"Do you want to build a snowman?"  PreK sure did!  The first day back after Christmas break, the children decorated their very own snowboy and snowgirl.  We discussed how God made each snowflake unique, as well as making them unique.  Psalm 139:14, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made." 


We counted snowballs up to 13, our number of the week.  The boys and girls also played a fun roll the dice, draw a snowman game.  The number they rolled determined what part of the snowman they drew.  The game sure helped to sharpen our counting skills. 


I also tested the children's gross motor skills by playing snowball toss with them.  Upon hearing the initial letter sound in their name, they had to stand and catch the snowball.

The boys and girls are still loving our music study.  Vocabulary words such as pitch, audience, and applause were discussed and demonstrated.  All kinds of instruments were explored and played by the children at different tempos.  Our room even has a recording studio complete with instruments and a karaoke machine! 


One of the highlights of the week was the "Christmas Show and Tell."  The students practiced their public speaking skills by sharing their favorite Christmas gift with the class.  Santa was certainly good to all of them! 


Our class wishes everyone a happy New Year and looks forward to sharing more exciting 2019 adventures!

Mrs. Lisa

Katelyn Gunter

It is easy to get caught up in the rush of the Christmas holidays and lose focus of the true meaning of Christmas.  We are so blessed to be able to teach our students about Jesus' birth and talk openly about God at St. James.  The PreK classes joined together and performed the Nativity story.  How impressive the children were!  They memorized songs, lines, and solos.  All of which required a tremendous amount of focus and commitment.  They were such a courageous group of children.  Performing in front of a large audience is no easy task, and they did so beautifully.  I was so very proud of them.

Our music study is well underway and we've already learned several new vocabulary words.  Words such as rhythm, tempo, instrumental, accompaniment, and percussion were discussed. and put into practice with our class instruments.  We moved our bodies to instrumental pieces, both slow and fast.  The children were even able to pick out some of the instruments being played.  The boys and girls classified instruments by the sound they made.  For example, the jingle group, clacker group, boom-boom group, and shaker group.  Then, we took it a step further and classified the instruments by the materials they were made of.  Those groups consisted of wood, metal, and plastic.  Melodius sounds rang out as we played Jingle Bells using the bell bracelets we made. 


Our class tree is up and decorating has begun!  This week the children made candy canes using red and white beads.  They created A/B patterns with their ornaments.  Traces of glitter could be seen for days after the boys and girls decorated their popsicle stick snowflakes.  Each one is unique and VERY sparkly! 


Our creative play area has been transformed into Santa's Workshop.  You should hear the conversations the elves have!  The children are loving the Sensory Bin as well.  Jingle bells, colored rice, sparkly pom-poms, and assorted beads are poured, scooped, raked, and measured daily.


We've counted Christmas bows up to 11 and practiced writing the letter "G."  As you can see, PreK is a very busy place to be!

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year!

Be sure to check back with us in 2019 for more exciting PreK adventures.

Mrs. Lisa

Katelyn Gunter

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