Preschool Weekly Note

Dear Families,

We’re still bird-crazy in the preschool. We’ve looked at feathers, nests and all sorts of eggs these past few weeks. We’ve made our own nests, painted our own eggs, and designed our own wings. So it was time to see some real chick eggs. Lucky for us, the Primary Unit happens to have four dozen of them. We all went to visit and observe warm brown eggs in an incubator. They should begin to hatch on Monday, and we’ll be able to visit the baby chicks next week.

This week in the Trailblazer and Explorer room we talked about migration and camouflage. We know that birds fly south in the winter, but how do they know where to go? We also learned about coloring. Often the most brightly colored birds are the males, and the females need to blend in with nature. Ask your child why this is so. We started reading the chapter book  The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White, which is taking us on a journey to Canada with a whole family of trumpeter swans. We’ll keep you posted on their adventures in the coming weeks.

Birds Use their Beaks, a ‘how and why’ science book by Elaine Pascoe, introduced the Wonderers and Adventurers to all the many “jobs” performed by a bird’s beak. From gathering food, to building nests, preening feathers, and even courting, we learned that bird beaks — sometimes called bills — are incredibly versatile. After our book learning, the children challenged themselves to be "just like the birds" during this week’s project time. Using a variety of tongs and tweezers (and refraining from using their hands as much as possible), they built nests with twigs, grass, mud, and raffia. Each child was asked to cooperate with a partner as they first observed an actual robin’s nest and then built their own small nest together. The project proved to be a great lesson in collaboration, creativity, and fun! While the nest builders were at work, another group of children gathered at the texture table, which was filled with potting soil and pipe cleaner worms. This group of children was tasked with first using their beaks to find the worms and then moving each worm to a "number table" in our number-recognition and counting activity.

Next week is a busy week indeed. On Tuesday we will join our 6th grade friends on a trip to Smith Playground for the morning. On Wednesday morning the Zoo on Wheels program will be coming to TPS and bringing a collection of birds for us to check out and learn about. On Thursday afternoon, the Spanish Department will be hosting our annual Mercado where, the children will get to order (in Spanish, of course!) fruits and treats and dance to live Latin music in the garden. In anticipation, we wanted to reach out to families that have children with 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!

Enjoy this busy TPS weekend,

The Preschool Team