April 26, 2015: Library

April is National Poetry Month!

During library class, we celebrated National Poetry Month with charming and funny poems from Chicken Scratches.  We read aloud some poems together and learned some poems have rhyming words and rhythm. The students also enjoyed creating a list of rhyming words on the whiteboard. Reading poetry is a fun way to build our vocabulary and express our emotions.




Tamara Beecroft

April 26, 2015: PE

We are finishing up our gymnastics unit in the coming weeks. Our foot balance courses have grown in complexity and students are offering their ideas for how to move on them. We have learned different rolls and tumbles, challenging us to reflect on how different parts of our bodies move together to perform these skills. Our hand balance is also growing stronger with falling monkey hops, preparing us for cartwheels in the years to come. As summer approaches we will begin our review and revisit our important skills of the past year.

David Platt
Early Childhood Physical Education

April 26, 2015: Art

PreK Is exploring art from natural resources!

This week, we are making stamp art by stamping leaves with tempera colors and turning them into new things. We're talking about how all leaves come in different shapes and sizes and how we can use the shapes from natural items to make something new. We'll be painting with leaves next week, too, and will talk about negative space (the shape a leaf leaves when you paint over it, and then take the leaf out).

There will be loads  fun this month to be had in art- we will even eventually get to make our own paints from natural materials!

Carolina Barros
Early Childhood Art Specialist

April 26, 2015: Music

Hello PreK! I cannot believe that we are almost in May! The children are growing up so fast and working very hard. Lately, imaginative play has been a big part of our scarf time. The students have been creating their own personal pet out of the scarves as well as pretending the scarves are seeds that we plant, water and watch grow. Other forms of imaginative play have included pretending to be little caterpillars while we sing the song, "Tiny Caterpillar." From this song, we move into instruments and practice playing only on certain words. "The More We Get Together," and "Everyone Put Your Hands Up," are both really fun movement songs where the children get to pick different ways to move their bodies and add to the silliness of the lyrics. "The Grand O'l Duke of York," and "5 Little Speckled Frogs," are some other examples of silly songs that we have been incorporating into our daily fun.

Kami Richards
EC Music Teacher

March 16, 2015: Art

PreK is just about wrapping up our inquiry about expressing ourselves through colors. This week we made "wormies" of different colors out of clay and placed them in the middle of the work tables. We listened to kid appropriate songs that had happy, sad, scary or mad sounds and made our "wormies" dance on our paper, turning into different shapes or lines. We talked about how some colors of worms would not come out to dance for every song. The students are getting very good at associating their own personal colors to emotion, and are doing a great job listening to the music I bring in, following the lines according to the beat. Keep up the good work, everyone!

Carolina Barros
Early Childhood Art Specialist

March 16, 2015: Music

Hello PreK Families! We are wrapping up our collaborative unit on "How We Express Ourselves." One of our final activities includes watching a video of sand art. In the video, the pictures being drawn represent China's history. The first time we watch this video I mute the sound and let the children dictate what they are seeing as the pictures morph into new shapes. I then pause the film and ask the kids how they feel. A lot of them say interested or happy. Then we watch the film a second time, only this time I let the music play. It is fun to see how the students faces and remarks change as they describe it as angry or scary. The students have been doing a fairly good job recognizing that the music is really what made the biggest change and that music can really impact the way we feel.

I then give the students scarves. They pretend this is their own sand that they can use to create an ever changing picture. I play music for them and pause every once in awhile to see what is currently in their picture. I love hearing how their pictures are changing with the music. There are a lot more lions and sea monsters during the angry music verses princesses and dolphins during the happy music. Another fun event coming up is our visiting artist. He will be here next week to do a fun performance about emotions and how we should use them. It is an exciting wrap up to a fun unit. I hope you have a wonderful day!

Kami Richards
EC Music Teacher

March 16, 2015: PE

Our gymnastics unit has started with foot balance courses on graded stepping stones and balance beams. We have practiced walking forwards and sideways and jumping from stone to stone. Our courses will get more challenging in the coming weeks as our sense of balance grows stronger. We are also practicing shifting our weight from our feet to our hands to perform donkey kicks, rabbit hops, and monkey hops. This will prepare us for tumbles and other rolls as our work in gymnastics continues.

