Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to spend the upcoming school year working with and teaching your most precious child!  With the beginning of each new school year, I see the wonder and excitement of each of these little ones as they enter a classroom filled with many new opportunities of hands-on learning experiences that will help encourage and enhance the Pre-K experience.  

As this new year begins, my initial strategy will be to allow the children to become familiar with their classroom surroundings and learning the classroom rules.  More hands on learning activities and small group work will be the initial focus.  We will start with the theme "All About Me" intertwined with "My Expanding World".   Interactive lessons on the SMART BOARD will be an integral part of our day, as well as an introduction into Language Arts and Math.
Our day will begin with Free Play to allow the children a chance to interact with their friends prior to the beginning of our more structured day.  This also allows me the opportunity to check folders, take attendance and mark lunch choices.  Each child will have the opportunity to be a classroom helper.  The classroom job chart is located on the board on the right side of the classroom.  Jobs will be rotated to give each child a chance to be selected for every job.   

Following Free Play, we will have Calendar and Circle Time.  This is my opportunity to keep in touch with each of the kids, explain our activities for the day, introduce patterns and sequences through the daily calendar and weather and to discuss any important events or activities.


Even though we have been following my tentative agenda in preparation for our Handwriting activities, the eagerness of the kids and an excellent teaching moment brought about a slight detour in my daily activities on our "All about Me" plans.  Ms. Karen brought in some tadpoles last week and put them in Ms. Laura's room.  The kids were so excited when they got to see them and started talking about how tadpoles become frogs. When we came back to our classroom, we watched a simple video on the life cycle of a frog.  We had 3 tadpoles in different stages of development.  While watching the video they were able to recognize that 1 tadpole had no legs, 1 had developed it's back legs, and 1 had both front and back legs and was getting ready to lose it's tail.

I found a simple booklet about the "Life Cycle of a Frog" written in the style of "Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?"  We began coloring the easy pages in our own booklets.  We also colored a picture of a frog and traced the word "frog".  We were able to look at the life cycle of a frog color poster to see the eggs, tadpole, froglet, and baby frog.  We learned that the word frog begins with the letter "f" and we cut out a capital "F" and created a frog art project complete with a red yarn tongue and black fingerprint flies.  Please check the bulletin board outside of our classroom tomorrow (Wednesday) and you will see how cute they turned out.  Also, we cut out a frog mask , curled the tongue, glued a fly on the tongue and had our pictures taken wearing our masks.  You can see pictures on the NDA webpage.  As soon as we finish our frog booklet, I will send it home in their folder.  With your help, they should be able to read it with you.

Even though this is a short week, we did begin our religion program today.  We learned about how God created the world, the sun, moon, stars, oceans, rivers, grass, plants, and animals along with us.  We have also been learning a song about the seasons of the year and had to circle the pictures of things in Spring with a green marker and those things in Winter with a blue marker. With this program, I encourage the kids to draw pictures rather than find them in a magazine.  Today they had to draw something that God made that each is thankful for.  Since we were talking more about God creating the world and everything in it, their pictures include the sun, grass, flowers, rocks, rain, and some of them were even climbing a mountain.  I will try to write what each child drew at the bottom of their picture in the big plate inside their booklet.

We will begin the pre-handwriting activities in our handwriting book this week, too.  I will also be giving them additional simple tracing worksheets to help develop their fine motor skills and I will continue encouraging them to use the correct gip with their markers, crayons, colored pencils, and their work pencil (this does have a finger grip and it is a larger pencil that is easier for them to use). 

Pk has been very busy.  As Fall quickly approaches, we have been discussing the 4 Seasons and the weather associated with each.  We know that Summer will be ending soon as Fall (Autumn) arrives.  We have been watching the weather gradually shift from hot to cooler weather but still back and forth between the hot and cooler temperatures.  We have learned that Fall occurs over several months and that there are many fun, Fall activities that we will be celebrating and learning about.  Over the next couple of weeks, we will be concentrating on Fall and many of our educational activities will center around the themes of apples (Johnny Appleseed, Life Cycle of an Apple, apple songs and many fun apple activities with emphasis in Language Arts, Math, and Science).  This will be intertwined with Autumn (Fall) seasonal activities related to weather and other changes that coincide with Fall (Leaves changing colors, pumpkins, Fall harvest, Squirrels & other animals getting ready for hibernation and migration, and then Halloween).  All of our hands on educational activities will be related to these overlapping and compatible themes.  

We are working in our Handwriting workbooks and have begun learning to print both Capital and lower case Aa.  We will work on the letter Aa within the Apples theme.  We will also be working on tracer pages and several other letters of recognition along with tracing color words and coloring  fall items with these corresponding colors.  Each week we will continue working on a new letter in our Handwriting workbook and a new Allelu! religion lesson.  You will see some worksheets being sent home, also.  Since each child develops and learns at their own pace, I use these worksheets to guage my areas of concentration within each lesson plan and adapt the educational content as needed.  They allow me to see what knowledge and understanding of materials each of the kids have prior to, during, and at the conclusion of each overall theme.  In between, a variety of hands on learning center activities are intertwined with many related Smart Board songs, videos, and Language Arts, Math, Science as well as Social Studies.  As you can see, these little ones have an extremely busy daily agenda.

