“What’s that? We are doing our monthly newsletter a new way? Oh well, it’s not my month so I’ll think about that later.” My thought process sounded a lot like this last month but guess what, friends? It’s my turn now and so I am going to have to find something interesting and informative to blog about, no big deal….right?!?
Let’s talk about a special school called Hillside Academy! Yes, we have awesome and dedicated teachers. Yes, we have an amazing community of families entrusting us with the care, development and education of their children. One other thing that makes us special is the use of Project Based Learning (PBL). I have been in this education game for many years and while I generally knew what Project Based Learning was before joining Hillside Academy last Spring, I could not have told you very much about it. I am learning more about what PBL is and what it looks like when successfully used in a preschool program. So, here I am, an old(er) teacher learning new tricks!
The subject of sharing and being kind to others is visited daily in a preschool classroom. February offered a terrific opportunity of taking this a step further by discussing additional ways we can show our friends, families and people in our community that we care. This is where our theme of “Caring and Sharing” is rooted. In preparation for Valentine’s Day, we read The Valentine Express by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace. In the story some young bunnies learn about and celebrate Valentine’s Day at school and afterwards, decide to make Valentine’s for their neighbors to make them happy. This book led to a discussion about how nice it would be if we could do something similar for the people of Duvall. The children wanted to make Valentine cards for their neighbors! It was time to get started. The children were given supplies to create Valentines and some children made one Valentine while others made several. Then we looked at the weather forecast and discussed which day of the week had the best weather for walking around town. We chose Wednesday, February 10th. On Wednesday morning, we walked down to Main St. and passed out our Valentines to the people we met there. Every child on the trip had the opportunity to say “Hello” & “Happy Valentine’s Day” to a member of our community. It was obvious that everyone’s day was a little brighter as a result of our project.
The children had the opportunity to choose a project they had a genuine interest in, create cards to share with others and follow through with passing out the cards to people in our community. It was an excellent start to introducing PBL to our 3 and 4 year olds. This old(er) teacher is learning more every day. I look forward to the next time it is my turn to blog about more new and exciting things going on in our full time preschool!
The Valentine Express is available on amazon. Go to http://amzn.com/0761454470 to order.