Start of Spring and Passover

The Young Toddlers started off the month of March talking about the changes in the weather. We watched how the snow was melting, and experienced the different textures that snow has as it melts by stamping on it, jumping in it, and touching it.

We talked about the changes in the weather and how that can affect animal behavior. We asked Fluffy to help us understand animals’ needs, and he let us pet him!

We ended March learning about Passover and making our very own Elijah’s Cup!

Happy Purim

Throughout the last two weeks we have been learning all about the holiday of Purim.

This holiday is one of joy, celebration, and community.  We learned all about the Purim story which is written inside of a megillah ( A very very long scroll!). We got to meet the characters in the story as well. Queen Esther, who saved the Jewish, her uncle Mordechai, King Achashverosh and his advisor who didn’t give such great advice Haman. 

Our kitchen center was transformed into a palace and we spent a lot of time preparing a festive Purim meal. We made a gragger (noisemaker) to shake and once they were completed we shook them each time we heard Haman’s name. We also made crowns to wear on Purim!

On Purim Day we celebrated in school by coming in costume, having a visit from Morah Callie who retold the Purim story and sang wonderful songs with us, we made Mishloact Manot (gifts of food to give to friends), gave extra tzedakah and danced.

What fun we had at our Purim Masquerade! Happy Purim!

Even while learning all about Purim we still made time to work on our literacy and math skills.

Took some time to be outside and explore the wonderful winter weather. Along with some center highlights

Snow Snow Snow

It’s been super snowy these past two weeks and what a treat it has been!
We got to experience soft unpackable snow and hard, crunchy and  almost ice like snow. Being out in the snow gave us the chance to practice measurement, collaboration, how fast the snow melts, and comparing it too sand. It was super cool to see all the things we could do with the snow and how it changed the way we did played.

Our art unit is more finished than not, and we have begun to learn all about the outside of the house and those finishing touches!

Our Tzedakah Box is full! We learnt all about where our tzedakah money goes, what it is used for and why. It helped us to appreciate all of the the things that we have in our lives.

We’ve spent a lot of time reviewing our letters and letter sounds in preparation for being to read.

Center time highlights

Have a great week!

What makes a building?

 We continued working on our art unit this week. While playing outside one of our friends asked what held the bricks of our school together? With that question we ventured into the world of materials versus tools. Buildings we learned are made from materials such as brick, cement, wood, iron, plastic, and more. While we use tools such as hammers, nails, saws, drills, and more to construct the building. We need both in order to create a building and spent time learning about their roles, similarities and differences.

As we got deeper into the unit and we learned about the foundation of a building. What is it? Why is it important and what part of our building does it turn into. ‘Foundations’ began to appear in the work of many students.

With the foundation came the question of “Why does it need to be so big?” We took that question and broke it down  – what do they mean by big? Tall?Wide? Both? By using different types of blocks in our classroom we saw which types of towers had the most stability vs the weakest.

A sneak peak at our art unit

Some highlights from center time and the outdoors 🙂 

This week we got to meet letters d and P we noticed that pnd are made with the same shapes a line and a curve. The D has a big car while the p has a small curved. we found things in our classroom that began with the and the letter p.

Back in Action

Welcome back from break everybody. It was so great to see all of your faces after our week and a half off. Since we are now in the second half of the school year we begin to tweak on how we work on a few of our skills. The first of which is during sign in. We went from tracing our name to writing it independently. Second of was during circle time where we added a letter sound review to our morning routine. January brought with it winter weather and  even though it was cold we took the opportunity the head outdoors to see the effects that winter has on our environment first hand. 

 We also got started on our art unit. The students have been noticing and talking about the many details that go into creating a building. This comes as no surprise since they see the construction going on in the front of our school ( we’re putting an extension on the building). It was inspiring to them and they began to create detailed buildings of their own in block center, during table activities and even out of some unexpected material. The children had many comments and questions which led us to decide to create our own buildings for the art unit this year.  We started with learning vocabulary looking and reading books about how buildings are made who builds them and how many steps are there in the process. We also incorporated many of  our literacy and math skills throughout this unit as well.

 We spent a great deal of time learning about 2D and 3D shapes. Buildings are made of both!  We learned that 3D shapes are more stable than 2D shapes what 2D shapes are better for adding details to our buildings.

