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Apples, Pumpkins, and the Start of School

Welcome to our first blog post. Nancy Becky and I are excited to be communicating with all our families in this new medium, (new for us anyway :-) )

The teachers and the children have settled into our school routines and are getting to know each other. Our families are making connections with each other and our children are beginning to form new friendships with their classmates and their teachers. To help support these burgeoning skills we have read books about starting school, separation, and how to be a friend. We have talked about what it means to be a friend and how to enter play with a classmate. We are off to an excellent start.

We began the year learning about Apples. This rich unit allows us to work in a variety of domains: math, social studies, science, and to use both our fine motor and gross motor skills. We taste tested 3 different apples, (yellow-ginger gold, green-granny smith, and red-honey crisp) and voted for our favorites. We stretched our math skills and graphed our results; red apples were the big winner. We worked on a cooperative apple painting project. The children worked in teams of two, each child chose a paint color, then they worked together to roll the apples through the paint to create a beautiful blended painting. These paintings are now displayed on our bulletin boards at school. We also printed with apples, made applesauce by turning the Foley food mill. We baked apple muffins together by carefully measuring out our ingredients, mixing them together, and scooping the dough into muffin tins. We talked about the life cycle of an apple tree and we are wrapping up our unit by capturing the children’s words for their journals.

Pumpkins, Halloween and talking about what is real and what is pretend will be next month’s focus.

A quick note about Halloween. Halloween can be a fun and thrilling holiday for young children; carving pumpkins, decorating their houses, dressing up as their favorite characters, and collecting candy as they trick or treat with their families at dusk, however understanding what is real and what is pretend can be challenging. There are many frightening images and costumes in our local stores and neighborhood displays. This can be overwhelming for young children. At school, the teachers try to keep the spirit of the holiday without the fright, we are asking that families refrain from allowing children to wear costumes and masks to school, while we strive to keep all our Halloween activities fun, engaging and developmentally appropriate.

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