Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day


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     SMART START budding environmentalists have been learning about our wonderful planet Earth and all that it has to offer. Added curriculum has focused on caring for the planet and how to be an eco- friendly citizen.  Our young learners love "Being Green" here at school and are excited to celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd!
    
     We are fortunate to have Memorial Hall Library located here in downtown Andover as a valuable resource for books, music and much more.  MHL generously donated reusable bags to help inspire our students- the future generation! SMART START artists put on smocks and gathered around the table to decorate the bags. Each used puff paint, glue, foam shapes and letters to spell their name.

     
      
     Once the bags dried, SMART START shoppers headed off to the "supermarket". Fun was had by all while grocers selected, purchased and placed items in their bags during this dramatic play activity.  The children are anticipating using their reusable bags to aid in the elimination of paper and plastic while going on an errand. 


     
    Although SMART START has always recycled, this process now has new meaning as pupils are playing a major role. We gathered and separated boxes, plastic containers, fruit peels and aluminum cans brought in from sharing snack. Teachers taught about these different recyclables and how they can be reused.  Items were identified, sorted and placed into bags in preparation for pickup at the end of the week. Our mini DPW crew was given the privilege to deposit their bag of items into Andover's recycling truck! All were thrilled to share about Earth Day with Andover's DPW staff and how they are working hard to help the environment!



     
     Pre-readers look forward to circle time and are always attentive listeners and active participants. As educators, we are pleased when our pupils are engaged and passionate about the subject matter at hand. All have been engrossed in our Earth Day literature and book displays and have been providing unique commentary and suggestions. 
     


     Miss Francesca read several books about Earth in our outdoor classroom and explained the different layers that comprise earth. Open discussion consisted of insightful ideas and curiosity filled questions. It was refreshing to witness connections being made about littering, reducing waste and pollution. All learned and joyfully sang, "The Pollution" song in unison.  

    

      Recycling and garbage trucks and many other toys were used to facilitate learning through free and collaborative play! 

     
     SMART START ecologists applied attained information as they labeled and stickered four bins to assist with our recycling distribution here at school: compost, aluminum, plastic and cardboard. Lessons were reinforced through this additional hands-on unit as pupils collected and placed recyclables in corresponding bins. 
 
     
     Miss Francesca led an interactive, fine motor game for our young learners to utilize their eco-motivated abilities.  Each were given a sheet of stickers including: compost, aluminum, plastic and cardboard/paper materials. Our students are "green" and proud!  Miss Francesca led an interactive, fine motor game for our young learners to utilize their eco-motivated abilities.

     
     Earth Day is a perfect time to appreciate nature and discovery.  Happy to be outdoors and in spring climate, SMART START naturalists set out with magnifying glasses, containers and nets to search for rocks, leaves, sticks and more. Containers were filled to the brim with a variety of treasures. Classmates were overjoyed to share their findings. Some even came across plastic pieces and other littered objects that they later recycled. Actions speak louder than words and we were very impressed!

     
      Preschoolers have been using their green thumbs to tend to our "Growing What We Eat" garden.  They have learned that growing vegetables is good for the environment! We have recently replanted our sprouting vegetables to a larger space indoors and are looking forward to replanting them outside late spring. Students feel most accomplished as they maintain and watch their plants grow each week.  All are anxiously awaiting the initial crop of green beans, peas, peppers and lettuce!  In addition to our edible items and in honor of Earth Day, we designed our own compost bin to fill our garden with nutrients. Hard work, dedication and responsibility is the recipe for success! 

    
     SMART START engineers were ready to put forth their best effort and build creations out of recycling materials collected from sharing snack and school supplies. All drizzled glue, wrapped colored tape around and decorated with markers and bonkers. Imaginations and fine crafting formed a compilation of houses, towers, castles, fire engines and boats.  Using recyclables in and around your home is a wonderful way to "go green" by not creating any further waste while providing your child with endless hours of fun and learning!  


     Earth enthusiasts used their eagle eyes to search and discover places and objects throughout the world by using maps, books, puzzles and flashcards. 
    


     Each student diligently completed pages in their science workbooks that focused on caring for our world. The activities included matching, coloring and sorting.  Nice work!


     
     Geography studies were most enjoyable while playing a game similar to that of musical chairs. The children gathered in a circle and passed the globe ball around while music played. When the song stopped, the child with the ball in hand pointed to something of interest on the globe such as, a lake or continent. In addition, we used our larger globe to continue learning about our world as we are now teaching the seven continents and major bodies of water.


Click below to check out more Earth Day Fun at SMART START!






 We are very proud of our promising environmentalists! It was our pleasure to teach them about Earth Day.  Your children hold the future in their hands to help make the world a better place.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle! 

💙 Mary and Francesca

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

All About Me Featuring Adelyn

     Adelyn was our next "All About Me" presenter! She was so happy to share her poster with the group and did a marvelous job. Adelyn's confidence has grown tremendously and it was a delight watching her express herself with ease during her "All About Me" presentation in front of her peers. Nice work, Adelyn!
Here are some fun facts we learned about Adelyn:

Favorite color - Red
Favorite animal - Giraffe 
Favorite food - Chocolate 🍫
Favorite thing to do - Play in a box ❐
Favorite place to visit - Library 📘
When I grow up I want to be - a veterinarian 🐕🐈
If I had one wish I would wish for - A pet elephant 🐘

     Adelyn was thrilled when she was given the "Student of the Month" award for good conduct.  She could not wait to bring it home to show her parents and little sister, Astrid.  Thank you for sharing your "All About Me" poster with us, Adelyn.  We loved learning more about you!

     
     Happy 3rd birthday, Adelyn! We had so much fun celebrating here at school. Thank you for bringing in such delicious cupcakes to enjoy with your classmates. Friends presented Adelyn with a birthday book and sang, "Happy birthday." Adelyn was just 8 months old when she joined SMART START. We have had the absolute pleasure of watching her grow and develop into a kind, smart, talented and adventurous young girl.  It has been our honor to take part in your education and care over the past 3 years! 



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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Happy Easter

     Happy Easter to all of our SMART START families and friends.  We are overjoyed having had the privilege of celebrating the holiday here at school. We hope you enjoy reading about and seeing what your little Easter bunnies have been up to.  Let's hop to it!

 
     Festivities began as we gathered in our outdoor classroom to collect eggs from Charlotte and Caroline-a sought-after chore! Knowing that these eggs would be used during arts and crafts made this task all the more appealing. Decorating Easter eggs is a traditional activity that both children and adults love to participate in.

 
     Our dress-up area was filled with Easter dresses, bonnets, bunny ears and other accessories. Additional props for dramatic play included Easter baskets, bunnies, ducks and our classroom rabbits. Our animated group was delighted fashioning Easter attire while posing for the most adorable snapshots and engaging in pretend play. 


     Concentrating pupils gathered around the table to play Easter Egg Memory Match. The object of the game is to correctly form pairs. Our young learners challenged their reasoning and problem solving skills as they distinguished between color, shape, similarities and differences. All are winners here at SMART START!

    
     Easter books lined our bookshelves as students learned about this holiday independently and with friends. Books portrayed the meaning of Easter, traditions and fun tales about the famous, Easter Bunny. During circle time with Miss Francesca, peers shared memories from home and what they hope the Easter Bunny might bring!


 
     Although a bit challenging, all embraced our Easter inspired language arts lesson. Each had their own chalkboard and different colored egg shaped chalk. Young learners practiced writing, particularly the letters in their name and seasonal words such as, egg and hop. They are making great strides with letter formation and sounding out site words. We are very proud of our pre-readers!

    
     The Easter Bunny made an early visit and delivered a special gift. Harriet, a sweet black bunny is now a part of our SMART START family! Friends were ecstatic as they took turns holding and welcoming her. We hope Harriet loves her new home here at school and role as classroom pet!

    
     Tea time friends gathered together for a special Easter tea party. The table looked beautiful decorated with Easter lilies and stuffed animals. Pinkies were held high holding tea cups, while imaginations and conversations took place over pretend tea, cookies and lumps of sugar.

    
     Easter celebrations continued as SMART START dancers performed the Bunny Hop. They wore bunny ears, formed a line, tapped their feet and hopped along as Easter music filled the classroom. In addition, friends played two classic games, "Bunny, bunny, hop", a twist on, "Duck, duck, goose" and "Easter Bunny Says, a rendition of "Simon Says."  "Hippity, Hoppity, Easter's on it's way."

    
     Our budding artists were eager for the anticipated egg decorating! Each had a container filled with paint and a brush to paint eggs and a carton. Once this process was complete, the eggs were placed in the plastic egg shaped holder to dry. Other decorations added to both the eggs and cartons included: gem stickers, glitter, flower tape and tissue paper. All were proud to bring their hard work home.

    
     Preschoolers worked diligently during mathematics by counting bunnies and chicks on our felt board. Students excelled at this basic addition and subtraction lesson- festive fun!

 
     The Easter Bunny hid many eggs throughout the school for our annual Easter egg hunt. Dressed up in holiday apparel and a basket in hand, the children searched. Once all the eggs were found, friends gathered to open their eggs. They ate the Jellybeans inside while reminiscing about this egg-citing experience!



Click below for more SMART START Easter Fun!



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💙 Mary and Francesca 💙