February 26, 2018


Welcome back from our Winter break!  I hope you were able to slow down and enjoy some special family time to refresh and relax.  I know I did, and I am so excited to welcome Spring with your kiddos!  This is such a fun time of year to observe the changes and newness of everything through their little eyes!  Let’s go!!!

Wrapping It Up

We had such a “LOVEly” time at our Valentine exchange! We had a nice lesson in “giving” and showing friendship and love by doing nice things for others!

Our Wild About Us  unit really turned our kids into “wild” animals.  We learned a lot about describing the different traits and characteristics of the animals in the story.  We talked about our own differences and how nice it is to be us!  The children loved this story, and we had so much fun reenacting the silly antics of the zoo!

My Heart is Like a Zoo  and Valentines Day At The Zoo were both simple, seasonal stories that expanded on many of the concepts introduced in our wild animal story.   The concepts of “love” and “friendship” were introduced as we discussed ways to show we care for each other and how to say “I love you.”   

Coming Next

                  

As a wonderful segue from zoo animals to farm animals, and more lessons in love, friendship and acceptance, Miss Moo Goes to the Zoo, by Kelly Graves, is a FUN story with rich vocabulary and concept awareness lessons about individuality, acceptance, differences, feelings and friendship.  The story is about a sweet, little cow who gets bored on the farm and sets out on an adventure.  When she finds her way to the zoo, she must try to convince the other animals that she is special and has something to offer, if only they will accept her.  Her quest finally comes to an end when the zookeeper takes her to the petting zoo, where there are other farm animals surrounded by lots of children to love them.  The story also offers many opportunities for repetition, sequencing, prediction, etc.

The Cow Loves Cookies, by Karma Wilson, is a really fun book full of rich, sing-song, rhyming text that traces the busy farmer through his day as he cares for each animal.  The repetitive, predictable words highlight different farm animals and what they love to eat, always concluding with the cow, who loves cookies!  Finally, we learn the reason “the cow loves cookies,” as the farmer and cow make a deal and share a special snack. The cookie subject matter adds to the fun, but the natural rhythm and repetitive nature of the writing allows for easy pausing, so the children can fill in the blanks.  

We will finish February reviewing the heart shape and the color pink.  This week we will also introduce and practice the letter “Gg.”  As we welcome March, we will introduce the diamond shape  and the color green.  We will also review letters “Qq,” “Bb,” “Tt,” “Zz,” and “Gg.”

Something of Interest  

We are very fortunate at Frey to have an amazing STEM lab and curriculum under the direction of the amazing and talented Allison Johnson.  It is, without a doubt, one of the best programs of its kind in the county, and the benefits for meeting the required standards at all grade levels are innumerable.  But, did you know that in Preschool, we have STEM standards that we are required to teach, too?  Yup!  Every Friday in our class, I lead some sort of STEM activity which I relate to our theme or unit.  These activities are always fun, hands-on, favorite times of each week (for the kids and me!)  BUT!  There’s more!  At least 2 times every quarter, Mrs. Johnson plans rich, engaging, age-appropriate STEM lessons just for our kiddos, and we get to go to the STEM lab just like the big kids!  During the week before Winter Break, we went to the STEM lab for a lesson on light and shadows where we got to stage lots of different scenes behind a screen and look at them with our flashlights.  Mrs. Johnson took some great pictures that I will share in a separate email to you.  On another visit to the STEM lab, we discovered things about motion and physics with several different configurations of marble run sets.  On yet another visit, we learned about magnets and the properties of various magnetic materials. Every time we go for a lesson in the STEM lab we get to visit the live turtle and watch the “roller coaster” do its long climb up and fast loopity-loops down!  We get to go for another lesson with Mrs. Johnson on March 13th!

Please join us for STEM night on Thursday, and consider supporting our STEM program as we begin our upcoming campaign to keep this program, and Mrs. Johnson, at Frey.  I will be leading an activity in “Glow Science” which is always a big hit!  Also, please visit the Foundation’s website at   https://freyfdtn.wordpress.com/, and look under “About Us” then “Teacher Testimonials.”  Scroll to the bottom of the page to see some other ways the Foundation has specifically benefited the Pre-K program at Frey!  

Upcoming Events and Dates to Remember

  • Thursday, March 1, 2018, 6:00pm – STEM Night!
  • Friday, March 2, 2018 – STEM Pep Rally
  • Sunday, March 11, 2018 – Daylight Savings Time:  Spring forward 1 hour!
  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 – Early release day – 10:30 dismissal for 1/2-day 3-year-olds; 12:30 dismissal for full-day students

February 5, 2018

We were completely overwhelmed by your demonstrations of appreciation last week!  The food and flowers and cards and gifts and notes and special, amazing  decorations were beyond wonderful, and you made Ms. Michelle and me feel like royalty!!!  We are both so thankful for the opportunity to partner with you in guiding your babies through their first school experiences.  We certainly couldn’t make a big difference for them, if not for your ongoing support of the things we do here.  THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!  A big, huge, special thank you goes to Michele Hynes, our room mom, for coordinating the events of this week and lending her time and talents (and decadent baked treats) to making us feel SO special!

Wrapping It Up

We all had an exciting week as we looked for, and finally found, that big, brown bear!  This was, by far, the most favorite story we have read so far!  We  went over, under, around, and through grass, mud, a river, a snowstorm, and a forest to find the “cave” where the bear was just waking up for Spring!  We had to bundle up for our bear hunt, but since it was also Groundhog Day, we chose not to consult with Punxsutawney Phil about any future weather reports!

We introduced and practiced the letter “b,” and we started our month with the shape of heart and the color pink.

Coming Next

                             

We move from bear caves to the zoo, as we wonder what the next few weeks will bring for weather.  The first story in our unit,  Wild About Us  by Karen Beaumont, highlights the wonderful differences and special characteristics of each animal.  Whether it’s Crocodile’s toothy grin or Kangaroo’s huge feet or Leopard’s spottiness, each animal is different. Wouldn’t it be dull if all the animals at the zoo—and all the people in the world—looked alike? Adjectives rule in this joyful celebration of everything that makes us individuals!

We continue our zoo unit with the books My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall and Valentines Day at the Zoo by Nadine Bernard. We will toggle back and forth between the two books, since they share many of the same concepts and vocabulary.  The first is one of my favorite books!   The rich, rhyming text and bright illustrations show twenty different animals that that you may see at the zoo.  The author uses descriptive adverbs and similes to introduce each animal (i.e., “As cool as a penguin, as brave as a lion,”) and the illustrator uses all hearts to create the animals.  There are more than 300 hearts for children to count!  The end brings us into the bedroom of a little boy with his collection of stuffed animals, and the words, (“As tired as a zookeeper.”)  Valentines Day at the Zoo is a delightful pop-up book about animals gathering the things necessary to make Valentine card .  The children love doing arts and crafts in the classroom, and you can easily carry over the concepts in the story at home by making homemade Valentines for family members and friends.  Work on having your children follow simple multi-step directions in gathering supplies, coloring, cutting and gluing.  We are continuously working on these skills at school, and when you are done you will have some beautiful creations to share!

We will continue to focus on the color pink and the shape heart .  We will introduce and practice the letters “z” and “t.”

Upcoming Events and Dates to Remember

  • Wednesday, February 14, 2018, 11:30 a.m. – Valentine exchange – Please see the following list of names for Valentine exchange:
    • Dominic, Jonathan, Meko, Jovanny, Joseph, Logan, Gabriel, Walker, Lake, Skylyn, and Haydin
  • February 19-23, 2018 – Winter Break, School Closed