Thursday, December 1, 2016

What's cookin' in PreK?

Applesauce and a whole lot of other fun activities, that's what!  After purchasing apples during our field trip to See Canyon Fruit Ranch, we decided that homemade applesauce would be a yummy way to celebrate the season.  Each student got to try their hand at the apple corer/peeler machine.  Then we placed the apples in an electric skillet with water and a few shakes of cinnamon.  (No sugar was added!)  It tasted great and made the classroom smell wonderful.  

Kids love to assist in cooking and they are more capable than we think.  If you'd like to learn about the many valuable skills that cooking teaches, please see this document produced by Growing Minds Farm to School program in North Carolina.  

Have you heard about the 5 little pumpkins?  A favorite rhyme at the end of October was about 5 little pumpkins sitting on a gate.  Just like adults, children sometimes forget words to songs or poems or perhaps the get a little mixed up.  In order to share this poem with families, I printed the text for our rhyme along with this sensory activity using glue, craft sticks, ink pads, and fingerprints.  I hope you had fun reciting it with your child.  

Hammering is a practical life skill that preschoolers love.  A safe way to provide this experience is using golf tees in a chuck of foam, slice of cardboard, ball of play dough, or any semi-soft material.  We put ours into our class pumpkin.  Students were encouraged to hammer as many tees as they wanted and the clean up for the activity was to pull out the tees.  They soon found that some tees were hammered in tightly so I taught them how to use real pliers to grasp and extract the difficult ones.  They were strengthening hand muscles and building confidence in their ability to use "grownup" tools.  

The last activity I'd like to share with you all was our unit on author and illustrator Ellen Stoll Walsh.  We read her book, "Balancing Act," then tried our hand at balance using a scale, dry beans, and dry pasta.  After mastering the concepts of light, heavy, and balance, we experimented with a variety of building materials and made our own teeter totters.  It was such fun and there will be more engineering, science, and math activities throughout the year.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing what PreK did in November!

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