David Platt
Early Childhood Physical Education

March 16, 2015: Library

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss' birthday is celebrated in schools across the country on March 2 every year.  This year, TIS preschoolers had lots of fun listening to Dr. Seuss stories, playing Seuss games and dressing up as the Cat in the Hat. All fans of Dr. Seuss' incredible work will be happy to learn that a new book will be released in July, What Pet Should I Get?

For more information about Dr. Seuss or his books, check out the official website Seussville.

Tamara Fornell

Feb 6, 2015: Music

    Hello, PreK Families! I am currently collaborating with the homeroom teachers on their "How We Express Ourselves Unit." This unit is a way for us to work on being able to express our emotions through music. I first demonstrated this idea by singing and playing the drum while the students had to guess what I was feeling inside. When they guessed correctly we would then talk about if I told them I was sad, happy, etc. or did something else show them how I felt? It has been wonderful to see different students really grasp this idea and develop it with their own vocal intonations and instrumental gestures.  
    Other ways we have explored this idea is with the song "If You're Happy and You Know It." Throughout this song we replace "happy" with different emotions and our actions demonstrate what the children like to do when they feel mad, scared, etc. Most recently we have added in the dancing aspect and how to convey different emotions through dance. Of course, this is just a brief snap shot of our day as we do a lot of other activities. I also have some exciting news, the PreK classes will have a guest artist visiting right before Spring Break! His name is Rick Huddle and he engages the students with music and activities to help them understand and express their emotions. I am very excited! I hope y'all have a wonderful day!

- Kami Richards

Feb 6, 2015: Art

PreK has been working with colors and emotions, attributing colors to feelings. We've often discussed how someone's "happy" may be blue, and someone else's "happy" may be yellow, and so on and so forth.
So far we've cut out shapes enacting our feelings and have painted with watercolors. The children did an amazing job and I enjoyed finding out what they have expressed on their papers.
My little art  students are all so imaginative and they bring such a rich amount of  color and happiness to  the EC art program! They always awe me with their wonderful ideas!

- Carolina Barros

Feb 6, 2015: PE

We are exploring the connections between our imaginations and how we move our bodies through our unit on creative movement. Using the themes of the farm, the jungle, and the ocean, we have moved as different animals, danced, learned yoga through imagined stories, and acted out adventure stories. As this unit ends, we will move on to gymnastics and begin exploring and strengthening our coordination and balance.

- Coach David

Feb 6, 2015: Library

PreK started the year with a new unit on "Emotions" where they learned we have many different feelings and we can express our emotions in many different ways. During the library class, we read My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss and discussed how colors are used to express emotions and feelings.

The colors and illustrations on each page are associated with animals as they express different moods and feelings. For example, "Red is a horse kicking up its heels."  "Brown is a bear, slow and low." "On a happy pink day, he's a flamingo!" "On black days, he becomes a howling wolf."

We also played "How Does This Make You Feel?" A game where each student picks a card that shows different scenarios or items and then expresses that feeling with facial expressions and through identifying colors. You can also play this game at home!

- Tamara Beecroft, Librarian

Dec 19, 2014: Music

Happy Holidays! PreK has been feeling festive lately as we explore different ways to play jingle bells and move our bodies like the music. This means that when we hear music from the Nutcracker our bodies might be slow and, when we listen to “Jingle Bell Rock” our bodies move quickly.  This month’s rhythmic poem is called, “Gingerbread Man.” This poem is about making gingerbread cookies and at the end of the poem we pretend to eat all of our cookies.  The kids love to tell me how many thousands of cookies they ate. A game that the students keep requesting every week is “Star Light, Star Bright.”  This is basically hide and seek in the dark. Students sing the song and when it is over they get to look for each other with flashlights. This game is a really big hit and it allows them to repeat the song twenty times without getting bored.  We have been using a lot of books this month and yet, I will only mention my favorite called, The Red Sled. This book, instead of words, has vocal sounds. It allows students to do vocal exploration while using these sounds to bring a story to life.  PreK is growing every day and I can only imagine how much they will change over the break. I hope y’all have a wonderful break and that you get to enjoy time with your family and friends.

