Thursday, May 10, 2018

Rrraaahhhh! Watch out for Dinos!

I think it is safe to say that we have finally made it through the winter! April was full of dinosaurs, worms and not being afraid to get a little dirty while exploring the outdoors!

Even though dinosaurs have been extinct for about 65 million years, it is always a fun and exciting topic to learn about! We have paleontologists to thank for that!! Paleontologists are scientists who study fossils. They use these fossils and other findings to make predictions about the size, shape, type and all sorts of other information about dinosaurs.

One of the biggest dinosaurs is the Tyrannosaurus Rex. With the help of some of the kiddos here at SEE, we compared ourselves to the big, bad T-Rex! We discovered that It takes 57 of our feet to fill just one T-Rex foot print, a T-Rex is the same height as 6 SEE students standing on each other’s shoulders and that their teeth are about the size of a large banana! Speaking of bananas, we learned that a T-Rex would never eat one since they are carnivores. They have 50-60 really sharp teeth that help them eat and dig into their dinner.

After a nice April break, we came back and wiggled right into our next topic, WORMS! Before break, the kiddos were having a blast getting dirty finding tons of worms out on our playground, so we thought, why not dig deeper into the daily life of a worm. We learned that worms have no eyes, lungs or noses but they have five hearts and breathe through their skin. We found out worms prefer the dark and put that to the test with a light vs dark experiment with Mrs. M and some worms we found under rocks in the garden. We ended our week of worms by making a compost bin. We added leaves, shredded paper, soil and some scraps from our snack to the compost bucket. Once it is ready, we hope to add it to our garden to help it grow!

This month we read the story “I’m a Dirty Dinosaur” by Janeen Brian. It was about a little dinosaur who loved getting dirty by splashing around in mud. By the end, he was covered from head to toe in mud but knew a nice dive in the water would clean him right up! Everyone then got a chance to make their own dirty dinosaur with “muddy paint” made from coffee grounds and brown paint.

On top of all that, we were also introduced to our artist of the month, Andy Warhol. He was a “pop artist” who used bright colors and layers or colors to print pictures of famous people and products that everyone would know and recognize. We were so inspired by his fun and vibrant works of art, that we created some “pop art” of our own. If you haven’t already, come check out our bulletin board in the classroom to see our creations. The bright colors are hard to miss!

What's Up Next?
Every year to celebrate a wonderful year, all of the learning and of course our students, we present the families of our school with a year-end play performance of one of our favorite books. We are going to keep the book secret for now but we can tell you that it's a good one! For the next several weeks we will be practicing our lines, designing costumes and creating scenery. We also have our final artist of the month, Henri Matisse, to study AND a unit on seeds and planting. It's going to be a busy few weeks! 

Upcoming Dates and Reminders:
May 11: Parent's Night Out 5:30-9:00pm
May 28: SEE will be closed for Memorial Day
June 1: June tuition is due
June 21-22: End-of-the-year performances and parties - stay tuned for more details!
June 29: Final day of the school year
July 2-6: SEE will be closed for summer break
July 9: SEE's summer program begins!

Pictures from the past few weeks:
Digging for worms in the garden

Working on our compost

Making our "dirty dinos" extra dirty!

Do you believe it took 57 shoes to fill up the T-Rex foot?!

Dinosaur cast, not to be confused with a fossil
which is actual bone

Our school year is winding down but we have another blog post or two left for this school year. We are looking forward to our final 2 months with our pre-K kiddos before they head off to Kindergarten. It's been such a wonderful few years with your children!
Ms. Tiffany

Friday, April 13, 2018

In Like a Lion and Out Like a Lamb?

A little belated but we didn't forget about you! The month of March was all about weather and boy oh boy did Mother Nature give us some interesting weather to talk about! We started the month off enjoying picnic lunches outside while soaking up the sun and warm air but our sunny play area quickly turned into a snowy wonderland for sledding, snowman building and snow angles!

We started the month by learning about the special scientists called meteorologists that study weather and what tools they use to predict what the weather will be. We made a thermometer to see if it was hot or cold out, made wind socks to see what direction the wind was blowing and also made a rain gauge to track how much rain we got.  The kiddos had a blast taking turns being meteorologists, the news anchors, and the camera person in our very own weather station here at SEE!

