Pre-K: Wheatgrass, Woodblock Prints and Warhol
We are getting to that time of year when children (and adults) might start to feel a bit anxious. You might even see their behavior regress a little or become more emotional than usual. If this sounds familiar, rest assured that it is TOTALLY typical. My own children (who are 13 and 11) still feel it, as does their mother. All of a sudden the familiarity of Bowen and our school year seem to be drawing to a close fairly soon, and a big change is up ahead. But, the concept of time isn’t concrete, yet, and the feelings are often a combination of excitement, pride, nervousness and anticipation; none of which may be easily articulated by a 5-year-old.
To that end, Martine and I are going to build some discussions and books about change and worry into our curriculum, without inadvertently planting more seeds of anxiety! Lynn Lyons’ books are an excellent resource for parents on this subject, and many of Kevin Henkes' books (which we will be reading more of next week during "Hh" week) are wonderful for children thinking about friendships and change. For "Ww" week, we read his book, Wemberly Worried, and we will continue on from there. Please don’t hesitate to come to us (or Nina) with any questions or concerns or for more resource recommendations.
In the meantime…
Language and Literacy
Your children are starting to tear through books these days! They are starting to read more and more on their own, and understanding how to use pictures as clues to what the text tells them. Although we made bookmarks in the fall, this week we made a second set, using watercolors on white paper. There are, apparently, just too many books to keep track of these days in Pre-K! So, while we made letters from black beans in red rice (that looked like watermelon) and beaded CVC words on pipe cleaners using letter beads, our bookmarks were definitely the highlight.
After reading Wemberly Worried, we talked about everything from what might make someone feel worried to what you could do to help yourself (or a friend) feel less worried. Here are some of Pre-K’s ideas:
Things that might make us worried
Not knowing people’s names
Thinking that people might be mean
Things that we can do when worried
Snuggle a stuffed animal
Cry (we also noted that crying is okay!)
Do something I like
Math and Science
We started off the week asking children to choose two numbered wooden blocks out of 15, fill them with the appropriate number of pegs and count the pegs all together. They are really starting to grasp the idea of addition, and we even tried a subtraction game at the end of the week, which the children loved! This was also a big science week in Pre-K. Each child planted his/her own cup of wheatgrass and started a plant observation journal to record the changes each day. Over the next week or two, we will be checking in on our grass and recording the changes as we notice them. With everything in bloom, it’s a great time to notice all the changes in nature around us.
After making collages from all white materials, we practiced using screwdrivers to screw in nails to wooden boards, which we did last semester as well. This time around, though, your children are much stronger and the holes went much deeper! We, then, painted the surface of the wood and pressed paper to them to create our own woodblock prints. We also started an Andy Warhol project, inspired by Nina, and the class will finish them next Monday. Watch for the results on our board next week!
Finally, we have started a new routine at morning meeting; we sit in a circle, start at one spot and the first person turns to his/her neighbor to look in their eyes, shake hands and say “Good morning, [neighbor’s name].” Each child greets both the person on their left and on their right in that way. We are working on firm handshakes and eye contact! If you have a chance to practice at home, you will be very impressed.
It was wonderful to see everyone at the Spring Fling last night! Thank you for making it such a success. Have a wonderful weekend, and we will see you Monday!
Emily and Martine
Books this week included:
One Watermelon Seed
Whoosh Went the Wind!