Monday, October 2, 2017

Preschool Apple Trees

In Artville, Preschoolers are introduced to color mixing by reading Little Blue and Little Yellow by Leo Lionni. Children experience the tactile fun of creating the color green by mixing blue and yellow fingerpaint.  

Preschoolers then move on to yellow and red, creating orange, also with fingerpaint, (look for some extra snazzy pumpkins). These beautiful apple trees started with our last color experiment; blue and red.

Preschool students dropped a sheet of folded up and crushed paper into a vat of blue liquid watercolor, then squirted it with bottles of bright magenta, which stood in for red.  A lovely purplish bloomed on every sheet of paper. Then gold stamping was added for magic.

Selecting, positioning, and gluing the tissue paper trees happened on another day, when children were asked to recall and reflect on their field trip to the apple orchard, and what they remembered about the trees. With trees in place, and with great enthusiasm, the apple stamping began.

Teacher-applied mod podge is the glossy finish.

Art Instructor:  Carol Grams


Mrs. Williams and I are looking forward to meeting with you during your child's scheduled conference time either Thursday or Friday of this week. All Breck teachers/parents will be engaged in conferences during these two days and parking may be problematic; please allow ample time to find a spot and be to the classroom (L54) five minutes prior to your conference starting time (late starts will result in less conferencing time, unfortunately). 

We will be sharing with you our observations of your child in the following areas:  behavior in the classroom (expectations, procedures, transitions), social/emotional development (peer interactions, development of friendships, collaboration with others), self-regulation, self-help skills, development of self-confidence, work habits (attention span, listening skills, participation in activities), self-direction and perseverance, academic development (phonemic awareness, letter recognition, numbers), motor development. 

Of course, YOUR INPUT IS VERY IMPORTANT! We will be asking your thoughts on the following:  your observations about your child's adjustment to preschool, aspects of the program you're pleased with, joys/concerns your child has shared. We will answer any questions you have as well. Our hope is to set two goals WITH YOU that we can assist your child in meeting over the next months. 

Thank you in advance!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

From Mrs. Zosel, LS Chaplain

Hurricane Help!  2nd grader Felix Muellereile has asked us to consider dropping some change in the containers located at Door D, near Gym C, and near the Upper School Office. All change collected will be sent to the Red Cross. 


Throughout the year, the preschool team will suggest resources that parents may find helpful or interesting.  We will try to focus on topics that relate directly to our young learners. As the year progresses you will find that we suggest books, articles, websites, and TED talks.  These resources may focus on child development, how children learn, specifics about curriculum, new research on the brain, and parenting resources. 

This month we would like to suggest the book "Unselfie: Why Empathetic Kids Succeed in Our All-About-Me World" by Dr. Michele Borba (amazon).

Dr. Borba has spent years studying empathy and its decrease in our society. Dr. Borba shares a framework that may help as we raise children that are resilient, happy, kind, successful, and courageous. She demonstrates how perspective taking is a critical skill for our children to develop and how it directly benefits them.

Empathy can be taught and improved like any other personality trait or skill. This book shares studies that have demonstrated empathy in incredibly young children and ways that adults often teach children to have less concern for others. Each chapter shares research and advice on how to work with children. The advice is divided by age, which makes it very easy to find a tool that may work for a high schooler, an elementary student, a toddler, and even an infant. This organization makes it an easy quick resource to grab as well as a book to read cover to cover.

In addition to empathy the book discusses other areas that adults can help children develop emotion-based skills. There is a very useful chapter on self-regulation and helping children have better control over their emotions. Self-regulation is a key skill in helping children socially as well as academically.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

An Apple a Day!

Our field trip to the Minnetonka Apple Orchard was a fun-filled celebration!

After arriving, we were able to explore on the playground.





Greta and Scarlett

Next, we took a hayride through the woods. We stopped on a hill overlooking the orchard and listened and learned about how apples grow, the different kinds of apples, and how to pick an apple.

Sylvia, Marin, Anderson, Zander, Max Sam, Sabrina, Charlie, Arke, London

Charlie, Max, Anderson, Sylvia

Arke and Finn

Scarlett, Zander, and Sammy

Aurora (Mr. Thayer's class) adorned a bee keeper's suit.
Greylin and Harper (Mrs. McCool's class) pretended to be pollinators.

Finally, we sampled delicious Sweet Tango apples after learning about the machine that sorts the harvested apples into groups of small, medium, and large.