Our Preschool Class started off the month of October with an introduction to our Friends Unit. We learned basic skills about what a good friend does and how to make friends. We read books like “Can I Play Too?” by Mo Willems, "The Rainbow Fish" by Marcus Pfister and "Bear’s New Friend" by Karma Wilson. In these books we learned valuable lessons on making friends, sharing and what it means to work together.
The following week we discussed red and green choice and the consequences of the actions we choose. These choices help the kiddos easily recognize rules and pausing before acting.
We entered the season of Fall! Our classes spent a lot of time outside watching the changing colors by taking walks in our neighborhood and playing in the leaves. The kiddos favorite part was watching them fall.
Our PM class was finally able to harvest our produce we grew in the garden this Summer. We grew some healthy looking cucumbers, cut and ate them for snack. To our surprise the kids loved them! We had lots of requests for a third serving.
October was a big month for crafts! We decorated our classroom with painted leaves, pumpkins, window art and sparkly apples. The kiddos loved these projects! There will be lots more art projects for the future!
At the end of the month we took a field trip to Fall Harvest Orchard. It was a cold and windy trip but the kids still enjoyed themselves. Our classes took a hayride through the orchards, played in the corn pit, fed cows and goats, slid down the giant slide and went on an apple ride.
We ended our month making glow in the dark slime!
The AM and PM classes started off the school year adjusting to the new class schedule, making friends and getting to know the teachers!
For our littlest ones, in the AM class, learning the new routine was a challenge. Not to our surprise, the kids caught on very fast. Problem solving skills and communication were at the forefront of our first two weeks. We worked on basic concepts like; asking before taking, identifying emotions, following directions, listening to others, learning to play together and red/green choices.
The PM class were quick to remember the routine and adjusted wonderfully to the new afternoon time. Most of our friends in the PM class have known each other for over a year. Understanding basic concepts was something they worked on last year. So, our main focus was diving into our Family Unit!
Weeks 1 and 2 we learned about what a family is and who is in our family. The kids took the time to draw out their families and talk about why they love the people they live with. The kids spent lots of time playing house, having weddings, cooking meals and caring for the babies in the classroom.
Weeks 3 and 4 we spent time talking about family diversity. Many of our families at Way To Grow come from different backgrounds. We talked about cultures, holidays, physical attributes, food, language and family structures.
Our last week of the unit, we talked about different ways families spend time and work together. We celebrated our last day of summer with a picnic in the park and popsicles!
Our unit was just one of the many activities that kept us busy in the classroom this month. We have daily lessons in counting, letters, sounds, rhyming, alliteration, patterns, calendar, weather, reading, music, STEM and much more!
Not only have we been busy in school, but also outside of school, with two preschool events just this month! Our first event was our Parent-Child class with a quick briefing on nutrition and encouraging kiddos to try new foods. Our second event was held by Ready, Set, Smile. This program provided onsite dental services, oral health classroom education and referral services. We are looking forward to working with them in the near future to continue care for our class. Thank you to all the families that attended these events!
Cheers to the new year! :)
In mid-June, our class started the summer with a games unit. The kids learned how to play kick ball, connect 4, candyland, busytown, go fish, etc. Many of these games involved winning and losing. The big emotions that came with losing created a beautiful opportunity to problem solve and cope with one of life's biggest obstacles.
Throughout the summer our class continued to read and study author and illustrator Mo Willems. The kids learned to identify characters, settings, problems and solutions. Their favorite book was "Watch Me Throw the Ball!".
By the end of June Ms. Gwen had many requests to bake cookies. Each class worked together to bake chocolate chip banana bread. Their favorite parts were smashing the bananas and sitting down to eat the finished product.
During the third week of July, the class took a trip to the Como Zoo! The kids spent time with their families looking at some of their favorite animals and watching a sparky the seal show.
To end the month of July the kids played with shaving cream, made sandcastles, watered the garden and had a surprise visit from the ice cream man!
To start the month of August, our class took some time to talk about big transitions. The morning class learned about what it would be like moving up to the afternoon. And the afternoon class talked about graduating and going to a new school for kindergarten! We watched Inside Out, which talked all about the emotions that come with a big move.
We wrapped up our summer with the PM kids graduation and our end of the school year celebration at Huset Park. On our last day of school we had a water balloon fight, made ice cream, handed out awards and said goodbye to many of our kids. It was a whirlwind of a summer that ended in a bittersweet way. All the best to our little graduates!
See you next year!
Last week we finished up our forest animal unit. To the kids surprise zebras, tigers and cheetahs do not live in Minnesota! Our focus was learning about what animals we see outside like squirrels, deer, birds, chipmunks, beavers, etc. We categorized these animals into the habitats they live in; tree, ground and water. The kids spent plenty of time playing with flash lights in the bear den and protecting their castles from evil snakes.
