We have had a lot of fun this week reminiscing about our year in pre-k! What a fun and growing year we have had! Check out the video! The girls will tell you some of their favorite things about pre-k, some of the things they have learned, and some things they will be up to this summer!
Little hands wave goodbye,
Off to school we go!
What will we do all day?
We’ll learn a lot, we know!
Little hands learn to cut and how to write their name.
Little minds grow and grow, to never be the same.
Little hands use paint, little hands use glue,
Little hands hold other hands all the year through.
Little hands and little hearts learn to be good friends.
As many days together they spend.
Little hands are very busy doing lots of things.
Little hearts and minds are growing, from fall to spring.
Little hands will keep on growing, hearts and minds will, too.
We will miss those little hands and want to say THANK YOU!
Many sources cite what an important part art plays in early childhood education. Friedrich Froebel, the father of kindergarten, believed that art activities encouraged each child's "full and all-sided development" (Froebel, 1826). In pre-kindergarten at Hutchison, we include art activities that help the girls develop cognitive, social, and motor abilities. As we studied the works of Eric Carle, the girls have been immersed in an elaborate process that he uses in his illustrations known as collage. I am amazed at their persistence with this technique and Mrs. Oates' patience as she guided them through the steps.
The girls carefully painted tissue paper and after it was dry, explored ways to add texture by painting prints of another color. The girls chose a favorite picture from the many Eric Carle books that we have read and began to create their own collage. They drew their picture first and then began to add pieces of the painted tissue paper.
Enjoy the slideshow of each girls finished Eric Carle collage...
As a culmination of the fourth grade "Scooter Challenge", and celebration of the Trike-a-Thon, the pre-k girls were invited to visit the lower school innovation lab. Our little people love seeing the older girls around our campus and LOOK UP to them with curiosity and admiration, but getting to interact with them in a small setting was a very special treat! Our little girls sat in awe as they LOOKED UP and listened to these "big girls" explain their project, a challenge to create a scooter using only 3 pieces. They explained that each had very different ideas at first and how they worked together to decide on the best one. They told of multiple attempts and revisions and realizing that mistakes were not a bad thing but led to change and improvements on their scooters. Our girls saw how the fourth graders used math, reading, and problem-solving skills to create their scooters. We enjoyed seeing the 3-D printer at work and were fascinated by the girl's presentation. What a wonderful thing for our girls to get a peek into the exciting educational opportunities they will experience in years to come. Making new friends in the process was a fun added bonus! Now when the pre-k girls LOOK UP at lunch, they have names to those fourth grade faces and a shared experience.
Getting to LOOK UP and LOOK FORWARD is a fabulous strength of our school! I love how it shapes our girls, the little ones and the big ones, too!
What were some things you learned from the fourth grade girls?
They had to try again.
They figured out to use magnets to keep the pieces together.
They used the computer to show the shapes of the scooter.
They could use dry erase markers and write on their tables. We cannot do that on our tables.
They printer used plastic to make the scooter!
What would you make with a 3-D printer?
I'd want to make a bike.
I want to make a pony.
I would make a skateboard.
"...give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not."
~ Marlo Thomas
The girls of early childhood at Hutchison School and their friends and families gave more than $10,500 to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital this year, putting us past the $100.000 mark in total giving over the past 12 years. WOW! Ask your girls what St. Jude will do with the money they give. They seem to truly understand, in their 4-year old way, that what they give helps little girls and boys, just like them, to have medicine, pajamas, and toys, while getting to be with their families and focus on getting well.
A good life lesson for all of us!
The Pre-Kindergarten Carton2Garden Project was a very successful venture for our students. They learned about recycling, sustainability, and the process of gardening. In addition, they worked collaboratively to create an object to depict our theme. This project was unique to Hutchison because, after all, we are the “Honeybees.” The availability of the garden and farm is another unique aspect of our project. Our horticulturist, Meggan Meakin, guided us with an informational talk and video about bee pollination, the creation of honey, and the planting of biodegradable milk cartons for the garden. The girls learned that planting in these cartons, collected from our dining hall, was an easy way for them to participate in recycling and re-purposing materials. The girls loved the idea of providing flowers for pollination and nectar to create honey in our bee hive at the farm. They created a big bee with the milk cartons, incorporating STEM skills of measuring, estimating, counting, and planning the bee design. Finally, the girls actively planted the flowers in the garden space and determined the materials needed to produce healthy, vibrant flowers for the bees.
Recycling of everyday materials taught valuable lessons in sustainability of our earth while re-purposing containers we use every day. This process and project also encouraged the importance of recycling at home while eating and drinking healthy and nutritious foods and beverages.
It is really spring! Birds fly by. The sun shines. Rain falls. The seeds grow so round and full they start to burst open a little. Now they are not seeds any more. They are plants. First they send roots down into the earth. Then their little stems and leaves begin to grow up toward the sun and air.
~ from The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Like Eric Carle says in his story about the tiny seed, the birds are flying right outside our windows. We have seen cardinals and robins looking for food and materials to build their nests. The sun is shining. The clouds are sending rain. The REAL bees are buzzing! And your little Hutchison honeybees are buzzing, too. They are busy buzzing around the room with an excitement about new things they can do and new things they are learning.
Mrs. Oates and the girls are painting tissue paper, Eric Carle-style, as we begin our author study of his beautiful books. It's a long process! The girls will create a collage when they finish making paper.
Working together on spring puzzles and building flower gardens in the blocks.
Counting leaves on flower stems - number recognition and 1:1 correspondence.
Creating a flower scene with shapes
and oil pastels.
This week we have been wrapping up our study of faces, friends, and families. In the midst of self-portraits, discussions about how to be a good friend, and what we love about our families, the girls have been busy around the room. They have explored with wet and dry sand in the tactile table, making clay people, and playing family with the doll house. The girls have fished for numbers, practiced writing numbers and honed their 1:1 correspondence skills, filling Easter eggs with the correct number of carrots. They enjoyed stamping sight words they have learned and letters in their name and that of a friend. Working together on floor puzzles has been a big hit! Your girls are hard workers and love to show what they have accomplished! They have learned to manage their time working at centers and exploring the room in less-structured ways. They are always learning and there is always laughter! It's a happy place!
The girls have explored different ways to create faces. They have created three different self-portraits using different materials. Each time the girls have used the mirror to keep a close watch on their face as they illustrated. They composed one portrait with oil pastel crayons, choosing very carefully the color of their skin, hair, and eyes. The second self-portrait consisted of using only black ink as they dictated what they saw in the mirror and what they were drawing. Then, the final piece was a mosaic, which required a lot of patience and perseverance.
Here's a sampling of their precious faces!
Pen and Ink with Dictation
During the months of February and March we talk about and center our work around our faces, friends, and families. The girls have enjoyed creating faces out of various materials, drawing their own faces, and observing likenesses and differences in each other's faces. It makes for a wonderful opportunity to begin to learn to appreciate the things about us that are the same and the things about us that are different.
We also talk a lot about how we FEEL. The girls LOVE telling us how they are feeling and it gives them an opportunity to express WHY they feel a certain way - an activity that is good for the soul, as well as a great opportunity to practice talking in front of the group.
They are excited to draw pictures of their faces expressing different feelings and then water color their illustrations. It has been a great way to encourage the girls to use their words, to understand healthy ways to share their feelings, and that having different feelings are an important part of life.
The girls helped us make a book about all the different feelings, Look at these cute faces! You already know how good they are at pulling at your heart strings.