Our youngest group, the Preschool ages, are the Salamanders. They are so named because they may be small but they are quick and adaptable. Here’s a summary of a typical class, as described by the instructor in the weekly email sent to parents. This class featured Art topics but also blends all areas of learning.

“This week in preschool, students saw the continuation of previous concepts, including rhyming and rainbows. We also talked about the idea of calming activities and used a yoga poem as our inspiration for movement.

Open play consisted of the train table, bowling, the doll house, and an art station. Beeswax crayons are always a popular center and many students switched between creating pictures and the other open play areas.

Before starting circle time, students observed the results of last week’s rainbow water experiment. Though the water had completely evaporated, we could still see the color left on the paper towels. This led to a discussion of color mixing. Students used their observations to fill out a color mixing guide to represent the creation of secondary colors.

During circle time, students discussed the daily affirmation, “I am calm.” We talked about what calm bodies looked and sounded like and compared calming activities with energizing activities. Our daily poem was about yoga and connected students to different Earth elements. As I read the poem, students were asked to come up with yoga poses or movements that matched each verse. Many students came up with similar movements, but there were times when each student had different ideas of what the poses may look like. Both were encouraged!

After yoga, I introduced students to a new rhyming game. Students passed a basket of art supplies around and as I called out a word, students would find an object in the basket that rhymed with my clue. For example, I might say cape, and students would hand me tape. In the coming weeks, we will move from this activity to a similar game where students will choose an object and provide their own rhyming word.

After circle time, students moved to the art center, where we created rainbows with torn paper. Tearing paper is a great fine motor exercise and helps to develop the muscles needed to use scissors. For learners that are unable to use scissors effectively, tearing paper is a great activity to help prepare them for future scissor use! We worked together step by step, gluing colored paper to sections of the rainbow. The colorful pictures turned out great!

After snack we returned to the classroom to end the day with a beading activity, another great fine motor exercise. Students were given beads and pipe cleaners and made beautifully colored creations. Next week we will be using the same concept, but making rainbows and clouds, using beads, pipe cleaners, and clay. In addition to helping develop fine motor skills, adding the element of rainbow order will allow students to work on developing their understanding of patterns.”

Salamander: Day in Class