Pumpkin math and science was a BIG hit with the boys and girls.  Skills such as estimating (estimating a quantity weaves in mental computations that require problem solving and critical thinking), tallying (a quick way of keeping track of numbers in groups of 5), classifying (everyday activities that involve sorting, are the beginning concepts of children developing math skills), and measuring circumference (we used yarn to measure our pumpkin, a great introduction to different forms of measurement).  First, the boys and girls used their yarn to measure the circumference around the largest pumpkin.  Next, they estimated the number of lines on the pumpkin.  Various answers were given, and Drew was our winner with an estimation of 11.  After that, estimations were recorded in regard to the pumpkin's weight.  Ben came closest with his estimation of 20 lbs.  Finally, we tallied the number of people who thought the pumpkin would float in water and those who thought it would not float.  To our amazement it floated!  Hands on learning is always the best! 


One of the many wonderful things about St. James is that the students are taught not only to be caring people, but to be good citizens.  To help instill these characteristics, every grade level is responsible for taking on community service projects.  Not just one, but several a semester.  Some classes go to retirement homes and sing, bring and participate in interactive projects, and/or donate items that will lift the spirits of the residents.  Other classes volunteer to serve at the local homeless shelter, pick up litter, and gather supplies for the needs of local community centers/shelters/projects.  Students are encouraged to be active participants in their community and go beyond a monetary donation.  We teach the children to give of their time and themselves.  

Both Pre-K classes participated in our first community service project of the year.  On Halloween, the children dressed up in their costumes and visited Opportunities, Inc.  While at Opportunities Inc., they sang fun Halloween songs to the students.  The classes looked forward to singing to the students and hoped that they made them laugh and made their day a little brighter. 


Dragons, and Witches, and Minions oh my!  After our performance at Opportunities, the children were treated to a fabulous Halloween party at the home of John and Jamie Ashby.  We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful setting.  Prayers were answered in regard to the weather, and a great time was had by all.  The Room Mothers from both classes prepared a " Spooktacular" array of food, treats, and games.    Believe me, there were a lot of memories made.  The children are still talking about it! 


Check back with us soon for more Pre-K adventures!

Mrs. Lisa

Katelyn Gunter

It's beginning to look a lot like fall in Pre-K!  Beautiful watercolored leaves, "shape pumpkins" that the children cut from ovals, triangles, squares, and crescents, and googly eyed bats adorn the room and hallway. 


We ended our study of pets with a special visit from Ashley Brown and her horses, Hay-Hay and Baby.  The boys and girls had a great time petting, brushing, and observing the animals.  A big thank you to Mrs. Brown for sharing them with us.  What a wonderful learning experience! 


Also, hanging outside our door are our ghost graphs.  Graphing is an important math tool.  It can be a simple way to introduce broader concepts of greater than/less than, or most and least.  When children are introduced to graphs at an early age, it can help them to understand huge mathematical concepts.  Concepts such as sorting, organizing, counting, comparing, and analyzing.  The boys and girls colored four different shapes on their ghost graphs.  After that, they graphed them at the bottom of the page according to color and shape.  I was super proud of their work! 


Last week we began our study of roads.  Vocabulary words such as route, map, travel, and characteristics have been introduced and discussed.  Some characteristics the children named when describing roads were smooth, bumpy, dirty, winding, and rocky.  They have also had fun constructing roads in the block area, as well as the magnetic board.  We'll be touring the school parking lot soon to discover more interesting features. 


Shaving cream was a huge hit when it came to our letter/number review.  As I called out the letters and numbers the boys and girls wrote them in the shaving cream.     Not only did it reinforce their skills, but it cleaned the tables as well!


October 31st, Halloween, the students from both Pre-K's will be performing their Halloween program at Opportunities, costumes and all!  They're really looking forward to singing for the boys and girls.  It should be Spooktacular!

Please check back with us in November for more exciting Pre-K news!

Mrs. Lisa

Katelyn Gunter

Wild, domesticated, characteristics, and habitat were just a few of the new vocabulary words learned while exploring our pet study.  The children are thrilled with their class pet, Goldie.  The boys and girls came up with various names and then voted upon them.  Goldie was the winner! 


We discovered that domesticated animals make good pets, while wild animals are not use to living with people.  The children sorted toy animals into two categories.  Observations were recorded in regard to how domesticated and wild animals were alike and different.

Several different pet foods were also explored.  A guessing game was played where the children had to match the food to the pet.  Fish food, bird, cat, and dog food (wet and dry) were all on display for the children to touch, see, and smell.  Young children learn best when they can touch and feel something.  Sensory play provides opportunities for boys and girls to learn in a meaningful way.  Sensory bins can support a wide variety of academic skills such as oral language development, creativity, imagination, capacity, volume, fine motor skills, measurement, and critical thinking skills.  Therefore, our sensory bin changed from colored rice to dog food!  The children had a blast pouring, dumping, filling, scooping, and raking the food in the bin.


