Fall is officially upon us here at Pembroke Kids! Our classroom has been using the theme of “Apples” to learn about apple orchards, how apples grow and what we use apples for. Our friends have really enjoyed the many Apple themed books, talking about their favorite apple foods and learning more about colors and patterns through the use of our apple manipulatives, alphabet pairing game and sensory table filled with apples, worms and green sand!

This past month has been filled with many new routines  for the children to learn—and let me tell you, they have done an AMAZING job! We began the year by identifying our name and choosing a classroom job for the day. Our friends have mastered this so quickly that we were able to move onto adding another step- we now sign our names in at one of our “sign-in” tables. We then use our written name to choose a job. This is a great way to encourage proper pencil grip, letter identification, name recognition and it also allows the children to take more pride in the job that they are doing for their classroom community.

We have been playing many shape and color games in class. Our friends really seem to enjoy “Little Ape, Little Ape” where an ape is hiding under a shape on our easel. The children each receive a turn when the teacher says “Little Ape, Little Ape, are you hiding under ____’s shape” This provides a great way for children to take turns, wait patiently, and name both the color and the shape that they believe the ape is hiding under! This has been such a popular game in our classroom that many days we will see a large group of friends playing this game amongst themselves during free exploration time!

Have you noticed our mural that we are creating with Miss Theresa and Miss Cecelia’s class? It is looking great and the children are having a wonderful time decorating apples, apple trees, a sun, etc. to add to the impressive artwork hanging in our hallway. They are mostly enjoying expressing their ideas and following through on those by creating what they have in mind!

Beginning October 3, we will be adding small group time to our daily routines. This is where each teacher will bring a group of 3 or 4 children to a table to work on specific goals, while our other friends are working on puzzles and manipulatives laid out by the teachers. We will also begin to introduce journaling to our new friends at meeting time and following up on that in the small group setting. We will play many fun games during small group time and also work on fine motor skills, letter and number recognition, shapes, colors, simple addition and even do fun science projects! We will be sure that each friend of ours participates in small group activities at least twice a week.

We will introduce individual journaling beginning October 15th. This is a creative activity that the children really enjoy and look forward to each day. We play soft music, and the children spread out around the classroom. Some lay on the carpet, others choose tables or beanbags—anywhere they feel like they can produce their best work!    They are encouraged to journal about something of their choice. Each friend is given their own journal with journal pages and crayons inside. The journal pages are blank except for one line about 1/5 of the way up from the bottom of the page. The children are taught to draw a picture above the line and write a word or the beginning sound of the word they are trying to express below the line. Throughout the year, the children will become more confident in the way they sound out words and some may even begin to write small sentences!

Our focus during the month of October will be on matching similar objects; sorting by one characteristic, regrouping by another characteristic and even sorting by two characteristics at once. (This may be shape and color, size and color, etc.)
We will also be working on large motor skills such as walking on balance beams, running, galloping, and skipping, throwing a ball, catching a ball and kicking a ball. Lastly, we will be paying special attention to how each of our friends attends and engages and how they solve problems.

A few reminders:
*Please be sure to check your child’s extra clothes box at school. The fall weather is here and we may need to exchange short and tee shirts for sweatpants and long sleeved shirts.
*Please dress your child for the weather. If it is going to rain, please send them with raincoats and rain boots-as we will be going outside in all kinds of weather. Please, NO UMBRELLAS!!
*We welcome parent volunteers—if you ever want to come in to help, please let us know! One of the easiest things to do is to come into class at 11:45 and read a story at the end of the day. Your child will love this and it is a fresh face for their friends!
*If you ever have any questions or concerns, please email us! We will get back to you as soon as possible!!

Important October dates:
October 2: NO SCHOOL—All school field trip to Burnham Orchard
October 12: NO SCHOOL
October 26: Trick-or-Treat and dessert potluck at Pembroke Kids from 5-7 pm. Bring the whole family, dress up and enjoy the festivities!
October 31: Black and Orange day at school. Please NO COSTUMES!! We will have a Halloween Party!