February 13, 2019
This week has been an exciting one! So far, we have begun to use the blueprints we created last week to construct buildings for our showcase and make Valentine Bags. Dramatic Play and Block Area have been popular choices where students have explored trying careers such as architect, engineer, construction worker, inspector, and painter. Kids with snow clothes were able to engage in Outdoor Learning Time today. We made snow angels, went sledding, shoveled, and used buckets to collect snow! Our indoor movement group participate in stretching and breathing activities, then spent time in our indoor movement space. This week's focus standards include:
- The students will understand the attributes and relative properties of objects by comparing measureable attributes of two or more objects and describing the comparison by using appropriate vocabulary
- The students will apply scientific processes by defining problems to be solved including details and limitations to be considered
- The students will develop and understanding of economic systems and resources by beginning to be aware of technology and how it affects life
Tomorrow, we will have a small valentine exchange and a special snack. We are looking forward to seeing the special guests that have responded to our invitations to our Building Showcase on Friday at 2:30. Also on Friday, reminder sheets for conferences will be going home. If you need to change the conference time you had in the fall, please let me know as soon as possible. Remember that school will be closed on Monday 2/18/2019 and Tuesday 2/19/2019 for Winter Break. We will return to school on Wednesday 2/20/2019.
February 5, 2019
Happy Chinese New Year! Today we learned about the holiday. We read a book and each child got a special red envelope with "money" inside, a popular way families that celebrate this holiday exchange gifts. Each student was able to choose to save their money or spend it on something from the classroom treasure chest. We added a variety of items to our Discovery Center to help us continue to learn more about this culture.
Our buildings study continues! This week we are wondering, "What makes buildings strong?" Our focus standards this week include:
- The students will recognize and show acknowledgement of the feelings, needs, and rights of others through behavior
- The students will develop gross motor skills by alternating direction while running and stopping easily without losing balance
- The students will use expressive language by using more complex words learned through books and personal experiences
Over the next week, the students will be creating blue prints that they will use next week as they construct their buildings. We are so excited to have special guests come to our "Buildings Showcase". Please remember to RSVP!
We are also thinking about how to be good friends. We are learning the "Fair Ways to Play." We can do this by playing together, trading, and taking turns. Be on the lookout for Homelinks pages to learn ways to work on this at home too! We discussed that some families will celebrate Valentine's Day next week. If you are interested, we will provide the opportunity to do a low key valentine exchange. Please do not feel the need to write the name of each child on the cards, just your child's name will be great! We have 16 students in our class.
January 29, 2019
This week's essential question is: "Who builds buildings?"
Our focus standards are:
- The students will engage in the process of engineering by identifying a problem and, with adult assistance, design a solution, test, and refine design elements.
- The students will understand economic systems and resources by demonstrating awareness of the tools and technologies associated with a variety of roles and jobs, expressign interest in different careers
- The students will use logic and reasoning to develop symbolic representations by representing people, places, and things through drawings, movements, and/or three dimensional constructions that are increasingly abstract
Some of our activities this week include discussing a variety of jobs associated with creating a building. Some of the careers we've discussed so far include architect, engineer, construction worker, carpenter, painter, electrician, and plumber. In the block area, students continue to create blueprints for their buildings, then work with peers and teachers to create a three dimensional structure base on their drawings. Our Dramatic Play area is a place that is generating lots of excitement this week. We've included clothing and tools used by workers who create buildings. We've also added word cards to help students make the connection between the names of things and print. We will be adding additional features, such as blueprints, foam and craft sticks for banging with hammers, and blocks.
Please remember to save the date for a special person to attend our culminating activity on Friday, February 15 at 2:30. Next week, we will continue our study about buildings and discuss Chinese New Year.
January 23, 2019
This week's essential question is: "How are buildings created?"
Our focus standards are:
- The students will have sufficient control of writing implements to copy simple forms or geometric shapes and some letters
- The students will gain knowledge of print and its uses by knowing the direction print is read
- The students will compare sets of up to 10 objects using visual matching or counting strategies and describing comparisons using more, less, or same
We are continuing to learn the names of different building. We also continue to draw plans before building creations in block area. This week, we wrote about buildings in our journals. At the Toys and Games area, the students are choosing a number card, then counting out that number of building items to make their creations. This week, we began to plan a new Dramatic Play Area Theme. The students are deciding between "Construction Site" and "Workshop" and will be brainstorming lists of items we'll need in the area to promote play.
"Save the Date"-we'll host a culminating activity on Friday, February 15 at 2:30 showcasing our learning about "Buildings". Each student can bring one special guest to the event. During this time you will be invited to check out our documentation walls, view pictures and creations we've made, and participate in centers related to "Buildings" Be on the look out for more information to follow!
