BEGINNING THE SCHOOL YEAR

We had a fabulous week in Pre-K.  This week we have focused on getting to know one another and the rules of the classroom, centers, and playground. Being able to establish caring relationships and to enter successfully into ongoing social interactions are essential skills for school and for success in life.  Children’s ability to form positive relationships with adults is important to their social development and academic success.


We read The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, and went on a Chester hunt.  Chester came into our rooms and left us four clues about trying to find him.  This allowed us to work on our ordinal counting: how to indicate the position of something in a sequence, e.g., first, second, third, and so forth. Finally, Chester left us a special treat before jumping back into the book.  The children loved this activity!


We worked on fine-motor strength and coordination by cutting out triangles and squares.  The children also had to use tweezers to pick up a peg and put into a pegboard. Fine-motor skills involve grasping and releasing objects using fingers and hands, as well as using both hands together and often coordinating these movements with the eyes.  They require hand and finger strength and dexterity.


We began journaling this week.  Journaling gives me the opportunity to find out what is happening with the children outside of the classroom.  It also demonstrates emergent writing skills. Writing is an important aspect of emergent literacy. Writing begins with making a mark, originates from drawing, and is supported by make-believe play.


The children put puzzles together and worked on their spatial relationships and shapes.  Understanding spatial relationships and shapes helps children build the foundation for understanding geometry.

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Katelyn Gunter
Rock Slime, Transportation, and Muffins for Mom

I can not believe that our journey is coming to an end.  This class will forever hold a special place in my heart.  They are genuinely kind, loving, and very helpful.  We have laughed, cried, lived, studied, learned, sang, and grown up together.  They are very close-knit and will always be a part of each other. I am so blessed to have been a small part of their little lives. 

We celebrated the ending of our roads study by making rock slime, and it was a huge hit! We also had a transportation day.  We blocked off the sidewalks and the children rode their bikes and scooters around campus.  Some proclaimed that this was the best day ever!!

We have been able to examine roads and parking lots.  We discussed what they were made of, and what features they have.  We have learned about traffic lights, signs, gutters, crosswalks, ramps and overpasses.

We had our annual Muffins for Mom to celebrate our beautiful mothers!  The children have been anticipating this day for several weeks.  We made handprint flowers, a fork tulip card, drew a picture of them, answered survey questions about them, and wrote a cooperative story, which promotes critical thinking skills.  We started with the prompt "Once upon a time, there was a mother...."  Each child had to add a sentence or two about the Mom.  It quickly grew into a pretty funny activity!  I typed and printed the story, and then we created a cover and voted on the name for the story (The Sweetest Mom In The Whole Wide World).  Copies were made and given out.......pretty priceless activity!

We had our last show and tell yesterday.  These kiddos have come a long way since that very first show and tell.  They are comfortable in their own skin, and have no problem getting up in front of their peers and speaking about what they brought to share with the class…….just one of the many things we teach at St. James!

 

 

Tracy Jones
Pep Rally, Show and Tell, Medieval Fair and Talent Show

Our focus question for the week is how can we make a road?  Here are our answers:

Emily – “you can use rocks”

Collin – “you can use wood”

Townes – “you can make a road using blocks”

Abbi – “you can make a lego road”

Tobi Lee – “you can use sand”

We have attended many events and have had lots of activities since my last post.  Here are a few of the things we have done.  We attended a pep rally to cheer on our quiz bowl teams that competed in Little Rock.  Our teams did very well in the competition and we are very proud of them.

We had a free show and tell, and the children did an awesome job of presenting!  They were so excited to show and tell everyone what they brought. They have come such a long way since that first show and tell.

Swepco presented Lights on for Louie.  The program was all about electrical safety, and the children learned how electricity is made, how electricity is used, how to identify dangerous electrical situations, and how to stay safe around electricity.

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We attended the sixth grade annual medieval fair.  The children learned about people, weapons, food, games, and the black plague!  We have such a great community at St. James and it is so special that our little ones get to participate in these events with our older students!!

PreK presented their annual Talent Show on Friday, and did a fantastic job.  Words could never express how proud I am of all these students.  It is so impressive that they can get up and perform and speak to a large group at the age of 5.

 

 

 

Tracy Jones
Easter Bunny and Roads

We celebrated Easter with a visit from the Easter bunny.  The children hunted eggs, made crafts, and had a sack lunch.  Even though it was a rainy day the children had a blast!

 

We are studying roads.  Why are we investigating roads?  Roads are all around us.  Roads take us to school, to the store, and to visit family and friends.  When riding in vehicles, children gaze out of the windows and watch the world go by.  They delight in pointing out features on the road that, for adults, are simply part of the landscape: light poles, reflector bumps, overpasses, and bridges. In the classroom, roads become a key feature in the Block area, we added a construction rug, helmet, vest, cars, trucks and traffic signs.

A study of roads provides children with an opportunity to learn how roads are made, where roads take us, how we can stay safe on the road, and the features that make up a road.

In this study, children will explore different types of roads.  They will investigate the features of roads, how roads help us, how roads are made and repaired, how we can make a road, and how to be safe on the road. 

Our focus question for the week was what do we know about roads?  Here are our answers:

Anna Scott – “cars drive on the road”

Victoria – “there are signs on the road”

Townes – “roads are made out of concrete”

Abbi – “you can walk on the road”

We talked about maps and how they show us where to go when we are on a road.  The children were given a sheet of paper and they had to draw a map of our school campus.  I was blown away with how well they did this assignment. Simple map making shows their understanding of familiar places.  Children’s experiences with mapmaking help them to develop the concepts of representation, symbolization, perspective, and scale.

The children decided that we should use all of our blocks and build our own road.  They worked in groups of three for five minutes creating a road.  These types of activities encourage simple geographic knowledge and provides positive participation in group situations.

   

Tracy Jones
Musical Instruments, Board Games and Sequencing

Our focus question for the week was how can we make music with our voices?  Here are our answers:

Collin – “you can hum”

Coleman – “you can move your neck up and down”

Anna Scott – “you can use a microphone”

Emily – “you can sing”

Tobi Lee – “you can whistle”

Madeleine – “you can use your vocal chords”

Over the last couple of weeks the children have been able to use several different musical instruments during music class.  We also had some special visitors come to class and play the guitar, and Townes broke out his mandolin to play along.  A special thank you to Ben, Lee and Mark for taking time out of their day and sharing their talents with our class. 

We played Boggle Junior this week.  Why are we playing board games in preschool?  While playing Boggle the children were working on social/emotional skills by taking turns and sharing; fine motor skills by grasping and manipulating small objects and twisting; and cognitive skills by letter recognition, letter matching, spelling, word recognition, concentration and memory.

We worked on sequencing by talking about the life cycle of the violet in science.  The children had to color the four parts of the life cycle, cut them out, and glue them in order onto their paper.  Sequencing means understanding how a series of objects, events, and time occur in a specific and logical order.  Sequencing activities help children know what comes next and to make predictions about things they cannot yet observe.

The children were able to work on their hopping skills by playing hopscotch in PE.  Hopping is difficult for young children to master; it requires strength and balance to hold one leg in the air while hopping on the other.   

Tracy Jones