St. John’s Episcopal Preschool
Older 4’s/Young 5’s Newsletter
As I’ve said before, our time with this group goes by too quickly! They are developing very good work habits and we encourage them to do their best to be proud of their work. With being a small group, they have become close friends and often help each other without being asked. It’s not unusual to hear them give compliments to each other! We are so proud of them!
The children are doing very well with their take-home Reading Books. Thank you for all the time you spend helping them practice. Please be sure to have these books all returned by Thursday, May 10th. They are learning to sound out words, use the pictures for clues and use their pointer fingers as guides. We are very impressed with how they are noticing the punctuation marks in the books and on the daily message board. Please continue practicing throughout the summer to keep up their skills. Keep some books in the car and remember to use the Grace A. Dow library as a resource. Check with the librarians to find the easy reading books and books of their interest. Don’t forget about their wonderful, free summer reading program!
Whenever we’ve had a guest speaker or been on a field trip, typically this class composes the class thank you letter and then everyone, including the younger students, sign it. They are learning how to compose sentences and watch as they are written. We sound out words and they are seeing the need for capitals, punctuation marks, spaces between words, etc. The morning message board often provides practice in these areas.
In Math, most have a good understanding of and are able to count by ones and tens to 100 and beyond. They are seeing many patterns on the hundred board and now are enjoying seeing the numbers go up past 100. Some can mentally calculate how many more sticks are needed before we make another bundle of 10. We’ve been doing more measuring lately with standard and non-standard units. We measure the carrots in inches with the ruler and have been predicting, measuring and comparing the height and length of the children and objects with wooden and cardboard blocks, plastic worms, our shoes etc. We looked at the results and also noticed how the length of the measurement unit affects the final calculation. The children are usually forming their numbers carefully, the way we’ve taught them, but please help correct them whenever needed. It’s easier to correct these now than when it becomes a habit.
We’ve also been playing some individual dice games where they have one or two dice each, shake, and count out unifix blocks to match the numbers. We make up equations to match, or periodically in the day, to calculate boys and girls, chairs needed for snack, etc. They are also enjoying playing with the number balance and some are solving equations with a missing addend.
Last week, we had a wonderful, warm spring day to go do our spring observation circles at Barstow Woods. We discussed and recorded our results the next day which are now hanging in the hallway near the others. We compared and contrasted results with each other and with previous visits there. Please notice that they did most of the printing themselves this time! They worked “diligently” (Mrs. Farley’s favorite word!) to get it all done in one sitting. So proud of them, with no one saying, “I’m tired. Can I be done now?” They have come such a long way this year! J We also enjoyed our time at the park by jogging around the area and looking for the abc’s of Barstow Woods. Please take a minute to read our list in the hallway with your child.
We’ve been experimenting with magnets to see which materials are magnetic and which are not, and if magnets can work through various things like cloth, glass, and paper.
Hearing & Vision Testing – Please be sure to keep the hearing and vision results from the Midland County Health Dept. for their kindergarten entry paperwork. If your child needs follow-up appointments and you haven’t done so, please schedule them as soon as possible.
Kindergarten Curriculum – If you haven’t done so, please take a few minutes to look over the Midland Public School’s kindergarten curriculum online at midlandps.org. On the home page, click on Parents and then Kindergarten and scroll down to the Kindergarten Handbook. (Or check the particular website if your child will be attending another school system.) You will be amazed at the curriculum expectations in all areas over the course of the year. Please continue encouraging independence with your child with dressing (including velcro shoes until they learn how to tie), personal hygiene, packing/unpacking their backpacks, etc. The kindergarten teachers have often said at parent orientation meetings I’ve attended that they expect the children to be able to take care of their own needs, especially with an average class size of 25 students. Please encourage your child to listen carefully and follow instructions the first time. Enjoy playing card and board games together which increase attention span and practice reading, listening and counting skills in a fun way. Let your children know that kindergarten will be fun and they’ll make many new friends but it will also be a time to work and learn a lot of new things! If possible, take your child to enjoy the playground at their new school during the summer and if you haven’t done so, please check with the school office to find out when upcoming kindergarten student orientations will be held. These things will help make a smoother transition. We’ll be reading some kindergarten stories in the next couple of weeks to help prepare the children for next year. There are also many books at the library to read and discuss together.
In closing, may we say again how much we have enjoyed working with these students this year. We have grown so attached to them and are very proud of each and every one. Our best wishes as they move on to kindergarten! As I’ve mentioned, please keep in touch and bring them back to visit whenever your schedules allow. (Or have them write us a letter!!) We love to hear about our students’ kindergarten adventures and share their accomplishments as they grow! J
Enjoy the relaxing days of summer with your family and friends!
Wendy Fritsch & Michele Farley