January 15, 2019
The essential question this week is; "What do buildings look like?"
Our focus standards are:
- The students will learn about people and their environment by describing, drawing, or constructing aspects of the classroom, home, and/or community
- The students will develop effective approaches to learning by planning and completing learning activities with peers
- The students will develop self-regulation by using strategies to self-sooth across situations with minimal prompting and share strategies with peers or family
Last week, we introduced the concept of sketching a drawing plan before building with blocks. Our "blueprints" are being displayed in our block area to inspire other builders. Today, we began drawing "maps" of our classroom areas. We have been learning to use a calm down strategy that includes three steps:
1. Put your hands on your tummy. Say, "Stop."
2. Name your feeling.
3. Take belly breaths.
January 8, 2019
Happy New Year! With the new year, we begin a new topic of study, Buildings! This week, we are determining what we know about buildings and what we are wondering about them. We'll be using the Three Little Pigs story to help us launch our study. Our focus standards for the week are:
- The students will use language for social interaction by sharing ideas and gaining information
- The students will understand shapes and spatial relationships by using relational vocabulary of proximity to identify and describe the location of an objects
- The students will apply scientific processes by engaging in collaborative investigation to describe phenomena or explore cause and effect relationships
Our social-emotional focus is learning to calm down. Be on the lookout for this week's homelink that explains how you can try this at home.
December 18, 2018
There is a definite excitement in the air this week. As we finalize our Music Makers study, we are reading books with holiday songs in them. Today, we read, "The Nutcracker", then listened to a bit of each piece during our group time. We added the book and CD to our listening center. We also began using our computer to view books, beginning with, "Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin!"
Our focus standards this week are:
- The students will create music using their voices and/or a variety of instruments and materials
- The students will observe how heating and cooling cause changes to properties of matter
- The students will demonstrate that there are similarities and differences among the cultural characteristics of people, families, and communities
Another piece of exciting news, our class filled our bucket. We brainstormed ideas of ways to celebrate, then voted on which celebration to have. Today we watched an episode of Micky Mouse Clubhouse as our celebration. We are looking forward to making good choices so we can fill our bucket again and vote on another celebration! When we return in January, we will begin a new topic study on buildings. Be on the lookout for more information to come! If you are interested, we'd love to have you send us pictures of buildings in Clinton. We'd love it even more if you have family members in them! Feel free to email the pictures you take over vacation, if you'd like, but feel free to send them in throughout the month of January. We will have the children dictate about the building and add it to our "Buildings" bulletin board that we will create in our classroom. When we're done, we'll turn them into a classbook.
Mrs. Warner and Ms. Achee
December 11, 2018
This week we are thinking about how we can make music with our voices! Our focus standards are:
- The students will engage in and enjoy the arts by inventing their own music
- The students will gain knowledge of print and its uses by identifying some printed words and/or common symbols in the context of the environment
- The students will understand shapes and spatial relationships by completing shape puzzles or a new figure by putting multiple shapes together with purpose
Our target vocabulary include; melody, lyrics, pitch, vocal chords, and lungs.
We have two exciting things coming up! First, remember to email me with the lyrics to your child's favorite song so we can include it in our class songbook! Second, remember to RSVP for our Pajama Snack Party to be held on Friday 12/21/18 @ 2:30. Have a great week!
December 4, 2018
Welcome December! This week, we are figuring out different ways instruments are played. Last week we focused on percussion instruments, this week, we'll be thinking about the other instrument groups. We continue to read a variety of song books including "On the First Night of Hanukkah", "There Were 10 in the Bed", "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes", and "Dreidel". One of our favorite songs so far is BINGO! We've transformed our Dramatic Play area into a music studio with musicians and an audience as well as costumes and instruments! Our listening center is providing a variety of listening experiences with diverse music. The class is really loving this topic study! Please remember to email me the lyrics to a preschool appropriate song your child and/or family enjoys by 12/14 so we can include it in our classroom songbook!
This week's focus standards:
- The students will engage in and enjoy the arts by playing with familiar rhythms and patterns in novel ways
- The students will use logic and reasoning by using dissimilar objects to represent other objects in play or perform an action with an imaginary object
- The students will maintain physical health status and well-being by identifying healthy practices including hygiene, nutrition, and sleep
I'm looking forward to seeing families on Thursday 12/6 for family conferences. Please let me know if you need to confirm your conference time.
