Where Children Play to Learn

Experiments with Dr. Dave!

Wow!  What a fun experience the Pre-K boys and girls had today!

Yesterday the Pre-K class watched a movie where Mr. Conger and Ms. Loan walked over to the HS to find our secret friend.  We left a trail of “breadcrumbs” in the movie on how to find him.  Eventually it was revealed to be our new teacher friend Dr. Dave the Science Teacher!  Dr. Dave invited us to his class on Thursday (today).

So today the boys and girls used their memories to find him over at the HS.  Dr. Dave let us come inside his Science Laboratory and see his skeleton and magic blue liquid!  Woh!  For the first Science Experiment with Dr. Dave he taught us about static electricity.  Dr. Dave (with his assistant Mr. Conger) showed the children that if you rub, rub, rub two objects together they will get hotter……   MAYBE even too hot to touch!  Plus, if you do this with a balloon…..    WOOOOOOOOOOH!  It will STICK TO YOUR HEAD!  You can even use the static on the balloon to pick up your friends hair, paper off the floor and other crazy stuff.  Man, the Pre-K boys and girls had such a fun time discovery new Science and did a great job walking quietly into the big boy’s and girl’s school.   (***couple videos in the most recent parent e-mail***)


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“How Many?” Tug-of-War

Learning how to use and respond to the phrase “How many?” is a key development point in the educational progress of a young learner.  It ties into Math, English language, Science, sharing, play and so much more.  For the purpose of our “Who We Are” unit, it is essential because when the children want to inquire about their friends or teachers “How many….?” is a phrase that is used over and over again.  The TAS boys and girls are learning and refining their use of this phrase today through a game of Tug-of-War.

We began the lesson by introducing the song “How many?  How many?  How many do we need?”  We used this song when speaking about how many boys and girls would be needed for the student’s side of the rope.  We used a whiteboard to fill in how many boys and girls they thought would be needed to beat Mr. Conger.  We also colored in circles to represent the numbers, drew pictures of the people and wrote the numeral itself.  The class decided they would need 8 members to win the game.

Once we began to play we would say the phrase before each round and use the board to track how many students were needed.  Eventually, we passed 8 and the game continued!  Take a look at the video (***sent to you in a Pre-K parent e-mail today***) to see HOW MANY students were needed!  The kids would love to share this video with you at home, I’m sure.


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Experiment #1: Mentos & Drinks

The boys and girls of Pre-K participated in their first organized experiment today.  Yes, we have had experiments in class many times (water play, clay play, etc.), but this is the first one we used the scientific method to approach the question.  Together we asked ourselves “Will Mentos change drinks?”  Next we decided that we would use water, milk and (with minimal teacher “nudging”) Coke as the experimental drinks.  We filled different containers with milk / water and Mr. Conger purchased some Coke across the street.  The class took the containers outside next to the pool in case things became messy.  We used a white board to keep track of our information, which included estimates about what would happen.  Then, one by one the students came to try dropping one candy at a time into the drinks.  With each candy drop we logged the results.  The water and milk resulted in nothing happening, but some of the students had predicted that, so we circled it to mean “successful prediction.”  We received quite the show when we dropped the Mentos into the Coke!!!  What a crazy moment!!!  The kids loved it and we recorded our results on the board.  Stay tuned for the next experiment.

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“This is Me” Presentations

Hello!  Posting the last couple days of “This is Me” board presentations!  The students have really, really enjoyed showing off their boards they created with their parents.  They’ve had great recognition of the material as well, many times being able to respond to teacher queries about what was contained in previous presentations.  They’re anxious to learn about their new friends in class!

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Numbers and What They Mean…

Numbers can be a fickle pickle to get a handle on.  There are many different avenues one has to travel down to reach the end of the 1-10 information highway.  Straight away, there is learning how to say them out loud.  There is also learning how to write the numbers themselves.  Then there is matching the written symbol to the sound you are creating to represent it.  THEN a student must learn to connect the symbol AND the sound WITH the amount it represents!!!  Phew….   It’s enough to make a little guy and gal’s head spin!  The Pre-K class is beginning to tackle each side of the process at different periods of the day.  Here is an example of one of our activities that is hoping to bring all these different pieces together into a whole.  We will keep it up!


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Into the Lair of the Panda Bear

The Pre-K class has a visit to the Library scheduled every Tuesday during the last 45 minutes of school.  They look forward to this period all day!  Not just because of the great books they can explore and discover, but because of the teacher….   MR. PANDA!!!  (a.k.a. – Mr. Carlos)     Oh boy do they enjoy Mr. Panda!  Mr. Panda greets them upon entering and always shares with them a wonderful story.  Afterwards, he educates them on phonics sounds, shows them a fun short film and let’s them help him decorate his library with colorful art.  Here are some photos!

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“This is Us” Quilt

Pre-K is creating a new group art piece called a “This is Us” quilt.  Each student is creating their own individual square symbolizing themselves.  Inside the student has been asked to create a visual for who they are and what makes them special.  We will continue to work on the frame of the picture tomorrow.  Once each square is complete, the class will stitch them together to form a cohesive image.  It’s a metaphor they can grasp that we are each our own person, but together, we form the Pre-K Team!  The finished product will be displayed on the outside bulletin board downstairs across from Ms. Ngoc’s office.

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“This is Me” Boards & Camera Helper

Greetings!  Thanks for sending the “This is Me” homework back to school!  Three of the boys and girls shared their boards with us this morning.  Part of the “Who We Are” unit is learning how to use “me”, “I”, “us” and other self-related words in their correct context in descriptive sentences.  The class listened while their friends described “This is my….”, “I want to be…..”, “I like to…..”, etc.  Once each student had shared their “This is Me” board with the class the teachers quizzed the class on their knowledge with a choral group talk.  The class did a great job of listening during their friend’s presentations and were able to answer the questions correctly.  Yah!  We place the boards outside the classroom the rest of the day for other boys and girls in the school to learn about our class students.    ***Attached a few of today’s “Camera Helper” photos on the blog as well.***


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Camera Helper

Here in Pre-K the children have different “Pre-K Jobs” that are their responsibility each and every day.  One of these jobs is the position of “Camera Helper.”  The responsibility of that student is to snap 5-10 pictures a day of their classroom activities.  Take a look and see what you think!

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Clay Expression

Hello!  A recent table during our Center Time was occupied with modeling clay.  Some of the children donned their art shirts and created some interesting items.  Take a look!

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