Pre-K: Van Gogh and Chris Van Dusen
Your children were MUCH more successful than their teachers were at coming up with "Vv" words this week. In addition to "vacuum" and "vest", we also had "vivacious" and "volcano", and that was just on Monday!
Language and Art
Our literacy activities this week focused on books by Chris Van Dusen and the art of Vincent van Gogh. We read The Circus Ship, Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit and Haley’s mom Lauren led a yoga activity while reading Down to the Sea with Mr. Magee. Van Dusen’s books (in addition to having wonderful illustrations also by him) have funny, predictable rhymes that Pre-K loved. In that vein, over the course of two days, we colored in our own rhyming game, which we then laminated and the children played enthusiastically. Our focus on Van Gogh was as much about process and texture as anything else. We looked at lots of his paintings, read Vincent’s Colors and Vincent Can’t Sleep. Children used gems and pipe cleaners on top of printouts of Starry Night to recreate one of his masterpieces, created textured paintings with puffy paint made with his colors, and each child mixed his/her own paint, named it and painted with it. Children also loved recreating Van Gogh’s sunflowers using coffee filters and watercolors. We will have them up in Pre-K next week!
We were also lucky enough to have "Vv" week coincide with election day, and so, while our dramatic play area was a voting booth, children voted on: Elephant or Piggy and Frog or Toad. They also each filled out a ballot which they dropped into our voting box - it was pretty fun to watch them get so excited about voting!
Math and Science
In an effort to keep math fun and hands-on, we are trying to both answer your kids’ call for worksheets, which they unexpectedly seem to love, and to incorporate games and fun materials. These days, we are focusing on solidifying their understanding of different ways of representing numbers, and incorporating materials such as gems and counters in the form of bears or dinosaurs. They’re really engaging with the materials and using them as well to make Number Books for numbers 1-10 and possibly beyond. Through our meetings and small group work, we incorporate language such as “one more” and “one fewer than”, and, frankly, we are trying to keep up with your children!
Science this week focused on volcanos. The children made volcanos out of clay and then experimented with baking soda and vinegar to see what volume of vinegar was required to make the volcano erupt! Next week, we will be starting a new activity for every Friday: our small group work will be "Science Friday", designed and led by Martine. Your children have absolutely loved the science activities she has been incorporating into our weeks and, following their lead, we’ve decided to make it a regular part of our routine.
Music and Dramatic Play
While we were so sad to say goodbye to Paula, we absolutely loved our new music teacher Steve. He is going to be spending time with each class individually, and we will meet as a school once per month. He brought new songs, rhythms and movement to our Wednesdays, and both the staff and the children whole-heartedly give him two thumbs-up. While our dramatic play area started as a voting booth, on Wednesday it was transformed into a vet’s office.
It was so good to meet with all of you on Thursday. We love your children, and we are thrilled to see them coming together as a community.
Have a great long weekend, and we will see you on Tuesday.
Emily and Martine
Books this week included:
The Circus Ship
Vincent Can’t Sleep
Down by the Sea with Mr. Magee
Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit
Camille and the Sunflowers