early childhood news
Sea Turtles Visit the Garden
The Sea Turtles took their first trip to the garden last Monday. They were so excited about walking to the garden and meeting Master Gardener, Flo. While at the garden we were able to partner with Ms. Jessica's 2nd grade. The children planted green onion seedlings together. The Sea Turtles enjoyed having the opportunity to get to work with a new group of friends.
Flo introduced the Sea Turtles to the proper way to remove carrots from the soil and protect the carrot tops. She discussed the garden norms and how to stay safe and keep others safe. We didn't have the opportunity to taste anything growing in the garden this time, but are looking forward to trying new things during our future trips. The children also enjoyed washing the carrots they had pulled to bring to school for the Farmer’s Market on Tuesday.
The Life Cycle of a Butterfly
HSH Penguins had the opportunity to learn all about butterflies last week with the help of their friend, Chella, who was very excited to tell her classmates about her passion for butterflies! Chella introduced her passion week with the story Face To Face with Butterflies by Darlyne A. Murawski.
With the help of the story, Chella and the Penguins learned about the life cycle of a butterfly! First, the children demonstrated the life cycle by acting it out. They began as an egg that hatched into a caterpillar, then turned into a chrysalis, and eventually became a beautiful butterfly. The Penguins also painted toilet paper rolls to create a chrysalis, and coffee filters to create butterflies!
The Pandas Visit Outer Space
The Pandas were learning about Star Wars through a friend's passion project, which took them on a trip to space! They have been working on projects, reading stories and poems to learn more about outer space.
The children had the chance to create their own planet as a science/art project. Using coffee filters, markers, and water the children made designs, lines, and shapes around the coffee filter before folding it and placing it in a cup of water. They watched as the markers designs spread and mixed into one another. They also learned that Star Wars takes place in a galaxy far, far away so we created our own tiny galaxies! The children mixed together paint, glitter, water and cotton balls to create their galaxies.
We are excited to continue our space exploration!
The Caterpillars Begin Passion Projects
The Caterpillars are embarking on a very special journey as they enter the world of Passion Projects! Passion Projects are another way we continue our commitment to knowing, encouraging, and valuing each child as they introduce their peers to a topic of their choice! Each child’s topic is turned into an entire week of curriculum by their teachers, and is enjoyed by the entire class. Last week's Passion Project was all about playdough. The Caterpillars loved being able to make their own playdough from a few household ingredients. They also created their very own caterpillars out of playdough! We can’t wait to see what other fun is in store for the Caterpillars as they learn from the rest of their friends.
Lions In Outer Space
The Lions climbed aboard their space shuttle and traveled to outer space! We learned all about the solar system, exploring the sun and all the planets through various books, activities, songs, and centers. We made telescopes to see the moon and stars at night, enjoyed the sensory experience of moon sand, made playdough stars, made constellations with our buddies, and made moon rocks.
We also learned many fun facts about the moon, and made a moon craft using white paint mixed with flour. They made craters on their moon using water bottle caps, and an outer space background by spraying white paint.
The Busy Bees Visit Antarctica
The Busy Bees have been learning about the Arctic and Antarctic regions lately, and reading the story The Penguin and the Polar Bear. During this time, the Busy Bees have been fascinated to learn that the Antarctic is the coldest place on Earth, but Penguins are perfectly designed to live in the ice water and freezing weather. They have also learned about Emperor Penguins, how penguins waddle, how they communicate with one another, about their feathers, and how they swing their flippers to look for food. Safe to say, the Busy Bees are now penguin experts!
Busy Bear News
The Busy Bears would like to thank all of the families that came out to help with our Helping Hands Day sale last Wednesday! Our Busy Bears were thrilled to be able to sell the penguin rocks, Valentine's Day cards, necklaces, and little people made out of cork that they worked so hard on over the last few weeks. The event was a great success and ECE students were able to donate their proceeds to the Elizabeth A. MacDonald Foundation thanks to your support!
Now that they are done with their sale, the Busy Bears are moving on to their Passion Projects. A few weeks back, Ms. Rebekah and Ms. Mayra shared their passion with the children who had a blast learning about Emperor penguins and architecture. This week, the children’s Passion Projects will begin with Myla who will introduce the Busy Bears to recycling. We can’t wait!
The Dolphins Visit Ancient Greece
This month the Dolphins entered the magical world of Ancient Greece. The children have been exploring the architecture, mosaics, climate, geography, foods, and the Greek alphabet. They created the Parthenon, wrote their names using the Greek alphabet, and created beautiful mosaics using pebbles and stones. When learning about education during that time, the Dolphins were not so pleased to hear that only boys went to school to learn to read and write. They decided that it was much better to be around now. We agree! We are excited to introduce the world of the Greek gods and goddesses soon, along with many more historical facts, myths, and legends.
