Wow! We have started off with a BANG! In the past 2 weeks, our little guys have already made SO much progress with independence, tolerating the longer day, and welcoming all of the new things we have introduced to them. This is going to be a great year! We are very excited to continue nurturing them and watching them blossom even more!
By now, you hopefully understand the “House” system here at Frey, and you know which Houses your kiddos are in. If not, let us know, and we will be happy to pass on that information. Many of the competition points and behavior rewards do not apply to Preschool, but it’s a fun way to be a part of this big, school family and meet new friends and mentors! I will give you the details of getting their house shirts, if you want them.
As far as my Blog goes, it will be just like last year, with a new post every other week to fill you in on everything we are doing in class. Sometimes I may have a special “Point of Interest” to share with you, and you can always find the “nuts and bolts” of everything we do on the permanent pages published at the top or side of every post.
Wrapping It Up
We finished up our “Back to School” unit with the books Pete the Cat, Rocking My School Shoes by Eric Litwin and The Seals on the Bus by Lenny Hort. We have spent much time remembering things about our school and all the wonderful things that happen here! We have visited the library, lunchroom, and playground just like Pete the Cat. We have ridden in several different versions of makeshift buses, and we learned how to be safe on a school bus (and being safe does NOT include seals, snakes or skunks!) We have learned about classroom rules and routines, how to “Aim High,” and how to be a good friend!
We began our “letter of the week” routine with “s” and “b.” Letters are carefully chosen within the units, and the activities are designed to introduce the children to relevant vocabulary and sounds associated with specific letters. For this reason, we do not follow alphabetical order to introduce the letters. We will continue to focus on the color yellow and the rectangle through the end of the month. Remember to check the pages to the right titled “Let’s Practice Our Letters!” and “Lets Practice Our Shapes!” to support the auditory cues we use for forming shapes and letters.
This week, we will begin our “All About Me” unit. Our highlighted stories are All By Myself by Aliki and From Head to Toe by Eric Carle. These books should both be available at the library. As many of you know, we read All By Myself last year. We are including it again because it is a very comprehensive, yet engaging, story about a day in the life of a boy our age. It’s the only one I have found that includes all of the key concepts of this unit. This story will emphasize such concepts as dressing, eating, grooming, going to school, doing chores at home, and being more independent.
From Head toToe enters as a segue between this and our next unit! It features a wonderful, rhyming text that compares different animals’ physical abilities on one page, to a different child’s same physical abilities on the facing page. We learn more about our bodies and the multitude of things we can do with all of our parts! We will focus on body parts, movements, and our 5 senses through our many, multi-sensory games, projects, and large group activities.
As part of each new unit, we will continue posting a copy of the concept map which includes the instructional standards we use to plan our lessons. This concept map also includes the vocabulary and essential questions that we explore throughout the unit. It would be very helpful for you to find copies of the books to keep at home. The children become so familiar with the books, and they love to “read” to Mom and Dad. Also, if you have the books at home, you can refer back to the pages to point out the answers to the questions. This helps develop beginning “research” skills.
We will also continue to send a copy of the unit songs on a new CD for each unit. If you were with us last year, you probably have the CDs for some of the themes we will repeat. But if not, let us know and we will be happy to copy one for you! The songs are chosen carefully to help reinforce specific vocabulary and concepts throughout each unit. Please make a point to play and sing this music with your children in the car or during “down times” at home. They love it, and the music reinforces so many skills! You may actually find a few you remember and/or enjoy!
The next two weeks will bring us the letters “e” and “z” and a transition to the color brown and the shape square!
- Wednesday, August 22 – Picture Day
- Wednesday, August 29 – Early Release Day – Students release at 12:30pm
- Monday, September 3 – Labor Day Holiday (Schools Closed)
Wish Upon a Star
A very big THANK YOU to all who have sent in items from our wish list! We are partners when it comes to the care of your little ones at school, and the items you provide help us ensure their comfort and well-being while they are with us! The ONLY ongoing need we have is white cardstock. This is due to a recent change in the way we present our stories and essential questions. Both the stories and essential (comprehension) questions are now presented to our little guys in a completely interactive format, where they can physically manipulate the vocabulary. They can make, and read, complete sentences all by themselves within this engaging platform we use to supplement each story!