Dear Preschool families,
Have Maureen and Lisa gone skiiing?! No, but they did board an airplane to Utah on Tuesday to visit former TPS Head of School Sandy Dean at her home near Salt Lake City this week. Maureen and Lisa visited several schools that Sandy is involved with and met with preschool teachers to talk about the wonderful work we do here using “The Project Approach” philosophy. We can’t wait to hear all about the children they met and learn more about the similarities and differences between Utah and Pennsylvania! They’ll be eager to rejoin us on Monday. While our teacher duo enjoy the snowy mountains out West, the whole preschool walked to Fitler Square on Thursday and joyfully witnessed so many signs of spring—flowers blooming, grubs emerging, and birds returning.
You may have heard from your preschooler that they now have school journals to practice their drawing and writing in. Journal writing gives preschoolers an opportunity to build confidence and skills in representational drawing, as well as letter formation and sound/symbol correspondence. Teachers work with small groups and give children an opportunity to challenge themselves and be inspired by peer work as they share their efforts. Ask your child what they drew and/or wrote about this week in their journal! These precious keepsakes will go home with end-of-year portfolios, and we look forward to sharing work-in-progress with you at parent/teacher conferences.
This week the Lavenders and Milkweeds decorated boxes originally designed for cakes. Why, you ask? Using oil pastels, your children wrote their names and decorated their own “band-in-a-box” for the creative instruments that they have been making at home and in school. We can’t wait to show them to you in a couple of weeks! On Wednesday, we were treated to a lesson on restringing and tuning a guitar by Hugo Gillman’s dad, Mike. Hugo’s family left a child-sized electric guitar with us to add to our growing collection of instruments in the classroom, and we were so grateful for this cherry red gift. After a choice between naming the new instrument “Strawberry” or “Rock Star,” the children overwhelmingly voted for “Rock Star.” Ask your child how many votes “Rock Star” garnered.
The Honeysuckles and Peppermints started the third and final rotation in their study of animals in winter. By the end of next week, everyone will be experts in hibernation, migration, and adaptation. We keep getting new books from the library and learning ever more facts. For example, did you know the pronghorn deer can outrun a cheetah? How about the fact that some fish can suck oxygen from tiny air bubbles when water is frozen? The fox is such an amazing adapter, it can detect the movement of tiny mice several feet below the snow. We continuously marvel at the wonders of nature, including in our own backyard.
In Spanish this week both classes were introduced to “el guiro,” a musical instrument that originated in Puerto Rico. Your children heard the guiro first in a new song that will teach us more about the seasons—in Spanish! The guiro’s long, metal, prong-like tool (a pick) made the majority of listeners think the guiro sounds just like a cricket. Ask your child what this beautiful instrument is made from. In the coming weeks we will explore other musical instruments such as maracas, palitos, and campanas de vaca. These instruments are integral to traditional Puerto Rican music, as well as to similar multicultural rhythms in Cuban and African music. In the Art Studio, Kait worked with preschoolers to create their own wire sculptures using recycled objects like beads, coiled wire, wood, washers, and screws. You’ll be able to soon enjoy them at home!
Have a wonderful weekend,
The Preschool Team