Sea Turtles and Monster Trucks
The Sea Turtle class has been enjoying the opportunity to learn about their classmates and what they are passionate about. Last week we learned all about Monster Trucks with Mylo and his family. We learned that some Monster Trucks have 10' tall tires and that the average Monster Truck tire weighs 462 pounds. The Sea Turtles’ favorite Monster Trucks are: Big Foot, Grave Digger, Zombie, and Max-D. The children enjoyed putting together their own toy Monster Trucks from a kit and designing their own truck. And on Friday the children had the opportunity to take a ride in a mini-Monster Truck on the yard. They had a great time!
Welcome Back from the Penguins!
The Penguins were thrilled to return to school after Winter Break last week. Students spent a few days adjusting to their schedule and reviewing material before beginning some number recognition fun! The Penguins are also learning their numbers in Spanish class with Ms. Sandra. And of course, they are gearing up for their upcoming Helping Hands Sale. The children are keeping busy creating crafts to sell and looking forward to raising money for the Elizabeth A. MacDonald Foundation.
Caterpillars Celebrate the Season with their Buddies
The Caterpillars have been enjoying the holiday season with the company of their 1st Grade buddies! So far, this has included visiting their buddies and listening to The Twelve Days of Christmas by June Williams. After the story put everyone in the holiday spirit, the Caterpillars and their buddies made their own unique snowmen! This holiday season, the Caterpillars are thankful for these inspirational mentors, with whom they have made such meaningful relationships.
Happy Holidays from the Lions
The Lions are getting ready for the holidays! They have been very busy rehearsing their Winter Show performance ("Dance of the Reed Flutes" from The Nutcracker), but found some time to meet with their big buddies for some gingerbread fun. The Lions and their buddies read The Gingerbread Boy and explored gingerbread-themed centers, like making playdough gingerbread people and decorating them!
Thanksgiving with the Busy Bees
The Busy Bees have been very busy learning about Fall. The children made Thanksgiving decorations to help build their fine motor skills, large motor skills, listening skills, and to practice following directions. One of their favorite crafts was creating a turkey out of a pinecone. The Busy Bees loved using assorted long, colorful feathers to transform their pinecones into works of art!
Ms. Juana and Mr. Sal’s Bees hope everyone had a beautiful Thanksgiving break! Gobble, gobble!
The Busy Bears and the Log Hotel
Hello, November! Last week, the Busy Bears welcomed a new month. After ending October with a bang (Halloween!), they changed their calendar and shared the holidays and fun events that are coming up. In class, the Busy Bears have been exploring Fall and trees. In learning about Fall, they have explored all the colorful and bright colors that a leaf can become. To extend the lesson, the Busy Bears learned about oak trees, maple trees, and willow trees. They have had conversations about the animals that live in trees and how a tree becomes a log.
As they have been introduced to this new idea, the Busy Bears have been listening to Log Hotel. This amazing story shows the children how a log decomposes in the forest and later hosts animals. The illustrations show how lizards, bugs, fungi, and moss take over a log. To accompany the story, each of the Busy Bears created their very own log hotel out of toilet paper tubes.
The Dolphins Experiment with Ice
The Dolphins have been integrating ice into their curriculum lately, and conducted an ‘ice experiment’ to go along with their theme of the week. The children were asked to guess if ice would melt faster in water with salt, sugar, or nothing except the ice. The children cast their votes for all three and waited patiently for the results! After adding salt to some cups, sugar to others, and nothing to the rest, the children watched and discovered that the ice melted fastest in the plain water! We have a feeling their little warm hands around the cups may have had something to do with it.
The Sea Turtles Get in the Halloween Spirit
The Sea Turtles have been enjoying some Halloween fun and pumpkins recently! They are learning about all the various types of gourds and pumpkins in class. The children examined a variety of gourds and pumpkins and made comparisons based on texture, size, weight, appearance and even smell. The children have estimated the weight of the gourds and three different sized pumpkins after holding them individually and comparing them by holding one in each hand.
The Sea Turtles have also discussed which sizes of pumpkins were light and which were heavy. The children made predictions on whether the pumpkins would sink or float based on size and weight. We tested their theories with a trip to the pool to see if their predictions were accurate. The children thought it was funny when the pumpkins dropped into the water and made a big splash! They were very surprised that all of the pumpkins were floaters!
Next, the Sea Turtles carved open the large pumpkin and the children helped scoop out the membrane and seeds. Some of the children loved getting their hands in the pumpkin 'goo' and some had enough after pulling out a couple seeds. Most of the children thought the inside of the pumpkins smelled bad!
The children have enjoyed other Halloween themed activities ranging from creating their own flannel stories to making jack-o-lantern face patterns and engaging in ghostly number and counting games. The Sea Turtles are so excited for Halloween!
