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Space, an Author, and Plays!

Snow days, snow delays, and a holiday made it challenging to get into a rhythm this week. What was missing in rhythm was balance by sheer joy! Our children threw themselves into snow play, making lots of huge snowballs and snow sculptures. They worked hard to make valentines for all of their school friends. It was lovely watching our older children help their younger friends to deliver all of the cards on Valentine's Day. I heard lots of phonics practice as they modeled, "What are the letters here? It says 'Tr.' That means it's for..." "Tracy!" "Exactly!" They also immersed themselves in their academic work from learning about space to writing plays.

Rachel's PreK Reflections

What a great week we had in the Preschool program! Our Space theme continues, this week focusing on the expanse of Outer Space. We covered the planets several times, which the children asked a lot of questions about. They also demonstrated their own mastery of the subject by pairing together information from several sources on the same topic, such as learning about Saturn in a book and then pausing to show me where that planet is on our wall. One of the big highlights was when I brought out a collection of large space photography prints, and then we passed around a model of the Hubble Telescope.

“Love” was of course our other theme this week, since Valentine’s Day fell during it! The children have been counting up the days for all of February, worked on hand made valentines, and practiced writing their names on their own “valentine collection bag.” Valentine themed books and math materials rounded out our study, and the children also brought thoughtful answers to our classroom discussions on topics related to love. It’s clear that each child feels loved and enjoys having opportunities to demonstrate love toward others. Thank you for letting us share in the love of your children!

Visiting Author Anita Sanchez

We had a much anticipated visit from author Anita Sanchez this past week. The kids and I have read just two of her books: Leaflets Three, Let It Be: The Story of Poison Ivy and Rotten! Vultures, Beetles, and Slime: Nature's Decomposers (with extra time spent on the story of dung beetles - so cool). Basically Anita writes funny, informative, and interesting non-fiction books about things to do with the natural world. And she came to our school! I admit to being slightly star-struck, but our intrepid children had lots of questions ready to ask a real, live author. Ask your child what they learned from her visit.

Our Theme: The Haudenosaunee

This week we tackled the Story of Hermit Thrush, Rabbit's Snow Dance, and a different version of the Creation Story. Each time we listen to one of these stories we look to see what sort of values are being espoused. The older children did a little readers' theater interpretation of the creation story for the younger children while the younger children did their version of rabbit's snow dance. The children started to work with Theresa to figure out the available roles for each of these stories, and they wrote ideas for different parts of the action. Theresa is taking all of their ideas and pulling them together into a cohesive play - no small task! Everyone is going to start working on learning their lines over break, and we'll begin to pull things together when we're back to school. We even have a crucial (though tiny) role for our nature PreK students requiring minimal rehearsal on their part.

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