Saturday, January 12, 2008

Three, two, one....

....and we're back!!!

I'm thrilled to report that everyone came back to school ready for action! Our first week of the New Year has been very exciting, and we are all back in our preschool groove.

Our curriculum is soon heading to the final frontier: OUTER SPACE !! Before the break and even since we have come back, there has been much chatter about the infinite darkness above. There is much to talk about, including astronauts, spaceships, stars, planets, galaxies, asteroids, orbits, eclipses, comets, and even aliens.

With preschoolers, I find it particularly challenging to convey ideas such as size, scale, and perspective with these subjects. To show a child an inflatable model of Earth, telling them that "This is where we live," must be confusing in some way. However, group discussions, exploration, and inquisition hopefully make this clear. Outer space is fascinating, and can be difficult to grasp even as an adult.

We will be taking trips on rocketships (we've already gone to Neptune, and there is even talk about the mysterious 'Planet X'), to explore uncharted territory, so be sure your child comes to school with plenty of oxygen tank reserves.

One activity from before the break involved making marshmallow sculptures with toothpicks. The children had lots of fun with this, and we can revisit this project when we begin talking about stars and constellations.

We've been having all sorts of fun in the classroom this week. During Freeplay, there has been such a great deal of bookmaking that I think we need to create an extension of the library to house the students' work.

Thanks to the freakishly unseasonable weather, we were able to take two trips to Central Park this week, and the children had LOTS of fun with bubbles. Note: making your own bubble solution if far superior to anything you can buy in the store.
Dish soap + water = gigantic bubbles.
We used Palmolive, at about a 1:10 ratio. We were able to make bubbles inside the classroom as well, in the water table, which was a big hit with everybody.

We have been bringing small parts of the gym into the classroom as well, and during extended day (as a trial), we played some parachute games. Here is another important equation, that I'm sure most of you are familiar with:
Children + parachute = guaranteed fun
We also gave the ring toss a try, with surprising success.

Also on Friday, we had some surprise visitors from next door. Dean, Charlie, and Liam came to our class and each read us one of their favorite stories. Sitting for three stories back-to-back can be very trying for the attention span of the average four-year-old, but the children did a FANTASTIC job of listening, and we are all very proud of them for being so polite (and patient).

And here is a picture of our most recent Math workshop, which is as beautiful as it looks. The children really look forward to this, and work very well with Shannon's class.

Finally, we have begun to practice making lowercase letters, which you can see on display around the classroom.

I am on the lookout for a giant box, like a refrigerator box. If anyone has any leads, please let me know!

As always, please feel to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns about anything Preschool.

It's good to be back!!

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