Thursday, January 7, 2016
(Snow date: Tuesday, January 12, 2016)
Come see our classes in session!
~Toddler, Nursery, Pre-Kindergarten & Kindergarten classes
~Meet our school Administrators
~Meet our Certified Teachers
~See our Spectacular Classrooms
~Learn about our advanced curriculum
~Receive a Personal School & Camp Tour
~Early Bird Rate still available for any new families who attend our Open House
Please Call 631-692-6361 to RSVP
Still enrolling for summer 2016, please call the office to schedule a tour.
It's hard to believe it's already December and all of the classes have been enjoying science and are excited to discover the many new ideas and science concepts this year!! The Science Program is child-centered and inquiry based and all activities are presented in a fun atmosphere that encourages the development of cognitive skills, encourages speech, introduces and reinforces vocabulary and of course presents many scientific concepts and facts about the natural world.
In toddlers, we have used test tubes with screw tops, test tube holders, pom poms, squeezy tweezers, fizzy color tabs, water balloons, bubbles and many other scientific tools to introduce the children to science and experimentation. We have experimented with pumpkins, seeds, floating and sinking, hot and cold, over and under, and bubbles and balloons. We have also learned about some of the resident animals. All of the children really seem to enjoy their science time. A few of their favorite lessons included making primary and secondary colors in test tubes, making bubbles and playing with them, making a skeleton, and making our glittery test tubes.
The nursery classes have been using their senses to explore and discover many different science concepts. We started out by using and learning the names of scientific tools such as test tubes, scales, magnifying glasses, measuring cups, beakers, large droppers and magnets.
Each lesson is specifically designed to meet the needs and interests of each class. Some of the nursery lessons involved pouring, weighing, measuring and estimating, as well as looking at collections, bones, making slime and identifying leaves. Concepts such as hot/cold, heavy/light, sink/float and real/fake were also introduced. The children were also guided to identify different animals and their characteristics such as how many legs and type of tails and identify things that are alive. They also looked at different types of birds and their feathers which led to a lesson about turkeys.
We just started exploring magnets, which the children really seem to enjoy. They have also interacted with our duck Solo, the rabbits and the snakes.
Full day nursery made their own primary colors using test tubes, water and fizzy tabs. They explored hot and cold with their hands, then using thermometers. They also went on nature hikes where they learned to identify different types of plants, trees, mushrooms, roots, animal tracks and animal hiding spots. They have enjoyed feeding our turtles and our blue tongued skink called Azul.
The Pre-K began the year with a unit about living and non-living things. First, we studied the characteristics of living things, then compared them to non living things. We identified the similarities and differences between the two using our live animals, our collection of artifacts and Crestwood's grounds. We culminated the unit with "scientific" drawings of living and non-living things.
The next unit we covered was feathers, fur and scales. I introduced the children to 4 different groups of animals, mammals, birds, reptiles and fish using our live animals and Ms. Fro's collections of bones, feathers and other animal artifacts.
We then focused on animals with bones and without bones. The children learned to identify the names and locations of some of the major bones in many living things. They then made a skeleton made out of pasta where they were able to name the major bones. At Halloween time we questioned whether two liquids mixed together could form a solid. We had fun and mixed two liquids to make green slime. We also talked about bats, which the children learned is the only mammal that can fly.
Camouflage in the animal kingdom was next, so we talked about how, when, where and why animals camouflage themselves. The Camouflage discussions naturally led to a discussion of wild turkeys which have great camouflage. We continued with a short unit comparing and contrasting wild and domestic turkeys. We used our duck Solo to see camouflage in action as she does look a bit like a wild turkey.
Then we talked about trees and their leaves focusing on the Oak and Maple trees at Crestwood. We discussed the colors, shapes, sizes and the jobs of the leaves. Currently, we are finishing up a unit on the "states of matter", concentrating on solids and liquids and identifying the characteristics of both. The children had to identify five liquids and five solids and draw them to create a small poster about matter.
