Beginning a new year by exploring the things we can do in preschool

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on September 5, 2013

in Back to School, Exploring the things we can do in preschool

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Each year, I like to begin the first few days of preschool by giving my students time to explore the environment and find out all the things they can do in preschool..

**If you are viewing this by email and cannot see the photos, please click on the title of this post in your email or click here to view the entire post and photos on the blog. For some reason, some folks are having trouble viewing photos lately and I am not sure what the solution is but working on it. Thank you so much!

Beginning the school year by exploring the things we can do in preschool. (Teach Preschool)

Here is a little photo gallery of some of the things we CAN do in preschool. These are all photos from our first day of preschool…

I can cut and glue

We spent the morning cutting strips of construction paper with scissors and then gluing the scraps on a piece of paper.

I can glue by Teach Preschool

I can create

Some of the children spent lots of time creating with the glue and scraps of paper…

I can create by Teach Preschool

I can draw

We began our journals by adding our very first drawings into our journals…

I can draw by Teach Preschool

I can paint

We painted both with the cans (making circles on paper) and on the cans…

I can paint by Teach Preschool

I can write

The children can make postcards anytime they wish to add to our mailbox…

I can write by Teach Preschool

I can explore

The children spent time exploring our magnetic pompoms and other materials all throughout each center…

I can explore by Teach Preschool

I can experiment

The children also spent time exploring our water table, sand table, and sensory window…

I can experiment by Teach Preschool

I can construct

Our block center saw LOTS of action all throughout our morning free play time…

I can construct by Teach Preschool

I can pretend

As the children explored the centers in our classroom, we spent lots of time observing their play. We were looking to see how they interacted with the materials, what they seemed most interested in, and at times, we sat and played with the children too…

I can pretend by Teach Preschool

I can read

Although my students are not readers yet, we began our first week getting to know some of our books by looking at pictures and reading together…

I can read by Teach Preschool

I can be responsible

Although we just started, we are already giving our students opportunities and guidance on ways they can take ownership for their things and the things of our classroom. We want to build a sense of respect and personal responsibility but not all in one big blow but instead gently and consistently each day at a time…

I can be responsible by Teach Preschool

I can make new friends

We have lots of new faces this year. Some of the children made new friends right away while others will take time to get to know each other but each day we worked on building community and getting to know each other…

I can make new friends by Teach Preschool

These were just a few photos to highlight for you some of the things we can do in preschool!

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1 Zibby September 5, 2013 at 7:51 am

I liked the wooden railroad or road “tracks” in this post. They were wide enough to accommodte larger cars and trains. Where did you ge them?

2 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2013 at 12:13 am
3 Margaret@YTherapySource September 5, 2013 at 8:24 am

This is a great way to start the year off on a positive note. Parents and teachers always have to focus on teaching new skills. It is nice to stop and recognize all that children can do at that moment in time. It provides children with a sense of self satisfaction and shows them that everyone has different strengths and talents.

4 Pam September 5, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I am curious about your sensory window. Can you explain its purpose, how it is used, etc. I actually have something similar that was built for a game, from when I was a youth leader, and think I could have my husband cut it down to size. For the game you frost cookies to each side of the window, blindfold the contestants and have them race to eat their cookies off of the window. Hilarious and gross all in one, teens love it.
Thanks.

5 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 5, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Hi Pam,
The sensory window was built by my husband. We use it in many ways but what the children love most is to paint on it with shave cream, squirt water on it, and wash it with a squeegie or wash cloth. But we also use it to inspire creative thinking. We may cut out craft foam fish and the children spray the window with water then add the fish to the window (foam sticks to the window when wet). We can change our foam pieces up to any type of object we might be talking about such as putting tape on the window to look like a tree then setting out craft foam apples and so on. We also use the window as a drawing canvas using window crayons or markers or even washable tempera paint with a touch of liquid soap for easier cleaning. We also set out Gel Clings for the children to explore on the window or really anything that will stick to the window will do.

We have also used it as a partner drawing board. One child sits on one side of the window to draw and another child sits on the other side. The children are facing each other. One child may draw a circle, for example, then the child on the other side adds a line (making a sun together or whatever it turns out to be). Another partnering process is one child or teacher draws a shape and the child on the other side traces the shape.

Lots of ideas once you get thinking and each idea leads to a different kind of learning or experience. I hope that helps!

6 Sarah @ HowWeeLearn September 5, 2013 at 8:16 pm

What an incredible preschool. Thank you for giving me a sneak peak inside. Some very lucky little people :) I, too, am interested in hearing more about the sensory window please – thank you!

7 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2013 at 12:00 am

Hi Sarah (I am copy and pasting my answer to Pam for you to read too),
The sensory window was built by my husband. We use it in many ways but what the children love most is to paint on it with shave cream, squirt water on it, and wash it with a squeegie or wash cloth. But we also use it to inspire creative thinking. We may cut out craft foam fish and the children spray the window with water then add the fish to the window (foam sticks to the window when wet). We can change our foam pieces up to any type of object we might be talking about such as putting tape on the window to look like a tree then setting out craft foam apples and so on. We also use the window as a drawing canvas using window crayons or markers or even washable tempera paint with a touch of liquid soap for easier cleaning. We also set out Gel Clings for the children to explore on the window or really anything that will stick to the window will do.

We have also used it as a partner drawing board. One child sits on one side of the window to draw and another child sits on the other side. The children are facing each other. One child may draw a circle, for example, then the child on the other side adds a line (making a sun together or whatever it turns out to be). Another partnering process is one child or teacher draws a shape and the child on the other side traces the shape.

Lots of ideas once you get thinking and each idea leads to a different kind of learning or experience. I hope that helps!

8 MIRIAM FERNANDEZ BORASO September 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm

hi! thanks for sharing! I love the spaces and furniture & things you have in your preschool, here in ARGENTINA we don’t have many of the things but likely my hubby is a carpenter too, so I ask him to make me most of the things & furniture!
love & teaching!
MIRIAM

9 Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 6, 2013 at 12:14 am

I actually love the things we build more than the things we buy Miriam:)

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