Friday, October 14, 2016

Ms. Denise and Ms. Sandy T/Th 3's at the RCC

Happy October Preschool Families! It’s hard to believe that we have been in school for a month.  The time has gone by so fast!  The children have adjusted quite well to saying goodbye to their loved ones in the morning and beginning a day of fun and learning.  They are feeling so much more comfortable in their surroundings and with classroom routines. The children are forming sweet friendships with one another and working so hard on treating each other with kindness and respect.  We are learning to take turns, follow directions, share toys, use our words to communicate, and try to always do our best in everything we do.  It is so exciting to see them laughing, playing and learning!  

Friendships are blooming!

Taking some time to enjoy a good book

 Our learning journey over the past two weeks focused on activities which incorporated learning about apples.  We began by reading many books about apples; the childrens’ favorite book was Apple Trouble written by Ragnhild Scamell.  See if your little one can retell you the story about a cute little hedgehog that had some trouble with an apple stuck in his spikes. In language arts our preschoolers are continuing to work very hard on recognizing and identifying the letters in their name.  To help achieve this goal, the children have been experimenting with dry erase markers by tracing the letters on their special name cards.  They enjoyed this activity so much that they cleaned their name cards off and continued to trace their name over and over.  We are so very proud of their efforts!  They also became very creative with play dough as they began molding the play dough into the letters of their name.  In Language Arts, we learned letter A and the special sound it makes. We used dot-art-paint and cheerios to form letter A and we also composed a list of words that began with letter A.  We also had an enjoyable conversation about their knowledge of apples; how apples grow, how they taste/smell, and what they liked most/least about apples.  They used the most wonderful descriptive words to describe an apple.  They shared that apples were juicy, round, hard, sweet, delicious and crunchy.  One little one shared that apples are a very healthy snack and they help our bodies to grow big and strong! 

What sound does letter A make?
Can anyone think of a word that begins with letter A?

Using good eye-hand coordination by using dot art paint to create letter A

What do you know about apples?

Practicing tracing lines

Working on pencil grasp and prewriting skills
The shoulder stability allows for control of  her arm, hand and fingers

Creating letter A using cheerios

During math the children were introduced to the concept of estimation.  They had to estimate how many seeds were inside of an apple.  The answers ranged from 10 seeds to one seed.  After each child guessed how many seeds were inside an apple, we dissected the apple to see how many seeds were actually inside.  We quickly discovered that the apple which we cut open had six seeds. The one little girl who had guessed ten seeds asked me to please continue looking for seeds inside the apple because she was sure she had guessed right!!  I kept on digging but to her disappointment only six seeds were found. J We also discovered that when you cut an apple in half, there is a very special shape inside….a star.  A fun math activity that the children enjoyed was matching two apple cards together to form a shape. The shapes included stars, circles, rectangles, squares, rhombuses and triangles.  We also had apple cards with the numbers 1 through 10.  The children had to put them in the correct order from smallest number to the largest.  We also played an apple game where the children needed to not only recognize the number printed on the apple but also count out the corresponding seeds.  When they put the apples in correct order and matched the apple shape cards correctly, their faces beamed with pride. 

Matching apple shape cards

Putting apples in order from smallest to largest

In science we had our first experiment involving changes in matter.  We took part in an apple oxidation experiment using lemon juice.  First we sliced an apple.  Next we put a few apple slices on a paper plate and we added a few apple slices in a ziplock bag containing lemon juice.  When the children were asked what they thought was going to happen to the apple slices, one little girl shared that the apples in the water would grow big. A few of the children thought that the apples in the lemon juice might change into a different color, such as blue or purple. A couple children who have very imaginative minds thought the apples on the plate would form into a shape of a dinosaur or a lion.  Too cute.  We waited very patiently and observed what would happen to all of the apple slices. Throughout our day the children would walk over to the table in which our experiment was displayed, and they would stand and look to see what changes were occurring to the apple slices. The children were asked which apples they would rather eat, the apples which were turning a slight brown or the apples in the bag of lemon juice.  You would be amazed; more than half the class preferred the brown apples.   They were so surprised to discover that the apple slices that were in the lemon juice didn’t turn a different color but the apple slices that were on the paper plate had started to turn brown. In science we also created our very own apple trees using colored pegs. The children enjoyed creating the trees and they squealed with delight as their apple trees grew larger and larger.

My apple tree is going to reach the sky

How does the lemon juice smell?

Adding apples to the bag

Pouring lemon juice in the bag with the apples.  What will happen to the apples?

Would you eat the slightly brown apples or the apples in lemon juice?
Let's compare how the apples look

Wow, the apples in the bag are staying yellow

During art we explored painting with apples.  Creating the apple prints was so much fun. Applying enough pressure to form an apple print took a little time.  But once they understood to press down firmly, the apple prints quickly evolved.  We also enjoyed painting with watercolor paint.  Oh my, the expressions on their little faces were priceless. We created our very own apples by using paper and glue.  First the children had to tear the paper into small pieces and then they used glue to create their own special apple.  Tearing paper helps improve our fine motor skills by strengthening our hand and arm muscles.  This helps a child increase control over their hands tiniest movements and thus helps prepare them for further fine motor development, such as writing.

 Painting with apples

Using our fine motor skills to tear paper and make unique apples

These past two weeks we have also been discussing/modeling different feelings.  How do we feel when a friend won’t share a toy?  What do we do?  Their ideas and thoughts in these areas are quite mature.  Many children have shared that we should use our words to express frustration instead of using our hands.  They are so smart!! We have also been working hard on following our “rug rules” during circle time.  This involves sitting crisscross-applesauce, eyes looking forward, hands on our knees and our mouths are quiet.  We have enjoyed using the gross motor room very much.  The slide, monkey bars and boat are some of their favorite activities in the gym.  We even had an obstacle course one day, in which the children had to walk across the log (balance beam) crawl through a dark cave (tunnel) and run very fast to escape a crocodile. What great body coordination and strength they exhibited!!

Walking across the log, lookout below there are alligators in the water

Oh no, there are bats inside this cave!!

This sea creature is bigger than I am!

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream

We love the gross motor room at the RCC

Hold on...this sea creature is going to take us for a ride!

We hope you enjoyed reading about the special activities we did while we were learning, sharing and experimenting with apples. 

Practicing with scissors

Snip, snip, snip!!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Ms. Sandy and Mrs. Denise

Important Dates/Messages: 
Thank you to all of our wonderful families for donating the school supplies.  Your generosity was greatly appreciated!

Thursday, October 27th-  Halloween Party from 8:45 to 9:45.  At 9:45 parents are welcome to take a class picture and decorate a pumpkin with your child.

Thursday, October 20th -Parent/Teacher Conferences