Friday, December 15, 2017

Peef the Christmas Bear

Tom and Peggy Hegg came to read Peef the Christmas Bear to the whole preschool this morning. Mr. and Mrs. Hegg retired last year after teaching at Breck for many years. Both of them had an impact on countless students and are treasured by the Breck community.  Tom has written several books (A Cup of Christmas Tea and the Peef series are seasonal favorites here in the Twin Cities). 

We were very excited that they came and continued the tradition of reading Tom's book to the preschoolers this year. 

Code In

Coding is one essential skill for many in the work force today and will likely have a continued importance in the near future. The Lower School has various coding activities embedded within the curriculum.  Every winter we have a formal CODE IN.  This morning the whole Lower School gathered and had coding activities that were age and skill appropriate.  The preschoolers had a fun time creating commands for Daisy the Dinosaur!

Coding with a device is only one of the ways that we build problem solving skills.  Our engineering challenges in the classroom and the collaborative project room activities are other examples that develop these abilities.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Winter Concert Rehearsal

We had our first rehearsal for the Lower School Winter Concert today.  Today it was only preschool practicing. This is a BIG event in the Lower School at Breck. We look forward to celebrating the season with you. Every child in preschool - 4th grade is part of this event!

Please drop your child off at the classroom and go to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. When the concert is finished, you may pick your child up in the classroom.  This helps us ensure that we are organized as we enter the Chapel and can be certain each child goes home safely.

Our class stands in the middle of the whole preschool grade. 

When the preschoolers are on the stage they are in the middle of the risers going toward the mosaic side of the chapel.  The best seats for viewing the preschoolers will be the center of the chapel and toward the organ/choir loft side.  I would suggest avoiding seats that are near the mosaic side. 

Hannukah Party

The whole grade gathered yesterday to celebrate and learn about Hannukah.  We made hand print menorahs, ate latkes, and learned to play the dreidel game! Thank you to all the parent volunteers that made it possible.


The class created a plan for converting our loft into a winter fireplace. They painted cardboard to look like bricks and attached it to the bench and loft.  We then took extra blocks that we had and painted them to look like flames to add to the logs.

There are talks of smoke being added to the chimney and roasting of marshmallows!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Challenge in the Loft

We started a new challenge in the classroom today.  The children were given blocks, a box with Magna Tiles, yarn, lanyard string, and string. The task was to see if they could find a way to move blocks from the floor and up over the top beam of the loft. 

This was a time consuming task and we only had time for one group of four students to make an attempt.  It will be in the room for a few more days, so others will have an opportunity. The first group worked very hard and laughed a lot in the process. After many different iterations of their idea, they ended up creating a spiderweb in the top of the loft.

This was used to support a sting that went down to the floor and was tied to the object they wanted to lift.  The center of the web was the strongest area, and it was here that they pulled. 

These challenges require the students to communicate clearly with one another to find a shared solution. Ms. Carter and I will often ask questions to help the children find a concise way to explain their ideas.  Here are two videos that demonstrate how this happens during a busy challenge with the rest of the room still working as normal.

Every stage is often met with a mixture of failure and success.  Our class has become fairly adept at applying our class questions (What works? What doesn't work? What do you need to change?) as a framework to come up with an idea to rework an original plan. 

The Roads May Not Be Fun, BUT ....

Sledding during recess is great fun for the kids!