Who knew you could order a few caterpillars through the mail and watch them transform into butterflies right before your very eyes? WOWZA! Our minds were blown as we saw the changes, wrote about the changes, and watched in utter AMAZEMENT as our little butterflies flew into the world!
Listen in on the girls comments when we discovered the butterflies!
Why are they being still?
I see 2!
The others are still in the chrysalises!
We need to give them some food.
The butterflies have antennas.
It's not the orange one - it looks like polka dots on their wings.
I didn't know that it opened!
I think another one is coming out!
BUTTERFLIES! I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! IT'S SO COOL!
Whoa! They're coming out today!
One came out and then two!
I thought it was gonna be purple, but it's like a zebra!
He's moving his mouth!
He's trying to open the top like I open Christmas presents.
All the butterflies are here!
I see 9!
On this side it's orange and on the other side they're brown.
White polka dots on this side!
Watching the amazing work of the Creator in the life cycle of butterflies was a project I will NEVER forget! It reminds me of the ways these little girls have grown this year. They came to our class in August with those pudgy, sweet baby faces. They learned to walk in a line, learned to write their names, and learned how to share! They learned to listen and follow directions. They tried new things and grew more confident! We got to watch them change from pre-k girls into junior kindergarten girls! Waiting for wings! They are learning to fly!
We have just LOVED watching our zinnias grow! They were finally big enough to plant in the flower bed on our playground! How exciting! We have learned SO much about plants!We have watered the little sprouts, drawn them, counted them, and loved them!
Growing flowers is hard work! You have to be industrious and you have to not give up!
DAY 4 - WE'VE GOT SPROUTS!
What do seeds need to grow?
Mrs. Riddle and Mrs. Bond's second graders helped us plant them on the playground!
Journaling about how we planted the zinnias...
Waiting for our flowers to grow....
The girls have learned so much about plants! Getting to really do it all themselves and being part of the process has lots of developmental opportunities. Click the link to understand benefits of gardening with kids! Maybe there's a garden in your future! I know a great resource...your very own pre-k girl!
STAY TUNED for beautiful zinnia blossoms!
We're watering and waiting and waiting and waiting...
In talking about and creating our beautiful butterfly that was revealed during our spring program this morning, the girls have LOVED reading Eric Carle's account of a little caterpillar becoming a butterfly. The girls LOVE retelling the story of THE VERY HUNGRY CATERPILLAR and REALLY love making their own illustrations. Each one chose a part of the story to illustrate and they re-told the story to our friends in the Little Hive. What a treat!
Retelling stories is so important to little people's development, especially as they get their brains ready to read.
Did you know that March is Women's History Month? We have read some GREAT books about some GREAT women! Remember Rosie Revere? She was an EXCELLENT ENGINEER! AND so are your girls! They have been very busy creating little inventions. And boy! Are they cool!
Your girls devised a plan for their creations by drawing a picture of it and then, with recycled materials, created their inventions!
Serious and hard at work! So industrious! WOW!
Engineering activities provide lots of opportunities for young learners to grow and mature.
Please click on your daughter's name to hear her explain her creation!
Lois Ehlert's book, Planting a Rainbow, has inspired us to plant one, too! Mrs. Riddle, our very smart and very favorite horticulturist, helped us figure out how to do it!
Do you know how? Your very clever pre-k girls had an idea!
How can we plant a rainbow?
With a rainbow seed!
And we'll need dirt!
We practiced with pipe cleaners and talked about the colors of the rainbow.
"If you have a red flower, hold it up!"
"If you have an orange flower, hold it up!"
"If you have a yellow flower, hold it up!"
Senora Chelsoi helped us with the Spanish words for the colors, too!
We traveled to Mrs. Riddle's classroom to plant zinnia seeds in the order of the rainbow! Ask your girls what colors we planted...we made a few changes!
Poetic license! (wink! wink!)
Pieces of our conversation with Mrs. Riddle...
Mrs. Riddle: First we will plant RED zinnias. What shape do you think they will be?
Round! Little flowers! Triangles! Like a star!
Do you think the seeds will be red?
YES!!! They have to be red for red flowers!
They're not red! What in the world?
These seeds are for the orange zinnias. Will they look the same as the red zinnia seeds or different?
They will look different!
I think they'll look the same!
And they WON'T be orange, right?
How do we know these seeds will grow orange flowers?
We will have to wait and watch them grow!
I love talking about plants! My Nana likes to grow flowers!
Blue flowers are hard to grow. They are very rare!
That means they're hard to find!
The "grow light" pretends to be the sunshine. The roots will soak up the water that you pour over them and spray on them and will help the plant start growing.
We will keep a close watch on our little zinnia plants! We will water them on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. AND we will keep a journal of their growth and progress.
When they are ready to go outside, we will plant them on our playground!
Yay! We love to plant flowers! They will "bee" beautiful!
There are always a lot of emotions rolling around in pre-kindergarten.
MOST OF THE TIME, there are happy ones, but every now and then girls may feel DISAPPOINTED, SAD, FRUSTRATED, or even MAD! We have LOVED talking about our emotions! The girls really love to tell us how they are feeling! They are learning that everyone has feelings and that it is okay to have them. The tricky part as a 3 or 4 year old girl - or 53 year old teacher - is learning the right way to express and process those feelings.
The girls have been drawing their faces with different expressions and describing how they feel! They are learning to really articulate and they LOVE sharing their illustrations with their peers!
Todd Parr, one of our favorite authors, has some really cute feelings cards! The girls get to choose a feeling and tell about a time when they felt that way.
