Playful Directions

Mrs. Forst's Pre-Kindergarten Blog

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We are Family!

Our families are made of so many different people. Yesterday’s Morning Message asked, “Do you have a sister?”  Children who do have a sister put their names inside a circle that was labeled “yes.” Those without put their names outside of the circle.  Today repeated the question about brothers.  Taking it a step further, we put two circles on the floor and handed each child a doll to represent themselves.  If you have a sister or brother, you put your doll in the corresponding circle.  If you do not have either, you put your doll on the outside of the circles.

All was well, until someone discovered that they needed more dolls.  One of the children realized that they had a brother and a sister and didn’t know what to do with their doll.  Mrs. Pless asked for solution suggestions from the group.  We had a few ideas percolating.

Idea #1:

Put dolls who have brothers and sisters in between the two circles.  We tried it, but the children realized that then it looked as though those dolls had “No” siblings.


Place the two circles on top of one another and then place all of the sibling dolls in the new, single circle.  Children who have only one sibling quickly realized that this wasn’t going to work.

Idea #3

Pick up the top (now stacked) circle and slide it over so that the two overlap only a small bit in the middle.  The overlap is where you put dolls who have both brothers and sisters.

We have certainly had classes figure out the final solution in the past, but we’ve never had so many thoughtful experimental ideas.  It was quite exciting to watch their mathematical thinking stretch.


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Conferences (Team Family)

There are many ways for teachers to approach conferences.  It could be a time to focus on the academic strengths and weakness of a child.  The social and emotional skills of each student could be the star of the conversation.  We could spend our 20 minutes discussing the activities the children have been involved or their interests in over the past few months.  We could even discuss troubles the child has at home and school, seeing where they meet and work on solutions together.

In the past, I’ve prepared notes for each conference detailing strengths and areas for growth for each student.  I’ve spent the first 15 minutes talking to the parents and then, in the last five asked them if they have any concerns or questions.  I think it worked, but I think we can make our conferences more useful.

This year, I want to try something new. I want to know what you, the parent or caregiver, are most interested in discussing.  We’ve spent two months with your child and are getting to know them pretty well.  You are the members of our team that we don’t know well, yet.

Before you meet with us on Friday, please consider what you’d like to talk about most.  I want our time together to be productive for you, especially since you are taking time out of your busy day to visit with us.  For this reason, one of the first things I’ll ask you on conference day is:

What would you like to talk about today?



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Thursday, October 20th

WT Bears for the Cure all school Pink Out fundraiser – “Jeans Day”. Students can wear jeans and pink for a small donation.

Any child who wishes to wear jeans and a pink shirt may turn in a small donation at the office.


Oh, the Squishiness of STEM

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When Autumn Leaves Meet Summer Weather





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See Saw Science

Some days we are delighted to find that the students latch onto an idea or hypothesis and just run with it. Today, we were lucky enough to have one of our parents volunteer to read a story called Just A Little Bit by Ann Tompert that involved an elephant and a see saw. The whole book, the elephant tries to play on the see saw, but it just won’t work. He’s too big. Many animals try to come to the rescue by piling on the other side of the see saw but nothing happens. Nothing seems to work until a beetle lands on the animal group and the elephant finally gets to pop up in the air on the other side.

We talked about how this book teaches us about science and that we’re all really scientists. We do science experiments every day without even realizing. When you tell a silly joke and your friend doesn’t laugh, that’s an experiment. When you try a new food that you’re sure is going be disgusting and it’s actually delicious, that’s an experiment. When you launch yourself off the couch and land on your brother, that’s an experiment. (Let’s be honest, some experiments are safer than others.) Sometimes the experiment works and sometimes it doesn’t. What is most important is to ask “why?”. Why didn’t it work? What went wrong? How can you fix it?

Once the story was over, the students jumped at the chance to build their own see saws with our outdoor blocks. Many of the students started on a smaller scale with just one block as the base, while other’s were determined to make their see saws higher. After lots of tinkering and testing, it was decided that the higher see saws were not quite as safe and so we down-graded the amount of blocks that were being used. Some children added the colorful blocks to act as handles, while others used them as a weight so that they could try to see saw by themselves. Even Mrs. Forst joined in on the see saw fun!

There’s nothing better than a recess full of problem solving and physics.


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Important Message From Our Sponsor

School will be closed this Monday for Rosh Hashanah. On Tuesday, all students must be at school by 8:30 for our visiting artist assembly.

(Happy Friday!)