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Pre-K: Beaty, Beading, and Bridges

Instead of exploring an artist for "Bb" week, we took our cue from the author Andrea Beaty and became architects and engineers, as well as bakers, beaders and bracelet-makers.

Language and Literacy

At the beginning of each new week we practice making our letter of the week’s sound and notice whether our voices are on or off when we do so. We, then, brainstorm words beginning with that sound. This week, we also went around our meeting circle, telling each other what our names would be if they started with "B" instead - lots of giggles ensued. We also started noticing whether our sound of the week comes at the beginning, middle, or end of words that we come up with which contain our sound. We traced bubble "Bb" letters with buttons and we played Bingo (including upper and lower case versions of the letter Bb). The highlight of our week, though, was the creation of our first collaborative book. We placed a prompt of blue bears, boats, blocks, buttons and butterflies on our literacy table, and children drew and dictated a story about what they saw and imagined. We will put all of their stories together and have it out on display! Later in the year, we will ask the children to build their stories sequentially, but we were so proud of their creativity. In the meantime, because we have a class that loves to look at/read books, each child made his or her first bookmark of the year to use in our classroom. We will make another during the next few months to head home.

Our "Writing about Reading" centered on Beaty’s book Iggy Peck, Architect, and you will be amazed when you see their WaR portfolio at the end of this year. They have such novel ideas; it’s a pleasure to see and hear what they create each day.

Math and Science

After reading 10 Black Dots, we challenged Pre-K with the question, “What can you make with X black dots?” Children started with circles cut out of black paper and, then, created something around them, finally writing down the number of circles they used. You can see the results up on our bulletin board in the hall. We also introduced 10-frames this week in order to help children identify and count out/count on the numbers 1-10 (with buttons). 10-frames are a helpful way for children to become familiar with another way of visualizing math and practice counting, using 1:1 correspondence.

We tied literacy, math and science together in baking on Friday, when we made banana bread! It was delicious, and the kids loved taking turns measuring and stirring. Earlier in the week, we held a berry taste test and graphed the results, which got the children talking about the concepts of more, less, most and least. Baking at the end of the week helped them to continue their discussions about taste, math, and how to make both visible.

In preparation for Martine’s Science Friday on bridges, we created a paper river in Pre-K’s Building Area and asked children to create bridges over it. They worked together beautifully and came up with some really innovative creations! Martine’s Science Friday began with reading Rosie Revere, Engineer and focused on different types of bridges and how much could balance on them without their collapsing. Children learned about the forces of tension and compression, balance and gravity - basically your kids just took Physics 101.

Music and Art

We had our first all-school sing with Steve on Wednesday, and Pre-K set a wonderful example for the younger kids. Because our focus this week was the author Andrea Beaty, we decided not to add an artist in as well. However, we did ask children to create collages out of blue materials, and we also asked them to translate 3-dimensional beaded bracelets they created into 2-dimensional drawings of those bracelets. You can see the results of their hard work on our clothesline art display in the classroom.

Finally, we introduced children to Beethoven’s music! We watched a flash mob of his "Ode to Joy", and children discussed what instruments they could see and hear. Pre-K is familiar with so many instruments already! Here is the link in case you’d like to see it as well:

Gross Motor

Pre-K loves to MOVE. Whether on the playground, with Coach John, or in the classroom, it's a busy group. We remind children to keep their bodies safe, which means keeping their hands to themselves, looking before they move, being careful with Bowen's toys and slowing down when appropriate. Somewhat ironically, the entire class can also become overwhelmed when it gets too loud, so, a reminder from home on safe bodies and quieter voices would be welcome!

Have a great weekend,

Emily and Martine

Questions to ask your child:

  • Which type of berry did you like the most?

  • What song did you sing about Bowen?

  • How many black dots did you use and what did you create with them?

  • What do you call the picture you created and examined as a class after everyone took the berry taste test?

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