As the month went on, we learned about rainbows and how they form. We discussed the colors in the rainbow and why we see rainbows in the sky after a rain shower. Speaking of rain, this brought us to a discussion about thunder and lightning. Did you know that you can tell how far away a storm is from your house with a simple math equation? Once you hear the thunder, start counting. When you see lightning, stop counting, take that number and divide it by 5. The answer you get is the distance in miles the storm is from your home!  

Our book of the month went along with our weather theme very nicely, “Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs” by Judi and Ronald Barrett. The story takes place in a town where no one needs to go to the grocery store because all of their food comes from the sky. Once day the storms of food got a little out of control and the town was destroyed by all the food. The people of the town then sailed off on a boat made of toast and formed a new town where their food didn’t come from the sky anymore and they had to get their food from the store like we do. As a group we talked about how yummy it would be if we lived in a place where it rained our favorite foods. We decided it’d be best if it rained cookies, ice cream and an occasional pizza shower.

We wrapped up the month learning about Leonardo Da Vinci. He was an inventor and a sketch artist. He would come up with amazing ideas, draw them out and later on someone else would put his thoughts into action. We were so inspired by his work that we came up with inventions we would like to make someday. We had a few robots that would help clean up all the toys, a machine that would take the weeds out of our garden and a bike that could move and balance on its own! Some pretty good ideas if you ask me!

What's Up Next?
Watch out for the dinosaurs! We've put on our Paleontologist hats and have entered the SEE dig site! The children are learning all about dinosaurs this month!

April Clothing Drive for Cradles to Crayons
Don't forget to bring all of your gently used children's clothes and shoes to school to add to our Cradles to Crayons collection bin! The bin is located outside of the front door or floating around the cubby area. We will be collecting items until the end of April. Thank you all for your generous donations!

Upcoming Dates and Reminders:
April 16-20: SEE will be closed for spring break
May 1: May tuition is due
May 3-4: Picture Day! Don't forget your smiles!
May 11: Parent's Night Out 5:30-9:00pm
May 28: SEE will be closed for Memorial Day
June 1: June tuition is due
June 21-22: End-of-the-year performances and parties - stay tuned for more details!
June 29: Final day of the school year
July 2-6: SEE will be closed for summer break
July 9: SEE's summer program begins!

Pictures from the past few weeks:
Artist of the Month: Edward Hopper!  
Lights, Camera, Action! Welcome to the SEE weather station!

Story of the month: "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs"
What is raining from your sky?

Rainbow experiment in action
More experimentation showing how clouds hold rain

We LOVE a fun art project!

Mid-month snow fun!

Stay tuned for our next blog post about our dinosaur adventures!
Ms. Tiffany

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February's Festivities!

We are already halfway through February and boy have we been busy. February is a month full of many holidays and fun events and we didn’t want to miss a single one. The beginning of the month was all about shadows; where do they come from, does everyone have one and will our little buddy Puxatawney Phil see his shadow when he pops his head out of his burrow on Groundhog Day?

Our shadow studies began with a discussion that not every object is able to make a shadow. If the object is transparent or see through the light will go right through it and no shadow will appear but if the object is opaque or solid a shadow will form because the light has to go around it. We then put our theory to the test by trying out different things around the classroom. We began by making our own puppets to use in our shadow box and learning different ways to move our hands to make animal shapes. We even traced our shadows with chalk outside while striking different poses! We ended the week by watching the shadow ceremony and found out that Puxatawny Phil did see his shadow and we will (unfortunately) have 6 more weeks of winter.

Up next we learned all about the Winter Olympics. This year the Olympics is being held in South Korea with 102 events, 15 different sports and almost 3,000 participating athletes! We held our own Olympics here at SEE and I’m pretty sure we have some future Olympians in our group. The SEE Olympic games consisted of the balance beam, long jump and maneuvering through an obstacle course. The kiddos had a blast showing off their skills and earning their gold medals!

