February 12, 2016

A busy week in Junior Kindergarten!

Stay and Play

Our Stay and Play was so much fun today! Traditions like the Stay and Play unite and connect members of our class, create memories that last into adulthood, strengthen the bonds of a school, and build a strong community. When children read the hearts filled with words you use to describe what you love about them, it strengthens their positive self identity. When children drew their families as the last step in a multistep art project, they deepened their understanding of their own family structure. Later, children will tell their friends about their drawings to help all the children understand the variety of family structures. When you play with your child, you show them that you are interested in their interests, you value them, and you want to know them. You learn more about your child's abilities, too. We hope you enjoyed some smoothies and breakfast treats, too. Thanks to everyone who brought in ingredients for smoothies, paper goods, and the rice krispies. If you were not able to fill out a heart today, we are sending it home to you. Look in your child's bag to find your project. Fill your heart with your child's name and words to describe what you love about your child.


The beauty of early childhood education is that so many projects are interdisciplinary! Our watercolor cityscapes invited children to be creative while using new techniques modeled by teachers to create a painting inspired by some literature about building that we've been reading. We combined this art activity with some math! Children painting squares and rectangles for the tall city skyscrapers. This project took four steps to complete: the original multicolored buildings, the blue sky, the dark blue buildings in the background, and finally adding smaller shapes for windows. Children talked with teachers as the painted to describe the shapes they were using for buildings, windows, and doors.


Children worked so hard on crafting valentines for moms and dads this week. We started with a lesson on symmetry. We talked about how one can find symmetry in shapes and in a lot of things around their world, like windows, faces, butterflies, and furniture. Children painted a picture then folded it in half creating a a symmetrical painting. After their painting dried, children drew half a heart on the back of the paper and used scissors, developing fine motor strength, to cut on the line. When they opened their paper, they discovered the positive image of a heart along with a negative image in the middle of their leftover paper. We used the heart shape as the valentine for mothers. Children wrote the name they call their mothers, and dictated through an interview process special things about their mothers to teachers. Children then signed the word love and then their name.

For fathers, we made liquid watercolor prints of heart-shaped doilies on watercolor paper. We then followed the same writing process for fathers' valentines as we did for the mothers'.

Authentic writing activities, like writing valentines for their favorite sweethearts- mommy and daddy, teach children the purpose of writing in a way that is meaningful to them. They get a chance to see that their spoken words can be written. By actually writing words, like their names, their parents' names, and other words that are important to them, children get a chance to strengthen fine motor skills as well as identify letters and letter sounds.

Construction Outside our Windows

Children have been fascinated to watch the construction happening right outside our very own JK House windows. Some of the first steps children have observed were the placement of the construction fencing, removal of the the giant beechnut tree, demolition of the brick wall and a large portion of the parking lot directly behind the house, and the placement of a temporary gravel road. Watching the massive excavator working has captivated the children. The items uncovered while the excavator digs have been interesting as well - pipes, tree roots, asphalt, rocks, etc. Children are beginning to act out what they are seeing in the dramatic play centers. Children act out the important things going on in their life in order to make sense of the world around them. Pretend play in this center encourages the development of 21st century skills, like collaboration, problem solving, communicating, social skills, flexibility, initiating, and creative thinking. We've also been reading fiction and nonfiction construction books to the children hoping to give them more background knowledge.

Hannah Schardein, M.Ed.

Junior Kindergarten Director and Instructor
Louisville Collegiate School

Stand out. Be Collegiate.

Marisa Daihl, B.S.

Junior Kindergarten Instructor

Louisville Collegiate School

Stand out. Be Collegiate.