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Apr 07

Week of April 9th, 2021

Posted on April 7, 2021 at 10:56 AM by Jenny Levins

Happy Spring, Outreach Troop!

Can you believe how fast March has flown by? Spring is in full swing and people are slowly but safely (I hope) getting back out and about. I’m enjoying the weather and just being able to get out and move around a little. Having faced Covid a few weeks ago sure does make me appreciate things like being able to go outside and hear the birds sing, feel the wind blow, or even seeing what new things have bloomed since the last time I stopped to pay attention to what was blooming in my own yard.

Springtime is a great time of year for the classroom. Whether it’s weather, gardening or life cycles of animals, children are curious and always anxious to learn.  

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April Themes

Rain          
Flowers, Seeds & Gardening
Birds
Bugs & Insects
Earth Day
Ducks & Pond Life
Earth Day
Weather 
Bunnies

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Picture Book Picks for April

Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson – This interactive book of a seed’s life cycle will engage the children to wriggle fingers when watering the seeds, clapping to make the sunshine after the rain and shooing the hungry snail away. Perfect for any age. 

Wake Up It’s Spring by Lisa Campbell Ernst – Spring is here and all the animals dance in celebration.

The Rain Came Down by David Shannon
– With wit and humor, this book will surely be the sunshine on a rainy day.

Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle – Fun interactive story about weather with rhymes and wordplay.

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert – Lois Ehlert provides answers to questions children may have about butterflies and their life cycle. It’s vibrant and full of color.

A Turtle’s Life by Nancy Dickmann - Explores the life cycle of a turtle; how it grows, develops and reproduces.

The Bunnies Are Not in Their Beds by Marisabina Russo – A read along for children that have lots of energy that will surely give them the giggles.

The Tooth Fairy VS. The Easter Bunny by Jamie Deenihan – Yes you read it right, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny go head to head. Perfect for the child that’s recently lost a tooth or found an Easter egg.

April New Books

Laxmi’s Mooch by Shelly Anand - A body positive picture book about a young Indian American girl who celebrates her body hair as being part of her heritage even after being teased by other children.

Sharing a Smile by Nicki Kramar – Sophie is still trying to get used to wearing a mask when she realizes by watching her neighbors. She’s not the only one that’s uncomfortable and unsure about having to wear masks. She turns it into a positive when doing acts of kindness in her neighborhood.

Rissy No Kisses by Katey Howes – Rissy is a lovebug but doesn’t like kisses! 
Rissy’s on a mission to show everyone there’s no one right way to show you care for someone.
The Big Bad Wolf in My House by Valerie Fontaine – A young girl compares her mom’s new friend to a big bad wolf in this touching but hopeful book about domestic violence.

Hidden Wonders by Walter Wick
– This brand-new book by the creator of “I Spy” lets you explore a world of toys, outer space and more with amazing pictures and rhyming words.

You Are Enough: A Book About Inclusion by Margaret O’Hair – It’s hard to be different but would you rather be just like someone else? This is a celebration of being and loving self.

I’ll Meet You in Your Dreams by Jessica Young – This touching space themed selection is about the close bond between parent and child.

Lubaya’s Quiet Roar by Marilyn Nelson – A picture book about introverts, social justice and activism. Lubaya makes a big impression with her artwork at a protest rally.

Where Wonder Grows by Xelena Gonzalez - This perfect spring book about a grandmother who teaches her granddaughters how much they can learn from nature just by paying close attention to it.

Resources with LOTS of springtime song ideas!

https://www.songsforteaching.com/themeunits/aprilsongs.htm
https://teachingmama.org/spring-songs-for-preschoolers/
https://www.preschooleducation.com/sspring.shtml
https://dltk-holidays.com/spring/april_song.htm

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Bunnies, Frogs, Chicks…Oh My! 
(April Crafts and Activities)

https://www.kindergartenworksheetsandgames.com/2019/04/april-crafts-for-kids.html
https://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2017/04/spring-preschool-activities.html
https://www.fantasticfunandlearning.com/april-preschool-activities-and-fun-things-to-do-with-kids
https://www.123homeschool4me.com/april-kids-activities/

Communication in the Classroom

When a baby cries in the middle of the night because it’s hungry, when a toddler falls out in the store after mom says no toys, when a 4-year-old gets frustrated when they can’t get their arm in their too small favorite shirt…these are all ways of communication. 

By age 3 children should be able to: 
Follow instructions in 2-3 steps
Say small words such as I, me, we, dog and cat.
Have small conversation with 2-3 sentences
They will more than likely be able to name most items or things they’re familiar with.

By age 4:
Children may start to tell short stories
Sing simple songs such as “Wheels on the Bus” and “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”
They start to use “he” and “she” in the correct form within a sentence.
Say first and last name

By age 5:
By this age children should be speaking clearly
Use full sentences in their stories
Can say name and address
Know what items like forks and spoons and their correct usage

For preschoolers age 3 working on listening and understanding skills is key. We can do this by learning each child and a little about their family. By doing this, you can talk and have conversation about things they’re familiar with and interested in.  When you are talking to them, get down on eye level so they know you are truly listening to what they have to say and let them know it’s important to you. Circle time is prime way of practicing communication skills when the classroom helper stands to tell about the weather or when it’s “Show and Tell” and the children practice listening to their friends tell about what they bought in. This will also boost their confidence as time goes on.

Preschoolers by ages 4 & 5 have conversations about more than just what has happened at that moment. They will definitely elaborate, sometimes more than we would like lol, stringing sentences together that were once just choppy words. They will have much more to say in Circle Time than that of the 3-year old. In my story times with this age group, I intentionally have a discussion time right before reading to get the kids interest and involvement. It also gives the kids a chance to get comfortable and warmed up to me, this will help when it’s time to ask questions about the story. I also sing 2-3 songs in which they love to sing and move along with me.  Please be sure to have a wide variety of books and reading materials readily available for the children to look at both independently and as a group in your classroom. 

As a preschool teacher you realize every child is different and may reach these milestones at a slightly faster or slower pace. There are countless ways to add language and communication skills in your classroom throughout the day that are both fun and engaging that also align with Read Write Talk Sing Play. Please encourage parents and caregivers to incorporate activities at home, communication starts from the time of birth. Many of the activities and resources I share with you can also be shared with parents to do at home. A child’s environment has so much impact on the way they communicate at school and the outside world. Parents are the first teachers and what they are teaching and implementing at home spills over to the classroom in positive and not so positive ways.

Here are the resources I used for information, please look into them for more details and tons of information on milestones, red flags to look for, activities for the classroom and for home. 

http://www.kamloopschildrenstherapy.org/communication-preschool-milestones
https://www.virtuallabschool.org/preschool/comm-lang-development/lesson-4
https://www.virtuallabschool.org/preschool/comm-lang-development/lesson-2
https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/comm-4-to-5.html

“Every student does the best they can with the skills they have in each moment…it is our job to take each moment as an opportunity to teach.”

Considerate Classroom for pre-kpages.com

Please feel free to email me with future blog ideas or with questions or concerns.
Happy Communicating!

https://www.pre-kpages.com/developing-communication-skills-in-preschool/ 

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