As the weather gradually begins to get cooler, please make sure that jackets are labeled with name or initials.  Also, please send in an extra set of clothes for the cooler weather. 


PK is quickly moving along!  

We just finished an apple themed unit with many hands on activities as well as language arts and math activities.  We watched a science video about the "Life Cycle of an Apple", tasted 4 kinds of apples (Red Delicious, Honey Crisp, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious, picked our favorite apple and graphed our results on the Smart Board.  I was surprised by the outcome.   Golden Delicious was the favorite with 7 choosing that as their favorite along with only 1 choosing Red Delicious.  The kids did like all of the choices even the tart Granny Smith apple but they all wanted more of the Golden and Red Delicious for snack.  We listened to the story of "The Little Red House with No Windows or Doors and a Star inside" and tried to predict what the little boy would find.  It turned out to be a red apple.  I showed them a red apple (It is a little red house with no windows and doors).   
I then cut it in half horizontally and showed them the star inside holding the seeds.  We then painted apple prints on red, green, yellow, and white paper using red, yellow and green paint along with several apples cut vertically, horizontally, and quartered.  They had fun stamping the apples and mixing the paints to get apples of assorted colors.  After we colored pictures of an apple seed, seedling, tree, blossom, and red and green apple, we discussed the four seasons and how long it takes for an apple to grow from a seed.  We made a"Life Cycle of An Apple" hat by cutting out the pictures and gluing them in sequence order onto headbands.  I read a story about Johnny Appleseed and they watched a video about his life.  They were most fascinated by the idea of Johnny wearing a pot on his head.  We colored a picture of Johnny Appleseed and the letter J for his name.  They also knew that his last name, Appleseed, begins with A.  We practiced printing "Aa" in our handwriting book, completed several papers on number recognition and correspondence, worked on alphabet letter recognition playing "Apple Barrel Upper and Lowercase letter match" and "Alphabet Scoops" on the Smart Board.  

We will continue learning about the seasons with emphasis on Autumn (Fall).  We made beautiful Autumn trees using bundles of q-tips for brushes and dipping them in the colors of Fall (red, green, yellow, orange, and brown paint).  Stop by and see these colorful pictures on the bulletin board outside our classroom. 

Friday we watched a video about Christopher Columbus and his 3 ships, the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria.  Each child cut out a ship and 2 sails.  I used straws to connect the sails to each ship.  Each child picked the name for his/her ship and all 3 names were chosen.  The kids then glued their ships on headbands.  (What can I say, I like headbands for PK!)

From now until Halloween, I will continue with the overall Autumn theme along with more Halloween arts and crafts. We will still complete activities in our Handwriting workbooks and continue our weekly Allelu! religion lessons. Language Arts and Math activities will also center around Fall and Halloween.  Several science activities will center around Pumpkins.  We will be going Pumpkin-picking to Braeutigam's Orchards on Friday, October 19th.  We will also be having a class Halloween Party on Wednesday, October 31st.  

Please consider being a room parent for PK and let me know if you are interested.  Being a room parent is easy and not time consuming.  You would help me plan classroom parties and contact parents for any party supplies we might need.  It would be wonderful if you could attend the classroom parties and help me with games and snacks but it is not required.  Classroom parties take place in the morning and the time can be negotiable if need be. 

                       IMPORTANT  REMINDERS

                    Please remember to check your child's folder every day! 

I will send  home your child's work that is not displayed and any other correspondence from me or the  school office. 

Children's work:  Please take a look at your child's work.  They will be working on fine motor skills, following directions, left to right progression and developing their attention spans.  You will see the progression throughout the year from simple to more difficult and complex concepts.

Change of clothes:  If you have not done so yet, please send a complete change of clothes in a labeled Zip-lock bag to be kept in your child's locker in case of an accident, spills, or should a situation arise for a change of clothing.   Also, if your child has an accident or spills something on his/her clothes, please remember to send in a replacement set so that there is always a change of clothes in your child's locker.

Blankets & Pillows:  Blankets and pillows will be sent home your child's last scheduled day of the month. 
Child's Absence &/or Late Arrival/Early Departure:  Please inform Mrs. McNease, our administrative assistant, in the school office if your child will not be in attendance or will be arriving late to school.  Also, let her know if your child will bring a lunch or the hot lunch menu choice.  You may also e-mail, call, or text me as well.

               DATES TO REMEMBER

September 22 - NDA Golf Tournament 

September 24 - Iowa Basic Skills Testing Begins

October 3 - Faculty Meeting Early Dismissal 1:45

                  Panda Meeting 7 P.M. Child Care Available

October 5 - Diocesan Liturgical Convention NO SCHOOL

October 8 - Columbus Day NO SCHOOL

October 11 - Fall Picture Day

October 19 - Preschool - 1st Grade Field Trip Pumpkin Picking Braeutigam's Orchards More info to come

                   End of First Quarter

October 27 - Trunk or Treat


Mrs. Chancy