Preschool Weekly Note

Dear Families,

We’ve been busy bees (birds?) indeed as the month of May flies by. This morning a group of 27 sixth graders visited our classroom to interview your children about what and who they like to play with and what their favorite activities are. The sixth grade is undertaking a study of “play” and has been observing your children for the past few Fridays. One of the goals of their project is to create play experiments and activities with preschoolers in mind and to watch what happens when they add new elements to their original ideas. In the meantime, the sixth grade has also been visiting Smith Playground to field-test some of their ideas. On Tuesday, May 24 we will travel with them by school bus to explore Smith Playground together. There is no need for parent volunteers, but we wanted to let you know that on the 24 (weather permitting) we’ll be visiting Smith instead of Markward!

Indoors, our classrooms are aflutter with our springtime focus on birds. Children in both classrooms experienced a new “light box” technique for drawing birds thanks to art teacher Kait Renna. Kait taped printed images of birds to our child-sized classroom windows and covered them over with pieces of white paper. Thanks to the sunlight streaming through, your children could easily trace the birds’ outlines. Countless varieties were traced and decorated with an impressive amount of realism. Afterwards, the birds were attached to craft sticks to create the opportunity for wonderful puppet performances.

The Wonderers and Adventurers were feather-focused this week! After listening to Melissa Stewart’s wonderful book Feathers: Not Just for Flying, your children all answered the question “what can a feather do?” and then illustrated their responses. We discovered that feathers can float, soak up water, dig holes, and shade out sun. Ask your child to tell you what he or she "wrote" about! We also learned some specifics about plumage, including the names of the various parts of a feather – shaft, vane, barb, and quill. A painting project ensued, and your children delighted in using a feather in various ways to transfer tempera paint onto white cardstock. They were particularly delighted with their "quill effects," and many remarked that this was how people wrote "in the olden days." At closing meeting yesterday, we used feathers to record our votes as we decided what to bake this morning.

On Thursday the Trailblazers and Explorers hosted two very special guests, Beauty and Smudge, the birds that live with Vienna’s grandparents. Both birds are from Australia. Beauty is a parrot, and Smudge is a cockatiel. They spent the entire day in our classroom. We learned what they like to eat and how they eat. Beauty was able to say “hello,” and Smudge did lots of talking too. Many thanks to the Canno family for this wonderful treat.

The Spanish Mercado is approaching! In anticipation, we wanted to reach out to families whose children have allergies. On Tuesday, May 24, and Wednesday, May 25, we will have available the foods that your children will be trying at the Mercado. We have checked with our school nurse Sara about each item, and we also invite you to stop by the South Street kitchen to check out the list of ingredients ahead of time. Please let us know what foods your child can and cannot have. We can't wait to share this wonderful experience with your children!

Next Friday, May 20, as our incredible volunteer design team works diligently to turn the Garage and garden into the beautiful venue for EATS, we will help them out by doing an indoor dismissal. So on that afternoon, there will be no playing in the garden at dismissal. We’ll continue to remind you next week.

Enjoy a wonderful weekend!

The Preschool Team