The children loved eating donuts with their dads during a special event called Donuts and Dads.  Not only were dads invited, but grandparents, uncles, and special friends as well.  The boys and girls watercolored beautiful ties, along with several other handmade gifts.  A fun time was had by all.


So far, we've learned how to write capital letters L, F, E, and H, along with numbers 1, 2, 3, and 4.  Our Handwriting Without Tears curriculum is the best when it comes to teaching proper letter/number formation.  The children learn in an easy, fun, hands-on approach that's not only fun for them, but their teacher, too!


Once a week we join Mrs. Wagy's fourth graders for Library. The boys and girls love being read to by the "Big Kids".  They certainly help to instill a love of reading in my little ones. Thank you Mrs. Wagy's class!


Check back with us in a couple of weeks for more exciting PreK news!

Mrs. Lisa

Katelyn Gunter

Week one, already done! What a busy first week it was. Believe me, PreK is on the move. Our Focus Question for the first week of school was, names we need to know at school.  We practiced recognizing our names using lower case letters, as well as learning the names of other teachers and helpers at our school. We even discovered that the new centers in our room have names such as reading/writing, science and math, dramatic play, sensory bin, and magnet center.

In PreK we are learning how to problem solve, work together, respect each other, and be kind to one another. We practice these things daily through center time play, as well as our normal routine.


We attended our first music class with Mrs. Tipton. The children played a fun hopscotch/do-re-mi game. I was amazed at how quickly the children caught on!

Daily PE, with Coach Nicole, helps to develop not only our large motor skills, but fine motor as well. We’re really looking forward to all the fun activities she has planned.

Technology is going to be a BLAST! Mrs. Kirkland introduced the children to “ the mouse.” She even let them practice using it. As the year progresses the boys and girls will be learning how to make Robotic animals from Legos. To say the least, they are over the top excited!

The book, The Kissing Hand, was also read and enjoyed the first week. We discussed the meaning of nocturnal, and even discovered animals ( other than Chester, the raccoon in our story) who were nocturnal as well.


Our week ended with a fun Chester Hunt. After a Special Delivery letter arrived at our door, we began our quest to find Chester. We followed our first clue which led us to Mrs. Cheryl at the office. Next, we went to the cafeteria where Mrs. Denise gave us our second clue. After that, Mrs. Anderson was waiting on the playground with a third clue. Finally, we followed the clues (paw prints) back to our room. To our surprise, Chester had left us a special heart cookie. What a fun adventure it was!

So, as you can see, we’ve been quite busy. Please check back in a few weeks for more PreK news!

Mrs. Lisa   


Katelyn Gunter
Music, Boxes, Board Game, Roman Feast, and Muffins with Moms

Mrs. Tipton, our music teacher, is an amazing teacher. Not only do the students learn sweet songs, play learning games that reinforce listening skills, and learn about (and play) a variety of instruments, they learn how to read music! Mrs. Tipton teaches the children the notes and music symbols. Young children have an amazing ability to easily retain this information and it is a skill they can use while learning any instrument. Mrs. Tipton lived in Kentucky for a long period of time, and to honor the Kentucky Derby, she taught the children “Camptown Races” and they rode stick horses to race around the playground. Early in the week, the class saw another class riding the stick horses and they looked forward to it all week. Even though there were a few tumbles, the children really enjoyed this activity and learning a new song.

In small group the class played a board game, Boggle Jr. The children loved playing in pairs and trying to beat the timer! This exercise illustrated how kind these children are to one another. They couldn’t contain themselves, they had to help their friend to find the letters in the game. Boggle Jr. is an exciting way to review letter recognition, exercise your fine motor skills, reading small words, time management, and teamwork. I am leaving it out for the remainder of the year for the students to play during centers.

Since beginning our study on boxes, we have discussed 3D shapes, length, and height. Boxes are an excellent way to introduce cubes and rectangular prisms, they allow the children hands on experiences with the two shapes. Noticing the differences and similarities. One morning, I split the class into small groups and told them to take turns stacking boxes to match their heights. We started with the tallest person in each group. They stacked the boxes and then compared each stack to see which one was the tallest. Then, to compare length, the shortest child in each group laid down and the other group members used boxes to measure them. After everyone had the boxes laid out, the children used a measuring tape to measure the length of the boxes.Comparing and contrasting items, people, and places comes naturally to children and it leads to critical thinking and creative projects!

Last Friday, the 5th graders held the annual Roman Feast. This was the best one yet! The children had so much fun walking around and play games that taught us about Ancient Roman culture. We also had Muffins with Moms last Friday. It was a sweet time to make memories with loved ones.

We have had such a wonderful year. I have been blessed to be in these children’s lives and I look forward to seeing what the future hold for each of them!


Claire Gordon