Our Happy Thanksgiving

We celebrated Thanksgiving early at school by making the classic hand turkey! Ms. Taryn traced each student’s hand, and they embellished them with googly eyes, feathers, and crayon as a special decoration to take home for their families. These hand turkeys will be treasured for years to come, and if laminated, can be used as place mats, or just better-preserved. 

Happy Thanksgiving from Square Roots Preschool!

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Music as a Learning Tool

MusicWe all know how that commercial jingle gets stuck in our heads. Well, those of us who are old enough to remember a time before we could fast-forward the DVR through the commercials know what it’s like. Would we be able to recall that information about the carpet cleaner so easily if it hadn’t been set to music? Likely not. (Go ahead…take a break and sing that jingle that just popped into your head. We’ll wait).

Researchers believe that when young children listen to music, it forms pathways between cells in their brains. When children actively participate in the musical experience, the pathways can make their strongest connections. Not only does music makes our brains grow; it is liked by nearly everyone on the planet, and it is a primary learning tool for preschool-aged children.

Children between the ages of two and five are making their way in the world in countless ways, one of which is memorizing some basic facts of life, such as the months of the year, the days of the week, or how many sides a square has. Memorizing these facts by rote can be laborious and not very exciting. Instead, spicing it up with songs that young students can participate in make things more fun and speed up the memorization process.

At Square Roots Preschool, we have a song for just about everything: welcome to school (introduces the kids in class), months of the year, days of the week, snack time (helps us have patience and be polite), shapes, colors, letters, numbers, clean up time and lining up. Some of the songs help us memorize basic facts, and some help us remember the rules. In either case, music supports what we need to learn.

Some of the younger students may not be able to pronounce all the words, but the message sinks in. Parents ask “is there a song you sing about ‘up and down’? Johnny sings this whole long song, and all I can make out is ‘up and down.'” Well, yes, we do! And even though Johnny’s words may not be clear when he sings the words at home, he’s learned which way is up and which way is down. And he’ll get all the words soon enough.

We also use instruments in our classroom. Each day, each child gets to hold and pat the tambourine during the part of the song when we are welcoming him or her. There are other opportunities during our lessons and during play time for the students to explore a variety of instruments and songs, helping forge those important connections in the brain. And we have so much fun!

So, don’t be shy! Turn up the volume with your little learner!

Thank You to Our Supporters!

Square Roots Preschool would like to thank the businesses who have supported us by providing services or helping to spread the word about us! Please check out our “Supporters” page. If you would like to help spread the word about our school, we would be happy to add your family-friendly business to our supporters page. Please contact us for more information. 

Nutrition Lesson: Vitamin K

NutritionDiscussionEvery day at snack time we talk about the healthy foods we are eating and why they are healthy. Once a month, we are treated to a very special nutrition discussion and snack by one of our parents who is a dietician. Since we are studying the letter “K” this week, we she talked all about Vitamin “K.”

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Ms. Christine uses her awesome interactive poster to keep the students’ attention.

Ms. Christine brought an interactive poster as a visual aid, which kept the children guessing about what might come next, holding their attention through a subject that may be considered quite dry by many preschoolers. The students learned first about what foods contain Vitamin K, including broccoli, grapes, super greens, cashews, and olive oil. It was then that Ms. Christine revealed that their delicious smoothies had a secret ingredient that no one could guess…spinach! Super sneaky!

We then learned about what happens when we eat those foods rich in Vitamin K. Vitamin K helps our blood clot to form scabs, helps our body produce new cells, especially for our growing bodies, and, in cooperation with Vitamin D and Calcium (nutrients we learned about in weeks past), it helps our bones stay strong.

After the discussion, Ms. Christine handed out stickers to the children when they remembered what they learned. While reinforcing letter recognition with the letter “K,” the students had a great time learning about Vitamin K.

A Lesson in Hand Washing

Flu season is definitely upon us, and although we always stress the importance of proper hand washing in the classroom, preschool-aged children don’t always grasp this concept that they can’t see. We recently illustrated why proper hand washing is so important in a visual way.

First, we helped the children apply vegetable oil to their hands. They rubbed the oil in as much as possible.

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Next, we sprinkled cinnamon on their hands to represent the germs.

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We observed how dirty our hands can be!

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Next, we touched paper towels to demonstrate how germs can spread to the things we touch. Ewwwww!

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We all agreed that we needed to clean our hands, so we “washed” them in water.

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Hmmmmm. The children observed that their hands still had “germs.” What was missing?

Oh! Soap! Then each of the students washed their hands properly with water AND soap. We had to scrub thoroughly to remove all the “germs.”

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Once our hands were clean, we could go about the rest of our day, and we have all become better hand washers due to this fun activity!