In our classrooms we have stowed away the skeletons, bats, and ghosts and are moving forward to new units and new holidays. The preschoolers have started learning about simple machines and how they make our lives easier. In Science, we began with exploring how marbles move down inclined planes. We connected the slope or steepness of the ramp with how far our marbles rolled across the floor.
**Secret Task: The preschoolers will be learning about inclined planes, wheels/axles, screws, wedges, levers, and pulleys. Take a picture of a simple machine you see somewhere in your world! We would love to see them and post them in the room to connect this unit with our everyday lives.**
We use our engineering minds not only in science but also in working with the materials that have been carefully chosen by the teachers. Here we have two students who worked very hard on creating a train track. We encourage students to keep working on projects such as these over the course of many days, adding, adjusting, and rebuilding as needed. That may mean that the center is closed off while these students are working and will be opened for new students to explore as the previous pair move on to a new area of engagement.
In Art, Tina is preparing for an amazing Rivendell community event that happens the first Friday in December-our Art Walk. The school is transformed into an art gallery with a handful of pieces displayed by each and every student. We are making paper lanterns as one of our pieces. Tina has been connecting this and other projects with the concept of warm colors versus cool colors.
In Music, Tina incorporates a composer of the month into our music classes. Our composer this month is Villa Lobos. We will revisit him again in the spring when we start a unit about South/Central America. Tina is also teaching us the difference between long and short notes, singing piano (quiet) or forte (loud), and how we incorporate accent notes into our singing (check out “A Few of My Favorite Things” for this concept).
In P.E., Jeff had us working on dribbling a basketball. We felt with our fingertips and practiced using just the right amount of pressure to keep the ball bouncing. Now we are throwing and catching the ball back and forth. We start with the ball at our chest, check to make sure the other person is ready, and we push the ball towards them, hoping they scoop it up with two hands to catch it.
In Spanish, Brenda is preparing us for our annual event, El Mercado. We will get to shop at a market for wares handmade by older students in our school. We use our pesos, haggle over price, and take home our treasures.
You may notice that our focus in the upcoming days will be examining the many people/things that we are thankful for. We are certainly thankful in preschool to our specials teachers for challenging us, encouraging us, and helping us to learn.