Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, June 13, 2014

A months of firsts... and lasts.

Summer is a time of transitions.  Friends who have been with me for two or three years are ready to move on to elementary school, new friends are ready to start preschool, and sometimes "old" friends come back for the summer.  This month we've had 4 children leave, 3 start, and we're not quite finished with the changes yet.  Come August we'll have several more.  

I think most teachers find this a bitter-sweet time.  It's wonderful when our students have mastered the year's curriculum, and I know I  want them to go on to their next educational adventures, but...  that means moving on, and after such a long time together, they - and their families - feel like members of my family.  New kiddos are fun, and it's an adventure getting to know each other.  I guess I could say those new relationships are full of promise.  No one knows what is to come, and we're all full of hope.

Here are a few of the things we've been doing as we say our hellos and goodbyes at school this week.
We're enjoying playing with manipulatives after lunch, learning about shapes and numbers together.

We've sorted, and pretended a lot.

 There were a couple of stormy days this week, so we got out of our rhythm, and improvised with whole days inside.  Play-dough to the rescue!

Several of the preschool children have mastered their letters and sounds, and have begun trying to sound out words as well as "read" books.  This week I started several of them on reading predictable texts full of sight words - which is really teacher talk for the next stage in teaching them to read.  This is a magical time, when children are trying to break the reading code, and have the tools to start figuring things out.  What a joy when a child looks up from a book at me with shining eyes and announces, "I can READ!"  With just a little more support and guidance, they will be unstoppable readers, because they know they can.  It is an exciting time!

One of our kiddos had a birthday this week, so of course we had to bake cupcakes. 

 I took two groups on field trips this week, and for several of the children it was their first time to go on a trip with me.  One group had a blast at the FW Museum of Science and History, and the other group loved seeing a Mad Science show at our local library.  If you are in the Arlington area, you really should know about all the free programs the library has to offer this summer - check it out here and the museum here.

 Pretend grocery store...
 ... snakes and spiders to observe...
 ... trains to play with...

 ...water play...
 ...and giant blocks to haul and arrange.  I asked one of the children what she was making.  "A sculpture," she told me.  Yes indeed!

 Another day we made my pumpkin gingerbread muffins for snack.  The children get very excited about the muffins, and not only because they help to cook them!  I have the recipe posted on my website:   http://paulaspreschoolandkindergarten.webs.com/favoriterecipes.htm  There is more pumpkin in the recipe than there is sugar, so it is jam packed with nutrition, as well as flavor.  They are super-moist... and even the newest 3 year olds can help to make them!  I hope you'll try them too - and let me know what you think!

Our summer is off to a great start!  We have a lot more fun to look forward to as we get to know our new friends, and learn together every day.  I hope your summer is jam packed with fun and learning too!  Have an awesome day,

Post Script
Ms. Julie just called me out to see what they kiddos are doing on the playground this morning.  They  are trying to make it rain.  They're out on the playground, sitting in a circle.  They're holding hands and have their eyes shut, and are chanting "Oh, ma-hey-ah."  Gosh I wish I'd have a change to get a picture of that!

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