After coming back from summer break, the class finally started to build our garden! We learned about what types of fruits and vegetables we were growing and how to plant them. The kids took the time to paint plant labels and decorate the garden bed. Finally it was time to plant! The kids learned to cultivate the soil using their racks, dig holes to put the seeds in and water them. Wow so much hard work! We took a much-needed break with some ice pops in the shade. Every day the kids have looked forward to watering our garden and watching the little sprouts grow.
For the summer our AM and PM classes will start a small unit on games. The goal is to help with following directions, listening to others and being okay with winning and losing. The PM class's main focus will be our author study for the summer. The kids decided they wanted to learn about and read books by author and illustrator, Mo Willems!
Week 4 we finished up our plants unit by learning about what fruits and vegetable we can grow in our garden. Next, we got ready for Mother's Day by going on a rainy nature walk to collect flowers to make cards! The kids were most excited about all the dandelions that bloomed in the field next to the preschool.
Week 5 we ended our plants unit with gardening. The kids took the time to paint pots. We spent an afternoon outside learning how to plant seeds! The kids have continued to check their plants everyday.
We finished our unit by going on a field trip to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The kids attended to Ready, Set, Grow! program. There they watched a puppet show, looked at bugs under a microscope, released ladybugs into the greenhouse, planted seeds to bring home and went on a bird watching walk! So many sights, sounds and textures to explore!
Throughout the plants unit the kids loved playing with the stuffed animals. Based on student interests and preparation for summer, Ms. Gwen decided to started a new unit on Forest Animals! The first weeks focus was on sights, sounds and smells in the forest. The kids spent the week exploring changes in the classroom, learning about different forest animals, the sounds they make, creating animal habitats and spending extra time outside. The kids spotted a robin, rabbit, geese and pine cones while playing outside.
Our PM class started April off with our 101st day of school party! We celebrated by dressing up, watching 101 Dalmatians, receiving awards and eating some tasty treats.
After a crazy and exciting start to the week we transitioned into our unit on Plants! Our focus for week 1 was Spring. The kids took the next couple days to adjust to the new teacher Ms. Gwen, enjoy the warm weather and explore the changes, decorations and new toys in the classroom.
Week 2 our focus was plant anatomy. We took the time to learn songs about plants, read Tiny Seed by Eric Carle, start our seed in a bag project and learn about caring for our classroom plants. Some kiddos decided to give our classroom plants an unexpected haircut. This created a lovely opportunity to learn about pressing flowers!
Week 3 our focus was plant life cycles. The kids learned about what makes plants grow and how they change over time. They are most excited about watching their window seeds grow, bugs, playing at the park and beginning our outdoor garden in the weeks to come! The kids want to plant carrots, sunflowers, strawberries, cucumbers and watermelon. We ended the week with some science fun on rain clouds.
During this mini project, we spent time learning about the different food groups. We talked about foods we would like to try, but haven’t, and tried them during our snack time. We sorted pictures from the food groups on the classroom wall. We read the book “Stone Soup” to learn even more about vegetables. Students made a grocery list for our own stone soup. They took turns cutting the different vegetables and helping to cook the soup. We all agreed the best part of the day was getting to try our soup. Check out the pictures from our soup making day!
After our field trip, both AM and PM classes learned all about pumpkins. We started by saying what we already knew about pumpkins. We explored the insides, counted how many seeds were inside different pumpkins, and even had a taste test! The PM class agreed that roasted pumpkin seeds were better then roasted pumpkin, even though some students enjoyed both. Check out a few pictures from the day!
We have spent the first part of the school year learning all about friendship and what it means to be a good friend. We have learned about green choices (keeping hands to ourselves, using kind words, ect) and red choices (hitting, yelling, ect) with David from "David goes to School". We have learned that sharing is a great thing with Elephant and Piggie and that sometimes friends fight with Abel and Beatrice from "Are We Still Friends?". We have practiced sharing, listening, and helping our friends when they have big feelings. Check out some friendship pictures below!
We also had our first field tip in October! We went to a farm to learn about apples, pumpkins, and animals. We enjoyed getting to have a wagon ride through the field and eat farm fresh apples for snack. Then we got to feed some animals! See the field trip pictures below!
Our last day of summer school was Friday August 12th. So we celebrated at Huset Park where there's a splash pad. Unfortunately, the weather was cloudy after the rain and very windy. The temperature was not warm either for kids to enjoy playing in the splash pad although some of them did! Nevertheless, we made the best of it and we had fun! Also, it's always good to see some alumni. Check out the pictures!