Early Childhood Curriculum Update

October 2016

Mott Class - Preschool

The Mott Class has been studying the farm. During this part of our study, we are collecting information about what a farm is. We have created lists of what we think makes a farm a farm. We have studied books to create questions about farms and took notes about farms. During our information collecting stage, we visited different farms including a working farm at the Upper Bucks Vo-Tech school. At the Vo-Tech school we were able to observe the high school students shearing sheep, cutting sheep nails and making food for the animals. We even tagged a ram with paint. On the horse farm field trip, we were able to observe different horse feet including those with shoes and those without shoes. Our last farm visit included a hayride around a pumpkin patch. We only saw one animal on this farm. We are currently beginning to take all this information about a farm and answer our questions. We may even generate more questions about farm life. Next we will decide on a creative way to present this information.

Within our farm unit, we are continuing to develop our math and language skills. We are using the Handwriting without Tears blocks to create letters. Students are beginning to recognize the first letter of all their friends’ names during the greeting part of the morning message. The children have been writing while taking notes on the farm trips. We have been working on rhyming words and “clapping out” words by clapping syllables. In math students are continuing to explore how to create different colors through combinations of paint. After some time, the students realized that red and yellow create orange. We have been counting how many legs farm animals have when creating play dough representations of animals. The children were amazed to discover that chickens have two legs and cows have four. We have been working on building and copying shape patterns.

We are continuing to cook every week and create amazing works of art. We have been busy both on and off site in the Mott room.

Hicks Class - Preschool

The Hicks Class has been learning about farms by visiting a variety of local farms. We have studied what kind of feet different animals have and what kind of food they enjoy eating.

The sensory table has been filled with dried corn and acorns. The children have enjoyed scooping and pouring the corn mixture.

The class has been creating their own books about farms. One of their books is titled, If I Had a Farm.

The Hicks Class has been enjoying their time in the kitchen as they cook many different delicious foods. One day we had Yellow Day and tried different yellow foods. Surprisingly, most of the class enjoys sucking on lemons and tasting mustard!

Rustin Class - Kindergarten

The tears are gone! Everyone is entering the classroom, greeting each other, and looking for books until circle time begins. Students have been busy learning many new things.

In addition to learning the name and sound that each letter makes, the children are working on drawing stories that teach us something. One child wrote all about horses. Another child wrote about their house. Their stories are mostly drawings. The children are learning to sound out words and write down sounds they hear in words. Some children hear initial consonant sounds; some hear the ending and some are not sure they are hearing a sound at all. When they are not sure, students make a magic line and move on to the next sound. The children are encouraged to look at the alphabet for clues. They stretch out their words slowly in order to hear the sounds best. The most important part of this process is for children to feel safe taking risks. To be a writer, one must feel safe taking risks writing something down on paper. We have several very good story tellers in this class.

This is a group that loves fairy tales. Teacher Sarai has read several versions of Little Red Riding Hood. In the most recent story, the wolf gets away with it. One child shouted,”That’s it? There’s no happy ending?” We had a long discussion with many questions as to why the author might not include a happy ending. Several children shared stories of pets they have lost.

I introduced our level A readers last week. The children learned about the important beginning strategies for becoming a reader. They are as follows: Look at the picture, point to the words, and then look at the first letter. You can make a really good guess. This is the very beginning for our readers. The teacher will be talking to children about how to choose books that are just right for them.

In math, we have been making patterns that are more complex than the basic ABAB patterns made in the past, and we have been learning to count up and down. The children have been busy sorting and classifying objects and making comparisons.

Our playground study has been so much fun! We sorted our playground photographs into photos of equipment that moves and equipment that does not move. The children thought there should be a special category for equipment that does both. Students also created a model playground in the block area; they have been diligent in making sure that their playground includes many of the elements they learned about in this study.
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