Peopleplace Cooperative Preschool 30 Years Of Growing Together 2014-09-30T14:15:30Z http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?feed=atom WordPress Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=6063 2014-02-03T18:34:13Z 2014-02-03T18:34:13Z feb3shadow

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Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[Preparing for the Night Tree Celebration]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=6051 2014-01-03T14:43:24Z 2014-01-03T14:43:24Z click here for more »]]>

Through the month of December, the Upstairs class spent time preparing for our Night Tree celebration.  We began by reading the book Night Tree by Eve Bunting.  Some of the children remembered our Night Tree celebration from last year and began making plans for this year’s celebration right away.  We took a walk in the woods to look at our tree from last year but decided on a new spot and a new tree for this year.

The next step was to think about decorations for our party and edible decorations for the animals in our woods.  For our family party we made candle holders and little pine cone “trees” as well as lengths and lengths of paper chains.  For the animals it was a little more complicated.

Who lives in our woods?  We had to think about and do some research to decide who might eat the treats we hang on our Night Tree.  Our original list included every kind of animal imaginable: from monkeys and zebras to chipmunks and “allocorns” (some sort of flying horse?).  After looking through books about Maine, we decided our woods might have deer, chipmunks, rabbits, squirrels, wild turkeys, porcupines, skunks, coyotes, crows, chickadees, and possibly even a bear.

Making treats for the animals became the project work this month.  We made birdseed cookies, frozen popsicles of cranberries and evergreens, strings of Cheerios and apple slices to hang in the tree branches.  in the fall we had filled the sensory table with dried corn kernels to use with the construction trucks and that entire table of corn was emptied into little bags so that visitors to the Night Tree could scatter corn under the trees.

The classroom was constantly humming with the busy work of children preparing for the big event.  The combination of snowy weather and a series of December birthdays made this season especially festive this year!

All of this work toward our big celebration fulfilled goals we have set for the children relating to the Maine Early Childhood Learning Guidelines. Below is a partial list of how the work in our classroom met the MECLG standards:

Personal and Social Development:

*As a group, the children listened to each others’ ideas and remembrances during conversations about the Night Tree.  It is hard when we all have great ideas at the same time, but we spent time learning to take turns and listen respectfully during important discussions.

*Children and teachers worked together as a community to plan a party for our families and make treats for the animals in our woods.

Approaches to Learning:

*Children were given opportunities to reflect on last year’s Night Tree celebration – thinking about old friends as well as the things we need to do to get ready for this year’s celebration.  We remembered as a group and then used the computer to revisit photos of last year’s Night Tree event.

*We worked together as a classroom community to accomplish tasks in preparation for the celebration.

*Some of the children worked hard to thread a needle to string the apple slices.  As you can see in the photographs, this work takes persistence and concentration!  It takes similar focus and concentration to make a long paper chain or stick with stringing Cheerios for an extended amount of time.

Creative Arts

*The children used art materials and new techniques to create the beautiful centerpieces for the party.

*With the support of a teacher, the children planned a dramatic story to share with the parents and friends at the pot-luck.

Language and Literacy

*We introduced some vocabulary related to our event, including: celebration, invitation, community, habitat, evergreen

*The children listened to, enjoyed, and retold the story Night Tree and also Bear Noel.  We took time to compare and contrast the two stories to think about similarities and differences.

*Children thought about and created invitations for the families – we had to decide what information was important to go on the invitation and then used letters and words to make it work.

*We compared fiction and non-fiction books as we thought about the stories we read and learned about animals that might be in our woods.

*We made lists as a class: What do we need for a Night Tree celebration? Who lives in our woods?

*We remembered last year’s Night Tree event and revisited old photos to bring our memories into focus.

Health and Physical Education

*Fine motor work: stringing Cheerios, threading needles to string apple slices, making paper chains, cutting snowflake decorations.

*Gross motor work: walks in the woods in deep, deep snow!

Mathematics

*We had a great time making a game of  counting the Cheerios that can fit on a needle.

*It is much more fun to make a paper chain when you begin comparing it to the height of various children and teachers and comparing it to the length of the classroom (using non-standard units of measure).

*We needed to think about and follow recipes to make birdseed cookies for the animals in our woods.

*Venn diagrams were constructed in deciding what kind of animals we thought might live in the woods as well as what kinds of activities we like to do on a snowy day.

Science

*We learned about habitats and which animals were more likely to live in our Maine woods.

*We thought about the changes that winter brings and why winter might be hard for the animals in our woods.

*On a walk to find our Night Tree, we observed some animal tracks in the woods.  We made some predictions about whose tracks they could be based on the size of the tracks and the fact that some tracks seemed to disappear at the base of a tree.

Social Studies

*Planning for a big event helps children understand themselves as part of a community.

*The idea of revisiting last year’s event and planning for the one this year helps children develop a sense of past, present and future.

