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Newsletter 1.19.18

Our Learning This Week

This week made more “snow” out of conditioner and baking soda. We used the snow, cups, applesauce cups, and spoons to make different snow shapes including igloos, ice cream, and skating ponds. We discussed and explored the shape of an igloo using the applesauce cups. We tired to build snow around it and we also packed snow inside it and flipped it to make the dome shape. To also continue exploration of igloo building we wrapped the small square blocks in white paper to represent the ice blocks used for real igloos. Later in the week we used mini marshmallows to explore igloo shape and building. Some friends discovered that if you squeezed them all in your hand you can make a sticky circular shape like the dome of an igloo. Other friends tried to build up but when they had trouble they decided to make the shape flat on the table. Other friends worked carefully and diligently to build up and make a round wall. We did a wonderful job only eating 1-2 marshmallows and saving most of them for our work.

After we were done with the marshmallows, we used a new bag to make Rice Krispy treats. To keep the idea of spreading love and community we made enough for our friends in Pre-K 202 as well. This was a fun Friday treat.

We have also been exploring out school and the people within it. We toured the different floor (2-6) and discovered how to read the room plaques with room number and teacher name. We recorded what grade each teacher teaches and placed this information on a large chart with each floor of our school. We also visited the custodians in the cafeteria after lunch while they cleaned up. We interviewed them learning lots of new information about who they are and their job. We will continue interviewing different people around the school and learning where they are located and about how everyone comes together as a community to make the school run.

Songs

We read the book What a Wonderful World based on the song. After reading and discussing the pictures we listened to several versions of the song at various times throughout the day with and without the book.

Our favored version is by IZ;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0xoMhCT-7A

Coming Up Next Week

Sharers

Monday – Rafael

Tuesday – Lyla

Wednesday – Olivia

Thursday – Tsubasa

Friday – Desmond

 

Snack

Jan 23 & 24 – August

Jan 25 & 26 – Matteo

 

Mystery Readers – 9am – Shhhhh its a surprise!

Tuesday 1/23 – Lily

Wednesday 1/24 – Stephanie

Thursday 1/25 – Kazuma

 

Reminders

Pre-K non attendance day Wednesday 2/7/18

Please return all sleep items on Monday

Please help us build an igloo by bringing in gallon and half gallon milk/water/juice jugs

Newsletter 1.11.18

Our Learning This Week

This week we packed our brains full of new learning! We began speaking about our school community and making the idea of community more of a focus. It is always an ongoing base idea for many of our rules and routines, but now we are broadening the idea outside of our classroom walls in a deeper meaningful way. We discussed the people in our school who are a part of the greater community and a learned a bit about each person’s roles. Next week we will visit and do interviews of some of these people. As many of our Pre-K friends have siblings in other grades making the connection to outside of the classroom strong. We even had a few siblings join us as Mystery Readers this week. We have really enjoyed making guesses and learning to narrow down these guesses with clues about the upcoming reader. It is always a great surprise when someone walks through the door.

We learned more specific details, answering our questions, about igloos. We learned why they tend to have lines and how the lines get there. We learned this when watching a short video of an igloo being built. We learned how and why people and animals use them – as shelter to stay warm. We learned that igloos can actually keep you warm, because snow can act like a jacket, or an insulator. We used the pictures of igloos in our room to inspire building with hallow blocks and unit blocks. We also dreamt about our perfect igloo and drew a first round of plans with pencil on paper. We also took this a step further and created an igloo out of white materials using glue and scissors. Please remember to bring us gallon and half gallon milk/water/juice jugs to help us build a classroom igloo!

We also connected our school study and previous learning with the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. We learned that he championed for all people to be able to go to any school, eat at any restaurant, and drink out of any water fountain. He did this by wanting to spread love to make the world a better place. We spoke about how we can make our school a better place by spreading love. We out this into action by writing/drawing these ideas or just the word LOVE on hearts and delivered them to classrooms and posted them on walls and in the elevators and stairs. Pre-K 202 did this also so by the end of the week there were many hearts and much Pre-K love all over the school.

