Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Learning Tales Aug 28

Learning Tales edition 1 August 28,2017
written by Suzanne Self
THE BEGINNING...Our first week of preschool was filled with smiles, confidence and discoveries! Your child’s transition from home to school can be compared to our monarch caterpillar’s transformation into many, green jelly bean chrysalises… both were done with ease and were critical parts to future BIG adventures and discoveries!  007.JPG
After observing the physical characteristics of a monarch caterpillar, preschoolers described what they noticed…
“I SEE white stripes.
“I SEE many little legs.
“I SEE a long body. It is a rectangle!
“I SEE a pattern… white, black, white,
Since our observations involved noticing colors, shapes and size, it was the perfect opportunity to introduce more complex shapes and two new vocabulary words; TUBE and CYLINDER. The webster dictionary defines a TUBE as a long, round hollow shape and a CYLINDER as a solid geometric figure. In preschool we define a CYLINDER as the shape of a monarch caterpillar!

Below is a glimpse of our attempt to transform paper TUBES into CYLINDER shaped caterpillars.   

Throughout the month of September,  we will prepare various quick breads and enjoy them during snack/lunch time! Besides fueling our growing bodies with healthy food, cooking experiences will provide us with an opportunity to;
  • Develop pride and confidence in our skills and abilities.
  • Follow directions, problem solve and read.
  • Chop, squeeze, spread, and mix and develop small muscle control and eye-hand coordination.
  • Sharpen our curiosity, thinking and problem solving.
  • Make predictions and observations.
  • Measure and use one-to-one correspondence, numbers, and counting.

Picture Day will be on September 14th and 15th.
If you would like to purchase photos, please complete the form found in your child’s Home School folder and return it to school.
Please remember to label your child’s
Backpack and lunchbox. We will start our days outdoors...please dress your child for chilly mornings.
Flour and salt for upcoming baking projects. Sunflower blossoms for dissecting (the bigger the better)!

THANK YOU for all of the school supply donations! Our project drawers are overflowing! Your generosity is very much appreciated!  

Fuzzy Wuzzy Caterpillar
Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar into a corner will creep,
She’ll spin herself a blanket and then fall fast asleep,
         Fuzzy wuzzy caterpillar will wake up by and by,
To find that she has grown two wings,
Now she’s a butterfly!


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

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.

*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.



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!

Thursday, October 6, 2016


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)

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

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!


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


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!

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!


Friday, April 8, 2016

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!


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!