2-Day Tales

A Peek Inside Our Preschool Classroom

Mrs. Drew and Mrs. Nier's Tues/Wed Class, March 3, 2014

February snow...

...caused some interruptions but we're hoping that's all behind us. Every family should have received the letter from the Preschool Board of Directors addressing the snow closings and changes to the school calendar. If you did not, please let me know.

Show & Tell

We've had wonderful Show & Tell presentations by Claire L., Claire M., Finnegan and Gavin in February. The children are doing a terrific job in their presentations and their classmates are asking great questions. It's hard to believe the difference in their question-asking skills in the short time since we began in January. Their questions are varied and show a genuine interest in the subject.

Pajama Day Fun in February!

  • The children painted Teddy Bears with water color paints -- always a favorite activity for the children.
  • PJ decorating activity with markers and crayons
  • Fruit Loop cereal lacing (and eating the broken ones!)
  • Cereal box puzzles to put together (4 different varieties)
  • Tossing our stuffed animals up and down in a blanket (great arm workout!)
  • Eating donut holes for snack time...yum!
  • Songs: Teddy Bear, Teddy Bear Turn Around; 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed

books we've read...

Llama, Llama, Red Pajama, Anne Dewdney

My Heart is Like a Lion, Michael Hall

Meet our Flag, Old Glory, April Jones Prince

The Story of George Washingtion, Patricia A. Pingry

The Story of Abraham Lincoln, Patricia A. Pingry

America the Beautiful, Katherine Lee Bates

Some of the things we did in February...

  • Once we finally made it to school, we celebrated pajama day, which is noted above.
  • Then, it was on to Valentine's Day. As always, we're grateful to the families who donated to this party. As you've seen, the children did lots of cutting to make the heart mobiles that were sent home on the 12th. The also had fun making cards for mommy and daddy. After they stamped their handprints on the cards, each child went to the dish tub of suds and mixed the red and white paint on their hands to make pink bubbles and water! Our centers included delivering "mail" to the mailboxes with the matching numbers; lacing hearts; alphabet matching hearts; sensory box with Valentine's toys; red play dough. Maybe the children remembered to sing the little song we learned (to the tune Freres Jacques): "I love my mommy, I love my mommy, yes I do, yes I do...Mommies are for hugging, mommies are for kissing, I love you, yes I do" then we sang the same about Daddies!
  • Our Patriotic Unit began with a discussion about our Country. This is an abstract topic for preschoolers to grasp, as they can hardly think beyond their neighborhoods. However, children build upon their base understanding each time they learn something. We began by talking about our homes with all the different rooms, and likened that to our Country with the different States. The children seemed to enjoy looking at the map of the US and were curious to know the names of the different states they'd point out. Some made connections to the states they've visited or have grandparents living in. The map we used in class was very colorful and appealing to the children and can be found here if you are interested http://www.mrprintables.com/printable-map-of-the-united-states.html. We used lots of concrete objects to show the children the symbols of our Country: a mini Statue of Liberty (which some recognized from their visits to NY); a Bald Eagle; Liberty Bell; and, of course, our Flag. We talked about the visual characteristics (rectangle, stripes, red/white pattern, stars, etc.) as well as treating the flag with respect. We began learning the Pledge of Allegiance (up to the line ending: "of the United States of America"). We also work with the children in distinguishing right hand from left.
  • Next, we discussed that our Country has a President (a couple of the children knew the name of our President); we looked at a little White House display; and talked about our first President. My basket held a variety of objects and images to show President Washington, as well as the story of young George Washington and the cherry tree. We sang, "Do you know George Washington, George Washington, George Washington, Do you know George Washington, the Father of our Country...Yes, I know George Washington, George Washington, George Washington, yes I know George Washington, the Father of our Country." At Center Time, the children finger painted cherry trees at the easel (lots of fun!!) and decorated 3-cornered hats like the one George Washington wore. They also took turns at the sensory box which was full or red/white/blue rice, stars, bald eagle, coins, mountains (from Lego set), sea shells (representing beaches in our Country), blue glass beads (like rivers and oceans), scoops, tongs and sorting trays. In another area, we had blue pool noodles (sliced in half) to build chutes and a variety of red and white balls and marbles for some fun cooperative play. Later, we had lots of fun playing a game together: "Guess Who Knocked Down the Cherry Tree", using my homemade rendition of a cherry tree made from cardboard tubes and tissue paper, and a plastic hammer. Each child took a turn pretending to be young George Washington's father and went out the door to hide his/her eyes. Meanwhile, another child was given the ax to cut down the tree. When Mr. Washington came back in the room, he had to guess who cut down his cherry tree. Each child wore a 3-cornered hat to play the part of Mr. Washington; some went a bit further and really acted out the part of an angry Mr. Washington when they'd say, "Who cut down my cherry tree?" in a deep, loud voice!
  • Then, we introduced Abraham Lincoln, complete with his big black hat. We looked at our map to see Kentucky, where Abe was born and Indiana where he moved when he was a young boy. We also looked at pennies and played a game in which each child took a turn trying to toss a penny into the big hat. The Lincoln Logs were out for building, and one of our centers was a log house making center, using large wooden craft sticks and foam shapes to build on a template we provided.
  • The children completed a number line, identifying the numbers and counting the corresponding red, white and blue beads.
  • In addition, we marched around the classroom to patriotic music; each child had a mini flag to carry around as they marched.
  • We played a game similar to musical chairs: patriotic music played on the cd while the children went around in a circle. When the music stopped, they had to find a red, white or blue colored paper to stand on...this was so much fun!

