Partner Play

Dear Parents,

To help our students become lifelong learners Pre-K educators strive to create a collaborative learning community in which their social and thinking skills can grow. Partner play is a natural tool that children can use to build their resilience and coping skills, practice leadership and self-advocacy as they learn to navigate relationships and deal with social challenges.

To promote closer interaction and peer engagement once in a while we decide to assign partners for Open Inquiry Time. During the first experience the goal was to find new friends, try new learning spaces as well as practice negotiation and conflict resolution. Our “Magic Bowl” gave us the pairs and the students were asked to stay with their “magic” partner throughout the inquiry time and explore together.

This is when the magic began!

Some students were over excited to have a partner – a new friend to play with. Some others had to take a risk and find a way to cooperate with a new friend.

A lot of students tried something new for the first time in Pre-K: like card making (because the partner has dragged you here…) or building in the Red room…

The range of reflections was very wide, although overall very positive:

“I like having a new friend.”

“I’ve found a new friend and she is great to play with.”

“I like to be with a partner because you never alone.”

“If it is not everyday, it is good.”

“I wait and wait she eat”

“It was so-so because my partner wanted to play in one place for too long.”

” I tried new.”

“I didn’t like building and then I liked it. I’ll go there again tomorrow.”

The second time students had to play with a partner the “Magic Bowl” made a different choice. This time most pares had partners that have a lot in common. The challenge was in the play options the students had. All the learning engagements were designed to force children cooperation and social language, forge connection and trust.

Now children are looking forward for partner-play opportunities. They are more open to play with new friends and try new learning experiences.

Enjoy learning with your child,

The Pre-K Team

 

AAS Birthday Celebration

Dear Parents,

Today’s forest walk was dedicated to our school. As we all know, everyone likes to receive presents, especially on your birthday!

Students decided to bring some Birthday gifts from the forest. So the Hunt begins…

Video or some pictures here

   

Just artifacts were not good enough, so the students decided to make them look like real presents:

 

You can find more pictures from the experience in the Google Photo Albums

PKEA and PKRM

Enjoy your weekend,

The Pre-K Team

Updates

Dear Parents,

We hope you had an amazing long weekend! There is nothing more important than spending valuable time with your child.

This week is going to be full of excitement, challenges and learning as usual! Plus we are celebrating The School’s Birthday  this week!

On Monday students were showing Deep Love to their play partner. It was a challenging experience as at some stations you had to rely on your partner completely and the whole experience made children be more aware of their friend’s needs and become better Communicators. More about this experience will follow  in the next post.

On Wednesday  students are treated with  a play by The Eco Theatre. It will make us consider our relationship with nature and make us grow as Principled Thinkers.

This Saturday October 12th the PTO is holding The PTO Elementary School Craft Fair, from 12:00-3:00 pm in the South Cafeteria and Student Lounge.  This is always a very popular event for our ES students, who get the opportunity to make lots of different crafts in one afternoon and practice Creativity.  We invite all ES families to attend.        In addition, the Craft Fair is a volunteer-run even and the PTO is still looking for parents to assist on the day.  No experience or crafting abilities are needed!  Hoping you can support this event, our PTO and our Community at AAS, by signing up being a volunteer. Here is the link to sign up:  https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0f4eaead2da2f94-craft1 

And of course it will be much more learning in between, just check the Google Photos Page!

Yours in Learning,

The Pre-K Team

P.S Don’t forget it’s PINKtober this month. Every Wednesday is a “wear pink” day!

A couple of minutes in the forest

Dear Parents,

The Forest walk was so much fun yesterday! Thank you for getting your kids well equipped and letting them have some messy exploration!

Check this video… What learning do you see is happening?

While you are throwing your child’s outdoor clothes into the washing machine (thank you) have a sit, put your feet up, and read this article from the New York Times about why dirt is so good for your child!

A Little Dirt is Good For You – New York Times

Have a Great Weekend and spend some time in Nature,

The Pre-K Team

Our playground is a learning space

Children naturally become intensely engaged in play. Pursuing their own purposes, they tend to tackle problems that are challenging enough to be engaging yet not totally beyond their abilities. Sticking with a problem, puzzling over it, and approaching it in various ways can lead to powerful learning.  When several children are challenged with the same problem, they often come up with different approaches, discuss various strategies, and learn from one another. These aspects of play can promote thinking and learning in different areas.

Our Pre-K playground opens up many new learning opportunities for children.

Children used bamboo sticks, colorful curtains, and clips to make a Tent on a sunny day:

Working together the children first decided to put sticks together. Then, they came up with the idea to make a tent. Helping each other, they put the curtains on the sticks and fixed them with clips. Two days later the children decided to put a big wooden chair in the area they were playing in. While putting sticks around it and covering it with curtains, they came up with the idea of building a … Pirate ship!

  

The final step was to put a flag on the ship:

Pirate ship is ready:

Once the children started to focus on a project, we saw them work and play collaboratively, using their imagination, previous knowledge and experience. Some playmates were familiar with each other, and others were becoming new friends.  Playing together and learning from each other helps children to connect to each other.