As teachers, we love that a community project like our Night Tree Celebration gives us opportunities to cover so many standards in a completely authentic manner.  No skill seemed forced.  In the context of our work toward a celebratory goal, the work was important and valued and the children were eager to learn and participate.  We are eager to begin our time in January with a trek to the trees to see what has become of the treats we left for the animals and to find out where our learning will take us from there.

 

 

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Lee http://www.peoplplacecoop.prg <![CDATA[Watching the big kids sing!]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=6047 2014-09-12T14:03:31Z 2013-12-20T14:54:00Z click here for more »]]> Watching the big kids sing!What a great start to our 2014-15 school year!  Teachers, parents and children are getting to know one another.  Community starts in the classroom with our friends and teachers.  We learn how to express our thoughts and listen to others share theirs.  Our annual back to school Potluck was a huge success.  So many of our families came and had a blast talking, playing, eating and establishing those relationships.  The community at Peopleplace is a strong one, binded by a common mission; to make friends, provide a sense of belonging for their family and make children’s introduction to school a positive one – one that will extend way beyond the preschool years.  That is what Peopleplace is all about!

In this photo, we see our Downstairs friends watching the older preschoolers singing outside on our playground from the window of their classroom.

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Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[Woods Walk]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=6043 2013-12-12T18:38:11Z 2013-12-12T18:38:11Z click here for more »]]>


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This morning we read “Night Tree” by Eve Bunting and then took a walk in the woods to find the tree we used for our night tree last year. The snow isn’t deep, but it is lovely in our woods.

This year, our Night Tree Celebration will begin at 5:00 on Thursday, December 19th with a potluck supper at Chestnut Street Church (on the village green in Camden). After the pot luck, we will convene at Peopleplace for our walk in the woods. Please plan to dress warmly and bring a flashlight or headlamp!

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Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[Hanukkah]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=6041 2013-12-12T17:49:11Z 2013-12-12T17:49:11Z click here for more »]]>

On our first Monday back after Thanksgiving, Mika’s family joined us to share the Hanukkah story and their Hanukkah traditions.  Mika showed us her menorah and then we made our own menorah with the children in the class as the candle holders.  Mika was in charge of the shamas candle.  We sang Mika’s favorite Hanukkah song played with dreidels and then ate latkes with applesauce and sour cream for snack.

Many thanks to the Gilat family!

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Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[Stone Soup]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=6038 2013-12-12T16:46:34Z 2013-12-12T16:46:34Z click here for more »]]>

Just before we started our Thanksgiving vacation, the Upstairs class read a few different versions of the story “Stone Soup.”  The children were interested in how the people did not want to share their food when the story started, but ended up having a celebration together over the soup they had made from a stone!  Really? From a stone?!  No… they realized, there was some trickery involved, but the end result in each story is a happy meal with people who shared and worked together.  Do you think those people will be willing to share next time a stranger comes to town?  We all hope so!

On the Tuesday before break a little snowfall dusted the playground and made our classroom feel extra cozy.  We spent the morning preparing our own stone soup (we did wash the stones first), making biscuits, and even making our own butter.  Near the end of the morning, we set a beautiful celebration table and then came together to share our feast.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  What are YOU thankful for?  We here at Peopleplace are so thankful for the children we work with every day and the families who make this special place possible!

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Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[Peopleplace Farm Market]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=5919 2013-10-24T15:38:46Z 2013-10-24T15:12:45Z click here for more »]]> 037034012009
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The farm market has been a huge hit in our  classroom this month. The apples, gourds, pumpkins and eggs have been flying off the shelves! Children who work the cash registers are also responsible for weighing the produce. Some are even using paper and pencil to keep track of their transactions. We are learning that when people pay for their goods, they need to hand money to the cashiers (not the other way around). The living room certainly has been a busy learning space!
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Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[Block room exploration]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=5903 2013-10-24T14:11:11Z 2013-10-24T13:54:55Z click here for more »]]>

 


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Block room explorations are important for many reasons, but today they were all about learning to work together and trying to figure out that other people have different ideas and plans. This work isn’t easy for many of our three year-olds but the provocation of block building is the perfect challenge for discovering ways to interact kindly and respectfully and to develop the art of compromise.

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Preschool http://www.peopleplacecoop.org <![CDATA[]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=5898 2013-10-24T13:16:57Z 2013-10-24T13:16:57Z

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Pete <![CDATA[2014 Wreath Fundraiser deadline October 31st]]> http://www.peopleplacecoop.org/?p=5862 2014-09-30T14:15:30Z 2013-10-20T12:05:22Z click here for more »]]> fund-banner

It’s time, once again, for our very popular wreath sale.  Wreath’s are available from the fundraising committee, in the office with Sessa, and now online!  Click on Wreaths to Order Online or download the Wreath Fundraiser Flyer here.

Please let all your friends and family know because, now, anyone can order and have their wreaths shipped in time for the holidays.  WE MUST RECEIVE ALL ORDERS BY OCTOBER 31st for on-time delivery on December 1st for families and November 26th for businesses.

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