This past week was all about friendship and making our friends and family feel special. The kiddos have all been hard at work making beautiful cards for their secret valentine and we got to deliver them to our friends by taking a crawl through the “friendship tunnel.” We also talked about what a compliment is and how it makes people feel. As a group we sat in a big circle and made a “compliment circle” each kiddo chose a friend and gave them a compliment to brighten their day! It was really sweet to hear the different compliments that everyone came up with.

On top of all that, we introduced our book of the month, “Stuck,” by Oliver Jeffers. This story is about a young boy named Floyd who gets his kite stuck up in a tree. He tries throwing anything and everything he can find up into the tree to try and get his kite down. When he throws up the last object, the tree becomes too full and down comes his kite. The kiddos have been getting a kick out of all the ridiculous things the boy finds to toss up in the tree and we have begun making our own trees inspired by the one from the book!

What's Up Next?
The children will be celebrating and learning about Chinese New Year traditions. It's the year of the dog, woof! We will celebrate with a special noodle snack and a lion dance at the end of the week. We will also have a special guest visit on Friday to teach us even more about new year traditions and culture. Following all of our February celebrations, we will move on to yet another celebration in the beginning of March,  Dr. Seuss' birthday! It will be a week full of silly words and fun! 

Thank you!
Thank you to all of those who voted for us in Wicked Local's Favorites this year! We are hopeful that we will keep our #1 status for yet another year! We are so thankful for our past, present and future SEE families and we appreciate your support of our little, local preschool!

Upcoming Dates and Reminders:
March 1: March tuition is due
April 1: April tuition is due
April 16-20: SEE will be closed for spring break
(Parent's Night Out: TBA!)

Pictures from the past few weeks:
Dinos in the shadow puppet theatre!

Watching the show!

SEE students were proud to show their support for the Patriots!

What was STUCK up in your tree??

Have a wonderful week!
Ms. Tiffany

Thursday, January 18, 2018

New Year, New Post!

Happy New Year! We hope you all had a great holiday and have had a chance to enjoy the snow! Here at SEE we have had a few chances to play in the mounds of snow that took over our playground and even got to do some sledding!

Since returning to school after the holiday break the kiddos have been extremely busy and dove right into our next curriculum topic, “Things that go.” Our block area turned into our very own “Auto Body Shop.” Everyone has been having a great time pretending to be the customer who needs their car fixed, the receptionist who has to check everyone into their appointment or the mechanic who is there to fix up our broken car! It has been fun to watch the kiddos transform into their roles while working at the auto body shop. I think we have some future mechanics on our hands!

We began the month by learning about the wheel and how it works with an axel to make things move easier. We all agreed that without the invention of the wheel it would take us about a trillion hours to walk to school each day, riding a bike would be really hard to do, and in order to pull our wagons around, we would need to use a lot of muscle since the wheels wouldn’t be there to help us out. We then moved onto a classroom favorite, trains. We talked about the different kinds of trains, how they move and what we might find on each of the different types. This past week we have been learning about planes and the four different forces that effect how they move: thrust, drag, lift and weight. We discovered that the thrust needs to be stronger than the drag to move forward. The children got a chance to see how that works with balloon rockets! 

To go along with our unit of “Things that go,” we have been reading our book of the month, “The Little Engine That Could,” by Watty Piper. In the story the Little Blue Engine is able to help a stuck train get over a mountain even though he wasn’t the biggest, shiniest or oldest train. He chanted over and over “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” and he eventually made it over the mountain! This began a discussion of things that we can do and things we are good at doing. We discovered that we can dance, make dog treats, ride bikes, go bowling and much more!

As we wrap up the month of January we will be introduced to our artist of the month, Ansel Adams. Ansel Adams was an American photographer best known for his black and white photographs of the American west and Yosemite National Park. We will all get the chance to be a photographer for a day and use the classroom camera to capture an image of nature outside on our playground! 

What's Up Next?
In addition to our Ansel Adams studies, we will continue with our "Things That Go" unit and finish up with boats! We will discuss how and why they float and the different types of mechanisms that move them (sails, oars, motors).  We will also study shadows in honor of Groundhog's Day. "Where do shadows come from" and "How is a shadow made" are just a few of the questions that we will be exploring. 

