ECC Weekly News - 5/21/21 Early Learners What an exciting week it's been at school! We started our week off by discovering 10 chrysalides in our caterpillar cups which meant that they were ready to be transferred to our butterfly net. The children had lots of thoughts about the chrysalides such as "they look like cocoons...little dotty things. They're not opening yet (Margaret)", "See this? this makes them not fly...but why do they do it upside down?(Mick)", "All the caterpillars are in their cocoons! (Mackenzie)", and "Maybe we can have a video to see that inside (Djuna)". So that's what we did...we researched online and found some videos to help us learn about what happens inside the chrysalis. Then we acted out the process a bunch of times and the children made their own chrysalides for our 3D tree using sticks and yarn. The children worked on their fine motor muscles by "feeding" the very hungry caterpillar using tweezers and pom poms. We thought about "what food do you think is this color" and made connections to the story. We celebrated our favorite book characters with a dress up day on Thursday and worked as an entire school to write a cooperative story. The Early Learners started the story and decided they wanted it to be about Sully the mouse and her adventure to find a cookie! We also had a special visit from Aaron's parents who "came" to read us one of his favorite books in French! We have been practicing some simple words in French and were all very excited to listen. Friday we celebrated the Blessed Mary by having our May Procession to the Mary Garden and the crowning of the Mary statue. The children were all so respectful and sang our song so proudly as we laid special carnations down in front of the statue and prayed a Hail Mary together to honor her. Pre-School 1 We had a very busy and fun week in Preschool 1! By far the most exciting thing that happened this week was that our caterpillars arrived. Even though some of my friends are not huge fans of bugs, they are all thrilled that we will soon have butterflies. We made our first scientific observations of the tiny caterpillars and will continue to watch their progress over the next few weeks. This ties in perfectly to our new OWL unit of “things that grow”, which is full of super activities that the kids are already enjoying. The kiddos loved exploring in the birdseed sensory bins with measuring spoons, funnels and cups. One of the students noticed that there was something very familiar in there, “I think this is a popcorn seed in here!” Then that sparked some great conversations about what else birds may eat. Another center had flower and vegetable seeds to compare and look at with magnifying glasses. The kids thought it was pretty interesting that there were so many different types of seeds and liked trying to sort them by their shape. We are still working on our artwork for the upcoming art show as well, and the children are having a great time learning about new ways to create art. World Book Day was awesome and we successfully read every book that the kiddos brought in. Although I was only able to read just half of a couple of the longer ones, everyone was very happy to hear each other’s favorites. The children enjoyed dressing up, and had a blast singing and dancing with our guest-Baby Shark! Of course, there was lots of outside and inside playtime and learning as well. We loved having fun with our little friends and watching them explore this week! Pre-School 2 This week was very busy and packed with lots of fantastic events. We have “World Book Day'' on Thursday and May procession on Friday. Children have been practicing “O Mary We Crown Thee With Blossoms Today” all week. Ask your children to sing it to you. We started our last unit: things that grow. We read the book The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin. Afterwards, we discussed different things that grow. Children said people, animals, fruits, vegetables, and etc. We then spoke about a variety of vegetables and preschoolers shared which ones they like/dislike. Preschoolers did an activity with seeds. They classified and sorted the different types of seeds into piles. Preschooler then made hypotheses of what the seeds would grow into. Our littles sprout houses have all sprouted! Children were so excited to look at the window and see what came out of the beans. Our caterpillars turned into chrysalis and we moved them to our butterfly garden. Children are so excited to see the changes and can’t wait to see them transform into butterflies. The other preschool class already had butterflies, so we’ve been on the edge of our seats! We reviewed and practiced writing the alphabet/numbers. Preschoolers did an activity matching lower and upper case letters. Also, students made bar graphs with different color blocks. The weather has been amazing this week, we played different games outdoors. Pre-School 3 The preschoolers had a very exciting week! After much anticipation, our butterflies finally emerged! The children were able to get an up close look at the painted ladies and watched in amazement as the butterflies stretched their wings and drank the juice from an orange slice. The preschoolers even had a chance to hold the butterflies. After all of the excitement settled down, the children were able to focus on our new Lynch unit about "Things that Grow". While discussing what it means to grow, the class gave really great examples of different things that grow. Jenna said, "people grow", Hannah said, "trees, caterpillars and bugs grow" and Mary Kate