Pre-K Pet Store

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.

We’re All Friends



Below, you will find the final draft for our Pre-K movie. The students diligently worked to craft their script and their characters. We could not be more proud of our students and their fabulous finished product!

Without further ado, I give you…



We’re All Friends


N.M. – a fairy queen
V.H. – Elsa
Z.W. – a dog named Shelf
R.M. – a doggie named Emma
A.H. – Sleeping Beauty
Z.B. – a talking carrot
P.M. – Steve
L.W. – Monster
L.L. – a baby horse named Melissa
J.K. – Olaf

Once upon a time there were two little dogs and a boy named Steve. Steve looks at his dogs and says, “Hey, you want to play?” and they played together and Steve said, “I’m going to throw this football like a quarterback.”

Shelf the dog plays football too and then they paint together.

Emma the dog says, “Olaf come play with us!” and they have a big party with Olaf and they all play like a family.
Shelf the dog says “Hey want to have a sleepover.” Everyone says “Yeah!”
Just then, they see two princesses. One named Elsa and one named Sleeping Beauty. They come to the party with a baby horse named Melissa.
Olaf says, “Would you like to stay over” and he says “Ok, we have 100 beds for you sleep in”. And they say, “Ok sounds good.”
Everyone gets tired and they all go to sleep.

The next day, everyone wakes up.
Elsa says, “Can we play outside?”
(Everyone nods)
Melissa says, “Let’s do some gardening!”
So they dig in the garden and plant some flowers.
Elsa says, “Wow, there’s a big carrot!”
Sleeping Beauty says, “Let’s pull it out!”
They all say, “One, two, three, pull!!”
The talking carrot goes POP out of the ground and says “Hey everyone! How are you doing?”
Everyone says, “We’re great!”

Just then they see a fairy. Steve says, “I think I know this fairy”.
The fairy says, “Hi, I’m the Queen Fairy. I don’t think we’ve met before.”
“Hi. My name is Steve” and they shake hands and he invites her to play. “Would you like to play with us?”
Just then, everyone realizes that the animals have gone missing. They all say “Oh no, where are our pets??”
They all start look everywhere. They look behind trees and rocks but they can’t find them.
The talking carrot says, “The monster took them!” and everyone gasps!
The fairy flies around and finds the animals. “The monster took them to a cave!” She says. She finds them in a cave and she uses her magic wand to free them.

She brings back the animals to the house but the animals are really tired and go they sleep.

But the monster comes back to get them! The monster says, “I want to eat those animals! I’m so hungry!”

The animals run away from the monster and hide behind the people.
Sleeping Beauty says, “You can eat some of our food instead!”
Shelf the dogs says, “Please don’t eat us, Monster.”
So Olaf and Steve give him lots of food from the refrigerator and he eats it all up. Then they all have a feast with lots of food.
The monster says, “Oh thank you, I feel stuffed!”
Everyone says, “Want to stay and play?”
And the monster says, “Yes, Please”.
Everyone says, “YAY!”
And they lived happily ever after.

The End.

Visiting a Pet Store

The visit to the pet store yesterday went perfectly. Well, maybe not perfectly, but we all had fun, found some pets, and behaved ourselves.  We had a bit of a wrinkle when 12 hours before our trip we found out Seahorse, Inc. did not have anyone staffed to open the store for our visit.  Oops.

(Think quick, Marie.)

Who knew there was another pet shop right next door? What luck! So we changed our plans a bit and went to Burton’s Total Pet instead.  When life gives you lemons, right?

Total Pet had exactly what we wanted to see.  We inspected the fish tanks, ogled at bunnies,  and drooled over a huge, all-inclusive rat cage with two female rats, (Ok, that was just me, but they were cute!)  The children were drawn to the Black Lory as it traded very loud squawks with them in a constant chorus of cacophonous noise.

A consensus arose and we decided to purchase one beta fish and three fiddler crabs.  If you haven’t already stopped in to see our new pets, you are welcome to do so.

We will be voting on names for our new friends later today. Wonder what silliness we can come up with?


Opera Interactive (and a surprise connection!)

This morning a Pittsburgh Opera ensemble joined North Hills Campus students for an adventure exploring opera.  This is an annual presentation that mixes improvisation, opera, world languages, and story telling.  The actors come prepared with a trunk full of props and a bucket full of topic ideas.  The children choose a story plot randomly and then choose two arias for each singer to perform.  The students pick the arias based on the emotions they think will fit best with the story. At the end, the new show is put together and performed for the students.

And now for the topic for today’s show….

(drum roll, please)

The Family Pet

No, really. I swear I didn’t put that piece of paper in their jar of choices.  It gets even better. The actors (without any coaching from me or the class) began referring to the “setting” as a Pet Shop.  Now, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the Pre-K built a pet shop in our classroom two days ago.  Our children were so completely connected with the opera ensemble! I wonder if we’ll see any singing in our class pet store?

Shopping in the Pet Store
Shopping in the Pet Store

The Mystery Egg Has Hatched!