We also made avocado toast this week. While Melysa was eating an Avocado during breakfast Oscar declared, “you can make avocado toast with that!” Then many other friends chimed in with, “yum” and “I love avocado toast.” We discussed how to make it, wrote out a recipe including different agreed upon toppings to try, then put it all to practice and made it as a team.

Next Week
We will dive deeper into our school study by interviewing and visiting people and classrooms.
We will begin to explore more and map out the school.
We will discuss igloo building and begin to think about materials and steps needed to build our own.
We will explore the shapes of igloos in the sensory table with “snow” and fruit cups.

Songs this Week

We listened to a song about Martin Luther King Jr.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-oAKnlVLFc

We have also really enjoyed dancing to Halloween Baby Shark when we need a break (started as a request by a child)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pm-wT01kDT4

Coming Up Next Week

No School on Monday 1.15.18

Sharers

  • Tuesday – Matteo
  • Wednesday – Dahlia
  • Thursday – Gibson
  • Friday – Alissa

Snack
16th – Dahlia

17th & 18th – Roman

19th & 22nd – Asha

Mystery Readers – 9am – shhhh remember it’s a surprise!
16th – Devin

17th – Josh

18th – Maggie

Reminders
Please label all of your children’s personal items.
Only soft stuffed animal lovies in school. No hard toys or trinkets please.

Newsletter 1.5.18

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Our Learning This Week

We had a wonderful (short) week back to school. It was a great way to start 2018 and we are ready to dive into a long stretch of time to dig deep into some studies. We continued our discussion around winter. We read My First Snow by Peter McCarty and Snow by Roy McKie and P.D. Eastman. We talked about all of the things we know about winter and we were inspired to start studying igloos with the idea to build our own in the classroom. We began by asking a simple question – What is an igloo? –  and looking up pictures. We talked about what we know so far about the subject and discussed questions we want to know more about. After this discussion, some friends built igloos in the block area for their lovey to live in. Melysa also printed pictures of igloos, including the inspiration for building our own classroom igloo, and hung them up for us to see. We are excited to continue this study.

Today a Pre-K friend came up with the idea of acting out The Three Little Pigs (we have been reading different versions). Four friends volunteered to play the three pigs and the wolf. As Melysa read the story the children acted out their parts. This is something we previously tried to work on, but we were not very interested. Now we love the idea! Melysa made story cards for the characters in the story so that we can take the idea further on a more independent level during choice time.

We also started our quiet time journals this week. We are using these journals to work on writing and reading, as well as participation in the school wide practice of quiet time.  Sometimes Melysa writes words or letters or shapes to help inspire us, but we can draw and write whatever we want in our journals. These journals are for our eyes and Melysa’s only, unless we choose to share.

Today we celebrated Carr’s 5th birthday – it was a super fun afternoon!

This Week’s Song

We learned the song Mi Cuerpo and it was an instant hit. We sing it in both Spanish and English.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dRxwOL7J7x0

Creating a Reader

We have been doing lots of talking about the parts of a book and how books work. It’s time for children to begin understanding that they themselves can create stories. We have been reading many different winter stories, those listed above and in previous newsletters, as well as The Mitten and The Hat both by Jan Brett and Red Sled by Lita Judge. Based on the winter theme provide time for your child to create his our her own winter story, inspire him or her be the author.

Learning for Next Week

We will be researching and answering our igloo questions.

We will begin discussing a plan for building our own igloo by drawing plans, building small scale igloos, creating materials lists, and writing directions.

We will begin talking about school community and incorporating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s words and ideas into this by spreading love through out the school.

Coming Up Next Week

Sharing starts again on Monday

  •     Monday Jan 8 – Roman
  •     Tuesday Jan 9 – Carr
  •     Wednesday Jan 10 – Asha
  •     Thursday Jan 11 – August
  •     Friday Jan 12 – Oscar

Parent provided snack starts again on Monday

  •     Jan 8 & 9 – Zoe
  •     Jan 10 & 11 – Carr
  •     Jan 12 & 16 – Dahlia

Mystery Readers – 9amShhh! Remember to keep it a surprise!