Upcoming Dates and Reminders:
February 1: February tuition is due
February 16: Parent's Night Out (aka Movie and PJ Night at SEE) 5:30-9:00pm. Email Joanna to sign up and for more info!
February 19: SEE closed in observance of President's Day
February 19: February Gathering at Goldfish Swim School, see Evite for more info and to RSVP!
March 1: March tuition is due

Pictures from the past few weeks:

Getting ready for our paper airplane races!

Working on that broken engine is hard work!

Making train tracks with paint

An auto body customer completing their intake form

Have you ever went sledding on a cafeteria tray??

Welcome to the Auto Body Shop!

I hope you all enjoyed what we've been up to these past few weeks! Stay tuned for more fun!
Ms. Tiffany

Friday, December 8, 2017

November's Happenings!

The classroom has been extra busy lately and, as a result, the blog has been a little quiet! I am so excited to hand the blog over to Ms. Tiffany this week to tell you all about what the kiddos have been up to these past few weeks! Enjoy! 

From the notes of Ms. Tiffany:
Can you believe it is already December? Before you know it, we will be ringing in the New Year! The month of November was a busy one for us here at SEE. We started the month off by introducing our “Book of the Month” to the children. Each month we will introduce a new book that we will read to the children throughout the month, do art projects, talk about the characters, the setting and sequence of events, and do other supplemental activities with the kiddos. In November we focused on “The Leaf Man” By Lois Ehlert. We gathered leaves outside and each child got to make thier own creation with their findings just like in the story. We had Leaf Men, Leaf Bunnies, Leaf Birds and even a few Leaf Monsters! 

At the start of December we began a new story, “The Mitten” by Jan Brett. If you are not familiar with this story, a young boy named Nikki loses his white mitten in the snow. A whole group of animals try to squeeze inside to stay warm and the mitten stretches and stretches. When the last animal, a little mouse, wiggles his way on top of the big bears noes, he causes the bear to let out a big sneeze scattering the animals and the mitten all over the woods. Nikki then finds his stretched out mitten and makes his way safely home to his Baba. The children each got to decorate their own mitten and we even acted out the story as a big group! The kiddos loved being able to snuggle up inside our big “mitten”!

Since it has started to get a bit chilly here, we decided it was a good time to talk about some Arctic animals. We began by talking about the Arctic region. Did you know that there are no trees there? The ground is just too cold and hard for them to grow. Mrs. M also conducted a “Blubber Experiment.” We used Crisco and Ziploc bags to represent the blubber and skin of some animals. The children each got to take turns using the blubber glove and sticking their hand into ice cold water. We discovered that the Crisco kept our hand warm, just like the blubber does for the animals! This week we started our study of the biggest animal in the Arctic, the polar bear!

In between polar bear facts and our readings of the mitten the children earned their pajama party for being good classroom citizens. We all enjoyed (especially the teachers) wearing our comfy PJ’s, munching on popcorn and watching a short video. The children are already back to earning more gems and are excited for their next reward for being good classroom citizens!

What's Up Next?
In the upcoming weeks we will be learning about another Arctic animal, the penguin, talking about different holiday traditions and what we all do to celebrate with our family and friends, and creating our top secret holiday gift to send home to our families before we have a nice relaxing week off!

Upcoming Dates and Reminders:
December 21 and 22: Year-end PJ party and book swap - more info coming soon!
December 25-January 1: SEE closed for Winter Break 
January 2: School is open and we are back in action!
January 2: January tuition is due
January 15: SEE closed in observance of MLK Day

Pictures from the past few weeks:
One of our Thankful Turkeys
Prepping for our roles in, "The Mitten," recreation!

Every good performance has a plan in place

Ollie's leaf chicken

Laura's leaf bunny

Our Lois Ehlert wall!

The Jan Brett bulletin board!

November's artist of the month was inspired by ancient mosaics! Each child got to create the first letter of their name using different types of lentils!

I hope you enjoyed the blog this week! Have a great weekend!
Joanna and Tiffany