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Pre-K: Galaxies, Graph Paper and Gravity

We were a little lonely this week in Pre-K because so many children were out, due to travel. Nevertheless, we persisted. Gg week incorporated discussions and activities surrounding galaxies, graph paper and gravity. Below is a description of our week of Gg, but we also wanted to share the final stages of our Knuffle Bunny project, which the class wholeheartedly embraced and wanted to extend. Note also that all of our photos are now accessible through Google Photos and we upload them throughout the week, rather than attaching them to the newsletter as we have in the past. Click “View Photos” below for the link to Pre-K’s Google Photos.

Language and Literacy

Our language and literacy work this week included a lot of attention to the connections between pictures and text. We started the week by reading Goodnight Moon and each child got a printout or two of the main characters in the story. After coloring them in, we read it again and children lifted their pictures each time their character was mentioned. They caught on so quickly!

We also read the book Mae Among the Stars, a story about the first African American woman in space. We then asked the children what they might like to be when they grow up, and here are their answers:

Zafi: crossing guard

Nate: designer of legos and crafts

Story: traveling Disney girl

Martin: astronaut

Madeline: work on a farm and a doctor

Connor: police officer and snow plow driver

Ashwin: police officer

Marie-Sophie: ballerina and doctor

Hazel: ballerina

James: teacher and scientist

Math and Science

Children planted grass seed this week! They also glued googly eyes to their cups, and hopefully the grass will look like hair (no promises though; Martine and I don’t have green thumbs). We used lots of graph paper. First, children rolled dice, counted up the number of pips and colored that many squares in. The next day we added pentominoes, which are kind of like real-world tetris pieces. They chose shapes in 3D and then tried copying them onto graph paper in 2D. Martine helped the children make “math hats” from the graph paper they filled out as well as strips of headband paper, and many kids decided that wearing their math hats helped them to think more clearly.

We had lots of discussion this week about outer space and galaxies. Quite honestly, we were surprised by how much the class already knew! After reading a book/poem called Comets, the Stars, the Moon and Mars, children started creating their own galaxies by covering black paper with glue and glitter. Then, they used a marbling technique with shaving cream and water colors to create moons, suns and planets. Finally, they named their galaxies, and they will be available for viewing on our bulletin board next week!

Martine’s science work was on Ggravity this week, and again, we were amazed by what children already knew! She demonstrated how gravity works and children had the chance to predict and compare the effect of gravity on objects of different density and size. She even brought in a humidifier to demonstrate how gravity has no effect on Ggas!

Knuffle Bunny and the Baby in Paris

The most exciting part of our week for me and Martine, though, was watching the class dive completely into finishing their Knuffle Bunny 4: Knuffle Bunny and the Baby in Paris project. This extension allowed the class to practice collaboration in creating a story, tying text to pictures, planning out how to incorporate images into text, and using fine motor muscles in order to color, cut and glue the images they chose for their books. Each book is a bit different based on how the authors decided to include their pictures: please take a look below our galaxies on the Pre-K bulletin board - we guarantee that you will be so impressed!

And, last but not least, I had a really interesting visit to one of Mason Rice’s Kindergarten classes on Thursday morning. The most important message that I can now pass along is that your child will be ready for Kindergarten next year. Yes, the day will be longer, the class size is larger and there will be more transitions throughout. But, we are lucky enough to be a part of a school that sets children up to be developmentally prepared for what, right now, may feel like a giant leap. Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any specific questions, but also know that our goal is to send your child off to Kindergarten feeling strong, capable and ready to meet the demands of the next stage...and they are already well on their way.

Have a wonderful weekend, and we will see you for a short week next Monday!

Emily and Martine

Questions to ask your child:

  • Do you think it’s pronounced “Kuh-nuffle” or “Nuffle?”

  • What did you name your galaxy?

  • What is one thing you learned about gravity?

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