  •     Jan 10 – Crystal
  •     Jan 11 – Luciana

Reminders

No School on Monday Jan 15th

Please bring in a milk/juice jug or carton

There are still Mystery Reader spots for Jan 9th, Jan 24th and 25th – please sign up at least 24hr ahead

Any library books still at home, please bring back this Monday

Newsletter 12.22.17

Our Learning This Week

This week we buttoned up our study on light. We discussed everything we have learned. We completed the study by building a kaleidoscope. Melysa provided us all of the parts and we colored our own designs to place on the end. We put all the parts together and had fun looking through them to see what we made! We also completed our collaborative classroom decoration, and it is beautiful!

We also talked about winter ideas. We shared what we are going to do over break and the holidays we are celebrating. We started reading books based on winter like Polar Bear Night by Lauren Thompson, The Hat by Jan Brett, Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

We have also been showing interest in The Three Little Pigs so we began reading different versions of the story to go along with other fairytales we have already read. This is something that will be continuing into the next year. We will also start the new year with our in depth school community study.

 

I hope everyone enjoys their 10 home days celebrating different holidays, the new year, and family time!

 

Coming Up in 2018

Look out for an email at the start of the week back for information on:

Snack Schedule

Share Schedule

Who needs new extra clothes

Lovey/Stufty policy

Mystery Reader Sign Ups

Parent Interest Survey

Supply Needs

Newsletter 12.15.17

Our Learning This Week

This week shifted our focus from rainbows to light. There were many questions about light as light is the main ingredient in making a rainbow. We learned and tested the difference between translucent and opaque items. We made a chart documents out tested items such as: colored cellophane, glass beads, tree cookies, paper, aluminum foil, wax paper and more. After discussing this we used flashlights and a mini light table to further explore these properties within the classroom environment. We also watched a portion of a video where we learned how reflection works and helped cement our learning about refraction. We used mirrors to reflect light and to see the classroom reflecting back at us. We are hoping to explore other ideas about reflection next week. Finally at the end of the week we discussed and charted the difference between artificial light and natural light. Our definition of the two is: artificial is people made light or light that comes from the earth or space.

A few of the books we enjoyed the most this week were The Thank You Book by Mo Willems (a Piggie and Elephant book), Honda & Fabian by Peter McCarty, and The Dark by Lemony Snicket. A couple of these were new books picked from the book fair – thank you for the donations!

Thank you the family members who came to Family Friday we had so much fun decorating out paper towel tubes and cannot wait to make a beautiful decorative piece for our classroom. The children also loved getting Magnatiles and thoroughly enjoyed them all day! Thank you so much for the amazing class gifts.

Creating a Reader

Every child picked 1-2 new books this week at the book fair – read them to your child! Take all the strategies we have talked about before and implement them in these wonderful new books. The children should be very interested in them as they are new and they were 100% chosen by them – which we all know (to them) is always the best!

Coming Up Next Week

Share Schedule

Monday – Quinn

Tuesday – Zoe

Wednesday – Nathan

Thursday – Gibson

Last day of school before holiday break 12/22

Reminders

Please return library books Monday

Please label all winter items

Snack Schedule will start again January 2nd

Share schedule will start over on ½

Look out for information on Mystery Readers

Newsletter 12.8.17

Our Learning This Week

This week we continued digging deeper into exploring how rainbows are made. We learned that the name for when light bends to make rainbows is called refracting. We tested artificial light using a flashlight and prism. We did not see any rainbows. We had many thoughts as to why:

“The sun is far away. This is close.”

“There’s a lot of light.”

“Rainbows live in the sunlight and connect to the prism.”

“Because the sun is brighter and the battery is low, the light is little.”

“The rainbow is not inside.”

We took these ideas and did more rainbow making experiments with different materials, but the same light sources. We used water in a glass, mirrors and water, and CDs.  We placed the items in the window and shined the flashlight on them.

