Thursday, June 1, 2017

All Grown Up

How can it be the end of our year together already?!  These are your children when they began PreK so long ago.  They have grown a great deal and they've shown me their enthusiasm, their curiosity, their tenderness, their bravery, their kindness, and their joy.  I sincerely thank you for trusting me, and the GHCC teachers, to care for and teach your children.  It's been a wonderful school year and I'm thankful for the opportunity to watch each child grow.  I wish you all a happy and safe summer ahead and I hope you depart Grandmother's House with fond memories.  

September 2016


May 2017


Group photo!






 
Goodbye, So Long, and Farewell! 

"Jump, Rock, Dig and Giggle"

"Gardening in the Spring"


With spring in full swing we have been gardening both inside and outside the classroom! In our planter box, we planted strawberries and wildflowers and have been on top of watering our plants daily.

"The Wonderful World of Eric Carle"

-Throughout the month of May, the Toddlers have immersed themselves in the wonderful world of Eric Carle! We've painted like him, recreated the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar as a mural on our wall, and made beautiful symmetrical butterflies. The Eric Carle books we have read in class are: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Little Cloud, Brown Bear Brown Bear, Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother Too? and A House for Hermit Crab.





"Small Motor Skills at Work"


Our finger strength is growing everyday with plenty of practice using our small motor skills.

"The Fun Never Stops Outside"

Whether it's in the courtyard or the sandbox yard, our Toddlers are on the go!


The Toddlers have been busy outside. They have washed bikes, organized dinosaurs, and hammered plenty of tees. 



Sand, water, slides, rocking horses and teeter totters is all we need to have a good time! The Toddlers have been rockin' and rollin' all month long and having a blast! The friendships that have developed this year have been priceless to watch.

"Friendship"



We have grown up so much this year! We have enjoyed making new friends, learning to share, learning about our feelings and being silly together! Look out Mrs. Dottie, here we come!

Good bye, So long, Farewell, Pip pip, Cheerio!

What a year!  The students and I met in September, learned the daily routine, developed close friendships and had lots of fun along the way.  Oliver Jeffers was one of our favorite authors and we loved reading (and re-reading) Ed Emberly's Go Away Big Green Monster!  We squeezed pounds of play dough, dove into interesting sensory material and loved all forms of water play.  The children  mastered block building and construction, and explored patterns and shadows.  They strengthened their fingers and hands with pin work activities, tong and chopstick 'pick up' games, lemon squeezing and mortar and pestle grinding.  They practiced taking turns and used 'courtesy' words with each other.  It was a lively group and I thoroughly enjoyed my part in their development.


Then and Now



The Tuesday Group in September


The Monday Group in September


The Friday group in May


The Tuesday group in May


The Monday group in May

When I Grow Up.....
The children and I explored jobs and occupations.  We discussed the roles of emergency workers, doctors, nurses and veterinarians, and also artists, bakers and farmers.  
I posed the question, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?" and got some thoughtful responses.  







Parting shots.....




Sunday, April 30, 2017

Ready, Set, Grow!

March and April have been busy and fun in PreK.  Our focus has been on life cycles and and how things grow.  We also conducted a few experiments and have been watching and waiting for changes in our seeds, our caterpillar, and our flowers.  

Our first experiment was on transpiration; how water evaporates from the leaves, buds, and petals pulling water up the stem of the plant.   We used white carnations and several jars filled with liquid water color.  We loved making predictions about the end result and the amount if time needed to produce a result.  



The start of spring also meant that our garden box was ready to be planted.  The class came up with a list of items they wished to plant and I was happy to provide everything on the list.  You must take a peak the next time you're in the courtyard!  There are petunias, strawberries, a tomato plant, a milkweed plant, lemon seeds, apple seeds, and more.  



We were lucky to receive a milkweed plant and a monarch caterpillar to observe.  Unfortunately, our caterpillar's life ended before it could pupate but even so, we learned a lesson about what might happen when creatures are taken from their natural environment.  




Inspired by our caterpillars and the potential for a butterfly, we created amazing and unique fold over paintings.  Often the paint presses together and students will say the creation looks like a butterfly.  The more paintings the students made, the more interesting and creative things they saw in the paint.  Some overheard comments from students:
"It looks like two gorillas fighting at once!"
"It's like a bee."  
"It looks like a frog."
"There's a heart in the middle."
"That's too cool!"
"It's really blowing my mind!"



Let's jump outside for a minute to see PreK climbing, pouring water, and playing cooperatively in shared spaces.  



Back inside the classroom we used the book, "Elmer" by David McKee, for literacy development activities.  We colored our own elephants, we wrote the word 'elephant,' and students practiced retelling a story using the book.  



Let's end with a look at the amazing and inventive way PreK has been constructing with our set of wood ramps and balls.  





April Toddler Class Springtime Discoveries!

 With the arrival of spring, the children got to learn about birds, nests, and eggs. After looking closely at different kinds of real nests, they got to build their own using glue, lichen, and sticks. They used rocks to make bird eggs and even made feathered birds to sit in their nests.




Another springtime discovery came to visit in the courtyard. We spent a long time carefully observing how a snail moves, what happens when it is gently touched and describing out loud what we notice.



With the arrival of warmer weather and a bit less rain, we have been spending more time outside playing together! The children are helping one another, leading and following each other and pretending together. They are experiencing their first genuine friendships as they play at school with one another.




Inside the classroom, we have been working on sorting, counting, building, and shape exploration and, of course, lots of art!