Welcome To Pre-K C!
Hi, my name is Ms. Shakima Renee and I am the PreK-C teacher! This is my sixth 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 contacted via ClassDojo and by email at Shakima.Renee@notredamecatholicacademy.net . I will be checking the ClassDojo messages periodically throughout the day, however, I will not be responding to messages after 3:30pm.
Unit 1– Welcome To Pre-K
The first few weeks of the pre-K year children and families are w
ondering 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 Learning Standards (NYSPLS). 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 NYSPLS 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 encoura
ging 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 by asking the question “How do we use our sense of sight?” We made glasses out of pipe cleaners!.. We also continued to discuss the fall and the differences that they are beginning to notice in the trees.
Week 2 was introduced by asking the question “How do we use our sense of hearing?” I asked what could be heard around the classroom. We also made instruments using the cardboard from paper towel rolls, beans and cupcake liners.
Week 3 was introduced by asking the question “How do we use our sense of taste?” and “How do we use our sense of smell?” We numbered jars that were packed with cotton balls and introduced 1 new scent each day, going around the room I asked everyone when they smelled in the jar. On the fourth day the scents were revealed to be Lemon, Peppermint, and Cotton Candy, all essential oils and safe for smelling.
Week 4 was introduced by asking the question “How do we use our sense of touch?” Using our “feely box,” which is a closed box that have 2 openings on each end, I put a different item in daily and ask each child to describe what they feel. Using words like bumpy, scratchy, hard, soft, smooth, and fluffy to describe the secret that is in the box. At the end of the week we will get to finally see what we have been touching in the “feely box.”