Our first full week of fall Prek, and we had so much fun. This week was all about apples, getting more comfortable with choosing activities to play around the room, and building trust and connection between me and the kids.
Monday: This morning, we had a fun art class with Ms. Beth making paper trains. I think the best part for the kids was exploring Ms. Beth’s trains she brought from home: they are really cool!
After that, we headed out to the apple trees to see if we could find any apples. I noticed that there were lots on the trees last week, but by Monday, there were exactly three left. Where did they go? Not really sure, but the kids didn’t mind. We were able to pick one to take home and study in our room. After a little rock climbing, we went back inside right as it began to drizzle.
In the afternoon, I brought out our playdough, and the kids spent lots of time playing with it, rolling little balls and pretending they were cookies. Really good fine motor work for their fingers!
Tuesday: Because the playdough was such a draw yesterday, I brought it back out this morning. Almost everyone got involved in cookie making again.
Ms. Beth was in our room for a little while and worked with Emmett and Marko on a tricky cube puzzle.
During our morning meeting, I introduced our first letter of the week, Aa. We learn how to recognize it, the sound the letter makes, and we also learn how to “sign” the sound using Tucker signing. It’s not ASL, but a way of signing phonics that helps kids “do” phonics with their hands, which aids in retention. We found out how many people in our class had an A in their name. We played a game with little toys beginning with A and began “hunting” for the letter A in our morning message. We then counted up the tally and the daily helper wrote the number on the board. We repeat these games each day of the week.
Today, the weather was dry, and the kids got outside on the playground for some much needed running.
During lunch today, we finally reached consensus on a name for our pet fish, Blueberry Sky. Kind of sounds like an ice cream flavor or a 70s psychedelic band, but we love it anyway!
Wednesday: This morning, I had the kids’ names written on sentence strips and lots of little stickers. The kids were instructed to cover their names with stickers, like they were writing the letters. Some covered the entire name, and some just the edges. They all turned out cute, and removing stickers is another great fine-motor builder for fingers.
In our meeting, the kids counted how many letters were in their name and matched it with a number written on the board. Number recognition is a skill we work on all year in PreK, and it’s fun to combine it with their name since they are so personal.
I’ve been so impressed with how cooperative the kids have been with each other this week. When Lila made a fishing pole, others wanted to make one too and Lila worked together to show how she did it. I overheard Emmett ask Marko what the next color in a rainbow was, and Marko kindly answered. The cube puzzle is really tough, and many kids were working together with their own knowledge to add ideas. Several times today I heard Maya say, “I’m having the best day today,” which of course made my heart smile.
Thursday: Today we had picture day, and everyone put on their best smiles for the camera. We also talked about sharing an apple- how would you share one apple with 2 people, or 3 or 4? This led to a short talk about fractions and some math words. More math words came during lunch when I read a book about an apple farmer who sorts and organizes her apples before selling them. What is sorting? What’s organizing? The kids knew sorting from putting their clothes away at home or unloading the silverware in the dishwasher. Sorting is a necessary pre-reading skill: kids have to be able to discern little differences in shapes of letters before they can read. Lots of opportunities for PreK’rs to sort get them off to a great start.
Friday: This morning, we will start with Special Person’s Shabbat, then exploring time in our room. During snack, we will take a taste test of four kinds (and colors) of apples. Before tasting, the kids will predict (another great math word) if they will like it, then we’ll chart whether or not they did. We’ll also chart their favorite and post the results at the end of the day.
A peek at next week: We will begin to read some books about Rosh Hashanah and learn about shofars and sheep, as well as the letter Bb and some new additions to our sensory table.