Yours in Learning,

The Pre-K team

 

 

 

Who We Are Unit of Inquiry

Who We Are

Pre-K is beginning our first unit in which students will inquire into how people in a community discover and learn, make choices, and develop independence.  The unit will last for the entire school year.

Through literature and learning engagements in the classroom, educators will be guiding each child’s inquiry into:

  • How we discover and learn
  • How can we develop independence as learners
  • How we learn together as a community

How can you help your child?

  1. Please send a family photo via email to your child’s teacher as soon as you can! It would be nice if you can also include a little blurb about your family traditions. Thank you in advance.
  2. Help your child to become aware of his or her new capabilities – helping them to see how they have grown and what they can now do, that they couldn’t do before.
  3. Encourage your child to ‘keep trying’ when they find something difficult to do, promoting independence and new skills – we work at our learning.
  4. Arrange some play dates for your child, helping him/her to develop skills at making and negotiating friendships.
  5. Share any stories with your child of times that you have learned something new – demonstrating that you have flexible thinking and resilience.
  6. Keep discussing your child’s learning engagements in class using Google Photos shared by your teacher.  

We look forward to continued work together with you and your child throughout this unit!

Yours in learning,

The Pre-K Team

 

Goal Setting Conference Homework for Families

Dear Pre-K Parents,

In preparation for the student goal-setting conferences, we would like to ask you to do some “homework”. Please set aside some uninterrupted time over the weekend to sit down and talk with your child about the following questions:

  1. What are some things you do well at school?
  2. What are one or two things you would like to do better?

When brainstorming ideas of things to improve, please remember that general literacy and math goals will be a focus for the entire class throughout the year. Try to think of areas we can work together to support your child’s social and emotional development.

In your child’s backpack you will find a page for making notes of your conversation. Please return it to school by Monday September 10th. This will enable us to better formulate appropriate goals with your child which we will share with you during the conference.

Thank you in advance for taking an active part in your child’s learning,

The Pre-K Team

 

The First Forest Walk

Dear Parents,

The First Forest Walk this Wednesday was a great success! We were extremely lucky with the weather. Students were all well equipped and enthusiastic to go.

In the forest children explored new places, tried new things and made new friends.

“I liked playing in the forest!”

” We found a zombi spider. They don’t walk they jump.It was funny when it was walking and jumping.”

“I found the slug. It was tickling me!”

“I loved to make the trap and the house!”

“Jumping was fun. Because I even touched the ground with my nose!”

“I liked jumping, because I all the time falling down.”

“Me got stick and this, this, break it. And it brake.”

“It’s nature!”

Going to the forest every week helps students nurture harmony and balance which in turn leads to happiness. Nature engages mind, body and spirit, which helps the child grow into a whole being. It’s all about the process of learning!

Sit back and enjoy the video if you wish to experience the excitement of the forest walk with us.

More Forest Learning Adventures await for us in the year ahead!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and try to find some time to get closer to nature!

The Pre-K Team

First Updates

Dear Pre-K Parents,

We have reached the end of our second week of school, and the children are settling in beautifully. Students are getting used to transitions, sitting on a carpet at circle time, cleaning up and sharing toys and materials with others.

While working on our Pre-K norms of behavior (The Pre-K agreement) we decided that everyone has a right for FUN and LOVE in school. Therefore, we all agreed on giving Deep Fun and Deep Love to friends.

Deep Fun is when you play together and share and it is fun for everyone. Cheap Fun (the one we don’t like) is when people grab toys from each other; when you have fun but the other person isn’t (someone falls down or makes a mistake  and you laugh).

Deep Love – is being kind to your friends, inviting everyone to play with you and love the person for who they are. Cheap Love-Telling someone they can’t play with you, they are not your friend or they can only be your friends if they give you something.

Please, let your child explain the concepts at home and practice with his/her siblings.

Important Info:

Full days  – Classes are open at 8:25 (9:10 on Wednesday) and Dismissal is at 3:20-25

Lunch –  Please follow the link send by the ES office to order lunches for your child for the upcoming week.

Quiet time Gear – please send in a small blanket and a small pillow for your child to feel comfortable (if you haven’t done so yet). If your child wants to have a small special sleeping buddy to keep in class you are welcome to send it in as well.

Extra Clothes – Please make sure you send a set of extra clothes to school. (Including socks and underwear!!!)

Labeling – Please label all the clothing items your child wears/brings to school. It is impossible to keep track of uniformed pieces 🙂

Next week starts with DAY 4

Wednesday (DAY 6) First Forest Walk starts this week –  please make sure to check the weather in the morning and dress your child accordingly. We would suggest wearing long pants and high socks on the day to make it easier to protect your child from ticks, mosquitoes and stinging-nettle. Rain boots are advised for those students who like to play in the mud 🙂

It’s been a great start of the year full of learning!

Have a great weekend,

The Pre-K Team

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Dear Parents of 2019-20 Kindergarten Students,

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Best wishes for the new school year,

The Pre-K Team