Several weeks ago, our classroom became the new home to Silkworms, Painted Lady caterpillars, and a mystery egg. Slowly, the caterpillars grew and began to transform, while our mystery egg lay dormant. The students began to wonder what was inside the egg and if it would ever hatch!

Some students guessed a unicorn, caterpillar, or a tiny Evan would emerge from our egg. Mr. Cooper (P.E. teacher extraordinaire) suggested that perhaps it was just an old marshmallow. Several more weeks went by before our mystery guests decided to make an appearance. What was inside, you may ask? Praying Mantises, of course!

What an amazing world!



A little while ago, we had a very special visitor to help us in our quest to understand ornithology.  Meet Rainbow Dash, a parakeet who loves to sing, flits happily around in his cage and was a lovely friend to spend time with.  While observing Mr. Dash, the children noticed that he enjoyed hopping from branch to branch and didn’t really fly much inside his home.  Although the children were a bit disappointed, they took it rather well when we informed them that, no, he was not going to have a chance to fly around the room.

Dream Pets

This week, we wound up our pet study by finishing the imaginary pet books we began two weeks ago. The children worked hard designing illustrations to support the text. We have many interesting pets represented, including one call a “ham”. Oddly, the “ham” is drawn as a humanoid shape. It also eats bunnies and people. When questioned by a peer, the student responded that the “ham has a funny diet. It eats everything.” Other pets include a lizard, many fish, a puppy dog, and a Pegasus.

All of the completed books will be placed in the author’s portfolio for your viewing pleasure. Remember that we’ll be scheduling Parent Conferences soon for March 2.

Pets Unlimited.

Our study of pets could only end one way.  You knew it was coming.  Last week we piled into the vans and headed off to the Seahorse to check out how a real pet store works and peruse their wares.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by Heather, who had kindly opened the doors to us one hour before the store opened for the public.  As she took us on a viewing tour of the animals, she explained the jobs many of the workers were doing to prepare for the day.  Birds were being fed, cages cleaned, and puppy toenails were being clipped. We saw chinchillas and lizards, parakeets and leopard geckos.

The most beautiful  was certainly the saltwater aquarium portion.  The children spent many minutes peering into the tanks, searching for living treasures.  Although it was exciting to see the clown fish, everyone’s favorite movie fish, it was the lion fish that held their attention rapt.  We also found starfish, crabs, and an octopus.

The Lion Fish has spots and is poisonous.
Inspecting a sea urchin.

During our visit, at least one child was brave enough to hold a bearded dragon.  Many others felt its skin and then followed up with a generous amount of hand sanitizer.

The next stop was the freshwater fish, but we got a wee bit distracted on the way.  One of the workers was clipping a puppy’s toenails as we walked past.  Pandemonium reigned.

(In case you are wondering, we came home with five pets: two fish, two newts, and a millipede.  Creatures that hopefully I can handle.)

A Pre-K Pet?

Below is a list of possible pets that the Pre-K students came up with today.  We announced the possibility of getting a pet this week and thought that it would be best if the children were invested in said creature.  As you can see, we have some discussions in front of us.  We would love to hear what you have to say about this question as well.  Please vote and let us know which animal YOU think is the best for our classroom.

[polldaddy poll=3761644]

Our Furry Friends

Following many play scenarios involving pets, we decided to focus more directly on this topic.  We began the study by creating a list of all of our favorite animals.  (We tried to include some animals we didn’t love as much, too.) Next, each child helped sort the collection into two groups: Pets and Not Pets.  After a lengthy discussion, it was concluded that some animals can be considered to be both.  For instance, a fish can be a pet, but if you catch one in a pond, it is a wild fish and needs to be free in the pond. (Luckily, no one had recently eaten freshly caught fish, or I would have been having a completely different conversation.)

Each child then imagined what it would be like to have the pet of their dreams.  Using a few prompts for help, the children answered such questions as: What does your pet like to eat? Where does it sleep? What does it like to do?  The plan is to use these answers to create a book.

Writing about my imaginary pet.

One of the conversations we heard in play centered around taking care of sick animals.  We chose to revisit their beloved potion making station and create medicinal potions for sick pets.  We took this activity one step further this time, building off of our previous week’s introduction to recipes.

How do you write a recipe?
Choosing ingredients for our pet-medicine-potion recipes.

Mystery Project on Wednesday provided the children with a chance to design their own pet using random art supplies.  Watching them plan, glue, change, re-glue, demolish, and recreate a variety of animals was almost as much fun as making them ourselves.

"Build Your Own Pet" Workshop (otherwise known as Mystery Project)

Of course, once you have a pet, you need to have someplace for it to live.

Our pets need cages to live in.

And we can’t forget that we’ll need someplace to shop for all of our pets’ needs.  Our simple cardboard pet shop was instantly transformed with tables, beds, more cages and kennels, food dishes, decorations and a large selection of aquariums.

Pet Store: complete with cages, kennels, food bowls, aquariums, cat toys, and dog beds.