Early Learning Center (PreK-K) Cottage News
Language Arts and Social StudiesLesa Newberry - Level 1 / Lynne Mulligan - Level 2
Level 1s and 2s are off to a great start! We are working on building a strong foundation for reading and writing and establishing a love of learning through lots of exploration and discovery.
We have been reading fairy tales including Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Bears, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Little Pigs and doing many activities related to these classic stories. We have made porridge and play dough, built bridges, created trolls, and used props to act out these tales. We are working on recalling story details, sequencing events in stories, and comparing and contrasting different versions of the same story.
Using the themes and texts of these stories, we are working on beginning letter sounds, rhyming words, sight words, and punctuation marks. We are having fun matching, writing, and creating capital and lower case letters with a variety of materials including pipe cleaners, sand, wood rounds, puzzles, glitter, acorns, sticks, markers, and shaving cream! We also create beautiful artwork that utilizes our imaginations and develops our fine motor skills.
Our outdoor exploration time has been so exciting this late summer and fall. We are enjoying watching the seasons change and spending time exploring ways to use our gross motor skills to climb, jump, and balance on logs, stumps, and hills. Time on the playground is being spent building houses, constructing catapults, collecting “ingredients” and “cooking” in the mud kitchen, exploring ramps and friction, learning about balance and weight, digging in the dirt, observing birds and butterflies, and so much more. Every day is a new adventure!
One of our favorite times of day is afternoon stations time. In October, we are exploring pumpkins in a variety of ways - seeing if they sink or float, counting the lines, examining them with magnifying glasses and using our senses to describe them, weighing them, reading books about them, painting them, using screwdrivers to drive screws into them, and creating books about them. Our rooms are filled with books about fall, pumpkins, squirrels, spiders, and Halloween, and the children have begun writing their own books to add to our collection.
We enjoyed a field trip to Reflection Riding where we met red wolves, a bobcat, and sandhill cranes. We went on a hike and explored the bamboo forest. At the fire station, we got to meet firemen, watch a tall ladder being hoisted into the sky, climbed in a fire truck, and shot water from a real fire hose! We are looking forward to visiting other sites in our community this fall and winter.
Math and ScienceAndi Locander - Level 1 / Elizabeth Turner - Level 2
Level 1 students started the school year learning how the school works as well as meeting friends within level 1 and level 2. They have thrived in their outdoor learning environment! Each and every day students are learning skills and information through their learning environment, each other and their teachers.
In Math, students have used interactive stations and materials found in nature to understand number names, to recognize count sequence, and to identify the number of objects. We also explored shapes, ten frames and tally marks. We participated in hands on activities such as shape bubble wands, shape playdough, ten frame hopscotch, and number mazes to strengthen previously learned topics. Overall, one of our favorite activities is to use chalk to write our numbers in various ways on trees and then have a scavenger hunt to find them again.
In Science, students have enjoyed taking part in various STEM activities that correlate with multiple subject areas. Ten Apples Up on Top was an activity that helped us with our knowledge of apples and numbers and provided problem solving skills for students in a group environment. Another activity students enjoyed was a feather race where they were able to test their knowledge of wind. With Halloween around the corner, our cottage has been learning about pumpkins. We planted our magical pumpkin seeds, picked the pumpkins, used them as geoboards to make shapes, and carved faces into them. Spiders have been an enjoyable topic for students to learn as well. Students studied why they should love spiders then indicated whether or not they were afraid of them. With this data students created a graph, tally marked the results and determined which category had more or less.
In ELC we strive to coordinate across subject areas and let that trickle into our fabulous field trips! Earlier in the year students showed an interest in animals and nature. As a cottage we studied various animals and their habitats. We were able to visit the nature center and have a veterinarian come to campus to help students further their knowledge. Students then demonstrated an eagerness to learn about fire trucks which led us to visit the Highland Park fire station. In the next few weeks we have a field trip planned to McDonald Farm to coincide with our unit on pumpkins. It is an exciting time in ELC!