Kindness, Listening, and Patterns

What a great week it has been in Pre-k! I was not ready to let go of my beautiful turkey with student crafted feathers, so it has become our Christmas turkey! Joined with beautifully painted gifts and a sweetly decorated tree, thanks to my precious students.

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The children helped decorate the class by adding lights of kindness. In a world where kindness is a fading moral value, it is so nice to be at a place like St. James. Here we teach, encourage, and recognizes kindness. In a colorful paper Christmas light, the children created a picture of themselves showing kindness to someone else. The pictures range from sharing with someone to hugging people to playing with someone who is sad. After explaining the pictures to me, the children cut out the lights and I hung them in the window. Several of the children pulled their grandparents and parents into class yesterday afternoon and this morning to show their lights and examples of kindness. Such a great way to encourage the discussion of ways to be kind.

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The children completed an activity early in the week that required listening to directions and being able to see something and copy it accurately. I asked each child what they would do if Santa was stuck in their chimney and I wrote their answer on their chimney page. After the children colored their chimney, they had to glue Santa’s legs, boots, and cotton on his pants. The catch was that it had to look like the example I made. I wanted to see how well the children, in groups of two, were listening to the directions and using the example I had on display. I hung them in the hallway above the work done by students in Mrs. Tracy’s class. Make sure to take a look when you get a chance!

Patterns and pattern making are used in algebra, geometry, rhyme scheme, and sequencing. There are even studies that show that pattern recognition also helps with spelling and grammar. Being able to make patterns and have the capability to distinguish different repeating (AB, ABB, ABC, etc) patterns is a skill that takes practice and repetition. The children get so excited when they create more complex patterns and when they are able to point patterns out with ease. This week in a small group session the class made Christmas light patterns. First, the children and I used connecting cubes to make several patterns, then I gave each child three crayons, and gave them the instructions for each line of lights. They had to make an AB pattern on the first line, AAB pattern on the second, and an ABC pattern on the third. On the final line of the page the children could create their own pattern. There were a lot of instructions and some patterns were slightly confusing to some students, but they all persisted and completed the pages. I am very impressed with their determination and hard work.

The next few weeks will be filled with learning about the birth of Jesus and remember why we have this lovely season every year. We are all very excited about the Nativity program next week!

Have a blessed week,

Claire

Claire Gordon