Autumn Activities in Room 5

Nature in the classroom…

Art with leaf printing.
Art with leaf printing.

We gathered fallen leaves from our outdoor classroom and brought them in. We dipped them in different colored paint and pressed them down on our papers to make beautiful leaf (and hand) prints!

Our new sensory table!
Our new sensory table!

Math Foundations and Sensory Experiences…

Room 5 has a new permanent sensory station, currently featuring multi-colored beans with autumn “jewels” and measuring cups. We scooped and poured as we compared and counted the amounts of beans and jewels in our cups.

More fun with our sensory bin... our friends are hard at work!
More fun with our sensory bin… our friends are hard at work!

Our Cozy Campsite….

Complete with forest animals and a glowing fireplace.
Complete with forest animals and a glowing fireplace.

Room 5 also has a new campground theme in our dramatic play center. We are sharing our outdoor experiences in our indoor campsite, learning new vocabulary, and having new experiences like sleeping by a “fireplace” or in a tent! Sitting around the campfire is a great new way to come together as a group.

Don't worry, the bears are friendly here!
Don’t worry, the bears are friendly here!

Even for those who have not had their first genuine camping experience, the indoor campsite is a fun introduction to the concept of camping and being in the wilderness.

Welcome to Our NEW Blog!

We are pleased to announce our new blog! The intent of this blog is to provide snippets of preschool life in the form of fun stories and photos from the classrooms, studio, outdoor classroom, special events, etc. We will also be including tips and tricks for surviving the preschool years, links to informational articles, blogs and videos, and announcements for upcoming events.

We hope you enjoy this new blog. Click “Follow” to receive email updates when new posts are added.

Please note that this will replace the “Classroom Connection” newsletter.

Autumn Nature Walk

Room 2 friends enjoyed an autumn nature walk on the PCS campus this past week. After a blustery night before, there were oodles of fall ‘goodies’ to be found…seed pods, (almost) colored leaves, sticks, and more! The children picked up several bags of natural items, then came back to create beautiful fall collages. It was a perfect fall day!

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Oh Hello, Mr. Guitar and Mrs. Violin!

Whether we’re inside, outside, or visiting the “Big Field” we love to incorporate worship and music/movement into our everyday routine. We are filled with joy as we sing songs that remind us about how much we are loved by God!

There are so many benefits associated with music! Some of which include: learning to participate in a group activity, expressing emotions, strengthening listening skills, becoming aware of one’s body, cultivating imagination, and improving large and small motor skills. Music and movement is a time when we get to discover that movements have the power to communicate messages. Woah! Isn’t learning about the world around us,so much more fun when we get to act it out with our own body?
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It’s Time For…Small Groups!

Our Green Elephants, Yellow Giraffes, Blue Ladybugs, and Purple Butterflies LOVE small group time! Each small group consists of six children who rotate to four different stations in our classroom.

First, we have our Language and Literacy group. At this teacher-directed station, we implement our Happily Ever After Curriculum. At our elementary school, the transitional kindergarten (TK) and kindergarten classes also integrate a version of this program, called Superkids.Therefore, this fun reading readiness program helps us bridge the gap between pre-k and kindergarten, for our PCS families.  Happily Ever After is centered on classic children’s literature. These activities aim to meet a wide range of student objectives in the areas of vocabulary/conceptual development; print and book awareness; letter recognition; auditory discrimination; phonological awareness; comprehension, emergent writing; listening and speaking; and fine motor skills.

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Our Math and Science group is also facilitated by one of the three teachers in our classroom. Primarily, we use games and manipulatives to build understanding of spacial relationships, classification, patterning, and cause and effect. A fun way we help children develop a sense of quantity is by learning to estimate. For example, our math and science table has become an Estimation Station! At The Estimation Station, each child estimated the quantity of various objects (pine cones, pastel cubes, and glass marbles). They wrote down their estimations and counted the objects together. We celebrated the closest estimations with a special clap we like to call a “Fire Style” (everyone wants their friends to give them a fire style!)

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We develop knowledge of the natural world by going on nature hunts. We count, classify, and compare objects like sticks, pinecones, and leaves. It’s always fun to integrate nature and science into art. Check out our Leaf Man Project!

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Our third small group is The Writing Center. The children use their Daily Writing Journals to creatively depict their thoughts, feelings, and the images of their imagination. The children are either given “free choice” or an exciting prompt pertaining to things they have experienced that day or stories they have heard. Our main objective is to help children develop emergent writing skills through dialogue and dictation.

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Lastly, our Independent group is our child-directed activity. We put self-regulation to work as we look at books, build with blocks, assemble manipulatives, line up dominoes, or work with play dough. Here are just a couple of the independent group activities we’ve done.
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Occasionally, we are blessed with a Cal State LA student intern, and on those days our independent group is facilitated by a teacher in training.

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Leaping into Learning

We know that active play is an important part of a child’s development. Our Room 1 friends stay active in our outdoor classroom by running, leaping, climbing, jumping, and spinning! Gross motor skills are put to the test as the children leap onto a colored mat, but not before making a prediction. They shout with determination, “I’m gunna’ get red!” Then, they leap with all their might (sometimes falling short of their expectation but committed to trying again). We are building strong muscles, improving coordination, fostering cooperation, encouraging self-esteem, and learning colors…all while having a blast!

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Mixin’ It Up!

Who wants to sit and look at a boring ol’ color chart? No, thank you! We would much rather EXPERIENCE color mixing first-hand! During our morning free choice play, we had the opportunity to experiment with primary water colors at our science table.

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