Thursday, November 10, 2011

September: A great beginning

Wow, I've been so busy planning and teaching preschool, I haven't updated the website in forever. So here's a quick update.

I have the cutest class this year. There are 4 boys and 5 girls all ages three and four. They have big personalities, very creative minds and great enthusiasm.

In September our theme was about being brave, so we talked about learning new things, going new places and making new friends. We spent one day in Montessori fashion practicing life skills such as peeling a carrot, pouring cups of water, measuring cups of rice, and cutting and pasting pictures. We also improved small motor skills by doing sewing cards and stringing cereal into necklaces. Each child kept a chart of the things they accomplished. We also made an "All About You" book for each child with their handprints, footprints, height, weight and favorite things.

We read many books about being in new situations such as "Chrysanthemum", "Miss Mingo's First Day of School", "Courage", and "If you take a mouse to school". We also read books about harvest and apples such as "My apple tree", "Ten apples up on top", "Clifford goes apple picking", "Picking apples and pumpkins", and "Johnny Appleseed".

With everything being new, I spent time establishing routines such as circle time which includes our welcome song, pledge, prayer, guessing can, calendar and singing time. I use the music "Chicka, chicka, boom, boom" to signal that we are changing activities and it's time to clean up the room. We talked about classroom rules such as taking turns, raising your hand to speak in circle time and showing our classmates and teacher respect.

We jumped right into our reading program by introducing a letter every Monday and Wednesday. In September we learned short A, B, C, D, short E, F, and G. By the third week the students were begining to blend sounds into three-letter words. I taught them how to write the letter in the air and on a paper. We brainstormed objects that begin with that sound. We sang songs about each of the sounds and used several ABC songs that emphasize the letter sounds and names. We played lots of games to practice the letter sounds. One of their favorite is very simple but effective. I bought a letter train that is a series of 5x5" cards with a letter on each and objects that have the beginning sound. I put these all over the preschool room with poster putty and then say to a child, "Alexis, can you find a card with the letter that makes the sound b as in bird?" Then she looks all over for it. The other kids can't wait for me to ask them to go look for one.

I believe that music is a great teacher and a wonderful way to keep the kids moving and learning. In September we learned the Hokey Pokey, Head shoulders knees and toes, apples and bananas, If you're happy and you know it, Mulberry bush, I've something in my pocket, There were ten in the bed, Counting song, and the baby shark song.

Stay tuned for the October events!

We teach music, movement, reading, writing and math in Boise, ID

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