At ISLA Academy, our students are eager to learn. Our teachers are dedicated. Our playground and facilities look better and better each day. We are also continuing to welcome new students as the weeks go on. To say the least, everyone is smiling and enjoying our time learning here at ISLA Academy. As the school’s Curriculum Coordinator and the preschool’s Head Teacher, I would like to welcome you all to our first edition, of the preschool monthly blog! My assistant teacher and local Dominican, Ms. Arianny would also like to welcome you! It has been a busy year so far!
We have been getting to know each other and we have been learning new routines around school. We have also been learning new vocabulary words/concepts, the Common Core subjects of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and math. Science and Social Studies have also been a focus. We have been exploring in the arts of music, visual arts, and drama. We also know that our physical health, emotional health, and social skills are important focuses. In addition, importantly to mention, we have been learning most of this bilingually in both English and Spanish. It’s important at this age to talk about sharing, taking turns, and learning correct questions or statements that tell us nicely how we feel. We might ask, “Please may I say something?” instead of interrupting. We might ask, “Please may I use that?” if we would like to play with a toy our friend is playing with. We also might say, “Please don’t do that,” if what someone is doing is bothering us. These are simple, but nice ways we can get our point across to our friends.
Our big 9-week social studies unit asks us to explore our histories, our families, and who we are. We have been looking at baby pictures and describing how we have grown and changed since we were babies. We have looked at pictures of people in magazines and sorted them and spoke about what parts of the family they might represent. We have been interviewing our family members and asking about activities we loved to do together when we were babies, because we can’t quite remember that well.
In reading, we have been reading books about growing plants, tadpoles changing into frogs, and discussing our connections to these texts. We have been pointing at pictures, making predictions, and discussing the plots of the stories. We have been associating words with pictures, which is helping us learn colors, shapes, our names, and various sentences or questions we have been saying a lot in class.
In writing, we have been using our fingers to “write” notes to our parents in the sand. We are constantly working on our speaking skills as we have to explain ourselves, how we are feeling, and give answers we have to questions. We listen to how everyone is feeling, we listen to directions, we listen to stories, and we listen to music.
For science, we have included the “growth” concept in our learning by reading books about plants, animals that grow, and we have even planted our own seeds. Every day we observe our plants and discuss any changes we see. We have also been very busy studying math concepts. We are practicing counting objects to help our concept of how the number “1” actually means “one thing.” We are counting beans, rocks, coconuts, blocks, and anything else we can find. We are also looking at patterns around school. We understand that patterns are everywhere. We can even make our own patterns! We have been making patterns with colored Unifix cubes. They are really fun, but still a difficult task. We have also been using mathematical vocabulary to discuss things we do “before” school and “after” school. We have been talking about who has “more” or “less” rocks. We have also been talking about who is “first” or “last” in lines to lunch. During our calendar time we have also been talking about what we did “yesterday,” what we will do “tomorrow,” and also what important events might be coming up “next week.”
We have been listening to music and showing our feelings about a particular song by drawing, dancing, or explaining how it makes us feel. We have been creating art by learning simple shapes and using them to create drawings of houses, people, or airplanes. We have been acting in drama class by acting like animals, a tree, or like were in a moving car driving to the beach. Also, we just love using our puppets to imitate voices and pretend to be animals or other people. We have been focusing on our physical health by eating (and cooking!) healthy meals and exercising by moving our bodies, jumping, skipping, or swimming. Our Spanish program is also unique as we try to make everything as bilingual as possible. Instructions are given in both English and Spanish. During read aloud, the stories are spoken in both languages. Around the classroom, some of our phrases and vocabulary are in English and Spanish. When just playing outside, we try to talk to our friends in both English and Spanish. Families have already spoken of improvements of our non-native languages being spoken at home. This is great news! Most of all, we are having fun! Come see us anytime! Gracias and enjoy yourselves out there! ☺ Mr. Franco and Ms. Arianny