Happy New Year and welcome back! This week has been fun in PreK, as we celebrated two birthdays, first Logan and then Lila. Thank you to their moms for coming in and reading some special books from home to our class and also for the yummy birthday treats.
Because birthdays are so great, we added a birthday dramatic play center to our room. In it, the kids can choose from things to decorate for a party, party food including cake, and then as the month goes on, we will add party games. This week, the kids mostly brought the party supplies to the kitchen area to set it up for a party, but as the month goes on, that may change.
We explored the letter Nn, how to write it, the sounds it makes, and generated quite the list of “no” words beginning with N. We played games and had word play, changing songs to all start with N.
With the temperatures in Arctic mode on Wednesday, we were inside for recess. During large motor play indoors, the kids play on tricycles, scooters, bucket-stilts, and bouncy balls. We’ve had tunnels and hula hoops out too. Nothing beats the pure joy of simply running around, and by the time our hour is up, the kids are often quite warm from the activity. They really need that running release!
Our room has only just begun to explore the winter. This week, we talked about how wild animals live in the winter. Some leave, some hibernate, and some stay and are active. On Tuesday, we read the book The Mitten, by Jan Brett. A work of fiction, but it got us thinking about how animals really keep warm in the winter. On Thursday, we acted out the story together as a class. In the following weeks, we will study some of Minnesota’s winter birds and learn more about our backyard wildlife.
On Wednesday, we read a story about missing mittens and talked about the concept of even and odd numbers. I even snuck in some talk about lines of symmetry. I love math, and preschoolers do too. Most of the concepts introduced are meant as exposure to the terms, as I don’t expect them to be calculating. But, you never know, right? If the child is ready, let’s go! The benefit of a small school like ours is that we can give so much individualized attention to each child. On Thursday, I made a mitten matching game with numerals and dots. Some tried it and said it was too easy. So, for those who find it easy, I can change it to match addition number sentences (a term I taught last week) with the sums as a challenge.
In music this week, we welcomed Ms. Shana as our new music teacher. Ms. Shana has been the music teacher at Bet Shalom religious school since I started bringing my daughter to PreK, which was 16 years ago. She is truly fabulous with kids, and so gifted musically. We are very, very lucky to have her at the preschool for music class!
On Friday, we will be opening up the idea of birds in the winter. What do we know? What do we want to know? We’ll web the concept and from this initial brainstorming session, we will come up with some ideas, hopefully, for a project.
A peek at next week: We will have more books out about trees and begin some science projects about plants, as we learn more about Tu B’Shevat, the birthday of the trees, as well as continue learning about some Minnesota winter birds.