The full day pre-k just began a unit about nature. We have gone on hikes to identify many different trees and plants like poison ivy, oak trees and maple trees. They have also gone on foraging hikes where they found common plants that are edible like dandelion, sassafras and walnuts. They were introduced to "density" by using balance scales to put test tubes filled with different substances in order from heaviest to lightest and learned that the same amount of different substances can weigh different amounts. They made Halloween in a bottle which was also related to density. They were exposed to the idea of sound waves and made simple telephones with cups and string. Gathering pine cones and using sunflower butter and sunflower seeds from our garden to make bird feeders was a favorite!! The children also played with and fed lizards and bunnies. Most recently we learned about the body and its systems, listened to our hearts with a stethoscope and learned about the good guys in our body that fight the bad guys to keep us healthy.
The kindergarten class started this year with an experiment about air. They held hand boilers and their body heat expanded the air in the boiler, which makes the liquid look as if it were really boiling.
Then, we started work in the garden. The children learned about seeds and how plants reproduce. We harvested many seeds and they saw that all plants have different seeds. We then studied the seeds and identified their similarities and differences. This led to a discussion about fruits and vegetables and how and why they produce seeds differently. We also talked about farms and gardens and why they are so important. Some of the plants and seeds the class harvested were zinnias, moon flowers, sunflowers, pumpkins, mint, dill, onion, parsley and basil. We used our senses to identify the characteristics of the plants. We harvested and cleaned basil leaves to make pesto, which the children really enjoyed eating on spaghetti the following day!! Some even had seconds!! We continued to work in the garden harvesting parsley and kale for our animals, doing a fall clean-up and preparing the garden for winter. We discussed plans for the spring and packaged many of the seeds we harvested to plant next year. The children learned the cycle of the seed through hands on experiences.
The next unit focused on animals with and without bones. This led to exploring human and animal skeletons and we studied the names and locations of many of our bones. When the children were ready, we began scientific drawing as we studied the actual shapes of the bones and not our preconceived notions of what they look like. The children completed fantastic drawings of skeletons using white pencils on black paper!! We concentrated on scientific drawing which the children seemed to love. Using a guided discovery method we drew a squid, a panda, a mouse and some stuffed animals concentrating on the shapes that make up the animal.
We just completed a unit on solids, liquids, and gases, which I introduced by having the children make "Oobleck", a substance that seems to be both a liquid and a solid. So much fun, but what a mess!! Next, we played with ice and discussed how substances change back and forth between the solid, liquid and gas states. We brainstormed to makes a list of words to describe "Oobleck" and made lists of solids and liquids, comparing and contrasting the two states of matter. The children just finished a brochure called "Everything is Made of Matter". Next on to weather, and then density....
In addition, Miss Eileen and I are starting a school wide composting program. We purchased and put together a large composter and will be introducing composting and tying it in with the garden program.
Enjoy the Holidays!!
We have been very busy in physical education these past months. Your children are actively participating each and every day.
In the Toddler classes I begin by having the children run back and forth and stretch to warm up. We have been practicing hopping and jumping. They jump in and out of hula-hoops and practice hopping like bunnies on two feet. The toddlers have been busy kicking the ball and balancing on the riding toys and balance bikes.
The Nursery class warms up just like the toddlers only I add skipping to their daily warm up. The children are beginning to learn sports skills. We are currently learning to play soccer. I am teaching them to dribble and stop the ball. Their favorite thing to do is kick the ball into the goal. We will begin basketball next month.
In the Pre-k classes, they warm up the same as the toddler and nursery students. I am continuing to teach the children the sports skills. At this level I add how to play an actual game of soccer. They are having a lot of fun doing this. We are finishing up soccer and will begin basketball next month. Some of the children have also begun to practice riding a two-wheeler.
Our kindergarten class began the year learning tennis. We practiced serving and using their backhand and forehand. They also learned the skills of soccer and how to play on the big field. Our kindergartners favorite activity is to ride the two-wheelers and the balance bikes. Almost all of our kindergartners are riding a two-wheeler.
All of our classes get to enjoy running on the fields and playing on the tree house and playgrounds when the weather permits.
I am looking forward to a great year of teaching physical education to your children.
As we have gotten deeper into Fall, I have been talking to the children a lot about colors and what they express. Our Toddler classes have completed working with the Primary Colors and they are learning how to paint by using a brush and other materials as well, including sponge brushes, scrapers and texture rings. They have been learning how to glue shapes on to paper and have been creating collages for each color that we have highlighted during these past weeks.
