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Pre-K: Donald Judd and Oliver Jeffers!

Pre-K was definitely feeling that spring has sprung this week! Everyone felt the need to move, and we tried to incorporate lots of gross motor activities into our classroom as well as when we were outside.

Language and Literacy

For "Jj" week, we read lots of books by Oliver Jeffers. We started with The Day the Crayons Quit on Monday, then, we moved on to The Day the Crayons Came Home, Imaginary Fred, and Up and Down; and, finally, we finished our week with Stuck. Many of our literacy activities were built around these funny, touching books, including lots of discussions about what it means to be a good friend and what a person’s (or crayon’s) facial expression can tell us about how they’re feeling.

We also played a game called “Beat the Clock,” in which children (one at a time) have a minute to identify the letters and their sounds, written in both lower and upper case, on a giant sheet of paper. They loved it, and many even came up with words starting with letters’ respective sounds as well!

Math and Science

We started "Jj" week by asking children to choose 2 bean bags (each with a number 1-10), then, counting out the appropriate number of jewel beads and jumping that many times. The final piece of the activity was to add the two numbers by counting the jewels all together and writing the number sentence that describes their addition. They rocked it and used up some energy in the process!

We couldn’t let "Jj" week pass without incorporating jelly beans into our work. Children sorted and graphed jelly beans by color and used mathematical vocabulary, such as “most,” “fewest,” and “equal,” to describe their results. On Friday, we also put out a cup of 5 jelly beans and a cup of 10 jelly beans and asked children to make predictions about how many jelly beans might be in the other 3 cups we displayed, based on what they knew 5 and 10 looked like. For "Ee" week, we will introduce the words “estimate” and “estimation,” but we stuck to “predict/prediction” for now. We may have had a chance to sample a few jelly beans as well.

In honor of Oliver Jeffers’ crayon books, Martine’s Science Friday was all about crayons, specifically, how they are made and how we can make new ones. Children had tons of crayons in our sensory table, peeled them throughout the week, and smushed some of them on Friday. They placed them in muffin tins, baked them, and we now have new multicolored crayons for our classroom!

Dramatic Play was transformed into a jungle this week, for which Pre-K made both binoculars and animal masks. It was a definite highlight of the week.


We started our week with a visit from the MFA! After reading The Museum of Me and talking about the MFA’s Music Room and various musical instruments, she showed the class a picture of Monet’s Water Lilies. Then, children made their own water lily ponds, using pieces of colored felt!

We explored the art of Donald Judd this week, and focused on his brightly colored architectural sculptures. First, children painted wooden rectangular blocks, using only one color per block. After Pre-K had a chance to play and build with them, we split the class into two groups. We showed them one of his large sculptures as inspiration and asked them to build their own, cooperatively in their groups. Then, they measured their sculptures and sketched them before taking a walk over to see what the other group had created. We heard some really wonderful conversations (excerpts below). Take a look at both the process and the result on our board!

  • What do you want to build?

  • Now can I put my second one?

  • Can you put yours there?

  • Everybody take all your blocks back. Good job!

  • Let’s make something else.

  • Be really careful!

  • Maybe you should add something coming out of it.

Finally, we wanted to remind you that class photo day is next Wednesday. Have a wonderful weekend; here’s hoping that the weather will continue to improve from here!

Emily and Martine

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