Pre-K: Jeffers, Jungle and Judd

It felt VERY quiet this week in Pre-K, as we had children out for travel and Kindergarten screenings. Martine and I can't wait to have everyone back under Bowen's roof again!

Language and Literacy

This week, Pre-K explored the jungle and the author/illustrator Oliver Jeffers. We sounded out short words starting with "Jj", we made jungle animal masks and sounded out how to write the type of animal, and we read The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home. We acted out how emotions look on our faces and bodies, and we colored new crayons (complete with facial expressions) and named their emotions.

We also looked at the first book of Aaron Becker’s series Journey, which is wordless. First, we talked about how we know what is happening in a book if there are no words. The children mentioned expression, emotion, pictures, colors, scene, sound and setting, and then we looked through the book in complete silence (which took a good 8 minutes or so!). We were amazed at how the children were able to pay attention and absorb the images without speaking or fidgeting. We then had a discussion about what was happening and how they knew it. The books (Journey, Quest and Return) are extraordinarily evocative, and the children did a lovely job figuring out what the story was, even without language. We will continue to look at these gorgeous books as the semester continues. Thank you so much for getting them for us off of our wish list. In the meantime, in response to some prompts and questions, here is what the class noticed:

Emersyn: [It starts] in a castle.

Hazel: There’s almost no color.

James: The girl was sad at the beginning because the way she was sitting.

Nate: Grey is the color for sad; there’s lots of sad.

Emersyn: She discovered how to go see colors, she used her red crayon.

Hazel: [Then] her world was full of color.

Rowen: Her world was full of lights; it’s happier.

Nate: [She moves through the world/book] she created a boat with her crayon.

James: She was in her imagination.

Marie-Sophie: [She went to] her imagination and she’s doing what she’s not allowed to do, you can tell by the soldiers.

Rowen: [You know they’re bad] because they’re chasing her and wearing grey.

Zafi: I know they’re bad because they look bad.

Hazel: [You know the bird is good because] they captured the bird.

Emersyn: [The girl] set the bird free and it flew away.

Story: I like the girl.

Hazel: She drew her magic carpet, and she’s happy - the colors!

Madeline: [She’s flying] to the purple door.

Emily: She’s now back in her world; is it only grey now?

Lucas: There’s a lot of grey and some purple. She’s going away again.

Math, Science and Art

We practiced a lot of number identification this week and extended our focus, for those who were ready, onto teen numbers. We tossed beanbags onto teen number cards and jumped that many times; we beaded jewel beads, counted the number of beads we used and wrote those numbers down. Children were also each given a handful of jelly beans, asked to graph the color results and then to pair up to compare. The class is getting so comfortable using comparative mathematical language! Many members of the class also played Jenga, a game that involves removing blocks from a tower in turns, one at a time, while trying to prevent the tower from falling down. On Thursday, we gave each child a paper jellyfish and asked them to use a hole puncher to make holes in each tentacle. They then counted up all of the holes and, with help from our number line, wrote that number on the jellyfish.

I’ve rolled this newsletter’s art summary into math and science because it was more of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) exploration than either pure art or pure engineering. We started to talk about the artist Donald Judd (American, 1928-1944). After looking at a number of his sculptures and discussing their size, colors and materials, each child was given 4 Jenga blocks to paint in Judd colors. The plan was then to split into teams on Friday and see what we could build. We may still try it when we return to school.

Marie-Sophie and her dad Jjim were supposed to be our guest scientists this week; we hope they will be able to share once we are back!

Dramatic Play, Building Area and the Discovery Table

Martine transformed our dramatic play area into a jungle boat cruise this week. Children made binoculars out of halved toilet paper rolls, animal masks to use while playing and spiral scaly snakes out of paper plates and stamping bubble wrap. Our building area included Joinks and wooden blocks, and, like Peach Crayon in The Day the Crayons Quit, “naked” crayons in our discovery table. We asked the class to spend some time peeling the wrappers off of the crayons in order to strengthen the fine motor muscles in their fingers.

As Nina said in her email, we will be sending you a week's worth of one activity idea/day on Sunday or Monday. In the meantime, enjoy this link to virtual tours of 12 famous museums! https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/museums-galleries/museums-with-virtual-tours

Stay healthy and wash your hands!

Emily and Martine

Questions to ask your child:

What question would you like to ask me about “back in the day?” (Hint, it has to do with a song Steve taught the class)

What colors did you paint your Donald Judd blocks?

What was your favorite scene from Journey?

Which did you like more, The Day the Crayons Quit or The Day the Crayons Came Home?

#OliverJeffers #crayons #DonaldJudd

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