Welcome to November! We had a solid week of learning through play in the PreK room.
Thank you to parents who brought in snow pants, hats, warm winter mittens (the little lightweight mittens are no longer sufficient in keeping their hands safe), and even boots this week. We were able to get outside most days, and we will continue to go outside to play when the real-feel temperature is at least 20 degrees F. I’ve been telling the kids that snow pants are like coats for legs; they help so much even when it’s not snowy. Please bring in winter gear next week for every day, as we never know what the weather will bring. Also, we understand that preschool kids can be very sensitive to how things feel. If their gloves, mittens or even snow boots do not feel “right”, teachers have a very hard time convincing your child to wear them. Please talk about their winter gear, make sure it’s a good fit and comfortable. Ultimately, this all matters in them having the best day they can at school, which is what all of us want for your child.
Monday: Do you like coffee shops? The kids had a lot to share about them when we opened our Coffee Shop this week in the dramatic play area. Dramatic play centers let kids explore math, language, fine motor and social skills all while led by themselves. Logan, Marko and Maya helped me set up the center, finding the perfect spaces for the cups and accessories. The kids also used the shop’s order counter as a puppet show stage to retell the three little pigs again.
Tuesday: Our letter this week is Hh. The kids are still engaged each week in our weekly letter focus, with our songs, phonics signs, and games. It’s important to note that although we are introducing these letters and their sounds, it’s not a goal for all children to learn to read in PreK. Some will naturally begin reading, it’s true; but for others, the exposure to alphabet skills is enough. Play is the most important part of a preK child’s day. I keep our lessons short, and the children who are ready to add writing and more reading into their extended play are encouraged and supported along the way. I’m so encouraged by the rhyming fun the kids are having with phonics and our weekly letters. We are experiencing a renewed interest in block construction, especially tall structures. I also brought out some playmobil people and accessories, which are great for building finger strength naturally through serious play and storytelling.
Wednesday: With a switch from dry rice to sand, our sensory table was a big draw today. Instead of loading up the table with extras, I instead organized materials in baskets next to the table. This way, the children choose what to play, and then they can practice sorting skills at clean-up time. This week, they can choose from dinosaurs,smooth rocks, and measuring cups and spoons. I also added some brooms and dustpans to the area for the occasional spill. Sensory tables are another great area of the room to observe all kinds of discovery and learning through play. The kids have to either play together or make room for others. Learning to get along is what we do so much of the time in PreK. During our meeting time today, we talked about our sense of sight and read some books about seeing.
Thursday: Today was a peaceful play day at school. The kids were in a groove, doing what they chose. With some “new” dinosaur puzzles, everyone joined in to put them together. Isaac brought a dinosaur book from home that we read from at snack. In the afternoon, Emmett and Marko were the first ones to try out our alphabet writing cards. These are just a few of the new centers available for choice time throughout the day. We’ve been learning all week about how to ask for help if you need it in our SecondStep program too. First we introduce the idea with puppets, then look at a photo, then play games with little toys the kids can touch. They are really focusing.
Friday: This morning we will begin our day with Special Person’s Shabbat. Next, our plan is to put together a class I-Spy book, and have our first brainstorming session about the importance of kindness, which is our highlighted Jewish value this month, and of course, celebrate Shabbat.
A peek at next week: We continue our study of the senses by learning about our hearing, our coffee shop will expand when we create our own cake pops and treats with clay, and we’ll learn about the letter Ii.
*Any empty baking containers, like cake or muffin mix boxes, or empty coffee tins, would be great for our bakery center this month.*