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Pre-K: Neighborhoods, Number Lines, Nursery Rhymes and Narration

Pre-K had a great "Nn" week talking about neighborhoods, the night sky, nursery rhymes, number lines, and a bit about Newton itself as well.

One of the most important parts of our week was one we shared with 5-Day; together we sorted and counted the generous donations Bowen families have made to The Giving Tree. We started by having a brief discussion about why families had brought in these items and whom they would help. We talked about what sorting was and how we might sort things. Then, children unpacked the bins and bags of goods, looked at it all spread out on the floor, and decided how it made the most sense to sort them. Finally, we counted the items in each of the four piles and determined which had the most (38 cans) and which had the fewest (4 bottles). Thank you all again for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

Language and Literacy

We built on our exploration of maps last week and talked about our neighborhoods. After reading a few books on what we might find during a neighborhood walk, children drew and described what they might find in their own neighborhood. Take a look at our bulletin board to see what sticks out in your child’s memory! We also decided to approach literacy through stamping, which was particularly helpful for children who aren’t quite ready to put pencil to paper to start writing. Pre-K really seemed to enjoy stamping words that began, contained or ended with the letter/sound "n". Each child in Pre-K also took a turn narrating a continuous story (in which one child starts where the last left off) and drawing the pictures for it, all based on a neighborhood scene we set up on our literacy table. The result is sweet and funny! Finally, we read some (innocent and appropriate!) nursery rhymes, and children used their memory, reasoning and fine motor skills to sequence events from each into the correct order.

Math and Science

Children began to learn how to use number lines this week! Our highlight was using the numbers 1-10; children chose a number, used snap cubes to build it, and then located that number on their number line. They then repeated the exercise, added both sets of cubes together, and double checked that the total number of cubes matched the number they hopped onto. We were so impressed by all that your children showed themselves they could accomplish. Martine also led an activity on how day becomes night and why, which was so engaging.


This was a mellow week for art exploration. Rather than doing an extended project, we decided to expose the children to various printing and painting tools. On Monday, many children created their own night skies with glue, glitter and cray-pas on black paper. One day, they collected pieces of nature from outside and then dipped them in black and white paint to stamp on butcher’s block paper. Another day, we offered them neon paint on black paper and, late in the week, we put out simple frames, mirrors, sea glass, twigs and stones and asked them to frame a scene. The results were pretty interesting!

Building Rug and Dramatic Play

Our Building Rug was turned into a neighborhood this week, complete with a dollhouse, a giant play rug, cars and wooden buildings, such as a hospital, a school and a fire station. Martine and I loved seeing everyone in the class take some time to join friends in setting up a variety of neighborhood scenes. Pre-K requested an initial return to our usual house in Dramatic Play, but, later in the week, it was transformed into a babies’ nursery, which was equally beloved.

We Share

Carter and Nathan initiated our We Share time and did a beautiful job. They presented their items in clear voices, and their audience asked great follow-up questions and paid kind compliments.

Finally, a big thank-you to Kate Nyquist for reading The Feelings Book (Todd Parr) and leading a discussion on emotions and feelings starting with “Nn”!

Stay safe and warm this weekend, and we will see you on Tuesday!

Emily and Martine

Books this week included:

On the Town

In Lucia’s Neighborhood

While the World was Sleeping

Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes: Hey Diddle Diddle; Humpty Dumpty; Baa Baa Black Sheep; The Itsy Bitsy Spider

The Feelings Book

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