Preschool Weekly Note

Dear Families,

Enthralled with the magic of storytelling, we clapped and sang to the beat of professional storyteller Charlotte Blake Alston this morning. Using a Djembe drum, an African “Kora” ( a 21-stringed instrument), and many call and response activities, Charlotte welcomed us to her world of storytelling! She regaled us with tales from Africa: Anansi the Spider, When Dog and Cat Were Friends, and How Tortoise Cracked Her Shell. We also chanted rhythmically to the tale of a woman who went too close to “the hole in the sea.” Your children were a wonderful audience; ask your child to tell you about his or her favorite story! 

This week in the Peppermint and Honeysuckle room we continued our rotations.  If you look at the loft, you’ll see that the top is beginning to look like a beautiful place to migrate to—-sunny skies and colorful flowers.  Soon there will be birds and butterflies all around enjoying the warmth.  But underneath there is a cold, dark cave for the hibernating bears.  Please be quiet when you pass by—there are furry critters sleeping inside.  There are a host of other creatures who are foraging for food in the cold and snow. In Music Class the Peppermints and Honeysuckles described what they are studying in their classroom.  They identified their groups as being adaptors, migrators, and hibernators.  When asked about each group, they were able to explain what it meant and give examples of an animal's behavior in each group.  Next week we will be thinking of ways we can act out each of these groups and add music for a story dance.   

“It’s all percussion!” noted an enthusiastic participant as he took in the performance of an impromptu Milkweed/Lavender “show” yesterday! We’ve been learning to make amazing sounds with boxes, cans, rice, beans, rubber bands, and string. We’re even beginning to classify our homemade instruments as “strings” or “percussion” following an extra visit to the music room this week. Your children learned that instruments have “families”: strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion. They also listened to the sound of five "mystery" instruments: flute, trumpet, harp, violin, and cymbals. After we identified each instrument, we pointed to its picture in the music room.  Using rhythm sticks, we sang "Willem He Had Seven Sons," and imitated the way we play each of the above instruments. We took turns having fun exploring some “real” percussion instruments on our own: shaker eggs and hand drums. Next week we will be listening to more instruments and reading a book with riddles about instruments. We’ll also have the opportunity to watch some "big kids" rehearse using real instruments, as well! Stay tuned for more about our musical adventures.

Looking for a wonderful place to explore nature with your preschooler on a wintry Saturday morning? The Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education (TPS’s “country classroom’) offers a story time followed by guided exploration of their trails on Saturday mornings through February 25. Click on this link  for more details.

Dates to Remember:

  • Friday, February 3, is Crazy Hat, Hair, and Pajama Day at TPS.  Children are invited to wear any one or all three of these things. If your child hates to get dressed in the morning, then on this day, it won’t matter. He/she can wear pajamas to school!  (NO slippers, please.)  So find your silliest hat or put four pony-tails in your hair and get ready to celebrate!
  • Tuesday, February 14, is Valentine’s Day, and we will be having our annual Valentine’s Breakfast in the Garage. It will start at 8:15 a.m. and will end at 9:15 a.m., and everyone is invited. We will post a sign-up sheet next week with suggestions of things to bring. 

Enjoy a wonderful weekend,

The Preschool Team