On Thursday we cleaned the sand out of the sensory table then helped Melysa place rainbow water beads inside. We poured water over the tiny beads and periodically checked on them to see how they changed. When we came in on Friday we had a sensory table filled with beads that grew! We learned that they expanded when mixed with water.

We took some loose parts and art materials and sorted them throughout the week by color to expand our rainbow study. We used the sorted items to help create a rainbow and color charts by gluing them to larger pieces of paper we colored as a team.

We also started exploring more loose parts and found materials through play. We are using tree cookies and shells to make “friendship cookies.” We used pieces of rope to role play dog walking. We used different sized cardboard pieces and paper towel rolls to build structures and also pretended to sword fight with the longer pieces. We used our new rainbow tape to make rainbows on paper and to tape tubes together to make binoculars.

There has been a boom in writing in the classroom recently. We have been asking to label and create more printed items during our play. We wrote STOP, GO, SLOW on a red, green, and yellow paper respectively to help in our vehicles play. We have been writing save cards for our block structures so we can add to them later. Some Pre-Kers have started copying the morning message from the easel onto paper. We have also started the message helper job this week, where 1 person gets to help write a few letters in our morning message. Many of the children are writing their name on their drawings and have been making name tags.

Creating a Reader

Help your child learn to predict. When reading a story, stop and ask, “What do you think is going to happen next?” If your child gives you an answer probe some more and ask, “Why do you think that will happen?” You can expand the conversation by asking, “What is another idea you think could happen?” If your child is struggling to come up with something help set them up for predicting by going over what has happened already in the story. Turn back the pages and point out key moments. Then ask, “ So if this happened, and this happened, what do you think is going to happen?” You can also offer ideas like, “I think this will happen. Do you agree? Do you have a different idea?”

Songs We’ve Been Singing

Rainbow Song (Twinkle Twinkle Tune)

Rainbow, Rainbow, I see you.

Rainbow, Rainbow, colors true.

Red, orange, yellow, green.

Blue, purple, work as a team.

Rainbow, Rainbow, I see you.

Rainbow, Rainbow, colors true.

 

We have also been listening to Over the Rainbow both the Wizard of Oz movie version and the IZ version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSZxmZmBfnU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1bFr2SWP1I

Coming Up Next Week

Sharing Schedule

  •     Monday – Rafael
  •     Tuesday – Olivia
  •     Wednesday – Tsubasa
  •     Thursday – Desmond
  •     Friday – Eric

We will be visiting the book fair on Wednesday 12/13 at 8:30am

Family Friday 12/15 8:25am

Reminders

Please return library books

Please bring in sleep items on

Please label all winter accessories –  please work on helping your child put them inside their sleeve when not in use. This is what we do in the classroom.

 

Newsletter 12/1/17

Our Learning This Week

This week we began a study on a common classroom interest – rainbows. There is often talk about rainbows and many drawings of rainbows. We started the week by learning a rainbow song and provided input on the movements to the words. We have sang this song all week and know it pretty well with the agreed upon motions. We have also been using color matching to greet friends in the morning at morning meeting. We even used our colors to help us line up in rainbow order. At the beginning of the week Melysa asked us all individually, “What do you know about rainbows?” She recorded our words and created a chart. We now have our prior knowledge documented for comparison later in the study. We have been reading both fiction and nonfiction books based on rainbows and listening to rainbow songs during rest. Some of the book we have read are: Somewhere Over the Rainbow, All the Colors of the Rainbow by Allan Fowler, A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman. To learn more we watched a snippet of an informational video about how rainbow occur. We learned that you need water and sun. We also learned that all the colors in the rainbow are in the sunlight and it needs something to reflect off of like water or a prism. We each took a prism and held it in the light in our classroom and noticed all the little rainbows reflecting around the room. We then took the prisms upstairs to the roof and learned that if you stand in the shadow rainbows cannot be made, but when you stand in the sun rainbows appear. We also tried to make rainbows appear in the mist from a water bottle, but it did not work. Throughout the week the children posed numerous questions about how rainbows occur: Do rainbows come out at night? Do rainbows only come out in the rain? Why don’t rainbows work in the shadows?

