Friday, April 22, 2016

April 22,2016

What Kids Learn in Preschool

The Basics

In preschool, children learn about the world through play. Subject areas aren’t separate in their minds or in the classroom. The objects preschoolers find on a nature walk, like feathers, rocks and leaves, might help them figure out math concepts like “big, bigger, and biggest” or motivate them to visit the book corner to find out more about birds. Teachers may introduce children to basic concepts such as shapes, letters, and colors, but preschool is about learning much more than what a circle looks like. It’s where children first develop a relationship with learning.

Language & Literacy

Children spend most of the preschool day working together with classmates. Each conversation, whether talking about the class pet or deciding which color block to put on top of their tower, helps children develop their thoughts and language. Preschool teachers read aloud simple stories like “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom” by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle to show children that text runs from left to right, expose them to new vocabulary, point out letter sounds and rhyming words, and help children talk about what they read.

Writing often appears as scribbles in the preschool classroom, but letters or shapes that resemble letters soon pop up as children try to write their own names in creative ways. Teachers model writing for preschoolers throughout the day. Many children will not be able to write words conventionally. However, every scribble shows that a child understands that the printed word carries messages, and that she is excited to be able to create these messages.


Preschoolers use numbers every day when they count milk cartons for lunch or figure out how many children are at a table. They work with geometric shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and squares in the block center, and through art projects. They measure at the water table when they compare the size of their hands and feet. Preschool teachers invite children to arrange items in a series or pattern when they make collages and other art projects. Teachers also use simple graphs to present concepts, for example, determining how many children wear mittens to school and how many wear gloves.


Preschoolers are scientists. They learn about the world by observing and experimenting. Natural things fascinate them, from rocks, to animals, to their baby brothers and sisters. They also notice the many ways that they can influence the natural world. Preschoolers may plant seeds, or watch what happens to an ice cube in a warm room. They’ll test what sinks and what floats at the water table, and which blowers make the biggest bubbles. They’ll find non-fiction books about animals and nature in the classroom library.

Social Studies

Preschool social studies is where children learn about their place in the world. Understanding how to get along with others can often take up the biggest part of a preschooler’s day. Children learn how to resolve conflicts and practice skills like sharing, taking turns and cleaning up. They figure out how to express their feelings using words. The class may also explore its community and the people in it by taking short field trips around the neighborhood.


Nora Sierra
Early Childhood Assistant Principal

Monday, April 11, 2016

April 11, 2016

Summer Reading for Prescholers

Although your littlest ones may not be reading chapter books yet, there’s no reason not to fill their summer with stories. These thirteen books will give sandy hands something to do after a day at the beach or distract them from the sounds of the ice cream truck. (Okay, who are we kidding? The ice cream truck always wins.) Throw one of these magical, colorful, and funny stories in your bag when you need a break from swimming or playing outside.

Every story needs a pig in a wig, or a horse, of course. Perfect for early readers, this simple story incorporates rhymes and repetition to capture your preschooler’s imagination.

Where's the Pair? by Britta Teckentrup

If you aren’t in love with Kadir Nelson’s extraordinary artwork, you will be after reading this simple tale that shows us all how a single act of kindness can transform our world.

If you aren’t in love with Kadir Nelson’s extraordinary artwork, you will be after reading this simple tale that shows us all how a single act of kindness can transform our world.


Ms. Nora Sierra

EC Assistant Principal
Discovery School

Monday, April 4, 2016

April 4, 2016

Helping Young Children Develop Strong Writing Skills

Writing is an important part of our daily lives. It is, however, a difficult skill to learn and master. By getting a head start with some simple activities, you can help your child begin to develop his or her writing skills at an early age. By doing so, you will be contributing to his or her future success as a student to express him or herself.

Writing is Practical

Every day, we need to write in order to complete our tasks, whether we are filling out a form at the doctor's office or writing an important letter. Writing is an important element of a student's education.
Whether students are writing by hand or on the computer, many assignments and exams require students to write short answers or longer essays as a way of assessing what they have learned. As students get older, they will be expected to show more sophisticated writing skills, and to complete more sophisticated tasks through their writing. In addition, many colleges and universities require students to write essays as part of their admissions application.
Writing is an important form of communication. Writing letters and emails is a common way of keeping in touch with our friends, relatives, and professional colleagues. Writing is frequently the final stage in communication when we want to leave no room for doubt, which is why we write and sign contracts, leases, and treaties when we make important decisions.

What Can You Do?

It's important to remember that writing can be as difficult a subject to teach and assess as it is to learn. Many students have trouble writing with clarity, coherence, and organization, and this can discourage them from writing if they feel frustrated.
That's where parent involvement can make a big difference. Encouraging your child to develop strong writing skills at a young age, and to become a better writer as they get older, can have a lifelong positive impact on a person’s writing, and may make writing an easier and more enjoyable process.

Activities for young children
    Encourage the child to draw and to discuss his or her drawings
·       Ask your child questions about his or her drawings
·       Show an interest in, and ask questions about, the things your child says, draws, and may try to write.
·       Ask your child to tell you simple stories as you write them down
·       Copy the story as your child tells it, without making changes. Ask her to clarify anything you don't understand.
·       Encourage your child to write her name
·       Practice writing her name with her, and point out the letters in her name when you see them in other places (on signs, in stores, etc.). She may start by only writing the first few letters of her name, but soon the rest will follow.
·       Use games
There are numerous games and puzzles that help children with spelling while increasing their vocabulary. Some of these may include crossword puzzles, word games, anagrams, and cryptograms designed especially for children. Flash cards are fun to use too, and they're easy to make at home.
·       Turn your child's writing into books. 
    Paste her drawings and writings on pieces of construction paper. For each book, make a cover out of heavier paper or cardboard, and add special art, a title, and her name as author. Punch holes in the pages and cover, and bind the book together with yarn or ribbon.

Ms. Nora Sierra

EC Assistant Principal

April 20, 2018

Wrapping Up the School Year The end of the school year brings the expected joy at finishing another year, and perhaps some sadne...