Monday, January 25, 2016

Bird Feeder Projects

Last week, Preschoolers enjoyed following simple multi-step directions to construct a food garland and individual bird feeders. A BIG THANK YOU to STELLA, BEN, ALICE, JAMES, HARPER, QUINN and JACK for supplying an assortment of materials needed for our Fine Feathered Forest Friend projects.   

STEP 1…Peel a Clementine and place segments into a cup

STEP 2… Place Clementine segments and cheerios onto a piece of wire
Can you see a pattern?

STEP 3… Connect each piece of wire to create a long garland

STEP 4…Place the food garland outside to assist forest friends during winter weather

After reading HOW TO MAKE a BIRD FEEDER and looking at numerous photos of homemade feeders, preschoolers choose from three types of bird feeders to construct;
  • pinecone feeder,
  • tube feeder
  • yogurt cup feeder

Our project included completing a planning sheet (see example below).
After the children choose the design that appealed to them, they set to work creating their plan.
I encouraged the children to label their plans with the materials they would need to build a feeder.
S=string, PB=peanut butter, P=pinecone, BS=bird seed

Cut string the length of your arm and tie it to a pinecone, tube or cup

Spread peanut butter onto the feeder and roll the feeder in seed

Take home the feeder and place it outside for animals!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Preschoolers connect with the Commander in Chief
Political venues are in our everyday experiences due to the upcoming presidential election. Politicians may vary in their message to the public, however there is one common goal they all agree upon: young children play an important part in shaping our future!  Last week we decided to connect with President OBAMA and called him during our morning meeting. We wanted to reassure him that at RES preschoolers are growing healthy bodies. We also shared that we continue to work and PLAY hard in being productive and respectful citizens. We informed him that our efforts would result in creating a bright future for us as individuals and globally for our world!  

In case you are wondering how to contact to the Commander in Chief it is easy… he spends most of his time in the OVAL office so dial O... V... A... L… and you will be directly connected to him:)

                Above a student made a sign and illustration that depicts President Obama in the OVAL Office. He is wearing a striped tie! We use the sign to help us dial the letters... O V A L on our pretend phones when we call him!

This week when we connected with President OBAMA, he was eating his breakfast and we found out he likes oatmeal and fresh blueberries. He was happy to talk and listen to us as we excitedly shared information of a new movement dance we are learning. The movement keeps us in constant motion for three minutes! We continued by telling him that not only does the movement dance strengthen our legs, arms and trunk muscles… the exercise helps us to be better writers! Without strong arms, shoulders, wrists and fingers it is impossible to hold a pencil. President Obama complimented our healthy lifestyle and learning efforts and told us to keep up the GOOD WORK! He challenged us to lengthen our movement routines to five minutes prior to the start of February! The challenge left us energized and eager to continue to MOVE our bodies!    

Afterwards, while researching the oval office to see if the physical space of the room was shaped like an OVAL… we found a photo of President OBAMA… HE MUST BE TALKING TO US in this PHOTO:)!  

Throughout the month of January we will spend ample time learning a variety of movement routines including the CHA CHA dance. Below are a few photos depicting us stretching and building strong bodies.

Snuffles the hedgehog has had a strong presence in our classroom for the past two weeks. Engagement has been so dramatic that our classroom rules needed to be stretched to accommodate high interest in the block area. Typically THREE FRIENDS CAN PLAY in the moderately small learning center, however this week as many as eight preschoolers collaborated as they constructed detailed ENCLOSURES for SNUFFLES.
The PM session children created the below CONDO complete with cozy warm beds and chose to keep the structure in place so that when the AM session builders arrived to school the next day,  they would have an opportunity to add to the structure.    

SNUFFLES was also more than happy to share his lush new living space with many new relatives. Earlier in the week, students were eager to create hedgehogs of their own by felting wool balls into hedgehog bodies complete with quills!

Monday, January 4, 2016

HAPPY 2016


Happy 2016,

I hope you and your family had a perfect holiday season!

As we ring in a New Year with wishes of new beginnings and fresh starts it is important to keep in mind and show gratitude for the people who touch our lives. I want to send a sincere thank you to you for your endless generosity and support! Prior to the holiday break the children and I enjoyed received many lovely notes and gifts. Each cookie, candy, canister of cocoa powder, half gallon of milk, paper good, gift card, glue stick, watercolor paint, ornament and family photo was appreciated! THANK YOU!

To celebrate the arrival of 2016, winter and the month of January, preschoolers will delve into new materials and learning! Over the next few weeks preschoolers will focus on a variety of math and science investigations that will encourage creativity, problem solving and perseverance by using three-dimensional building materials. Last month, students learned individual addresses, drew diagrams and constructed cardboard buildings to represent student homes. This week young mathematicians will be introduced to new 3-D wooden building blocks and will discuss their size and shape and learn a new vocabulary word, ENCLOSURE. Hollow blocks will arrive in our classroom within the next few weeks and will accompany the numerous building supplies in our current building area.


To expand on the idea of enclosures, students will listen to the story, Snuffles House by Daphne Faunce-Brown. Snuffles is a hedgehog that sets out to build himself a new house after his house burns down. In the story, Snuffles experiments with different shapes and designs for his house, each with their own imperfections (e.g., the round house rolls down a hill, the triangle house has too small of an upstairs) until he decides on a rectangle shaped house. After listening to the story, the children will have an opportunity to construct an ENCLOSURE for SNUFFLE while discussing the essential features that are needed for the construction of a house. Instructions for construction will be minimal to allow for trial and error and creativity to emerge! After enclosures are constructed, students will draw blueprints to document their work and diagrams will be on display in our classroom.


                     We will also start the New Year with our
by observing a AMARYLLIS BULB.

In the late fall, students were introduced to bulbs. They had an opportunity to plant tulip bulbs from Holland in the garden space behind the preschool classrooms. This activity led to many wonderings about growing things. Over the past few months children have checked to see if any greenery has sprouted and have happily commented, “Our bulbs need rain to grow” on those dark and dreary rainy days! Knowing the bulbs have been “tucked in tight” under the soil and are asleep for the winter, they are anticipating a springtime garden filled with bright tulips! Hopefully an amaryllis bulb will sprout and bloom in the warm temperatures of our classroom and provide students with a first hand opportunity to make scientific observations and predictions.

Please be sure to pack inside shoes for your child if he/she wears boots to school. Spare shoes can also be left in your child’s mailbox to avoid forgetting and daily transportation of extra gear.

Thank you, Suzanne