Shelters, Pets, Ukuleles, and Halloween!

In Pre-k this week, the class has had a few more days to jump into the pets study. One of the great things about our curriculum is it allows flexibility to focus on ideas that peak the interest of the class. Some of our vocabulary words since beginning our study are rescue, shelter, wild, domesticated, enclosure, and cage. The class loves pretending to be wild and domesticated animals, I do believe wild animals are their favorite. Instead of taking a field trip to a local animal shelter, the class took a virtual field trip. Using technology to tour an animal shelter gave the children a more thorough view of what a shelter looks like and the different areas where the shelter helps the pets. The following day the children were put into small groups and asked to build a shelter. I asked them to discuss with one another and make a plan of where they would put certain areas for the animals. They had the option of making it flat, like a blueprint, or build it up. I explained there was a time limit and when time was up, each group would share about their shelter. In the class discussion about shelters, we covered that the animals are in cages, there is are areas for animals who are sick or need shots, and a place for the animals to get groomed. I was very impressed while listening to the children describe their shelters. Every group added something to the shelter that would benefit the animals; the rooms the children added were things we hadn’t even gone over in class yet. These children are so thoughtful! Several groups added places for the animals to potty, areas (in great detail) for them to exercise and play with toys, a place to view the area from above to see how the animals play together, and places to keep/distribute food and treats. These were extraordinary animal shelters -- any animal would be lucky to live in them! The activity was a great demonstration of the children’s level of comprehension.Watching them apply their knowledge about shelters as they designed and created the animal shelters was amazing.

Later in the week, the children compared and contrasted different pet foods. You might have been told that we conferred and contracted, the terminology is a little tricky to pronounce at times. We did confer, but I assure you there were no contracts being made about pet food in PreK this week. The class compared three different types of pet food: cat, dog, and turtle. I had no idea how badly turtle food smelled until Jingles, the class turtle, came into my life. This week, the class learned how it and canned cat food smells - and they were excited about it! After the fun of the different smells settled, the children explained how the foods were alike and how they were different. It was challenging to find commonalities amongst the three, but the groups persisted and were able to list a couple.

Wednesday morning, we had a surprise visit from two 5th grade ladies. Elle and Annabell gave the class a presentation about ukuleles. Elle let each child feel the frets and strings, strum the ukulele, and tap it like a drum. Annabell closed the presentation by playing a short song for the class. My class was engaged and fascinated by the ukuleles. I will have to ask Elle and Annabell to come back when we are studying music.

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Today the both PreK classes joined in on a St. James tradition. For many years, the PreK classes at St. James have traveled to Opportunities Inc. and sang halloween songs to the students. The students this year worked very hard to learn all of the songs and they were very excited to wear their Halloween costumes. The classes did an outstanding job! After their performance, the children went to a classmate's house for a Halloween party. Fun was had by all! 

Have a blessed week, 

Claire

Claire Gordon