Monday, November 30, 2015



December is a month that generates a high degree of excitement and we will be off to an EXTREMELY enthusiastic start! With only three weeks until the holiday recess and the official start to winter, the Preschool and Part 2 children will be very busy planning for a very special get-together. Part of the excitement of the holiday season is the gift of GIVING and spending time with FRIENDS.

On Wednesday, December 16th students will spend time together and create a variety of gifts for loved ones. Children will rotate between four classrooms and partake in four different gift making projects. Besides the pride children gain from the making and giving of a handmade gift they will also have direct practice with numerous literacy and math skills.

In the midst of our holiday bustle and math/literacy learning, it’s important for us to leave enough time for RELAXATION. On the first day of WINTER… Tuesday, December 22nd children will curl up with peers and a cup of cocoa and watch the musical production of the SNOWMAN. We will also squeeze in a few RHYTHMIC and RHYME activities. Rhythm sticks and catchy melodies will assist us as we move, dance, hum and sing our way into the start of the holiday vacation starting on December 23rd!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Triple Decker

Over the summer, I had the pleasure of reading a book written by a Richmond author, ANOTHER KIND OF HURRICANE. In this debut novel, TAMARA ELLIS SMITH introduces the reader to two very different characters—a black boy who loses his home in Hurricane Katrina and a white boy in Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident. The two boys come together to find healing and peace. Throughout the story, SMITH refers to the boy’s great ideas as, TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE IDEAS. The catchy phrase stuck with me and this autumn when I greeted my students I shared the phrase with them! Knowing young learners always surprise me with creative and novel ideas, I knew the expression would be contagious in our classroom!
This week, preschoolers invested hours of hard work preparing a variety of handmade items for their FAMILIES. After counting family members, preschoolers wrote stories, illustrated family portraits, prepared food, decorated THANKFUL STONES, and designed pattern napkin holders.   The word GRATITUDE was woven into all of our conversations and I was simply astounded by the investment and focus young learners exhibited when preparing gifts for their loved ones! GREAT thoughtfulness was put into each gift by recognizing a parent’s favorite color and using hearts, flowers and rainbows for decorations! Your child’s love for you exceeds a TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE!
We ended our week together by playing the WONDER GAME… I SEE, I THINK and I WONDER.
Colored corn was introduced and the following observations and thoughts were made:
Yellow, red, white, purple and brown corn
Round and long corn
Wire and hair on the corn  
An animal bit some of the corn
It grew in the ground with things that help it grow… they are roots
Soil helped it grow
It has a pattern with lines
If we boil it, if it will turn into popcorn
If people can eat it, because their kind of corn is yellow
If we put the seeds under the ground, will it grow more corn?
What kind of animal will eat the corn, will they take it to their dens when they hibernate

After we completed the WONDER GAME, we dissected the colored corn and that’s when it happened…

One preschooler said, “HEY the corn cob has air pockets just like a cranberry…I bet it will float!
We instantly got out a tray and filled it with water to test out the idea! YES, a corn cob does have air pockets and it does float! The TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE OF AN IDEA lead to many other great observations and ideas! Students noticed the cobs had different colors and became darker when wet. They also compared the hard corn kernels to the cranberries we strung onto wire weeks ago. The children WONDERED… when the colored corn is picked by the farmer does it have juice in it like a cranberry?
Mrs. Emery and I were unsure…the question left us all WONDERING!
Have a
                   TRIPLE DECKER LAYER CAKE OF                                   A THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Cooking in Preschool

Over the past few weeks Preschoolers have been studying their FAMILY and the world around them. Very young children are focused on their own wants and needs, but as they grow older (4 and 5 years old) they become developmentally ready to begin forming relationships with other people and exploring the world around them! Social Studies for Preschoolers begins with the child and gradually expands their awareness of the world around them and their place in it to include the immediate family, extended family, neighborhood, and community. It helps them move beyond their natural egocentricity and begin to take on the perspective of others, becoming active participants in the larger world beyond the home.”
Through discussions, drawing family portraits and reading a variety of books, Preschoolers have learned that FAMILIES look very different; however they have two things in common…
To honor our Preschool FAMILIES, next week preschoolers will prepare an edible treat to share with their family members. Children will be responsible for reading a recipe, following directions, preparing a festive treat and writing a heartfelt note to RELATIVES!
Have a wonderful family feast!


Thankful STONES
Inspired by Elizabeti’s Doll
This week, preschoolers will focus their attention on the word GRATITUDE. 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. Celebrating the things you have verses focusing on what you don’t have is so important.  


Last week, Preschoolers listened to the book Elizabeti’s Doll, which features a young girl and her family living in Tanzania. In this story, Elizabeti wants a doll to care for, however she does not have the means to purchase one. She uses her imagination and magically turns a STONE into a doll and names the doll EVA. One day when Eva turns up lost, Elizabeti realizes just how much she loves her special doll.


The heartfelt story captured the Preschooler’s attention and sparked their curiosity, empathy, compassion and thankfulness for the many people in their lives! To celebrate the people and possessions that Preschoolers cherish, they will create Thankful Stones. The stones will serve as a visual reminder to be grateful for what they do have instead of focusing their attention on what they don’t have. A collection of colorful stones marked with family member’s first name initials will accompany your child home at the end of the week. Our hope is that the bright gems can be placed on your Thanksgiving feast table and will represent your child’s GRATITUDE for YOU!