We practice our letters using different mediums and we  got to meet letters J  and Q this week. Throughout the week we practiced writing ‘J’ and ‘Q’ with all different mediums. We spotted many different things that begin with those letters. We even found 3 classmates whose names begin with ‘J’. What letter are we going to meet next week?

All the leaves are…

After a few wonky weeks, we are back in action here in Pre-K! With the weather turning colder and leaves falling down it could only mean one thing – Autumn was upon us and we quickly jumped into action ( and some leaves too).

Firstly we asked ourselves what is different in the world around use? The students replied with various answers ranging to its windy, the leaves are changing color, they are falling down, I see acorns on the ground and lots of birds flying away. All of those answers are indicators of the start of the fall season. With that we took a walk down to the river to see if could spot any of those signs.

We then jumped into learning all about trees/leaves/ and plants and all that happens to them in Autumn. Discovery is huge part of this season and students quickly asked questions based on what they were seeing outside each day. The question I got asked day after day was “why and how are the leaves changing color?” So we gathered many leaves, from a variety of trees and got to work being nature detectives. Together we learned about chlorophyll and its role in keeping the leaves green. We also discussed how plants/trees grow and change with each season. Lastly we learned about the need for the earth to rest and take a break.

Our new favorite game -the case of the missing chlorophyll – Order the the leaves from most chlorophyll to the the least or vice versa. It also helped them identify which leaves more or less chlorophyll. Each time we went outside they would all tell about the leaves they would find.

We began this week with how animals get ready for winter. There are three words that are used to describe the final stage of their winter preparation. Hibernate, Migrate and Adapt – all living things actually do one of these things, including people! We learned how animals accomplish their winter readiness and we spent a lot of time outside looking for animals in action. Next week we’ll take a closer look at some animals that are ready for winter right in our backyard.

What type of animal could live here Morah? Do you think it is an animal that migrates, hibernates or adapt? What about size, how large or small would an animal have to be to live there?

Each week we figure out a new way to utilize our centers and practice our skills. Here are some highlights –

Fall is also a great time to learn all about patterns and we found them everywhere!

We keep finding and making letters out of anything and everything! We always take time to review, but we also got to learn letters I and U!

Welcome to school and Happy Rosh Hahshana!

It has been a busy and productive first 2 weeks of school.  The atmosphere has been very fun and relaxed and everyone seemed to have an amazingly smooth transition!  We explored the centers in our new classroom, became familiar with the new routines/expectations, and played with friends, old and new…  School is so much fun!

 

Signing-in is a part of our daily morning routine.  The children are working on tracing their names with upper and lowercase letters . In a few months they will graduate to also writing their name independently. 

There were many familiar things in school, but also many new ways of doing things this year. Each student has their own supply kit, which we spent some time learning how and when to use it. Shabbat was celebrated a little bit differently, but still special and wonderful. We learned new Shabbat songs to help us celebrate Shabbat in Pre-K.

We also began to learn about the Yom Tov Holiday of Rosh Hashana, which is the Jewish New Year. We spoke about the concept of a Sweet New Year and what that means. We discussed ways that we can be sweet, sweet words, sweet actions, sweet behaviors, sweet voices, sweet choices.  We also made an apple and honey dish to use over the holiday. Apples and honey are two sweet foods we eat on Rosh Hashana.

 

We also hear a special horn called a shofar. It is made from the horn of a ram and it is blown in shul by the rabbi on Rosh Hashanah. We spent time exploring different shofars in their various states of completion. Morah Caitlyn even brought in her Shofar from home blew it for us. It was quite loud and sounded just like an elephant.

We also began doing ‘Letter of the Week.’ Each week we will learn a new letter, with extra focus on the letter’s sound and how to write the letter. Letter sounds and writing are a major hallmark of Pre-K. Over the last two weeks we learned the letter ‘L’ . Stayed tuned for next week’s letter!

We’re constantly  practicing our skills, academic and social throughout the day and in all different ways.

 

Welcome back from break

It was so nice to see everyone after winter vacation. I hope everyone had a great break and is ready to jump headfirst into our art unit.

But before we could begin we spent our first few days getting back into the swing of things. We checked out center’s old and new, played outdoors and checked out the fallen snow. It felt great to be back in school!

 


The ground outside of our playground is filled with different construction equipment and we got to spend quite a bit of time seeing them dig up trenches to place pipes and other things inside of.

 

We’ve added two new letters to our literacy vocab.G&S it was great spending time with you these past two weeks! We also spent a lot of time reviewing letters that we learnt in the fall.

