Monday, February 15, 2016



Young children typically anticipate holidays with great enthusiasm and envision a day filled with surprises and sweets. This year’s Friendship Day celebration at Richmond Elementary School, A.K.A. Valentine’s Day, surpassed Preschooler’s expectations. Playing Friendship Musical Chairs (above photos) and participation in Vermont Writes Day provided an additional bonus last week as students focused on PEOPLE, PLACES and THINGS they cherish.  Young writers met the
7-Minute Writing Challenge which was a perfect venue to showcase student’s literacy learning!
Over the past five months, RES Preschoolers have prepared for Friendship Day (a day renowned for sharing student made notes with peers) by participating in cooperative play activities that promote the development of fine motor muscles needed for paper and pencil tasks. Hard work and engagement with various materials and mediums have resulted in strong fingers and hands ready for WRITING!

PART 2 students joined us for the seven minute writing challenge! ALL 15 writers focused their energy on WRITING!
Friendship Day festivities also included the making of a RED and PINK INITIAL necklace. Scholars counted out beads and added them to a piece of ribbon to create symmetrical necklaces that included patterns!

To warm up strong fingers for the writing challenge, writers created MAPS OF THEIR HEARTS. Each writer wrote about People and Things they Love!
EMMET featured his MOM, Mac and cheese and climbing mountains on his MAP!

Afterwards… students fueled their bodies with sweet, Friendship Fruit Salad, created patterns with fruit, opened handmade cards from friends and received a festive snuggle gnome!
                            THANK YOU FOR ALL OF THE FRUIT DONATIONS!:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Preschoolers at Richmond Elementary School prepare for a day to honor the PEOPLE, PLACES and THINGS they CHERISH

Each year on February 14th, many people exchange cards, candy, gifts or flowers with their special “valentine.” The day renowned for romance dates back to 269 and is the result of Saint Valentine, a priest who found himself in jail after he continued to marry people after a Roman Emperor banned the marriage of all people.  While Valentine was in prison, he sent out letters to his friends and signed them by writing...Remember your Valentine”. He died on February 14th… and we remember his acts of kindness by cherishing loved ones on 2/14.   
Why is this note of history important to PRESCHOOL DEVELOPMENT????
In the preschool classroom, I continue to find Friendship Day, to be “THE DAY” that represents a literary milestone for young learners. Each and every year when I turn the calendar to the second page and find a grid depicting 28/29 squares, I also find preschoolers READY! Since birth, a child has prepared his/her ten fingers, two hands, arms and shoulders and one torso to become strong enough to WRITE and magically without a hitch in FEBRUARY it happens! This observation and statement (children find success with writing letter formations by FEBRUARY 14th) are not depicted on any child development continuum; however I have found it to be 100% accurate! Years of lifting, twisting, turning, stretching, pinching and, pulling result in a four and half year old body that is ready, willing and able to WRITE! Saint Valentine most likely did not realize his WRITING and passing would be connected to child development by an early educator, but I find the connection noteworthy :)!
To celebrate our annual preschooler’s literacy milestone, young writers will participate in VT Writes Day on February 11th and do one THING they CHERISH…WRITE! We have marked our calendar for this amazing, fun annual day of writing and will stop everything in our classroom for JUST SEVEN MINUTES of WRITING! Our writing prompt will be to write about the PEOPLE, PLACES and THINGS you cherish! I feel confident our young writers will surpass the seven minute challenge… results will be posted early next week!     

This week, we will also played our SEE, THINK and WONDER Game by using the following photograph as a prompt. I look forward to hearing about our Preschooler’s observations, thoughts and wonders!


Please remember to have your child return their friendship cards by Thursday. Also, it would be helpful for fruit to be cut up in bite size pieces verses sending the unprepared fruit to school. Children will be making individual pattern fruit kabobs with the fruit salad.  


Monday, February 1, 2016


Last week, scientists had a firsthand experience with learning why ICE turns to WATER (H2O) when it comes in contact with SALT (sodium Chloride). Initially, when scholars were presented with blocks of ice and a salt solution they predicted the salt would MELT the ice. Their prediction seemed to be correct as scientists witnessed large chunks of ice form crevasses and holes and eventually turned to a puddle of water. However, after learning about the molecular structure of ICE and WATER students are beginning to understand that SALT really doesn’t MELT ICE, it actually breaks apart the organized MOLECULAR structures in ICE. An easy way to understand this concept is to visualize the above SOLID green and blue SALT STRUCTURE bumping into the hexagon shaped ICE molecules with many air pockets… it breaks the ice molecules that are spread apart with ease.
BELOW, students join hands to create an ICE MOLECULE (the MOLECULE is spread apart leaving an air pocket in the middle). Another student pretends to be a strong, BIG, BAD SALT MOLECULE and breaks the student made ice structure apart!

Scientists observe ice turning to water after applying a salt solution

Scientists observe the results of adding a SALT solution and SUGAR solution to a block of ice… the salt solution leaves large holes in the ice and the sugar solution carves teeny tiny holes.
Scholars also experimented with ICE by using ice cubes to write! First, students were given a NAME CARD and after reading their names and identifying each letter in their first name, they traced the letters with an ICE CRAYON!
Interesting things started to happen!
Letters started to move!
Letters got wider!
Colors started to mix!
Names disappeared!
Hands got wet and cold!