Also this week, we started show and share this week. A new friend each day has brought a different item and we have already gotten the hang of asking numerous questions specific to the item. We have listened to our friends words and worked on quickly looking at and passing the item around the circle. We are very excited to hear about who is next and to cross names off the list.

 

Boxes and small pieces of cardboard have been added to our Imagination Play area and we have been transforming them into different things. We use them to drive around the classroom like cars and firetrucks and trains. We also use the boxes that are broken down as lap tops. We have colored on them with markers and taped pieces of paper that look like keyboards to them. We also use them as a part of our play as seats in a car and places to store all of our items.

Creating a Reader

Ask your child to read you a story of his/her choice. You can role play – he/she is the teacher and you as the child. Let your child point out the pictures and tell the story from memory. You can ask your child questions about what is happening or prediction questions. Boost your child’s reading confidence by “ooohing” and “ahhhing” and listening intently to every word.

Coming Up Next Week

Pre-K Non Attendance Day Wednesday 12/6 – No school for our class

Show and Share Schedule

  • Monday – Matteo
  • Tuesday – Dahlia
  • Thursday – Alissa
  • Friday – Lyla

Reminders

Library is Monday

Please send only soft lovies for rest time

PLease return rest time items

Please be sure to label all of your child’s items – especially winter gear!

Family Friday 12/15

Newsletter 11.24.17

Our Learning This Week

We had an exciting short week. The highlight was a walk to the Brooklyn Bridge. The purpose of the trip was to gain building inspiration for the block area, to learn about landmarks in our neighborhood, and to have shared experiences with our classroom community.

In preparation we took a mini walk around the block of the school to get our first focused observations of the bridge from afar. We noticed that there were many cars that were going up. We also saw some doors and the main arches of the bridge. While we were walking we also found some really amazing big sticks to bring into our classroom for later use.

On the day of our trip we drew an interpretive picture of the Brooklyn Bridge only from memory with minimal direction. We discussed where we were going to walk and what to look for. ON our walk we looked at different parts of the bridge. We stopped underneath the curved entrance onto the Brooklyn bound side of the bridge. We noticed the curved shape and the very large pillars and piling holding it up. We drew our interpretation of what we saw while we stopped. From there we took a walk through the subway tunnel to come up on the other side near the bridge entrance. We walked part way up and stopped on the top end of the curved Brooklyn bound entrance to observe it from another angle. Many of the children noticed different buildings and lots of different cars. Next we walked even further up to stop and look in the other direction (north towards Chinatown). A few friends said they noticed the statues on the top of City Hall and that they saw the building they live in!

After this we walked back down and took stroll through a park between City Hall and One Police Plaza near the red sculpture. We stopped on the benches to have a snack. We walked back behind the police station and noticed many police vehicles (a bus, vans, and many undercover/plain cars). We made on final stop on Pearl St under the bridge where there were many arches and pillars as part of the bridge structure. Many children noticed different shapes like triangles, rectangles, and squares. From here we ventured back to school. Upon our arrival to debrief we drew a new picture based on the question “What do you remember most about the Brooklyn Bridge??” The children drew their interpretation and used their words to express their ideas and pictures. The three drawings will be put together and displayed in the hallway on Monday.

Our bridge trip opened up a new discussed of our neighborhood and our city and our location and place within NYC. This will be discussed further over the next few weeks. The children did a wonderful job asking questions, making observations, and staying together.

 

Creating a Reader

Passing on classic stories and fairy tales is a way to build culture and maintain history. Share a traditional meaningful holiday story with your child based on the cultural and/or religious holiday your family celebrates.

