This morning, a group of students spent a large chunk of their morning play time designing and implementing a classroom pet store. The students worked diligently to draw various pets that could be sold and decided together how much each pet should cost. It wasn’t long before they pulled out the cash register and started making money and credit cards that people could use to purchase the animals. The name of the pet store is still up for debate but lots of ideas were tossed around. The look of excitement was clearly present on each of their faces and we are anxious to see how this pet store will grow and prosper within the classroom.
The students traveled to the city campus today to meet Megan McCarthy, our visiting author/illustrator. It was a jam-packed morning filled with two exciting bus rides, some playtime with our city pre-k buddies, and of course learning all about Megan McCarthy and how she became a children’s book author.
The warmer weather has finally arrived. Last week, I was attempting to lure the warm front out direction through the power of suggestion. After a very cold weekend camping in the snow with my family, I bought some potted flowers for our classroom. I think the sight of their vibrant color gave me the illusion of warmth. In all honesty, I just wanted a little bit of proof that Spring had truly arrived.
For the next few days, our room had a heavenly smell. Luckily, none of the children presented any symptoms of allergies. They took delight in noticing the small changes within the flowers each day. A few children took it upon themselves to draw the flowers. Some began drawing and then drifted away to find a new focus. At least two students sat and drew variations on the same flower for over 30 minutes.
Now, as the weather finally warms up and our class flowers begin wilting, we look forward to finding native flowers along our Northbound Trail and within our fields.
Fine motor ability is one of the many important skills we continually practice in Pre-K. Fine motor skills involve working the small muscles of our bodies to complete tasks such as writing, cutting, grasping objects, fastening clothing, and much more. Strengthening these skills helps set a foundation for the work children will need to complete later on in their educational careers. Children will continue working on their fine motor skills for the majority of their childhoods, however even adults (musicians, jewelry makers, physicians, machinists, etc.) continue to hone these skills to improve their dexterity and control required for their jobs.
Dr. L. Fleming Fallon Jr. explains, “The central nervous system is still in the process of maturing sufficiently for complex messages from the brain to get to a child’s fingers. In addition, small muscles tire more easily than large ones, and the short, stubby fingers of preschoolers make delicate or complicated tasks more difficult. Finally, gross motor skills call for energy, which is boundless in preschoolers, while fine motor skills require patience, which is in shorter supply. Thus, there is considerable variation in fine motor development among children of this age group.”
If you would like to help your child strengthen their fine motor skills at home, we suggest doing simple activities that children already enjoy doing. This can be anything from helping to mix the batter while baking, playing with/squeezing play dough or clay, beading necklaces or bracelets, cutting with scissors, or playing with puzzles. Even playing on the monkey bars helps to tone and shape the same muscles they will use to write their names. All these activities will give your child the opportunity to work out those hand and arm muscles which in turn helps to strengthen their motor control, flexibility, and dexterity.
In the last few days of school, we tend to spend our time reflecting on what the students enjoyed the most during their time here in Pre-K. Sometimes it’s activities we did together such as going on field trips or doing our play, and other times it’s as simple as playing with friends or spending time outside. We have had such a wonderful year playing, learning, and growing.
Here are the favorite activities of the 2012-2013 pre-kindergarten class.