Early Childhood Curriculum Update

January/February 2019

Mott Class - Preschool

During the first weeks of January, we focused on reacquainting with friends and reviewing routines following our Winter Break. Leaving the excitement of the season and the unstructured days of vacation behind can be challenging. Re-entry is difficult for astronauts and children.

Next, we began reading and discussing the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. in preparation for our day of service. The children were disturbed to hear how MLK and people of color were treated in the past. Our service day projects allowed the children to see how easy it is to make a difference in the world. Our projects included: making toys for the SPCA, baking cookies for Food for Friends, and decorating and filling bags with supplies for homeless youth in Bucks County.

The later weeks of the month brought much excitement to the Mott Class with the arrival of our guinea pig brothers and a field trip to Pets Plus. All of the children have one pet or more at home, but there is nothing like the shared joy and responsibility of a class pet. We read numerous books on pets in general and then focused on the specifics of guinea pig care. Warm, furry animals purring contentedly in our laps brought great joy and delighted smiles to everyone in the Mott Class.

February weather and illnesses tried desperately to interfere with the happenings in the Mott Class. Snow days and late openings as well as many sick friends impacted the creation and sharing of Valentines. No matter, when Valentines were finally delivered they brought smiles and hugs amongst friends.

The conversion of much of the classroom into the Mott Animal Clinic and Pet Store resulted in fantastic dramatic play scenarios. Donning scrubs, masks and stethoscopes, the children have cared for dogs, cats, rabbits, rats and what seems like an endless number of wild animals too. The children have x-rayed, stitched up and bandaged animals while showing great care and compassion.

The Pet Store has a great selection of pets for purchase as well a wide variety of pet foods for sale. The nutritional needs of different animals has been a topic of discussion. Like people, some animals are herbivores while others are carnivores or omnivores.

Our pet study offered numerous opportunities for graphing. These included: pets we have, pets we would like, and what part of pet care we like best.

We had the chance to read fiction and non-fiction books about pets and animals. A favorite book was Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. We made paper plate fish with paint and button embellishments to go along with our Rainbow Fish reading. Our ocean backdrop shows off our tropical fish, many of which we saw on our visit to Pets Plus.

A favorite story, Ruby the Copycat by Peggy Rathman led to good discussions around being your own person and not following others without thinking. This tied in well to our Ally Week talks on identity and intersectionality. We share many similarities, but the combination of our differences is what makes us unique and forms our identity.

Rustin Class - Kindergarten

The Rustin Class has been studying materials, things used to make other things. Groups of two or three students researched paper, wood, metal, glass, plastic, and rubber. We have learned about these materials through our field trips to Cider Press Woodworks (wood), Steve Tobin’s Studio (metal), and the Bucks County Sculpture garden at Bucks County Community College. We have created many things out of these materials including origami, tin foil pictures, and wooden sculptures. At the end of the unit, we hope to have a materials museum to display our hard work.

We have also been working on identifying fiction and nonfiction work. We know that nonfiction books can have photographs, table of contents and labels. We also realized that fiction books tell a story and have characters. Our math work has been so fun with work on patterns, including skip counting and recognizing even numbers. We have been enjoying math games that include identifying more and less, numbers to ten, patterns and graphing work.