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We had a week of testing at our school, but it wasn't the standardized testing that can make some of us wince. Kids were testing their senses, testing mouse traps, testing language, and testing our community to see if it is welcoming and fair. From science experiments to negotiating fort building materials on the playground, our kids were hard at work. Sometimes they got frustrated, but we do our best to honor that as part of the process and helped support them as they came up with solutions or alternatives for their problems.

Cheryl's PreK Reflections

Welcoming to all: our preschoolers read about Martin Luther King Jr. this week and reflected on how we are welcoming to all in our school family. They had so many great questions - you may want to continue these conversations at home. We talked about how we welcome friends to play with us unless we have our alone mat out and how to stand up for what is right.

We also got to see a little snowfall which made sugar cube snow houses (and pincer grasping!) oh so much fun to construct - no two were alike and we discussed how that makes the world more interesting.

A visit from "big kid" Madi's mom got us learning about horses and what they do for winter... and got us daydreaming about a field trip to their horse farm come spring! So many hands went up eager to share how much they loved horses or "when they got to ride a pony at a festival."

An experiment for our sense of touch was happily conducted, shape and emotion games explored, and music and movement gave us all warmth - you might just hear them sing "Skinamarinky Dinky Dink" in the bath tub at home.

Nancy's Visit or the Importance of Precise Language

"She was running around outside, and then she ran into the barn," said Nancy.

"Wait! Did she run into the side of the barn, or did she go inside the barn?" asked a careful listener.

Exactly! Besides sharing an amazing story with us each week, Nancy has been working with our kids to make them better storytellers and listeners. They worked on one part of that this past week with an exercise in precise language. The children had four shapes and had to place them on the ground in a particular arrangement depending on what a partner described. It was a pretty challenging task, and everyone realized how careful they needed to be in their word choices.

Theme: Science Experiments

What do the following things have in common: setting mouse traps, scooping up jars of snow, practicing splits, and eating cookies? These are all things that were done for our science experiments this past week. A few groups found they had to modify their procedures once they got to actually conducting their experiments. More than one group had to start over again as they realized they hadn't followed their procedures, or they had given their teachers an incomplete materials list. All of these false starts are great opportunities for learning.

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