added, "flowers, vegetables and seeds grow too". The conversation prompted us to read, The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin. After listening to the story, the preschoolers made a chart of their favorite vegetables and played a fun vegetable game using the mystery box. Each child had a turn to reach into the box and pull out a food item. First they had to decide if it was a vegetable then they had to figure out the beginning sound. They all did such a great job. We carried the vegetable theme over into the art area where everyone was invited to paint with the vegetables. Once the painting was done, the preschoolers worked together to wash those dirty vegetable with soapy water. The children also put their fine motor skills to work as they cut out fruits and vegetables from grocery store flyers in order to make a collage of foods that grow. World Book Day was a highlight of the week. The preschoolers were so excited to share their books and looked adorable in their costumes. The art show is right around the corner and the Preschool 3 class have been very busy preparing. They made a few new pieced this week and they cannot wait to showcase them! Have a great weekend! Pre-K1 What a beautiful week it was outside! This week Pre-K1 reviewed their short vowels, continued to observe their sunflowers and caterpillars in science, and worked on more challenging addition problems. Excitement filled the air mid week in science when the students began to notice roots and little stems popping out of their soil. While observing their caterpillars they noticed all of their caterpillars had made their way to the top of the jars and were beginning to make chrysalis’. Hopefully by next week we have many beautiful butterflies and little buds on our flower stems. To review our short vowels we played “I Spy.” We made a list of things around the room that started with each vowel. The teachers were very impressed with what the children found. For the short vowel “U” one of the students spied one of our favorite center time activities, puzzles! They loved this fun and engaging activity while learning a lot of new short vowel words. As we prepare for Kindergarten we have been blending letters together to read words. Everyday we practice reading by using mini books and taking turns reading to the teachers. It’s amazing to watch the smiles on the children’s faces when they read a word or sentence. Towards the end of the week we participated in a beautiful ceremony to crown Mary. We also celebrated World Book Day. The children did an amazing job singing a beautiful song to our mother Mary. They were so faith filled as they walked with their flowers to the Mary garden and watched as Mary was crowned. They all looked amazing dressed in their Sunday best! The character costumes for World Book Day were very cute! It was fun to share our favorite books with our classmates. Ms. King and Mrs. Barrett shared in on the fun by dressing up as The Very Hungry Caterpillars. The kids loved it! The children are very excited for their upcoming graduation when they will soon be kindergarteners! Pre-K2 We've had some perfect weather all week and been super busy getting ready for the end of the year festivities. Pre-K 2 has enjoyed having snack and lunch back outside while enjoying some fresh air and sun. We finished up our alphabet, and have been reviewing our letters, and sounds this past week. For a fun review activity we wrote the upper and lower case letters A-F and then had to come up with a word that began with that letter and drew a picture of it. We also played letter bingo. We played the game 3 different ways. The original way, by calling out the letters, then by the sound of the letter, and lastly I gave them words that’s began with the letter. They did a great job. After reading the book The Ugly Vegetable we talked about the different types of vegetables and we even practice saying the vegetables in different languages. Some activities that we incorporated with the story were, weighing the different vegetables . comparing how heavy they were and which weighed more. Then we used our senses to explore the vegetables. They loved looking at them through a magnified glass. And finally we painted with them Everyone’s favorite was using the big carrot like a paint brush. Pre-K 3 This has been a very exciting week for the PK3 class! Monday morning we discovered that three out of four butterflies had emerged from their cocoons. We fed them orange slices and observed them throughout the day in hopes of seeing the fourth one emerge before our eyes. Unfortunately that did not happen, but sometime after we left school that night the last one did emerge. The students were very happy and decided to name them "Rainbow, Ellie, Méabhy, and Isabella. We observed them for a few days and then set them free Thursday afternoon. Three of them flew away in a flash, but the very last one stayed around for a few minutes which gave the children the opportunity to study them up close before saying goodbye. They also went on an insect hunt with clipboards and magnifying glasses in hand and recorded their findings. Keeping with the "Things That Grow" theme, we read the story The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin. Then the children examined a variety of seeds and beans, painted with vegetables, and explored the color green. World Book Day was a big success! Everyone had great costumes and they enjoyed reading each other's books. They continue to practice their graduation songs and I am very pleased with their progress. Have a great weekend!