Preschool Weekly Note

Dear Preschool families,

This week reigned supreme with caucuses abound! We regaled our preschoolers with the next adventure from the land of wonder—a Caucus race used to dry out a very wet group of creatures, and main character Alice. “What is a Caucus race?” asked Alice in Wonderland. “Why, the best way to explain it is to do it!” said the Dodo bird. With no beginning, middle or end, the group ran around until the Dodo bird announced a halt of the nonsensical game with a loud, “The race is over!” We reenacted the chapter in class and enlisted our beloved pet gerbils—Gold and Silvery, into their very own caucus race using plastic balls for them to rove around in. We cheered on our furry creatures as they pedaled around the circle to greet everyone as your children giggled with delight. We are quite curious what will happen next!

Spotlight on what's special

Garden
This week we began our indoor planting of seeds for the spring. Brian Jordan, our garden expert, came in to help the preschoolers plant fennel, lettuce, kale, celery, zinnias and marigolds (to name a few...). The kids enjoyed working together to plant and water their seeds. Our preschoolers will continue to observe and take care of these plants as they grow and become ready to be transferred to our outdoor garden.

Spanish
This week in Spanish the preschoolers were introduced to las formas (the shapes) and we noted the many ways they are integrated into our environment. During discovery time we laid out brown wrapping paper and the children got to use shapes, black and white oil pastels to make houses, flowers, and much more while we learned the vocabulary in Spanish. Ask your child about their favorite ‘forma’ in Spanish!

Music
The Preschool is busy practicing songs for the Valentine's Breakfast next week and the songs will remain "top secret" for now! We are looking forward to singing because you are definitely our favorite audience. Lyrical content including winter and snowflakes have been at the top of our list lately, and we will be "ice skating" on paper plates to Tchaikovky's "Nutcracker Suite" in the near future. Here are the words to one of our movement activities:

Let's go walking in the snow,

Walking, walking on tip toe,

Lift your one foot way up high,

Then the other to keep it dry,

All around the yard we skip,

Watch your step or you might slip!

Art
Many preschool students worked on collaborative drawings this week in art class. We discussed the concept of a group or “collaborative” drawing. Students sat in a large circle around the table and added one element to their paper before passing it to the person next to them. They chose between pencil, colored pencil, sharpie, and construction paper. Your children drew shapes (formas), and passed it on to the next child to either color in the shape or fill it in with a pattern. The next student would cut and glue a piece of colorful construction paper, and so on. Each piece was created by a total of five preschoolers! In the end, all agreed it was fun to work on group drawings and enjoyed surprising one another when their final product made its way back to the “starting artist” at the end of our exercise.

Movement
The Preschoolers have not only been reading “Alice in Wonderland,” they been enacting the scenes from the book in Movement class. Following the read-aloud of our third chapter, “The Caucus Race,” the children experienced a real “Alice in Wonderland” caucus race. As mentioned earlier in our note, a caucus race involves participants running around until someone deems the game finished. The best part of this race is that everyone is a winner! Your children also went missing "down the rabbit hole" on scooters while traversing a race course they created including a jump rope forest and cups of potion. When we were thirsty from all of our physical efforts in class, we drank from the water fountains that now have signs posted above them that read, “DRINK ME.” Check them out in the Garage!

Noteworthy

VALENTINE’S DAY is coming up next week and we couldn’t be more excited to share the morning celebrating with all of you on Thursday, February 11th from 8:30-9:30a.m. at our Preschool Valentine Breakfast in the Garage. We will also have a Valentine card exchange with our classmates that day. There are 22 children in your child’s class. PLEASE DO NOT ADDRESS VALENTINE CARDS TO EACH INDIVIDUAL CHILD IN THE CLASS. Indicating who they are from only on the cards ensures a smooth and easy distribution for your children on Thursday. Thank you in advance for your help with this! Please remember to observe the NO CANDY rule when packaging your Valentine cards.

Events

Tuesday, February 9 -”Be Cool” Progressive Talk. Join us for CHOP psychologist, Katherine Dahlsgaard’s presentation on helping children manage fears and anxieties.

Thursday, February 11 - The Preschool Annual Valentine Breakfast in the Garage from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The party will include a Valentine sing-along and delicious breakfast foods. (Look for a sign-up sheet next week.) Stay for the full hour or as long as you can. Everyone is invited.

Wednesday, February 17 - Preschool and Kindergarten Potluck will be in the garage at 6:30 p.m. We hope to see everyone there! Check your email for details or ask your child’s teacher to put you in contact with the classroom parent representatives.

We were thrilled to learn about this event and hope you will attend!

A ‘Free Library’ Family Event: Alice in Wonderland
When: Saturday, April 16
Time: 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central, 1901 Vine Street
What: Come celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland at an event for the whole family. There will be art projects, games, story times, a scavenger hunt, food, and, of course, plenty of books.

Have a wonderful weekend,

The Preschool Team