Chicken Soup with Rice

Written by Holly Gilbert. Posted in PreK

We spend about five minutes a few times a week reading and discussing our poem of the month. The poem of the month comes from a book written by Maurice Sendak, also the author of Where the Wild Things Are. In Chicken Soup with Rice, Sendak describes the monthly adventures of a little boy. This is the February poem.




Throughout the year, we explicitly teach the following literacy skills:

  • rhyme
  • alliteration (the ability to notice words that begin in the same way)
  • smaller and smaller units of sound (the ability to hear sounds in different parts of the word)
  • letter sound knowledge

Chicken Soup with Rice allows us to practice these skills every day. The first week of the month we spend getting to know the ideas in the poem. We discuss what students notice in the picture, any new vocabulary, and practice reciting the poem. Once students are familiar with the content, we can notice the rhymes. This month, we will focus our practice on hearing the rhyming words. The skill of rhyme trains the child´s ear to notice a specific sound in the word. We will then discuss the letter sounds that students hear in the poem.

You can also work with your child to notice sounds in words! Music is great to notice and hear rhyming words. Or, use the names of people in your family to talk about the sounds you hear. For example, my brother´s name is Peter. Peter has the same first sound as Pablo! Have fun and please let us know if you have questions!

New Study on Exercise and All about my Body!

Written by Jessica Buescher. Posted in PreK

Our Pre-K students were so excited to get to help out with a planting initiative with MS/HS Science teacher, Matt Monaghan. His students developed and created their own hanging wall garden for science experiments and projects. We were so grateful to get to be apart of their project by planting some seeds of our very own.  Also, the sunflowers in our garden have finally opened, and our students are all extremely proud of their hard work and responsibility as Pre-K gardeners!
Now that we have finished our Planting unit, we are beginning a new study all about Exercise! Our students will learn about body awareness, their body parts, how to use exercise equipment and how to do different exercises like Yoga. We are looking forward to learning all about our body and how to stay healthy!

Plants and Seeds celebration of learning

Written by Holly Gilbert. Posted in PreK

Pre-Kindergarten recently finished a study of Plants and Seeds. The study included opportunities for observations, planting, painting, drawing, writing, talking and moving!

During the study, Pre-K students each planted a sunflower seed in our garden. Students also visited the garden to water and observe the sunflowers. Students each had a journal to draw and write about their observations as the sunflowers grew.

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Each classroom also had a plant shop. The plant shop included seeds, dirt, magnifying glasses, and other garden tools. Students created many garden scenarios to play in.



As the unit continued, students learned about the life cycle of seeds. They used their observations of the sunflowers, books, and other resources to create a collage about a seed´s life style. Students painted paper, ripped and cut it up, drew a picture, and glued the pieces of paper together to create the collage. This was a group project. You can see each classes´ creations on our hallway!


During the unit, we also discussed where food comes from… for example, different gardens around the world! The last week of the unit students brought in healthy snack from home to share with their class. The students enjoyed the opportunity to try types of food they may not have tried before. Everyone enjoyed the time to try new foods together. We hope to have another special healthy snack day in the future.


Thank you for all your support throughout our study. Pre-Kindergarten was able to start a garden, and we hope to continue to nurture it throughout the year. As one student observed in our garden, ¨the flower is growing so tall!¨

Up next… goo and more green things

Written by Holly Gilbert. Posted in PreK

The next group of sounds we will explore includes g, o, u, l, f, and b. This week, we will work with g and o. For example, girl, grape, green. The o is the “short 0” sound, as heard in on, hot, mom. We will make “goo” to explore letter formation in a new way. Goo is sticky and a bit icky, but will be a great sensory experience! It is a very easy recipe of cornstarch, water, and of course a bit of color.

Here is a link to the songs for this group: g, o, u, l, f, b

Happy singing!

In the next few weeks, we will celebrate what we have learned about Plants and Seeds. This will include a special healthy snack (we will ask for your help with this!) and a few more adventures in our very own garden.

Please, continue to check our blog for updates about our learning.

Great Parent Resources

Written by Jessica Buescher. Posted in PreK

We thoroughly enjoyed our ECIS Professional Development and had a few great take aways that we thought we could share with you!
We got the pleasure of going to workshops talking about mindfulness and Positive Discipline. This workshop discussed how we can look beyond the behavior of a child to what the deeper meaning or message really is. Here is the link to the website which has a lot of great info for parents and educators:
positive discipline
Another great workshop was with a man named Stuart Stotts. He works with teachers and students around the world sharing his love for storytelling, singing and the arts as well as teaching the importance of connecting with children and nurturing kindness. He has a wonderful book called, Beyond Nice :149 ideas to Nurture Kindness in Young Children. Some chapters include teaching empathy and compassion, mindfulness, generosity and gratitude as well as giving research as to why these things are so important. Here is a link to his website:
Please let us know if you would like any more information or have any questions! Looking forward to another great week ahead and Happy Thanksgiving!