St. John Berchmans - Ocean Buddies

Earth Week

This week the Ocean Buddies learned how to take care of the Earth. We read stories about recycling, turning off running water, and using cloth bags to go shopping. We also learned what happens to fish and other water animals when people don't take care of the Earth with a science experiment called Freddy the Fish. During small groups we watercolored coffee filters to make our planet. We also learned what grows from a seed, watered our grass head plants, and made our own "In the Spring" books.

The Ocean Buddies also spent a lot of time outside this week as we finally got some Spring weather!

Week of the Young Child

The Ocean Buddies had such a busy week celebrating the Week of the Young Child.

Music Monday - Students created guitars and sang songs.

Taco Tuesday - Students ate fruit and yogurt tacos for an afternoon snack.

Work Together Wednesday - Students met with their Faith Partners to play and make kindness rocks.

Artsy Thursday - Students used shaving cream mixed with paint to create fun paintings.

Family Friday - Families joined us for a picnic lunch on the playground.

Thank you to Charlie's mom for being our guest reader this week!

Spring and Bugs

The Ocean Buddies started learning about Spring and bugs! During centers we sorted bird eggs with letters and shapes, made bug prints in chocolate scented playdough, decorated spring cookies, and used magnets to spell springtime words.

We created flower gardens out of different shapes, made weather mobiles, sorted flowers by size, and went on a letter hunt in our spring sensory bins.

The Ocean Buddies are still having so much fun in their pretend garden shop as well!

Happy Easter!

We hope you enjoy these pictures from the week! Have a restful and safe Spring Break!


The Ocean Buddies started learning about Easter this week! We practiced cutting different kinds of lines by coloring, cutting, a gluing an egg name puzzle. We also put in our Easter bunny applications, made Easter stew, matched letters in a peeps memory game, played with plastic eggs and grass, hunted for sight words, and so much more! Check out our photos to see all the learning and fun we had this week!

We also transformed our kitchen area into a garden shop! The Ocean Buddies are so excited to play in their new center! In this center they are sorting by color, counting, reading labels, taking care of customers, planting, and sharing all by just playing with their friends!

St. Patrick's Day

This week in Pre-K, we celebrated St. Patrick's Day by participating in a lot of fun activities. We used rainbow rice to decorate letters, wrote about why we are lucky kids, used peppers to make shamrock prints, completed a leprechaun craft, and made Fruit Loop rainbow necklaces! We even participated in a fun science experiment where we tested different solutions to see which one cleaned the pennies.

On Wednesday, the preschoolers had a blast on the field trip to the Children's Museum at Navy Pier! Click on the link below to see photos from our trip!

Dr. Seuss

This week the Ocean Buddies continued their study of Dr. Seuss.

On Monday we read "There's a Wocket in My Pocket" and created our own Wocket monsters. We sewed a pocket and put the monster inside. Tuesday, we read "If I Ran the Zoo" and created our own imaginary animals. One had the head of a owl, the body of a tiger, and the tail of a cheetah. On Wednesday we read "Ten Apples on Top" and used dot markers to make apples counting up to ten. Thursday we read "Five Little Monkeys" and practiced subtracting 1. We also used markers to trace through letter mazes. On Friday, we finished our Dr. Seuss week with "The Foot Book" and measured our feet in linking cubes.

Dr. Seuss and Nursery Rhymes

Our themes for the next two weeks are Dr. Seuss and Nursery Rhymes.

This week, the Ocean Buddies celebrated Dr. Seuss' birthday by participating in dress-up days. On Monday, we read the book, "Fox in Socks," and wore mismatched socks to school. On Tuesday, we wore green and read the book, "Green Eggs and Ham. On Wednesday, we came to school with wacky/crazy hair and read, "Wacky Wednesday." Thursday, we wore our favorite hats and read, "Cat in the Hat." And on Friday, we wore red and listened to the story, "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish."

Dental Health and Nutrition

This week the Ocean Buddies learned how to take care of their teeth! We need to go to the dentist, brush our teeth every morning and night, and try to eats a lot of healthy foods.

We played "Guess the Ocean Buddy" by looking at pictures of our friends' teeth and guessing who they belonged to. We strengthened our fine motor muscles by drawing cavities on white board teeth and scrubbing them away with a toothbrush. During small groups we searched for letters and sight words printed on toothpaste, created a book about our favorite ways to exercise, and sorted healthy and not healthy foods. We also discussed what we would do if we were the tooth fairy and had to take care of all of those teeth.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Thank you to Elijah and his mom for making these fun Valentine's Day robots!

Friendship Week!

This week the Ocean Buddies celebrated friendship. During centers, we painted and laced hearts, made friendship words out of magnets, used candy hearts in math lessons, and played with moon sand!

We also sorted letters, numbers, and words after finding them in our sensory bins. One day we made friendship stew using flowers, cards, friend counters, bug counters, hearts, and high fives. We love making stews together!

The Ocean Buddies really worked their fine motor muscle this week by cutting valentine puzzles, tracing letters in salt and sprinkles, and hole punching valentine cards. Check out all the fun we had this week by clicking the picture below.

