Teaching Team: Amy Acri, Sonja Anderson, Katie Fitzpatrick, Coley Patterson, Dawn Stanek
How do I begin to describe all the wonderful experiences the JK staff provides for their students? These ladies research ideas and uncover the latest trends to provide their students with a rich social emotional curriculum as well as early literacy and math skills. This combination helps prepare their students for kindergarten and beyond.
Here are a few highlights from the first month of JK. The video corresponds with these activities, so be sure to watch!
Friendship Flower: Each child painted with watercolors to create a petal for their class’ friendship flower.
My Favorite Part of Me: The teachers asked each child what body part was their favorite and why. A photo was taken and mounted with the child’s quote.
Open Snack: JK is the only class at WW that has independent or “open” snack time. The children learn the steps associated with the routine: washing hands, helping themselves to snack, pouring their own water, taking care of their napkin and cup when finished, all the while socializing with their peers.
Self-portraits: Three times a year, the JK students will be asked to draw themselves. A mirror is provided for self-awareness, if needed. By spring, the development of skills and detail to body parts is remarkable.
Fine motor: Using a hole puncher, children punch the number of holes in an apple, according to the number of dots and the digit provided on the apple. (Math and fine motor at work here!)
Fine motor: Dry erase markers are used to trace different types of lines (squiggly, straight, zig-zag) from a worm to an apple. Erasers are provided to erase lines and start all over again!
Question of the Day: Children are welcomed to rug time with a question each day. At the beginning of the year, these questions require a simple YES/NO answer (Do you like mac and cheese?) Name recognition, counting using 1:1 correspondence, number recognition, and graphing are all skills covered during this activity.
Literature/Math: Using the book Ten Apples Up on Top, the children drew a simple face and then proceeded to glue apples on top of their head. Many counted out 10 apples and some glued as many as they could fit on their paper!
Block Play: The rug can be seen covered with block structures in the JK classroom. Each structure has a purpose, whether it is Peet’s Coffee, a rocket ship, or an airplane, the children work together making compromises, listening to other’s ideas, negotiating the physical structure and choosing the roles for their scenario.
Just a final observation and quote from a JK student. One little boy said to his mom on the way to school last week, “Mom, this is my last year at Willow Wood.” Mom shared with me that he marches onto the playground with such confidence, knowing he is in JK. This right of passage for our oldest students is a gift you are giving or can give your child by allowing them to complete their years at Willow Wood. They know they are the BB/GOC (big boy/girl on campus) and they leave Willow Wood having a sense of all they have accomplished.
Feel free to visit the JK room and see these students’ play/work in action. It really is something to behold!