Tuesday, November 21, 2017
It is a very different day here at school. Please remember that it is a half day of school for ALL students. There is NO EXTENDED DAY.
Special guests are invited to leave their jackets in the coat check located in Gym C. The preschoolers will spend most of their time in the classroom. We have a short snack break at 8:45 and chapel at 11:00. The rest of our school day will be in the room. Once chapel is finished we will return to the classroom. Families leaving by bus are dismissed first. This allows the buses to leave campus prior to our carline families. We try to stagger families leaving to prevent traffic congestion.
I look forward to meeting everyone who is coming tomorrow. To those families that are not participating this year, I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
Monday, November 20, 2017
We have been talking about what we are thankful for in our classroom. The conversation was guided toward "something we are thankful for that we cannot buy in a store." Everyone then made a painting of what they were thinking about. We used Sharpie markers and watercolor paints. While working students focused on using a proper pencil grip to ensure that we had good control.
After completing their images, each student then wrote about what they were thankful for. Writing is a difficult task for young children. They first need to hold an idea in their head. Once this is done then she/he needs to listen for the sounds that happen within words, and recall the symbol that goes with the sound. This is a challenging cognitive task that is then followed by the challenge of physically writing the symbol. With practice children are able to represent multiple sounds within a word, try to write more than one word, and eventually memorize spelling patterns. What is written in letters rarely represents the complex narrative that the writer has to go along with the image.
Wednesday, November 15, 2017
Painting at an easel is not only fun it helps develop the muscles that are used to write for longer settings. It requires standing which engages the core muscles. This helps facilitate a posture that allows for sitting for longer periods of time. A paintbrush is often easier to hold with a proper pencil grasp than a smaller writing utensil for many of our young students. When painting at an easel you use your whole arm and shoulder in a similar manner that happens when writing, but it does not require the same level of control.
Once the background was done students were asked to use a mirror to look at the shape of their features and to make it by cutting the shapes out of construction paper. They could use a marker to draw the shape that needed to be cut out, but all details needed to be made out of paper NOT ink. This required a LOT of cutting. Cutting with scissors is an easy way for all students to build their fine motor muscle control that is essential for using pencils and keyboards.
Most of these new portraits should be done by the end of the week. They are incredibly colorful and each was made with great care.
Sound to letter correspondence along with a strong sense of story are key skills in developing the ability to write and read. That is why in preschool you will often hear us say "What letter can make the sound ____?" rather than "___ makes the sound ___."