November 27, 2018
This week, we are wondering, "What instruments we can play by hitting, tapping, or shaking them?" We are also learning different ways to make noises using our bodies. So far, we've read, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and "We're Going on a Bear Hunt". We'll also be reading, "There Once Was a Man Named Michael Finnegan", "Tessa's Tip-Tapping Toes", and "Singing In The Rain" Our focus standards include:
- The students will engage in and enjoy the arts by initiating new musical activities with voices and/or instruments
- The students will count up to 10 objects using one-to-one correspondence by using the number name of the last objects counted to represent the total number of objects in a set
- The students will give examples of ways in which weather variables affect us and/or cause changes to the earth's features
A giant thanks to Mr. Hale for visiting with us last week! He did some vocal music with us, as well introduced us to the saxophone and trombone! Check out our pictures on the documentation walls inside and outside our classroom when you come in for conferences on 12/7.
November 20, 2018
For this short week, we have focused on thankfulness. We've read, "Giving Thanks", "The ABCs of Thanks and Please", "Bear Says, 'Thanks", and others. Our focus standards for the week are:
- The students will develop social relationships by seeking and accepting adult help to solve conflicts with peers
- The students will engage in and enjoy the arts by initiating new musical activities with voices or instruments
- The students will understand self, family, and a diverse community by identifying cultural aspects of self, family, and community
As we continue to learn about music, we will enjoy a special musical presentation by Mr. Hale this afternoon! Best wishes for Fall Break! We are thankful for each of you!
November 12, 2018
We began the week by focusing on learning about veterans. We read a book called Veteran's Day and added H is for Honor to our alphabet book bin. We are also adding Hero Mom and Hero Dad to our classroom library. The rest of the week will introduce our new topic study "Music Makers". Please feel free to send in pictures of people you know singing, dancing, or playing instruments. If anyone has musicians in their family, we'd love to have them share their talents with us!
This week's focus:
- The students will recognize and respond to a wide variety of emotions in others
- The students will acquire adaptive skills by pouring liquids from a pitcher into a container
- The students will understand increasingly complex sentences that include 2-3 concepts
As the weather changes, please send your child in with appropriate clothing for the weather. A jacket with a hood is always a good idea, as are sneakers. On rainy days, please send your child in a water resistant jacket with a hood, rain boots, or and extra pair of shoes to change into. On snowy days, they will need a warm coat with a hood or hat, mittens or gloves, and warm boots that can get wet. If you do not have these clothing items for your child, please let me know and I will try to locate some for them to use during Outdoor Learning Time at school. We will go out as long as it is safe to do so. That means that unless it is less than 22 degrees, thundering/lightening, or we have a wind/cold/heat advisory, we will be going outdoors. It is a great learning opportunity for the children to experience a wide variety of weather conditions. Please let me know if you have questions or concerns you'd like to discuss about our Outdoor Learning.
November 6, 2018
Today we took a trip to Madison Stop and Shop as a culminating activity for our pets unit. Thank you so much to our volunteer chaperones! We did many things on this trip, one was visiting the pet aisle! We found supplies for dogs, cats, birds, bunnies, and guinea pigs! Please ask your child to tell you about their favorite part of the trip. Also, be on the lookout for a class book that will be making its way to everyone's homes.
As we complete our topic study, we are focusing on the following standards this week:
- Science- The students will apply scientific practices by citing examples to support their ideas
- Social Studies- The students will learn about people and the environment by demonstrating awareness that peoples share the environment with other people, animals, and plants and have the responsibility to care for them.
- Cognition-The students will use logic and reasoning by recognizing patterns in routines, objects, and/or sounds and replicate the sequence using objects or language
Next week we will begin a brand new topic study about making music. If you or someone you know has musical talents they can share with us, please let me know so we can arrange for them to visit with us!
October 30, 2018
This week we are focusing on how to care for pets. Our Petshop/Veternarian's office is up and running in Dramatic Play. We are reading the books "Charlie Anderson" and "A Snake Grows Up". This week, we will begin building homes for our pets with wood blocks. Our targeted vocabulary includes: communicate, groom, groomer, organize, cleanse, care, adult, and veterinarian.
Our focus standards this week are:
- Language and Literacy: The students will answer who, what, where, and why questions
- Creative: The students will imitate or spontaneously sing the entire verse of a song
- Math: The students will identify 2 dimensional shapes in different orientations and sizes
We are looking forward to our fieldtrip to Stop and Shop next Tuesday. Please sign and return your child's permission slip, if you haven't already done so. Also, we are still in need of a few chaperones. Please let us know as soon as possible if you can help out!
October 22, 2018
This week we delve deeper into the world of pets!
Our focus standards are:
- Cognitive- The students will explore and investigate a variety of experiences and topics using different materials
- Social-Emotional-The students will express emotions experienced in daily routines and describe them to trusted adults and peers
- Physical Development and Health- The students will use writing and drawing tools with increased precision to draw simple shapes, pictures, and/or letters.
