Welcome To PKC !
Hi, my name is Ms. Shakima Renee and I am the PreK-C teacher! This is my third year teaching at Notre Dame Catholic Academy of Ridgewood and I am really excited to be working with Mrs. Nelida Santos again this year. The children can address us as Ms. Renee and Mrs. Santos, we are both really happy about getting to know your little one this year, and watching them explore and grow. I can be contac
ted via ClassDojo and by email at Shakima.Renee@notredamecatholicacademy.net . I will be checking the ClassDojo app periodically throughout the day, however, I will not be responding to messages after 4:30pm.
Unit 1– Welcome To Pre-K
The first few weeks of the pre-K year children and families are wondering about the upcoming year and what it will bring. We will be developing partnerships and fostering communication with families throughout this first month of the pre-K program. We will be providing structure and support during this time of transition, knowing that some children have experiences with a childcare program for some children this will be their first experience. Throughout this unit and the units ahead, we will have the exciting opportunity to set the tone for children’s pre-K- 12 educational experiences and lay the foundation for critical thinking and inquiry skills that they will use from our classroom forward. In pre-K we follow the New York State Prekindergarten Foundation for the Common Core (PKFCC). These standards have carefully developed early learning expectations linked to K-12 standards that contribute to a more cohesive unified approach to young children’s education. The PKFCC is organized into five broad developmental and interrelated domains, which provide the structure for the common core. A brief description of each domain appears below:
- Approaches to Learning- How children become involved in learning and acquiring knowledge.
- Physical Development and Health- Children’s physical health and ability to engage in daily activities.
- Social and Emotional Development- The emotional competence and ability to form positive relationships that give meaning to children’s experiences in the home, school, and larger community.
- Communication, Language, and Literacy- How children understand, create, and communicate meaning.
- Cognition and Knowledge of the World- What children need to know and understand about their world and how they apply what they know. This domain is a direct reflection of the content competencies and knowledge of the Common Core Learning Standards.
Unit 2– My Five Senses
Now that we have introduced the children and families to the program with the first unit, we will continue our journey of exploration and learning with an exciting topic focused on how we use our five sense to explore, investigate, and understand ourselves and our world. Children naturally explore the world around them through their senses. In this unit we encourage support cognitive and language development by encouraging children to observe things in their immediate environment and begin to describe them in detail. In this unit there is a focus on developing the Physical Development and Health Skills described in Domain 2 of the PKFCC. Throughout the unit, children will use their senses to assist and guide learning. Children will demonstrate increasing awareness and understanding of safety rules through discussions about how we use each sense to make judgements about safe situations or objects. Throughout the unit, there are activities and discussions about how life might be different for people who have disabilities that affect their senses. There are children’s books that introduce different disabilities and explain how people with disabilities might interact with the world differently.
Week 1 was introduced asking the question “How do we use our sense of sight?” Since we are also introducing the Fall season, we started a science experiment using leaves. The question was asked during circle time “What would happen if we put leaves in different things?” Using oil, rubbing alcohol, and water we are going to watch how the leaves will change over time
Day 1: Day 16:
Week 2 was introduced asking the question “How do we use our sense of hearing?” I encouraged the children to pay attention to sounds they heard on their way to school. We also discussed sounds they would hear near their homes and animal sounds. I played animal sounds during circle time and the children were able to identify the animals by name.
Week 3 was introduced by asking “How do we use our sense of taste?” and “How do we use our sense of smell?” We used labeled jars and assorted scents to make smelling jars. Children are encouraged to go over to the science center to smell the jars and try to identify the different scents.
Taking turns and exploring the scent jars.
Week 4 was introduced by asking the question “How do we use our sense of touch?”We took advantage of the Halloween season and made a Jaack-O-Lantern. While cutting the pumpkin open, we allowed the children to put their hands in a bowl and feel the pumpkin guts. I went around asking them to describe how it felt.
Unit 3– All About Us
During the pre-K year, children develop a concept and awareness of themselves as unique individuals. A strong sense of self supports children’s success in pre-K and lays the groundwork for realizing their potential throughout their school and life experiences. Unit activities such as self-portraits and like/dislike activities invite children to think about and express their ideas about who they are. Throughout the unit there are also opportunities for children to explore the attributes of their names. All About Us is designed to support and embrace the diverse populations of New City City Pre-K’s for All program and help children develop the positive self-concept and confidence to take on new tasks, think critically, remain persistent in the face of challenges, pursue interests and realize their potential as individuals as well as members of various communities. It is an opportunity to celebrate each an every member of the class both inside and out and set a tone of acceptance.
Week one was introduced by asking “What makes me important and unique?” We sent a project home for family engagement, and asked parents to help their children create a self portrait. When all of the projects were completed we asked each child to write their name as best as possible and displayed each project in the hallway with their names written next to them.