In the Nursery and Pre-K classes, we talked about buildings and I showed the children a picture of the Eiffel Tower, then built it out of blocks for them. We talked about how the building should be balanced or it would fall down. I started building with the bigger blocks on the bottom and then used blocks that got smaller as the building got taller. The Nursery children used paper shapes similar to the blocks and "built" an Eiffel Tower on tall pieces of paper similar to the block building.They also used the same blocks to print a tower. The Pre-K children drew a picture of the Eiffel Tower using white crayons on black paper and they drew with glue as well as adding some glitter.
Both Nursery and Pre-K looked at some pictures of Waterlilies by Claude Monet and we talked about what were the cool colors--I described them as being cool like the ocean. I wanted the children to use these cool colors to color in a piece of paper. I asked them to try to not color in the middle of the paper but to start with the corners and sides so they would have color all over their picture. To reinforce what the 3 year olds are learning in their classroom, I gave them some ovals to glue on their pictures and they also added lilies. We used both light and dark greens and talked about the difference.
The Pre-K also colored in their papers with the cool ocean colors, then painted over them with blue watercolor and added a "cloud corner" using white paint and sponges. We talked about what a reflection is and also about different things you can see through (transparent), like water, glass and plastic. I showed them the different kinds of paint we use in the Art Studio and how sometimes it's transparent (watercolor) and sometimes opaque (tempera--or as Max D called it: "Mouse Paint"). I showed them how opaque paint will cover up their name written on the paper, while they could paint over their name with watercolors and still read it.
The Kindergarten classes also talked about color. We reviewed the Primary Colors and then used them to mix the Secondary Colors. I showed them what a Color Wheel looks like and where the "cool ocean colors" were. We also discussed the "warm, sunny colors". They children used watercolors and painted one paper with warm, sunny colors and a second with cool ocean colors. On the back side of the warm colored painting, the children drew leaf shapes, then cut them out and glued them onto the cool painting so that it looked like autumn leaves floating in water. We added salt to the cool colored picture while it was wet for a mottled effect.
The afternoon Toddlers and Nursery children have been doing projects that describe different environments. Last week we made a picture of the Sky and what lives there. This past week the children mixed the primary colors together to make brown and added bunnies and worms for an "Underground" picture.
The Afternoon Pre-K children have been working on map and we have been looking at an atlas of maps and talking about what the blue parts and the green parts of a map indicate as well as where the roads are. We have been making maps of Crestwood as well!
Be sure to check out our website to view our wonderful student art gallery.
We have gotten off to a flying start in the Art Studio this year and the children have been busy learning and creating.
Our Toddlers have begun the year learning about the primary colors and have been painting and making collages. They have been using different materials to paint and are learning how to glue shapes onto paper. We have been reading stories and doing a lot of scribbling.
The Nursery and Pre-K children have been looking at different paintings and we have been talking about them in art class. We looked at Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh and talked about making different kinds of lines: straight ones, bumpy ones, zig-zags and spirals. We used glue to make the lines and then sprinkled them with glitter, and used crayons and then painted over those pictures with watercolor. We read "The Very Lonely Firefly" and talked about things that shine in the night.
We then looked at some collages by Matisse and continued to make different kinds of lines. Only this time used scissors to draw with instead of crayons. The Pre-K children cut their own shapes and made collages. The Nursery children used shapes that were already cut for their collages, and also made an "opposite shapes" picture by coloring inside and around a leaf stencil. We talked about gluing the big shapes first and then small shapes on top of them and we also talked about using the part of the paper that we cut the shape out of.
Our Kindergarteners began the year similarly, and made a "fireworks"picture with spirals and other lines using watercolor over crayon. They also cut out shapes and put them together to create a collage. They looked at Starry Night and the Matisse cut-outs as well and we talked about those pictures in class.
The Full Day Pre-K children made a "Twilight" picture and we talked about how the sky changes color when it begins to get dark and how the trees and houses look like black shapes.
In all the classes we spent some time talking about how to clean our paintbrushes, especially when we are painting and want to use a new color. In art class the children take turns passing out materials, learn how to put their project on the shelf when they are done and how to help clean up. They all enjoy doing "free coloring" if there is time. They are developing good habits in our art studio and in their classrooms.
It know it is going to be a great year and I look forward to posting more of the children's artwork.
Please check out our Crestwood Photo site to see more of your child's beautiful artwork.