March 31, 2011

Spring School - Day Four

Today's "My Five Senses" topic was taste. We read Eric Carle's Pancakes, Pancakes! and then sampled pancakes with two toppings, honey and whipped cream.

Yummy pancakes!

We graphed the children's topping preference.

Whipped cream was more popular than honey.

The kids each sampled three clear liquids and tried to describe them. The liquids were sweet sugar water, salty salt water, and sour lemon juice.

Sweet? Salty? Sour?

After lunch as always, the children had some free time to play whatever they wanted. These children played memory.

Free choice time

Time is flying. Tomorrow is already the last day of spring school. We'll explore the sense of smell.

Spring School - Day Three

"My Five Senses" is the theme for Spring Preschool this year, and on day three we learned about the sense of touch. We read several Touch and Feel Stories and sang a tickling song during morning circle.

Children learned about the touch sensations hard, soft, rough, smooth, and sticky. Then they made hands with the five fingers touching hard beads, soft cotton, rough sandpaper, smooth craft sponges, and sticky tape.

Describing Touch Sensations

Sense of Touch Craft

They identified letters of the alphabet by touch, counted blocks behind their backs by touch, and felt objects inside a bag and identified them by touch. It was another fun day!

What letters do you feel?

March 29, 2011

Spring School - Day Two

"My Five Senses" is the theme for Spring Preschool this year. Today we learned about the sense of hearing. We started off with Eric Carle's wonderful picturebook, "Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear?"

Then we divided the children into an older group and a younger group. The older group practiced "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" on handbells and performed it for the younger children.
Handbell Practice
Handbell Performance
The younger children played percussion instruments and danced to a song called "Every Move I Make." (The link is to a youtube video of the song.) They performed for the older children.
Percussion and Dance
We read Dr. Seuss's "Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?" and made all the sounds in the book. (Can you whisper like a butterfly?)

Then all the children made their own percussion instruments. They got some scissors practice by cutting up little pieces of paper, and more work on fine motor skills by peeling off and applying stickers.

We ended the day by listening to recordings of animal sounds and singing the Goodbye Song in animal voices. Tomorrow we'll be learning about the sense of touch.

March 28, 2011

Spring School - Day One

The theme for Spring Preschool this year is "My Five Senses." Today we learned about the sense of sight. We sang songs about our eyes, played "I Spy," and did a lot with colors.

We did a color mixing activity. First, we read Leo Lioni's "A Color of His Own." It's a story about a chameleon who can't figure out what color he should be. Then the children received a blank picture of a chameleon and red, yellow, and blue paint. They mixed and applied the paint with cotton swabs, making their own unique chameleons.

Chameleon Coloring

Mixing Colors

Colorful Chameleons
 Then we talked about our favorite colors and about what it would be like if everything were that color. That led us into our next story, "Priscilla and the Pink Planet." It's about a girl who gets sick of living on a planet where everything is pink. Then we made colored "binoculars" with cellophane paper so the kids could see what it would look like if everything were the same color.

Cellophane Binoculars

Decorating the Rose-Colored Glasses
Tomorrow we learn about the sense of hearing. We're looking forward to lots of music!

After the Earthquake

Here is a letter we sent out after the earthquake. I'm posting it here too for people who may be wondering about how New Hope School fared.

March 24, 2011 

Dear Friends of New Hope School, 

A lot has happened since our last letter. I hope that you and your loved ones are all fine after the earthquake and tsunami, and that life is returning to normal for you. We continue to pray for the victims and their families, and that the nuclear situation in Fukushima comes under control quickly and without further incident. 

With the damage that has occurred to some buildings, and the fact that many foreigners are leaving or have left Japan, a few people have expressed concern about the continued operation of our school. Thankfully, our building did not sustain any damage, and our teachers are all here. We are committed to our students and looking forward to seeing each of them again soon. We will hold Spring Preschool next week as planned (there are still some spaces available if anyone is interested). The new school term will begin as planned on April 5 for Preschool and Elementary School, and on April 6 for Afternoon Preschool, Mommy & Me, Kids’ English, and Graduates’ Class. 

Thank you for your continued support of New Hope School. Feel free to contact us any time with questions, comments, or suggestions.