Science Table
Our Science Table has lots of things to explore! Thank you to parents for their donations! We have ladybugs, pine cones, acorn squash, oats, sunflowers, sheep's wool, horse hair, and a strawberry plant with strawberries that are quickly ripening. These are all wonderful for encouraging conversations and a sense of wonder! Crab apples were a great treat!

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Fine Motor Skills
It is important to develop the small muscles in little fingers and hands. These muscles need to be strong for when children are ready to print. Cutting and playing with a magnetic maze help to strengthen small muscles. Playing with “Theraputty” (a material similar to play dough or plasticine but firmer) is also excellent for improving fine motor skills. The children love hunting for gems in the Theraputty and hiding it again for their friends to find.
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Music
We sing and dance a lot in Pre K. Some children enjoy playing the piano during playtime.

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Gross Motor Skills
Our Pre K classes have been taking advantage of the warm fall weather to improve Gross Motor Skills. Take a few minutes to look at our Animoto Slide show! (Hint: Click on the bottom right hand corner to view full screen)
"What makes us move is also what makes us think. Certain kinds of exercise can produce chemical alterations that give us stronger, healthier, and happier brains. A better brain is better equipped to think, remember, and learn." (Ratey, 2001, p. 178)




Learning how to pump yourself on the swing is great for the muscles and great for self-esteem.
Children feel a sense of pride when they can say, " I Can Do It Myself!"


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We learn about rhyme in Pre K. Here is a link to an excellent rhyming activity you may want to try with your children.
http://www.momto2poshlildivas.com/2013/03/rhyming-on-go-play-to-learn-phonics-game.html


Playing games with your children is fun and educational! Some good ideas on this blog!
http://www.messforless.net/2013/03/the-importance-of-games-for-kids-and.html







What Do Children Learn in Pre K?

Parents often wonder what Children learn in Pre K. I found an excellent site called “I Can Teach My Child: Helping You Be Your Child’s First Teacher” A summary of the Domains that we teach in Pre K are below. If Families also teach these domains at home, children will have an excellent foundation for their future school years. Visit the website to get more information.
http://www.icanteachmychild.com/domains-of-early-childhood-development/



Gross motor: This involves learning to use all of the “big” muscles in our body. Crawling, walking, running, skipping, jumping, and climbing are all examples of gross motor activity.
Fine motor: Fine motor activities teach hand-eye coordination. These activities require a child to learn to precisely control the muscles in the hands. Things like coloring, writing, cutting with scissors, using tweezers, tearing paper, etc. all help build fine motor skills.
Language: This domain includes alphabetics, phonemic awareness, oral, and written language. Even though your little one won’t be able to read for several years, you can (and most definitely should) read to her. Talking about things throughout the day (even when it feels silly) is especially important as well. Learning the ABC’s (as well as the sounds each letter makes) is another example of a language activity.
Cognitive: This includes cause-and-effect, reasoning, as well as early-math skills. Believe it or not, a baby who continually drops a spoon from his high-chair is exercising his cognitive ability. He learns that when he drops it, you will pick it up (cause-and-effect). Counting and patterning are also included in this domain for preschoolers.
Social/Emotional: Your child is a social being! Learning to “play” (especially with others) is a skill. “Teaching” in this domain also involves making sure a child feels safe and nurtured. Manners and using kind words might also be examples included in this domain.
Self-Help/Adaptive: Activities in this domain include learning to dress oneself, , feed oneself, using the toilet, brushing teeth, bathing, tying shoes, etc. Everything that a child needs to know to start being more independent could be included in this domain.

Spiritual & Moral: Teaching your child to love and obey God is the most important thing you can ever do! Recognizing the difference between right and wrong will fall in place if you are simultaneously teaching and modeling God’s love.

Strive For Five!Dear Parents, Something we have been trying in our classroom is the “Strive for 5” Strategy. It’s a way to have longer conversations with our kids in order to get them talking more. We are "Striving for 5 turns" in the conversation. Here is how it works.The first examples (A & B) show how conversations can be stopped by questions or short comments.
Example A (3 turns):
1 Child says “My car is fast” 2 Adult says “Ooh, what color is your car?” 3 Child says “Red”

Example B (2 turns):
1 Child says “My car is fast”
2 Adult says “Cool car”
Child continues playing silently
Example C:(5 turns)1 Child says “My car is fast” 2 Adult says “Ooh, where are you going in your fast car?” 3 Child thinks and says “I’m going to the store” 4 Adult says “Cool, what are you going to buy there?” 5 Child says “Toys”
Notice how the conversation in ‘Example C’ was much longer and could go on for even more than five turns if time allows. Stretching our children’s conversations makes them better communicators at home and at school. This activity requires no preparation, materials or planning, simply talking with your child and takes very little time and effort to do.
Good luck and have fun!


Here are some Books we are enjoying in Pre K! Be sure to click the "previous" and "next" buttons to see all the books.




My webmix for great age appropriate game sites on the Web
http://www.symbaloo.com/mix/prekfavorites



What Kindergarten Teachers Wish Parents Knew. Get inside tips on how to make the most of school. This is a link to an article on the Scholastic Website. It is geared toward Kindergarten Parents, but pertains just as much to Parents of Pre K students.

http://www.scholastic.com/resources/article/what-kindergarten-teachers-wish-parents-knew/

For More Information about how Pre K students learn through Play, visit the following site by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
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http://www.education.gov.sk.ca/ELCC/your-child-play