Early Childhood Curriculum Update
Mott Class - Preschool
October seemed to pass by quickly with the excitement of Halloween in the air. Much of our focus this month was on the changes taking place in nature and the abundance of apples and pumpkins all around. Though the warm weather was perfect for our time outdoors, talking about seasonal changes can be a challenge with unseasonably warm weather. What we were reading about in books was not always what we were experiencing.
In the art/kitchen area we made sunshine muffins which were tasty and nutritious. Grinding nutmeg, chopping apples, and measuring and mixing incorporated the language of cooking, fine motor skills and math resulting in a delicious snack.
We tasted apples and graphed the results of our favorites. Our three kinds of apples: Granny Smith - green, Golden Delicious - Yellow, and Gala - red gave us the opportunity to talk about color and taste. Does the skin of the apple make an apple taste a certain way? How can there be so many kinds of apples? Why do we like one kind more than another? The looks of the children biting into tart Granny Smith apples were priceless.
We approached our pumpkin work from the artistic side as well as a math investigation. Painting pumpkins was a creative endeavor. Final products included jack-o-lanterns, striped pumpkins, and how much paint can a pumpkin hold pumpkins. Before cutting open a pumpkin we estimated the number of lines our pumpkin had and then counted the actual number. We also estimated the number of seeds by talking about more than or less than a certain number. There was great surprise in finding out how many seeds there could be inside a small pumpkin.
In October we opened three new areas in the classroom: the reading loft, the sensory table filled with sand and the painting wall. Navigating new centers, negotiating taking turns and experiencing new materials requires a lot of patience and processing which is all part of preschool.
Our Halloween festivities were the perfect way to end the month. The day started with a dance party in the Big Room followed by visits to four stations: pumpkin bowling and ring toss, matching game, art activity and story. Snack was totally orange: carrots, oranges, and mango/sweet potato smoothies. The Halloween finale was a visit to the Middle School Haunted House for preschoolers.
Rustin Class - Kindergarten
The Rustin Class has completed the Butterfly Way Station! We measured out 23 by 7 feet, cleared the area and planted many, many plants in the garden. We learned that we had to have not only milkweed but also perennials and annuals that flower throughout the spring, summer and fall as a food source for butterflies. The Rustin Class also participated in the Simulated Migration of the monarch butterfly. We created a paper butterfly that will live in Mexico with other butterflies. At the end of the school year, we are expecting some paper butterflies to come back to Quakertown on their way north!
Students have been learning how to push together sounds to make a word. We are also identifying the beginning letter sounds of words and completing all the capital letters in our Handwriting Without Tears book. In October, we started writing in our writing journals. This month we mixed yellow and blue paint to paint a “Big Green Monster.” Then we created a list of adjectives to describe our “Big Green Monsters” and wrote about our painted monster. We have been practicing our counting both forward and backward up to 20. We are identifying shapes by the number of sides and/or the number of angles and have been doing an amazing job of sharing our work with others. Students have learned to give a quick summary of how they completed their work and then ask friends for “comments or questions.” This is an important part of learning how we figure out math, writing and reading. We are now starting to work on the book “Du Iz Tak?” Visit again next month to figure out what this book is all about!