Preschool Weekly Note

“Pajaro, pajaro tweet, tweet, tweet”

“Made a little nest right in my street”

These are the first words to the latest tune written by Brian Jordan, our master singer and song writer. We will be singing this and many other songs at our Bird Breakfast, scheduled for June 3 in the Garden. Look for more details and a sign-up sheet to follow later in May.

From enormous condor nests to teeny, tiny hummingbird nests, the Wonderers and Adventurers have been fully immersed in learning about the special homes built by birds. On Monday we learned about Princess, an Andean condor who spends her days at the Philadelphia Zoo. When zookeepers noticed that Princess wasn’t quite herself, they called in the local vets, who performed reparative surgery on Princess’s cataracts. Your children were quite intrigued by the story; we were inspired to look at a video clip of a condor fledgling preparing to leave its nest. During project time we created our own authentic-looking nests (much smaller than a condor’s!) using clay, twigs, and grass. We used reference books to inform our drawings of colorful birds which will be transformed into playing pieces in an upcoming interactive board game. Stay tuned! We also twisted lengths of brown paper which were then woven together with strips of raffia through the top of our classroom loft. The result? A bird’s nest that we can sit in! Yesterday we discovered a “real” bird’s nest along Naudain Street — your children were convinced the birds used yarn and string that we’d left for them in the garden! Thanks to YouTube, we were able to view actual footage of a robin building its nest; we also enjoyed comparing the robin’s work to that of the tiny hummingbird who uses lots of silky spiderwebs! This morning, using breakfast cereal and melted marshmallows, we created edible bird’s nests which we then filled with fruit for snack. A delicious way to end our week of nesting adventures!

The Trailblazers and Explorers continued their small group rotations, learning about nest building, eggs, and bird foods. Every ornithologist needs a pair of binoculars for sighting and observing birds. We will be making our own binoculars and need cardboard tubes; the more the better. Please bring in your empty cardboard tubes from paper towels, toilet paper and wrapping paper. On Thursday, we welcomed Julius’s grandfather, Aaron Goldblatt, as a special visitor. He works as an architect who specializes in play spaces for children. In fact, Aaron designed the Alice in Wonderland exhibit at the Please Touch Museum! He welcomed our ideas for play and showed us how we might design these three play spaces: rooftop, riverside, and forest. Our creative juices flowed and no idea was considered too outlandish or impossible.

On Wednesday, we were all treated to a special performance by the TPS stringed instrument teachers. We listened to several pieces written for violins and cellos. Every child had the opportunity to try playing the instruments themselves. The garage was filled with the delightful sounds of squeaking, screeching, and even some beautiful music!

You may have noticed that the all-school calendar lists May 4th and 5th as a celebration of all things “Star Wars.” This is an event sponsored by the Student Council for grades 1-8. The preschool will not be participating, especially since so many of our children do not know about the "Star Wars" movies. If your preschooler has an older sibling that is dressing up, your child could perhaps wear a Star Wars t-shirt if he/she chooses.

The move-up night for parents of next year’s kindergarteners is scheduled for Tuesday, May 3 from 5-6 pm. Your child can stay in the ASEP program for that hour, but please let the front desk know ahead of time so ASEP knows how many children to expect.

Have a great weekend.

The Preschool Team