Targeted vocabulary; carnivore, herbivore, omnivore, recommend, appropriate, manager, groomer, bull, pasture, snorting, fierce
Last week, we began a home-school connection program involving take home books. Currently we have Pets, Families, and Animals, making their way through our classroom family. Please feel free to keep the book for the week, but send it back to school by Friday so everyone can have a turn. The students are eagerly awaiting their chance to share these activities with you. This week, we are working on transforming our Dramatic Play area into a Veterinarian's Office and Pet Shop.
October 15, 2018
This week we continue our topic study about pets! Thanks so much for sending in pictures and items from home to help us learn more!
This week's focus standards include:
1. Math-The students will understand the attributes and relative properties of objects by sorting into two groups, counting, and comparing the quantities of the groups formed.
2.Science- The students will understand patterns, process, and relationships of living things by exploring how animals depend upon the environment for food, water, and shelter
3. Social Studies-The students will understand self, family, and a diverse community by demonstrating and understanding of self as a part of a family
This weeks target vocabulary words: unpredictable, aggressive, shelter, rescue, reception, supplies, interact, unfamiliar, approach.
This week we'll be reading the book "Swimmy" and researching more about pets by using non-fiction books to gather information.
October 9, 2018
This week we begin our topic study about pets! Our focus standards include:
- The students will use fine motor skills by using smaller objects with precision
- The students will use language for social interaction by maintaining a topic of conversation over the course of several turns
- The students will explore and respond to creative works by demonstrating an increased appreciation of the work of others and identify preferences
Some activities that support gaining these skills include painting pets at the Easel, washing pets in the Sensory Table, adding pets to our Dramatic Play Center, reading books about pets and talking about pets we know. To help us with this study, please check for a note introducing the study and send in requested items and a picture of a family pet, if you have one. Also, if you know a veteran, we are preparing for our Veteran's Day Ceremony and would love to include the veterans you know. Please be on the lookout for a slip to fill out and return if you know someone. Also, please return your slip for our family picnic by Monday.
October 2, 2018
This week is our final week studying "school". Our weekly focus includes:
- The students will learn about economic systems and resources by demonstrating an awareness of a variety of jobs in the community and the work associated with them during conversation and/or play
- The students will engage with the environment and people by maintaining interest in exploring specific topics over time
- The students will develop self-regulation by making transitions and following basic schedule, routines, and rules with occasional reminders
To support these goals, we are taking "fieldtrips" to the cafeteria, main office, principal's office, school library, nurse's office, and custodian's office to learn about their jobs. In dramatic play, we've added a grocery store element with a cash register and money for shopping. We continue to work on following the rules the students wrote for our class. We are looking forward to beginning our "Pets" study next week. Please remember to send or email a picture of your family pet, when you get a chance.
September 26, 2018
This week, we've been talking about when we do things at school. Our focus goals this week are:
1. The students will engage in and enjoy the arts by acting out simple scenarios, taking on familiar roles for brief periods during dramatic play
2. The students will understand the attributes and relative properties of objects by sorting and classifying objects by one attribute in two or more groups
3. The students will engage in the process of engineering by identifying a problem and, with adult assistance, design a solution to address that problem
Next week will be our last week focusing on beginning school! It will include "fieldtrips" to the cafeteria, library, principal's office, main office, and custodian's office. Our next topic study will focus on pets. If you have a family pet, would you please send in or email me a picture so we can included it on our topic study wall? email@example.com
September 18, 2018
We have had a wonderful few weeks getting to know more about school and each other! This week, we are creating rules for our classroom. We continue to learn about being good listeners and are learning to focus our attention this week. We are looking forward to having our Preschool "picnic" on Thursday.
I am excited to be your child’s teacher this year! I have been working with young children and their families for over 20 years! I live in Clinton with my husband, son, and our Basset Hound, Hudson. We spend time at the library and love going to summer concerts at the gazebo. This summer, I took a course called “Excelling in the Early Childhood Classroom.”
Please plan to come to preschool orientation. During orientation, you will get a glimpse of the classroom, activities, and a much needed information packet so you and your child can be ready for the first day of school. We find that orientation eases first day jitters.
Orientation times are first come, first scheduled. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail message at 860-664-6501 to schedule your family’s visit. I will provide at least two available time for a visit. Email is checked regularly. Phone calls will be returned when teachers return to school on August 22, 23, and 24. Most orientations will be scheduled on these days.
Adults are expected to remain with the child for the orientation, which lasts 15-20 minutes. This is a chance for us to get to know each other. Partnership between school and families is an integral part of your child’s education. Participation at orientation, open house, and conferences is expected. Family members may also volunteer in the classroom throughout the year, more on this at the Open House that will be held in September. I am looking forward to meeting you soon! Until then, feel free to check out our classroom website at https://sites.google.com/a/clintonpublic.net/preschool/ it will contain a variety of information including weekly updates about our class!
Connie Warner, MS Ed., BS, BA
Jumpstart Preschool Teacher