Pre-K: Symmetry, Syllables and Senses
This week, Pre-K started something new: a kindness jar. We asked children to notice when a FRIEND does something kind and to let us know. And, for an act to qualify as “kind,” it must go above and beyond the things we expect from our classmates anyway. Furthermore, we have asked children to report on acts of kindness done by others, not by themselves! We hope that, through this exercise, the members of our class will start to notice and appreciate (even more) how we can be thoughtful towards and respectful of each other. For each act we will add a pom pom to the jar, and, when our jar is full, we will have a special treat, like Italian ices or extra playground time!
Language and Literacy
We started the week by talking about syllables. Using lots of outer space vocabulary, we clapped out and sorted words by how many syllables they have. We also tried sequencing stories! Using simple picture cards, children put the stages of the story in the correct order. Sequencing practice is wonderful for encouraging children to notice, retain and re-tell information as well as for synthesizing sensory input, recognizing patterns, reading comprehension...AND it is helpful for when you need to give them multi-step directions! We practiced sounding out letters we’ve covered and writing them in shaving cream, and we also introduced CVC (consonant vowel consonant words) like pan. While we certainly don’t expect children to be able to read these words yet, introducing them at this point is a useful way for us to get a sense of how we might support their phonemic awareness even better; it also helps us understand how we might differentiate these words to meet each child where they are in their literacy work. We closed our week by revisiting syllable counting with a huge variety of animals, which children loved and rocked.
Math and Science
"Ss" week was the perfect opportunity to start talking about symmetry! First, we talked about mirror images and used mirrors to demonstrate how to create them. Children created symmetrical flowers, using pattern blocks. We worked in pairs and took turns creating symmetrical pictures with pattern blocks across a line of symmetry during group work one day. Children also painted paper plates and then pressed another plate to it. Take a look at our bulletin board to see what they made. After February break, we will play a symmetry matching game with the plates they created. We also challenged children to see what they could build with 10 snap cubes and then describe their structures to a friend.
For Science Friday, Martine led a discussion about the Science of Senses and Smell. Each child had the opportunity to smell a few different scents, and the class built a system showing steps of how the senses work.
We want to extend a huge thank you to all of the Bowen families who donated clothes and shoes to our Cradles to Crayons Giving Tree. After talking about why families donated, Pre-K sorted and counted a few of the boxes/bags, and it was such a pleasure to see them working together to help families in need.
We moved into the sound of “sh” at the end of the week and Connor helped us with science work by telling us all about different types of sharks, along with facts about sharks in general. He did a fantastic job!
We looked at paintings by the French artist George Seurat (1859-1891) and children painted a daffodil still life, using just Q-tips and green and yellow paint. We briefly talked about “pointilism” and then they dipped the Q-tips in paint and followed our instructions about painting only with dots, rather than brush strokes. The daffodil paintings will be on display in our classroom next week. The class was so careful in their listening and in their dotting!
Thank you, parents, for helping your children to make their Secret Surprise Snowflake Cards! The class seemed to love exchanging them and loved hearing all of the kind compliments they shared about each other.
Have a wonderful weekend and we will see you next week!
Emily and Martine
Questions to ask your child:
Can you build something symmetrical?
How many syllables does the word “hippopotamus” have in it?
Which of your 5 senses do you use the most?