 

We began to talk about our art unit and decided to focus on a particular style of art called cubism. We learnt that cubism is made up of lines and shapes some of those shapes are 2D and others are 3D. A 2D shape is flat meaning it only goes up and down and side to side unlike a 3D shape which also goes back to front.

Cubism was started by an artist named Pablo Picasso. He was a very interesting artist because he never stop learning. He wasn’t even just a painter he actually practiced all different kinds of art including sculpture. Taking him as our inspiration helped us choose what type of cubist art we wanted to create. after which we decided to answer a question “ if we were a Cubist sculpture what would we look like?”

Our process began with first finding 2D shapes in in Cubist paintings afterwards we began making models and drawings with 2D shapes. Once we got the hang of that we learned about 3D shapes and try to identify them in Cubist sculptures. We even began to identify 3D shapes in our classroom, lunch boxes and backpacks.

 

Finally it was time to start our own sculpture. The fist step was to collect we 3D objects from our homes which we then sorted into shape categories ( sphere, cylinder, pyramid, cube, cone, rectangular prism ) .

 

Stay tuned to find out where our art journey takes us next!

Winter, Writing and Chanukah

Winter has finally arrived we were greeted on Monday with a playground full of snow! We spent a lot of the day making snow angels walking, making crunchy snowy footprints, seeing if we could build a snowman and tried to get the snow off of the canvas roof. We discovered that snow when it’s all piled up is very very heavy.

We even had a chance go down to the river and see what it looked like when there was snow on the ground. Much to our surprise the river was not frozen even though some of the plants had ice on them.

 

 

 

 

 

In addition to all of the snow, there were trucks in our yard and Scott the Engineer came by to answer some of our questions; Such as  –  Why haven’t the trucks been digging? Can you dig when it is cold?  and What is happening now?

We learned two more letters, C and O. Much to our surprise the letter C makes a hard sound, like the word ‘C’ in cat. We practiced writing our letters and using their sounds.

Not only did we have a chance to play in the snow and learn new letters we also got to learn all about a new holiday. It’s name is Chanukah and it is 8 days long. Morah told us the story of Chanukah and all special ways we celebrate it. One of those ways is by lighting the menorah. We add one candle to the menorah each night for every night of  chanukah until we are lighting 8 candles!

Morah Caitlyn told us that we were each going to make a menorah to take home! We all sanded wood and got the pieces nice and smooth. Afterwards we used alcohol inks to decorate our wooden menorahs. Once they were dry we added the legs, shamash (lighter candle), and nuts to make our menorah complete.

Another way we celebrate Chanukah is by eating food fried in oil ( to help celebrate and remember that the oil lasted for 8 days, instead of just one). We make special treats, such as latkes with applesauce,  and jelly filled donuts. We got to make latkes and taste them along with delicious applecause!

We spent a lot of time, building menorahs in block center, cooking latkes ( potato pancakes) sufganiot ( jelly donuts), reading and acting out the Chanukah story, and creating art for our classroom and hallway. We had a lot of fun learning and celebrating the holiday of Chanukah.

Not only did we get to create menorahs but we also got to create driedles! Morah Malkie and Morah Janice gave each one of us a driedle to take home and told to decorate and design it anyway we wanted. On our last day of school before winter break, we each brought back our driedles and showed them to our friends! It was so exciting!!

Have a wonderful winter break!

Autumn Math

We have been learning about patterns. A pattern is something that repeats. Children can describe a pattern by naming the pattern unit, the part that repeats. We learn about patterns through exposure and experiences. We can notice patterns through colors, shapes, sounds, movement, and numbers. We practiced creating and continuing patterns using different objects around our classroom. By understanding patterns, children are able to make predictions about what should come next.

With the fall weather in full swing we took a trip down to the river to see if anything was different since we had been there last month. Much to our surprise the whole river underwent a fall metamorphosis. The leaves were on the ground the river was moving slower but we didn’t know if it was really different. So we took a stick and measured how deep the river was. It was pretty cool that even though it was fall the river was still pretty deep, though it wasn’t warm water. It was really cold  – most certainly not swimming water.

We had special visitors come join our class for part of the day. Jordana’s grandparents are music teachers and they  came to school, to show us special instruments and how they work.

We got to meet Scott the engineer, he is in charge of the new addition to building. He came to our class to answer our questions about what will be taking place over the next year or two.

 

Center time is always busy, but here are some highlights.