Pre-K: Hokusai, Hexagons and Honey Bees
With the weather finally feeling like spring, Pre-K is out and about! We had a picnic one day this week and are investigating lots of things around us that are changing. We were lucky enough to watch 3-Day’s baby chicks hatch, and we watered, observed, sketched, wrote about and measured our wheatgrass (once it actually started to grow). We will continue to keep observation journals, on a variety of science projects, during the remainder of our year.
Language and Literacy
This week, we talked about books by Kevin Henkes and how our bodies might feel, physically, while experiencing different emotions. Pre-K is enjoying these conversations, and we have been consistently impressed by how honest the class is.
As you know, we are also beginning to learn some high-frequency and CVC words. We see them each day in our morning message and children are using a variety of sensory tools to practice them. We’ve stamped in playdough, traced in shaving cream and sand, and written on chalkboards with damp sponges. We also asked each child to write a few high-frequency words on word strips, and they have gone up on what was originally our name wall but is becoming our word wall! Your children are starting to do such a wonderful job sounding out words. In both Writing About Reading and our weekly journals, we are now asking them to try sounding out words before we write down their dictation - and they are doing a fabulous job. If they’d like to try at home, it is generally easiest for them to start with the consonants in a word; vowels tend to come later. We’ve also sent each child home with a "just-right book" again this weekend. If they’d like to look at just the pictures, sound out the words, make predictions about what might be happening...great. But, truly, no pressure; they can also completely ignore it!
Math and Art
For "Hh" week we explored the artist Hokusai, a Japanese printmaker during the 18th and 19th centuries. He might be most famous for his 36 Views of Mt. Fuji, many of which Pre-K examined carefully on Wednesday with magnifying glasses and rulers. They looked for Mt. Fuji in each and, then, using mathematical vocabulary, discussed and drew all of the shapes they were seeing in his views. Each child also chose one image to copy, using special calligraphic marker pens at our art table. On Thursday, they used small dowels to etch a view into foam paper, and, on Friday, using rollers and ink, they made prints! They loved using all of these different materials and we were so proud of the observations and conversations we heard around the classroom.
This week Martine led an activity on honey bees, hives and hexagons. You will love her renovated science corner, where lots of investigations are taking place daily!
I so enjoyed meeting with all of you this week. Martine and I cannot believe that this year is starting to wind down and have felt so privileged to be a part of it. The class has come so far, both as individuals and as a community, and we hope you got a sense of that during our conferences.
Have a wonderful weekend and we will see you next week!
Emily and Martine