Thursday, January 19, 2017

Regie Rainbow- The Island of Red

Regie Rainbow

This week we started our adventure with Regie rainbow. For the next six weeks we will be tasting different fruits and vegetables on Wednesday mornings. We will be recording the results of the tasting each week!

For the Island of red we tasted red grape fruit and beets.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Curriculum Night November 30th...Please join us!

Together with the interns we look forward to exploring what the children have been exploring so you can join in the thinking! In the meantime, you are still welcome to send in photos your child has taken or of pets (please see October announcements).  Additionally, any photos you have of your child visiting tall buildings and structures would provide fabulous opportunities for him or her to share and connect around this concept of tall.  Please peek at the November announcements for a few routine bits of information, too.  Here are some of the things around which our thinking has been centered:

Our Introduction into Photography

Since the beginning of the year the children have shown an interest in photography. They have taken control of the camera to explore all aspects of the classroom and outside. We have discovered how to take a picture and what constitutes a good picture. The children paid close attention to the details in the pictures and were able to make a connection and recant what was happening at that point of the day.

Identity Board

As a way to promote our classroom community we worked together to create our identity board to help the children get to know one another. The children started by taking pictures of each other and the adults in the room. We then cut out our faces and posted it on the board. Our names followed.


From the very beginning the children showed us their interest in cats. They started off by role playing a cat family in the vet clinic. They worked to take care of one another. To further explore the idea of cats we started to investigate the body of a cat in the form of drawing. As we examined the model of a cat the children drew many of the details they saw. From drawing we moved onto to sculpting cats from clay. We started off by learning different techniques on how to make legs. Then we moved on to bodies. We are now at the point of connecting the two together.

Building Tall

Our shadow studies have lead us to build with light. Doing so to model the details of famous structures as well as to manipulate shadows, the children consistently show an interest in the aspects of building tall. Their understanding of balance, stability, components of structures, cooperation and safety is really shining through.

A Note from the Interns:
We have thoroughly enjoyed working with this diverse group of children. Each child brings his or her own personality to each exploration. We were both very excited to begin this school year knowing that we would be interning in a mixed classroom: both prekindergarten and kindergarten. We have already learned a lot as a class and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Ashley Atanosian’s Explorations
Macintosh HD:Users:Saline:Desktop:Screen Shot 2016-11-03 at 10.12.46 PM.pngSince the beginning of school I have been exploring the way that textures are around us. I have explored the garden and the Art Studio. During both of these explorations children chose one item to keep. From all the items that were kept we sorted items into categories (according to texture). Those categories were bendy, itchy, pokey and bumpy. I’m beginning to work on the five senses with the children and would like to center all of my explorations around the concept of working together. Having the children work together will allow them to balance one another’s thoughts with their own. At this age it’s hard for the children to share without getting upset with one another. My goal this semester was to go from less one-on-one explorations to more working together explorations. I believe that by having the children work together, the explorations are going farther because the children are building off what another child hears. A few specific ways that you can encourage the lessons would be to focus on being fair and sharing. Sharing with siblings, other family members, or a close friend of your child could do this. These can be done outside of the school environment. I am striving to have all the children understand how to share and how to makes activities fair for everyone. When I see that children are having a hard time with choosing what each person will do I make the suggestion of picking sticks because this is a fair way. Even though sharing is my main goal, I am still watching the children closely and reflecting on my lessons as I go, because ultimately the biggest goal that the classroom is focusing on is meeting the Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten standards.

Chelsea Grigg’s Explorations
Macintosh HD:Users:Saline:Desktop:Screen Shot 2016-11-03 at 10.12.57 PM.pngIt has been exciting to see the children’s interest in different explorations grow throughout these first two months. From the start I have been working with children on patterns and have watched it develop into sorting and classification. Children have explored different characteristics of patterns and used those characteristics to sort. When sorting and working with patterns we have tried to encourage children to use other attributes than just color.  We have been able to sort leaves of all one color and focus on the other key characteristics we noticed about the leaves. We have worked with animals and explored differences and similarities of animal characteristics. I have been reflecting on the lessons I have done with children and paying close attention to the children’s play and thinking. I have noticed many children interested in building different homes and structures and through this have noticed children working together and cooperating as classmates. I am looking to further the children’s thinking by having them continue to work together and plan together in the building process. During this exploration I will be having children explore what it means to be a classmate and help each other. A great way to encourage this at home would be by either encouraging play with other siblings, friends, family or anyone else as a form of cooperative play. You can support children by reminding them of a common goal, and encouraging them to come up with ways they can reach their goal together. This is important for prekindergarten students and kindergarten students as they are both working towards meeting standards that focus on collaboration in the classroom.
We would like to invite you to the Curriculum Night the Early Childhood Education Center is hosting on November 30th. At this event we can go into further detail of the children’s learning explorations and answer any questions you may have about what we have been working on with your child. The Curriculum Night will begin at 4:30pm and finish up around 6:00pm. We hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2016/2017 First weeks

Our school year is off and running!  We are closely watching the children's interests.  We are tuned into their thinking and getting to know what they understand, as well as, what they wonder and what misconceptions they hold.  Here are a few of the hot topics from the first month.
Tomato from our garden with tiny seeds
Okra from our garden with different colored seeds
We have harvested many tastes from our garden and explored the insides of several things from both the eating rows and the butterfly row.
Discovering the sound wall on our playground
Exploring the many ways to play a drum

While we are getting into the rhythm of school, we are also exploring rythmn concepts in preparation to establish a drum circle in our routine.

