they have been working on over the past few weeks and you will have an opportunity to tour the RES school.
We look forward to seeing you!

SUZANNE


Friday, April 8, 2016

 
 
 
 
TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE NEST
LITTLE BIRDIES TAKE A REST.
SNUGGLE UP AND DO NOT PEEP
LITTLE BIRDIES FALL ASLEEP.
TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE NEST
LITTLE BIRDIES TAKE A REST.
NEW EXPERIENCES, CONNECTIONS and THEORIES
This week I had the pleasure of meeting 24 young learners that will participate in the RES preschool this autumn.  As I prepared the classroom for the three and four year olds visit, I gave great thought to the design of the classroom-learning environment.  I attempted to “think” like a preschooler… what would a young child want to see and do when they entered this new place called SCHOOL and what would they want to hear from this new person called TEACHER? Knowing a sophisticated and developmentally appropriate environment is essential in stretching the mind of a young child and encourages children, (even at age 3 and 4) to start thinking about interesting and complex topics… I set to work. After preparing scented playdough, a beading activity and a seashell sensory tray for the children to explore, I struggled with choosing the perfect story to share when the children gathered for their first preschool meeting. It couldn’t be too long…young learners have short attention spans. It should involve a familiar topic so the students could make a connection to the story, it should include rich language to expose children to new vocabulary, and it must involve something visually appealing to grab and sustain their attention. I finally decided to create a story and rhythmic tune that involved a springtime nest, a MAMA bird and her babies.
After gathering the necessary props needed and rehearsing the story and melody, I tried out the new tale and tune with my current preschoolers (I wanted to be sure it was full of the right STUFF). Throughout the story the students were captivated, engaged and it left them hungry for more information! The story made the preschoolers wonder about baby birds and they instantly started to compare themselves to humans... “How was it possible for a brand new baby bird to eat worms without teeth? New born human babies don’t have teeth so they just drink milk.”  
The children started to make connections to their prior experiences and shared the following THEORIES:

JAMES…”My guineas and ducks eat worms and they don't have teeth...so baby birds can eat worms without having teeth.”

STELLA… “This is true, I saw a movie about birds and the mommy bird puts her head down and breaks up the worms into tiny pieces and then feeds the tiny pieces to the babies.”

ALICE..”Worms are squishy and soft so baby birds can just swallow them.”

MADDIE…”The baby bird’s tongue has taste buds and the taste buds tell the bird’s brain, YES… I like worms and the bird swallows the worm.”

MADELINE…”Worms are slippery so the baby bird slurps the worm up like spaghetti.”

After our discussion we transformed into baby birds and attempted to swallow a worm (a miniature marshmallow) without chewing it! We were successful!


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I am always amazed at children’s thinking…

My hope is the newest members of RES had a positive experience and made some great connections about school and the magic of wonder when they visited. Also, a BIG thank you to my current students for assisting me in the “arrival preparation” for the next generation of WONDERS at RES!


Monday, March 21, 2016

PUSSY WILLOWS
AKA … CATKINS
 
Close your eyes and do not peek
And I'll rub spring across your cheek.
Smooth as satin, soft and sleek.
Close your eyes and do not peek.  Aileen Fisher

Last week preschoolers authored a book titled, DREAMING OF SPRING after discussing spring events. We hope you enjoyed reading our class book and it inspired you to start dreaming of spring. One sure sign that spring is on its way is the sighting of furry CATKINS! CATKINS dot the tips of willow branches on the edge of the woods and roadsides in early spring. As weeks pass, the soft buds transform into bright green leaves, which live on branches of a willow plant throughout the summer months.
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Last week a bouquet, of pussy willow branches greeted preschoolers as they arrived to school each day. After observing and touching the soft buds, students came to the conclusion that the soft, bunny ear shaped buds would make the perfect bedding for a nest! Perhaps MAMA birds will notice pussy willow as the migrate back to Vermont and weave a few branches of CATKIN branches into their nests!:)  

Preschoolers also experimented with wind concepts by blowing wind (moving air) through a straw to move ping pong balls across our classroom. Later, we attempted to move the balls on top of water which was tricky and lead to a fun bubble blowing experiment!  

  

    
PRESCHOOL EYES ARE SMILING

MADELINE J. welcomed her fifth year by bringing in fruit, rainbow kabobs to share with friends. Preschoolers were determined to THINK and DRINK GREEN to keep mischievous leprechauns from tiptoeing into MADDIE’s March 18th celebration. After counting and cutting 5 limes in half, each student used an interesting “CONTRAPTION” to squeeze lime juice from the green citrus fruit. Later we cheered to the far away land of Ireland and enjoyed a refreshing beverage!


Friday, March 11, 2016

SPRING GERMINATES in Preschool at RES
Despite the fact that it is still a bit chilly outside, spring has germinated in our classroom! With TEN days to go until the official arrival of spring, our classroom environment includes numerous
SPRING INSPIRATIONS!
Above: Nests, birds, eggs, and bunnies inspire our thinking around spring time creatures and their habitats.
We also boarded a jet and helicopter and flew off to a distant country to celebrate
THE YEAR OF THE MONKEY (Chinese New Year 2016)! Complete with silk scarves and paper fans, we performed a Chinese Butterfly Dance and then flew back to Richmond, Vermont with enormous appetites!   
       
Pancakes seemed to be the perfect spring time treat to appease our hunger, so we quickly started the cooking process! First, we counted out big and little cups for pancake powder and milk. Then we stirred the two ingredients together until the batter was free of “lumps and bumps”. Next, the smooth batter was poured onto a hot griddle for cooking and flipping!   
    
Finally, THE BEST PART… CUTTING and EATING THE SWEET PANCAKES!
 
A BIG Thank you to AUGUSTINE’s Grandpa Henry, JAMES, JACK, STELLA and MADELINE J. for the MAPLE SYRUP and FLOUR Donations!

The following day…
Our maple syrup supply was depleted, so we quickly collected sap and started the boiling process after taking a taste test of SAP and SYRUP.
  
  
The results of our taste test: 9 students preferred SYRUP and 1 student preferred SAP.   
Next week, we will support children’s SPRING WONDERS by asking the question,
“When you dream of spring, what does it look like?”
In order to support children’s thinking, we will read a variety of books (both fiction and non-fiction) about spring and participate in the following activities:
Create wind with our lungs and use straws to move tennis balls across a puddle
Paint Still life portraits of pussy willows
Create a spring scene with sunshine play dough
                                                       Plant and care for wheat grass seeds