Preschool Weekly Note

Dear Preschool Families,

Despite record-breaking, summer-like temps this week, autumnal adventures prevailed in preschool! Some of us investigated Indian Corn — a traditional harvest that assures us that fall is here even when it’s 86 degrees! Using a variety of tweezers, we extracted kernel after kernel from the dried corncobs, which were then incorporated into classroom projects, including the creation of 3-D alphabet cards! We carved the pumpkin we harvested last week and baked it in our oven to make it soft. The next day we mashed the softened insides and saved them for this morning’s baking project — pumpkin bread using TPS pumpkin and some delicious-smelling spices! Ask your child to tell you whether he or she tried a piece.

The Honeysuckles and Peppermints plucked a second pumpkin from the garden with an entirely different goal in mind. Our classroom has a low window that looks out upon the patch of kale and garlic. After cutting open our freshly picked pumpkin, we placed it beneath the window, right in the middle of the veggies. We also sprinkled the pumpkin seeds along the ground. Now, we wait and watch to see what animals might show up for a free meal. Of course, the squirrels were right on time. Don’t tell your children yet, but we have a family of mice who are taking up residence. We have the perfect observation post and are looking forward to this study of nature in the city.

What’s in a name? The Milkweeds and Lavenders have been talking about names this week. We listened to a wonderful story, My Name Is Yoon by Helen Recorvits. Yoon is a young girl who immigrates to the U.S. from Korea and must learn to write her name using letters instead of characters. After listening to the story, the children took great care in practicing their own signature writing. Each child also worked with a partner to compare a collection of letters and find each letter in his or her name. They then glued their “name letters” onto paper, which was then decorated as each child saw fit. Activities such as this provide wonderful opportunities for your children to talk about their names and the letters in their names and to begin to understand that putting all the letters together helps to form important words — most especially our names!

The children in Preschool A have also welcomed Community College of Philadelphia student Latifah Lewis to our classroom this semester. Latifah will be with us on Mondays, and the children are enthusiastically helping her as she "learns how to be a teacher."

Thank you to those families who’ve sent in family photos. We enjoyed taking a tour along the front hallway this week during which the children not only commented on the photos they’d seen on our TPS Family Tree, but also enjoyed a "gallery walk" to point out their own theme-related artwork!

New in Preschool Next Week:

The Health and Safety Committee, in consultation with the school nurse, has decided to try a new, supplemental snack initiative for the preschool. In addition to serving fruit at snack time (and baked goods on Fridays), we will also offer wheat crackers and sunflower seed butter as an additional snack option. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about these new additions to the menu.

Next Friday, October 28, we will be heading to TPS’s outdoor classroom, The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education, for our annual fall festivities with other preschoolers and their families. Ride aboard a bus or meet us by car. We can’t wait to share the beauty of this place with you. Buses depart at 9:30 a.m. and return to TPS at approximately 1:30 p.m.

November conferences are almost upon us. Please remember to sign up using the Doodle poll. Additionally, please use the following link if you’d like to sign up for a conference with art teacher Kait Renna: http://doodle.com/poll/9zkeycmb83s2unrq.

Have a wonderful weekend!

The Preschool Team