Catholic Schools Week and the 100th Day of School!

The Ocean Buddies had such a busy week! We celebrated Catholic Schools Week and the 100th Day of School while continuing to learn about transportation and the letter Q!

We painted letter Q with a q-tip and colored quilts. We talked about tornadoes and conducted a fun science experiment called "tornado in a jar!" We practiced cutting, gluing, and counting while working on transportation themed activities. We met with our Faith Partners to make blessing bags for the homeless.

We spent the 100th day of school engaged in different fine motor and STEM activities. Some of the highlights of the day were building pyramids with 100 plastic cups and using 100 boxes to build tall towers!


This week the Ocean Buddies are learning about the letter P. We covered our letter P with potato prints and very carefully used push pins to outline a pig!

During centers we had so much fun exploring our transportation theme! We put car blocks in order from 1-30, made a construction stew, watercolored different kinds of vehicles, rolled dice and filled up dump trucks, and explored sensory bins filled with bowls, dump trucks, and beans!

For small groups, we built an ark for Noah and filled it with our favorite animals; sorted transportation by land, air, and water; played letter bingo; counted sets of teddy bears, and made a garbage truck and freight train! So many fun hands-on activities!

We explored ramps during centers, too. What a fun science experience!

Winter and Winter Animals

Our theme for this week is winter, and we are learning about the letter Oo. While learning about the letter of the week, the Ocean Buddies colored owls and painted a letter O with orange juice!

We did a lot of writing activities this week. The Ocean Buddies enjoyed writing winter sight words in their notebooks. They also created a "My Winter Animals" book. After listening to the story, "Snowmen at Night," the students wrote or dictated a sentence about what they think snowmen do at night while everyone is sleeping.

For a math activity, we asked the students the question, "How many mittens tall are you?" The Ocean Buddies then took turns taping together green and blue mittens to measure how tall they are.

The children had a lot of fun exploring the winter sensory bins, drawing a snowman on "magic" black paper, and painting a snowman using a marshmallow dipped in white paint!

This week, Ms. Petie came in to read the story, "There's a Bear on My Chair." Then, she helped us use Popsicle sticks to create a chair for our own bears!


This week the Ocean Buddies are learning about winter and the letter Nn. For our letter of the week art project, we glued newspaper to our letter N. We also completed a page in our alphabet books by gluing jewels to make a necklace. The Ocean Buddies are very excited to be halfway done with their books and so much closer to taking them home.

We did a lot of activities to welcome the new season. We made snow people out of different shapes; laced a mitten and put winter animals inside after reading The Mitten by Jan Brett; practiced writing winter words; explored winter sensory bins full of penguins, ice cubes, and cotton balls; made a polar bear position book; and talked about things a snowman should not do.

We also welcomed two new friends to the Ocean Buddies class!

Merry Christmas from the Ocean Buddies!

The Ocean Buddies are counting down the days until Christmas! We've been writing letters to Santa, our friends, and Moms and Dads. We counted buttons as we decorated gingerbread men, built vehicles using magnatiles and jingle bells, and practiced writing Christmas words. As a science experiment, we placed a candy cane into a cup of water and watched it dissolve!

This week was so much fun as we had lots of visitors! Ms. Beth came in to sing some songs, one of our second grade Faith Partners was a guest reader, the third grade class put on a Christmas play, and the eighth grade class read us stories in Spanish! Tess's dad was also a guest reader on Friday!

A big thank you to Knox's mom for helping us with our class Christmas party!

Christmas Week 2!

The Ocean Buddies continued learning about Christmas this week. We also used limes and lemons to paint the letter L for our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree.

During centers, the Ocean Buddies decorated Christmas trees, explained how to get on Santa's nice list, used Christmas stamps, matched letters to spell Merry Christmas, made shapes out of shaving cream, drew a picture of what gift they would want to give Baby Jesus, and so much more.

This week we went on our first field trip to see Rapunzel! We also had a visit from Santa and performed in our first concert of the year!

Click on our Christmas tree below to see more photos from this week!


The Ocean Buddies are very excited to celebrate Christmas! This week, we made Christmas ornaments, used pom poms to decorate candy canes, explored Christmas sensory bins, and used wrapping paper to create a snowman collage! During art class with Ms. Petie, we made glitter crowns. On Wednesday, we met with Mr. Arkenberg to practice singing songs for the Christmas concert. Our four-year-old students, who will be attending kindergarten in the fall, had a wonderful experience during kindergarten shadow day! The Ocean Buddies enjoyed decorating the class Christmas tree with ornaments they brought from home!

Click on our classroom Elf on the Shelf, "Chippy," to see pictures from this week!


This week the Ocean Buddies learned about pets and the letter Kk! During small groups, we read Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons. Everyone got to take home a paper shirt and buttons so they could practice retelling (and subtracting!) the story at home. We also talked about what pets do and wondered if people can do the same things. For example, a kitty can play ball, can you?

In our sensory bins this week, we explored aquarium rocks, pretend fish, and yard seaweed. We also sorted pets into different categories, made a paper plate turtle, a tissue paper parrot, and so much more!