 

Coming Up Next Week

-Walk to the playground on Fulton and Pearl on Monday

-Show and Share starts Monday 11/27

  • Monday 11/27        Roman
  • Tuesday 11/28        Carr
  • Wednesday 11/29    Asha
  • Thursday 11/30    August
  • Friday 12/1        Oscar

-Wednesday – Happy Birthday (celebration) Alissa!

 

Reminders

Please return library books

Please return sleep items

Non-Attendance Day Wednesday December 6th

Family Friday December 17th

Newsletter 11.17.17

Our Learning This Week

This past week the children started talking about filling buckets. This concept is based around the books, Have You Filled  a Bucket Today by Carol McCloud and How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. The idea is that each person has a bucket and when your bucket is full you are happy and joyful and enjoying life, but when your bucket is empty you are sad, angry, and may do hurtful things. Every person is responsible for doing kind things to fill buckets. When you full a person’s bucket your bucket fills up too. When you are rude or unkind you are dipping into buckets. The children have grasped the basic idea of this and have started to talk about ways to fill buckets. We created a bulletin board with a bucket and water drops with ideas of how we can fill buckets. Melysa quoted the each child’s words and then child drew a picture representing the action. We will continue this throughout the year as this is a great social emotional tool for teaching our school rules, empathy, and awareness of others.

In connection with filling buckets and in the spirit of Thanksgiving we also spoke about being thankful and grateful. We shared many people and things we are grateful for and will continue to talk about this idea as the year goes on as it is not just a “Thanksgiving idea.”

We have been continually showing interest in letters and in light of this we have been choosing letter activities to participate in. We are decorating the alphabet to hang in the room, using dot paints to write letter, and are discussing letter sounds when writing our morning message. Melysa has also overheard many conversations about beginning letter sounds in our names and friends asking how to spell others names. There are many opportunities to authentically talk about letters with the children throughout the day.

Our first walking trip around the neighborhood was a success. We stopped and picked up leaves and sticks and other fall things. We will incorporate these items into our classroom by creating with them, exploring them, and using them as inspiration for play. Thank you to Rosa and Luciana for joining us!

 

Creating a Reader

Review time! As we often reread books as an important reading skill, I ask that you look back on our reading tips and continue to try to incorporate these ideas in your reading routine. The more natural they become the more you will help to create a strong reading base for the years to come!

 

Coming up Next Week

Tuesday Brooklyn Bridge walking trip with Pre-K 202

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Reminders

Please bring back sleep items

Please return library books

No school Thursday 11/23 and Friday 11/24

Pre-K non attendance say December 6th

Show and Tell starts 11/27

Trip to the park 11/27

Newsletter 11.3.17

Our Learning This Week

We have begun to discuss feelings this week in room 204. We have read several books about feelings, being angry, being sad, sharing, and solving problems. To accompany the books we made a chart about 4 ways to work through an upsetting moment. The children chose 1-2 ways to try when they are feeling upset, which could be sad, angry, worried, or overwhelmed. The children could choose: STOP and take 3 breaths, MOVE to a quiet area and sit still, ask for HELP from a teacher and listen, USE different words in a soft voice.

The children did lots of dot painting with dot paints this week. They were exploring dots, lines, and filling in color. They also had to negotiate sharing and compromise, as there were several children who wanted to paint but only 6 dot paints! The children appeared very happy to complete their work showing it off to friends and teachers. They children asked to have their artwork displayed, and Melysa obliged finding a place in the classroom for their beautiful work.

The children started using the marble maze this week. They worked on their problem solving and building skills. They worked together to create and test structures. They also worked on sharing, as there were only so many marbles. This has now been a popular choice during choice time.

Weekly Tip for Creating a Reader

Introduce a Book

-Show the title on the front

-Read the author and illustrator

-Talk about the type of book it is and discuss why you read this book

            For example: This book is called I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. This is a story book and it is fun to read and think about what the bear has to do to find his hat.

 

Coming Up Next Week

Snack

  • November 8th Quinn
  • November 9thth & 10th Eric

Reminders

  • No School Tuesday 11/7
  • Please bring back library books
  • The weather has changed, please ensure your child has weather appropriate extra clothing