Building marble ramps
Exploring our new projector
Building with blocks and slats is taking many forms.  The children are building wolf houses, ramps, vehicles they can sit in, and various constructions with motion and imagination purposes.

Our new projector is prompting many discoveries with light, shadows, shapes, and gross motor movement.  

Worms, spiders, and roly polies

The children have an affinity toward entomology!  There is great delight when we encounter creepy crawlies both outside and in.
Sorting shells and rocks from a bucket of sand together

We are doing many explorations around the idea of classifying.  Did you know rocks are hard, but shells are soft?  We are excited to hear the theories the children are developing regarding the attributes of objects as they classify them.

The children have gravitated to our classroom camera.  It is fun to see all the silly face shots and we are touched by the many beautiful moments they have captured!
Celebrating International Peace Day with Room 7 in our garden
Ms. Sanchez read The Peace Book by Todd Parr to us. We enjoyed being together in our garden!
Exploring x-rays in our vet clinic

Our dramatic play area is a very busy vet clinic.  Many cats and animals are being cared for each day.

Liquid watercolor painting

We are exploring many art materials to provide the children with skills in using a myriad of things. These skills grants them the opportunity to express their thinking in many ways.

Watercolor painting in the garden

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Summer Camp Week 6

Clang, Bang, Boom: The Physics of Sound

School Aged Classroom with Ms. Zoia and Ms. Camardese

During this week the children explored sounds in a variety of different ways. We explored how sound travels through vibrations. Here are some of the highlights from this week of summer camp. 

On the first day we explore many different kinds of instruments to see how the sound was made. 


We used recycled materials to build a wind chime to add to the garden. 

 The school aged classroom worked with the preschool classrooms to create a sound wall on the playground using recycled materials. 


As we looked at the vibrations of sound the children used handmade drums to move confetti. 

We used straws and masking tape to learn how sound waves move.  

We used slinkys to show the difference between sound waves. 

Summer Camp Week 5

Chemistry in Cooking

School Aged Classroom with Ms. Zoia and Ms. Camardese

This week we explored the chemistry behind many different types of cooking methods. We pickled cucumbers to make our own pickles. We learned about fermentation by making pizza dough and watching as the yeast made the dough rise. The children explored emulsion by making our own salad dressing and mixing oil and water on the light table. A big part of our week was learning about recipes and how they help us to know what ingredients we need, how much we need, and the steps on how to make it. We also explored many different chemical reaction by conducting a science experiment each day to see what the chemical reaction would be.  The children were working with many different math and science concepts during the week. 

Elephant Toothpaste: Chemical reaction between dish soap, hydrogen peroxide and yeast (mixed with warm water).  As the yeast reacts with the water it produces the gas, carbon dioxide.  The carbon dioxide reactions with the the hydrogen and oxygen in the hydrogen peroxide and causes the dish soap to foam up.  The children were introduced to the different states of matter: solid, liquid and gas.

Self inflating balloon: Chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda.  During this experiment, we also used yeast and water (since we already knew yeast produces a gas) to see which would inflate the balloon faster.  The children had to make predictions and use the scientific method.  We found the baking soda and vinegar balloon inflated faster, but the yeast and water balloon stayed inflated for longer.


Making our own salad dressing using oil, vinegar, garlic


Mixing Oil and Water
We explored the mixing of oil and water in plastic bags. 

Baking Soda and Vinegar

We mixed vinegar in with watercolor then the children used eye droppers to squeeze the mixture onto the baking soda. They noticed how their was a chemical reaction between the two. They described it as fizzling.  


Slime: mixing glue and liquid starch

The starch and the glue react to make a sticky substance.  At first the children were not sure it would mix (it looked very liquidy and wet) but with more kneading the slime turned out great.  (Here is the recipe we used, but we did not include the water 



The children made their own pickles by cutting up mini cucumbers, adding spices, then adding vinegar. They patiently waited for four days before they could taste them. They were delicious! 


Here are the links to the recipes we used this week while exploring chemistry in cooking: 
Blueberry Zucchini Bread
   Vegan Pancakes
   Pizza Dough
    Slow Cooker Apple Sauce
   Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag

Summer Camp Week 4

Where the Wild Things Are

School Aged Classroom with Ms. Zoia and Ms. Camardese

During this week we explored different habitats and the animals that live there. We focused on a different animal habitat each day. 

On Monday we explored the animals that live in ponds. During this day the children got to observe frogs, build an ecosystem and recreate some of Monet's famous water lily paintings. To build our ecosystem we used: pop bottles, gravel, grass seeds, dirt, minnows, worms, aquarium plants and pond water. The children observed the changes throughout the week and discovered the grass was growing!

On Tuesday we discovered all of the creatures living underwater in the oceans . The children went whale watching, researched the depth of the ocean and the creatures that inhibit the deepest and darkest parts, painted colorful fish and constructed a coral reef out of recycled materials. 

On Wednesday we traveled to the Arctic and Antarctica to explore the animals in this habitat. The children experienced how animals keep warm by sticking their hand into a water table full of ice. They used a homemade bag of blubber to protect them from the cold water just like the animals in the arctic. They took on the role of Eskimos and build their own igloo. 

On Thursday the children were archaeologists. We traveled to the dessert to dig for dinosaur bones, paint with sand and create their own fossil using animal tracks. 

On Friday we traveled to the rain forest where we made rain sticks to mimic the sounds we would hear, build a tree house, and constructed animals out of clay. 


Science Alive came to visit!