Brynn's mom came in to do a special Christmas craft with us for Cookies with Santa.

On Thursday we had our second Faith Partner Fun Day! We started the day with a prayer service and then met our Faith Partners for an Advent craft. We made pattern candy canes. When you turn the candy cane upside down, it becomes a J for Jesus!

Click the photo below to see pictures from this week and get a sneak peek of our Cookies with Santa decorations!


Our theme for the next two weeks is Thanksgiving and the letter Jj. The Ocean Buddies painted the uppercase letter J with juice! During centers, they practiced their fine motor skills as they cut and glued shape pumpkins. They traced Thanksgiving words and pictures, and completed a pumpkin patch letter matching activity. For religion, the Ocean Buddies talked about thanking God for the good things in their lives. Many of the students drew pictures of their families on their cornucopias. For science, the students experimented with their fingerprints. They tried to answer this riddle, "What do you always have with you, yet always leave behind? Your fingerprints!" For the first time this school year, the preschool classes visited the music class to sing songs with Mr. Arkenberg. The Ocean Buddies also had a lot of fun meeting with their Faith Partners, the second grade class, to make handprint turkeys! They decorated their turkeys with Fruit Loops and then made cereal necklaces!

Click on the picture below to see more photos from this week!

Happy Thanksgiving from our little turkeys!

On the Farm

This week the Ocean Buddies learned about farm animals and the letter Ii. We painted our uppercase letters I with ice cubes of different colors. Our Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Tree is slowly filling up with all of the letters of the alphabet!

During centers, we played with farm animal counters and built towers with tiny red cups. We also played with corn and farm animal counters in our sensory bins. In a literacy lesson, we sorted letter, number, and word eggs! The Ocean Buddies did a lot of art projects this week. They made cotton ball sheep and muddy sponge-painted pigs. We also had art with Ms. Petie this week. During her class, we read the story We're Going on a Bear Hunt and drew our own bears by following directions. During math the Ocean Buddies compared more and less and identified numbers 1-10 by playing farm bingo. During science we followed a recipe make our own pizza!

Follow the link below to see more pictures from this week!

Happy Halloween!

The Ocean Buddies spent the week learning about the letter H and celebrating Halloween! As a math activity, the Ocean Buddies followed recipes to make Witches' Brew!

For our weekly science activity, the Ocean Buddies experimented with candy pumpkins. They each took a guess on whether or not the candy pumpkins would sink or float in each liquid. Then, they observed the candy pumpkins as they dissolved in the water and lemon juice. The vegetable oil was the only liquid that did not dissolve the candy.

Please click the class picture below to see photos of us in our Halloween costumes and at the Halloween Fest!


The Ocean Buddies are learning about Halloween! They sewed spiderwebs, added candy pumpkins, ripped paper to create candy corn, practiced positional words with shape pumpkins, and drew what they want to be for Halloween.

We also learned about the letter G. We used glitter to decorate our uppercase letter G and put sticker gumballs on the G page in our alphabet books.

Thank you to Brynn's mom for coming in to do a special Halloween craft with us for the Halloween Fest!

Click the picture below to see photos from the week!

Fire Safety

This week, the Ocean Buddies learned about letter F and talked about Fire Safety. We talked about "hot" objects that children should not touch because they could get hurt. After our discussion, we practiced Stop, Drop and Roll. We conducted a science experiment about heat. First, we rubbed our hands together and discussed how they became "hot." Next, we rubbed one coin very quickly across the top of a newspaper. We observed how the coin we were rubbing became "hot" but the coin that was still stayed cool to touch.

We are excited to announce that our pumpkin seeds are starting to sprout! We enjoy watering them and watching the plants grow!

The Ocean Buddies are working very hard during their assessments. We can't wait to show you all that they know during parent-teacher conferences!

Click the picture below to see photos from this week!

Community Helpers

The Ocean Buddies learned about Community Helpers and the letter E this week. They made hats showing what they want to be when they grow up. They pretended to be doctors and glued bandaids on their bear patient covered in letter boo-boos. We also learned about different tools that helpers use, made a Jesus doctor bag, and colored our our Community Helpers Alphabet Book.

We had our first Art class with Ms. Petie! She read the story "The Day I Lost My Superpowers" by Michael Escoffier. Then we decorated superhero masks!

Click the picture below to see more photos from this week!

Five Senses

This week, the Ocean Buddies learned about their five senses and the letter D. They used Kool-Aid to watercolor a picture, identified the 5 senses while creating Mr. Potato Head, identified objects that made quiet and loud sounds, and played a five senses sorting game. While learning about the letter D, the Ocean Buddies decorated the letter with dot markers. The Ocean Buddies watched an animated version of the book, "Where the Wild Things Are," and created paper bag wild things puppets.

Thank you Brynn for bringing in "Boo-nanas" and pumpkin oranges for a special snack!

Click the picture below to see more photos from the week!


This week the Ocean Buddies continued learning about Fall and focused on the letter C. We created trees out of different shapes, made leaf rubbings, and taste tested different color apples. We used cars to paint the letter C, decorated hole punched cookies, and even used the Promethean Board for the first time!

Click the picture below to check out our week in photos!