I think Spring Fever may be hitting our children. They were all so very excited to be back after our spring break and energy thrummed during our big group times this week. The children swayed while belting "Des Colores" to the skies, had a spontaneous dance party during free choice time, and went skipping down the lines for "Alabama Gal." Despite all this energy, we managed to not tip over into uncontrolled bodies, and the older children helped model how to be silly and have fun without hurting anyone.
Cheryl's PreK Reflections
There is an image by a favorite artist of mine of hands holding each other as they run through the rain. This idea of including and rallying for one another through the change and emotions of life spoke to me as a theme at our school this week. Change and growth are in the air. Children are pointing out the bulbs pushing out of the earth, dishpans are being brought to the creek whilst deep in mud cake creating and mud soup stirring, fairy structures are popping up in every nook of the yard, and meetings are being held/attended (our littlest patiently sitting in the audience while older students relay messages about stuffed animal happenings via traffic cone megaphones).
Teachers are following the children's lead and extending time outside. Pre-K did our movement and yoga time on the upper deck this week, and we practiced puddle jumping, sending homemade boats down the creek and umbrella play after reading My Big Red Umbrella and Puddles! Both books explored including all friends in our play and getting wet/dirty which was naturally reinforced in their own play throughout the week. An older student included a 4 year old by giving a thumbs up when they figured out how to sit crisscross during Big Circle time.
It was a fresh start after vacation to begin our study of numbers, and children were excited to mold, write on their own chalkboard and crayon the number '1' as well as explore counting through games (Trouble) and crafts (writing numbers on our cut-out raindrops). Our nursery rhyme this week was "Rain on the Green Grass" and "Hal An Tow" was sung again (this group likes a good parade) with spring buds in hand. Friday forest recess concluded our week with a 3 year old exclaiming, "I am making a fire - a real fire that will last forever!" as all the other 3 year olds gathered round for some magical bonfire play. We are all rallying together, supporting one another in our journey of joy and learning.
Our Theme: Weather
We started to explore the weather this week. The children made a list of things we know and came up with questions we want to be able to answer. There were lots of questions about wind, clouds, thunder and lightning, and all sorts of extreme weather. "What is wind made of? Where does it come from? How does the wind blow down power lines?" We read Gilberto and the Wind and What Happens When Wind Blows? The children made books to track the temperature, sky and weather changes each day. We read Tomie dePaola's The Cloud Book and worked with a partner to make models of the different types of clouds. We realized as we examined the sky that there can be more than one type of cloud in the sky and that they are at different elevations, prompting a discussion about altitude and our atmosphere. We'll be digging deeper in the weeks to come.
Learning About Banking
We had a special visit from Sayla, the person in charge of our First New York School Banking Program. She talked to the children about different names for money and shared her collection of coins and bills. The older students practiced counting handfuls of money. We talked about saving money for something special and how banks can help us do that.
Nancy and Tracks
Nancy came with an incredible selection of animal tracks this week. We counted toes, looked for claw marks, and measured them from front to back. Every child had a mystery to solve - who left this track? They compared their tracks to cards Nancy had brought and to each other. "This one has long stretchy toes." "Look how long these feet are!" "Mine has sharp claws. I bet it's a predator." After discovering their animal's name, we looked at a huge sheet that had lots of different tracks on it and took turns telling stories about what happened based on the tracks. This is something we like to practice on our adventure walks too, noting when the deer got startled and ran off quickly past the stream.