Preschool Weekly Note

Dear Families,

This week our serene garden was transformed into an open air market (Mercado) complete with tables of food, juices, and festive decorations to celebrate the Spanish we have been learning. To top off this outdoor extravaganza, we had a Puerto Rican musician playing her guitar and retelling a story of coquí, our beloved rain forest frog. Max Jones’ dad, Chris, joined us and we danced to the rhythm of his powerful drums! The mercado was filled with your Spanish-speaking children who used Spanish phrases to ask for their treats and convey politeness—por favor and gracias! Children danced (baila, baila, baila), sang, and spoke in Spanish. They experienced firsthand the relevance of conversational Spanish as a way to meet needs and showcase all they’ve learned this year in our integrated Spanish program. Your children have been practicing select food names and how to ask for them in Spanish. A few words you can surprise your child with in Spanish: mercado/market, manzana/apple, pera/pear, plàtano/banana, melon/melón, uvas/grapes, fresas/strawberries, limón/lemon, jugo/juice and galletas/cookies. Thank you to our Spanish-speaking parent volunteers and to early childhood teachers Madeline Leonard, Brian Jordan, Melissa Roldan-Stills, and Meg Waldron who helped us make our Mercado a great success!

Instead of visiting Markward Playground this week, we ventured off campus to Philadelphia’s premier venue for play—Smith Playground! Boasting sprawling hills of diverse and adventurous playscapes, your children enjoyed uninterrupted time in the sunshine with our sixth grade students. Known to the preschoolers as “the big kids”—the sixth graders once again practiced the art of observation and notetaking to further hone their research on “play.” Ask your child to share a Smith Playground highlight with you!

To extend our study on birds we invited an expert, Jess, and some fine feathered friends from the Philadelphia Zoo to TPS! When Jess arrived in the “zoo van” our kids were clamoring to get to the bird show in the Garage. Jess had three different kinds of birds with her—a duck, chicken, and cockatiel. Ming Ming (duck) showed us how her webbed feet are designed to make her an expert in the art of swim, while Ollie (cockatiel) protested from his cage that Ming Ming met our preschoolers first! We also met Dahlia who had a fancy head of hair—ask your child about the chicken's “wig” and what she likes to eat (hint: it’s a kind of fruit). Finally, Jess was delighted to learn about our all-school theme of mysteries this year because she, too, had a mystery with her… This animal has a beak and lays eggs, but does not have feathers. Can you guess the fourth and final visiting “mystery” animal? Ask your child about it! At the presentation’s end, we all had a turn touching some of the bird artifacts that Jess brought along with her. Ask your child about the importance of “quiet” feathers for birds of prey and our visit to the Lombard Building to meet the newly-hatched baby chicks! 

Reminders:

Summer-like weather has indeed arrived! Sunshine is aplenty in our gorgeous garden and we are asking you to remember to apply sunblock in the mornings before school. Your child is also welcome to bring a sunshade hat to further protect their skin and help them stay cool. We will be reminding children to seek shade and hydrate on warmer days of outside play, and we appreciate your assistance with sunblock application prior to school’s opening.

Friday, June 3rd - Preschool Bird Breakfast in the garage from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. The party will include delicious breakfast foods and a springtime sing-along, including plenty of songs about birds! Stay for the full hour or as long as you can. Everyone is invited. There will be a sign-up sheet for food in the preschool vestibule, take a look next week and decide what your family would like to contribute.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

The Preschool Team