Saturday, September 20, 2014

In the Orca Class...

The Orca class is an interesting mix this year of returning Orcas, children who have moved up from the Dolphin class, as well as some children who are brand new to our school. These first few weeks are all about learning about school and each other.

The first day of school we made our Portfolio Pockets, where we will keep our special work from class. Some of us chose to write our names, and some of us chose to use letter stickers. All of us know the letters in our names, but we are at different stages of being able to write them.

The dress up area has been very popular.

A large part of preschool is spent learning how to be good friends. Telephones can help with this a bit. The children have had to learn how to use a phone shaped like this...

At ICP it's so much fun to have our parents come and play, imagine, and learn with us.

We are learning about quiet reading. This gives us an opportunity to look at the pictures in books, think about what the story is that goes with the pictures, and become excited to have them read to us.

Of course, outside play is important, and there is still lots of room for pretending there, too.

The first piece of work to go in our portfolio is our first self-portrait. Even our parents drew theirs. Many parents apologized for their drawing, but the children all think you are amazing! We will make several self-portraits throughout the year, giving us an opportunity to see how our image of ourselves, as well as our observation and drawing skills, has grown and changed.

When we engage in dramatic play we have a lot of opportunities to play what we see modeled each day, and to try on different roles in life.

These girl's thumbs were busy on these phones...

We met our preschool pets. These are the walking sticks.

They are intersting insects, and we went into the Wildlife Sanctuary to get ivy for them to eat. We also met our newest pets, two baby sister rats that we named Rosie and Bluebell.

This shaving cream experience was not only a great tactile exploration, but a fun social experience with our new friends.

Where are my hands?

The Orca class works together a lot as a class. Here we are working to make mud together in the dirt pile by the mud kitchen. It was so much fun!

This was our Question of the Day: What Do You Like To Do Best at Preschool? So many ideas, so much fun! It's going to be a great year!

In the Penguin Class...

For most of the little Penguins, this is their first school experience. There is a lot to figure out, but thankfully, they get to do it with their parent there with them.

We looked at a spider, and some other things. Magnifying glasses are cool!

We ate snack together,

and practiced drinking out of a cup.

And we explored the outside before being sung in by Teacher Ellen with her guitar, Red, and ending with circle. It was especially fun when our parents tossed us up in the air to the song "popcorn Man!"

More Sea Otter...

Ph! Some other important things we are learning in the Sea Otter class: how to get things up to the loft,

how to sort and classify things like cars (and what to do if someone wants one of them),

how to wash our hands, get our plate and cup, serve ourselves snack, and then bus our dishes when we are done,

how to express ourselves in a variety of ways,

 and how much fun it is to dress up for school!

Come along! It's going to be a great ride!

In the Sea Otter Class...

It was exciting on the first day of the Sea Otter class. There are many more things to do and explore in the class.

We got to make these discoveries with our parent there. Whew! No worries about separation today!


...climbing safely...

figuring out what the different materials can do... was a great day!

I love my preschool!

In the Dolphin Class...

The first three days of school have been full of fun, friends, and discovery. Name tags, washing hands, routines... there are a lot of new things to learn and do at school.

Many come to school full of confidence. Some come to school with a little more hesitation: will I be safe? Will someone care for and love me? Learning how to be away from our parents and home, as well as how to be a part of a group is an important part of coming to school.

The first thing we start to do is form relationships. We respect each other by listening, and giving others space, and by knowing when to help, or how to take turns.

There are lots of opportunities for cooperation... well as for snuggles.

There are opportunities to be social...

... as well as opportunities to learn what each one of us can do.

Friends make discoveries,

and set things up

to share with a new friend.

All of these things help us grow and learn more about how the world goes round.

Getting Ready for the Start of a New School Year

At ICP we follow the Reggio Emilia belief that the environment is the third teacher. This means that the things in our environment should be well thought out; inspire and provoke exploration, inquiry, and creativity; reflect the people who use this place and their questions, observations and learning.

We try to provide new ways of looking at ordinary or interesting items, maybe by adding or changing the light, or creating shadows or reflections.

Nature should be a part of our environment, both in items we can touch and use, or in living things like plants and pets. Of course, time spent outside in nature is enjoyed every day.

As you approach our school you see flowers the children planted interspersed with child-made stepping stones full of special treasures. The front wall is hung with wonderful art we created using paint and recycled bottle tops of all shapes, colors, and sizes.

It is important to get our outside spaces ready for school, too. Many families attended our Outdoor Tidy and Family BBQ recently. There were many helpers to assemble a new wagon for the playground.

We all worked together,

and after the work, we ate dinner together. What a great start to a new year!