This week, many of the activities involved remembrances of the children’s first year at Brookside. The children saw a slide show of pictures highlighting the year. It’s incredible to see how much they have grown since September. After talking about all the things they had done during the year, each child drew a picture of his or her favorite part of Pre-K. The pictures will be compiled into a collection that each child will receive at the end of the school year.
As the children listened to a reading of Waiting for Wings,by Lois Ehlert, they focused their attention on the symmetry of a butterfly’s wings. They enjoyed painting large symmetrical butterfly wings and are looking forward to wearing them when they release the butterflies in the garden on the backfield. Enthusiasm for insects still resonates throughout Pre-K. The children heard books about beetles, fireflies, crickets, dragonflies and other insects. The Incredible World of Insects, a segment from Discovery Education’s website (discoveryed.com), enhanced the children’s understanding of these insects.The video clip introduced the children to insects’ common anatomical features, how they catch prey and use color and camouflage to protect themselves, and their use of different body parts to hear, see, smell and feel.
The caterpillars are starting to spin into their chrysalises and the children are eagerly waiting for the Painted Lady butterflies to hatch. The children have added documentation about this stage of metamorphosis to their butterfly journals.
Are You A Butterfly?,by Judy Allen, helps the reader to imagine what it would be like to be a caterpillar and then a butterfly. The children learned that if they were caterpillars, they would pop out of their skin at least three or four times, have breathing holes on their backs and have sixteen legs.
In the book, Are You A Butterfly?Judy Allen speaks directly to the reader and helps them to imagine what it would be like to be a caterpillar and then a butterfly. This beautifully illustrated book takes the reader through the complete life cycle of the butterfly.The children were amazed to learn that, if they grew as fast as a caterpillar did, they would weigh eight tons at two weeks old, pop out of their skin at least three or four times, have sixteen legs and breathing holes on their backs.
The children were introduced to African folktales and the mythical explanation of how the spider Anansi brought stories to the earth. The children located Africa on a globe and learned about the many landforms that exist there, such as rainforests, grasslands, deserts and plains, as well as some of the animals living in each African habitat. There are many “Anansi” stories in which Anansi is portrayed either as a spider or as a man. Anansi is a trickster, who often finds himself in trouble, but he usually triumphs over larger foes. After hearing Anansi, the Spider, as retold by Gerald McDermott, the children voted on which one of Anansi’s six gifted sons deserved the prize for saving his father from danger. They drew pictures of the spiders they had voted for and the illustrations were used for a bar graph. We introduced the children to the Swahili language, as they learned how to count from one to ten in Swahili. We All Went On Safari - A Counting Journey Through Tanzania, by Laurie Krebs and Julia Cairns, took the children on a beautifully illustrated safari through the grasslands of Tanzania, a large country in Eastern Africa. Then, the children made their own Swahili counting books.
The focus of math lessons this week was on sequence with specific attention to times in a day. Having sequenced events when retelling stories during our fairy tale unit, the children were familiar with the concept of sequencing. After hearing Time To,by Bruce Macmillan, the children sequenced times of the day and drew illustrations for something they typically do in the morning, afternoon and night. Pre-K also worked onnumber sense requires a deep understanding and intuitive feel for numbers and their relationships to one another. After hearing Anno’s Counting Book, the focus of which is the concept that each succeeding number is one more than the number before, the children used Unifix cubes to build staircases, making sure that each row of cubes had onemore than the row before. The children transferred the image of eachstaircase onto another grid by coloring in the correspondingnumbers and rows of boxes.
In our African study the children completed the African masks that they started last week. They embellished the masks with three- dimensional features. Among the materials used was raffia, which is made from raffia palms and is native to the tropical regions of Africa, especially Madagascar. The Hatseller and the Monkeys, as told by Baba Wagu Diakit, is the West African version of the beloved folktale about a peddler whose hats were stolen by monkeys. While the West African tale has a familiar and similar theme to Caps for Sale, as told by EsphyrSlobodkins, the settings and morals of the two versions differ. After hearing both stories, the children used a Venn diagram to compare them.
Pre-K A Conference Sign-Up.
Pre-K B Conference Sign-Up
The fabrics used in African clothing are known for their bright colors and designs. The fabric is often used to make clothing worn in religious ceremonies. Among the best-known fabrics is Adire cloth from Nigeria and Kente cloth from Ghana. The children saw many images of both Adire cloth and Kente cloth on the Internet. Adire cloth is made by first applying a cassava paste design to a fabric before dying the cloth. The children drew designs on paper with white crayons and then used a blue watercolor wash to create the batik effect of Adire cloth.The Spider Weaver, by Margaret Musgrove, is a tale of a master weaver who teaches two Ashanti weavers from Ghana how to make colorful patterns in the cloth that they weave. The cloths are called Kente cloth and are woven in a variety of colors. The name Kente comes from the word "kenten", which means basket. After hearing the story, the children designed their own geometric Kente designs on dark paper. The individual designs were combined to make one large Kente cloth.