The phase-in period has ended and we are settling into school. We will be focusing on two major school-wide curriculum units in November. The first unit will be our ever popular annual chick hatching project. A farmer will be visiting us on October 15th and delivering 12 fertilized eggs. On October 24th he will return to pick-up the hatchlings and return them to the farm. The following week we will embark on our first ever harvest festival. Here is a taste of what is going on in our class-rooms.
The Chickadees, Montana Vasquez-Grinnell's twos class, have just completed their phase-in, and we are so proud of their smooth adjustment to all the new things happening around them. Now that they are settled in their personalities are really emerging through each new activity introduced to them.
The Chickadees will discuss farm animals, chicks and fall. When the farmer brings the eggs, they will begin a series of art projects related to the growth of the chicks from egg to chick to chicken.
The Robins, Tomomi Iwamoto's older twos/younger threes class are learning about daily routines. So far they are great stopping at the bell when it's time for transitions. They learned to clean their hands before snack with wipes, tidy up when snack is done and push in their chairs when finished (with reminders!).
The children are really enjoying dramatic play. They have been surrounded by firefighters, police officers and doctors every morning! Many of the "doctors" were trying to make the baby dolls and teachers well.
Alex Beers' Sparrows have settled in to their new classroom and the many rules and routines of the threes class. They are quickly learning to share, wait, and listen to one another. "Can I play with you?" and "Hey, we can read this together!" are often heard by these budding socialites. The Sparrows eagerly await the arrival of the farmer and eggs, and are reading books such as Hurry Hurry Hurry, about a farm full of animals rushing to witness the arrival of the newest baby chicks. This focus helps children with the inevita-bly murky waters of separation from home and learn-ing to live together in harmony during school hours. Many Sparrows are also busy learning Spanish from Rose, their new Monday/Wednesday afternoon Span-ish teacher. The Sparrows find her muy bien.
The Puffins, Caitlin Mullin's fours class, have been settling into their new environment and adjusting to the rules and routines of the classroom quite well. The Puffins are exploring emotions and learning how to express their feelings with their peers. They have been reading books like, The Way I Feel by Janan Cain to help them better understand different feelings. The Puffins made their own emotions books by illustrating pictures and dictating what makes them feel shy, happy and sad. They also practice some role-playing activities to help them better understand what types of situa-tions make us feel different emotions. The Puffins also enjoy their afternoon Spanish classes with Rose.
The Hummingbirds, Pam Apple's fours class, are busy working on their social/emotional curriculum. The children made books about their families and books exploring the themes of how they feel when they get angry and what makes them happy. They talked about friendships and what it means to play with a friend. They discussed the skills one employs when playing with a friend and how it is different than playing alone. In addition to the social/emotional curriculum they have also talked about how "Hummingbirds try everything” and that "everyone makes mistakes." They are learning that it is important to attempt all activities and that the out-come is not the most important thing. The children have also made wonderful self-portraits which they do three times throughout the year to see how their drawing skills progress. The Hummingbirds are also learning Spanish.
As we focus on fall and the chicks we are already planning for Chanukah. The autumn season will be filled with lots of celebrations.
Susan Sporer, Preschool Director