I feel shy when my mommy makes me meet her friends.
I feel brave when I go in my playroom by myself.
I felt lonely when I had to sleep by myself.
I feel lonely when daddy says good night and leaves my room at night.
I feel proud when I write my name.
I felt proud of myself when I tried hard to write a 2 and I did it!
I feel calm when my mommy sits with me.
We made a feelings chart and the girls got to tell us how they were feeling each morning.
I'm feeling excited because we are going to a birthday party tonight!
I'm feeling sad because my mommy made me sleep in my own bed last night.
I'm feeling tired today because I woke up SO early!
I'm feeling mad because sometimes my brother hits me!
I'm excited because I'm spending the night at my Nana's house!
The girls drew their faces and then water colored their self-portrait.
I feel happy when I go shopping with my mommy.
I'm excited because I'm going to the beach,
I'm happy when my daddy plays with me.
I feel angry when my friends make faces to me.
I feel sleepy when the moon is out.
Playdates at the park make me happy!
I feel scared when the lights blink off!
Feelings come and feelings go.
I never know what they'll be .
Silly or angry, happy or sad -
They're all a part of me!
- from The Way I Feel
written and illustrated by Janan Cain
Some of our favorite books about feelings and faces...
When Sophie Gets Angry - Really, Really Angry by Molly Bang
The Way I Feel by Janan Cain
Today I Feel Silly by Jamie Lee Curtis
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Two Eyes, A Nose, and a Mouth by Robert Grobel Intrater
It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr
Reading Makes You Feel Good by Todd Parr
The I Love You Book by Todd Parr
The Okay Book by Todd Parr
The Feelings Book by Todd Parr
If You're Angry and You Know It! by Cecily Kaiser
Some new vocabulary we learned - and we talked about opposites:
friendly - mean
tired - ants in my pants
shy - confident
bored - busy
angry - peaceful
included - left out
worried - carefree
proud - ashamed
cheerful - cranky
comfortable - uncomfortable
silly - serious
safe - frightened
happy - sad
delighted - disgusted
excited - disappointed
cuddly - lonely
brave - scared
quiet - loud
calm - nervous
overjoyed - annoyed
What is a family?
When you love someone!
A family makes you happy!
A house where your mommy and daddy live!
A family gives hugs and kisses!
A family means you're happy!
We talk a lot in pre-k about our families! These girls LOVE LOVE LOVE their families! YOU! They love drawing you! They love talking about you! They love being with you!
We LOVE our families and we LOVE to do stuff together!
In celebration of Dr. King's birthday last week, the girls and I talked about what he did that was so important! We talked about how Dr. King changed the rules that made people feel different and made new rules that were meant to give all people the same opportunities. We talked about ALL of us getting to work together at school! We talked about ALL of us getting to play on our playground! We talked about how we are BETTER TOGETHER! That it doesn't matter if you have blue eyes or brown eyes, brown skin or white skin, you like macaroni and cheese the best or pizza the best. Our differences make us BETTER!
Thank you, Dr. King, for changing the rules and helping us to see that it's okay to be different and thank you for showing us how to celebrate that! AND for showing us how we can help!
In their journals, the girls wrote about and illustrated ways they can help others!
WOW! They have some great ideas! It will ENCOURAGE you!
Encourage one another and build each other up, build each other up, build each other up!
Encourage one another and build each other up! Up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, UP!
Encourage one another, don't tear each other down, tear each other down, tear each other down!
Encourage one another and BUILD EACH OTHER UP!
When we were talking about Dr. King and how he helped people, one of your girls said,
"Just like the song we sing in chapel, Mrs. Erickson! Build each other UP!"
One way the girls are encouraging each other is to write messages! Each girl has a special mailbox! They are writing notes to each other and delivering them to their classmates!
Boy! Is it exciting to get a note!
We LOVE to read books in Pre-kindergarten! We have learned about TITLES, AUTHORS, ILLUSTRATORS, CHARACTERS, and SETTINGS! Did you know your girls knew all that stuff? Well, they do...which is so cool! But that's not all they're learning when we read a book. Your girls are also learning to SEQUENCE! When your girls can identify the beginning, middle, and end of a story and are able to retell a story's events in the order in which they occurred, they are SEQUENCING! This skill builds a strong foundation for reading comprehension. It helps the girls as they are beginning to hear rhyme and as they look forward to sounding out words. It even helps with following directions!
As I re-read the story, The Mitten, by Jan Brett, the girls went on an adventure around the room to find the animals that crawled into the mitten. They slid the animals into the mitten they made. And then the bear sneezed! Ahhhhh! Ahhhhh! Chooooo!
Check out the video after the slide show to see what happens!
There are SO MANY benefits of art in pre-kindergarten! Artistic activities foster intellectual development. They stimulate both sides of the brain and increase the capacity for memory, attention and concentration. Art helps develop reading skills and promotes foundational skills for math and science. Children are introduced to new vocabulary and concepts. Memories and images are generated, which enrich the intellect.
ART promotes creativity...
ART promotes confidence...
ART promotes problem solving skills...
ART promotes patience and determination...
ART promotes dedication...
The girls practiced perseverance and creativity in the process of "building" these masterpieces! They were strengthening fine motor skills as they made pages covered in tissue paper and then cut triangle trees. They used their spatial skills to watercolor the background in 3 different sections. AND they used their bright little imaginations to tell a story about their trees. WOW! All that in 1 activity! AND they are just BEAUTIFUL! Then DOUBLE AND...their stories! FABO!