- Kami Richards, Music Specialist

Dec 19, 2014: PE

After experimenting with different ways to move balls with our hands and feet, we tried using only our feet to move soccer balls. We worked on specific ways to move a ball with our soccer skills and we learned a power kick with a foam ball. We changed the rules of our builders and bulldozers game so that we had to figure how to play it using only our feet. After the break, we will start a new unit exploring creative and rhythmic movement.

- David Platt, PE Specialist

Dec 19, 2014: Library

It is hard to believe that fall is over and we are rushing into the busy holiday season. During library classes, PreK students have been learning about library rules and how to take care of books. They also enjoyed storytime and checking out books to take back to their classrooms. We are so happy to see them excited about books and reading!

Also, check out our new bulletin board in the Library!  You are welcome to stop by in the morning or after school with your children to see it and explore some of the PYP learner profile attributes they have been learning about at school.

Happy Holidays!

- Tomoyo Wells and Carrie Johnston, Library Assistants

Dec 19, 2014: Art

PreK has been making artist trading cards and learning all about postcards. I am thrilled that they will work on their drawings until there's no more white to color in- and they are taking longer to say they are finished...in other words, prek classes are taking pride in their work and taking their time other than rushing to get finished, and this is wonderful!!!!

Have a wonderful holiday season and enjoy the postcards your child will share with you this week!

All the best,

- Carolina Barros, Art Specialist

11/14/2014: Library

Reading to your children is key to literacy development and fostering a love for reading. Thank you for supporting the first EC only library reading challenge and Scholastic Book Fair.  The Growing Readers tree grew impressively by leaves and worms daily!  Congratulations to all the parents and students. This week, all PreK students will receive bookmarks and participants will be awarded certificates.

The Scholastic Book Fair earned over $500 in books for the new library!

Below are just a few of the books added to the EC library.  My favorite is It's Duffy Time by Audrey and Don Wood. Duffy takes a lot of naps!

Tamara Beecroft
503-226-2496 ext 115


11/14/2014: Music

Hello! PreK is really doing a great job as we work on our musical skills. Lately we have been working on a rhythmic poem titled “5 Little Bats in the Bathtub.” I love this poem because it works with two types of body percussion, rhythmic competency, following musical phrases and counting. Other activities have included a variety of percussion instruments, singing “Slippery Fish” and playing “London Bridges.” One of our November games is to sing “Six Little Turkeys” while only moving on the word, “Gobble,” The children are doing a great job listening and of course they are adorable walking around like turkeys. Our book this week is called “Creepy Crawly Calypso.” Normally I sing the books but this week we are listening to the CD that came with the book because it gives the children a chance to hear the difference between different instruments such as the marimba and the saxophone.  On a side note, I am headed to a professional development conference this week.  I am very excited as I hope to learn some new activities and teaching methods that I can bring back into the classroom and use to enrich your child’s experience.  I hope you have a wonderful November!

Kami Richards
EC Music Teacher

11/14/2014: PE

We have been learning different ways to catch and throw with different sized balls. Our half-circle is now a catching course where we are working on a basket catch after trying out our own ideas of how to catch. We are also learning an underhand and an overhand throw after experimenting with our own ideas of how to throw. We have had fun playing games like builders and bulldozers where we use our hands to move objects and learn to play as a team. Our focus will shift to soccer balls and the different ways we can move them with our hands and feet before we learn some basic soccer skills.

David Platt
Early Childhood Physical Education

11/14/2014: Art

PreK students are thinking about and making food shapes, comparing those shapes with geometric ones. We have rolled clay and turned it into food, made food and turned it into something new (for example- a face out out of fruit),  drawn pieces of food to feed animals, and next week we will make a thanksgiving project in which we will make food shapes and paint them in. It has been wonderful to see each and every student strengthening their fine motor skills and recognizing the name of each shape we go over in class each week. Great job, little artists!

Carolina Barros
Early Childhood Art Specialist