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Pre-K: Family, Friendship and Frankenthaler

Pre-K’s Ff week started with a bang with Pajama Day (or should we have called it Fajama Day?)! Between Halloween and everything Ff, from friendship to farm to family, it was an exciting week.

Language and Art

One of the things we have been focusing on in our classroom is friendship and kindness. This week we talked about many ways you can be a friend. On Tuesday, after reading Be Kind, we started a friendship chain. Each child wrote their name on on a strip of construction paper, decorated it, and then linked it to another, and another, and another…We then brought it to 5-Day and 3-Day, where both the children and the teachers added to it so that we now have a long Bowen Friendship Chain! Because “Ff” is also for family, each child drew their family and then practiced writing their names using D’Nealian lines. This more advanced use of handwriting is by no means expected for Pre-K, but because it will be used in Kindergarten, we wanted to start exposing the children to the way they will be writing once they reach K. We are not at all concerned with whether they use the lines correctly at this point.

It was a big art week. In addition to drawing an autumn still life on Monday, children, who wished to, then painted it on Tuesday. We looked at images of paintings by Helen Frankenthaler and then used unusual painting tools, like she did, to press, scrub, and paint diluted acrylic paint into an unprimed canvas. The result is really beautiful and hanging outside our classroom.

We also became true authors. Prompted by animals from our farm that we placed on our literacy table, each child drew a picture and dictated a story about our cow, horse and pig. We will be laminating each page for our first Pre-K book. It will be available to read next week on one of our bookshelves!

Math and Science

We started our week by asking each child to glue different shapes together to make a house out of construction paper. On Tuesday children used dot sticks to represent each member of their family in their houses. We practiced number recognition and subitizing (predicting a total number of items rapidly and accurately) on Wednesday through matching popsicle sticks with cardinal numbers and dots on them, and on Thursday Martine led a math and science activity around food grouping and sorting. We completed our Ff week of math by making a large Pre-K friendship flag. After reading Rainbow Fish to the Rescue, we talked about how to be a good friend to someone who might need help. Using our list, we had each of 4 shapes (square, circle, rectangle and triangle) represent a different way to help a friend and each child glued at least one of those shapes to our flag. You can see our Pre-K Friendship Flag on display in our classroom.

Music and Storytime

For our last session with Ms. Paula, we sang a few verses of the song "Witches’ Brew", which children enjoyed so much that they continued to sing throughout the week! Our longtime Bowen friend Ms. Priscilla (who is a former a 3-Day teacher and Bowen Director) visited on Wednesday to read Halloween stories, and we are already excited for her next visit.

Sensory Table, Block and Dramatic Play

We had a farm in our sensory table for the beginning of the week, but it migrated to the block area to make room for a Halloween Stew on Wednesday. We started the week in dramatic play “fishing”, but, by Wednesday, kids were starting to pile so many people into the laundry basket boats that we reverted to our simple house on Thursday for the rest of the week.

It might have been our busiest week yet in Pre-K. By Thursday, we were seeing friends offer to help each other clean up, open food containers for a table mate and tell us when a classmate had done something kind. We were so proud! Your children were rock stars this week, and they may be tired come Friday evening.

There was some confusion this week over which clothes in cubbies belong to whom. We would be so grateful if you would label your children’s clothes, especially as layers are frequently removed and then added back on at this time of year.

Finally, a big thank you to Jiyoo’s dad, who came in to Pre-K to talk about plasma and electricity with special effects!

Have a lovely and recuperative weekend,

Emily and Martine

Books Included:

Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Farm

Farm Flu

Be Kind

Food Parade

Rainbow Fish to the Rescue

Stick and Stone

The Big Umbrella

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