Items needed....

...we're collecting plastic canisters, the type that hold powdered drink mixes or coffee - approximately 10 - 20 ounce size range (probably measures about 6" +/- wide and high). We're thinking about a potential recycling project using these. If you have any you can send in, we'd appreciate it...we'd need to get 13 if we're going to proceed with the project we have in mind. We need them ASAP (sorry for late notice). Thank you.

St. Patrick's Day Party - 3/18 - Donations Sign-Up

Tomorrow, Tuesday 3/4, we'll have a sign up sheet posted by the white board for party donations. I know that we have napkins already; will check if we have paper plates. We'll just need a nut-free sweet snack and a non-sweet snack (e.g. carrots; cheese; salty; etc.). I didn't include a line for goodie bags to send home with the children, but if someone wants to do that, feel free to add it to the list...it's up to you.

More about Friday, April 4...

...the date of our Spring Show for ALL two-day students. Please note: This is a regular, full morning session for your child beginning with arrival at 9:00 a.m. until show time at 11:00. To clarify, that means that your child will be attending school a total of 3 days that week - Tuesday, April 1, Wednesday, April 2 and Friday, April 4. As you know, Janet Nier and I also teach another two-day class on Thursdays/Fridays. Therefore, we've planned a special morning for both of our classes combined. Your Tues/Wed child should be taken to the gym upon arrival at 9:00. I will be there with Mrs. Hopkins. The children will "sign in" and put their coats and school bags in a cubby. We'll have some free play time until all students have arrived. Then, Mrs. Nier and the Thurs/Fri class will join us in the gym for Circle Time. From there, we'll break into smaller groups for "center time" and various activities which we'll have set up around the gym. Then, we'll go on to story and snack, then into the Sanctuary at 11. So, our morning will follow its usual format, but with both classes and 2 additional teachers. We're really excited about this special day, not only because of the Spring show, but for the chance to have both classes together...several of the students from our 2 classes were in Ms. Veverka's January class together last year, and this will be a great chance for them to spend time together. In addition, others will get a chance to meet some new faces, some of whom they may meet again at summer camp. If you have any questions, please let us know. We'll have other reminders as it gets closer.