The Penguins Celebrate Fall and Learn the Letters “P” and “F”
The children in the Penguin class learn the letters of the alphabet through a "Letter of the Week" theme. We celebrate each letter with fun, hands-on projects. Last week, the Penguins were eager to learn our new letter. After listening to the story Too Many Pumpkins by Linda White, the children guessed letter “P”!
Just like in our story, our centers had pumpkins everywhere! The children played and explored in a pumpkin math, art, and play dough center.
The children also decorated pumpkins, and some made theirs into Jack-O-Lanterns. In the play dough center, the children had a fantastic time with Halloween cookie cutters.
This week, one of our friends found the letter “F” in their cubby! We celebrated our letter with a feather art project.
The children loved the book Frankie Stein by Lola M. Schaefer. The story is about a little boy named Frankie who looked very different from his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank N. Stein. Frankie’s parents try to make him look scary like them. In the end, Frankie does ends up being scary - just in his own way!
Our story inspired some Halloween fun and the children created their own Frankenstein. We concluded our unit on letter “F” by turning into Frankensteins!
Pandas, Pumpkins, Force, and Measurement
Pumpkin season has arrived! The Pandas had fun experimenting with pumpkins and gourds. We used various sized pumpkins and gourds to explore science and math concepts related to force and measurement. The children were encouraged to record their observations through drawings and dictation. They worked together in small groups at each station, exploring and documenting.
One station was setup for measuring. We set out several small and large pumpkins, gourds, small wooden cubes, links, and pretend measurement worms. The children thought of different ways to measure the pumpkins and gourds. Some used the materials to measure the circumference while others used the small wooden cubes to determine the height. As the children continued to explore, they started to use the materials to determine how far one pumpkin was from another.
Another station was all about force. A small group of children worked together to determine if a pumpkin or gourd would roll the furthest with just one push. After a short discussion and quick trial they quickly agreed the pumpkin rolled the furthest because it was round. They were given two other materials, a plastic rain gutter and a wooden block to create an incline. They had fun seeing whose pumpkin or gourd could roll the furthest.
Our other station was set up with small pumpkins, gourds, balance scales, and measuring cups. The children used water and the small pumpkins to balance out the scales. They loved pouring the water from one container to another and watching the pumpkins float in the water.
Introducing HSH’s Youngest Students, the Caterpillars!
The Caterpillars are Hollywood Schoolhouse’s youngest students. As the new school year began, the Caterpillars were welcomed to their new class and (for most of them) their first year of Preschool! Their first focus of the school year was learning about Hollywood Schoolhouse. They enjoyed listening to the transition book My Hollywood Schoolhouse by HSH Parent, Rudi Bloss. To accompany their unit on HSH, the children were excited to paint their very own Hollywood Schoolhouse using the color red.
The Caterpillars’ next unit focused on their class namesake, as well as getting to know each other. The Caterpillars did a fun unit called ‘All About Me’, in which each student shared something that they liked with the class and had the opportunity to paint a picture of it using oil pastels and watercolors.
Next, based on the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carl, the children painted caterpillars with their finger tips. Now that we are a few weeks into the school year, our Caterpillars are joyful in their classroom and proud to call Hollywood Schoolhouse their school.
The Lions Go On Safari
The Lions class recently traveled to Africa and went on a safari adventure! They explored lions and other safari animals through books, activities, learning centers, dress-up, and songs. The Lions enjoyed dancing to several African folk songs, such as “Zimbole,” and they even went on a safari of their own. After constructing one, they hopped on their safari jeep in search of animals around the yard. And here’s a fun fact – one of our Lions, Rocco, was born in Africa! He’s been there twice with his mommy, and he brought authentic drums and masks from Africa to share with the class. The Lions also made their own lion masks. We love our Lion pride!
The Buzz About the Busy Bees
We made it! All of our little ones have successfully begun their year in the Busy Bee class.
New friendships are forming, and the children are adapting to their new routines and activities. The Busy Bees have been focusing on their namesake, bees, and a unit called "All About Me", which has been helping them get to know each other! Mr. Sal and Ms. Juana are looking forward to a wonderful year of learning, playing, and growing!
The Busy Bears Learn About Their Namesake
Our Busy Bear friends are off to an amazing start this year! They have been getting to know each other and enjoying learning more about our class name. As the Bear class, they have been listening to lots of bear stories and learning where bears live along with some other fun facts. One of the Busy Bears’ favorite stories has been Goldilocks and the Three Bears. To accompany the story, our Busy Bears painted recycled boxes with some of their favorite colors (pink, blue, yellow, purple, and red). After asking each of the children, "What do you think a bear can make from a box?" our class turned these recycled boxes into a house and a firetruck. We are excited for a year of learning and growing - socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively.