Sunday, September 23, 2018

Welcome Fall

Image result for welcome fall clipart banner     It's that time of year again here in New England...Fall! This is one of our favorite seasons here at SMART START as the air is beginning to feel cool and crisp, leaves are changing colors, festive activities are upon us and the smell of all things pumpkin and spice put a smile on our faces. Fall warms the hearts of our young learners and puts a spark into our back to school routine. Come along on our adventure! 
    
     

     

        Preschoolers had bushels of fun as they arranged an Autumn scene in our outdoor classroom! Flowers, pumpkins, haybales, apples and more! Our bunch was full of smiles on this fabulous day as they posed for adorable photos.  "1,2,3... APPLES PLEASE!"



     The great outdoors awaits us!  Our backyard is inviting and the children always look forward to learning and playing daily in nature. Miss Francesca read many Fall themed books to our attentive patch. They highly enjoyed the stories as they basked in the sun and breathed in the fresh Fall air.  When learning takes place in nature, students benefit tremendously as it:

  • activates thinking outside of the box
  • works on intrinsic motivation for learning
  • increases creativity
  • improves over health and well-being as well as social skills and behavior
  • provides extra sensory experiences
  • freedom to think and experiment
  • promotes teamwork 


     Fall enthusiasts hopped in our red wagon and relished in the joy of a hay ride.  With their muscles raring to go, the children took turns pulling each other around the backyard through our Fall scene.


     Here at SMART START, we have the best Fall clean-up crew in town! Our rakers set right to work immediately once leaves began falling. Aside from a pile of leaves to jump in, this added chore brings other benefits such as:

  • helps establish motor planning
  • working together to achieve goal
  • learning about the surrounding environment
  • promoting physical activity
  • learning about proper tool usage
  • establishing good habits, responsibility and routines


      Our older students had the special task of putting Fall flowers in the front yard.  They were proud and filled with school spirit as they placed the flowers.  A job well-done!  Thank you SMART START landscapers!



     Apple picking is a staple Fall family outing! While outside on a brisk morning, the children giggled as they shared past memories of such. They crunched and munched on delicious apples at snack time as we explained and taught about the nutritional benefits, many varieties and parts of Apples: stem, leaf, skin, flesh, core and seeds. They also learned a song about apples entitled, "The Apple Song". 



🍎 "Apple Song" 🍎
Tune: Have You Ever Seen A Lassie?

Have you ever seen an apple, an apple, an apple,
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?
A red one, a yellow one, a pink one, a green one.
Have you ever seen an apple, that grows on a tree?



       

     The backyard Fall dΓ©cor was not complete without decorations for the play structure.  Our exterior designers were up for the task and displayed such teamwork! 



     Students cozied up at our book displays both inside and outside  Emergent readers read independently, as well as with younger peers.  We love hearing them discuss books by using picture cues...simply darling! Early reading in the classroom has many benefits such as:

  • offers a path for critical language and literacy development
  • increase in vocabulary
  • improves speech and cognitive skills
  • builds motivation, curiosity and memory
  • develop a positive association with books
  • enhances concentration, attention span and listening








  Time for dress-up!  The children looked adorable as they sported a dashing Fall patterned dress and bonnet, while others wore aprons to collect eggs from our chickens.  Happy Fall kids!




    
     Little fingers set to work as they peeled and pressed stickers onto cardboard pumpkins.  A simple and engaging activity to master fine motor skills!



     All students reported to the felt board for Math.  They placed various fabric pieces such as, leaves, apples, pumpkins and squirrels on the felt board.  Young learners worked together to count and create patterns. Group effort was in full force while confidence levels boosted! Their counting skills and sequence recognition is right on target!  



  
    SMART START chorus has been singing along to a class favorite, "I Like Autumn" during activities.  We often hear them singing or humming the tune during free play.  They have practiced quite a bit to learn and memorize the lyrics.  Follow the link by clicking "I Like Autumn" to sing along at home with your child.


     With plenty of hay leftover from our Fall dΓ©cor, energetic children grabbed it by the handfuls and threw into the air.  They ran, danced, jumped, laughed and sang as hay flew around and music played.  Fall is full of surprises!





      Talented artists circled around the activity table to create a Fall inspired project!  Each received a white paper plate with a cloth colored leaf, bonkers, glue, paintbrush and colored confetti. We will join the spectacular leaves together to form a gorgeous wreath!





     In addition, imaginative minds decorated large felt owls and leaves. Students used paint, sprinkled colored sand, added tissue paper and pops of color with fabric markers.







   



πŸ–Œ Arts and crafts are a priority in our curriculum. Here are reasons why: πŸ–Œ


  • encourages fine motor skills
  • neural development
  • problem-solving abilities
  • enhances learning in other subject areas such as reading, writing, math and science
  • expression of feelings
  • promotes creativity and happiness
  • FUN!

     Click below for more Fall Fun at SMART START!






🍁 Mary and Francesca  πŸ

Friday, September 21, 2018

All About Gus

     We are proud to present our friend, Gus! Gus was next in line for "All About Me" here at school.  He did a superior job with his presentation and joyfully told us about himself.  Gus spoke clearly,  made eye contact to engage with his fellow classmates and fielded questions from the audience with ease.  A job well done, Gus! 

Here are some important things we learned about Gus:

Favorite color - blue
Favorite animal - cat 🐈
Favorite food - applesauce 
Favorite thing to do - go down the slide 🠟
Favorite place to visit - Vermont 
When I grow up I want to be - a trash man and do hard work 🚚
If I had one wish I would wish for- cake and candles πŸŽ‚

     Gus was absolutely thrilled to receive the "Student of the Month" award.  Our SMART START family loved learning new and interesting facts about you, Gus!  Thank you for sharing!



     
   Celebrations commenced for Gus' 3rd birthday and fun was had by all! Our bunch enjoyed a piece of delicious ice cream cake and goodies Gus brought in for the party.  SMART START friends cheerfully sang "Happy Birthday" to Gus and presented him with a special "Gus" book and toy car.  Gus is a kind, smart and brave young boy that has made leaps and bounds during his time here at SMART START. We are proud of you, Gus and love having you here at school! 
πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Welcome Sonnie Jean

     It is with great pleasure that we introduce one of the newest members of our SMART START family, Sonnie Jean! 

     Sonnie Jean was happy to participate in some class favorites, particularly "Show and Tell" and "Sharing Snack." Sonnie Jean could not wait to show and pass around bunny to her friends. She demonstarted how she loves to hug him. Thanks for sharing bunny with us!

   Sonnie Jean brought in raisins to share with the class for "Sharing Snack.".  She proudly passed them out while using her manners and displaying confidence. Students were thankful for the treat!




      Happy 2nd birthday, Sonnie Jean!  SMART START friends had a fabulous time celebrating you here at school. We hope you enjoyed your celebration!  Thank you for bringing in yummy cupcakes to share with friends. All were thrilled to gift Sonnie Jean with a birthday book and sing "Happy Birthday." SMART START has truly loved getting to know you and are glad you joined our school! We look forward to spending more time together!

πŸ’™ Mary and Francesca πŸ’™