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:
- 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!
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.
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!¨
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
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.