Box Study

Why are we investigating boxes in PreK?  Boxes are endlessly fascinating to young children.  Perhaps more than any other toy or game, boxes have the power to hold children’s attention and spark their imagination in astonishing ways.  Open-ended and plain, the humble cardboard box is so full of possibilities that most children cannot resist bending it to their will. For example, in the hands of a young child, a large appliance box has unlimited potential as a castle, a multilevel garage, a pirate’s ship, an ice cream shop, and a race car.  It takes children on amazing adventures and enables them to explore imaginary worlds.

A study of boxes builds on children’s natural curiosity and promotes important skills as children gather information, learn about the world around them, and solve problems.  Children will explore many types of boxes, investigate how they are made, observe people using them in different ways, and learn about the tools and equipment people use to move them.  

Our focus question this week was what can we do with boxes?  We had two teams (boys and girls) and each team had to take the boxes and come up with their very own creation.  The girls quickly decided upon a house with a chimney and each girl had their very own car to park in the garage!  The boys came together and decided to build The Tortuga from the Wild Kratts!! I thought each group worked together as a team and did a fabulous job.  

We did a cooperative painting using a TV box that was given to us.  Each child picked the color of paint they wanted to use and squirted it on paper taped to the box.  They had to all hold the box as I dropped balls onto the paper and figure out how to make the balls roll into the paint and around the paper.  This activity was SO. MUCH. FUN. The laughter that they shared while working together was contagious!

Both of these activities are teaching the children how important it is to establish and sustain positive relationships. Being able to establish caring relationships and to enter successfully into ongoing social interactions are essential skills for school and for success in life.  Play is an important context for developing close relationships. Creative learning activities such as fantasy play, block play, and open-ended art activities provide opportunities for children to build positive relationships with peers.

Tracy Jones
End of Exercise, Grandparent's Day, Tooth Fairy, Show and Tell and Bongos!

We practiced our yoga moves, raced through an obstacle course and got some running tips from Mrs. McCarley to celebrate the end of our exercise study!

Grandparent’s Day was a huge success.  The PreK class did an awesome job performing songs and poems and I enjoyed meeting and seeing all the grandparents in our classroom!

Sprinkles, the tooth fairy, paid a visit to our classroom, and talked to the students about the importance of taking care of their teeth.  She showed them how they should brush, how many times a day to brush, and how many minutes they should be brushing. She also talked to them about what kinds of food and drinks help to make healthy teeth.  Lastly, she sprinkled them all with fairy dust.

We had show and tell and the students had to bring an item that started with the letter A.  I love show and tell because it allows the children to participate cooperatively and constructively in a group situation.  Functioning as a member of a group requires an understanding of the feelings and rights of others and the ability to balance personal needs and desires with those of other people.  Being a productive member of a group involves complex interactions. Children must gradually learn to cooperate, negotiate, lead and follow, and express their feelings and ideas in socially acceptable ways.  

Mrs. Tipton, pulled out the bongos in music class for the children to inspect and play.  They learned that they are part of the percussion family. Children learn to appreciate different kinds of music by exploring musical instruments.  Music can affect children’s literacy development and academic performance.

Tracy Jones
Patterns, Technology, And Holy Moly Guacamole!

We are studying patterns and the children got to choose and create their own using hearts. They are on display in the hallway!  A pattern is a regular arrangement of something, e.g., numbers, objects, shapes, colors, sounds, or movements. Guiding children to understand patterns is a foundational skill in mathematics.  As they learn to label patterns by having one name stand for something else, they are creating an algebraic representation.

The study of patterns is exciting for young children.  They first learn to copy simple patterns made with objects.  They later learn to extend and create their own patterns. Patterns help children know what comes next and to make predictions about things they cannot yet observe.

The children are learning to copy and paste in Technology.  I am amazed at what they have learned in such a short period of time.  They are learning to use tools and other technology to perform tasks. Tools and technology make work easier and help people solve problems. Technology enables children to respond and represent their learning in individual ways.

We read the book Guacamole by Jorge Argueta.  We decided to bring this book to life and make our own guacamole!  Comprehension is the process of finding meaning and the goal of reading instruction.  Comprehending text involves connecting what is heard and read with experiences. Children who engage in frequent activities with books have larger, more literate vocabularies.  These children learn to read better than children who have few book experiences.

Tracy Jones
Ending our Music Study and rolling right into Exercise!

We had a big ending to our music study.  A big thank you goes to Dr. Benjamin, who took time from his busy schedule to come and play the guitar and sing with us.  He also brought a ukulele that the children passed around to examine and play.

The children were also excited that Mrs. Tipton let them play the big drums in music class.  Activities like this help children learn to appreciate different musical instruments. Music can affect children’s literacy development and academic performance.

We worked on our one-to-one correspondence by counting flowers, cutting out the appropriate number, and glueing the number beside the correct ten frame.  They did an amazing job with this activity. They will be on display for Grandparents Day.

We are on the exercise study.  Why are we studying exercise in PreK?  Our bodies are made to move. Young children are in nearly constant motion when they are awake.  A study of exercise not only offers opportunities for children to explore a topic that interests them, but also enables them to gather information, become more aware of the world around them, and solve problems.  The children will explore many types of exercise and also learn about nutrition and jobs related to exercise.

Our home living center has been turned into a gym!!  This has been the most popular center, and thank you to those that have sent equipment for us to use during this study.

The boys and girls played a fun roll the dice, look at your key, and draw a snowman game.  They rolled a number, and had to look at their key to determine what part of the snowman they had to draw.  What a great activity to help sharpen our counting skills!

We reviewed letters that we have had so far this year.  I taped butcher paper to the floor, called out the letter, and the children had to write that letter in their section of the paper.  They loved this activity!! Young children’s alphabet knowledge, especially their ability to rapidly name letters and numerals in random order, is a strong predictor of later reading, writing, and spelling ability.

The children explored dance and movement concepts in P.E.  One of the first ways that children express themselves is through movement.  Each new movement gives children more information about the capabilities of their bodies. Preschool children demonstrate knowledge of dance and movement in many ways when they use scarves and streamers as they respond to music.   

Tracy Jones

We are learning about symmetry in Pre-K.  For this activity the children were told to make the pictures match, copy the lines to make the picture symmetric.  I explained that symmetry means for both sides to look exactly the same. They had to make their drawing match the picture.  With this activity the children were introduced to a topic that will be discussed in their math classes from now until college; and depending on which career they choose, even longer.  Symmetry is found everywhere in nature and is also one of the most prevalent themes in art, architecture, and design. It seems to be such a small aspect of the study of Geometry, however it is an integral component connecting mathematics to the real world.  Children have a natural interest in finding balance. What better way to feed that curiosity then by teaching a basic understanding of symmetry?


We turned home living into our music store and filled it with all different kinds of musical instruments!  So far, it’s a favorite center for everyone!!


The children worked on spatial relationships and shapes by working with geoboards.  Children do not develop their ideas about shapes by simply looking at them. They need to manipulate, draw, compare, describe, sort, and represent the shapes in a variety of ways.


We had a Christmas Show and Tell this week.  Show and Tell for preschoolers is so important because it teaches the appropriate uses of conversation and other communication skills.  Conversations involve back-and-forth exchanges. Conversations are important to children’s cognitive and social-emotional learning. Children also must learn the social rules of communicating.  This involves being polite, speaking so the listener understands, and turn-taking.

Katelyn Gunter