Welcome to Pre-Kindergarten!

Welcome to the North Hill Campus @ WT Pre-Kindergarten class! We’ve only been in session for two 1/2 day periods, and already Mrs. Pless and I have taken over 250 photos of your children in action.

This is the spot for all your news.   Here, you will find out more about the research projects your child delves into this year.  Announcements, funny quotes straight from your children, and insights into their learning will be posted here.  If you haven’t already, I suggest that you subscribe.  This will insure that each updated post will land safely in your mailbox.

Here is a peek at what has been happening over the last two days:

Let the journey begin!

082814_4580v2Whoo! We did it. We made it through the first two days of school.  The children were all patient and polite while we spent the first two days introducing them to the basics of room and materials management.  Yesterday we were all a about blocks and the kitchen.  Today, the loft is the MVP (most valuable plaything).  There was quite a gathering at the sandbox following its introduction today.  You might have also noticed that your child came home today with an extra quart of sand in his or her shoes.

The students have been having lots of fun and we’re learning many, many routines that will help the days run smoothly.  By 11:30, all of the children look ready for a nap.  Next Tuesday we will begin our regular schedule.  Please expect your child to be tired and possibly irritable for the first few days to weeks of school.  Beginning new routines and meeting new friends is much more stressful than we usually credit.  Patience, love, and consistency will get your child through this exciting time.

And We’re Off!

It’s hard to believe yet another summer has zipped by!  Welcome to a new school year, a new family, and new adventures.  I still need to upload our current daily schedule (a copy was sent home on Friday), but just in case you’re curious, here is what is happening when you drop off your child each morning.

When the children first arrive, they meet with one of the teachers to read the Morning Message.  This letter describes a bit about what the children can expect for the day and always includes a question to answer.  If you check the hallway in the morning, you’ll see the message from yesterday.

Following this, they choose from on of several workshops, or centers, available for the morning. This is a time of choice when the children are able to move freely about the classroom interacting with each other, the teachers, and the available materials for each center.  This part of the day is extremely important for both the children and the teachers.  As the children practice negotiating social interactions with their friends, we have the chance to support their budding verbal skills and ability to begin to empathize with their peers.  We also spend a great amount of time observing the types of play that interest our students.  From the information we gather, we can choose a path for our next topic of study.  Each year, the children bring different loves, interests, and talents to our group.  Watching these carefully, we can provide a direction to deepen their knowledge.

On a more organizational note, many of you have already provided the requested supplies mentioned in your Welcome Letter sent last Spring.  If you’ve not yet had the chance, please make sure your child has the following:

  • A full set of weather appropriate extra clothing to be kept at school
  • Rain boots (to be left at school or brought on muddy days)
  • An extra pair of sneakers for PE (for indoor or out, they don’t have to be new and shiny)
  • As an option, each child may bring in one, small stuffed animal for use during rest.  A good rule of thumb: if it doesn’t fit in their backpack, it’s too big.

We will go outside everyday unless it is pouring rain or so cold that our noses will freeze.  Boots and warm outer wear help the children enjoy our campus more fully.

The First Day!

Whew! That went fast! At 8:00 this morning, our little explorers began to arrive. Some of them were a bit nervous, some were very excited, and a few acted as though they had been coming here for years. (“Bye, Mom! Time for you to go now.”)

The beginning of the school year is always very busy. Many of the areas of the classroom are not yet open for use so that we can slowly teach the children the procedures and routines for particular supplies and manipulatives. For this reason, there are not very many options available upon arrival for the first couple of days. As we introduce new centers and materials each day, the choices that are available will certainly expand.

Today we introduced the kitchen in the dramatic play area and the block center. In our kitchen, we discussed the purpose for returning items to their previous baskets and shelves. We decided that food should go in the refrigerator, pots and pans in the oven, and dishes in the dish washer. Although it might seem a bit overboard for a group of four-year-olds, we know that they can keep an area organized if they know the expectations from the beginning. In the block center they learned that each block has a corresponding label on the shelf so that they can easily find a similar block or replace them when they are finished.

We also reflected on our feelings during our first day of Pre-K.  We were pleased to see that many of the children were feeling “happy” and “good”.  A few were more in the “shy” range with only one admitting to being overtly “sad” (although the picture she drew was of herself smiling).  One student went so far as to say that she was “nervous AND excited”.

Our class did make it outside today, as well.  Although the weather did not at first appear to be cooperating, luckily the rain stopped early enough for us to spend some time outside on the black top.  Children who brought rain boots were allowed to play in the grass, too.  If your child would like to keep rain boots at school for outdoor play, we can certainly accommodate them.  We believe that it is extremely important to get outside and get moving many times a day.  Heavy rain and dangerous weather are about the only things that keep us inside.

Amazing that we did all this in one short four-hour period.  We can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!